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GAF Games of the Year 2014 - Voting Thread [voting closed]

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Cairnsay

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Nov 21, 2013
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1. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; This game represented the final game from the previous generation I was pretty excited about, and even that excitement was tempered with a lingering worry regarding the quality of previous South Park games. The development hell the game seemed to get stuck in added to my worries, and by the time we were a few a couple months from release I was preparing myself for the worse, and yet still inexplicably hyped. Thankfully the actual game turned out to be a true highlight, and indeed the game I enjoyed the most this year. While many people rightly praise the game for just how much like an episode of the show it truly is, I think a big reason for that is the pacing, which is fantastic, and a lesson for other games in the genre. If you have 12-15 hours of brilliant content, please don’t dilute it by adding a further 15-20 hours of filler. The Stick of Truth is 12-15 hours of brilliance, tightly packed, always pushing you forward into new areas to face new (and hilarious) enemies. As others have said, the games humour and general content is brilliant, acting like both a new South Park story arc that might play out over 3 episodes on tv, and a love letter from the shows past. All the characters get their moment in the sun, none outstay their welcome, and the core cast are consistently funny throughout.

This is easily the best South Park game of all time, and is up their with Arkham Asylum/City and Butcher Bay as one of the best uses of a licensed property in a game, and is my favourite game of 2014.

2. Mario Kart 8 ; The last Mario Kart game I was really into was Double Dash, and before that the N64 one, I thought my Mario Kart days were done and picked this up purely to have something new to play on my Wii U. I was blown away, if you asked 12 year old me to described their fantasy Mario Kart game it would probably be something like Mario Kart 8. Mario Kart’s core mechanics are in place and free of gimmicks, the new tracks are brilliant, and the old ones brilliantly re-mastered, aesthetically I think its one of the best looking games of the year. Nintendo really nailed the online, and the DLC is great both in terms on content and value. If they never released another Mario Kart and instead just kept releasing new tracks and characters for this one I think I’d be more than happy..

3. Sunset Overdrive ; Brilliant fun, like Saints Row and Tony Hawk had some crazy night of passion and 9 months later birthed Sunset Overdrive (there was probably drinking during the pregnancy.)

4. Far Cry 4 ; Not much to say other than its more of Far Cry 3, maybe too much in terms of side activities but same great mechanics and a brilliant setting. Eagles can do one mind.

5. Mario Golf: World Tour ; If this were a list ordered by the games I have put the most hours into this year this would be number 1. The core golf aspect of the game is strong, and is backed up by some well implemented online tournaments. Every other Thursday you get your results/trophies for the past fortnights set of tournaments, and they set a whole bunch of new ones for you to compete in. Once you’re hooked on the gameplay you will always have a reason to come back to the game.

6. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; This list was originally jotted down in a notebook about a week ago, at that point, around 20 hours in, this game was actually sitting in the number 3 spot. Unfortunately fatigue set in hard around the 30 hour mark and it has subsequently become a bit of a slog to get through. Its a shame as the world and its politics are fascinating, however it starts to spread itself a little thin in my own opinion, it does make me excited for what Bioware does next (Mass Effect) in this gen.

7. The Wolf Among Us ; Stronger that Walking Dead Season 2, no where near Walking Dead Season 1, I enjoyed it.

8. Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zero's ; Say what you will about the games length, the gameplay itself is outstanding, by far the best playing Metal Gear game. Makes me very excited for Phantom Pain, please don't fuck it up now Hideo.

9. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ; This game just squeezed onto this list (thanks to Game releasing early in the UK). I never would have thought I would enjoy this sort of game as much as I ended up enjoying it, very charming, great game to play over the holidays. Hopefully Nintendo release some more chapters as DLC.

10. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; I really enjoyed my time with this game, maybe not quite as much as everyone else, partly because I am not really big into Lord of the Rings lore, and partly as I just found the first part of the game really dull to look at landscape wise. Started liking it a lot more once I opened up the greener part of the world. Its weird to say something like this, but I really hope other games steal the nemesis system and it becomes one of the mechanics that define this generation.

Honorable Mentions
x. Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 ; Haven't put enough into this game to include it in my top ten for 2014 having only purchased it on a whim the day before new years eve. Already really loving more than any football game in the last few years.

x. Infamous: Second Son ; The game that got bumped for Captain Toad, great early generation 'wow' type game. Not sure we will really remember it in 3 years time.
 

Dance Inferno

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Dec 30, 2008
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Man, I'm super bummed that I haven't played enough games this year to put together a GOTY list. Between switching jobs, moving to a new city, and other personal stuff I only really played a handful of 2014 games, and none of them really jumped out at me as being particularly great. For the first time in 3 years it looks like I'll be skipping this thread...

Now that I have a new gaming PC though I'll hopefully be up-to-date on 2015 games and will be able to participate next year. I'm enjoying reading everyone's posts though!
 

zero shift

Banned
Nov 17, 2012
6,173
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Like usual with my lists I have to open up by saying that it's difficult doing these lists because the lionshare of game's I've played this year are from previous years. As a result I haven't yet played many of the said to be best game's of the year that I am interested in (such as Divinity and Shovel Knight). So if you notice that my list is odd from missing a certain game that fits in with the rest in the list, that is likely why. That said, here is my list:


1. The Evil Within ; This isn't a perfect game by any means.However, the game is spiritual sequel to Resident Evil 4. And while it doesn't quite reach those heights it isn't that far off. It is paced incredibly well, better than any other game I've played this year, it has very memorable boss fights that adhere to traditional gaming "we give you the tools, now you figure it out" mentality, and has a variety of areas and environments so the player doesn't get bored.

What's more is that the game reeks of atmosphere. Purists may argue whether or not the game is survival horror, but the game at least feels like it is. The art design,the music,and the enemy design blend in very well. This is on top of already fantastic textures and geometry which result in one of the best graphical games out there. The game sets out to be an action based survival horror game and does that very well. This is the true successor to Resident Evil 4,and while it may not reach those heights it is in the same ball park and that alone more than makes the game a must play on everyones list.


2. Freedom Planet ; The best way to describe Freedom Planet is that it is to Sonic the Hedgehog as what Bayonetta is to Devil May Cry. A game that takes the mechanics of one game and makes it more frantic, more polished, more complex, and most of all,better. The game is what Genesis fans have been demanding for years,as they have been crushed over and over by failed Sonic games and a pathetic Rocket Knight reboot. The game spots great replayable levels, a cast of memorable characters, and tight controls. It is as if one of the Genesis's greatest games of all time was lost in time and space and wound 2014. Shovel Knight rebooted the juggernaut NES game and Freedom Planet does the same with the Genesis. If you like Sonic and Rocket Knight there is no reason not to get this game.


3. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; This is such a good licensed game that I don't even consider it to be a licensed game. It is a legitimate playable episode of South Park. It has the exact same graphics as the show, the same writing, the same cast, etc. The only difference is that the game entertained me and made me laugh more than the show has in years.Matt Stone and Trey Parker are at their peak with this game with their satirical and gross out humor is as well. The game hits all the right notes as it entertains the player and explore the lore of the South Park universe. Sure the game isn't as deep as Wasteland or Shin Megami Tensei, but it isn't suppose to be. It's suppose to be a whimsical playable episode of the show and it achieves that perfectly. The game also pushes the ESRB "M" rating as much as possible was the game has full frontal nudity, sex, and people going into a guy's ass. And those aren't even the worst things in the game. Curious to what those things are? Buy the game.


4. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ; It's very shocking to see that I have put into as much time into Ground Zeroes as I have with most fulflegged games. Ground Zeroes is just really a well packaged demo. What makes it stand out so much is that it is a well packaged demo of Metal Gear Solid V. I could go on about the gameplay for paragraphs, but the best way to describe it is that it's Metal Gear further polished and evolved for the new generation. If the rest of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is as good as this demo,which is so good it has made it to number four on my list, then it is practically a shoe-in for my GOTY for 2015. I realize this may be short a brief but that's all I really have to say about the game, it's Metal Gear Solid.

If there is something I could add on to that, it would be how incredibly well this game runs on a computer. While I don't have the most powerful PC out there, I can run the game at 4K downsampled with max settings and achieve a stable 30fps. This is one of the most graphically intensive games out, yet I can run it at a framerate in line with other games in the series at 4K downsampling. Now that is what I call optimization.

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5. Blade Symphony ; There was a time when PC gaming lacked fighting games. It used to be that the only way you could play fighting games was to purchase a Playstation 2. If you HAD to play fighting games on the PC then your options were either Gametap, which consisted of mostly emulated King of Fighters games, or emulation. This changed significantly last generation where series like Street Fighter, King of Fighters, and recently Dead or Alive became committed to PC.What's more is that indie developers stepped up as well with games such as Skullgirls and Vanguard Princess.

The reason why it took so long was simple, fighting game originated in the arcades, and while that transfered easily to the console space, it wasn't so with the PC space. That said, for the amount of years it took for fighting games to come to PC, it makes one wonder, why weren't there any fighting games built specifically for PC by PC developers? Well the mod community did just that with the Jedi Knight series as players went on head to head battles with each other in the Star Wars universe. The mod had a bit of a following. It managed to linger on until developer Puny Human decided to create their own game with those fundamentals. Blade Symphony is a game built for PCs and the PC community. The best way to describe the game for people unfamiliar with Jedi Knight is that it is Soul Calibur designed around PC principles and less focus on combos. I will admit the game isn't the deepest fighting game out there, but it is very enjoyable.

What really makes the game is the community. Filled with mods, chatty players, and clans the game gives you the connection to the people you are playing the same way say CounterStrike or Team Fortress does. What's more is that the game community has specific customs that people follow, such as bowing before starting a battle. The game isn't going to be the next Street Fighter but it is something you should snag up on Steam sale.


6. Five Nights at Freddy's ; The scariest game I have ever played, is the only way to describe Five Nights at Freddy's. The premise of the game is very unique. You are a night watch security guard at a bootleg Chucky Cheese, who sits in the office flipping through security cameras. What quickly becomes apparent is that something isn't right. The animatronics move on their own accord, The game revolves around you tracking where the animatronics are and closing the doors to your office before they get in to...well kill you. The idea may sound ridiculous but it really works.

What sells the game are two things: the atmosphere and the jump scares. The entire game has this creepy vibe of a dark and ominous workplace. If you have ever been alone at your workplace at night with few lights on and no one there, you will understand the feeling. But what the game is really known for is its jump scares. The entire game revolves around you checking where the enemy via security footage with your handy dandy laptop. The thing is you need to conserve your battery and have to close the doors to your office when the animatronics get close. So you find yourself near constantly switching between the game's security camera perspective and your office perspective. If you don't manage to see an animatronic and/or don't shut the door in time, you will be greeted with a screaming humanoid out for blood once you close your laptop. This makes the game a lot more tense than it should be. All in all, while it isn't the perfect game, it is well worth a shot. Especially with the demo out.


7. Terra Battle ; I never thought that I would regularly start playing one of those simply mobile games, but Terra Battle managed to prove me wrong. Developed by respected developer Mistwalker, the game is a combination of RPG and puzzle. Essentially you control up to five characters at once and move them through a grid. In this grid enemies appear and you have to place your party members around the enemy to attack them. This may seem simple but each party member often has a different class and you can line your characters up to do special chain attacks, or depending on the conditions a super combo. It isn't a game that is going to turn RPG enthusiasts heads, but it is something that is a good way to kill ten minutes.


8. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; I am going to be honest, I didn't enjoy this game as much as others. Personally I find it very odd that the game has won so many GOTY awards. The game has simplistic combat, repetitive gameplay, and a bland overworld. I enjoyed the game, but wasn't blown away by it. The reason why this game is on the list is because it is arguably the first true next-gen (current-gen?) game on the market. The Nemesis system, while not perfect, takes the first baby steps into the player being able to truly have an effect on how the enemy is organized and structured. Again it is by no means perfect, but it is really cool seeing the armies of Mordor switch around and go into turmoil due to the actions your player has done. And that alone makes the game worthy of entry.
 

Zissou

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Feb 1, 2007
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I read though the thread to collect lists I liked or appreciated in some fashion. Unsurprisingly, I saw a lot of "reserved" and just enough faulty formatting that it's almost incredible (I'll forgive at least those who get too fancy), but again, not surprising.

I will say this though, people have made a lot of jokes about "reserved" posts (including literally empty lists or lists without descriptions) at this point, but the idea of it is so stupid that I'm willing to say with a bit of seriousness that such posts should just not be allowed or at least heavily discouraged (for what good that may do, given what I just said about formatting). There's not a single good reason for it. It just boggles my mind. It's like something that gets more annoying the more you think about it and because I just read this whole thread, I've been thinking about it more than I should.

I mean imagine if you walked into one of throwaway trash threads about like, "Your favorite dogs in videogames?" and saw this:



Who is that for!? Maybe I want to read your list, but even as one of the few people who probably even bothers to read more than a handful of lists including one's own, I'm not going to be scanning older pages I've already read through. Forums don't work that way: people look at the newest or the newest since their last visit. And let's be real, if you can't be assed to just pen this shit down in a notepad file and post it when it is good and ready and all polished up, then you don't care enough to go back an edit that post. If you do, then it's worse, because no one else cares.
Fully agree with this- reserved posts are really stupid (and nearly the same as just posting some shit like "posting in an epic thread" which is rightfully not allowed on GAF).
 

AAK

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Sep 30, 2006
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1. Guilty Gear Xrd ; it's one of the 2 games I bought this year. Looks and feels amazing.
2. Ultra Street Fighter 4 ; another game i bought when the steam version came out but I honestly haven't put any time into it.
 
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1. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; Loved DA:O and skipped DA2. Very happy to be back in this universe and really feeling the gameplay, characters and story.
2. Titanfall ; My favorite FPS of 2014. Both the pilot traversal and titan gameplay are superb. Very much looking forward to a sequel.
3. Ultra Street Fighter IV ; I'm not the biggest fighting game fan, but I do enjoy me some fighting games and this one is my favorite so far. Psyched for SFV!
4. Final Fantasy X HD ; As this was my first play through of this game, it completely took over my Vita and gaming until I finished it.
5. The Wolf Among Us Ep 2-5 ; Really loved this game and it really sucked me in. Hoping for more.
6. Freedom Wars ; Wasn't sure what to expect with this game. The game mechanics took me a while to get accustomed to, but it completely hooked me in.
7. Minecraft ; I didn't get into Minecraft until I started playing with my kids. The Vita version is perfect for creating your own little world.
8. Mario Kart 8 ; I have a blast playing this with my son. Definitely my favorite kart game of all time.
9. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; Another one I like to play with my son. Lots of fun to be had.
10. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare ; I really enjoy the changes they made for this iteration. The game is fun with the new mechanics.

Making this list made me realize I did not play a lot of new games this year that deserved attention. I now have a list of games I need to get to that probably would have changed my top 10.
 

ranmafan

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Jun 7, 2004
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This was a tough list to make in some ways. So many games I played that came out this year where I live were actually 2013 titles elsewhere. Thankfully there were quite a number of good 2014 releases that made me happy this year:

1. Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn ; This game, namely the PS4 release, was the biggest surprise Ive had gaming wise in years. I have tried over and over to get into MMORPGS and Ive pretty much hated everything about everyone of them. However I gave this one a try during the beta on Japanese launch and the game clicked with me. Such an enjoyable experience, so much content, a great world to explore, fantastic community, and great controls for a console mmo, everything about the game was perfect for me. Easily the best game I played this year.

2. Natural Doctrine ; Brutal, difficult, even at times unfair, yet this SRPG had some of the most fun gameplay ideas for the genre because of all that. And this is coming from a person who hate games that are too hard. Yet just like Demons Souls years before, I felt I had a real achievement upon completing a battle. A great game that many people missed but to those that gave it a shot Im sure many will like it. I love it!

3. South Park The Stick of Truth ; Finally a game that does the franchise justice. I haven't really watched the show much the last few years, now made even more difficult due to the recent online moves of the show making most episodes unviewable in my country but back on track, this game is both funny and enjoyable. They got the look and feel perfect and the gameplay was a blast.

4. Destiny ; Its a flawed title, its missing a lot of what was shown, and the endgame was a real disappointment for the way its setup, I hate the requirement to have to play only with people in your friendlist for the raids and other endgame modes, but the rest of the game was a treat. I don't play a lot of online FPS games but what I did play of destiny especially at the beginning, I loved. This game could've been much higher on my lists had those issues I had not shown up, but I think its still a good game.

5. Super Smash Bros for Wii U ; Shocked Im putting this game on the list. Ive never been a fan of this series but I gave it one last shot with this and the 3ds version and while both are excellent, this is the one that really excited me. Just a lot of fun, good character selection, and lots of good options. Pretty shocked I like it this much but what a game!

6. Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS Full Burst ; The newest game in the Gundam VS series is the best yet. Its a shame this game hasn't been released outside Japan as its a fantastic mech game, with awesome online battles, great selection of mobile suits, and an awesome soundtrack.

7. Infamous Second Son ; A nice solid sandbox game, with some of the best graphics of the year.

8. Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeros ; I could care less about the length and other arguments about the game. The game itself, its gameplay, and more were a blast. Even as a small taste of whats to come, it was great.

9. Rogue Legacy ; For some reason I had never heard of the term Rogue like in my life until this past year, but Im glad I did as it gave me a chance to experience this great game. Loved it on the PS4 and Vita. One of those great games thats hard to put down.

10. Wolfenstein The New Order ; Simply put a great single player FPS. The Wolfenstein series has always been fun and this game was no exception.

Honorable Mentions
x. Ryu Ga Gotoku Ishin ; Sadly didn't get to play it enough yet to put in my top ten, but Its been good so far
x. Super Smash Bros for 3DS ; Just as fun as the Wii U version in many ways
x. Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko ; The Wii U Fatal Frame has been a blast so far but haven't played in enough to be in the top ten
x. PT ; One of the best demos ever, I can't wait to see how Silient Hills turns out.
 

Salty Hippo

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Apr 26, 2014
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1. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
2. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
3. Shovel Knight
4. Bayonetta 2
5. Sunset Overdrive
6. Forza Horizon 2
7. Super Smash Bros Wii U
8. Mario Kart 8
9. The Walking Dead: Season 2
10. Dragon Age: Inquisition
 

Steel

Banned
Jun 20, 2013
19,664
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I've taken the first preliminary tally. That was interesting. Get your votes in before you forget!
I'd like to read something into this and say something unexpected happened like Dragon Age inquistion wasn't GOTY, but I doubt that's it.
 

Elixist

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Apr 6, 2010
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1: plants vs. zombies garden warfare ; the graphics, the tight controls, the casual baffoonery, the graphics.

2: sunset overdrive ; my favorite dreamcast game that isnt on the dreamcast.

3: titanfall ; good game, good netcode, needs a truly great mode and free maps to pull it all together.

4: dark souls 2 ; was hoping for sheer greatness, got a really good rpg instead. the world and atmosphere is really lacking for me compared to 1, but there was alot of neat new things as well for this sequel, life gems, amazing looking gear, some awesome bosses like the frog one.

5: lara croft: temple of osiris ; played through this with my niece, we had a blast. although not as good as part 1, they never try to retread ideas too much and its just a joy to look at and play.
 

toastyToast

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Dec 18, 2008
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Gonna put something down before I forget. Still have a thing or two to finish as well.

1. Bayonetta 2 ; I was simply happy for this game to exist but that wasn't enough for Platinum who delivered on the momentous task of surpassing the sublime original. The sequel is razor sharp. I can see myself replaying this game for years to come.

2. Alien: Isolation ; Easily the best realization of the Alien universe that I could have hoped for. I was astonished at what I was seeing as I began the game. The care and reverence to the source material is palpable. Outside of the mesmerizing visuals, what Creative Assembly achieved with Alien itself is also to be commended. A ruthless predator which you stand no hope against. Truly something to be feared. I took it upon myself to make the game as difficult for myself as possible and I wouldn't play the game any other way. The Alien was a complete fucking asshole, just as nature intended.

3. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; Thoughtful in its thoughtlessness, the game strikes the balance between conscientious and brash nazi killing simulator. It felt good to play a quality single player FPS campaign.

4. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; No idea how both games in this series dropped in the same year. There's only so much shattering the mind can ordeal in one calender cycle. These games are legit bonkers. I don't know what else to say.

5. Shin Megami Tensei IV ; As someone bound to the land of Atlus' red-headed step children my anticipation of this game and expectations might have been slightly out of wack considering how long I had to wait on it. That said, I did thoroughly enjoy my time with the game. Fusion is easier than ever (broken demons for the masses) and dungeons looked quite nice, heavily simplified compared to III though. I have my qualms (suspect as hell redesigns especially) but I can't complain about finally getting another mainline SMT. No complaints about the soundtrack though, God damn!

6. Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze ; I'm gonna be there any time a new Donkey Kong platformer comes out. Retro's second shot at the king feels like a vast improvement over it's predecessor. No waggle already puts it there but the combination of more novel level design and getting back the mother f'ing GOAT David Wise I couldn't ask for more.

7. The Banner Saga ; A sight to see. Gorgeous game with an mesmerizing soundtrack. I spent all my renown upgrading my units and 90% of my refugees died. I regret nothing.

8. Shovel Knight ; Initially I took the game as an homage to it's 8-bit forefathers but the further I got in, I started to doubt that intention and rather it feels like the aim was to make a long lost great of that era. The lessons of modern design without the concessions force fed to the modern gamer. Very fair and thoughtful design. Congrats to Yacht Club Games.

9. Mario Kart 8 ; This game got me playing local multiplayer for the first time in years.

10. Destiny ; Not gonna lie, I probably played this a minimum 3x more than anything else listed. The game is callous and arbitrary with a wayward sense of direction. Why I've listed it though is that somehow, through all the bullshit, I've had some of my most memorable coop experiences with this piece of shit. That's until the RNG rams it's foot in my ass but before that, with that inkling of hope, I enjoy Destiny.
 

Yoshi

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1. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
2. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
3. Shovel Knight
4. Bayonetta 2
5. Sunset Overdrive
6. Forza Horizon 2
7. Super Smash Bros Wii U
8. Mario Kart 8
9. The Walking Dead: Season 2
10. Dragon Age: Inquisition
Gonna put something down before I forget. Still have a thing or two to finish as well.

1. Bayonetta 2 ;
2. Alien: Isolation ;
3. Wolfenstein: The New Order ;
4 The Banner Saga ;
5. Mario Kart 8 ;
6. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ;
7. Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze ;
8. Destiny ;
Remember, that putting down your votes without any comment does not suffice.
 

