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

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May 9, 2013
This might have been the first year in which I did not play enough newly released games to be able to write a meaningful top 10 in which only the games I put 20+ hours in had to compete for a spot. Being without a gaming pc and PS4/Xbox One did limit my choices to 3DS, PS3/360, Wii U and iOS releases and pushed back many new games to my "to play" list for when I do buy more modern hardware and/or can play more definitive versions. These hardware limitations aside I also found myself reaching the tipping point of spending more time watching gaming related content (let's plays, reviews, quick looks and all sorts of content by AVGN/JonTron/GameGrumps/Two Best Friends/Happy Console Gamer/Maximilian Dood and similar channels) than actually playing games myself, which I admit might be a bit worrying.

Before I get into the actual list. here are some LTTP games I played last year and deem worthy of mentioning: Little Inferno (incredibly unique in its atmosphere, storytelling and actual gameplay - highly recommended), Xenoblade Chronicles (finally was able to play a large part of it and while the side quests are starting to overwhelm me, I do very much like the game overall and have warmed up considerably to the combat system), Diablo 3 (still find the "hold button to attack" combat extremely mindless but I do like the world design). And finally, here are some older games still lingering on my ever growing "to play" list (some for when my PS3 is finally repaired - or a re-release/remaster is announced in some cases): Batman; Arkham City, The Puppeteer, Far Cry 3, Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Fire Emblem Awakening, Phoenix Wright 4 & 5, Ghost Trick, 999, Suikoden 1 & 2, Ghostbusters: The Video Game, ZombiU, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Bastion, Kentucky Route Zero, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Luigi's Mansion 2, Deadly Premonition, The Wonderful 101.

My Top 10 for 2014:

1. Dark Souls II ; My most played game by far this year and the one that broke my PS3. I have to agree with many here that it doesn't reach the high benchmarks set by Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, but to me, even a slightly watered-down and less memorable version of those games was enough to keep me glued to the screen for weeks on end. The DLC in particular deserves mentioning as well - if those new areas demonstrate the rapid growth of this game's "backup/B" design team, we're in for a threat for the next game and for this second game's re-release later this year.

2. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; A suprising entry perhaps going by my critical "I don't get these games" posts from before. I always wanted to like the Smash games more than I actually did, but after playing the game some more with my girlfriend and a few other people, it clicked with me far more than before as just a (diffuse, undirected) single player experience. While some of the action remains too chaotic to me, especially on the busier stages, I do value this game's kitchen sink approach to fighting and its level of adoration for Nintendo's past. The animation is also second to none and a joy to behold on its own. Here's to plenty of DLC to come (Simon Belmont please)!

3. Bayonetta 2 ; If I had played more of this, it might very well have been my no. 2 or even no. 1, but for now I'll place it here. Going by what I did play of it, it seems unparalleled in terms of character action games filled with spectacle and tight control. I can't wait to delve in deeper and see where this roller coaster is going!

4. Shovel Knight ; While I was never as blown away by this game as many others here seemed to be, I did play through it in a few sittings while being completely engrossed by the well designed platform action and while humming along to its fantastic music. What amazes me most about this game is how effortlessly it manages to reach the height of NES action platformer design set by games like Mega Man 2/3 etc. Hopefully we'll see a 16-bit incarnation of this series at some point that will rival the best from that generation.

5. Mario Kart 8 ; My girlfriend's game of the year, and the one I played with her the most. I have to admit that I'm starting to burn out on this series and that this latest installment did not grab me as much as I'd hoped despite the racing and overall track design still being fine. This is mostly because of the lack of a real battle mode and more meaningful single player / offline content (i.e. not just unlocking parts and - for the most part - lazy new characters). The increased focus on online multiplayer and the continued widening of the series' tracks also does not really jell with me. Nevertheless, this eighth game did manage to bring to life Mario's world in a way unseen before and the visual artistry by itself deserves applause. I especially liked the first DLC pack as well and was very excited to see which tracks and content would be included. I foresee this game being the first I will put on when friends visit for years to come.

6. Threes ; What an adorable little bite-sized game this is! While I never play more than a few sessions at a time, I can't deny the fact that for me this game has earned a permanent spot on my iOS devices because of its universal appeal and addictive nature. To this day I remained surprised how much difference presentation and animation can make to turn a somewhat dry numbers sliding puzzle game into something that feels alive and unique. I can't wait to see what developers Sirvo will cook up next.

7. Monument Valley ; I have not played through this completely yet, admittedly, but going by the amount I have played I am very enthusiastic. I really like the art style and serene, otherworldy presenation wrapped around an isometric Escher-like puzzle game. Games like these are what make me hopeful for iOS/Android gaming getting beyond the Bejewleled/Candy Crush/Angry Birds/Flappy Bird/Hay Day/Clash of Clans - and their clones - phase.

8. Jazzpunk ; Finally a game with laugh out loud humor that works because of the game's interactivity and deliberate (visual) design and not despite of these. I have yet to play most of it myself, but from what I've seen of it and heard being brought up during the Giant Bomb GOTY discussions, this game deserves a spot on my list. If there ever was an area left in games in which there is a large potential for growth, it's in humor and this game makes some very important strides for others to follow up on.

9. Alien: Isolation ; My let's play / viewing game of the year. Before you scoff at that and argue that not playing it invalidates it for a spot on my list, allow me to disagree and state that the act of watching others play this game was one of the most entertaining gaming related experiences I had all year as a person usually too cowardly to play horror games himself. The game seems built around emergent storytelling and gameplay, making it ideal for watching and seeing how each player deals with the significant threat posed by the Alien (especially in the early parts). The fact that the visual (world) and audio design are also second to none helps immensily with the viewing experience as well.

10. P.T. ; My second let's play game of the year. This game to me represents a new pinnacle of horror game design where psychological terror and dark atmosphere is combined with unpredictability and (a occasional lack of) control that can only be done in games. This made it a joy to watch multiple times as new players stepped into the hallway from hell unaware of what would await them. The cooperation needed to crack the puzzle and reach the true ending was also something unrivalled in modern gaming except in the Souls games. And what a (free) teaser for Silent Hills it is - let's not forget that!

Honorable Mentions
(Included are 2014 games in random order that I did not play enough of to judge them fully, or that I could not play at all despite my excitement for them due to not having the required hardware or time. Interesting, perhaps, is how this list is longer than my actual top 10...)

x. Ultra Street Fighter IV ; Ah, my old friend SFIV. What shiny new-ish clothes you wear! I have pretty much stopped playing this game in any meaningful way, but I was still very excited for this latest expansion/update and see how the fighting game community would react and adapt. I can't wait to move on to SFV at this point but I'll probably still buy the shinier PS4 update of IV when it releases, if only to keep supporting fighting games as a genre and this franchise as one of my long standing favorites.

x. MGS V: Ground Zeroes ; Seems like a short but good teaser for the full game - which I undoubtedly will like going by my history with this series. I will wait for The Phantom Pain and my purchase of a PS4 before diving into this though.

x. Bravely Default ; Sure ot become a favorite of mine as a long time fan of classic JRPG's. High on my lst of purchases for when I get my hands on a New 3DS (as my classic 3DS is starting to show its age).

x. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; I've only listened to this game's fantastic soundtrack (suck it Jeff!) so far but I have the game ready to play on my shelf right now and can't wait to start playing soon while it's still winter. Part of me does want to play Returns first though, which has been on my LTTP list for some time now.

x. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS ; A definite purchase in the future when my 3DS backlog clears up a bit. Can't resist the bonus(es?) of having both versions now that I've finally warmed up to this series.

x. The Last of Us: Left Behind; I waited with purchasing this when the remastered version was announced and will play through it when I manage to buy that. Sure to be highly enjoyable.

x. Kingdom Rush: Origins; I have not played this third installment much yet because of me still working my way through the other two Kingdom Rush games. I like these games very much though and would recommend them to anyone looking for a more meaty / traditional gaming experience on a tablet.

x. Mario Golf: World Tour ; My gaming related birthday gift of the last year that I unfortunately did not manage to get around to yet. I am convinced however that I'll like it, being quite the fan of Mario Golf on Gamecube.

x. Broken Age: Act I ; Despite immediately falling in love with this game's art style, I resisted playing this until Act 2 came into sight (which is sometime later this year, we now know). I'll play through both then and suspect the full game to be included on my 2015 GOTY list.

x. Bayonetta (Wii U) ; I never played it on PS3 due to the shoddy port but it now stands proudly on my shelf next to Bayonetta 2 awaiting its turn. I'll try to play it soon and will undoubtedly like it as much as its sequel.

x. Transistor ; On my "to play" list going by developer pedigree and soundtrack alone, though I still have to finish Bastion first.

x. FTL: Advanced Edition ; Never played much of the first version but always wanted to get into it more earnestly and this new version might be a good reason to try again.

x. Luftrausers ; Jeff and Vinny pretty much sold me on this game during the GB GOTY discussions and after watching their Quick Look I think I'll like this game a lot. It also doesn't hurt that it's made by my Dutch country men (goed gedaan mannen!).

x. Hyrule Warriors ; I could have been playing this game right now if only my Christmas gift copy had not arrived with a hole in its box as if someone had tried to stab it right through the disc. The result is a returned, unplayed game and an entry on this list of honourable mentions....

x. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; This game will be my first purchase when I manage to snag a PS4 in the near future. I've heard so many good things about it (except for the story, which does bum me out) that I might be disappointed by the end result, but this isn't holding me back from wanting to delve in as soon as I get the chance.

x. Far Cry 4 ; While Far Cry 3 is still on my "to play" list as well, I might jump into this one first after I get my PS4 as most people seem to agree that this is the better, more polished version that builds on that game's template. I'm not the biggest FPS fan, but I suspect the adventuring, searching for collectables and emergent events involving wildlife will keep me entertained.

x. Super Time Force (Ultra) ; I really like this game's aesthetics and I pretty much waited for it('s Ultra version) to come to a console I (will) own before really diving in.

x. Killer Instinct: Season 2 ; While I probably won't own a Xbox One in the near future, I can't deny that this game (and D4) would be the main reason(s) for taking the plunge. I'm getting much enjoyment out of simply watching out for new characters and seeing others play it, so in that sense it already deserves a spot here.

x. D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die ; As with KI, I'll probably not get a chance to play this for myself anytime soon. However, I do support games like this very much and might watch a let's play soon. Seems like the type of wacky but deep experience only Swery can cook up (though I've yet to play Deadly Premonition myself after watching let's plays - which I'll do as soon as my PS3 is fixed).

Here's to a fantastic 2015 for gaming GAF!


Oct 25, 2007
1. Bayonetta 2 ; Incredible combat and amazing boss fights. There's a lot of unlockables and a high replay value.
2. Dark Souls 2 ;
3. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; Excellent story and characters.
4. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; One of the best 2D platformer ever. Worlds 2 and 5 are made of pure joy and the soundtrack is simply fantastic.
5. Mario Kart 8 ;
6. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth ;
7. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; Aside from the disappointing single player modes it's an incredibly fun game.
8. Bravely Default ;
9. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ;
10. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call ;

x. Ace Attorney Investigations 2 ;
x. Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky ;
x. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ;
x. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls ;
x. Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited ;
x. Final Fantasy X HD Remaster ;
x. Hyrule Warriors ;
x. Infamous: Second Son ;
x. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix ;
x. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney ;
x. Soul Sacrifice Delta ;
x. Tales of Xillia 2 ;


Jun 10, 2014
Maryland, USA
1. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc; Not one thing I didn't like about this game, great all around in my opinion. I don't really know much else to say, its a must by for the Vita.

2. Shovel Knight; Love platformers, great soundtrack, great world, great gameplay, great artstyle.

3. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair; The more tedious minigames during the trial made this number 2 for me under the first, still I enjoyed this game as well.

4. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker; From the same people who made Super Mario Galaxy 2, a unique and good Nintendo platformer! I am some what tired of seeing Mario.

5. South Park Stick of Truth; It is like you are actually playing a funny South Park episode, and it also has good gameplay by Obsidian Entertainment. It's a shame they probably won't be doing this again.

6. Child of Light; After a year of Ubisoft making some bad choices and broken releases, this was a nice release by them. A JRPG style game from the west, in a colorful world.

7. Dragon Age: Inquisition; After the disappointment that was DA2, this was great. It almost filled the void that The Witcher 3 didn't fill this year.

8. Bravely Default; It kind of stretched on for me, but it was nice Square starting to return to their roots more with unique RPGs.

9. Shadow of Mordor: Middle Earth; An unexpected LOTR game that is like a good AC? Yes please.

10. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth; Just because its Persona, I bought it. Not a memorable Persona game, but still good.

Honorable mentions
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Kingdom of Hearts 2.5 HD Remix
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
Tales of Xillia 2


Jun 24, 2014
It was a pretty interesting year: Most of my most anticipated games were either not 2014 releases (Witcher 3, Uncharted 4, Xenoblade X, Batman) or disappointments (Destiny, Watch Dogs, AC:U, MCC). The Wii U kicked ass and some of the best games this year were licensed. I definitely wouldn't have expected this top ten a year ago: (Note: Sadly, I couldn't play every game this year, so games that would have made it like Wolfenstein, Sunset Overdrive, and Divinity are not here because I didn't have time to play them):

1. Bayonetta 2 ; In the end, what matters most in a video game is the gameplay. That is where Bayonetta 2 succeeds above the rest. From start to finish, the game is an exhilarating experience that does not let up. It is incredibly consistent: the beginning, middle, and end all demonstrate the same level of quality. The "filler" sections that plague many other games are not present. The game contains an impressive amount of content: Bayonetta 1 & 2 with online multiplayer, amazing costumes based on Nintendo Characters, and a very high replay value, with a good technical performance and an excellent soundtrack on top of all that. I'll admit that I don't have a ton of experience with the action genre (only really the God of War games and Vanquish) but Bayonetta 2's gameplay is so top notch that I can't really see how to improve it at the moment.

In a year of terrible boss battles, Bayonetta 2 shows that in this day and age, incredible boss battles can be done (yes I know MGS: Rising did this as well, I'll play that at some point). It really renewed my faith in boss battles. But best of all, the game demonstrates that an open world is not necessary. So many people believe that everything needs to go open world, which would in the end cause a painful amount of repetition. But with Bayonetta 2, linear game may just be more fun and replayable than almost anything else that released last year. Also I really can't find any real flaws in it (well ok the story isn't the greatest but there were many worse last year). Maybe if I play the original that would help? Regardless, it's amazing that this game actually happened, in a very unlikely partnership. Hopefully this is the start of a beautiful trend.

2. Super Smash Bros for Wii U ; I'm going to put this in the most boring way possible: Smash Bros is fun. Yes, fun. Developers seem to be forgetting about the fun part in many of their games. Melee is one of my favorite games of all time, so every Smash release is a big thing for me. Thankfully the latest was an incredible success. While lacking a story mode, it improves upon almost everything else in the series. The gameplay is faster than Brawl and lacks tripping. The online has seen remarkable improvements. Stage Builder is back and better than ever. Smash Tour has been a very enjoyable mode. It is filled to the brim with new characters, ranging from Pac Man and Mega Man to Shulk and the Villager. Best of all: 8 Player Smash, I can't remember the last time I had as much fun in a multiplayer game than with this mode.

While the game is not perfect, as the online functionality is somewhat limited in content (no Smash Tour, 8 player, stock, or 1 vs 1 for fun) and the 3DS connectivity is underwhelming, these flaws come from the addition of new features over Melee. The game possesses an incredible amount of content and right now, it is the ultimate local multiplayer game and a true system-seller for the Wii U. It celebrates video games as a whole and is a blast to play with everybody (especially with the Gamecube Adapter, thanks for the link GAF!). It just narrowly missed GOTY for me this year.

3. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; I'm a big fan of Lord of the Rings but I wrote this game off for the past year. It took until last fall, with a few GAF threads, glowing reviews, and an amazing discount to get my interest. For starters, this is far better than every Assassin's Creed game. I could talk endlessly about the Nemesis System: how this game is finally bringing some damn innovation to the open world genre but I'd like to offer an experience of mine instead that perfectly encapsulates the game:

Near the beginning of the game, I encountered an Uruk Captain named Tarz the Literate One. He was immune to my ranged and stealth attacks and would throw me down whenever I attempted to vault over him so naturally, I ran. He would show up occasionally during my pursuit of Warchiefs (and even during story missions) to mock me, and even killed me a few times. After I finished the main story, I discovered that Tarz was promoted to War Chief after I killed the other ones. I made it my mission to end him. I brutally killed his bodyguards and snuck my way into his fortress, turning his forces against him. Once I caused enough damage for him to show up, I unleashed my army upon his and we faced off. After an intense showdown, I had him on his knees begging for mercy. I decided that he'd be much better as an ally, so I took control of him and sent him against the other warchiefs. One by one, they all fell, and Tarz and I conquered Mordor's armies together. I then rode off on a graug into a fortress and killed the remaining captains.

Although we all have our personal favorites, we can all agree that Shadow of Mordor, despite its flaws (story and ending), the game seriously kicks ass.

4. Mario Kart 8 ; Mario Kart 8 is special because Nintendo didn't need to do what they did with it. They could have released what was pretty much 7 with marginal improvements and it still would have sold more than any other Wii U game. But Nintendo made arguably the best in the series. From the F-Zero-esque looping to the impressive online and social features, Mario Kart 8 is the biggest improvement the series has seen in years. Graphically, it can compete with some of the best the PS4 and X1 currently have to offer. It also had one of the best DLC's I've seen in a long time. Yes Battle Mode was a disappointment but in terms of racing, the main course of the series, Mario Kart 8 does it better than any of its predecessors and provides the most fun racing experience in a long time and some of the most fun any game has to offer this generation.

5. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; It didn't just actually release, it was pretty damn great. TSoT literally gives you a playable South Park with at least a season's worth of content. It utilizes what is essentially the combat system of one of my favorite series of all time: Paper Mario which is actually a perfect fit for the series. It has one of the most memorable casts of characters in all of video games: from Butters and Cartman to Jesus and Al Gore. The game provides some of the most over the top and ridiculously hilarious levels I have ever seen, which I really don't want to spoil in case there are those seeing this who have not played the game but would like it. Regardless, this game is a classic just because it perfectly captures the feeling of the series. It IS South Park. The show will never improve visually so over a decade from now, you can play this game and still get the quintessential South Park Experience.

6. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; Ok GAF, you win. I finally bought this based on word of mouth and I have to say that it is easily one of the best 2D platformers of all time. It has what is easily the best soundtrack this year, hell, one of the best in the past few years. The game can be very difficult at times, even worse for me than the past few Souls games but it is challenging, not unnecessarily hard, and very rewarding. Retro went for a quality over quantity approach with this release, giving 6 excellent world s as opposed to over 10 dull ones. It is playable with 1-2 players, increasing the longevity of the game. Overall, it's just an amazing platformer, despite it being the only game on my list that I haven't beaten yet (aside from Smash Bros, since can't finish that) but I'll be fixing this soon.

7. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; Although I am a huge fan of the Mass Effect series, this was my first Dragon Age game. It really makes an awesome first impression: The world in the game is massive and beautiful. Each location feels distinct from the other and there is plenty to do. Where Inquisition really excels is its cast of characters and character interactions. Varric, Iron Bull, and Dorian were probably my favorite companions, with Morrigan and Leliana being my favorite non-companions who should have been companions. Talking to them at various points of downtime throughout the game produced some hilarious results, particularly the excellent poker scene that brings out the best in most of the characters. I've mentioned this in other threads but really, In Hushed Whispers is an excellent quest and one of the best missions 2014 had to offer.

But the game does have its flaws. Repetitive fetch quests, bugs and crashes, a weak main villain, and poor boss battles aside from the dragons bring the game down but overall it is still very good. Also, the multiplayer is better than people are saying. If you enjoyed the multiplayer in ME3, you won't mind this. The game excels in many areas and should receive credit where credit is due, even if there is certainly room for improvement.

8. Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire ; I really didn't want to include a remake on this list, even if it is of one of my favorite game of all time, but there is enough new content here to warrant its inclusion. Secret bases, improved contests, online trade and battles, a new Mauville City, and the post-game Delta Episode all provide enough to separate the game from what was released in 2003. Also much of the tedium has been removed thanks to the EXP Share (which isn't as OP as it was in X&Y) and the streamlining of creating PokeBlocks. Also, I CAN FINALLY GET A FUCKING FEBASS!!!!!!! If only it had the Battle Frontier, then it would definitely be much higher on this list. There's a piece of DLC I'd gladly buy.

9. Dark Souls 2 ; Dark Souls was my favorite game of the seventh generation, so following it up was no easy task, especially without the original director. But for the most part, the team did a good job. The Souls combat we all know and love is pretty much intact, Covenants are better than ever, and Co-Op and PvP have been remarkably improved. The boss battles were generally good as well: from you and your sun-bros getting your collective asses handed to you by the Smelter Demon to the epic showdown with the Looking Glass Knight to realizing you can cheaply kill The Pursuer with the crossbows.

The biggest problem for me that keeps it from coming close to the original Dark Souls is the lack of cohesion. Lordran was brilliantly designed: All the areas came together and were very memorable, it's the opposite in Dark Souls 2. Fast travel is convenient but it allows for the world to feel separated. Also, the bosses were not unique like the original: The majority were simply Humanoid Figures with Swords/a Sword-esque weapon. And the downgrade was pretty disappointing. But regardless, the developers succeeded in giving gamers more Souls, fixing the technical problems of the previous game. There's a lot of content available and the DLC is good, though doesn't come close to Artorias of the Abyss.

10. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare ; I thought I was done with this series forever after Ghosts but Sledgehammer really lured me back. Though the story is painfully predictable the campaign is the best one in a long time in terms of missions. Finally Stealth Missions are more than just glorified Simon Says. Some levels are more open than before, allowing players to pace themselves. Graphically, the series has seen remarkable improvements, especially with some incredible-looking cutscenes. But the biggest jump (no pun intended) is the Exo-Suit. Mobility is now greater than ever before, greatly affecting the gameplay by making it much faster. There is also a level of customization of the abilities in the campaign reminiscent of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Multiplayer took the best portions of the series and brought them together. Maps are the best since MW2. Fan-favorite War from World at War returns as Momentum. Infection from MW3 is back. The pick 10 system, now the pick 13 system and Hardpoint are back from Black Ops 2. The character customization of Ghosts is back and more in depth than ever, reaching the level of the latest Halo games. The influence of Killstreaks is thankfully much less, though they still exist. Supply Drops, like the packs of Mass Effect 3, provide random items but are readily available so it does not feel like the player is pressured into spending real money on them. Survival from MW3 is back and is pretty much the same thing but finally with 4 players. It isn't remarkable but it can be fun at times. Overall, Advanced Warfare is the best CoD has seen in years, despite a painfully predictable story and P2P Multiplayer. Furthermore, if either of the next two CoD's do not utalize some form of the Exo Suit, I probably will not buy them.

Honorable Mentions:

x. Far Cry 4 ; Ubisoft had a REALLY bad year in 2014 but the latest Far Cry was actually a good game. Co-Op in particular is excellent. It doesn't make the list since it feels too damn similar to Far Cry 3. It also retains many of its flaws such as terrible stealth missions and the insanely repetitive Ubisoft Formula. I actually hated every character except for Pagan Min (and Hurk lol). But the Co-op is just so fun that I have to give the game a nod, regardless of how much I may dislike the main missions.

x. Little Big Planet 3 ; The original LBP was one of my most played games last generation. 2 was a nice improvement but felt like a big DLC. Nearly four years later, 3 kinda feels the same way as 2. The new characters and layers are cool and all but the base game feels so similar that I'm not as impressed as I hoped. Don't get me wrong, LBP is a great series that everyone should give a shot but I'm just growing a bit tired of its current state. It would probably take a full move to 3D to draw me back into the series at this point.


