2018 has been a big year for the arts, and video games are no exception. Some of the best-selling, most critically lauded games ever released have come out over the past year. Brawlers, shooters and even a Western rank near the top of “best of 2018” lists. Let’s review some of the top-selling games of 2018 by console. We’ll also take a look ahead to what the first quarter of 2019 has to offer.
After the disappointing console that was the Wii U, Nintendo managed a comeback with the Switch. It’s the first true home console/handheld hybrid. The Switch is on track to be Nintendo’s best console considering it’s releases. 6 out of 10 best-selling video games on Amazon are currently Switch titles.
The top-selling video game on Amazon as of December 2018 is the exciting release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Despite it’s current “okay” critical ranking, audiences love it. Although it was only released on December 7, it’s incredibly popular. It’s safe to say this nostalgia-infused fighter will remain at the top of many best-seller charts for a while. Similarly, the revamped Super Mario Party is sitting pretty at the number 2 spot on Amazon’s best-selling video games ranking. Customers love the Switch, and these two games scratch that nostalgia itch in just the right spot.
It’s no surprise that Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu takes the number 10 spot on Amazon. That lovable yellow fluff ball has his own movie releasing next year. Audiences around the world recognize the adorable face of that electric mouse anywhere! Despite this game’s rather lukewarm reception amongst critics, players love it.
Last Year’s Classics
Even though it’s release was in 2017, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still a big top seller for the Switch. What more can I say? We seem to be in the middle of a nostalgia-fueled-holiday-Nintendo-fest—and I for one am not complaining. This remastered version of the Wii U classic is sitting at number 4 on Amazon’s best sellers.
Another 2017 release that’s making bank in Q4 of 2018 is Super Mario Odyssey. It’s universally loved by critics and players alike! This latest entry into the Super Mario series sits at the number 6 spot on Amazon. An absolute joy to play, it’s no surprise that it’s still doing so well nearly a year after its release.
Striking, emotional and thrilling from start to finish—that’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s considered to be one of the greatest games ever crafted. With nearly 2 years on store shelves, this fantasy-epic is still at the number 8 spot on Amazon. That’s a testament to it’s fresh gameplay and beautiful art direction.
While Nintendo might be dominating sales in certain areas, Sony has had a fantastic year too—both critically and financially. With both exclusive releases and masterful adaptions, PlayStation 4 remains the console for immersive gaming experiences.
Nominated in 8 categories—and winning in 4—at The Game Awards, Red Dead Redemption II was considered well-worth the 8 year wait by critics and audiences. Praised for its story, voice-acting, score, sound design and—most importantly—gameplay, the PS4 version of this Western ballad sits at number 3 on Amazon’s best-seller list. Seamless, beautiful and wonderfully overwhelming, this adventure advocates for and elevates gaming above a hobby and into a worthwhile piece of emotional storytelling.
With Marvel dominating the superhero genre at the box office, it was only a matter of time until they established themselves in the gamerverse as well. Marvel’s Spider-Man did just that, giving players a swinging, soaring experience as the titular hero. While laying the groundwork for a future Marvel gaming universe, the mostly tight story, atmospheric soundtrack and fluid gameplay are just a few reasons this PS4 exclusive sits at number 5 on Amazon.
Winning the coveted title of Game of the Year, the PS4 exclusive God of War is masterclass in compelling storytelling and gameplay, more than justifying it’s win at the Game Awards. Similarly, to Red Dead, this father-and-son adventure must-play transcends the traditional gaming experience into something beyond itself—so it’s no surprise it clocks in at number 7 on Amazon.
The Call of Duty franchise has had its critical ups and downs, but despite that, it’s solidified itself as a staple of modern gaming. While it splits the critics and players almost neatly down the middle, the PS4 version of the series latest entry—Black Ops 4—is sitting at number 9 on Amazon, so there’s no doubt many gamers will be first-person-shooting to their hearts content over the next few months.
Alas, poor Xbox One. It’s been an incredibly empty year when it comes to exclusives, and even its versions of acclaimed games like Red Dead Redemption II and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4don’t make it to the top of best-seller lists. In fact, all of it’s top-sellers from 2018 are older games—the top game being Grand Theft Auto V, which was released over 5 years ago. But what does 2019 have in store this Microsoft developed console and the others? Let’s see.
The Days Ahead
2019 is shaping up to be an interesting year for gaming. Some highly anticipated releases from Q1 include a remake of Resident Evil 2 (PS4, XBOX, PC), Kingdom Hearts III (PS4, XBOX), Anthem(PS4, XBOX, PC), Crackdown 3 (XBOX, PC), Metro Exodus (PS4, XBOX, PC), Devil May Cry 5 (PS4, XBOX, PC), Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (PS4, XBOX, PC), Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4, XBOX, PC) and Days Gone (PS4).
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