We often say this, but every year feels like it's been better than the last for RPGs. There's hardly been a week without a major release, and 2018 has delivered the goods on some brand new titles and some long awaited games. We've had our first mainline console Dragon Quest game since 2004, a Yakuza resurgence, and the pixel-perfect retro throwback that is Octopath Traveler. Both big studios and indie developers have delivered, and that's only made our jobs more difficult, and more fun!
Like previous years, our Games of the Year awards are split into three different sections: first off, we have fourteen editors claiming the stakes for their personal favourites of the year, and there's a real eclectic mix of big budget games to hidden indies that deserve your attention. And of course, both Retro Encounter and Random Encounter are here to celebrate the end of 2018 so you can also listen about the games that the panelists loved, and perhaps didn't love as much.
Our last big part is the overall Category Awards, which includes a brand new award this year! In 2018, we saw it fit to reward those games that are painstakingly brought to the West, so we've added a Best Localization award this year to highlight this oft-overlooked area of gaming. And don't go in thinking you know what's won in every category, because there are a few surprises in store. These awards are based on a staff vote, but we're not the only ones who get a say on things, because as well as our own winners and runner-ups, we also have results of our Readers' Choice voting too! As always, we hope you enjoy as we look back at the best of 2018!