Jun 14, 2012
1. Dragon Age : Inquisition ; I have no qualms in saying that Bioware is still my favorite developer today, and Dragon Age: Inquisition does nothing other than to solidify my opinion. Character development is central to every Bioware experience and the depth of each character in Dragon Age: Inquisition exceeds what they have done in the past, both due to the fact that it is building upon development from the previous two entries and the fact that they all are strong characters, with great voice acting and fabulous writing to support that talent. What makes the story better than most is the political intrigue and your actual involvement in the intrigue this time. I feel like this is the most influence I've ever had in a fantasy RPG game world and for that reason, Dragon Age: Inquisition is my Game of the Year for 2014.

2. Dark Souls 2 ; 2014 was the first time I played the original Dark Souls game, after much hesitation, due mostly to the fact that I did not enjoy Demon's Souls in any capacity, so it took a $5 price point for me to finally give Dark Souls a shot. Some 150 hours and three playthroughs later, I can honestly say, Dark Souls is probably my Game of the Generation, so I was very excited and very ready for Dark Souls II to be released this year. While I may be able to argue that subjectively the bosses aren't quite as interesting and the lore of Dark Souls II not quite as deep as the original, it does give me more of the Dark Souls gameplay that I came to love this year and stands up right next to Dark Souls as one of my favorite games this past generation. I would have to go back and check, but Dark Souls 2 is likely my most played game of 2014 and I couldn't be more excited to play the next-gen console versions in 2015.

3. Shovel Knight ; Being born in 1982, I really grew up with and cut my figurative gaming teeth on the classic NES platformers like Super Mario Brothers 3, Megaman 2, and Ducktales, and the way some small game studio in 2014 went ahead and captured that magic for a 31 year old, really changed my perspective on 8-bit styled indie games. This was a game that was not even remotely on my radar until the buzz started post-release, and also has the distinct privilege of being the only Steam game that I have ever purchased for full price. There are very few improvements that could be made to this game. Maybe my only complaint would be the game's length, but I also feel that the more compact experience lends itself to multiple playthroughs, which I will be enjoying for years to come.

4. Kentucky Route Zero: Act III ; KRZ Act I would have probably made my GOTY list in 2013 if I realized it would have counted at the time. This game is everything I love about adventure games without the tedium of obtuse puzzle solving and constant backtracking. The story is constantly pushing forward and introducing new characters and locations, and certainly the most memorable location so far can be found in Act III. There is a moment in this game that I would liken to the very best moment in any David Lynch film/TV series and the fact that you have agency over the experience shows how video games can be a vessel for abstract story telling in a way that traditional mediums can not even being to explore.

5. Mario Kart 8 ; I can guarantee you that no other Mario Kart game has ever even come close to cracking my top 10 since the original SNES game, which still stands as one of my favorite games ever. I bought MK8 expecting to enjoy it about as much as any of the previous entries, which is to say, not very much, but I wanted to buy a game for my Wii U that my girlfriend might want to play with me. Well, to say she enjoyed playing this game with me might be the understatement of the century. She has never played an online game before this, but yet, despite almost always coming in last place, we play online MK8 VS mode at least a couple nights a week since picking it up. For being a game, that not only does my girlfriend enjoy playing, but actually provides the same level of joy for both of us, this game has made it fairly high in my top 10.

6. Far Cry 4 ; In the interest of full disclosure, I have not finished Far Cry 4, and part of me feels like I'll probably never finish Far Cry 4. Unlike most open world games, where 4 or 5 hours into doing meaningless sidequests I end up getting burned out and mainlining the rest of the story missions, 20 hours into Far Cry 4 I have barely touched a story mission. All the side missions and activities are fun and satisfying and even if you come across one that isn't, there are hundreds more waiting for you to try out. Taking out outposts, climbing radio towers, and even the hunting, which I typically do not enjoy in games, is so fun and dynamic due to the emergent gameplay features, you feel like your experience in Far Cry 4 is unique to you and part of me worries that in playing the story stuff out, I'll be missing out on what I truly love about this game, which is also what will likely keep me playing for the next 40 hours.

7. Jazzpunk ; I can count on one hand the amount of games that have made me laugh as much as Jazzpunk. Let's see, there's Portal 2 (my GOTY for 2011), and yeah...you can count to 1 on one hand, right? There is something less clever, but altogether more crazy in Jazzpunk's humor. I hate to use the word "random" to describe it's humor, because every joke in the game is given some amount of context, but it still feels like an acid trip gone right, and any game that can illicit that feeling from me, definitely deserves to have it's praises sung.

8. Bayonetta 2 ; I loved Bayonetta 1. I really didn't think I'd ever see a sequel though, and least of all on a Nintendo console. Bayonetta 2 is what made me crack and finally buy a Wii U, and to me it completely (along with MK8) justified the purchase a hundred times over. There are things about Bayonetta 2 that improve upon Bayonetta 1, but unfortunately one of those things is not the story, which is complete non-sense. In any subsequent playthroughs of this game, I will skip every cutscene, because not only do they take away from the experience of one of the greatest action games out there. If not for the terrible story, I would probably have Bayonetta 2 at my #1 spot this year, but even still, it deserves to be on this list and deserves to be played by everyone.

9. The Wolf Among Us: Episodes 2-5 ; I have no knowledge of the Fables universe. I have very little interest in the premise of Storybook characters living in the real world, but the way the story is presented and the way the characters are fleshed out makes TWAU one of my most memorable experiences of 2014. It is also the first episodic Telltale game I've played where I bought it, almost, at launch and waited, somewhat impatiently for each subsequent episode. I kind of feel like the breaks between episodes went on too long to the point where I had completely forgotten Episode 1 by the time we were onto 5, but it does not change the fact that almost every episode stood well on it's own and deserves to be mentioned as one of the best full packages of 2014.

10. Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition ; There are many reasons that Diablo III makes my list and some of them have less to do with the game than my own personal experience with my PS4 this year. First of all, I never played Diablo III at launch. I do not have experience with the Diablo franchise, and, for the most part, I only tend to play PC games with controller support. When Sony announced that Diablo III would be coming to PS4, I decided I would finally dive in and see what all the fuss is about. I bought a PS4 at launch thinking this game would be a launch title. Since it wasn't a launch game, I had to buy some games to tide me over, and nothing did. Killzone: SF? Awful. Infamous: SS? Somehow worse than the original (which I loved). Watch Dogs? Don't get me started. Basically, what I'm saying is that Diablo 3, almost a year after buying my PS4, was the first game I played that made the purchase of that console feel worth it, and for that reason it get's the #10 spot on my GOTY list for 2014.

Honorable Mentions:

x. Jackbox Party Pack ; I was 100% convinced this game was going to make my GOTY list. Much like Mario Kart 8, this was a game that my girlfriend would actually suggest that we play and we played a lot of it. Fibbage and YDKJ are great two player games that we have enjoyed countless hours of, but the reason it didn't make my list is that Lie Swatter, Drawful and Word Spud are just games we never got into and if I can't speak to 60% of the game, I guess I can't really include it on my list.

x. The Golf Club ; This is my go-to, listening to a podcast or listening to music game. I don't play golf games...like ever. The last one I remember playing was Links LS on the PC in the '90's and, as much as many may see this as a knock against the Golf Club, this game kind of reminds me of those old PC golf games. Where it's just simple. You have a golfer, you play courses and there's not much else to it. There's no "career mode" or sponsorships or buying new clubs or unlocking new golfers. It's just golf and it's fun.

x. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth ; Another game that I played a lot while listening to other things or kind of only half paying attention and only giving the game my full attention once I got a few decent power-ups and had an actual shot at getting to the final boss (which only happened once). Anyway, just for the hours I poured into this game, despite many of those hours being fruitless, I'll give it a mention.

x. Sportsfriends ; I love Johann Sebastian Joust. My girlfriend and I can't play it anymore because we both wake up too sore the next day, but it was still some of the most fun I had the whole year before things ended up getting a little too out of hand. Again, I never spent much time with the other games in this package though, so I just couldn't justify including it in my top 10.


Oct 17, 2012
Quick Top 5, didn't get to everything I wanted to this year but overall I thought it was a solid year. *Note: Only played games on Xbox One this year.

1. Forza Horizon 2 ; What an accomplishment for Playground Games with their second go around with the Forza license. Forza Horizon 2 takes everything the first game did well, improves upon it and piles loads of extra content on top of it all. An absolutely beautiful game, realizing Southern Europe with gorgeous IQ and great car models and weather to create in my opinion the best looking next ben title I've played. Building your car collection, joining and racing with clubs, tearing through the European countryside at blistering speeds... this game has everything for a gearhead. I love going back to this game, and imagine I will continue to do so for some time to come.

2. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor ; While many like to comment on how many elements Shadow of Mordor borrows from other similar action titles, I cannot fault it for how well it does so all while introducing such an interesting concept as the Nemesis system. It takes you a while to understand how everything comes together in this game, but when it clicks it's incredible. Running through Mordor slicing heads off Orcs with incredible and gory combat, then accidentally stumbling upon a powerful Orc captain is pretty thrilling. Making a strategy to get an orc overthrown or to assassinate a higher-up is really exciting, and the ability to fuck it all up makes it that much more tense. It is so great to have a high quality Lord of the Rings game, and I look forward to what they have in store for us next.

3. Sunset Overdrive ; Full disclosure: I have not finished the Sunset Overdrive campaign and haven't played nearly enough of this game as it warrants. That being said, it is the most beautiful fun I have had in this new generation yet. Sunset City is a wonderfully stylized playground, filled with amazing traversal elements and great enemies. The gameplay here is so tight and fluid, and trying to have your hands keep up with the action on screen is a challenge in it's own right. Completing a hectic night defense is incredibly satisfying, combining all of the different gameplay options available. I'm going to be jumping back into this game as soon as time permits because I know that such a high quality experience is there.

4. Titanfall ; What it lacks in content, it makes up for in sheer quality. Titanfall oozes polish and refinement, and it is perhaps the most "tight" multiplayer game released in recent memory. The flow from Infantry to Titan gameplay and the dynamics those two roles create are really interesting, and I found the games I played in Titanfall some of the most intense and exhilarating of the year. Titanfall had an obscene amount of expectations upon release, and while it perhaps didn't deliver everything people were looking for, it was certainly some of the most fun I've had in a multiplayer game this year.

5. Destiny ; To be completely honest, I sort of hate putting Destiny on my list, but I'd be lying to myself if I didn't include it here. While I haven't put the insane amount of time into this game as a lot of people here have, I found myself getting sucked back in again once hitting the high 20's, working through weeklies/dailies and running strikes with a friend or two. From a design point of view, Destiny is possibly the most flawed game I played this year, yet there is something about it that kept me coming back and resulted in it being my most played game of the year. Something has to be said for that, and between great UI/art design and solid gameplay, the core of Destiny is extremely solid. What remains to be seen is whether or not Bungie can right all of their wrongs in the next Destiny entry. I imagine we'll find out sooner rather than later.

