Console games of the year 2018


Last year was a superb year for gaming for many different reasons. Not only were some truly tremendous titles released, but a brand new and immensely popular genre emerged from games based on Koushun Takami’s novel Battle Royale; a huge array of top-class single-player games stood tall when some ‘experts’ foresaw their end; and gamers continued to revolt against the tyranny of loot boxes.


Here, we’re going to be narrowing our focus to the three best console games – those released to the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, or Xbox One – released in 2018.


Honourable Mentions



Credit:
Monster Hunter

Credit: Monster Hunter


It was very tough to compile a top-three of the best console games of 2018, so it’s important to make a note of these other incredible creations.


Monster Hunter: World: Capcom’s big drive to create a game that would appeal to the Western audience was a smash-hit. The immersive and deep game features unique game mechanics, simply stunning graphics, and a completely customisable experience – from your choice of weapons and armour to deciding whether to slay or sedate the monsters.


Spider-Man: In a world devoid of superhero games, Insomniac’s Marvel creation proved that the audience is very hungry for more. Spider-Man was a record-breaking game for Sony, but the game’s appeal went well beyond its titular character: it delivers the full superhero experience in an open-world which features a storyline, many supervillains, boss battles, random criminal encounters, and customisation options.


Forza Horizon 4: Forza Horizon’s innovative take on the racing genre continues to shine through, this time taking its drivers to Great Britain. With all of the customisation and free roam aspects that it’s become well-known for, Forza Horizon 4 is quite possibly the best racing game ever made. In a year that the PS4 and Switch released many great exclusives, Forza Horizon 4 stood as the Xbox One’s only top-class console exclusive.


With the honourable mentions in the books, let’s take a look at the games which made a huge mark on 2018 and what we consider to be the very best releases of the year.


3. Red Dead Redemption 2



of the American south.

Credit: Rockstar Games


Release Date: 26 October 2018, Console: PlayStation 4, Xbox One


Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most detailed and vast open-world experiences ever put to game. The developers, Rockstar, have left no stone unturned, from the need to clean your guns to animating every aspect of each horse.


The story is superb, not just engaging in Western-style shootout and bank jobs, and instead adding many different elements that the player must partake in to help restore the camp to its former glory. With grand character development through meaningful missions and less important tasks, players find that they’re not playing for themselves and are instead doing what’s best for the camp, such as behaving in most public places, contributing money to the camp, and going hunting.


The story aside, it’s clear that a huge amount of time went into creating the game’s vast open world, and the developers want each player to experience it all. The sheer grandeur of the game becomes most apparent when you find yourself without a horse and low on supplies in the wilderness, needing to walk all the way back to civilisation while refraining from carrying a perfect pelt due to it hindering your ability to fend off the many predators of the American south.


It’s a tremendous game, one that gives players a massive playground to be an outlaw as they see fit. Red Dead Redemption 2 went on to win Best Narrative, Best Performance, Best Audio Design, and Best Score/Music at The Game Awards 2018 as well as being a nominee for Game of the Year.


2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate



Credit: Nintendo of Europe


Release Date: 7 December 2018, Console: Nintendo Switch


On the surface, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a deep fighting game; but just a peek under the lid will reveal that it is so much more than a brawler. Unlike other games in the genre, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate offers players a huge range of challenges which force them to think about how they play the game and which characters to use, leading to the discovery of brand new characters from gaming universes that they’ve never experienced.


In both the overall game and the adventure mode World of Light, players start with a quaint group of fighters from the massive total roster of 74 playable characters. From there, players must simply play the game to earn their chance at fighting, beating, and unlocking more characters for their own uses. One of the reasons why the game was so hotly-anticipated in 2018 is because of the series’ notorious cross-over rosters. In Ultimate, fans get to play as all 63 characters which appeared in the previous games as well as 11 new ones at launch, with more on the way, all of which boast multiple appearances.


Gameplay can take many different forms for those who are playing it single-player, with many others in local multiplayer, or online. There’s the vast story mode, massively customisable battles and tournaments, arcade modes, challenges, and much more as players are given free rein to battle and practice with new fighters as they see fit.


With so much to do, incredibly balanced fighting, gameplay that can be quickly and enjoyably picked up by any experience of gamer, and a vast collection of much-loved characters, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate transcends the genre but stands as one of the most enjoyable brawlers in existence. It went on to win Best Fighting Game at the Game Critics Awards. The previous game Super Smash Bros Melee became so popular among the fighting gamers that some eSports betting sites started to put out odds on the competitive matches.


 


1. God of War



Credit: Santa Monica Studio


Release Date: 20 April 2018, Console: PlayStation 4


God of War from Sony Interactive Entertainment Santa Monica Studio was the defining game of 2018, and perhaps of the decade so far. The God of War series has run since 2005, with its many renditions set in Greek mythology, appeasing fans with its hack-and-slash style of play. But with 2018’s God of War, the franchise made the brave move to pivot to the realms of Norse mythology and mix-up the gameplay, which resulted in it earning immense critical and player acclaim. Even though former God of War games were pretty big, this God of War had a new sense of appeal which drew in a massive audience, breaking sales records upon release.


