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Source Game of the Year – Fan Picks

2018 wasn’t as big a year for gaming as 2017 was, after all we didn’t get any new hardware or gameplay changing technology, however that does not mean it was a dull year for games in general. From highly anticipated sequels like God of War, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Kirby Star Allies to new franchises like Celeste, Octopath Traveller and Bloodstained, the gaming scene had many great titles for fans to enjoy. Of course, for all of us here at Source Gaming no title quite hit that mark as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The highly-anticipated sequel brought back every fighter and refined the gameplay to be, arguably, the best it has ever been. We were so sure that it would win nearly every single one of our awards that we had to bar you all from voting for it, and we were right. Two-thirds of everyone who voted said it would have been their game of the year had we allowed it and some of you even ignored our requests and voted for it anyway in multiple categories. Alas, that would have made for a pretty boring list of winners and so below we have a far-more-interesting Source Game of the Year winner list, as voted for by all of you with 2018’s Game of the Year being last (for anticipation and all that jazz).

Nintendo Game of the Year

Kirby Star Allies

Nintendo is obviously the big focus for our website and so it gets its own category and while this wasn’t Nintendo’s biggest year it still had some new classics. While Super Smash Bros. wasn’t up for nomination, Sakurai’s favourite boy was with Kirby Star Allies. While it was met with average responses at launch, the constant free updates with new Dream Allies kept fans interested all through-out the year and improved the view for many on this game, earning it Nintendo’s game of the year.

Honourable Mentions: Mario Tennis Aces, Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country

 

Non-Nintendo Game of the Year

Marvel’s Spider-Man

Gaming isn’t just about Nintendo and there were some stellar titles across the whole industry. While tie-in games are often seen as fairly mediocre, the Spider-Man games have always done well and the newest game from Insomniac Games might be the best one yet. We have come a long way from Spider-Man games where his web simply attaches to the sky and this new title really feels like you are Spider-Man, stopping crime and swinging around the city. It was clear the developers were big fans of the series and flooded it with call-outs and references that many appreciated.

Honourable Mentions: Celeste, Dragonball FighterZ

 

Action Game of the Year

Marvel’s Spider-Man

The action/adventure genre is arguably the biggest genre out there and covers many games from platformers to hack and slash games. Unsurprisingly, one of the previously mentioned award winners would also grab this title and Spider-Man takes a second award. It’s an action, open-world, romp that works and provides hours upon hours of fun.

Honourable Mentions: God of War, Kirby Star Allies, Mega Man 11, Monster Hunter World

 

Sports Game of the Year

Mario Tennis Aces

The sports genre is a common one, and racing is a type of sport so they two naturally fit together. Nintendo has had a long history with sports titles but the Mario Tennis series is often seen as its most successful. While the Wii U’s Mario Tennis Ultra Smash failed to deliver, Mario Tennis Aces brought the series back to the heights it was known for with some of the tightest and mechanically satisfying gameplay in the franchise.

Honourable Mentions: Forza Horizon 4

 

Fighting Game of the Year

Dragonball FighterZ

Dragonball is one of Japan’s most well-known series and Arc Systems is one of the fighting game communities most loved developers. Putting the two together was a recipe for success and Dragonball FighterZ proved this. To win the fighting game of the year, Dragonball FighterZ not only had to prove its strengths as a competitive title but also be enjoyable to watch. Judging by the reactions at EVO 2018, this title certainly delivered on all of those fronts and many are hoping to see this game stick around.

Honourable Mentions: Soul Calibur VI, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle

 

RPG Game of the Year

Octopath Traveller

The role-playing genre is known for its engaging stories and lovable cast. While many modern RPG’s have been leaning towards more action-focused combat, it is very impressive that this years best was the most traditional RPG out there. Octopath Traveller is a tale of eight heroes and plays much like the classic SNES-era RPGs that many fans view as the golden age. It recaptured that magic and hopes for a sequel are now high.

Honourable Mentions: Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country, Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee

 

Puzzle Game of the Year

Tetris Effect

Puzzles can take many forms. Thought puzzles like detective stories or visual novels. Dynamic puzzles with constant action and fast reflexes. Or more traditional word and number puzzles that test a players logical thinking. Regardless of what genre of puzzle players like, everyone can agree on one puzzle series that is fun for everyone and that is Tetris. The latest entry in the Tetris series wowed players by taking full advantage of virtual reality to offer both a visual and audio splendour to breathe some new life into this decades-old puzzle series.

Honourable Mentions: Donut Country, Sushi Striker: Way of Sushido

 

Party Game of the Year

Super Mario Party

Who doesn’t love to party? Party games help bring us together with friends and family for a great time and Super Mario Party finally brings the series back to form with traditional boards, good mini-games and multiple additional modes that add more variation to the title. This is the Mario Party game that many had been waiting for and it delivered in spades.

Honourable Mentions: Overcooked 2, The Jackbox Party Pack 5

 

Shooting Game of the Year

Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion

Although Splatoon 2 released in 2017, its Octo Expansion DLC came out this past summer. Through embracing the deep lore and mysterious aspects of the game and giving players the chance to finally play as an Octoling, Octo Expansion delivered a new story that came with fresh challenges for players to splat through. Although the story can be skipped, the sheer amount of content provided from this expansion is almost enough to make it its own standalone game.

Honourable Mentions: Fortnite, Call of Duty Black Ops 4

 

Indie Game of the Year

Celeste

Not every game released comes from a big publisher. Sometimes we need to give some love to the little developers out there and of all the great indie titles this year, Celeste has left the greatest impact. Coming out right at the beginning of 2018, Celeste wowed audiences with its fantastic level-design and gameplay. It offered a real challenge for gamers that motivated them to get better, and it never felt unfair. It even made it into the Game Awards 2018 for Game of the Year which shows how impactful it was.

