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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'WorthPlaying's Top Games of 2018' - Countdown, 20-11

by Rainier on Jan. 2, 2019 @ 5:00 p.m. PST

So far, we've revealed the honorable mentions. Today, we're starting the countdown of the top 20 titles. Be sure to tune in tomorrow to see what WP considers to be the best game of 2018. Read more for the results!

20. Yoku's Island Express (Switch/PS4/XOne/PC)

Yoku's Island Express is a game that you'll encourage others to check out the minute you start playing. Aside from the gorgeous aesthetics, the use of pinball mechanics is inspired, and the execution of the mechanics is done well. It's a relatively short experience, but it feels packed with tons of side-quests if you can deal with the backtracking seeming to go on a little longer than usual due to the pinball mechanics. Overall, Yoku's Island Express is a brilliant game that adventure fans need.

19. TIE - Dragon Ball FighterZ (Switch/PS4/XOne/PC) / Shadow of the Colossus (PS4)

In a nutshell, Dragon Ball FighterZ is the Dragon Ball game that fans have been waiting for. It doesn't have the pure character creation features of a Xenoverse title, but it makes up for it by being what is probably the first truly competitive Dragon Ball Z fighting game. The amazing graphics and impressive audio help sell the feeling of playing an episode of the anime, and it's one of the best-looking games on the market. The single-player content is good for a fighting game, but unlike Xenoverse, this is a game for those who are looking for competitive play first and foremost. It does that exceedingly well, and any fan of fighting games or Dragon Ball Z should find something to like here.

Shadow of the Colossus was a generation-defining game for a reason. Even now, a decade after its release, it's one of the most interesting games to ever be released. The PS4 remake is just about everything one could ask for. It retains the same gameplay and same plot but makes just enough upgrades, modifications and changes so the game feels a lot more playable without losing exactly what made it special. There's absolutely no better way to experience Shadow of the Colossus than the remake, and it's a must-play for any PS4 owners.

18. Sonic Mania Plus (Switch/PS4/XOne)

Sonic Mania Plus gives fans an authentic experience in a new way by taking Sonic's roots and elevating its gameplay. There are so many references to different Sonic titles that it's like an Easter egg hunt for fans. Is this the only way to play Sonic? No. There are other great Sonic games of different styles, such as Sonic Adventure. This title is a step in the right direction toward revitalizing a much-loved character. Sonic Mania Plus is a title that fans will enjoy, and its well-constructed design and replayability make it a great game for fans of 2D platforming. The title is a welcome addition to the Switch and creates a standout experience from other consoles.

17. TIE - Astro Bot Rescue Mission (PS4) / Octopath Traveler (Switch)

At the end of the day, Astro Bot Rescue Mission is an incredibly fun platformer that plays great and is even greater in VR. While not consistently mind-blowing, it often surprised me by its inventive level design and VR implementation, making it easily the title to own if you want a quality experience that is as innocent as it is fun to play.

While Square Enix is best known for the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games, sometimes its smaller titles can have just as much appeal. Octopath Traveler is intentionally old-school in all the best ways. Its unusual but charming graphical style and engaging and interesting gameplay combine to form a nostalgic experience that contains all the fun and few of the frustrations of older games. Throw in a top-notch soundtrack and eight playable main characters, each with their own skills, and it's no wonder this relatively niche JRPG made a big splash. While it may not be the biggest JRPG released in 2018, it very well might be the best.

16. Far Cry 5 (PS4/XOne/PC)

I kept returning for more of the narrative in Far Cry 5. Despite some of the chaos and rambunctious fun I just mentioned, the overarching story is mentally and emotionally draining. In other words, you go through some f***ed-up stuff in dealing with the Seed family and witnessing its effects on the people around you. It's probably why Far Cry 5 doesn't give you a name, unlike past iterations of the title. You absorb stories differently when you see them through the eyes of an established character with his or her own voice and backstory, as opposed to a blank slate. Even though you get to do things like careen down the road in a big rig called "The Widowmaker" and mow down deranged religious nutballs while rescuing people, you might also find yourself getting attached to the characters you meet and the stories you'll hear – almost to the point where you might think that the end might really be coming, and wondering whether what you're doing actually makes a difference. That's what a real odyssey, redneck or not, can feel like.

15. Warhammer: Vermintide 2 (PS4/XOne/PC)

The core gameplay of the original Vermintide was an incredibly strong formula that was wrapped in a package that didn't live up to the same level of quality. The sequel, Warhammer: Vermintide 2, has clearly taken what was learned from that game to heart and delivered an awfully gleeful gameplay loop. Hop into a match, lop off a few heads, gain experience and gear, and next time, lop off stouter heads while carrying a couple of grims. Vermintide 2 is exemplary of what the genre can become, and it's an especially great reason to grab some friends, sit down, and slay a few thousand foes.

14. TIE - Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS4/XOne/PC) / Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (PS4)

If I have one issue, it 's that the path of the main story feels a little short and a little too neatly tied up at the end — if you simply choose to mash through it. I feel like you have some room to let things breathe at the end of a trilogy, and I didn 't feel like the story did enough of that as I progressed. With that said, it feels like the best way to play Shadow of the Tomb Raider is to embrace all of it and take some time to sink into the world Crystal Dynamics has crafted so that Lara 's journey feels more filling. That 's when her journey and everything she does feels a little more ... right.

Yakuza 6 is a solid entry in the franchise. It's carried by a strong story and excellent visuals that make up for the fact that it's a fairly bare-bones Yakuza title that has less content than other titles in the series. Fans of the franchise should find a lot to like in Yakuza 6. It's not the best entry for a newcomer due to it being the end of Kiryu's story, but it's a solid and enjoyable game.

13. TIE - Detroit: Become Human (PS4) / Forza Horizon 4 (XOne/PC)

I am still working to unlock floating branches on this Yggdrasil of a story tree, so I'm almost certain there are dark corners of this world that will give me more of what I'm looking for. The concept of self-aware robotic people has been explored for decades, and Detroit: Become Human makes sure you have plenty of reasons to explore it for at least more than a few hours. After all, the story, much like Chloe, shows plenty of life.

Much like its predecessors, Forza Horizon 4 is an excellent, all-around racing game. The addition of seasons adds variety to the racing conditions to greatly expand the functionality of the already-large map. The online play is done well, especially since it's smartly designed so players who want to play solo can do so. It's the core racing mechanics and plethora of events that make the game fun as they retain the solid handling and physics the series is known for while also providing near-limitless play on fun events. For racing fans, Forza Horizon 4 is a must-buy.

12. Tetris Effect (PS4)

Tetris Effect checks all the boxes, and if you're into music and puzzle games that are as challenging as they are meditative, look no further. Tetris Effect is truly the best version of Tetris I've ever played, but at the same time, it is "just Tetris." It pushes the gameplay into interesting directions without actually changing any significant part of the core gameplay, and that's the beauty of it. The toughest sell may be the $40 price tag, but Tetris Effect showcases quality work with high production value, and that justifies a price tag above what we'd usually consider to be acceptable for a Tetris game.

11. Divinity: Original Sin II (PS4/XOne/PC)

Overall, Divinity: Original Sin II is still an excellent RPG experience that uses intuitive mechanics and player choice to an incredible degree to make every encounter challenging and interesting. Divinity II is a beast of an RPG that does many different things incredibly well. It's not perfect from a technical standpoint, and fights and leveling can be frustrating at times, but these are minor quibbles when compared to all of the good stuff that's in the game and works well. If you're in the market for a new RPG with interesting storytelling and an appropriate amount of freedom, make Divinity II your next adventure.

UPDATE (Jan. 3, 2019):

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