WITHE1982

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May 23, 2014
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1. Child Of Light ; Simply a beautiful experience from start to finish and such a shock coming from Ubisoft. Loved the controls, story and visuals. One of the biggest surprises of the year as well.

2. P.T. ; Jesus this one knocked it out of the park. Who'd of thought a repeating corridor puzzle game could be one of the best things I've ever played. It also scared the shit out of me.

3. The Last Of Us: left Behind ; As I couldn't really include TLOU in this list I opted for the next best thing. Left Behind is a poignant look back at the relationship between Ellie and Riley and boy does it do it justice. Combat is even better than the full game and the character development and exploration are as good as anything ND has ever done. If it were longer it would be #1.

4. The Evil Within ; Despite not hitting the heights of Mikami's previous work it was still a very tense and exciting horror title.

5. Valiant Hearts: The Great War ; Hauntingly brilliant portrayal of the great cost of war. Such a moving experience.

6. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ; Short but memorable. I just reveled in the chance to play as Big Boss once more.

7. InFAMOUS: Second Son ; Graphics knocked my socks off and despite the game-play never really differing from the series' usual formula I had a lot of fun with it.

8. South Park: The Stick Of Truth ; As close to playing and episode of the series as you can get.

9. Transistor ; TBH I've yet to finish the game but it's an amazingly unique and enjoyable experience. Visually stunning and has a great combat system.

10. Destiny ; I'm beginning to hate the game now but for 170 hours+ it was fantastic. Despite its flaws, playing with friends in the world Bungie has created was awesome.

Honorable mentions:
x. The Binding Of isaac: Rebirth; I really wanted this in my top 10 but it just missed out due to me not really playing enough of it.

x. The Last Of Us: Remastered; would have been #1 but I don't think remasters should be in a top 10.

x. GTA V ; See above but this would have been #2
 

Szadek

Member
Jan 12, 2014
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1.Shovel Knight
Of the few indie games that not only rectro,but also plays like an nes games and ir does a nigh perfect job at that.
2.Child Of Light
Beautiful game,with an excellent combat system.Story could be better,though.
3.Hearstone
Exellent TCG that would never work offline.
4.Wolfenstein The New Order
Very good single Player FPS with a decent story
5.This War of Mine
A (non-zombie) survial game that handles moral choices very well.
6.The Evil Within
Gory Horror-action shooter with a few short comings.
7. Tales of Xilla 2
Great Action RPG with a very good story,but flawed gameplay
8.Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeros
Exellent Stealth game,but way to short.
9.South Park: The Stick Of Truth
Best TV to game adabtion so far,gameplay could have been better ,though.
10.Alien Isolation
Very nice improvement on the amnesia/outlast horror game formula.
 

MikeOxbig

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Jun 8, 2007
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An easy pick for me, despite my playing games this year on PS4, XB1, Wii U, 3DS, PS3, 360 and Wii.

#1. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze; master class level design, gorgeous visuals and one of the great game soundtracks of all time.
 

Celegus

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Jun 29, 2012
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0
Pittsburgh PA
1. Dark Souls II ; did it really happen again? I was expecting an amazing game but thought there was no way it would be good enough for a third Souls game to be my favorite of the year. May as well just write in Bloodborne for next year now. The art is really what stands out to me, on top of all the great gameplay refinements. I can recall in detail each and every area of the game, where most games you’d get a “was that the snowy level?” at best from me. The armor, the boss designs, everything just completely appeals to me, with a hauntingly epic soundtrack from one of my favorite composers.

2. Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls ; this game consumed me for 6-7 months, where I literally played nothing else, nor had the desire to. A huge improvement over the base game, RoS added a ton of replayability, my new favorite class, and much improved legendaries with fun effects instead of bigger numbers. It’s pretty easy to burn out once you collect most of the good loot, but it was a blast regardless.

3. Bayonetta 2 ; now that’s a sequel! I’m only on Chapter 10 so far, so it could still move up higher on my list, but what I’ve played so far has been incredible. The most surprising aspect is how much I’m enjoying the online competitive co-op mode. I’d be much further in the story, but someone needs all the costumes!

4. Binding of Isaac Rebirth ; I got into the original Isaac shortly before Rebirth was announced, and decided to shelve it until this came out. Rebirth seems better in every way. And playing on Vita is heavenly. I prefer the Tim Gunn style of play over the min/max of checking a Wiki constantly – just make it work! The interplay between items is fascinating and ridiculous. You don’t think picking up Tiny Planet while I have Ipecac is a good idea? Clearly you’ve never heard of Fun!

5. Hearthstone ; as with many others, I’ve never had any interest in CCGs. They always seemed too expensive to get into and too difficult to learn. Hearthstone solves both of these problems completely effortlessly. I haven’t spent a dollar on it, but can still compete just fine. I stopped playing for a few months after Naxx but recently got back into it with the Gnomes vs Goblins expansion. I was worried about being lost with so many new cards, but it was simple to jump right back in and start creating decks around GvG cards.

6. Super Smash Bros Wii U ; huge fan of the series and this might finally replace Melee. So much content!
7. Shadow of Mordor ; nemesis system is too good. Barfa, I'm coming for you!
just to die again
8. Danganronpa ; amazing story and characters. Some parts got dragged out a little long and I hated walking around the school. But that ending. The mastermind was amazing.
9. Mario Kart 8 ; pretty much as good as a MK game can be, though some more substantial single player mode would be nice. The online works great, even though my maps never get picked.
10. Shovel Knight ; completely succeeds in its goal of creating "that game you would have loved". Just begs to be completed 100%, and I'll be happy to do so.

Honorable mentions because they'd undoubtedly show up on my list but I haven't played them yet:
x. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
x. Dragon Age Inquisition
 

KingSnake

The Birthday Skeleton
Jan 9, 2013
26,118
0
0
Edited: it's still enough time for people to vote, so better to wait for the final results.
 

jepense

Member
Aug 10, 2006
702
0
0
Finland
1. Shovel Knight ; Probably the game I was most looking forward to this year, and it didn't disappoint. NES was my generation, and this game is a lovingly crafted fusion of the best things that generation had to offer. It hits nostalgia buttons, but it's also an extremely good game and a showcase of great game design. Probably there was something I didn't love about the game, but I sure can't remember if there actually was. The soundtrack (by Kaufman) is also amazing.
2. Bayonetta 2 ; Action games are not my favourite genre, but Bayo 2 is just fun. The gameplay reminds me of Punch-Out with the ever-so-satisfying dodge and counter mechanic.
3. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; Platformers are one of my favourite genres, and DK is as good as it gets. This one had a great soundtrack (by Wise) too.
4. Super Smash Bros for WiiU ; Smash is one of those games that has infinite replayability. I like the series mostly for it's fan service though. Did I mention the soundtrack (by everyone ever)?
5. Mario Kart 8 ; This is probably my favorite MK game. That's enough for a 5th place.
6. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; I didn't get around to play much on the PC this year, and most of that play time went to this. Epic and all that.
7. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; Unexpectedly good. I haven't even cared about the show for years.
8. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ; Technically 2015 in Europe, but I'll list it here anyway. Toad is the best Mario character, and the game is extremely charming.
9. Hearthstone ; A very good CCG. These can be very addictive, so avoid.
10. Child of Light ; Not that great actually, but I do like the presentation.
 
1. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; It's well-balanced, gives the player so much, and thanks to patches and DLC, it can continue delivering on both fronts this time; I foresee this game being pretty big in 2015, and for many years after.
2. Bayonetta 2 ; Every fight feels fresh, and there's so many weapons and combos to go about each fight with, making the game a thrill ride that refuses to so much as slow down until it's over.
3. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; It's one of the best platformers in recent history, with David Wise there to garnish this fun, inventive platformer with a perfect OST, making it the ultimate DKC experience.
4. Shovel Knight ; With one game under their belt, Yacht Club Games is already one of my favorite devs out there. They perfectly captured the essence of an NES game, but whereas other teams fail and just try to flat-out copy older games, Shovel Knight feels fresh. It's inspirations are clear, but the game itself shines on its own!
5. Mario Kart 8 ; This is probably the nicest-looking game that came out this year. The racing itself is superb, too, and the courses are both fun and filled with life! The game's still a must for local Vs. Mode, and the online's pretty great, too!
6. Freedom Planet ; It's just like Shovel Knight in that it doesn't feel like it's straight-up copying the era it's paying tribute to, but making a brand new game in that style. Growing up on Genesis games, I can't not appreciate it.
7. Shantae & The Pirate's Curse ; It's a unique Metroidvania that provides a decent challenge with interesting mechanics.
8. Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire ; The game does a lot to "look" new, but Pokemon's so unique that it can't really "feel" new without going in a radical direction, like abandoning its RPG roots, and as a remake, this certainly wasn't going to be the one to do that.
9. Little Big Planet 3 ; It feels similar to LBP2, but I still have fun playing through this one with friends. It's fun to make stuff, and even the Campaign provides players with a simple-but-fun competitive co-op experience, gunning for the high score.
10. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS ; I forgot this game was counted separately when I made this list, and for good reason; it feels like a companion game to the Wii U version. Everything great about it applies here, too, but there's just less content, and I'd much rather play Smash on a larger screen if I can. It seems weird that this game felt obsolete in a month and a half, even if I still find myself playing it.

Honorable Mention 1: x JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle ; This game is flawed, but it's a solid fighter, even if good memories playing it with friends glued rose-tinted goggles to me. It's filled with references to the series, with every single attack being named after a different line in the series, and the attacks themselves are pretty cool/interesting. It's hardly the most balanced fighting game, but it's very interesting in the right hands. Despite everything wrong with it, I meant to put it as my #10 game until I double-checked the ruling on Smash 3DS, so it can't be all bad. Hopefully Eyes of Heaven fixes these problems.
Honorable Mention 2: x Tomodachi Life ; The game gets real bland, real fast, but I still keep coming back to it. I don't know why; I've seen almost all of the events, so there's nothing really new, but I come back to it.
 

Nif

Member
Jan 7, 2007
2,223
0
0
1. Bayonetta 2 ; Game starts at a 10 and continuously gets better with each level. The combat might be too simple for hardest core action game fans, but it hit the sweet spot for me.
2. Divinity: Original Sin ; RPG of the year. I wasn't expecting much from it, but it has one of the best battle systems of its genre.
3. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; Nemesis system is really fun. I really enjoyed the pacing and combat as well.
4. Mario Kart 8 ; It's Mario Kart in HD. It's also just a very good Mario Kart.
5. The Banner Saga ; I bought this game without knowing anything about it besides that the character designs looked amazing. I wound up playing through the entire thing very quickly and enjoyed the story and gameplay.
6. South Park: The Stick Of Truth ; Best comedy series to rpg transition you could possibly make. They made an rpg length episode and it's fantastic.
7. Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Curtain Call ; I was a big fan of the first game, and a big fan of Nobuo Uematsu in general. This game added some welcomed features like online multiplayer.
8. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; The most hours I put into any game this year. The environments alone are worth playing in and exploring.
9. The Wolf Among Us ; I didn't play until all the episodes were nearly released, so I only had to wait a short time for the final episode, but I really enjoyed the world and story in this one. It was nice to play something that felt similar to Walking Dead without so many depressing moments.
10. Transistor ; I had a lot of fun with the majority of this game. The combat system is very versatile, and I liked mixing and matching different skills. The only reason I list it so low on my list is because of the issues I had with the ending.
 