Honorable Mentions

x. Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare ; This little gem came out of nowhere this year to provide some of the most hilarious multiplayer shenanigans I've had in a while. I don't play it often, but it's always a good time when I return to it.

x. Assassin's Creed: Unity ; Marred with issues upon launch, many seemed to have dismiss this game because of the way it was first experienced by most people. While fair, what's underneath the controversy is the best Assassin's Creed game since Brotherhood. A beautifully realized and dense Paris, combined with more open mission design and a fantastic co-op suite have led to some great play sessions with this game. I've only scratched the surface but I like what is there quite a lot. Shame about the platforming.

x. Super Smash Bros. for WiiU ; I don't own a WiiU and frankly don't have space for one, but if I did this game would be getting probably 100% of it's play time. I recently got to play 8 player Smash at a friends house and it was easily the most hilarious and hectic fun I've had gaming locally... ever. While it's a game I will eternally be a casual in (Game & Watch Down+B+B+B+B+B) I have to recognize it in my list for how well the formula still holds up.


Neo Member
Jan 19, 2010

1. Persona Q ; I'll probably never grow tired of Persona 4 adventures. Persona 3 adventures are pretty good too. The adventures here were fun and made for a decent side story that I only had a few minor quibbles with. I found the cartography enjoyable enough, and all the small improvements they've made to the Etrian Odyssey system have
really come together in a very reasonably uncumbersome way.

Gameplay was okay, serviceable. Flawed (deeply), but never reaching a tipping point where it became unfun. The power balance is really spotty, to the point where it can feel punishing to try to make certain skillsets or types of characters or specific characters work.

One of the big disappointments I had with the game was the reward scheduling. This is a pretty big problem I have with Etrian Odyssey games, where you get level ups and skill points and new skills at a pretty decent rate early in the game, but things fall off a lot later when the time between levels increases and the amount of new stuff to discover or unlock tends to decrease. Theoretically this should be pretty easy to avoid with all the new elements that the integration of any Persona system will necessitate, and I had really high hopes after SMTIV really excelled on this front, but Persona Q was a huge regression. Leveling up main personas provides very sparse skill upgrades, sub personas take far too long to level with very little incentive to do so, equipment (as usual in Persona games) tends to range from nearly no perceptible impact to nearly no actual impact.

I want my progression from fighting all these clowns and finding all this garbage and fusing all these nerds to really feel rewarding, but that was pretty uncommon in Persona Q. I'd like a Persona game where the whole party can switch personas like the special snowflake protagonist, but preferably also to have those personas not end up 90% indistinguishable and interchangeable as happened with subpersonas.

All of that was enough to have me strongly consider dropping Persona Q to second place. But this game had a lot of Naoto. And a lot of Chie, and Yukiko, and Kanji, and Rise, and Koromaru, and Akihiko, Mitsuru, Shinji. It had good music. It looked pretty okay besides Junpei's weird portrait. It even totally validated my most important ship
KanjixRise don't even pretend this isn't going to happen eventually

Persona 5 is going to be so good you don't even know.

2. Hearthstone ; Hearthstone is a lot of what I want card games to be. The presentation and performance is so sleek and satisfying, and I'll find it really hard to attempt playing anything else that doesn't make any attempt to meet the same standards.

Card games need to execute all of the math and mechanics, show me information and artwork, and play sounds and voices and animations.

I enjoy the actual game of Hearthstone well enough maybe (though I am not terribly enthralled by constructed play, and I would have quit playing entirely a long time ago had I ever reached a point where arena was gated by time or money), but I'd openly entertain alternatives with different mechanics or flavor or (especially) an actual engaging single player component. Until there is an alternative with any amount of the bells or whistles or polish of Hearthstone, I will probably stick with this pretty okay game : (

3. Super Smash Brothers for 3ds ; Removed Lucas and Wolf, put in Lucina and (improperly named and stylized, but still) Robin. Kirby still squishes when you crouch. A+ would play again.

4. One Way Heroics ; Pretty fun sort-of-roguelike that I found more enjoyable than most released sort-of-roguelikes. They give you a vault to carry over items between runs, but I never used it and I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it a lot more by starting fresh every time. You gets perks and some stuff to unlock between runs, but these are more like alternative options instead of the perpetual upgrades in things like Rogue Legacy, which I appreciated.

Pretty simple and short, functional, pretty fun besides the archer that was boring.

5. Civilization: Beyond Earth ; I might like this more than Civilization V? I don't know I just can't really play Civilization V any more, but this game is okay. I like the tech web way more than tech trees, and it could be pretty good with some refinement. Military stuff is a lot less dumb than Civilization V. The factions and ideologies or whatever never really seemed different enough in exciting enough ways, and wonders just seemed to be completely uninteresting all around, but I enjoyed a few runs of the game. I'll play more some time maybe.

6. Bravely Default ; This is a game. Good music. Battle and job systems are okay, good random encounter slider. The characters are pretty awful besides Edea. Lazy job outfits shared between characters is a huge detracting point.

Despite the garbo cast I played the first half or whatever of the game and don't really regret it, probably.

7. Divinity: Original Sin ; I've played a couple of hours of this game. Character creation was okay which is what draws me to this type of game in the first place. Seemed like they could use some more perks but I have not really gotten far enough to tell if this becomes a real problem.

There is just so much dialogue in this game. I can't talk to anyone or do anything or go anywhere without being attacked by all these paragraphs. Oh my god there are so many paragraphs please help.

8. Transistor ; I think the game looks and sounds pretty good. I am about an hour in. I decided to go back to Final Fantasy XIII which I'm six hours into because the gameplay was more engaging. Final Fantasy XIII also seems less linear. Maybe that game gets a bad rap. I'll probably get to choose my party members any day now.

9. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; I played this game and I beat it. So it's on the list.

I have spent a decent amount of time thinking of good things I have to say about it. The most shining praise I have for it is that the text speed is not as excruciatingly slow as 999's. Really mostly I played this in the continued hopes that it would get better. But I mostly thought it got worse. I tend to shy away from this type of game (the murder mystery distrust everybody kind), but I stuck through both this and 999 based off of the praise they got. I thought 999 had a decent payoff, this not so much.

I didn't enjoy the courtroom battles at all.

I played all of this game and I might regret it. It's never actively bad maybe, but I think everything tended to be average. My impressions of it while playing through it were probably less harsh than the ones looking back on it. I feel this game lends itself to being far more enjoyable as a communal experience.

Purple hair girl and mean spirited rich guy are okay I guess.

10. Wasteland 2 ; I wish it looked better and was less bleak. Also perks, and make Charisma and Luck better.


Feb 23, 2011
1. Bayonetta 2; An incredible flashy, fun game that wowed me every step of the way. Tight, polished gameplay, awesome set pieces and a surprisingly interesting story, Bayonetta 2 takes this years crown by far.

2. Mario Kart 8 ; Amazing track design. My friends and I have played the shit out of this.

3. Super Smash Bros Wii U ; Lots of fun, played 10 hours the first weekend it was out!

4. Valkyria Chronicles ; This game was like a revelation. Absolutely incredible, incredible strategy experience. So unique. Got 25 hours out of this.

5. Bayonetta ; Amazing - surprisingly Bayonetta 2 managed to top it but Bayonetta was insane too. And hard.

6. Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeros ; Short but sweet. I'm now pumped for MGS 5.


Oct 19, 2004
Los Angeles, CA
Dudes, it would really help if you guys would check your titles for accuracy. The majority are fine, but I just fixed "Mario Golf: Wolf Tour." Errors like this make it a lot harder to count your ballot.

Also, for the love of god, put a SEMICOLON after your game titles and before their corresponding comments. Not a hyphen. Not a colon. Not ellipses. Not an arrow. Not an equals sign.

If you don't know what a semicolon is, it looks like this

Again, the formatting for your ballot is clearly defined in the OP. Please follow it.



May 27, 2011
This is going to be incredibly difficult as I'm working with a very limited list. Sadly, some titles that I'd prefer to put on here I haven't played to give a fair judgement.

1. Alien Isolation ; Atmosphere, design, audio, resource management, dialogue, the Alien itself...there's little that Alien Isolation doesn't excel at. Creative Assembly knocked it out of the park.

2. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; A perfect recreation of the town of the show, the game makes full use of the property to delightful effect. The simple gameplay is executed well, and never seems to get in the way of itself or the game as a whole, allowing to continue the longest and best episode of South Park. Unfortunately can only be at number 2 due to having Jews.
South Park joke disclaimer folks. We all know Elves are the real problem.

3. The Evil Within ; This one was a tough one to place, partially due to how I had similar difficulties in deciding on if I liked TEW overall. While the game does have some technical hiccups, some questionable design choices, disappointing post-game unlocks, and a promising story that was criminally under delivered, the scope of options available to the player and the direction of the encounters throughout the game won me over. The Evil Within attempts so much in both presentation and gameplay, and most of the time it nails it perfectly. The battles with Laura and the Keepers alone deserve recognition in an age where boss fights lack focus and purpose.

4. Destiny ; I could tell you of what Destiny was originally to be. How we could walk to distant mountains in Russia and visit the moons of Saturn. However, I don't have time to explain why I don't have time to explain. What I do have time for is to focus on what the game is as it stands on its own, and it's quite good. The gunplay is some of the best I've ever experienced in a game, where the weapons look as if they deliver impacts. All have their purpose (except Pulse Rifles), and the abilities available to the character to complement them are designed rather well. The artistry in the levels is quite pleasing, though in some shining examples in the multiplayer it's hard to take notice without an AR round to the cranium. The co-op gameplay in Destiny is quite strong, despite the lack of in-game options to properly foster a growing community. The Raids are some of the best co-op experiences on the market and bring a good deal to the FPS genre. Also one of the few mp games to come out this year without severe issues. All that said, terrible writing, balancing, and poor executions of post-release support from Bungie make this game very much whatever you make of it, for better or worse. Luckily, thanks to DestinyGAF, I've been able to make the best of it.

5. Titanfall ; Movement. Movement. Movement. The gameplay of Titanfall was the shake-up the genre needed. Everything in the gameplay shows polish and versatility. Wall running, rodeos, mob farms, momentums, Titans...all work in tandem to those willing to learn. The post-release support deserves mention and commendation, paying only for maps while all other additions to what was originally a bit of an anemic experience have been free. Unfortunately, balance issues, technical issues, and a terrible campaign drag the game down.

6. Infamous: Second Son ; One of the best looking games of this list, Second Son certainly delivers in style with neon blur running and incredible particle effects. Yet while the gameplay is rather satisfying, there is a severe lack of substance. While displaying the best voice acting and animations of the series, the script is a bit lackluster and the 'evil' path is laughable. Despite the number of powers that become available, the versatility of the majority barely matches up with Infamous 1, and pales to Infamous 2. The payoff and post-game in particular is a heavy blow.

7. Dark Souls 2 ; Why so low on the list? This was the game I played least of this year on the account of it being a Redbox rental. The gameplay is more or less the same as Dark Souls, which is the primary reason why I decided to give it a spot despite lacking time with it. My short time with it though did show that elements were not as tight as in the original game, and there is a lack of agency and atmosphere at the onset.
Dec 11, 2008

1. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; The perfect platformer. I loved Returns, but this one is even better. It's a similar jump from Donkey Kong Country to Donkey Kong Country 2. The game has it all. Gorgeous graphics/art style, amazing soundtrack, great controls/gameplay, fun/varied level design and just the right amount of challenge. No other game that released in 2014 made me smile more than this one did. It's tied with Donkey Kong Country 2 as my favourite platformer ever. Just thinking about it right now makes me wanna run to my friends house and play it again. Keep them coming Retro!

2. The Evil Within ; Despite some lack of polish, it's still amazingly addictive with the best gunplay and head shots ever.
3. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; Chapters 1, 2 and 5 alone justify this game getting the number 3 spot on my list.
4. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; Despite a pretty shallow cast of characters - this was still a very fun/crazy ride.
5. The Last of Us: Left Behind ; Very memorable and touching...I actually think I enjoyed this more than the main game.

Games I haven't played yet - Muramasa Rebirth DLC, Infamous: Second Son, Infamous: First Light and Child of Light...

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd that's it. I can only list 5 games. I found 2014 to be a very weak year when it comes to gaming.


