Top 10 Worst Best Games Of 2018
‘Tis the season to publish misleading retrospectives about how great video games were in 2018! Well, buckle up, because I’m going to tell you the truth: 2018 was a terrible year for gaming. From over-designed, big-budget juggernauts to try-hard indie darlings, the cascading disappointments of the past 12 months should be enough to make any gamer seek a better hobby. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that, because it’s my job to save you from yourselves by assembling lists that tell you which games to avoid.
Here are the fruits of that labor. The games below have been touted as some of the best of the year, but none of them deserve that honor, and I’m here to tell you why.
10. Tetris Effect
This is literally what the back of the box said when Tetris released on Game Boy in 1989: “Beams, boxes, zig-zags and L-shaped blocks drop down a narrow passage. Feel your pulse quicken as you spin, shift and align the shapes for a perfect fit. It’s challenging and demands split second decision.” It’s almost 30 years later, and that’s still the general summary of the recently released Tetris Effect. All you need to add is “Now with more than three music tracks,” which tells you everything you need to know about this so-called update.
9. Dead Cells
For anyone who has never heard of Spelunky, The Binding of Isaac, Rogue Legacy, or any other roguelite from the last decade, Dead Cells is innovative and clever. I mean, how often can you explore some procedurally generated dungeons and fight a bunch of monsters using a random assortment of weapons, and then start all over when you die? Oh, and wait until you hear the best part: Developer Motion Twin draws inspiration from Metroid, and everything is presented with a retro visual vibe! What a special and unique experience.
8. Monster Hunter: World
For a long time, the clunky combat and pointless grinding of Capcom’s Monster Hunter was primarily contained to handheld devices. However, Monster Hunter: World breaks the quarantine and inflicts the series’ outdated formula to a new group of carriers. Are you infected? Symptoms include: forgiving endlessly repetitive quests, a love for slow and lumbering animations, and not asking why a creature doesn’t react to repeated blows from an eight-foot greatsword. If you exhibit any of those warning signs, keep your distance from Monster Hunter: World until you regain the ability to think rationally.
7. Dragon Ball FighterZ
Just because a studio can capture the essence of a property in a video game doesn’t mean that it should. If you are an undiscerning adolescent, Dragon Ball FighterZ has all of the dumb characters, nonsensical plotlines, and overwrought action you could want. This means Arc System Works created the most authentic Dragon Ball video game ever – so playing it ranks just below “watching Dragon Ball” on the big list of mistakes you will eventually regret when you’re older.
6. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Here’s a game-development tip: If you can’t win on quality, go for quantity. Is your naval exploration boring? Are your quest objectives too repetitive? Don’t worry! As long as you choke players with content that unfolds slowly over dozens of hours, they’ll think they’re getting a good deal. As a bonus, if you can toss in some sexual encounters and flashy combat, they’ll be too distracted to notice that your “Assassin’s Creed” game isn’t even about assassins.
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
Every year, a new Call of Duty comes out. And every year, it stinks for one of three reasons. 1) It is too much like the last entry, 2) it isn’t enough like the last entry, or 3) it just heartlessly chases industry trends. So why does Black Ops 4 fall short? I didn’t bother playing it (I was too busy with Fortnite), so just pick your favorite reason and move on; once next year’s entry comes out, nobody will remember this one anyway.
4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Can I be honest for a minute? I don’t like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but I also don’t like making fun of it. The people who love this game have so little; they don’t know there’s a whole world of video games outside of franchises from Nintendo (and its select partners). They don’t have the skill to compete in real fighting games, and their parents won’t let them buy anything above an E10+ rating. Life is hard enough for Smash Bros. fans, and they don’t need my insults stealing what little joy life has in store for them.
Just what the world needed: another reboot of the Spider-Man mythology. Who will Peter be dating this time? Where does he work? Will Green Goblin appear immediately, or just eventually? No matter how you shuffle the narrative pieces, it’s still just Spider-Man. The most common defense of this predictable adventure is that it finally nails the sensation of web-swinging…which is exactly what people said about Treyarch’s Spider-Man 2 (which released in 2004), so congratulations to Insomniac for slightly iterating on another company’s success from 14 years ago.
1. & 2. Red Dead Redemption II/God of War (tie)
I know this is a big debate this year, and I’m just as stumped as anyone else. I mean, how can you decide which of these bloated triple-A moneypits is more overhyped? Is it the cowboy game that somehow feels more archaic than its predecessor that released eight years ago? Or is it Quiet Angry Dad Simulator, which people only love because Kratos finally stopped yelling constantly? Both of these titles are monumental achievements in obsessive detail, exhausting naval-gazing, and self-congratulatory flourishes. Don’t make me pick just one – they’re both losers in my eyes.