Koh

Member
Jun 14, 2014
894
0
0
I expect that the results this year will be pretty varied. I personally had a really hard time evaluating the order of my first five picks. Ask me again tomorrow and I would probably swap them all around. Fortunately this isnt a case of poor options to pick from, but genuinely great games that I would place high even on my all-time list.

1. Transistor ; This game surpassed Bastion for me, which was a huge surprise. I loved the narrator, the story, and the world that the game built. The polish on this game is unmatched, the battle system quite enjoyable, and the customization fascinating. I played this game through twice in a row and expect to return many times in the future.
2. inFamous: Second Son ; This was the game that I bought a PS4 for. I actually only had PS+ games until this was released (though as you can see by my list I loved the offerings that came with that service). Infamous is my favorite franchise, and while this one lacked some meat to it, the game played like a dream. Smoke and Neon were my favorite powers, and spent many hours just running around the city enjoying the playground sucker punch created.
3. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; I'm about 50 hours into this and if it ended right now, I'd be satisfied. It's been a long time since I have played a good RPG, and this scratched the itch. While it doesn’t beat out origins in my book, it reignites my faith in Bioware. Had this game flopped, I probably would have written them off for good.
4. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth ; Every item room is a rush. What will I get? What will it do? I honestly don’t even care if I make it to the bosses, I just want to see how my items all add up.
5. Velocity 2X ; I loved the on-foot sidescroller action to this game. The levels were super well designed to the point where it felt right when you were in stride, almost like it had rhythm. Getting a perfect on a level was such a thrill.
6. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; I honestly believe this has the potential to dethrone AC. Stealing Batman combat for this type of game was perfect, and the Uruk Promotion/weakness exploitation/nemesis system is something I want to see in many more games.
7. Don't Starve ; I've never made it through the winter, but I enjoy trying!
8. Titanfall ; Bought this for less than 10 bucks on Origin after the free trial. Wouldn’t even make my list, except the co-op vs AI mode that was added for free was super fun with some friends. Would buy the sequel if there was a campaign or similar co-op mode.
9. Strider; A game I didn’t expect to like, but ended up really enjoying.
10. Towerfall Ascension ; Great fun with friends. Some of the kills are so hilarious to watch occur. Drill arrows are hilarious!!!

Honorable Mentions
x. Destiny ; Before the DLC, this game would have been in number 1 spot. I played Destiny daily from launch with a group of friends, had a level 30 of each class. Loved the gunplay, loved the raid, and even enjoyed the PVP. Being on a budget however (and the DLC being $20!!!) I didn’t purchase the DLC right away. I was waiting for reviews and friends' thoughts before purchasing.
Unfortunately, the day the DLC launched I logged in to find that I was locked out from playing nightfall or the weekly strike. I had expected there to be a separate nightfall option for DLC players but instead they removed one of the best activities from the week's events for me. I was super offended by this act, and quit on the spot. It was a good decision as I didn’t like how vendors sold better items than what was available in the VoG that I spent so long grinding, nor the addition of commendations to an already crazy set of currencies.
 

Hitsukara

Neo Member
Oct 21, 2012
48
0
0
1. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; Surely one of the best plateformers i played. Good level design, return of David Wise which means a really good OST. Great game all around.
2. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; Like always with this series, lots of contents, lots of characters… Fun game overall! It also made me think of Smash 3DS as an inferior version.
3. Professor Layton VS. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney ; Really like both franchises so I was really waiting to play this game. The Layton segment was a little underwhelming (all the puzzles were too easy), but I liked the court segments. Crowd system is one of the best new things they implemented in the AA series, music was also very good.
4. Mario Kart 8 ; Good episode. The game also has good dlc and at a great price.
5. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth ; Was kinda bored of the Persona characters but I like Etrian Odyssey so I still took it and in the end I really liked it. Really great to see Etrian Odyssey gameplay in a completly different settings, puzzles were good, music too. It was easy to break the game but i found it quite fun to do so I didn’t really mind. It also seems I was just bored of the P4 characters and I was happy to play again with P3 MC.
6. Ace Attorney Investigations 2 ; I was really sad that they didn’t announced it for the west and I was happy when the fan translation was finally released. Overall I found the game really solid, much better than the first one.
7. Bayonetta 2 ; One of the best action game, too bad the ending was less hype than the first one.
8. Hyrule Warriors ; I don’t really like musou in general but I really got hooked with this one. I even took the dlc (even if I barely touched it), it must be the zelda part that really helped.
9. Shin Megami Tensei IV ; Waited for a long time for this one (yeah I'm from europe). Some parts were better than expect, other were worse. I expected that a lot of things would make the game easier but maybe not that easy. I would have also liked to get better (and bigger) dungeons, I also didn’t like how they implemented the battle encounter, I think the EO and SJ system were much better. I still liked it but those little problems here and there annoyed me.
10. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; A good sequel.

Honorable Mentions
x. Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited ; Didn’t play the PS3 version, I liked this disgaea, the cast is cool.
x. Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Curtain Call ; Good sequel after the first one.
 

Jack cw

Member
Mar 14, 2006
8,680
0
0
Bavaria
1. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; Incredible depth and a fantastic world of Thedas. Story is great and spent around 80 hours.
2. Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 ; Best football game in years. Freedom and gameplay are amazing, graphics too on PS4.
3. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; Didn't expect much but the game turned out to be a fantastic shooter with absurd story. Wonderfully done and platinumed it.
4. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; Wasn't on my list before I read some GAF impression and truly, this is what Assassin's Creed always wanted to be.
5. Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls ; Waited long for the PS4 version and it was incredibly time consuming and addicting.
6. Driveclub ; Best racer I've played this year and after the dynamic weather update, the game got even better.
7. The Last of Us: Remastered ; Still one of the best games I've played. Atmosphere, gameplay and story are some of the best.
8. InFAMOUS: Second Son ; Amazing graphics, nice missions and world. Powers were fun.
9. GTAV ; Skipped the last gen versions and I'm pretty satisfied with the game. Story is good and the rest is typical GTA.
10. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ; Was totally against the paywall demo but it turned out to be a fantastic sandbox game and best Metal Gear in gameplay. Kudos Hideo.
 
Jul 21, 2004
10,632
0
0
UK
1. Destiny ; No other game has kept me hooked for so long in ages. Still playing daily after 4 months. Not just for the chance of something good randomly coming my way, but because the core game itself is so good. Gun play is really spot on and so enjoyable. It's great to link up with fellow gaffers and play it too.

2. Diablo III: Ulltmate Evil Edition ; Never played a Diablo game before and whilst I'm sure the PS4 version is quite different to the PC games before it, it's such a great, easy to get it to game. Much like the console versions of Baldurs Gate, I had a great time playing it.

3. The Last of Us: Remastered ; I played it back on the PS3 and really liked it, replaying it again in fully HD glory I completely loved it. Not to mention the DLC which was awesome too. Photo mode also made it worthwhile too.

4. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; Not a massive fan of South Park by any means, but know the humour and characters well enough. Fun game with turn based RPG mechanics coupled with the South Park world made it stand out.

5. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition ; The series got a really nice reboot after it became stale many years ago. Brings the series bang up to date with some enjoyable gameplay that's less linear and gives you more freedom to explore.

6. Infamous: Second Son ; Graphically amazing and the gameplay that is fun to play and mess around with. Not too much different from past games, but giving you a variety of powers helped mix it up. Great photo mode too.
 

Necrovex

Member
Jun 7, 2010
9,356
0
0
I didn't play as many games this year as I wanted, so this list will be limited compared to last.

1. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; It was tough deciding between this and DAI for my top spot. Easily my favorite multiplayer-focused game this year. A superior game to Brawl in almost every way. I see myself playing this game all the way up to the next Smash game.

2. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; Nowadays, I never binge video games. My attention span and overall motivation to play games won't allow it these days. However DAI destroyed this, and I binged the hell out of it. All I thought was Dragon Age this, and Dragon Age that during its release month. Bioware is back!

3. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; Fantastic music, platforming, boss fights, and sense of challenge. Bravo, Retro.

4. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; I was addicted to no end by this Vita gem. A lot of people say the second game is better, but I fully disagree to this notion. Danganronpa 1 had a certain charm and uniqueness to it compared to its sequel.

5. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; Pulling off humor, in general, is difficult, so it's amazing that Trey and Matt does such a successful job in this medium. This felt like a good season of South Park.

6. Bayonetta 2 ; I didn't like the first Bayonetta, so I was blown away by Bayonetta 2 when I found it fixed all of my greviences about the first game, and was much more accessible compared to its predecessor.

7. Mario Kart 8 ; It's nice to see that Nintendo can continue to make quality magic when it comes to my favorite racing franchise. I was worried after the mediocrity that was Mario Kart Wii.

8. The Wolf Among Us ; Even though the comic characters have different personality compared to its game counterpart, this was still a very engaging story within the Fables mytho.

9. Hearthstone ; A really fun, well-made card game. It's my favorite mobile game of the year.

10. Wolfenstein: The New Order ;
 

VeryGooster

Banned
Dec 21, 2009
24,249
0
0
Bayonne, NJ
twitter.com
1. Playable Teaser ; Silent Hills could very well be a vastly different experience than what P.T. offered. I loved the viral appeal of the game when it released during Gamescom. I loved that we were exchanging rumored, outlandish tips as if we were back in the nineties, relying on magazines and rumors instead of Google. The experience was repetitive by design, but successfully conveyed a sense of fear and intrigue. This is also a great “sit in the dark with headphones” experience.

2. Grand Theft Auto V ; An absolutely beautiful game wrapped in obscene hilarity. Virtually a playground to create crazy, hilarious, intense, serene(!) moments at your whim. It’s also a reminder why Rockstar Games are masters of the open world: Los Santos, San Andreas, is a world that exists outside of you the player. It has its own life and you’re the wildcard come to engage with it or destroy it.

3. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; I don’t have a long-time relationship with Wolfenstein. I bought the game on a whim, and thank goodness. You are essentially playing a Robert Rodriguez-Quentin Tarantino joint. There’s no classic villain like the Nazis, especially the Nazis dialed to eleven (if that’s even possible). Blazkowicz is surprisingly human for a first-person protagonist, and the same could be argued for the rest of his supporting cast. The New Order also transitions classic Wolfenstein design into this generation at a satisfactory level. I’m taken aback at the level of effort brought to a multiplayer-less shooter in 2014. Great execution.

4. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ; A curious appetizer that has me in greatly anticipating the Phantom Pain entrée. Kojima and crew always know how to utilize PlayStation hardware at high potential, as well as being the masters of stealth gameplay where other studios still come a distant second. A lot of imaginative fun in a light package.

5. Bayonetta 2 ; I have to admit I’m not as hugely enamored by Bayonetta as others are. I still believe it makes my list just because games like Bayonetta and its sequel don’t seem to get made that often anymore. Pure action, solid mechanics that test you, signature Platinum (Kamiya?) absurdity spinning a classic angels and demons (and witches) narrative. It’s easy to see why it’s loved as it is. A solid follow-up and an excellent game.

