I'd like to say they were at least competent in making something to pander to the worst people in the world, as I wouldn't even bother putting it on the list if it were just bland and boring. But sadly, I can't do that in Octopath's case. They didn't even attempt to replicate the visual style that fanboy wet dreams are built on, instead throwing 2D sprites, 3D voxels mimicking 16-bit spritework, fake distance blurring and harsh directional lighting into a gigantic clashing mess that just looks gaudy and horrible. The narrative is equally cringe-worthy, being packed to the brim with terribly-acted, purple-prose-laden dialog that makes the whole experience about as enjoyable to sit through as a killer bee enema. Even putting those basic failings aside, though, there's simply nothing worth seeing here for any discerning genre fan - it's the same empty bash-A-to-win gameplay, cookie-cutter story tropes and flat characters Square has been repackaging over and over again for decades when, let's be honest, nearly every example of the template it builds itself on isn't even worth revisiting in the first place. Leave this dreck where you find it and support something that isn't content to pander to some mouthy loser's confabulated memories of a golden gaming utopia that never existed.
* You may think this entire rant hypocritical coming from someone whose top 100 games list includes numerous titles from the 1990s, quite a few of which are RPGs. Well, you'll just have to figure that one out on your own, Mr. Knee-jerk Sophism-spewing Narcissist.
5. Underworld Ascendant (Otherside Entertainment, PC/Linux/MacOS/PS4)
4. Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time (A+ Games, Playstation 4/PC)
An action-RPG lootfest based on the anime series, Chamber of Time features gameplay reminiscent of Dragon's Crown, only nowhere near as good. The dungeons have very little to them (only about 3 screens in length outside of story-related ones, which just get tedious puzzles instead) and the overall variety of enemies, spells and characters is severely lacking, resulting in a game that gets tiresome quickly. Moreso when the game forces you to adhere to a schedule for timed events, which means either a lot of waiting around or burning through dozens of Movement potions to teleport back to your room so you can sleep and wait for the next thing to happen. There is some charm in its visual style and animated cutscenes (many of which were created just for the game) if you're a fan of the show, but overall, it's just a forgettable, mediocre beat-em-up lootfest with a pretty paint job. One Bandai Namco had the gall to sell for nearly full price, even! Dragon's Crown came out on the PS4 this year too and is available for half the price of Chamber of Time, so do the right thing - pick up that game instead.
3. Iconoclasts (Konjak, PC/Mac/Linux/PS4/Vita/Switch)
2. God of War 2018 (SIE Santa Monica Studio, Playstation 4)
1. Fallout 76 (Bethesda Game Studios, Playstation 4/XBone/PC)
neglected to implement some extremely basic anti-cheating measures, opening the floodgates for rampant player hacking the likes of which have not been seen since Diablo 1 and Phantasy Star Online on the Dreamcast; how do you not have that kind of foresight in 2018?! Being a product of this era of gaming, let us also not forget scammy microtransactions, misleading advertising and some of the worst attempts at damage control I've ever seen, because no online game is complete without those anymore. But if that's still not enough, then how about the fact that the game is the target of lawsuits for being so unplayably broken, wasn't launched on Steam to avoid having to give out refunds, and was already put on discount when it had barely been out for one week? Yes, even a week out, with a prestigious company name and a beloved IP behind it, Fallout 76's reputation was already such that it couldn't even sell copies during the holiday season; that is simply pathetic. If you want the same concept of a co-op lootfest game but done well, you've already got a million better options than this. If you just want a competent open world RPG, dust off any of the earlier Fallouts and give them a replay. Hell, I'll even recommend the much-hated Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel over this one, because at least that game doesn't crash every twenty minutes...