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2018 was a very interesting year in video games. Over the last 12 months, we received even more proof that single-player games are alive and well, saw a mix of big releases and small indie hits, and watched as unexpected games crashed and burned (or rose to the heavens). We also, in many ways, had a lot of hopes and dreams finally fulfilled—no matter if you’re looking for a bit of smashing, or a smidge of redemption. And yet, it’s hard to shake the feeling that this generation’s days may truly be numbered, and that something is waiting just over the horizon. No matter what, it was a year that gave us a lot of great gaming. In the end, however, we could only pick twenty-five of those experiences to fill the slots of our “Best of 2018” rankings. So, after much deliberation, here are EGM‘s Top 25 games of the year, today looking at numbers 20 through 16.


#20 Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Arc System Works
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Dragon Ball FighterZ

The moment Arc System Works revealed Guilty Gear Xrd ~Sign~’s incredible visual style, brains around the world fired up with dreams of other games that could be made using such graphical techniques. A good amount of those fantasies were fulfilled when Dragon Ball FighterZ was unveiled, proving that a long history of so-so fighting games based around the beloved Japanese series might finally be a thing of the past. The team at ASW knows fighting games, so it was unsurprising just how fun DBFZ would end up. What was a bit unexpected, though, was just how much that visual style could actually make the entire game better as an experience, making it feel like the actual anime come to life—or how good of a replacement the game would be for the disappointing Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.


#19 Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Hazelight Studios
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
A Way Out

Good couch co-op games are a rarity nowadays, making A Way Out a standout on this list. The story weaves between two characters, hardened mobster Leo and clean-cut fraudster Vincent, as they attempt to escape from prison. Both players share screen space and game time, with one player controlling each character. What makes A Way Out a great co-op game, though, isn’t its dual storyline or mashup of gameplay styles, but its potential for hilarity. While there’s plenty of high-stakes drama, there’s also the chance to stop mid-robbery and draw a mustache on a portrait, or to let the two grown men see who can balance in a wheelchair the longest. No matter what the stakes, A Way Out knows the most important part of a co-op game is being able to sit back and laugh with your fellow player.


#18 Publisher: Experience Inc
Developer: Monstars Inc, Resonair
Platforms: PS4
Tetris Effect

Tetris. We all know Tetris at this point, right? We’ve seen and played Tetris in every possible form it could be seen and played in, right? Well, this year, Tetris Effect came along to prove just how wrong that notion was. Co-produced by the master of music “experience” games Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Tetris Effect is a chocolate-plus-peanut-butter combination of Alexey Pajitnov’s legendary puzzle creation and Mizuguchi’s own puzzle series Lumines. Deleting lines of built-up Tetriminos is taken to a whole other level when done atop stylish animated backgrounds accompanied by thumping beats. Even old-school Tetris fans will find new elements, such as the Zone mechanic for building up higher scores, or Effects mode that offers up a variety of playstyles depending on your mood. And—if you really want to overload your senses—strap on a PlayStation VR and lose yourself in the rhythmic puzzle bliss. Gee Tetris, when did you get so cool?


#17 Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Just Cause 4

Just Cause 4 may not be the best game in the series, but it’s a testament to how solid the Just Cause games are that the latest experience made it onto our list. The basic formula is everything you could want: a massive beautiful island, an insane level of destruction, and a grappling hook/parachute/wingsuit combo that is only occasionally compliant with the laws of physics. Just Cause 4 isn’t without its improvements either, with notably tighter gunplay this time around, as well as the most streamlined supply drop system ever. Realism can be fun, but sometimes you just need to go a little crazy, and that is exactly what Just Cause 4 lets you do. And yes, there’s a cow gun.


#16 Publisher: Motion Twin
Developer: Motion Twin
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Dead Cells

After a year of availability in early access, Motion Twin’s Dead Cells finally received its full release and it didn’t disappoint. The roguelike platformer has been praised by fans and critics for its tight controls, beautiful art direction, and continuation of the Metroidvania formula. What’s more, the game’s tough but fair difficulty curve was a welcome change for platformer fans. Using a “live, die, repeat” system, Dead Cells teaches players how to get better through its design, instead of offering upgrades to make them stronger permanently. While the first few seemingly impossible runs through the game can make players cautious to continue forward, the fun comes down to mastering the combat and finding clever ways to overpower the deadlier foes. In all, Dead Cells is a positive step forward for platformers, so let’s hope future titles in the genre take a few pointers from Motion Twin’s work.

EGM’s Best of 2018 Coverage
We’re taking a look at the best games of 2018 all week, from December 24th through January 1st. Check back every day for our Top 25 Games of 2018, as well as our personal lists for the games we loved most this year. Check here for everything that’s been posted so far.

Read More

EGM’s Best of 2018 Part Two: #20 ~ #16

We're counting down our choices for the top 25 games of 2018, and today we look at positions #20 through #16.