6. Hyrule Warriors ; A ‘videogame’ in the most positive aspects. Straightforward, no hindering melodrama — just fighting off hordes and armies and taking bases and completing objectives in the Legend of Zelda universe — all to a heck of a workout soundtrack. Not overly complicated, but with plenty of depth.

7. Infamous: Second Son ; This is the entry in which I finally ‘got’ Infamous. I enjoyed the Seattle flavor, which Bellevue-based Sucker Punch put a good amount of love into. The short of it is that Second Son is a fun superhero film to play through with some great performances and fun moments. I also love its soundtrack, some of which gave me an Explosions in the Sky kind of vibe. Second Son also features one of my favorite things of this generation so far: Photo Mode, which should be a standard.

8. Shovel Knight ; Shovel Knight rises well above nostalgic appeal and shallow grabbing of yesteryear and serves to be a fantastic, dare I say moving experience. A fun narrative. Great environment design and tight mechanics set to a stellar soundtrack from chiptune extraordinaire Jake Kaufman. A classic adventure.

9. Towerfall Ascension ; Just excellent co-op arcade fun. Very challenging, plenty of fun, hilarious, and chaotic moments.

X. Transistor ; Great style and soundtrack. Good ideas are found in its mechanics but the execution was about average. Still a noteworthy release of last year.

X. Bravely Default ; A fantastic JRPG and lets me play it the way I want to play it. Just couldn't get past that second half of it.
 

Messiah

Member
Feb 23, 2014
2,275
0
0
1. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; Great OST, great characters, interesting and emotional story. Narratively this game was one of my best gaming experiences ever.

2. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; Dark murder mystery with an appealing artstyle. I was chained to my Vita for the entirety of my playthrough due to the fascinating story.

3. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax ; First fighting game I could really get into. Great for newcomers to the genre. Smooth netcode and the lobby system is amazing.

4. Final Fantasy X HD Remaster ; Remaster of my favourite Final Fantasy Title. Experiencing this again on the Vita was a bliss.

5. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call ; This game has so much content and the gameplay is easy to get into. Hours will fly by as you relive your favourite Final Fantasy experiences.

6. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth ; This game turned out better than it had any right to be. Classic Etrian Odyssee gameplay combined with the likeable characters of Persona 3 and 4 and surprisingly good writing made me really enjoy my time spent with this fanservice game.

7. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix ; My favourite games of the Kingdom Hearts franchise on one disc.

8. Valkyria Chronicles ; Great PC-port of one of the most interesting SRPGs of all time.

9. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth ; Improvement over the original game in almost every way. Fun to play a few runs every now and then.

10. The Evil Within ; Janky survival horror. The presentation and gameplay were surprisingly good, while I had my problems with the narrow FoV.
 

Miletius

Member
Oct 1, 2010
4,112
0
0

1. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft ; Hearthstone has the perfect level of accessibility, strategy, thoughtfulness to keep a person like me playing day after day in 2014. Add a spit shine of the traditional Blizzard polish, the not-so overbearing community (thank god for no chat) and it’s earned it’s spot at the top of the list. On top of all that, it’s basically WoW rehab for folks like me who would like to play WoW on again off again, but keep away because of the time commitment.


2. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth; This game was one of a few co-op experiences of the year for me -- and that says a lot given that the co-op mode was pretty washed out. But between the improvements in the engine and the added content TBOI:R managed to hold my and my girlfriend’s attention again this year, as is our most played game during the back half of the year. Challenging each other to get better at the game keeps us going -- and the endless replayability helps a lot, despite the limit on the number of layouts and bosses we’ve seen.


3. Shadowrun: Dragonfall; This game’s predecessor started the CRPG renaissance for me -- and the promise of the original campaign has mechanically been more fully realized in Dragonfall. But what really stands out to me is the care that Harebrained took in crafting a campaign that retains the cyberpunk mystery of the first but turns up the character development, interesting story, and anarchic cyberpunk distopia up to 10. And while I’ll freely admit that I missed a few CRPG’s this year, I can’t regret putting this at number 3, because I played this one twice AND I still want to play the director’s cut sometime soon.


4. Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls ; BoI was my favorite local co-op game this year. Dialbo 3: RoS was my favorite online co-op game of the year. By itself, D3:RoS fixed all the problems I had with D3 Vanilla -- the long grind, the RMAH, and the reliance on rare items that only really boosted stated by failed to be interesting in other ways. But that alone doesn’t really place RoS on my list -- it’s the fact that on top of that, the combat is as fluid as ever -- the new skills amped every class up 10 times, and that the rifts, seasons, ladder and loot kept my online buddies playing long after release.


5. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call ; I’ll preface by saying that Final Fantasy has mostly run it’s course for me. The last game in the mainline series I completed was VII, and the last offshoot I finished was Crystal Chronicles for the gamecube (excellent for 4 players). So it is a testament to the amount of content that even though I had no fondness for even ½ of, Cutain call still managed to retain my interest for much of the back half of the year. Great arrangements of classic songs, a versus mode that was fun in single player, and a somewhat hamfisted attempt at nostalgia overload can do that sometimes. Just don’t expect me to rush out and purchase Final Fantasy XV day 1, SE.


6. Tomodachi Life; Last year, Papers, Please took the top spot on my list because aside from being a wonderfully unique experience it was the only game I could get my non-gamer friends and my sister to play. This year, Tomodachi Life fills a similar spot, aside from being a quaint, fun, and weird experience it also became the only game I could get my sister to play. She’d ask to have a turn “with the Miis” on almost a nightly basis. We faithfully created friends and family and watched them get into all sorts of weird adventures. And really, who needs more than that to have fun.


7. South Park: The Stick of Truth; At various points in my life, I’ve considered myself both into and over South Park. What the game does right is take a lot of the best parts of the show, wrapped it up into a mega sized episode, and lets you explore the town. On the RPG side, Obsidian created a cute Paper Mario-esque battle system. And while the game was a tad on the easy side, it still held it’s own against the rest of this year’s line up.

8. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; At least one FPS sneaks it’s way onto the list, and this year it was Wolfenstein. Like many others, I overlooked this upon initial release, especially considering I wasn’t overly enamoured with the last few Wolf games. But when I did get around to playing it after reading recommendations from Neogaf I was blown away by it’s presentation, enjoyable atmosphere, and enjoyable gunplay -- in my opinion the best since RAGE. You can’t convince me though, that the story was good in any way, Neogaf, sorry. Nazi’s on the moon immediately discredits your rebuttal in my mind. That’s ok though -- I don’t need a good story with my gameplay, as long as the gameplay is this friggin’ good.

9. The Wolf Among Us; Out of the 2 major TTG releases I played this year I have to say I enjoyed TWAU way more than TWD Season 2. That’s not to say TWD2 was bad, but the TWAU was a lot fresher. What the TWAU did was create a game where the characters were believable in a way that the TWD2 did not achieve for me. I’m interested to see if they will continue TWAU or if they will retire this one.

10. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze; Local Co-op game number 2, we played DK:TF right after 3D-World. It was enjoyable, but it also super difficult, and occupied a couple of months of gaming time. My sincere wish is to come back to it, get all the puzzle pieces and unlock all the levels one day. We will see if there’s time.

x. Dark Souls 2; I was really late to the party with DS1, and I was determined not to be so late to the DS2 party. And I have to say, that while DS2 doesn’t quite recapture the joy of exploration that DS1 did -- it does do the original justice in other ways, namely in satisfying, tense combat and in frightening bosses and and PvP invasions.

x. Mario Kart 8; I have to admit, I’m probably not the biggest fan of Mario Kart, even though I end up buying every one on release day. But MK8 still deserves an honorable mention because the visuals are absolutely fantastic, and the courses are a blast to play -- even if I can only stomach them a couple of times.

x. Super Smash Brothers for Wii U; Ditto on SSB what I’ve said for MK8 -- I always buy them shortly after release and I’m reminded as how I’m probably not the best judge of them overall. That being said, SSBU has a tremendous amount of wonderful fanservice, and I’m glad to have bought it, even if only to experience it briefly. And between the 2 games (MK8 and SSB) Nintendo finally seems to understand the appeal of online play, so I’m hopeful that we’ll see more of that soon.

Edit: WIP, hope to update more before the deadline.
 

LinkMaster111

Member
Feb 15, 2013
168
0
370
1. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
2. Mario Kart 8
3. Bayonetta 2
4. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS
5. Shovel Knight
6. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
7. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
8. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
9. Infamous: Second Son
10. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
 

Crayolan

Member
Sep 30, 2013
15,304
0
0
1. Mario Kart 8; Nintendo has perfected the formula they created in MK Wii, and combined it with the best visuals on the Wii U, the best music the Mario Kart series has ever seen, and one of the best course lineups ever. The game isn't perfect, missing a few things I'd expect from any MK (like a proper battle mode), but it's still the best Mario Kart in a long time, and it's hard to imagine how they'll go up from here.

2. Super Smash Bros for Wii U; The most content-packed smash bros game yet with another all-star cast all with very fresh and creative playstyles.

Honorable Mentions:
x. Pokemon Omega Ruby; After the problems with XY, I was worried GF would neglect the main game again for nothing but metagame updates, but they didn't. It's clear they put all their love and care into beautifully recreating Hoenn and even updating areas people took issue with. Though for some people it wasn't enough, I personally loved seeing the changes to the water routes like surfing ace trainers, divers underwater, and lower encounter rates on the sea. And the absolute best part of the game was post-Groudon, when you could receive your national dex early and go exploring, followed by the best E4 ever, which was, for the first time in gen 6, actually difficult. Bravo.

However, the lack of anything from Emerald in this game is inexcusable. No updated gym leader team lineups and no battle frontier hurt the most. The former would have done a good job of helping to address the easy difficulty early in the game and the latter was the thing I was most excited for in this remake period. IMO leaving out the Battle Frontier is the equivalent of leaving out Kanto in HGSS, and the reason I can't put this on my actual GOTY list despite having played so few this year.
 

brandonh83

Banned
Jun 26, 2005
69,633
1
0
37
Having such a difficult time deciding on my #1. I also wish I could have played more games this year. I started Sunset Overdrive yesterday and find it incredible so I had to at least add it to my list somewhere. Ideally I would like to finish a game before considering it, but I feel very good about it so I had to make that revision. There are games like Alien and Evil Within that I feel might make my list, but I haven't played them beyond just an hour or two.
 

Struct09

Member
Oct 9, 2006
14,355
0
0
1. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor ; Hands down the most fun I had playing any game this year. The Nemesis System brings something that is not only fresh and new, but also something that has been very well executed. Never have I had such a strong reaction to taking out an NPC than I did when I finally killed that damn orc that got really powerful from killing me over and over. The combat system may have been shamelessly borrowed from the Arkham series, but it fits so well with the game that I don't mind at all. This game became my first platinum trophy and I had a blast the whole time.

2. Far Cry 4 ; FC3 was near the top of my list in 2012. Far Cry 4 provides all the open-world greatness that its predecessor did and improves upon the formula in every meaningful way. Kyrat is a joy to explore, the guns are better than ever (nod to the side-handed grenade launcher), and the characters are actually interesting this time. The game also has an "alternate ending" that I didn't know about until after I finished the main story line, but its existence makes me appreciate the game that much more.

3. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; I've been a fan of South Park since the early days, and that's probably one of the reasons this game resonates with me so well. It does fan service better than any game I've played before, and is overall a really enjoyable game to play. The last time I laughed at a game this much was when Conker's Bad Fur Day came out.