Honourable Mentions: Deltarune Chapter 1, Overcooked 2, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

 

DLC/Expansion of the Year

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country

DLC and expansions are commonplace in many modern games as they help to add more to beloved games that keep them lasting longer. So it makes sense that the award for this field should go for a game that added so much that it got its own standalone release. Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country was the final part of the original’s season pass and made up an entirely new 20-hour campaign with altered gameplay, a new story and new characters. It felt like its own title and many think it could be better than the original, which is a perfect sign of an award-worthy expansion.

Honourable Mentions: Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion, Sonic Mania Plus

 

Best Visual Design of the Year

Octopath Traveller

Octopath Traveller is the perfect example of art style over graphics. This SNES-style throwback RPG uses 2D sprites in a 3D environment to create a feeling of nostalgia in players and provide some of the best looking art in a long time. There is something immensely charming about the detailed pixel art found in Octopath Traveller that makes it enjoyable simply to watch.

Honourable Mentions: Dragonball FighterZ, Celeste

 

Best Audio Design of the Year

Octopath Traveller

But what are visuals without audio? An art style may be fantastic but a lousy audio design can break immersion or worse, make a game unplayable. Thankfully, Octopath Traveller delivers with a beautiful sounding OST. This was one area where the developers chose to take advantage of modern day hardware to have an orchestral track with tons of variety for each of the titles eight heroes. It feels like a fantasy adventure and one worthy of our recognition.

Honourable Mentions: Marvel’s Spider-Man, Celeste

 

Port/Remaster Game of the Year

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

Some games deserve another chance at life, a wider audience to reach or are simply timeless. Whatever the reason, ports and remasters make up plenty of the gaming industry’s output and Nintendo took full advantage of this to highlight a criminally underrated gem from the Wii U: Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. The sequel to the Wi’s smash hit and one of the best platformers of the last decade, Tropical Freeze’s move to the Switch showed that it was still a fantastic game and gave many a gamer who skipped out on the Wii U the chance to play an instant classic.

Honourable Mentions: Okami HD, Crash Bandicoot N’Sane Trilogy

 

Continuous Game of the Year

Splatoon 2

With the advent of patches and DLC, many games now feel like a service rather than a standalone release. Developers support the community and constantly offer updates that help to improve the experience overall. This is possibly our Nintendo-bias showing, but the constant free updates to Splatoon 2 with new gear, weapons, modes and Splatfests helped the game stay fresh over a year after release. Nintendo may very well be supporting this title through-out the Switch’s lifespan and if their output is as great as this year it’s going to continue to be a must-have for the system.

Honourable Mentions: Fortnite, Overwatch

 

Gaming Controversy of the Year

Fallout 76

Not everything can be good. Bad games are just as common as good games and sometimes an entire situation around a game can blow up in the faces of developers and fans and leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. While Bethesda was never known for their polished titles, the absolute state of Fallout 76 even now is truly dire. A buggy MMO mess that outright didn’t even work for many buyers saw this highly anticipated game bomb out of the gates. That’s what makes this worse than others. People paid full price for a game that barely worked and still doesn’t work while Bethesda has made little progress to fix the issue.

Honourable Mentions: The Grinch Leak, Diablo Immortal Announcement

 

Gaming Success of the Year

Nintendo Switch becomes fastest selling console of this generation

The gaming industry is a growing one and success stories appear every year. While many were worried about the Nintendo Switch failing to keep up momentum in its second-year, with Nintendo having little first-party titles to show, outside of ports, the big N surprised the industry with a successful holiday period alongside the launch of Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, both of which broke records and helped to make the Nintendo Switch the fastest selling console of its generation. Considering the history of the Wii U, this is a massive achievement for the company and the next step is to see if it will make the lofty 20 million unit prediction by the end of the fiscal year.

Honourable Mentions: Fortnite becomes a cultural phenomenon, Microsoft puts games first with E3, crossplay and the accessibilty controller

 

Most Anticipated Game of 2019

Pokemon Generation 8

2018 was a good year for games and 2019 already promises to be even better. Many highly anticipated sequels and new releases are on the horizon and from the trailers, many look great. However, sometimes you just can’t beat certain IPs, even if they have nothing but a promise to show. The 8th generation of Pokemon has been hinted at with Meltan and Melmetal, and Game Freak has promised a 2019 release on the Switch and fans are shaking with excitement over all the new ‘mons we will be battling and trading with next year.

Honourable Mentions: Fire Emblem Three Houses, Kingdom Hearts III

 

2018 Game of the Year

Marvel’s Spider-Man

Congratulations are in order to Insomniac Games, Sony and Marvel. It’s very rare that tie-in games make quite the splash that Marvel’s Spider-Man did but this title delivered on everything promised and then some. A stellar open-world action-game crafted with love for a beloved IP. With great gameplay, presentations and story, Spider-Man was a success on every level and deserves to be 2018’s Source Game of the Year.

Honourable Mentions: Celeste, Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna  -The Golden Country

And that does it for the public vote. Tomorrow the staff will be releasing their individual picks for game of the year so look forward to our opinion and join us in looking forward to 2019 and all the great games that it will bring.

3 comments
  1. Good list but why did you guys not talk about Monster Hunter Generations, Spyro reignited, Dragon Quest 11 or Valkyria Chronicles 4?

    David Horan on December 30 | Reply
  2. Sorry or best mobile game?

    David Horan on December 30 | Reply
  3. This list is alright I guess, but no mention of Spyro the Reignited Trilogy?

    GreatMeat on January 1 | Reply

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