Jul 27, 2013
1. Super Smash Bros WiiU ;

Well it kind of has to keep me occupied for a long time, but riding the hype train was glorious and I still have yet to be even semi-competitive so I guess i'll have to just practice more. Best roster and song selection of a Smash yet.

2. Metroid Fusion ;

3. Mario Kart 8 ;

4. Superstar Saga ;

5. Metal Gear Rising Revengeance ;

6. Bravely Default ;

I have not played any other games released in 2014 because II was busy with LoL and 2013 stuff. Also Xenoblade.


May 3, 2012
1. Dark Souls II
2. Ultra Street Fighter IV
3. Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD
4. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
5. Destiny
6. Infamous: Second Son
7. LittleBigPlanet 3
Dec 11, 2008
Dudes, it would really help if you guys would check your titles for accuracy. The majority are fine, but I just fixed "Mario Golf: Wolf Tour." Errors like this make it a lot harder to count your ballot.

Also, for the love of god, put a SEMICOLON after your game titles. Not a hyphen. Not a colon. Not ellipses. Not an arrow. Not an equals sign.

If you don't know what a semicolon is, it looks like this

Again, the formatting for your ballot is clearly defined in the OP. Please follow it.

1. Dark Souls II
2. Ultra Street Fighter IV
3. Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD
4. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
5. Destiny
6. Infamous: Second Son
7. LittleBigPlanet 3

Oct 29, 2014
1. The Last of Us: Remastered ; Didn't play the original one as I never had a PS3. I got the remastered version on PS4 as I've, and anyone else who has been following the game industry even a little bit, heard all of the praise and accolades this game. After playing it, I see why. Every aspect of this game is simply incredible. Graphically, it looks like it fits in with next gen games despite it being a last gen release. The story, from the writing, performances by the actors and the animation is just masterful. Gameplay-wise, it is a tense survival action game that will have you on the edge of your seat. Even the multi-player is quite enjoyable. It has it flaws, but it is certainly worth playing and I've had a blast with it. If you haven't played this great game, you owe it to yourself to grab a copy and experience the best game of last generation.
2. Super Smash Bros. For Wii U ; This game is an absolute blast to play and is filled to the brim with content. It is a game that I will be playing for years to come. A quintessential multi-player experience.
3. Titanfall ; Had a blast with this game and I've put a ton of hours into this game and enjoyed every minute of it. The mobility adds to the enjoyment of traversing the maps and the titan combat sets it a part from a typical shooter.
4. Infamous: Second Son ;
5. Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze ;


Sep 21, 2006
Helsinki, Finland
My top 10 with screenshots.

1. The Last of Us: Remastered ; I postponed my second playthrough, when the rumors about a remaster started to surface, and I'm glad I did so. It was amazing to experience the best game of last generation in a better form. The second playthrough took me 20 hours, and I loved every minute of it.

2. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; The playthrough took me 182 hours, and I thoroughly enjoyed the hours I put into it, eventhough it wasn't a flawless experience with its countless fetch quests. I just adored the gameworld and its characters. It's very rare that a game inhabits my thoughts so strongly, that I have no desire to enter another gameworld for a while. That was the case with TLOU as well.

3. Driveclub ; The best racing game I've played in years. The sense of speed, the driving mechanics, the sprawling and varied point-to-point tracks, the competitive AI, and the amazing graphics and weather effects are just awesome. The online issues didn't affect my enjoyment, after clubs became available, as I never play racers (or PVP in general) online. I couldn't be happier, that Evolution decided to stick with a track-based arcade(ish) racing. There are enough of open world and simulation racers for those who enjoy them. It's also good to see they keep on supporting the game with additional (and free) content.

4. The Last of Us: Left Behind ; The best DLC I've ever played, and a worthy follow-up to one of the best games I've ever played.

5. P.T. ; The most astonishing surprise of the year. It evoked some Lynchian vibes with its oppresive atmosphere and twisted little details, and the underlying reveal shocked me to the core. I can't wait to see how Silent Hills turns out after experiencing the teaser.

6. Infamous: Second Sun ; The first Infamous I've played through, and also one of the few open world games I've played and enjoyed. Playing with the powers, and seeing the city light up at dusk was a true next gen experience.

7. Infamous: First Light ; There's not much to add to the above, other than the add-on introduced some welcome additions to Neon powers, and it was nice to play as Fetch. The arena was pretty entertaining as well. The only game I've platinumed, along with I:SS and Resogun.

8. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition ; I had skipped the last gen version, and ended up buying this due to the last year's GOTY results. The amount of adventuring in correllation to action was better than in Uncharted 2+3, and I liked the areas being more open for exploration. So, thanks to the Gaf collective for recommending it to me.

9. Destiny ; 85 gameplay hours in total, and eventhough I quitted playing after the changes presented in the Dark Below DLC, I won't deny that I enjoyed my time with the game. The campaign could have been better, and there could have been more content, but the gameplay itself was very satisfying.

10. Alien: Isolation ; The reason I'm putting this the last is because I haven't had time to play it very long, but based on what I've played so far I can say I love the atmosphere, and the retro sci-fi look. I can't say yet, if I'll like it so much further on, as run & hide horror isn't really my favorite branch of the genre.


Jul 19, 2006
Kyoto, Japan
1. Mario Kart 8 ; I wasn't even expecting to buy this at the beginning of the year, but the hype and the free game lured me in and I'm so glad it did. I put in over 100 hours and every person I played with fell in love with it. There was just so much detail and care that went into this perfect game that it becomes even more than the sum of its parts. I've never seen a world like this or characters this expressive before. Then online is simple to get into and flawless. The DLC and free extras were beyond generous. The tracks are incredibly well put together. Just a master class in game design from beginning to end.

2. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn ; Let's get this out of the way first: I'm not into MMORPGs. So what happened here? Square built something beautiful on PS4, that plays like a love letter to all things Final Fantasy. So many times I became entranced by the world I was lost in here. And while it does do a lot of the usual skinner box tricks the genre is notorious for, it's saved by the core gameplay mechanics genuinely feeling great, stopping it from feeling like a cheat. If you ever want to leave the real world for a few days, this is a destination I can easily recommend.

3.Bayonetta 2 ; Honestly, for all the uproar, Nintendo was the best thing that ever could have happened to this game. The character never worked for me, but the Nintendo costumes changed the sexually-charged tone of the game to something less off-putting which somehow managed not to clash with the craziness of the game's world itself. The gameplay is as smooth and broad as you could hope for - there are so many combos that new players to the series can get away with mashing for a time until they get their feet wet, but once you're in, the skill ceiling is sky high. This is a game that people will be talking about and playing for years to come.

4. Valkyria Chronicles ; To my mind the best jrpg of the seventh generation, the horsepower of the PC gave this already gorgeous game the showing it truly deserved. If I were playing it for the first time it might well have been my #1. Gameplay, music, art, wonderful characters you're guaranteed to bond with and a fully realized world, this is one of those games that you're truly sad to see end. The portable sequels didn't live up to its promise and may never see another, so let's take a moment to recognize Valkyria Chronicles for what it is, a true milestone in gaming.

5.Velocity 2x ; This was a real surprise for me. A lot of games go for the retro twitch feel, but this equalled and bettered it in a lot of ways. Both the platforming & shmupping sequences were truly well put together, from the trailers I thought the tricks would be really difficult to pull off but they felt intuitive and the whole game flowed incredibly well.

6. Shovel Knight ; What Yacht Club really did well was not just ape 8-bit Capcom but fill their game with an emotional resonance that gave it more depth without betraying the tone it was going for. Has me clamouring for the inevitable 16-bit themed sequel.

7. Super Smash Bros for Wii U ; if A Realm Reborn is a love letter to Final Fantasy, this is a love letter to Nintendo. Such a simple game on the surface, anyone can pick this up and have fun, but the skill ceiling is almost limitless. The amount of expression in the characters and world is astounding. I was playing with my 5 year old nephew who was having a ball, cackling and pausing the game over & over, revealing new contextual expressions on the characters' faces each time. An incredibly well-made game.

8. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ; I initially struggled a bit with this one on the list. It was just so darn short and yet so darn expensive. But on the other hand, the gameplay was miles above what we've had in Metal Gear games in the past. Finally Snake feels smooth and stealthy rather than robotic and clunky. The visuals were a sight to behold, and the later missions revealed there was a lot more to Guantanam...er, Camp Omega than you might have initially thought. As someone who really loved Peace Walker, I appreciated just how much they packed in there.

9. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; You know what? The less said about this game the better, just trust me and everyone else who raves about it - go grab a Vita and play it for the crazy characters and gripping twists.

10. P.T. ; Another game that I had a hard time placing. It's barely a game, really. And beyond that, it's horrible. Like, it totally failed in what it was trying to do - namely, get me interested in buying the new Silent Hill. Why? Because this was way too freaking intense. I got through it, but I felt deeply weird and unsettled and out of touch with reality afterwards. No way I can put myself through another 10-20 hours of that. On the other hand, the strong reaction it engendered meant I pretty much had to put it here, it's very rare that any game makes me feel this strongly one way or the other.


X. Hyrule Warriors ; This came so close to making my list, and a week from now I may be kicking myself for not including it. Hyrule Warriors recaptured what I initially loved about the Dynasty Warriors formula and reinvigorated it. I still see people on my friends list putting hours into this game. Maybe Hyrule Warriors: Empires would make the list, hmm?

X. Strider ; If only because it's a new and deeply referential Strider that wasn't trying to be a gritty reboot. Unfortunately the world lacked the colour and personality of the previous games, otherwise it would have been a shoe-in for my top 10.

X. Assassin's Creed Rogue ; In the end, this is the game that Ubi should have been pushing this past holiday season. Black Flag was the best the AC series ever got, and Rogue, as the conclusion to the Kenway trilogy, deserved more of an audience, and a little more development resource. Hopefully they put some work into a PS4 release a few months down the road.

Overall not the greatest year -the presence of basically two demos, a re-release and a late port on my top 10 are testament to that. But there were definitely some gems there and I had a pretty good time with games overall, thanks in no small part to the Wii U having a Dreamcast-like year...and I mean that as the highest of compliments.

The Lamp

Nov 6, 2010
1. Bayonetta 2 ; this game is exceptional because every aspect of its core gameplay is fun, well-designed, and then explored to its fullest. The combat is the best of any action game. It's only weakness is the plot but even that is serviceable with less pitfalls than your typical AAA game action script.
2. The Evil Within ; a beautiful spiritual sequel to Resident Evil 4, but even scarier and with even more freedom for Mikami's brilliant mind to play with your fears. The setting of insanity of the mind allows Mikami to design as many horrifying and extravagant level scenarios as he desires, and it's all varied and well designed. Quintessence of survival horror.
3. Super Smash Bros. For Wii U ; everything I wanted from a sequel in this franchise. Well balanced and tons of fun with friends. The only downsides are absent tournament mode, disappointing classic mode,missing characters and a lack of levels.
4. Resident Evil 4: Ultimate HD Edition ; this was my first time playing RE4 and it is just a gem of an action game. Exceptional design in combat and levels and bosses, it's timeless design has inspired action games for years. Playing it in 60fps and HD was even better.
5. Dark Souls II ; an interesting departure from the original game. Same in spirit but with noticeable design changes that improve and hinder the gameplay. The biggest issues were covenant imbalances, finite enemy spawns and some rehashed ideas.
6. Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze ; platformers don't really get better than this. Although difficult with more than 1 player, the challenging level design is meaty and filled with replayability.
7. InFamous Second Son ; a great sequel to a great franchise. The game has incredible graphics and fun open world gameplay. The downside was how short it was and some uninspired open world mission design.
8. Mario Kart 8 ; just a ton of fun with friends. It has the best balance in the series with great new gameplay additions like anti-gravity. The only downsides are the disappointing character roster and disappointing battle mode.
9. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix ; a compete package of the best games in the franchise with so much extra content and upscaled into HD that it is the definitive KH game package.
Oct 19, 2007
I've rechecked a couple times, so I don't think so, but please tell me if I made any mistakes with formatting.