Along with moving into Norse mythology, God of War 2018 differs from the rest of the series by featuring two lead characters. You’ll get to play as Kratos and indirectly as his son, Atreus, as the two make their way past mythological beasts to reach the top of the mountain spread the ashes of Atreus’ mother. Fans of the series get to see Kratos develop from the rage-filled god whose sole aim is to destroy everything in his path into a father-figure trying to teach his son the harsh truths of the world, while also keeping his past a secret.


The story differs greatly from the standard God of War model, which led to the developers changing the gameplay from hack-and-slash to featuring more tactical, but very satisfying combat system centred around Kratos’ new Leviathan Axe as well as super powered foot-and-fist fighting. The way that the player sees the game is also very different, with an over-the-shoulder free camera being used over the traditional cinematic view. It is also the first 3D triple-A game to take place within one shot, which goes a long way towards fully immersing you in the story and the action.


A truly momentous creation, God of War won Game of the Year and Best Game Direction at The Game Awards 2018, cementing the Norse-themed action-adventure game among the very best console games ever made.


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Nintendo News Bits

Happy

It’s about that time to wrap up another year of gaming – and tear up the gaming goodness! Whichever platform you get your gaming fix from, 2016 delivers many new options. Now is the time to grab some great video game system bundles, amazing breakout VR experiences, bleeding-eye graphic FPSes, and geek-out on gaming goodies. Keep it bookmarked here as game deals (hello, Black Friday!), last minute new game releases, special video game bundles and gaming goods will be updated in the weeks ahead.

Obviously this isn’t the end-all video game list – just a few biggies that are available now for your gaming appetite (ahem, if you can find the elusive NES 8-bit revival). Have any suggestions for the holiday gaming list? Send an email to alexis@gamingbits.com for possible inclusion in this GamingBits 2016 Holiday Video Game Gift Guide!

Make sure to follow @GamingBits on Twitter for the latest holiday video game and Black Friday deals as they happen during the week of November 21, 2016.

Select from the following video game lists:
Game & Geek Toys | Retro gaming
PlayStation 4 (PS4) | Xbox One | Wii U | 3DS | Virtual Reality (VR)

Game & Geek Toys

Geek
Geek Fuel
What’s in the box?!?! A gaming and sci-fi bundle of goodies! Geek Fuel is the ultimate inner-geek care package, which you can delight in giving (or receiving) all year long. Geek Fuel packs a meticulous box of themed goodies that include items such as t-shirts, mugs, pins, and even video game download codes – at least a $50 value in a box! See these pictures for an example of the awesome items packed into a month’s delivery box. It’s the surprise gift that gives all year long, one which any fan of sci-fi, fantasy, comics and/or gaming will surely love! Thanks to Geek Fuel for the samples pictured here and the heads up on the awesomeness.
Geek

More gaming toys and goods recommended:

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Nintendo Pokemon GO Plus
Bluetooth Bracelet
pacman-fig

Funko POP Games:
Pac-Man Action Figure

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PDP Donkey Kong Display

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Mega Bloks Destiny
Arcadia Jumpship Construction Set

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Portal 2 Sentry Turret –
Motion Activated Desk Defender

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Kirby’s Dream Land Nosechara

Retro gaming

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Nintendo Entertainment System:
NES Classic Edition

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Nintendo NES Controller

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Pac-Man Connect and Play

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Sega Genesis Classic Game
Console 2016

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Atari Flashback 7 Classic
Game Console

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Art of Atari


PlayStation 4 (PS4)

PS4 hardware:

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Sony PlayStation 4 Pro – 1TB

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PlayStation VR Launch Bundle

PS4 games:

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Battlefield 1

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Dishonored 2

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Doom

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Overwatch

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Ratchet & Clank

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Rise of the Tomb Raider:
20 Year Celebration

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim –
Special Edition

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Titanfall 2

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Tom Clancy’s The Division

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Uncharted 4

(For PlayStation VR (PSVR) games, check the VR category below).

Recommended upcoming PS4 games:

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Final Fantasy XV

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The Last Guardian

Xbox One

Xbox One hardware:

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Xbox One S 2TB Console –
Gears of War 4 Limited Edition Bundle

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Xbox One S 1TB Console –
Battlefield 1 Special Edition Bundle

Xbox One games:

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Battlefield 1

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Dishonored 2

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Doom

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Forza Horizon 3

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Gears of War 4

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Ori and the Blind Forest:
Definitive Edition

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Overwatch

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim –
Special Edition

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Titanfall 2

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Tom Clancy’s The Division

Recommended upcoming Xbox One games:

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Dead Rising 4

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Final Fantasy XV

Wii U

Wii U hardware:

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Nintendo Wii U 32GB
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Set

Wii U games:

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Paper Mario: Color Splash

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Pokken Tournament

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The Legend of Zelda:
Twilight Princess HD

Nintendo 3DS

3DS hardware:

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Nintendo New 3DS XL
Solgaleo Lunala Black Edition

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Nintendo 3DS Black Friday deal

3DS games:

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Azure Striker Gunvolt:
Striker Pack

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Kirby: Planet Robobot

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Pokémon Sun

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Pokémon Moon

Recommended upcoming 3DS games:

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Super Mario Maker

Virtual Reality (VR)

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HTC VIVE – Virtual Reality System

Some of today’s best VR gaming experiences are to be found on the HTC Vive. Room-scale motion tracking, included motion controllers and a headset with an external camera create an out-of-the-box virtual reality experience like no other today. Backed by a growing Steam game library and Viveport VR software, there is no shortage of what to virtually experience.