By EGM Staff | 12/29/2018 11:00 AM PT

Features

2018 was a very interesting year in video games. Over the last 12 months, we received even more proof that single-player games are alive and well, saw a mix of big releases and small indie hits, and watched as unexpected games crashed and burned (or rose to the heavens). We also, in many ways, had a lot of hopes and dreams finally fulfilled—no matter if you’re looking for a bit of smashing, or a smidge of redemption. And yet, it’s hard to shake the feeling that this generation’s days may truly be numbered, and that something is waiting just over the horizon. No matter what, it was a year that gave us a lot of great gaming. In the end, however, we could only pick twenty-five of those experiences to fill the slots of our “Best of 2018” rankings. So, after much deliberation, here are EGM‘s Top 25 games of the year, today looking at numbers 20 through 16.


#20 Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Arc System Works
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Dragon Ball FighterZ

The moment Arc System Works revealed Guilty Gear Xrd ~Sign~’s incredible visual style, brains around the world fired up with dreams of other games that could be made using such graphical techniques. A good amount of those fantasies were fulfilled when Dragon Ball FighterZ was unveiled, proving that a long history of so-so fighting games based around the beloved Japanese series might finally be a thing of the past. The team at ASW knows fighting games, so it was unsurprising just how fun DBFZ would end up. What was a bit unexpected, though, was just how much that visual style could actually make the entire game better as an experience, making it feel like the actual anime come to life—or how good of a replacement the game would be for the disappointing Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.


#19 Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Hazelight Studios
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
A Way Out

Good couch co-op games are a rarity nowadays, making A Way Out a standout on this list. The story weaves between two characters, hardened mobster Leo and clean-cut fraudster Vincent, as they attempt to escape from prison. Both players share screen space and game time, with one player controlling each character. What makes A Way Out a great co-op game, though, isn’t its dual storyline or mashup of gameplay styles, but its potential for hilarity. While there’s plenty of high-stakes drama, there’s also the chance to stop mid-robbery and draw a mustache on a portrait, or to let the two grown men see who can balance in a wheelchair the longest. No matter what the stakes, A Way Out knows the most important part of a co-op game is being able to sit back and laugh with your fellow player.


#18 Publisher: Experience Inc
Developer: Monstars Inc, Resonair
Platforms: PS4
Tetris Effect

Tetris. We all know Tetris at this point, right? We’ve seen and played Tetris in every possible form it could be seen and played in, right? Well, this year, Tetris Effect came along to prove just how wrong that notion was. Co-produced by the master of music “experience” games Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Tetris Effect is a chocolate-plus-peanut-butter combination of Alexey Pajitnov’s legendary puzzle creation and Mizuguchi’s own puzzle series Lumines. Deleting lines of built-up Tetriminos is taken to a whole other level when done atop stylish animated backgrounds accompanied by thumping beats. Even old-school Tetris fans will find new elements, such as the Zone mechanic for building up higher scores, or Effects mode that offers up a variety of playstyles depending on your mood. And—if you really want to overload your senses—strap on a PlayStation VR and lose yourself in the rhythmic puzzle bliss. Gee Tetris, when did you get so cool?


#17 Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Just Cause 4

Just Cause 4 may not be the best game in the series, but it’s a testament to how solid the Just Cause games are that the latest experience made it onto our list. The basic formula is everything you could want: a massive beautiful island, an insane level of destruction, and a grappling hook/parachute/wingsuit combo that is only occasionally compliant with the laws of physics. Just Cause 4 isn’t without its improvements either, with notably tighter gunplay this time around, as well as the most streamlined supply drop system ever. Realism can be fun, but sometimes you just need to go a little crazy, and that is exactly what Just Cause 4 lets you do. And yes, there’s a cow gun.


#16 Publisher: Motion Twin
Developer: Motion Twin
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Dead Cells

After a year of availability in early access, Motion Twin’s Dead Cells finally received its full release and it didn’t disappoint. The roguelike platformer has been praised by fans and critics for its tight controls, beautiful art direction, and continuation of the Metroidvania formula. What’s more, the game’s tough but fair difficulty curve was a welcome change for platformer fans. Using a “live, die, repeat” system, Dead Cells teaches players how to get better through its design, instead of offering upgrades to make them stronger permanently. While the first few seemingly impossible runs through the game can make players cautious to continue forward, the fun comes down to mastering the combat and finding clever ways to overpower the deadlier foes. In all, Dead Cells is a positive step forward for platformers, so let’s hope future titles in the genre take a few pointers from Motion Twin’s work.

EGM’s Best of 2018 Coverage
We’re taking a look at the best games of 2018 all week, from December 24th through January 1st. Check back every day for our Top 25 Games of 2018, as well as our personal lists for the games we loved most this year. Check here for everything that’s been posted so far.

Read More