My GOTY list for 2014:

1. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS ; As I love portables and Smash, Smash on a portable has been a dream, and its finally come true! With almost always perfect online and the best new characters in the series, I have had the most fun with this game compared to others not just this year, but of all time. With over 100 hours in the first month and 60+ more hours since then, it is my most played 3DS game and I look forward towards many more hours.

2. Dangan Ronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; I like reading books alot, so I am always on the lookout for new visual novels coming to NA. I really don't know which set of characters I like between the two Dangan Ronpa games, but with stuff like Agreeing and others countering you, this improves the gameplay by a ton. And the best final and craziest Chapter at the end was simply amazing.

3. Dangan Ronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; This game is on par with Dangan Ronpa 2. Really hard to choose a favorite among the two but a few things puts Dangan Ronpa 2 at the top. DanganRonpa 1 still had me hooked from start to finish. Don't miss this Ultimate New Series!

4. Shovel Knight ; Love 2D sidescrollers aswell as NES Style graphics. Combine that with the game's top notch gameplay and this becomes one of my favorite sidescrollers of all time. Simply an amazing game.

5. Mario Kart 8 ; Love Mario Kart series for its online and play a good amount each year so this from Mario Kart 7 as with any Mario Kart transition is basically new courses, and this game has some of the best courses and the retro courses are remade in great ways.

6. Watch Dogs ; Playing through this was cut short due to moving and not having enough room for a tv, but the single player was really cool for someone who doesn't play alot of these so called "AAA" games, but what really put it up so high was its online mutiplayer mode which came as a surpise. Trying to mess with people without getting caught was lots of fun.

7. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; Loved Returns and I loved this aswell, tho not quite as much for some reason. Still a very fun game.

8. Kirby: Triple Deluxe ; Kirby games can be hit or miss with me but this surprised me! 100%ing its main mode was actually challenging and fun and its up there with Kirby's Adventure as a favorite Kirby game.

9. Xeodrifter ; I may be the only person to vote for this considering how late it came out, but a very fun and short Metroidvania. Could've stood to be a tad cheaper considering its length, (2:30 for me.) but I quite liked the smaller maps since Metroidvanias tend to overwhelm me and I usually just stay lost.

10. NES Remix 2 ; I love NES games, love NES Remix 1, and loved this aswell. Dr. Mario and Wario's Woods felt like it dragged the game down, even more than sports games in the first one, but still some pretty cool challenges with some of my favorite NES games.

I won't do honorable mentions but for comparison's sake, these are the only other games that came out in 2014 that I got:
Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS)
Infamous: Second Son (PS4)
Steel Diver: Sub Wars (3DS)
I enjoyed them all. Great year for me.

Also I know it doesn't count for anything, but I also wanted to include my favorite games overall that I played for the first time this year but could've released any year. Just to have a record about it if thats all right:

One Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (3DS)
Two Dangan Ronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (PSV)
Three Dangan Ronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (PSV)
Four Corpse Party (PSV/PSP)
Five Fire Emblem Awakening (3DS)
Six Shovel Knight (3DS)
Seven Ace Attorney 5: Dual Destinies (3DS)
Eight Super Metroid (WiiU/SNES)
Nine Mario Kart 8 (WiiU)
Ten Watch Dogs (PS4)


Aug 9, 2014
Seattle, WA
The list follows my personal criteria of Top 10's I've done since 2000, following specific rules like:
Only complete releases, aka Broken Age, Kentucky Route Zero, and D4 are saved for next year.
Only one version can be on a any of my accumulated yearly GOTY lists, MG:Rising Revengance was 2013, as such, does not make my list, again.
Rules I've been using forever along with others, but in short, here's my Top 10.

1. Transistor ;

2. The Wolf Among Us: Episodes 2-5 ;

3. Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- ;

4. Bayonetta 2 ;

5. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney ;

6. Wolfenstein: The New Order ;

7. Crimzon Clover World Ignition ;

8. Shovel Knight ;

9. The Evil Within ;

10. Dark Souls II ;

Honorable Mentions
x. Shadowrun: Dragonfall ;
x. Shadows of Mordor ;
x. Strike Vector ;
x. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ;


Jun 12, 2009
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.
I thought it's quite obvious bayo 2 is going to win
the most interesting thing I can think of is mordor beating inq for second place

not going to participate in voting this year, my old pc can't run shit so waiting for a new one to start some 2014 stuff, I mean everything I played this year from this year was mordor, rome II and wow expansion and I don't think 3 entries is enough ^^


May 28, 2006
I was hoping to play Captain Toad, Akiba's Trip, and Far Cry 4 before compiling my GOTY list, but I broke my wrist on New Year's Day, and I can't really play many games right now as my thumb is barely operable, so those three will just have to fall off my list. Oh well, here's my top 10.

1. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth ; I was a bit nervous about Persona Q when I first heard about it. Firstly, I'm in Europe and the 3DS is region locked (though thankfully that one worked itself out). Secondly, I never got on with the demos of the Etrian Odyssey games, and from what I'd seen of PQ, it looked more Etrian than Persona. I still haven't finished it yet (I had to stop for study, and then injury), but what I've played has been a joy. Dungeons are a lot slower paced than in mainline games, but they're more interesting to explore and feel more intimidating. Map drawing is surprisingly fun (I was dead set on trying it out, just to say had, and then move on to automap). The one thing I don't particularly love is the battle system -- I think I prefer Persona 4's -- but I can't say it's bad. I just miss being able to chain up enemy weaknesses and gain momentum for an all-out attack, which seems to be more random in PQ; the added benefit of PQ's battle system, however, is you never feel powerful, so every run in the dungeon is tense. On the flip side, Persona Q has introduced the sub-Persona system, which means you have a lot of freedom in creating a party which, if done right, can stomp through a dungeon once you know its inhabitants well enough. The story is just fan fiction, really, but the writers (and localisers) have at least characterised many of P3 and P4's cast well. I think Akihiko feels like a caricature of his P3 self, which is somewhat disappointing, but I haven't really hated anyone else besides that. Persona Q's biggest triumph, however, is its got me curious in giving Etrian Odyssey another chance.

2. Transistor ; Wonderfully realised combat, an interesting world and plot, beautiful aesthetic qualities. Supergiant have knocked it out of the park for a second time, retaining the qualities that made Bastion so amazing while also being very fresh and different to it at the same time. This game blew me away.

3. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ; I had a lot to say about Ground Zeroes at first, much of it wasn't positive. I don't think it feels like a Metal Gear game, in particular. It certainly had lost a lot of its quirky weirdness. Where MGS4 tried to stick to a balance between the old style games and a more polished, modern title (and created a giant mess of a game in the process), MGSV seems to have shed its skin as an old arcadey stealth series, and embraced modern AAA conventions. I was, and still am in many ways, disappointed -- you could argue that Ground Zeroes is the homogenisation of MGS -- but I can't deny the quality of the end product regardless of that. Even when homogenising, Kojima still manages to do it better than anyone else. If this bar of quality only raises with The Phantom Pain, it will blow any and all action games away in 2015.

4. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd ; I have spent more hours on this game than I'd like to admit. Its catchy tunes and challenging difficulty have kept me coming back time and time again. Forget all that idol room shit, buying furniture and all that crap. I don't touch it. I'm in PDF2nd for the songs and the challenge, and while I don't think the set list is as good as the first, it's still an enjoyable one.

5. Bayonetta 2 ; Another game I haven't finished due to injury, but one I've played enough to at least include it on this list. The first game was one of my favourites of the last generation. Bayonetta 2 irons out a lot of the first game's flaws and annoyances, as forgivable as they were. In the process, sometimes I feel something is missing from Bayonetta 2, but I don't dwell on it for too long because the game just keeps throwing amazing stuff at me. Fluid controls, stylish action, an awesome soundtrack, and a juvenile (but also adult) sense of humour. I remember buying a Wii U a while back in anticipation of this game, and it was worth the wait. Platinum delivered. Best character action game in years.

6. Mario Kart 8 ; I skipped Mario Kart 7. Don't ask me why, but I did. I was probably on a kart racing malaise or something. But I did grab Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and that was the best kart racer I'd played in a long time. Mario Kart 8 trumps it, just about. While S&ASRT has more content and a generally more enjoyable single player (and I'm disappointed Nintendo didn't do some of the stuff Sumo/Sega did), Mario Kart is still the king of the road when racing with friends. Stage design is always amazing, and I love the idea of tracks being able to turn upside down, so you can ride up walls and on the ceiling in certain parts. Sure, a lot of it is just spectacle, but it adds something to the madness that makes the whole thing feel fresh again. I feel I should also praise Nintendo for its DLC for this game; it's actually really worthwhile and pretty inexpensive, considering what you get.

7. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions ; There's not much for me to say about this one. I loved the original GeoWars on Xbox 360, and I'm glad this has something resembling that original mode buried under a menu. However, GeoWars 3 tries to bulk its value with a kind of single player campaign that contains some weird stages and bosses. I'm not convinced it's particularly worthwhile, but I've been going through it and not hating the experience, so there's that. It's definitely an idea that can be worked on in a future instalment. Really, though, the value for me is in the classic modes found in GeoWars 1 & 2, now on modern systems. Everything else is additive.

8. The Evil Within ; I loved this game, and I loved hating it too. I also just plain hated parts. Shinji Mikami knows what he's doing, and for the vast majority of The Evil Within I felt legitimately challenged and pushed because of this. Enemies are intelligent and tough to take down, the game rarely gives you enough ammo (I feel this is a good thing), and the environments seem expertly crafted to accommodate those two previous positives. However, there were several sections with trial & error bullshit that really soured me on the whole game. By time the credits were rolling I felt downtrodden. Unlike RE4, which I've replayed many times over, I doubt I'll ever go back to The Evil Within because there are some parts of that game which I'd rather wipe from my memory. It's a miracle I actually finished this one.

9. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; I love Japanese adventures/visual novels, so I was almost certain to buy Danganronpa once I heard it was being released over here. And it was very enjoyable. I don't think it was particularly amazing, and I also don't understand why this series is more popular than the Zero Escape series in Japan, but whatever. The more VNs, the better. Some of the characters felt dumb and poorly-written, while others (namely, the ones who survived) felt like they actually had some depth to them and were the ones I naturally gravitated to during my free time. I also had some issues with the "gamey" aspects during the trials. They were horrible. I just wanted to solve the murder, not shoot floating lines of text on the screen or whatever.

10. Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney ; I love Ace Attorney games, and I don't particularly care for Layton. Still, I managed to enjoy this one on the most part, even the Layton puzzle solving bits, which I normally find tedious and too abstract from the game's setting/plot for them to be a legitimately compelling obstacle to progress. What I wasn't prepared for was the plot to nosedive into a giant ball of crazy at the end. People say to me, "Oh I guess you come from the Ace Attorney side, then?" whenever I say that, so I assume such madness is a staple of Professor Layton games (I've yet to finish one). I can't say I loved it all that much, but I accepted it at the end, even if it did leave a bitter taste in my mouth. At the very least, I enjoyed the court segments -- including some of the changes to the format like having several witnesses -- and the game managed to retain much of Ace Attorney's sense of humour when necessary, which was welcome. I can't say I regret playing it, but that ending spoiled something that I was really digging until that point.

