It’s a bit of an understatement to say that 2018 has been an exciting year for new games. Masterful storytelling, immersive world design, and innovative mechanics are no longer novelties, and this year proves it. In just the last few months alone, we’ve seen plenty of examples of what developers can achieve when they push the limits. It’s no wonder that this year’s Game Awards was a real nail-biter of a competition.
But not all games are created equal, especially in the Twitch universe. Like streamers, some games are more fun to watch than others. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. So put on your toga, dust off your cowboy boots, and get your Master Hand ready – here are this week’s #CruxPicks for our favorite Twitch streamers playing the biggest games of 2018.
Okay, take that stuff off now; you look ridiculous.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Though some might argue that Red Dead’s pacing is a tad slow and that a game often described as “contemplative” and “bucolic” is probably pretty boring to watch, the reality is quite the opposite. Red Dead is chock full of surprises. Its narrative is enthralling, and its complex controls lead to a lot of hilarious mishaps. Plus, with the release of Red Dead Online, fans can now watch streamers hog-tie and drown real people! Fun!
Angerine has a tough girl vibe that’s tempered by an upbeat and sunny disposition, which translates well to her Red Dead playstyle. As her kill counter suggests, she’s not the most honorable Arthur Morgan, though she *might* stop occasionally to help a stranger in need. She prefers single-player mode, but it’s still fun to watch her explore thanks to her stream-of-consciousness narration and her proclivity for robbing and pillaging. Stream along with her 17K followers and you’ll be treated to comedy, conversation, and a healthy dose of vulgarity. And if the bounty hunters aren’t after her already, keep watching; it won’t be long until they are.
For someone who calls himself a nobody, MN sure has the captivating charm of a celebrity. He’s effortlessly entertaining whether he’s playing story mode or online. I suggest checking out both streams, as they each offer a different experience. When flying solo, MisterNobody is a casual traveler of the countryside with an expert ability to turn a phrase. But RDR Online is where his colors really shine through. It’s awesome to see him in his element and watch as he and his gang of “cow brethren” (see what I mean about his word skills?) joke around and get into mischief. And with a follower count just shy of 750, there’s plenty of opportunities for you to chime in.
Super Smash Brothers Ultimate
With more than 70 characters, 103 stages, and an arsenal of new moves, Smash Bros is more robust than ever. Even single-player mode is a treat; World of Light serves as a historical anthology where you’ll be pitted against characters from many of Nintendo’s most beloved games. From casual brawls to all-out competitive tournaments, Smash Bros offers a variety of ways to watch your favorite Twitch streamers get pummeled. Or do the pummeling. Whatever floats your boat.
Kreen is a casual player who invites you to accompany him on his journey as he unlocks characters in solo battles or plays with viewers online. He’s also an actor and teaching artist, so you can rest assured that he knows how to create good content. When he’s not participating in the skirmishes himself, Kreenpananas plays the part of the sports commentator, delivering amusing play-by-plays as he watches his friends duke it out. Most notably though, Kreen is a nice guy at his core. He’s friendly and talkative, and it’s clear how grateful he is for his 4,500+ followers (even when they’re kicking his butt in Smash). He’s charitable too; fans have the option to cheer for him and donate a percentage of bits to Direct Relief.
If you tend to take your streaming a little more seriously, ZeRo is definitely your guy. He was previously an esports pro who consistently broke tournament records and was considered the best Smash 4 player in the world until his retirement earlier this year. And though he may have hung up his gloves, he hasn’t lost his competitive edge by any means. Even when “casually” training against the CPU, ZeRo’s calculated approach is evident. The best part is, he’s not stingy with his knowledge. He’s happy to answer questions and share strategies with his community of 300K followers, and he seems to thoroughly enjoy teaching others. Check out this neutral/combo guide he streamed last week for some expert smash tips.
Monster Hunter World
Fans of the Monster Hunter series rejoiced this year when the game made its first appearance on consoles and PC in nearly 10 years. And while the game might not be as widely known as some of the other games on this list, its stunning environments, epic battles, and quirky sense of humor make MHW a solid choice for Twitch streamers.
Rage is best known on YouTube for his energetic humor and dedication to his community. Most of his playthroughs are centered around his 47k fans; he loves when followers get involved and rarely turns down a request or challenge. His energy is ever-so-slightly toned down on Twitch, yet he still approaches each game with all the curiosity and enthusiasm of someone who truly loves what they do. Stream him long enough and you’ll likely catch one of his rambling tangents – which, in my opinion, is one of the things that makes him so darn enjoyable to watch.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is another longstanding franchise that delighted fans with its newest installment this year. It’s also another massive open-world game that introduces a few firsts to the series. In fact, it almost seems to stand apart from its predecessors with extensive RPG elements, two playable protagonists, and a bevy of side quests and romanceable characters. In other words, there’s a lot to do, and a lot to see.
Marwan is the second-most watched Odyssey Twitch streamer at the moment, and upon watching his stream, you’ll immediately see why. His laid-back personality creates a nice juxtaposition with the fact that he’s playing this game on freakin’ nightmare mode. Seriously, it looks really, really hard. Kudos to him for keeping a cool head while he’s being attacked by all manner of brutes, beasts, and mythical beings. But his skills aren’t the only thing that makes his stream entertaining. He’s also a bit of an educator in that he’ll explain his decisions, like why he’s making a certain build or going after a specific weapon. He’ll occasionally pause the game to chat with his 24K followers, so feel free to ask him questions about his playstyle or the game itself. Just don’t make fun of how he takes his coffee.
Find Your New Favorite Streamer With StreamCrux
It’s important to note that this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the biggest games of 2018. Heck, we didn’t even bring up the Game of the Year winner! But there’s a reason for that. At Streamcrux, we try our hardest to curate high-quality Twitch streams for you. Watchability is a big deal to us. That’s why we didn’t include games that are best experienced on your own, or games that are glitchy and, uh, boring (looking at you, Fallout 76). That said, if you’d like to find your new favorite Twitch streamer for a game that’s not on this list, you can use StreamCrux to search low, mid, and high-range streamers in any category.