Cary’s Best Games of 2018 Awards Show!

It’s that time of year again!  It’s the Cary’s Best Games of 2018 Awards Show blog!  Keep in mind that no outside opinions went into the making of this list.  It’s just my own picks.  And if a game is missing from my list, it either didn’t appeal to me as much, or I just simply haven’t played it yet.  Can’t play all the games out there, you know!


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)

What?!?  This didn’t get my Game of the Year?  Nope.  But don’t get me wrong.  I thought about giving it that honor.  It’s a VERY good game.  It certainly gets 2nd place, though.  There’s so much to do, and it makes a better portable experience than even the 3DS Smash game.  I just love how you can just pop in for a few rounds and pop out.  And there is so much to do in single player, that I haven’t even bothered with buying Nintendo’s online service yet.  But they did get rid of my favorite part of previous Smash games, the 3-D trophies.  And honestly it’s nearly the exact same game as last time.  And I’ve given so many other Smash games the Game of the Year award in previous years that I wanted to throw another title a bone.  Plus the other game I gave that award to really impressed me.  Can you guess what it is yet?  It’s pretty unconventional.  But then, that’s just how I roll.  Remember in 2017 when we had both Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey?  Well I picked the SNES Classic Mini as my Game of the Year.

Runners Up:

Soul Calibur VI (PS4)

The Soul Calibur series is one of the few 3-D fighters I really like.  And it’s probably the most mature title I enjoy.  I only wish I would’ve had more time to play this newest installment.  Even so, I doubt it would’ve beaten Smash.  I did like how much single player content this game had.  It basically has like, two big story modes!  Think Namco listened to fans about there not being enough single player content in SCV?  And I’m also glad that my favorite part of Soul Calibur is back, the character creation mode.  I think I spend more time there than I do actually fighting.  That’s why I sometimes call the game Soul Calibur Dress Up.  My only disappointment is that it doesn’t seem much better than that mode in V, but then, I haven’t spent as much time as I would like with that game. Can you guess my favorite characters?  Who are yours?

SNK Heroines Tag Team Battle

It’s a little fanservice-y, but I do appreciate how they made this a little different than your run-of-the-mill 2-D tag team fighter.  Like implementing items and finishing moves and that it doesn’t take itself TOO seriously.  If you like SNK characters, you’ll enjoy this one.  Would anyone be interested in me writing a blog about this game later?

Kirby Battle Royale (3DS)

So this is really one of the weaker Kirby games out there.  It feels like it could’ve come out ten years ago.  It’s still entertaining with lots of variety, but way too short.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT (PS4)

Ever since I played the first Dissidia fighting game on PSP, I always wanted one on a big console.  Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with this one.  Not enough modes and the three on three battles were more confusing than anything.  But it was based on the arcade game, so that’s probably why.  As disappointing as this game was, I’d still like to try the arcade version, even though it’s Japan only for now.  But the game still looks great and was mildly entertaining, so I figured it at least deserved a runner up mention.


Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu (Switch)

Even though it’s just a remake of the very first Pokémon game (actually Pokémon Yellow), it’s still very good.  I love the changes they made to streamline the experience.  Catching Pokémon like how you do in Pokémon GO works well here, as it speeds up the game and offers a new way to play.  But there are still plenty of classic trainer and gym battles.  Best part is it seems like an RPG I could actually finish, as it’s not too long and meandering like the other titles listed below.  I also like the idea of the Pokeball controller.  It’s fun holding it in your hand and making throwing motions to catch Pokémon.  What’s really cool is that since it’s a one-handed controller, if you know someone with a disability that makes it hard to hold a regular controller, they may be able to play this game!  I do wish I could’ve played some of the other big RPGs this year, mainly Ni no Kuni 2 and Dragon Quest XI.  I just don’t have time to play super long RPGs anymore!

Runners Up:

Octopath Traveler (Switch)

I love the sprite based graphics fused with 3-D backgrounds (would love to see a FF6 remake like this), and the return to classic RPG battles.  But man this game is way too long and grindy.  If they would’ve trimmed some of the fat, this game would have been just as much fun, if not more so.  Such a shame, too.

Lost Sphear (PS4)

Last year, I loved I am Setsuna and this was made by the same folks.  Unfortunately, it’s not near as good.  It has problems like unbalanced battles (Don’t you hate it when before dying, a monster uses a spell that will take out your party unless they’re at near full health?  Happened way too many times here.).   The game interested me enough to play through to the ‘final’ boss, but not past the post-endgame stuff, of which there was a lot of.


Bridge Constructor Portal (PS4)

When the physics-based puzzle game Bridge Constructor came out, I wasn’t much interested in it.  But when they announced a version featuring Portal, I was suddenly interested!  It actually plays better than the original game, and has lots of the humor that Portal had, thanks to GlaDOS.  It gets pretty hard later on, too!  If you’re a Portal fan, you should definitely check this one out.


