RPG of the Year Awards 2018

RPG of the Year Awards 2018

The year's best role-playing games

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for GOTY Awards on

2018 has been packed full of incredible RPGs of many varieties so here are the best ones within 9 unique categories.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom screenshot
Ni no Kuni II is as imaginative as it is gorgeous

This first group of categories is focused on hardcore genres that RPG fanatics are sure to appreciate.

Monster Hunter: World Action RPG of the Year

Monster Hunter games are a lot of fun but Monster Hunter: World took the established formula and ran with it by creating a massive and stunning world that's full of rewarding monstrosities to slay. When you factor in the addictive gameplay loop, immediately gratifying combat, and seamless co-op integration, it's definitely our action RPG of the year.

Monster Hunter: World Review

Divinity: Original Sin II Definitive Edition Turn-based SRPG of the Year

Divinity: Original Sin II debuted for PC back in 2017 and this year's Definitive Edition acted as console gamers' introduction to this awe-inspiring complex RPG. The turn-based battles are super-challenging yet ultimately rewarding but what sets Divinity: Original Sin II apart is its detailed world, open-ended campaign, and oodles of secrets. It surely deserves to be turn-based SRPG of the year.

Divinity: Original Sin II Definitive Edition Review

Masters of Anima Real-time SRPG of the Year

Not many gamers are aware of Masters of Anima but its genre-blending gameplay that features tough real-time battles, rewarding RPG elements, intuitive controls, and a Pikmin-like army command system make it a stand-out SRPG that largely went unnoticed when it released earlier this year. Here's hoping the fact that it's our real-time SRPG of the year will get it a few more fans.

Masters of Anima Review
Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings screenshot
I kind of feel sorry for that little fellow in the pot... (Atelier Lydie & Suelle)

Next, the following categories are all about Japanese RPGs so if you're an otaku, you'll want to check these games out.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Modern JRPG of the Year

The Ni no Kuni series has always strived to appeal to both western and Japanese gamers by combining elements of classic RPGs with action RPGs and Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom accomplishes this masterfully. Its cast of likeable characters and engaging story are just the icing on the cake and as a result, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is our modern JRPG of the year.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Review

Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings Traditional JRPG of the Year

On the more niche side of things, Atelier Lydie & Suelle is a traditional turn-based JRPG in the long-running series. As one of the best entries in the franchise, The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings features a familiar cast of delightful characters and plenty of gameplay additions that make exploring its gorgeous environments a treat and it deserves to be our traditional JRPG of the year.

Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings Review

The Lost Child Dungeon Crawler of the Year

First-person grid-based dungeon RPGs are a popular genre in Japan as they offer satisfying gameplay that's all about efficiently exploring complicated maps. The Lost Child sets itself apart by featuring intricate dungeons with clever puzzles, tons of recruitable monsters, and rewarding party growth. There may not have been many in 2018 but The Lost Child is our dungeon crawler of the year.

The Lost Child Review
The Lost Child screenshot
Raising your own party of monsters in The Lost Child is super-rewarding

Finally, here are a few categories for the casual RPG fan. Hey, they deserve fun games, too!

The Alliance Alive Portable RPG of the Year

There aren't as many 3DS games releasing as there were a few years ago but there are still plenty of gems. The Alliance Alive's enjoyable combat system is supported by comprehensive character recruitment and it features unconventional yet fun world traversal. So, if you still haven't played The Alliance Alive then you should so you can see why it's our portable RPG of the year.

The Alliance Alive Review

Atelier Arland Series Deluxe Pack RPG Collection of the Year

Game collections are fantastic for gamers who'd like to catch up on a series and don't want to buy each individual game. Atelier Arland Series Deluxe Pack marks the included games' Switch and PS4 debuts so if you're looking for dozens of hours of delightful RPG adventures then Rorona, Totori, and Meruru will gladly let you tag along. I'm sure they're happy to star in our RPG collection of the year.

Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland DX Review

Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! Casual RPG of the Year

The Pokémon series has provided casual lighthearted RPG fun for decades and the two Pokémon: Let's Go games elevate the established franchise to a whole new level. I happened to play the Eevee version and had a wonderful time doing so. Therefore, I can't think of a better game than Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! to be our casual RPG of the year.

Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! + Poke Ball Plus Pack Review
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