Steam Store VR recomendations:
– The Lab
– Job Simulator
– FATED: The SIlent Oath
– SoundStage
– Tilt Brush(and checkout ReVive for using Oculus Rift games with the HTC Vive.)

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PlayStation VR Launch Bundle

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Batman: Arkham VR – PlayStation 4

Nintendo's

Long overdue, Nintendo finally dips into the iOS and Android smartphone market for Nintendo fans. Nintendo launches it’s first smartphone app Miitomo on March 31st. The iconic character is you, your Mii, to engage with other Mii players in social activities. Much like Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS platforms, your Mii can be built from scratch using options, a camera, or importing using a QR code. So what happens next?

Here are the details on how Miitomo engages players, from Nintendo:
Miitomo creates conversations and turns discussions into a form of play by prompting users to answer all kinds of fun questions. How would you define your fashion style? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? If you were given ten grand to spend in one day, what would you do? The answers get shared among friends, sparking interesting conversations – part of the fun is discovering unexpected facts about your friends. When users hear how their friends responded to questions, they can give answers a “heart” or a written or picture comment.”

There is a little mini-game to be played inside called Miitomo Drop. Player engagement in Japan has been huge, where Miitomo has been “downloaded more than 1 million times in its first three days of availability, while achieving the #1 most downloaded free app status in both the App Store and Google Play storefronts,” said Nintendo.

Players can preregister here at the official website to be notified when Miitomo is available and also receive some perks for its new My Nintendo program. It sounds similar to the discontinued Nintendo Club program. Nintendo says, “Both Platinum and Gold Points can be redeemed for rewards like games, download content, in-app items and eShop discount coupons.”

For more information, visit Miitomo.com.

Nintendo

A fitting day to celebrate Mario would be March 10th, or MAR10, as hinted by Nintendo. “Celebrated by Mario fans each year, the 10th of March is a special day to remember his impact on pop culture,” said Nintendo, “thanks to how the day on the calendar resembles the beloved character’s name.” Such an iconic character of the video game world, Mario deserves his day. What were your first recollections of Mario? Mine was in his hammer-smashing, barrel-dodging action arcade game, Donkey Kong.

Some of Mario’s highlights, from Nintendo:

  • Mario had a big milestone in 2015! He celebrated 30 years since he leaped his way into people’s hearts in 1985’s Super Mario Bros.
  • Nintendo launched Super Mario Maker, a game that lets fans create and share their own Super Mario Bros. levels. So far, 6.2 million levels have been created by fans!
  • Facebook’s engineers celebrated Mario by creating their very own Super Mario Maker levels for fans to play.
  • A special 30th Anniversary Mario amiibo was released in a classic 8-bit design. The limited-edition figure was a tribute to the original Super Mario Bros. game that launched for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985.
  • Mario hit the courts with the launch of Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for Wii U. In the game, fans play as Mario and friends in intense tennis competitions.
  • For the first time, Mario teamed up with his paper version, Paper Mario, in the colorful action RPG Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam for Nintendo 3DS.
  • With the help of his voice actor, Charles Martinet, Mario celebrated the grand opening of the Nintendo NY store in Rockefeller Plaza.

Don’t forget to wish your friends a Happy MAR10 Day next Thursday! Check out more here on Nintendo.com.

Nintendo

Hold on to your coins! Beginning March 11th, Nintendo will be offering many its signature Wii U and 3DS games at a lower $19.99 price. If you’ve missed out on a few of Mario’s or Zelda’s adventures, now is a great time to catch up and enjoy them.

Here are the Wii U, 3DS (and even some Wii classics) that Nintendo drops the MSRP on:

Super Mario 3D World
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Pikmin 3
NES Remix Pack
Yoshi’s New Island
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
Mario Party: Island Tour

Wii games:
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Animal Crossing: City Folk
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Super Mario All-Stars

Sweet time and excuse to get your Nintendo gaming fix! See more details on Nintendo Selects games from Nintendo here.

Gamers will have plenty to be excited about over the next few months as the 2015 holiday season is upon us. Prepare for the release of long anticipated games and sweet video game hardware bundles. To help guide you with your game gifts (or wishes!), here is a list of some of the hottest video games and killer video game bundles to round out 2015.

Keep this page bookmarked as game titles, bundles and gaming goods will be updated over the coming weeks and months. Do you have any suggestions for the 2015 holiday gaming list? Email alexis@gamingbits.com for consideration on the GamingBits 2015 Holiday Video Game Gift Guide!

See the full guide here!