Braulio’s Top 10 Games of 2018

2017 was easily one of the best years in gaming in my book. It made 2018 feel somewhat lackluster compared to it. I don’t feel that many titles really stood out, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have fun with many of the titles that I did play. 2018 wasn’t a year of thought provoking stories like previous years for me. 2018 did give me one thing that I’ve been missing for many years: fun. I had a ton of fun with the games that I played this year and I appreciate the year for what it was. As down as I may sound, I do have enough games to make a top 10 lists and here they are!

But before we go on with my list, here are some honorable mentions that should not be ignored: Mario Tennis Aces, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, Hollow Knight, Just Shapes and Beats, Kirby Star Allies, The Messenger, and especially Florence. 

10. Mega Man 11: My most anticipated game of the year, Mega Man 11. The Blue Bomber is finally back! It’s no Mega Man 2 or even 9, but 11 brought back the joys I had as a kid. The patforming feels tight and responsive and the new powers are a blast to experiment with. My only complaint is the music as none of it felt too memorable. 

9. Celeste: My vote for Game of the Year went to Celeste. The narrative on depression and anxiety, the tight gameplay mechanics, beautiful aesthetics, and the fantastic soundtrack made me even crack a tear during the more heartfelt moments of the game. 2018 started off with such a high note that it made the remainder of the year feel like nothing would top Celeste. Obviously it’s my 9th favorite game of the year, but I know it’s my game of the year as I just had a bit more fun with other titles. Please go play this if you haven’t yet. 

8. God of War: Sony Santa Monica outdid themselves with what might be the best God of War game. The new tone of the series makes for a better narrative on Kratos’ adventures. What used to be ridiculously-over-the-top action got a bit toned down, which I honestly feared since the game’s initial unveiling. Luckily for me I was wrong and the action still lived up to the game’s predecessors.

7. Super Mario Party: The last Mario Party I bought was Mario Party 3 on the Nintendo 64 because the boards and mini-games became uninteresting and uninspired. Super Mario Party fixes both of my issues of the past iteration of the franchise with just a handful of boards with fun gimmicks and a ton of new mini-games that most feel like winners. If you have friends and family members that you enjoy playing video games in their company (hopefully) you owe it to yourself to play what might be the best game in the franchise since Mario Party 2. 

6. Forza Horizon 4: Burnout Paradise will always continue to be the best racing game in my book, but Forza Horizon 4 is damn close to beating it. Between a sim and an arcade racer, Forza Horizon 4 reminded me of how fun racing games can truly be. For a moment I couldn’t get into it because of the lackluster soundtrack, but with the help of Spotify running on the background of my Xbox One I managed to fix my only gripe with the game. 

5. WarioWare Gold: Fun was what I needed in 2018 and WarioWare brought that into my life 100%. What is a best-of quickly became an obsession. Borrowing micro-games from the franchise’s history became one of my favorites almost immediately. The wacky story and the sheer stupidity of some of the micro-games made me remember a time where games didn’t need to have thought-provoking storylines, but needed to be simple and fun. WarioWare Gold was easily the best 3DS game of the year.

4. Dragon Ball FighterZ:  This game is honestly one of, if not, my favorite fighting game of all time. Fast-paced action with familiar characters I grew up loving to a rockin’ soundtrack just brought joy to me in the early months of 2018. I originally bought it on PS4 on launch and then quickly purchased the game once again with the season pass when it released on Switch and I feel I played even more on there.

3 . Donut County: I had to change my list a tad bit just days prior to my publishing because Donut County released on the Nintendo Switch just this past Tuesday and I fell in love with the writing, the music, and the simplistic puzzles. Ben Esposito’s title deserves so much recognition for how much fun there is to have here. It’s easily accessible through just about any means so make sure to pick it up and play. 

2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Sakurai has outdone himself once again with the latest iteration of the ultra-popular series, Super Smash Bros.. Everyone is indeed here and I couldn’t be more grateful to have Solid Snake back ready to brawl all my favorite Nintendo characters. Not just that, but we finally got Simon Belmont to represent Castlevania, a series that needs to come back to its roots. Ultimate has tons of new content, tons of old content, and it plays so much better than the previous entry. It’s only been a few weeks out and it’s already my most played game this year. You don’t need me to tell you to purchase this game because you already know you have a copy. 

1. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA: For the most of 2018 I was dreading how little I was playing due to things changing in my life. I was in a bad place for the majority of the year and Ys VIII released for the Nintendo Switch during the early days of Summer and I was hooked. This is easily the only game that I could play for countless hours on end. I felt happy and just all around good due to the fun combat, cheezy story, and rockin’ soundtrack. I loved everything about this game and I want to go back and play the remainder of the series. Having this game on the go made things easier for me to pick up and play. Here’s hoping the recently announced Ys IX also makes its way onto the Switch. 

Braulio Ortiz

Founder and creator of Cynosure Gaming. Has roughly 24 years of gaming experience and began gaming on the NES. After playing countless hours of Ninja Gaiden and The Legend of Zelda a new hobby was born. Since then I've owned every major console and handheld and have beaten nearly every game that is relevant to the industry. Now I continue my passion through this website and see no end to this awesome world of entertainment. PSN & NID: happydude633

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