Monster Hunter: World is one of the best RPGs you'll ever play, and the most inviting the series has ever been. It's clear to see why the franchise has such a dedicated following, and now that fanbase is set to grow ever larger thanks to the incredible steps the developer has taken to make this game more welcoming to many more players.
Minor tweaks and a resolution upgrade wouldn't be enough for a re-release to be recommended, especially if – as in this case – it was the third such re-release. But Okami manages to sidestep that sort of criticism for two very good reasons. One, it's a superb game full of wit and imagination; and two, not that many folk have played it.
Still one of the finest games ever coded, and now fit to be seen on the very best TVs. This is how remasters should be done, bringing the original content up to modern standards, without diluting what made it great in the first place. Bluepoint has effectively improved on perfection.
Mega Man 11 is a real cracker of an action platformer, full of creativity and challenge that has been built up from a reliable base that has been the foundation for so many classic titles. Fans of the series are going to be spoilt by the new challenges on offer, and newcomers will find a game that not only rewards their skill, but offers them the tools to learn the stages, get better and eventually crack this extremely tough game.
NieR: Automata remains a fantastic action RPG, bringing an alluring world, compelling characters and a real sense of agency together to craft something I really can't recommend enough. If you've yet to play this gem, the Xbox One is currently one of the best places to do so.
Dead Cells could be the most surprising success of the year. Coming into the crowded Metroidvania genre was a bold move, but one that seems to have paid off as Dead Cells has delivered the best example of the genre in years. The game is deep and rewards exploration, with exceptional combat and so much content it's honestly a little intimidating.
‘Roads' is a heart-breaking leg of an emotional journey that never feels limited by its medium. I've played seasons of other choice-driven narrative games that had less emotion and heart than this five-hour odyssey. With Life is Strange 2, DONTNOD has upgraded and refined every element that made its forebear successful, whilst sprinkling some magical new additions into the mix to create an essential genre-pushing experience that isn't just for fans.
Beautiful, hypnotic and frequently surprising, Tetris Effect is a bravura reinvention of a classic game that deserves to be recognised as a series peak. The odd difficulty spike aside, there's little to fault in what is undoubtedly one of 2018's very best games.