Detective Pikachu (3DS)

Just the name alone is weird, right?  This is basically Phoenix Wright for kids.  The plot is a bit predictable, but it is still a high quality charming point and click style adventure.  It’s also a bit educational as it encourages kids to write things down and examine facts before jumping to conclusions.  It’s also a fun way to view the Pokémon world outside of battles.  Definitely pick it up if you’re a fan.  And now they’re making a movie out of it!  That’s even weirder!

Runners Up:

Part Time UFO (iOS)

In this game, you play as a UFO and must use your crane to do odd jobs.  So yeah, it’s a crane game with missions.  You’ll do things like load farm trucks, stack up cheerleaders, etc.  But you know what’s really weird about this mobile game?  It was made by HAL Laboratory!  Yeah, the same folks who do Kirby and Smash Bros. did this.  I kind of wish they’d port this game to a console, like the Switch.

Scribblenauts Showdown (PS4)

The idea of writing words down and having them come to life in a game is weird enough, but now put this series into a party game format and you have some really strange situations.  It’s just a fun simple little party game.  I’m kind of surprised it didn’t come out sooner, when party games and Scribblenauts titles were more in the spotlight.

Sushi Strikers (Switch)

In this action puzzle game, you must eat sushi from conveyor belts and throw the empty plates at your opponent to whittle down their HP.  That weird enough for you?  The whole game is presented like an anime from the late 90’s/early 2000’s, too!

WarioWare Gold (3DS)

It’s basically a ‘best of’ WarioWare title.  But fifteen years later and I still think the games are weird.  But they are fun, too!  The first WarioWare game was my Game of the Year back in 2003, and WarioWare D.I.Y. won the same award in 2010.

Little Dragon’s Café (PS4)

This was made by the same guy who did most of the Harvest Moon games.  You have to raise a baby dragon and run a café at the same time.  Cute game with a weird premise.

Heavy Burger (Switch)

Oh man I love this game.  So what happens when you combine BurgerTime and Heavy Barrel?  You get Heavy Burger, of course!  It’s a multiplayer twin stick shooter featuring many of Data East’s arcade classics, and it’s a lot of fun!


Kirby Star Allies (Switch)

At the halfway point of 2018, I named this my Game of the Year SO FAR.  So is this the best Kirby game ever?  No, not by a long shot.  Plus it came right after Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot on the 3DS, two of the best Kirby games ever, so it had big shoes to fill.  But the game is still a lot of fun, and since you can play as a TON of Kirby’s friends and enemies, and each one plays differently, there is tons of replay value.  In fact, if you look at my Switch game log, I’ve spent more time playing Kirby Star Allies than I have Super Mario Odyssey.  Does that mean Kirby Star Allies is a better game?  No, but it does show how much I like Kirby games over Mario ones.  Over the year, this game got even better with all the DLC.  Some may argue that the DLC content should’ve been on the full game originally in the first place, and they wouldn’t be wrong, but it certainly kept me coming back to play it!

Runners Up:

Yoku’s Island Express (PS4)

This is a really unique mix of a Metroid style exploration 2-D platformer and a…pinball game?  It also reminds me of Sonic Spinball, except you are a dung beetle rolling around a ball.  Definitely one of the better ‘indie’ titles out there.

Mega Man 11 (Switch)

I’m a huge Mega Man fan, so I was really excited for this one.  It’s a great game, don’t get me wrong. But I think that Mega Man 8 is a better example of a ‘modern’ Mega Man game, bad voice acting and all.  It just didn’t seem that Capcom put as much of their heart into this new game.

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (PS4)

This game is awesome!  If it weren’t for Kirby, this probably would’ve won the 2-D award.  It’s a sequel to the Wonder Boy in Monster World games, and there hasn’t been a new one of those since the 16-bit days!  If you enjoy Shantae games or the recent Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap remake, you’ll definitely want to play this Metroid style game.


LEGO DC Super Villains (PS4)

I think because of Super Mario Odyssey, this time last year we had tons of 3-D platformers (Yooka-Laylee, Hat in Time, etc.).  But this year, not so much.  While LEGO DC Super Villains is a run-of-the-mill LEGO title, it’s slightly edgier because of the subject matter, and it’s still full of lots of laughs and fun.

Runners Up:

LEGO The Incredibles (PS4)

You can tell this one was made by the LEGO B-team, as it’s a bit shorter, but it’s still a lot of fun so you know their B-team is getting better!

Starlink: Battle for Atlas (Switch)

If I didn’t like LEGO games so much, this would’ve won my 3-D award.  It’s basically Skylanders with spaceships, but it plays very well and skews a little to an older audience.  Best of all, if you get the Switch version, you can get Fox McCloud and his Arwing as playable characters!  They even included special Star Fox missions and it makes for a better Star Fox game than Star Fox Zero!