4. Dark Souls 2 ; I completed Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, and honestly didn't really enjoy either of them. So along comes Dark Souls 2 and against my better judgement (and pressure from some friends) I decide to give it a try. I worried that I'd have the same reaction, but I actually ended up enjoying myself this time. Perhaps it was because I have become so comfortable with these games and how they play (and thus was able to enjoy exploring the world), but I believe it mostly has to do with how well the online works this time around (on PC). I'm ready for Bloodborne.

5. Bayonetta 2 ; The game is a wild and crazy ride from start to finish and the combat system is among the best of the genre. An improvement on its predecessor in every way, which is saying a lot.

6. Super Smash Bros for Wii U ; Easily my favorite Smash Bros. game. It plays amazingly well, is packed full of modes and content, and is stunningly gorgeous to boot. 8-player Smash is much more fun that I even expected it to be.

7. TowerFall Ascension ; The game I played most with my friends over the last year. The mechanics are simple, it never get old, and it's accessible enough that new comers are able to hold their own. I will be playing this game for a long time to come.

8. Titanfall ; The most fun I've had in a competitive online FPS in recent memory. Every match is frantic and exciting, even if I'm getting my ass kicked. I can't wait to see where the franchise goes.

9. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls ; The best re-invention of a game that I can remember. I had a lot of fun with Diablo III when it first launched, but there is no denying that it is a completely different game after its expansion. The new act and end-game content provide a fresh experience to an already awesome game.

10. Sunset Overdrive ; This game is such a joy to play. It's hilarious, gorgeous, hectic, fun to traverse, and oozes personality. I found myself really excited to unlock new side missions to play, especially in the back-half of the game. This is easily my favorite game from Insomniac, and I really hope we see more.

x. Assassin's Creed Unity ; There is no excusing the problems people had with this game had when it launched. However, I made it through the game without any glaring technical issues and really enjoyed my time with it. I really enjoy the sandbox-like assassination missions, and I really feel that the mission design is much improved over previous games in the series. The game is also stunningly beautiful, the detailed interiors really contribute to how much I enjoy the game overall.

x. Shovel Knight ; A fantastic callback to games like Mega Man 2 that managed to have its own unique identity.

x. Dragon Age Inquisition ; While I prefer the sci-fi setting of the Mass Effect series, I can still respect BioWare's style in any game. I overall enjoyed my time with DAI, but found myself getting burnt out around the 30 hour mark.

x. Mario Kart 8 ; Truly a fantastic cart racing game. The only thing holding it back for me is the disappointing battle mode.
 

NoMoreTrolls

Member
Jul 25, 2013
4,626
0
385
Texas, for now
1. Dark Souls II ; While ultimately not as good as Dark Souls I, this remains my game of the year. I have put hundreds of hours into the game, killing countless innocent bell tower invaders and rat guild d-bags, and even through all of the Havelins and insane hex wizards, this game is a total blast. I double dipped on this one for PS3 and then PC, and I may even triple dip on PS4 (PC hackers kind of ruin the fun).
2. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; DA:I rates #2 on my list because it's by far my favorite DA game so far. Wholly recovering from the crap-fest that was DA2, DA:I starts with a bang and only gets better from there. Despite the shallow romance system, many gameplay elements are the best they've been. The addition of limited potions makes dragon battles feel really intense on the harder modes. Some balancing issues and myriad glitches aside, this came in at an extremely close second.
3. Destiny ; Ah, Destiny. This incredibly polarizing game comes in at my #3. In terms of time spent on it, I'm sure it's number 1 for me this year, but some of the game's flaws keep it from the top of my list. Addictive as hell, but often frustrating in its stingy parceling of rewards. I haven't played it since DA:I came out, and likely won't until the next expansion, but while it lasted it was an excellent way for me and my buddies to kill a few hours a day. I'm hopeful for the sequel, so long as Bungie takes even a modicum of the feedback into account.
4. The Last of Us: Remastered ; It feels strange to be putting a remaster in my top 10, but here we are. This rates my top 10 not only because TLoU is one of the best games I've ever (re)completed, but because this was my first foray into the game's surprisingly excellent multiplayer. Seriously, the multiplayer mode in this game is far and away the best third person multiplayer I've ever played. The tense battles for survival with limited ammo and resources are something I have never experienced in a multiplayer setting before, and it allows the gameplay mechanics to truly shine. Also, dat BOW doe.
5. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition ; This rates my top 5 because of just how well the D3 formula translated to controller. I work at a desk 9+ hours a day, and even with an ergonomic mouse I would get mad carpal tunnel tinglies if I played D3 for too long on the PC. This release is a godsend, and the supposed patch support only sweetens the deal further. Vanilla D3 was no great shakes, but the Reaper of Souls expansion and the subsequent patches the game has received have made it an excellent experience.
6. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; When this was first announced, I was pretty ho-hum about it. Wolfenstein was really before my time, so I had zero attachment to the series. After watching some previews, I decided to give the game a shot--and I'm incredibly glad I did. This has to be my favorite shooter campaign in years! A surprisingly emotional plot coupled with wholesale, batshit-crazy slaughter makes for one of the best games I've played in multiple years, let alone 2014. I played it through 2 times and nearly platinumed it.
7. Sunset Overdrive ; At first blush, Sunset Overdrive seems like a game that is trying too hard. Despite that first impression, I decided to try it out. Within two hours the game had won me over. It's pure Insomniac crazyness with a large open world and great traversal system. The humor grew on me, and once I learned the ins and outs of the game's overdrives, I was thoroughly hooked. This is far and away my favorite open-world experience of 2014, though the collectibles were perhaps too numerous (but the traversal made them still fun to get). Fun boss fights, a great soundtrack, and good self-referential humor carry this game to the top of the current list of Xbox One exclusives. Everyone should play this game if they have the chance.
8. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; This is almost an obligatory mention, but I have had a ton of fun with Super Smash on the Wii U. My roommates and I get drunk and play 8-player Smash against each other and our Amiibos. Great stuff. Classic mode sucks, though, and the lack of target smashing and other features from previous entries is disappointing.
9. Infamous: Second Son ; While Second Son doesn't boast the most interesting side quests or a high mission density, it has by far the best presentation of any of the games on my list. The story was gripping, and the characters were well developed. Also, the powers (with the exception of Concrete) were an absolute blast. This entry has the most power variety of any Infamous, which more than makes up for the disappointing lack of side mission variety. The soundtrack was excellent, as was the setting itself. It was a little shorter than I expected, but it still ranks as the best next-gen PS4 exclusive I've played to date.
10. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare ; Spotty netcode aside, this entry has the best campaign since CoD:MW. The addition of the power suit breathes new life into an otherwise stagnating series. The multiplayer maps were also much improved over the subpar CoD:Ghosts, and even though not all has been remedied in this entry, it's the best Call of Duty since Black Ops. I can only hope that next year's entry is at least as good, and that the netcode for this one improves a bit more.

Honorable Mentions
x. Rogue Legacy ; This game absolutely devoured my time on PC, and has done the same since its release on the PS4. It makes an excellent distraction while I'm on my stationary bike.
x. Hyrule Warriors ; It's Dynasty Warriors with a Zelda twist. Nothing more needs be said for Musou fans.
x. Far Cry 4 ; The Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood of Far Cry. Takes FC3 and makes just about everything a bit better. Not GOTY material, but still damn good.
x. P.T. ; The scariest thing I played all year, and I played Outlast this year. A successful experiment from Kojima. Here's to hoping that some of the gameplay concepts in the teaser make it into Silent Hills when it arrives.
 

Neiteio

Member
Nov 10, 2007
54,439
4
0
Having such a difficult time deciding on my #1. I also wish I could have played more games this year. I started Sunset Overdrive yesterday and find it incredible so I had to at least add it to my list somewhere. Ideally I would like to finish a game before considering it, but I feel very good about it so I had to make that revision. There are games like Alien and Evil Within that I feel might make my list, but I haven't played them beyond just an hour or two.
Oh man, keep playing both of those games. Alien is fantastic, and TEW is my Game of the Year (see previous page).
 
1. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; Without a doubt, there is no other game released in 2014 (or in the past several years, for that matter) that has nearly the same amount of high quality content as Smash Bros on the Wii U. Even though some will deride its quality due to its defensive style versus the much faster Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the perfect game on a console most dedicated to sharing fun experiences with others. Playing Smash with friends and family has never been better.
2. Bayonetta 2 ; It could be the pinnacle of character action games. New gameplay mechanics add to the excellent basics that already exist, including intricate combos that are technically and visually stunning. The same strong and sexy charm that Bayonetta is known for shines through once again in a sequel. Glad to see Nintendo save the series.
3. Dark Souls II ; The problem with Dark Souls II is that it’s not as great as the original Dark Souls. If it were, it would be way and above the others as Game of the Year. That said, the lore, the grueling action-RPG tactics, the gothic medieval tone and its punishing antics make Dark Souls II inherently greater than so many games that came out this year. I spent 100+ hours of fantastic, bone-chilling play across several characters this past year, learning more and more about the mythical and mysterious lore of the game and its history with each new character explored.
4. Mario Kart 8 ; Mario Kart 8 offers brand new tracks while reimagining classic ones. I may not like what they have done with Rainbow Road (not nearly long enough!), but the way the game handles AI rubberbanding has been vastly improved. Racing through 32 tracks at launch (with an additional 16 coming through affordable DLC) is a delight, and adds depth to a racer with an impeccable cast of characters.
5. Shovel Knight ; That soundtrack. That platforming. Those bosses. THE BAZ! Everything about Shovel Knight as a game is created to form a love letter to classic NES games of years past. It’s the sum of its greatest nods to gameplay; path-branching overworld like Super Mario Bros, memorable collection of bosses like Mega Man, secondary attacks of Castlevania, the brutal difficulty of Dark Souls, the town exploration of Zelda II and the pogo-like action of Ducktales. Instead of being a cheap ripoff of its inspirations, Shovel Knight molds them together to create something new.
6. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; A simple concept; make a South Park episode, thrown in turn-based RPG combat with participating make-believe participants and adults/aliens alike and lay down the framework for the entirety of South Park, CO. What you get is the humor and sharp wit of the Comedy Central program, the RPG sensibilities of Squaresoft and an Earthbound-like hub town. Can’t get any better than that!
7. D4 ; From the brilliant mind that brought you cult classic Deadly Premonition, Swery65’s newest adventure game D4 sees a private investigator from Boston, David Young, on a frantic search for “D”, the acronym of the person who murdered his wife. He collects clues by travelling backwards in time through important investigative figures’ mementos left behind from scenes of the crime. Help arrives in the form of a food fanatic Forrest Kaysen, and the half cat, half lady-enigma Amanda. It’s so decidedly unique, unheard of and downright silly to the point of absolute admiration.
8. The Evil Within ; Shinji Mikami directed Resident Evil 4, twice. Once in 2005 and a second time as The Evil Within. With that out of the way, The Evil Within is still a great game, in its own right. No story quite had me second guessing myself this year like The Evil Within, which is quite a feat for a survival horror game. Combat-wise, the weapon selection breathed new life into the traditional arsenal, with a crossbow that felt important in a game for the first time in a long time. More importantly, the character and monster designs felt truly horrific, helping to subvert protag Sebastian’s altered state as well as the storyline did. It’s a shame, though, that it was published by current-day Bethesda, because boy was it ever a buggy mess.
9. This War of Mine ; The game is a 2.5D on-the-fly, tactical-action-management game that see you control a party of survivors as they brace themselves for 40+ days of trying to stay alive. Medicine, food, components to improve your shelter (and weapons to defend it) are all crucial aspects of this cruel life, but the moral barometer of what you rely on is up to you. It’s that simplicity of player agency that makes it so special. Whether it be the simple, yet effective message that “War is Hell” personified, or the needs vs. risks vs. rewards management of survival materials or the strict enforcement of permanent death and the coping as a party, I’m buying what 11 Bit Studios has been selling.
10. The Wolf Among Us ; Some of Telltale’s best voice acting work (pre-Game of Thrones) is at home in The Wolf Among Us, sporting a cast of story tale fictional characters that take on unique personalities within the “Fables” world. Combine that with excellent pacing, storytelling and ongoing reliance on choice and you have an excellent followup from the independent studio that brought you 2012’s Game of the Year.


x . Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor ; It’s like if Ubisoft were given the rights to the Lord of the Rings series and released their fourth title with Shadow of Mordor. It’s that good! Combat is intuitive, the action-RPG elements of gameplay are sensible and it beats the hell out of a lot of other Tolkien game entries. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted in order to finish the game, and it would be a disservice to include it in the Top 10 and not even get halfway through.
x. Nidhogg ; When strictly talking about gameplay, there’s nothing so beautiful and concise (that was released in 2014) as the multiplayer combat in Nidhogg. Its pixelated NES-like art style provided an intriguing aesthetic that complemented the rock-paper-scissors-on-the-fly combat of this Indie fencing title. Unfortunately, my experience with the game came on the PC, with a spotty netcode that impacted online play. Plus, with only one controller on the PC, offline co-op proves difficult. Being ported to the PS4, it’s a lot easier to enjoy tournament play that the game richly deserves, but I cannot honestly attest to that just yet.
x. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ; A worthy precursor to the open world stealth action of The Phantom Pain, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a neat little starter set of objective-based gameplay. All the Kojima trademarks are there, including neat tricks like shooting out an enemy’s flashlight to catch them off guard, and the side missions will extend the shelf life of the product.
 

akGCO47

Banned
Jul 30, 2013
113
0
0
1. The Last of Us: Remastered
2. Wolfenstein: The New Order
3. Infamous: Second Son
4. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
5. Destiny
6. Alien: Isolation
7. Far Cry 4
8. LittleBigPlanet 3
9. DriveClub
10. Velocity 2X
 

Joeku

Member
Sep 15, 2009
5,733
0
0
1. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; It's not very often any more that FPS campaigns can be so full of life. This is the best-written, performed, designed, and executed ones I've played in years.
2. Shovel Knight ; It's proof that holding yourself to pretty rigorous standards rather than vague "ehh, 8-bit-ish" will produce better results. So tight.
3. The Last of Us: Remastered ; Between Left Behind (the best three hours of game this year), single multiplayer pools, and everything at 60fps...joelbanderas.gif
4. Bayonetta 2 ; Vast improvement on what was already the best character action game of the last generation. The only step down in the game is that Bayonetta feels a little less strong of a character. Still bliss, though.
5. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; NEMESYSTEM
6. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ; Super cute and clever.
7. Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea - Episode 2 ; Basically an interactive apology and make good on almost all of the problems I had with Infinite. Fantastic.
8. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag: Freedom Cry ; Too few games really make some the darkest stuff in history mechanically relevant rather than just a setting. Freedom Cry definitely does. Also, packing the AC formula into a 6-10 hour thing rather than a 30-40 makes it way more tolerable. Only one since AC1 I think I did literally everything in.
9. Monument Valley ; Sharp-looking, smartly put together little Escherian piece of game. Brief but so good.
10. Infamous: Second Son ; My first "Woo, next-gen!" experience. Pretty and occasionally dense and destructive. Some of the most realistic facial work I've seen too.

x. Sniper Elite III ; I don't like how good slow-mo x-ray exploding skulls make me feel.
x. Valiant Hearts ; Talk about walking a fine line of subject matter and art style.
x. Alien Isolation ; This kind of game at this budget shouldn't exist, and some of the AAA needs seem to take away from it (length, mostly).
x. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; It's ridiculous how perfectly South Park-ian it all is.
 

codswallop

Member
Aug 10, 2004
7,336
0
0
1. Wasteland 2 ;
2. Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut ;
3. The Wolf Among Us ; (does this count? first episode was released 2013 but the bulk was in 2014)
4. Broken Age act 1 ;
5. Monument Valley ;
6. 80 Days ;
7. Hitman Go ;
 

01DragonFly

Member
Jan 28, 2007
1,230
0
990
Delaware
1.Titanfall ;
2. Sunset Overdrive ;
3.Bayonetta 2 ;
4.Super Smash Bros for WiiU ;
5.Mario Kart 8 ;
6. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ;
7. Forza Horizon 2 ;
8.Capitan Toad ;
9. Hyrule Warriors ;
10. Shovel Knight ;
 

Santiako

Member
Jul 24, 2009
18,365
4
0
steamcommunity.com
I was going to do a big elaborate thing, but I don't have the time nor energy to do so :p

1. Divinity: Original Sin ; Best RPG in over a decade, instant classic.
2. Dark Souls 2 ; Not as good as Dark Souls, but then what is?
3. Might and Magic X ; Unbelievable that this game got made in 2014, amazing.
4. Valkyria Chronicles ; Fantastic game, played it for the first time this year and left me craving for more.
5. Dragon Age Inquisition ; It has flaws, like being too easy or too mmorpgy, but overall I loved it.
6. Destiny ; Shooting is amazing, graphics are amazing, the grind not so much.
7. Hexcells Plus ; Can easily go toe to toe with Picross for best brainy puzzle.
8. Shovel Knight ; A bit too easy, but still a great game and probably the best style of fake retro game.
9. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS ; I don't have a WiiU, so this one does the trick :p
10. The Wolf Among Us ; Telltale getting better at their own game, better than the Walking Dead games for sure.


I still have to play Grimrock 2, Dragonfall, Xulima, Wasteland 2, South Park, and many more. 2014's rpgs will keep me busy for years.
 

NavyPharaoh

Member
Jul 4, 2013
2,162
0
0
Overall this has been the hardest year to pick #1, but the easiest year to form a top 10. I'm out on Nintendo so no Nintendo games made my top 10. But I know Bayonetta wouldve been in my top 10 the way I loved the first. But anyway here we go.

1. Middle Earth: shadow of Mordor
This was my most anticipated game of the year behind destiny & ironically it was one of the few games to deliver this fall. The nemesis system was beyond anything I've ever encountered in a video game and it was the first game to make me use my share button daily

2. Sunset overdrive
being an insomniac fan, this was the reason I got an xbox & it didn't disappoint. It took the things I loved from their past titles like the odd weapons & leveling through use to create something that feels it was made just for me. The only thing stopping it from being número uno is the missions aren't any good. There was nothing pulling me towards the finish.

3. Transistor
So polished, so unique. It boasts one of the best soundtracks of all time, in a cyberpunk universe with one of the most customizable RPG combat systems ever made. I loved every moment I spent with this game.

4. Wolfenstein: The New Order
I bought it when it first released & sold it a few weeks later. I just wasn't feeling it. But everything about the game should've clicked with me. Anyway over Black Friday I picked it up again and it's clicking now. The story and scenarios the game puts u in really gels minus a few scenes that make no sense.

5. Dragon age: Inquistion
a game so grand & ambitious you have to overlook it's minor flaws. Not to mention all the fan service in this game. For fans of the series I find it more than makes up for the title we won't name here.

6. Infamous: Second Son
Light on the missions heavy on the fun. Love the originality of the powers. Not the best game in the series though.

7. Hearthstone
I spent most of my summer playing a CCG & I never dug CCGs. I prolly would've played it longer if i didn't hit a wall where my cards just couldn't match my comp. loved it while it lasted.

8. Left behind DLC
The best SP DLC ever made

9. Strider
i didn't think strider would be as good as it was. By no means revolutionary, but like shadow complex, it's a metroidvania that is polished. Loved it

10. Child of Light
Beautiful world & music highlight a unique WESTERN turn based Rpg. But it's kind on you even if u dislike RPGs.
 

Emerson

May contain jokes =>
Aug 21, 2006
10,445
12
1,305
USA
www.neogaf.com
What an all-around interesting year it's been. There's been quite a bit of sentiment out there that this was a weak year for gaming. Maybe it wasn't the strongest ever, but in the process of writing this list I was struck by how much I loved every single game on it. I had a ton of fun with video games this year, and I can't wait to see what's in store for next year.

As always a huge thanks to everyone involved in this process, I can only imagine it's an awful lot of work but I always really enjoy it, I look forward to it every year.

Here are my Top 10 games of 2014, with three honorable mentions. There will be spoilers.


1. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; Did anyone even think this game would be released? The game had no hope of being good anyway (licensed games are almost always bad, South Park games are almost always bad), and the game was finishing development and being delayed multiple times as its original publisher (THQ) completely folded. The game made it out, and was incredible. They completely kept their promise of making the entire thing feel like an episode of the show, and the cutscenes are indistinguishable. The RPG gameplay itself was simple but still fun, and most importantly the game was genuinely funny, and truly hilarious in a few places. I completed every single thing I possibly could in this game, and still wanted more. South Park is my game of the year for giving me the most fun and the most laughs of any game for a long time, despite numerous obstacles to its very release.


2. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor ; I remember really clearly seeing my first footage of this game. "Oh, it's Assassin's Creed in Middle earth. I don't even like Assassin's Creed anymore." Done, sorted. And that's actually true, but it turns out the game is so much more. It takes a serviceable storyline (more than you might say of many AC games, to be fair), in an interesting and graphically-stunning world, with fun combat, and wraps it all in the Nemesis System, one of the most innovative concepts in years. The game's generic enemies become not so generic when one of them manages to kill you. These Orc higherups may be essentially random, but each looks like he was hand-designed. They fight amongst themselves, they die, they get promoted. When you run into one of them, it's damn exciting thanks to a cinematic clash in which the Orc threatens you or recalls what happens the last time you met. And it feels organic nearly every time. You truly do develop nemeses, orcs who seem to get the drop on you every time, and when you finally take him down, boy is it satisfying. Shadow of Mordor took some old concepts, one fantastic new one, and surprised the entire industry. Can't ask much more from a game than that.


3. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft ; A late entry to this list, I started playing it seriously only in the last week or two. I played it early on in Beta and didn't get much out of it. Since then the core game has become much stronger and much deeper. The art and presentation is super slick, the Arena mode is devilishly addictive, and the card pool is quite large, varied, and actually pretty well balanced. And of course there's booster packs, the little bag of joy so familiar to kids of the 90s who spent their youth pestering their parents for another fix of Magic/Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh from the card store. Hearthstone presents that most central concept in a great way which just makes me want to open another, and another. Oh God, what have I gotten myself into?


