Retro Game of the Year Awards 2018

Retro Game of the Year Awards 2018

Celebrate a year of old-school fun

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for GOTY Awards on

If one group of games constantly gets overlooked, it's retro-inspired indies and classic game revivals so here are our favourite retro-style games of 2018 within 9 distinct categories.

Castlevania Requiem screenshot
Richter Belmont battles yet another oddball (Castlevania Requiem)

For this first group of categories, here are this year's best game compilations.

Castlevania Requiem Classic Console Compilation of the Year

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is my favourite game of all time and Castlevania: Rondo of Blood is one of the greatest 2D action games ever made. Therefore, how could any old-school gamer pass up the opportunity to play both of these classics in one convenient package? Castlevania Requiem is easily our classic console game compilation of the year.

Castlevania Requiem Review

Scribblenauts Mega Pack Modern Console Compilation of the Year

Scribblenauts is one of the most enjoyable and creative series ever created so the fact that they combined 2 of the best games in the series (Unlimited and Unmasked) as well as included bonus content is beyond fantastic. This pack of 2 hilarious and fun-filled masterpieces definitely deserves to be our modern console game compilation of the year.

Scribblenauts Mega Pack Review

SNK 40th Anniversary Collection Arcade Compilation of the Year

Arcade game compilations are my personal favourite games to play as reliving retro memories and discovering long-lost hidden gems is a treat. SNK 40th Anniversary Collection perfectly presents about a couple dozen arcade games and a bunch of NES titles in a gorgeous package with plenty of extras. As a result, it's our arcade compilation of the year.

SNK 40th Anniversary Collection Review
Azure Reflections screenshot
The point is to get a high score, obviously! (Azure Reflections)

This next group of categories is all about retro genres that are still alive and kicking in 2018.

Lumines Remastered Puzzle Game of the Year

Lumines has to be one of the most underrated puzzlers ever made and Lumines Remastered is a phenomenal modern incarnation of the franchise. Whether you enjoy challenging your skills within various unique single player modes or competing against other puzzle enthusiasts, Lumines Remastered is a must-have game and it's our puzzle game of the year.

Lumines Remastered Review

Azure Reflections Shoot 'em Up of the Year

Few genres are as old-school as the scrolling shmup. There have been many shoot 'em up ports this year but one original title stood out to us: Azure Reflections. As part of the massive fan-made Touhou universe of games, Azure Reflections offers satisfying gameplay, charming characters, and a beautiful presentation. Is it shoot 'em up of the year material? You bet!

Azure Reflections Review

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Arcade Sports Game of the Year

Another highly underrated genre is arcade-style sports games. NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 features goofy interpretations of hundreds of real-life players and its gameplay is super-tight and thoroughly enjoyable. If you have fond memories of games like NBA Jam then NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 will feel right at home and that's why it's our arcade sports game of the year.

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Review
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom screenshot
I wonder if those birds are resentful now that I can fly, too... (Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom)

Our final group of categories is focused on excellence in bringing back retro gaming experiences.

ACA NeoGeo: Money Puzzle Exchanger Arcade Port of the Year

There are countless arcade ports constantly releasing for modern consoles yet Money Puzzle Exchanger remains a stand-out title due to its addictive gameplay and superb aesthetics that hold up incredibly well. Its classic competitive puzzle gameplay will keep you and a friend entertained for hours and its single player component is almost as fun. Money Puzzle Exchanger is easily our arcade port of the year.

ACA NeoGeo: Money Puzzle Exchanger Review

Shadow of the Colossus Remaster of the Year

With so many remastered games in 2018, none have provided as much of a step up as Shadow of the Colossus. This PlayStation 2 classic from 2005 had a remaster for PlayStation 3 but this PlayStation 4 version is definitely the best way to experience the gorgeous and timeless adventure. With new content and stunning visuals, Shadow of the Colossus is our remaster of the year.

Shadow of the Colossus Review

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom Retro Revival of the Year

Although I'm a huge Wonder Boy fan, I still didn't expect Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom to be as amazing as it is. As a reboot of the classic franchise, it offers a memorable and lengthy adventure that's full of rewarding and varied gameplay and plenty of moments that'll make you laugh out loud. I honestly can't think of any other game that deserves to be our retro revival of the year.

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom Review
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