Joel Ramirez’s Top 5 Games of 2018

This year went by extremely quickly. It was a year filled with amazing movies like Avengers: Infinity War, A Quiet Place, and Black Panther. Amazing TV series that I binged like Downton Abbey, The Great British Baking Show, and Downton Abbey again because its freaking great! Video games are the main source of entertainment and art that drives my passion to become more involved in the gaming industry and to work with incredible like minded folks like the Game Fanatics crew. I present you with my top five games of 2018, some honorable mentions and a summary of other great stuff I experienced. 

5. Red Dead Redemption 2

Having just finished Red Dead Redemption 2’s main campaign a couple days before writing this, I had an idea of where it would end up on my list. There are many reasons why I actually did not have it higher, mostly to do with gameplay and pacing of the many systems of the game. There were times where I wanted to give up on this game but Arthur Morgan is such an incredible character that I had to see it to the very end. Arthur Morgan is one of my favorite video game protagonists of all time and I’ll never forget his story and everything we experienced in this game.

4. Guacamelee 2

I loved the original Guacamelee. It actually brought back my love of platformers. I was definitely hyped for DrinkBox Studios to get back to the series after Severed. They did not disappoint. Guacamelee 2 was just as enjoyable and entertaining as the original. It had witty writing and great platforming sequences. I fully expect to replay it this upcoming year. Maybe even get the Platinum Trophy. For my full review of Guacamelee 2 click here!

3. Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight

Persona 5 was my Game of the Year in 2017 and I continued playing it through a huge portion of 2018. When my wife was recovering from her back surgery I got deep into Persona 5 again. The style, music, and characters just draw me in every time. Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight is a perfect recipe for everything I love about Persona 5. To think I would have a rhythm game in my top five is very unusual.

Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight was a fantastic game to introduce me into a world of rhythm I did not expect to fall in love with. I had to learn to play this game (I was also writing the review) and I enjoyed every bit of it. The most satisfying parts were not missing a single note, hitting really difficult combos, and the freaking soundtrack! Persona 5 has the best soundtrack hands down.  I already achieved the Platinum in the game and even got the Platinum trophy for Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight. For my full review of Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight click here!

2. Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Super Smash Bros on a top five list is a no brainer. I had a feeling before I even touched the game that I would end up really enjoying it. This was going to be my first full Smash Bros. and it did not disappoint one bit. The best thing about this game is enjoying it with my children. They did not really take to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I should have guessed a game where they could beat the crap out of each other would be great fun.

Every time that “New Challenger Approaching” screen would pop up they would get hyped! I am still enjoying the regular Smash battles, and Classic modes. Although a bit too unbalanced at times, World of Light’s Adventure mode is really fun and a great way to revisit those unlockable character feels that are now gone after unlocking all characters.

1. God of War (2018)

God of War has been one of my favorite series since its debut back on the PlayStation 2. Although Kratos isn’t the best hero, he was a bad ass to play. This year’s God of War was an incredible, perfect package for a character we knew all too well. It made Kratos interesting and gave him more depth than ever before. Progressing through the story with Atreus and experiencing the father and son relationship dynamics along with the gameplay was something I haven’t experienced since The Last of Us.

With game after game coming out after God of War’s initial release back in the Spring, I still could not stop thinking about how great it was. The voice acting, the characters, action, gameplay, graphics, and audio of this game are just perfect. Although Arthur Morgan was my favorite protagonist in gaming this year, God of War was all around incredible.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom was original in my top five but Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight nudged their way in. It was a fun story and had a great combat system. I loved the kingdom building and even the “Skirmish” battles were a great addition to the series. This was one of the most enjoyable Platinum trophies I achieved this year!
  2. The Messenger was a great nostalgic revisit to Ninja Gaiden and the soundtrack was incredible. I wish I had given it more time but I had to move onto Red Dead Redemption 2. I will definitely be revisiting this game again.
  3. Marvel’s Spider-man (PS4) was an excellent super hero game. Spider-man is my all-time favorite super hero, but the more I think about other games I played from 2018, I keep forgetting about Spider-man. Another one of the Platinum trophies I obtained and greatly enjoyed accomplishing. I am actually surprised I didn’t love it enough to crack the top five.

What’s even crazier is the fact that I had just purchased my Nintendo Switch in April of 2018. On top of the this list of 2018 titles I also played Super Mario Odyssey, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe which were all incredible. To my great surprise as a Christmas gift I received a PlayStation VR which is giving me an incredible experience too. I have definitely been spoiled this past year and I cannot wait to play and experience so much more in 2019.

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