4. Dark Souls 2 ; I didn't play Demon's Souls or Dark Souls. What I saw of them struck me as intentionally esoteric, almost pretentious in its efforts to make a hardcore gaming experience. I don't really know what possessed me to buy this one at launch, but there were rumblings that it maintained the difficulty while making things accessible which should be accessible. It grabbed me immediately, and I loved it through and through. The atmosphere and world were fascinating, the combat quite challenging at times, and there is more depth to your character choices then I could know what to do with. And now, having been introduced to the series, I've been able to go back and play Dark Souls and appreciate that game.


5. Far Cry 4 ; It's Far Cry 3 again, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Far Cry 3 of course was a great game, so I don't have a problem with more of it. They managed to craft a villain who can fit in alongside Vaas, and (though I haven't quite finished the campaign) seem to do better by the character than they did in the last game. The emergent fun is as great as ever, possibly better with rampaging rhinos and elephants, and the game looks phenomenal. I hope in a few years we aren't talking about Far Cry 5 as "more Far Cry," but for this one, I had enough fun to let it slide.


6. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; Wolfenstein 3D was a pretty important game in its time, and one I really enjoyed in my childhood. But pretty much every entry in the series since has been terrible. I would never have given this game a second thought, and yet after release the word started to spread that this one was actually good. And it is. The gameplay is solid, crazy fun. Running down a hallway, dual-wielding assault rifles and mowing down Nazis is about as much fun as you can have. And yet stealth is a truly viable option, and nearly as satisfying to pull off. I also really appreciated that there was no multiplayer component. It seems that most shooters these days will add a mediocre, unnecessary multiplayer mode. I love that the devs were confident enough to let the single player stand on its own. But most important (and most suprising) is the story, which is genuinely good. We may not be talking great literature, but they took a character as ridiculous as B.J. Blazkowicz, maintained his absurd physical persona, and made him an actual character worth caring about. What more could you ask?


7. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare ; Even as I'm writing this list I'm struck by the near-absurdity of the fact that a Call of Duty game has found its way onto my list. Like many I used to be pretty into these games, but none of them has clicked for me since the original Black Ops, and I didn't play Ghosts at all. I had no expectation that this game would be any good, but it's actually great. The campaign is the most interesting in a long time, and the multiplayer is as good as it's ever been, with some new twists thrown in primarily related to player mobility. I miss a few of the game modes from yesteryear (One in the Chamber, Sticks and Stones), but overall I've had a ton of fun with this entry. I'm somewhat skeptical that the next release will match it, but I'll at least be watching, which is more than I would have said for this one.


8. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; I can't think of many, if any, games where my opinion has swung so drastically as it has with this game. When I started, I adored it. Couldn't wait to drop 100 hours in it, complete every stupid little thing. As time went on, the luster wore off and I've fallen a little bit out of love with Dragon Age: Inquisition. There's lots of impressive things about it, including the graphics and overall presentation, some of the characters and quests, and obviously the sheer scope. Not to mention the fact that the game is any good at all in the first place, considering how much I hated Dragon Age 2. There's just a bit too much filler, and too many fetch quests. When I starte this game I thought it would easily make my Top , and yet I haven't even finished it and my momentum has sort of fizzled out. There's no denying it's a great game, but it could have been even more.


9. The Wolf Among Us ; I don't read comic books, so I had no frame of reference for this game other than that I loved The Walking Dead. The first episode hit hard, and I was left thinking this might be another home run for Telltale. Most of the rest of the season didn't quite match that, although some of it did, so we were left with an interesting tale, bogged down by a bit of filler, in a visually and stylistically-striking world. Some of the twists were darker and more interesting than I expected, and the world as a whole interested me enough to try out the comics. If Telltale ever does another of this series I'll be straight on board.


10. The Sims 4 ; Nearly every mainstream mention of this game since release has been negative and it pains me, because this game is actually really great. Pre-release expectations were nonexistent, and that applies to me as well. It seemed like another SimCity, another case of EA over-simplifying and cutting content. But then the game came out, and those who actually played it started to realize it's an excellent Sims game. It's true that it was a bit light on content. But Maxis responded in a fantastic way, with three consecutive free monthly updates adding ghosts, pools, and more careers (some of the most-requested cut features). Meanwhile the core gameplay remains great, unlike most of EA's recent efforts it was streamlined in smart ways and complexity was added in other areas. The game's been out for months and they're only just starting to discuss their first piece of paid content. It may not dominate my playtime, but The Sims 4 is a game I'll keep playing for a long time to come.


x. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney ; I'm a huge Ace Attorney fan (at least of the earlier games) but the Layton series has never struck a chord for me. I don't generally enjoy a lot of puzzles in my games, so it makes sense. Yet I was still eager to try out this crossover. It was everything I hoped for and more. The setting was fascinating, the story was admittedly wildly contrived and yet just good dumb fun. Layton fit into the Attorney frame really well, and some of his moments participating in the trials really were memorable. The trials themselves are better than the Attorney series's worst but fall short of its best. Certainly not the best game of the year, but one of the ones which engaged me the most throughout.


x. The Walking Dead: Season Two ; I absolutely loved the first season, and it was my Game of the Year that year. I think anyone would be hard pressed to say that this season lived up to that. But I think it's better than a lot of people give it credit for. The game got a nice graphical bump which was needed. It's true that there's some filler in this story, but it also had some extremely memorable moments, most noticeably Kenny's return and Carver's death. My personal biggest criticism of the game is that among the multiple endings (which are way more different than Telltale usually allows), one is in my opinion far superior as an ending. Kenny's redemption ending was moving and made up for a lot of his prior arc. The other endings didn't come close to living up in my mind. I worry about what Season 3 will be, but I enjoyed this one and I'll be there for the next.


x. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter ; I could certainly understand someone who criticized this game for being just another in the trend of graphically-impressive walking simulators. It certainly is that, and double down on the graphics part. Ethan Carter may well be the best looking game I've yet seen. But the story also struck me. It's a simple story but I found it quite effective. I found the puzzles interesting as well, which is rare. You can certainly argue the value question for a game like this but personally that issue doesn't concern me. In all this was a short, one-time experience which I'll remember fondly, even if I never return to it.
 
Apr 18, 2010
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1. Bayonetta 2 ; Pure, uncut thumb candy. As soon as I finished it the first time, I started again from the beginning. Once I finished it a second time, I immediately played through it a third time, this time with giant chainsaws on my hands dressed as Fox McCloud. How could anything else be on the top of my list?
2. Mario Kart 8 ; Stunning visuals full of life and color. A strong selection of tracks from start to finish. Snappy, fun music. Impeccable handling. The definition of polish. Amazing DLC.
3. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ; A master class in design and creativity, taking a simple concept and expanding it to a package made of pure joy.
4. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; Possibly the pinnacle of 2D platformers. Lush visuals, each world and each level have their own personality. Love that the actual platforms are rooted somewhere in the background. Soundtrack of the year. Grassland Groove.
5. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; More characters, more stages, more modes. All at an amazing 1080p/60fps. Have not even ventured online that much because of Classic Mode and the Events. Endless hours will be spent settling it in Smash.
6. Hyrule Warriors ; Came for the Zelda fan service, stayed for the surprisingly fun gameplay. Letting me play as some of my favorite Zelda characters would probably have been enough to get on my list regardless but I really enjoyed destroying thousands of enemies.
7. Shovel Knight ; Retro-inspired indie titles aren’t exactly hard to come by but Shovel Knight managed to transcend that trend by actually feeling like a long-lost NES game. Unique levels, spot-on controls, and fun music.
8. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition ; As addictive as I feared it would be, gotta get that loot. Tremendous visuals & presentation and engaging minute-to-minute combat.
9. Child of Light ; Absolutely gorgeous visuals and music. I usually hear ‘battle system’ and run in the opposite direction but the strategy of this system with timing interruptions and slowing down enemies was a pleasant surprise. Rhyming needs to go, though.

x. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ; Accomplished it's goal of getting me hyped for The Phantom Pain
x. P.T. ; Terrifying
x. Assassin's Creed Unity ; Still enjoy the setting. Murder mysteries were cool.
x. The Wolf Among Us ; Cool style and characters

The Wii U had an amazing selection of games in 2014 for me.
 

tav7623

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Feb 15, 2013
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Most of the games I've played in the past year were older titles, but of the games I did play that were released in 2014 these were my favorites.

1. Bayonetta 2; Earlier this year I finally got to play Bayonetta 2 (I actually finished the game 4 days ago) and all in all I really enjoyed playing this game, more so than the original game. It imo improves upon everything I liked from the first game while shedding most of the stuff I hated.

2. 1001 Spikes; I know this is an unconventional spot for a game like 1001 Spikes, but I really really enjoyed this (imo) overlooked game and I relished in the challenge that this retro style 2D sidescroller/platformer provided. I enjoyed playing this game so much that I felt it was better in almost every aspect (except for the soundtrack) than another awesome retro style 2D platformer that released earlier this year.

3. Shovel Knight; This year I played a lot of 2D platformers and one of the ones I really enjoyed was Yacht Club Games first game Shovel Knight. This game was fun to play and had a really kick@$$ soundtrack.

4. Mario Kart 8; I wasn't a big fan of the last two Mario Kart games (Mario Kart Wii & Mario Kart 7) so I was a bit surprised to find that I actually liked this latest entry in the series. I especially enjoyed the game's music and anti gravity tracks......though I'm still waiting for them to fix Battle Mode.

5. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze; This was another game I was kind of surprised by as I didn't really care for DKC Returns, but like with Bayonetta 2 I felt that this game was a good improvement over it's predecessor. It also didn't hurt that this game also had one of my favorite game soundtracks of the year.

6. The Evil Within; I'm a big fan of survival horror games, especially the Resident Evil games so of course I was gonna check out former RE director Shinji Mikami's latest survival horror game. While it was far from perfect I still really enjoyed playing this game and appreciated the nods to Resident Evil and Resident Evil 4.

7. Super Smash Bros for 3DS ; I've actually never played a Smash Bros game prior to this year, but I decided to change all that by getting the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. All in all I enjoyed playing this game and can definitely see why it appeals to so many people.

8. Retro City Rampage DX (3DS); I bought this updated version of Retro City Rampage shortly after it's release in Feb 2014 as I had missed out on the original game. After playing through the game I'm kinda kicking myself for not playing it sooner as it is a love letter to one of my favorite eras of gaming and pop culture, it's also a pretty good 2D retro style game.

9. Bravely Default; I'm not a big fan of RPG's so every once and a while I'll pick one to give it a shot. After hearing about this game I decide to give it a go and while I'm still kinda pissed about the mid/late game plot twist I overall enjoyed the game putting well over 35 hrs into it which for someone like me is a bit unusual.

10. Azure Striker Gunvolt; Earlier this year I went on a bit of a Mega Man kick so I decided to check out this new game from Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune and was pleasantly surprised to find that this game was a pretty good 2D sidescroller (similar to the Mega Man games) that also heavily incorporated a score attack system that actively encouraged you to replay levels as well as keep your scoring combos active for as long as possible.


Honorable Mentions
x. MGS V: Ground Zeroes; This game while pretty good was still a glorified demo which is why it is here in the Honorable Mentions section instead of on my main list.

x. Alien Isolation; At the time of this post I have barely scratched this game's surface, but what I have played of the game so far I kinda enjoyed. If I had played a lot more of this game prior to now it more than likely would have made my list.

x. Strider; Like Alien Isolation I haven't really gotten a chance to play a whole lot of this game, but I did enjoy what I have played of it which is why it gets an honorable mention.
 
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