Secret of Mana (PS4)

So I know a lot of people have complained about this remake.  But honestly, I loved it!  Sure it had problems, but so did the original game.  Really the only main beef I had with it was some of the music changes (dubstep has no place in a Mana game, or anywhere really).  But the game played how I remembered it, and it was fun.  So yeah, it wins.  Kind of makes me wonder if I’d be perfectly happy playing SNES style games the rest of my life.

Runners Up:

Lode Runner Legacy (Switch)

When I was a kid, the first gaming “console” I had was actually an Apple ][+ computer.  And one of the games I played on it a lot was Lode Runner.  So I’m always up for a good remake of that.  And this one is pretty fun and I enjoyed it a lot.  So if you like classic games such as this, I suggest checking it out!

SEGA Genesis Classics (PS4)

A collection of 50 plus Genesis games is always good.  I was a SNES man back in the day, so I haven’t played a lot of these games to death as well.

Mega Man X Legacy Collection (PS4)

This is a fine collection of all the main Mega Man X games.  X and X4 still hold up very well today.  The extras are also super cool.  Have you ever wanted to fight Chill Penguin and Frost Walrus at the same time?  Well now you can!  It’s hilarious!

Katamari Damacy Reroll (Switch)

The original Katamari Damacy was my Game of the Year back in 2004, and even the creator of, Andrew Bub, agreed with me.  And usually nobody agrees with my GOTY picks!  This is just a straight up port of the original game, and hasn’t aged as well as I thought it would, so it’s a bit of a disappointment.  But it’s still a good game, especially if you’ve never played it.  Plus the HD graphics look great!

SNK 40th Anniversary Collection (Switch)

This is a fine collection of SNK’s pre-NEO GEO arcade classics.  Lots of nice extras and history, too.  It has all the essentials, like Ikari Warriors, as well as NES fan favorites like Crystalis and some games I haven’t seen in decades, like Munch Mobile!

Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 (PS4)

The neat thing about this collection is it has some Atari 5200 games on it!  The 5200 was technically my first gaming console, as before then we had an Apple II computer to play games on.  Later on, I plan to write a blog about all the games on this collection.  I got it on PS4 since I have vols. 1 and 2 on it as well.  But if you get the Switch version, it has all the games from all three volumes!

And now for my best game of the year 2018.  Taiko drum roll, please…


Nintendo Labo (Switch)

Did anyone see that coming?  Well you probably did if you saw the picture at the beginning of this blog.  More than any other game this year, Nintendo Labo impressed me with its innovative nature and clever mix of real life building and gaming.  It may just be cardboard, but it’s definitely educational (I think this is the first educational game to win my GOTY award).  Don’t knock it until you try it!  Another reason why this wins is because many times, my GOTY is one that I have fond personal memories of as well, and Labo is no exception.  I had tons of fun playing this game with my brother Jeff.  He helped me build all the things I wrote about in my Labo articles, of which there were many.  And any game that encourages me to spend time with my family is OK in my book!

And that’s all for now!  Let me know in the comments section what you think of my choices, and tell me YOUR favorite games of 2018!  –Cary

2 Responses to “Cary’s Best Games of 2018 Awards Show!”

  1. 2018 was a year of remakes and “new to me” games. I was all over the Switch and didn’t play as much on my PS4.

    Diablo III is really cool on the Switch. I played on the PC for quite a while but felt the challenges and season modes made the Switch port much better as you didn’t have to slog through the story if you didn’t want. Just wish the Diablo series wasn’t quite so dark.

    I also got to play Skyrim on the Switch. Very good game and I could play it anywhere in the house so I wasn’t too worried about the kids looking on. I got into it for quite a few weeks, then ended up on the other side of the world (in the game) and put things on hold for a while.

    I think I’ve played Indie titles the most this year. Lots of 4 player competitive stuff… Runbow is crazy good, played some Mutant Football League (very fun after I found the settings to tone down the language and gore… hilarious with the violence.. you can win by killing off all of an opponents quarterbacks…)

    Lately, I’ve been putting in some time on Just Dance for exercise. Those willing to pay for the subscription get access to every song ever made for the series.

    The N++ port to the Switch is my other big indie title.

    I played lots of solo Smash Bros in December, but now that I have all the characters unlocked it’s been put by the wayside.

    I’m currently playing a lot of Tiny Metal (an indie version of Advance Wars) which is pretty good.

  2. Dragon Quest XI is excellent. I think you would really enjoy it. I’d like to read your review of SNK Heroines Battle, I like the SNK fighting games.

    I like the new Soul Calibur game a lot, I do own the complete series and VI seems better for single player modes.

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