Honorable Mentions
x. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; I feel the same about this as I do about Danganronpa 1. The twist is a little bit better in this one, though I felt the journey there with the characters wasn't as interesting as the original. What really makes this one sink into honourable mentions where the first was in my top 10 is how they doubled down on the minigame bullshit. I just find it utterly superfluous and even though you can turn the difficulty down, I just wish there was a way to turn it off entirely. It's legitimately horrible.

x. Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax ; I liked Arena's gameplay, and Ultimax seems to be an improvement on that. What I don't particularly like are half the characters. Like in Arena, P4's cast doesn't seem to have grown from the events of Persona 4, so, like, why even have them in the game? They're just sucking all the air out from the P3 cast, who have had a few years to change and grow up, and it's great to see them in their new lives after the events of that game. Still, I feel the actual events of the plot is just boring fan fiction crap, and most of the cast fall into bland caricatures. The plot isn't even particularly fun this time around, as it was in the first Arena, and that's just rubbing salt on the wound. But it gets an honourable mention because now we have Yukari and Junpei, plus that annoying brat and his dog I suppose.

x. Nidhogg ; This is a simple, but amazing, competitive game that's good for parties. At a friend's film night a few weeks back I brought my PS4 down so we could watch some Blu-rays, and I eventually coaxed everyone into giving Nidhogg a try after the film was over. Five minutes later and we were all screaming at the TV as the two contenders jabbed, stabbed, rolled and threw swords at each other. It's really something special when you're in a group.


Mar 3, 2013
1. Super Smash Brothers for Wii U ; Brawl is one of my favorite games of all time. This new version adds even more characters and stages along with a variety of modes to play and trophies to unlock. The soundtrack alone is simply amazing. I will be playing this game for years to come. I appreciate its existence allows for Amiibo to be made of characters who wouldn't normally get figures. Now if Nintendo would only make them readily available.

2. Bayonetta 2 ; I'm not an action gamer. What attracts me to Bayonetta is its sheer ridiculousness. I love the style especially the pop versions of old songs. I of course love the Nintendo costumes and their details. Having so many unlockables is great because it makes me want to replay the game.

What I love about the gameplay is the focus on dodging and then rewarding b you with hits like in NMH 1. I also appreciated a touch-only interface. I wish there were more touch games on Wii U in general.

3. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ; This is the most recent game I played and I've almost completed everything. It's honestly some of the most fun I've ever had. It almost was second on this list. I would honestly rather play Captain Toad then almost any game at any moment.

Why is it still third? Because while it's really fun it's still sorta simple and the bonus levels underwhelm. I appreciate coming up with puzzle designs takes a lot of work and I was very happy going back through levels for bonus objectives. It still felt like it was missing what was needed to go to the next level.

Nothing feels repetitive but I feel more powerups and levels like the Toad Brigade should be added. Also the there should've been one more boss. It was amazingly fun but I still felt it needed something more to be the best it could be. Still I'm getting close to 18 hours out of it so it was a very solid value.

4. Super Smash Brothers for 3DS ; I love Smash and this is a great portable rendition. The thing is the Wii U version is much better and reduces the 3DS version as a way to play more Smash and unlock trophies. Still tons of fun and I appreciate the ability to transfer custom characters.

5. Bayonetta ; Still a ton of fun even if drab compared to its sequel. I appreciate having the Nintendo costumes unlocked from the start.

6. Mario Kart 8 ; First the good. It has a wonderful sense of personality and the antigravity mechanics add some much needed dynamism to the tracks. The roster is the largest ever and all the Koopalings are playable.

7. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle ; It wonderfully captures the look of the original manga and deserves a spot for that and the great move set of characters. It missing better story content (they couldn't at least have art to go with the text descriptions). A very good game that falls below Mario Kart (and perhaps others) for no Foo Fighters or Diego. The latter parts really got shafted in representation. I'm sad that the sequel is some weird tag fighter even if Diego is in. Here's to hoping they make a true sequel to All-Star Battle and add FF and Diego.

8. Rusty's Real Deal Baseball ; A novel concept. I grew invested in Rusty's story and enjoyed the minigames. I wish Nintendo would actually implement the more you buy the greater your discount in actual releases.

9. Shovel Knight ; I'm not big into 2D platformers so this may belong higher. All I can say is I'm enjoying it and like its charm. I'm most looking forward to the 4-player battle mode.

10. Hyrule Warriors ; I honestly kind of hate this game. The Dynasty Warriors gameplay really isn't enjoyable to me. Yeah it's fun to mash buttons and kill hundreds of dudes on the normal difficulty but the who running across the map for objectives never feel fun for me.

Then why is it on the list? I really enjoy Zelda and as a fanservice this game delivers (Groose absence aside). It's great to play as Impa and Midna and the alternate outfits and weapons look cool. The upgrade system is also very neat. There's also a ton of content to unlock which is nice. I just have to get over not enjoying it much.


May 18, 2012
I wasn't really planning on posting my GOTY list, but seeing how I have time to 'spare', and how I need to make it look like I'm working, I'm going to post my list here. Also, due to the fact that I didn't bought that many games that were released this year, the list will be limited to 7 games only (yeah, I only bought 7 games that were released this year, the rest were from past years)

1.- Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd; First, let's get this out of the way: I think that the first game is better in some aspects (game mechanics, they way the unlockables work and the Diva Room wasn't so full of crap like in this one). With that said, the game was a worthy follow up to the last game. Why? It still has all the things that made the games before this one enjoyable: catchy tunes, good sense of rhythm and pretty graphics (seeing this game in 1080p with AA enabled is a treat to the eyes, and thankfully, the game has a rock-solid framerate). The song list can be defined as a "best of", since quite a few of them have appeared before in the series, and while some older fans might not appreciate this as much, it's something that I'm sure that new fans will appreciate. There are some stinker songs (I'm looking at you, Knife), but thankfully they are kept to a minimum, and you will find yourself humming at most of the songs here. Combine that with the promise of DLC and you will be playing this game for quite some time.

I'm still hoping that we get both Magnet and Strobo Nights as DLC. by the way

2.- Dangan Ronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc; With this one I'm cheating a bit, since I played the fan-translated PSP version in 2013, but whatever, the content is the same.
Ah, yeah, Dangan Ronpa, the VN that took players by surprise with its premise. The good news is that the cast, setting and story all work somehow, despite the absurdness of it all. A Teddie bear as a villian? Now that's new. Speaking about this game, there isn't a lot of what can you say without falling in spoiler territory,due to the nature of the game, a Visual Novel with linear plot and a storyline based on murder and finding out 'whodunit', but I hope that just giving you my word that the game is great is enough to justify its place here.

3.- Valkyria Chronicles; A PC port of one of the best strategy games on the PS3, if not the best. It was a bold combination, using Strategy per turns, Real-time strategy and third-person shooting. The best part of it all is that it works. The story is nothing to sneeze at, either, since it is a solid tale that while it might get a little off-the-rails at the end, is nothing that can be called bad. The characters are another reason why this game is so beloved: your squad, each and every one of them, matter. They have their own names and you will most likely reset a mission if even one of them fall in battle
... Except for maybe Cezary
. The only thing missing in the package is missions for the rest of your squad like the ones you had for the main characters. Oh well, at least they put those in the sequels

4.- Super Smash Bros for 3DS; As much as I would like to put the Wii U version here, I can't, simply because of the fact that I don't own the game, and only got to play it for a few hours this year. Anyway. Smash in portable form. Need I say more? Decent modes, and the ability to carry your game wherever you go it's something amazing. The fact that it's 60fps even with the 3D activated it's something amazing, too

5.- Shovel Knight; The great new 8-bit adventures of Butt-Butt!
I never played this mode :p
It's a game that recaptured the magic of those games of yore, while adding its own twists and giving us a great campaign to traverse. The promise of new content this year it's something to look forward, too.

6.- Hitman GO; I have to be honest: I never expected to be grabbed by this game as much as I was. The premise is simple: A board game where you move Agent 47 while accomplishing different goals. That's it. There's no story to speak of, nor there is any kind of animation in the figures. The good thing? This works. It's the perfect game to take with you, maybe get through a mission or two and exit the game. The game has the ever-awful IAP embedded, but thankfully it's something that can be completely ignored, and essentially buying this is admitting that you suck at this game
not to mention that you can go to Youtube if you're really desperate for the solution

7.- Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky; I mean, sure, I'm only putting this game here to inflate this list somehow, seeing how this is the last game that I bought the past year *and* released within it, but even then, it's a game that I enjoyed a lot. Haven't finished it yet, sadly, but I think I'm close to do so.
Oh, and I'm mad that we won't be getting the Plus content of the Vita version, too. It seems like a good upgrade to the base game

4. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd. Forget all that idol room shit, buying furniture and all that crap.
And good thing you didn't used them. Since I got the Platinum for the last game, which wasn't so bad to get, I wanted this one too. When I finally got the plat I vowed to never touch that place again; I was just sick of it due to the amount of stuff the games asks you to do in there, and a lot of them involved RNG because the devs made some changes to the way the room works, something that didn't helped matters.

Hot Coldman

Oct 1, 2009
West Philadelphia, born and raised
1. Jazzpunk ;

All is comedy
the slapstick, the surreal
you fuck a robot.

2. Threes ;

The idle hand's friend
tiles' glee in union

3. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS ;

For Glory we fight
Little Mac, the abyss awaits
really feeling it.

4. Shovel Knight ;

8-bit in the heart
the head sets no cheap defeat
home-cooked gaming.

5. Mount Your Friends ;

Immature veneer
in ascending pals, there's art
no pain like the fall.

6. Velvet Sundown ;

A boat of fools
the most treacherous role-play
sign my petition?

7. Hitman Go ;

Assassin on board
death puzzle, made literal
Agent's now absolved.

8. Luftrausers ;

Planes by the dozen
bomb along the ocean edge
be free, then nuclear.

9. GAME OF THE YEAR: 420BLAZEIT vs. xxXilluminatiXxx [wow/10 #rekt edition] Montage Parody The Game ;

Laughter of the year
Dew and memes crush the senses
did Shrek just kill me?

10. Super Time Force Ultra ;

Failure conundrum
turn back time to save your skin
basketball dinos.


Aug 15, 2007
1. Mario Kart 8 ; I'm pretty sure MK8 has usurped Mario Kart DS to become my favorite Mario Kart, which is no small feat. The racing itself feels more polished than ever (with a pretty even luck-to-skill ratio), the new courses are mostly great, and the visuals are surprisingly amazing.

2. Super Smash Bros. For Wii U ; I might have some issues with it, but gameplay wise it's the best Smash has ever been. Most of the new characters are super fun to play and actually bring something new to the roster. Except Dark Pit, fuck him.

3. Bayonetta 2 ; A master class in how to make a character action game.  While not as flashy/bombastic as Bayo 1, the gameplay in 2 definitely has an extra layer of refinement that really shows when you play them back-to-back.

4. Shovel Knight ; A rare retro tribute that actually combines the best parts of classic platformers with modern design sensibilities. Easily the best game I've backed on Kickstarter.

5. The Wolf Among Us ; Super underrated, in my opinion. A bit uneven in places, but overall it's a really engaging mystery with great characters. Also, the ending does a fantastic job of tying everything together.

6. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; Wolfenstein is a weird game, and I could probably write an essay on what it does right and what it does wrong. But it's great where it counts - the gunplay is leagues above most modern FPSes, and while the story has some big lows, it also has some major highs.

7. Kirby Triple Deluxe ; Another game that I felt got weirdly overlooked - it's just as good (if not better than) Return to Dreamland, and it honestly uses 3D better than any other 3DS game I can think of.

8. Alien: Isolation ; I'm only halfway through this right now (which is why I'm hesitant to put it higher on the list), but so far I am really impressed. You can tell the developers genuinely love the first Alien film, because their dedication to recreating the environments and atmosphere is amazing. I can definitely see why the game is divisive, particularly because of its intentionally slow pace (another example of being faithful to the film), but I recommend sticking with it.

9. Far Cry 4 ; It's more FC3, which isn't a bad thing. FC4 really embraces the fact that unscripted chaos is the best part of the Far Cry series, which is more true than ever.

10. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze ; I wasn't the biggest fan of Returns, but TF is a very noticeable step up in terms of design and presentation. While I feel the bosses are kinda weak, the rest of the game is enjoyable and well-paced.

x. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright ; It's neither the best Ace Attorney game nor the best Layton game, but it's a solid entry for both series regardless.

x. Guilty Gear Xrd ; I will never ever be good at this game, and it definitely isn't super accessible, but I love everything about the visual presentation and how insanely over-the-top it feels both in terms of tone and gameplay.

x. Titanfall ; I really liked Titanfall when I played it, enough to put 40 hours into it. But 9 months later I barely remember playing it. That's the issue with Titanfall - it's great in the moment, but it lacks the real substance it needed to be truly memorable. At the very least, it's a solid first game in a franchise, and I will definitely be looking forward to Titanfall 2.


Feb 19, 2008
Richmond, VA
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox 360

1. Valiant Hearts ; French animation--from the comic adventures of Tin Tin all the way to the surrealness of Triplets of Belleville--embraces the full spectrum of emotion. Enter Valiant Hearts, a game that combines whimsy and slapstick with profound sadness and a tremendous gut-punch of an ending. In the hands of a lesser developer, this venture would prove shlocky, but instead Valiant Hearts is able to draw the players in with incredible art, a delicate soundtrack, and a sharp focus on how war can sap us of our humanity.
2. Kentucky Route Zero ; I no longer buy Telltale games unless the season is finished. Sure, one might miss out on the speculation games and theories that spring out of community discussions, but it's a reasonable sacrifice for decent pacing. KRZ has been slowly eking out episodes for nearly two years now, and they're a little over half way done. And yet, I don't want them to rush. This game, and its extra (but essential!) interludes are literary. It's not often that a game evokes Beckett and can get away with it, but KRZ does. Like a good book, the roadmap of historical and intertextual devices is vast and leaves players with a lot to think about. Episode 3, which came out this year, is the best of bunch so far. I can't wait to see what Cardboard Computer has in store for us.
3. FRACT OSC ; Myst inside of a synthesizer. A game where the music is the reward; most of the game is starkly quiet, with an occasional stab of oscillation pointing you in the right direction. On top of it all, progress unlocks a honest to God synthesizer that the player can use to create their own rhythms. Sleeper of the year.
4. Nidhogg ; Smash Bros deconstructed and run on an acid-soaked Sega Genesis, with the music of Daedelus pushing you and your opponent ever forward. Best local multiplayer.
5. P.T. ; Disorienting. Paralysing. Will creep into your subconscious, and wake you up at night.

6. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; The dev team looked to Wagner's compositions for inspiration and it makes sense; this game is loud and soft, sadistic and humane, funny and depressing. It's easy to look at this game and say, "Oh they wanted to make Inglorious Basterds into a game," but the thing is, they fucking nailed it.
7. Hohokum ; Infinite discovery padded by Ghostly's incredible electronica artists. Childlike glee.
8. The Wolf Among Us ; Telltale manages to make the fantastic believable, and draw human stories out of super heroes. It's the best super hero movie of the year.
9. TRI: Of Friendship and Madness ; TRI deserves a mention for being a first-person puzzler that actually does something new. It's a bit rough around the edges, sure, but the levels, chock full of secrets and open-environments, really free up the physics-based puzzling.
10. Jazzpunk ; It's a joke, its mechanics are a joke, the story is a joke, the visuals are jokes, the jokes are jokes.

Bonus: Best game I played in 2014 not from 2014 ; The Swapper


Feb 15, 2014
Perth, AU
1. Forza Horizon 2 ; A wonderful racing game, the open world driving and the attention to detail to both the cars and the world is astonishing. A phenomenal follow up to FH1 and well deserving of all praise given to it.
2. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; A great return to the world of Dragon Age that importantly looks and feels like it should in terms of visuals, story and a decent level of traditional RPG.
3. Sunset Overdrive ; A wonderfully fun game to play, i have not had as much simple fun with a game in such a long time. While the humour was hit and miss, the gameplay was front and centre and every time i played this i had a smile on my face. Would be very disappointed if a sequel never came.
4. Titanfall ; I loved the gameplay of Titanfall and while it was not as well executed as i thought it would be in terms of story and it lacked content on release, i enjoyed my time with the game immensely.
5. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; After the intro mission, i spent almost 12 hours in the first area alone before picking up another mission. The nemesis system really adds to the open world gameplay.
6. Destiny ; I have a love-hate relationship with this game and really i wouldn't normally put it on my list especially after how disappointed i was with the games story. However i simply needed to put it in the top 10 because of the insane amount of time i have put into the game and how well done the gameplay is.
7. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare ; Brings a lot of colour and some great fun to MP shooters. Love it to bits.
8. Infamous Second Son ; A great game, with a good story, fantastic graphics in an open world playground. While its enjoyability varied on what power you were using, overall it was a lot of fun. However its lack of re-playability and its weak characters (minus reggie) hurt it.

Honorable Mentions
x. DriveClub; A good racing game that will hopefully only get better with more updates but just lost all interest due to the frequent online issues at launch.
x. Halo: The Master Chief Collection ; Love the idea but the execution at launch again killed my excitement.
x. The Last of Us: Remastered Edition ; Loved it on PS3 and loved it here but not enough done to the game as a remaster IMO to warrant a vote for GOTY.
Jun 18, 2014
Seoul, South Korea
1. Destiny; I went back and forth on this one a lot; yes, it is my most played game of the year with 201 hours as of writing this (more than I played every Halo game.... combined...in just four months), but is it my game of the year? I kind of answered myself while playing the rest of the games on my list and stopping at 6PM every day for the new Heroic mission and bounties in Destiny. Every Tuesday my brothers and I drop everything we are doing and take on the new Nightfall. The week I volunteer to take the “late shifts” is always timed to the Iron Banner so I can link up with my “dream team” in the crucible. I lose and it doesn’t mater; I am still making progress towards my “perfect build.” I win but get loot I don’t need? I break it down to make the stuff I do like better. Is the game perfect? Oh, most certainly not. The amazing lore and world building is stuffed onto the back of cards and hidden from the actual game. And playing by yourself is like owning only half the game. But every day I log in and make a little more progress while shooting the shit with my family and friends. Destiny is not for everyone, but for me and my family/friends it is the greatest and most engaging version of Skype ever created. Oh, and can we talk about the art direction? Sick of “gray and brown” FPS? Destiny takes its desert world (Mars) and makes every excuse to inject blues, greens, purples, and golds where ever they can. Not the more technically impressive game of 2014, but really is the best art direction (and sky boxes^^) of any FPS. Period.

2. Far Cry 4; I missed out on Far Cry 3. My PC couldn’t run it and I heard too many caveats about the quality of the PS3 port, so I passed. Come the announcement of Far Cry 4 in a setting I find far more interesting, the console version not being botched, and the promise of the part of Watch Dogs I really liked (the Gang Hideouts) being fleshed out in a full opened world FPS RPG and I was on board. I love the sense of freedom and “tackle this the way you want” for most missions. I love how you have choices in the campaign, but it is between two flawed sides rather than “perfectly good” and “completely evil” like most games. I even like how they implemented Co-op to allow you to try out different strategies on the harder fortress fights. This game may have been just “playing it safe” by just refining what worked with Far Cry 3, but for this console transition year it was exactly what these machines needed.

3. Dragon Age Inquisition; I love this game. I really do. I love the scope, the feeling of control and agency in the world, I love the fleshed out characters and relationships, I even love the sort of “good enough” combat and the (limited) strategy it allows. But what kept it from number two was the nice thin layer of “jank” over almost everything. It loads fairly quickly, just to load a second time. Characters look great, but then float above the ground or disappear and reappear sometimes. I can jump, but sometimes I get stuck on nothing or cannot get up a hill I should be able to just “because.” It explains almost nothing about where you need to go or how you are supposed to do things and even starts you out in an area that will make you too powerful for the game if you stay there too long! But that being said it never gets to the point of being broken or being too janky to keep going. Quite the contrary, the good outweighs the bad to such an extent that I actually had to remember these frustrations by replaying some of the game for this GOTY deliberation. Gosh, did I love this world and cannot wait for Bioware’s next game this gen.

4. Danganronpa; When talking about Virtue’s Last Reward with my younger sister I said that “sometimes it feels nice to play a game where the writer is smarter than you are.” I do not mean that as an insult to video game writers, only to express that the very simplistic or predictable game stories that have become the norm are perfectly fine excuses to have fun and play around in these worlds, but it is nice to play a “smart man’s game” every now and then. Danganrompa and its squeal are such games. From the characters that redefine their given stereotypes, to the trials that rival even Phoenix Wright in their creativity, to the endings that were hinted to for two dozen hours, but still leave you jaw dropped. These games may be the best two stories told on in gaming for 2014 and they are several years old each (being remakes of Japan only PSP games). They were a great break from the norm for 2014 and I hope were get more experences like them in 2015.

5. Transistor; Setting: Perfect. Music: Perfect. Strategic RPG gameplay: Perfect. Only a very short length (5-6 hours first run through, 12 hours for full experience) and a purposely vague story that rivals Destiny for “It is great, but you got to look it up and figure it out yourself” levels of being absent from the main experience. But it is a really stylish game that may have the best presentation of 2014; not just for indies but for all games in general. Never played Bastion, but this game put Super Giant on the map for me in a really big way.

6. Valiant Hearts; I make no effort to hide my love of history and past military engagements. Professionally I have to look at and analyzes current and theoretical near future conflicts, so it only makes sense that I hold past ones in a very high regard in terms of my general interest and enjoyment as a vehicle for fiction. Ubisoft (yes, the “evil corporation” that “loves” downgrades and broken games) took a very overlooked area of video game historical representation and made a very compelling and heartfelt adventure game. From their use of very cartoony style to soften the blow of the game’s grim subject mater, to their insertion of very real and very impactful photos and facts on the war itself, and the ability to create a very human story without “good guy France” and “bad guy German” and instead with “real guys Europeans (and one awesome American^^). I really hope this becomes a franchise and explores other conflicts, countries, and human experiences.

7. Infamous Second Son; Still the best looking game this year. Every time I look at those facial animations and see those neon powers at night I know that this little box is capable of some truly amazing visual experiences. The game’s story fell a little flat with a very rushed ending (“The bad guy’s really compelling and realistic reason for being a bad guy? The good guy overcomes it through the power of believing in the good of humanity.” F**k off.) and was about three hours too short to feel like a full open world campaign, but the powers all felt great and different from each other and got the most important thing for superhero games right: it made you look and feel badass. Still a great game, but being the weakest of the trilogy prevents it from being any higher on my list... even if it is the prettiest^^

8. Shadows of Mordor; This may be destined to be my “got robbed on the GOTY list” game for 2014. I am only about 8 hours in, so all of the best aspects of the combat are not unlocked yet, I have not seen the nemesis system used to its full potential yet, and I have only scratched the surface of the map yet. But we are running out of time for this thread and I will not be able to complete this before the deadline, so I must place it based on my experiences rather than where I think it will end up. Still, everything you heard about it being “the best playing Assassin’s Creed game” is correct and I looking forward to fully experiencing this game in the weeks to come.

9. Call of Duty Advanced Warfare; Poor Call of Duty. I am going to “Mario Kart 8” you. Yes, you may be the best of the series with only one major issue (Kart’s battle mode/COD’s EXO survival not being anywhere near as good as extinction or zombies), but we expected you to be great. And you were. So we are not impressed. Maybe not truly fair, but these lists are all about subjectivity so there it is. Also a “PMCs are bad, ok” story is so paint by the numbers that only great acting saves it from being a 80’s movie cliched mess. Be more creative. You got three years to write this stuff. That aside, plays perfectly, has all the modes and content you would expect from this type of game (technically the same as Destiny, but never saw a reviewer complain about that^^) and will likely get a 150 or so hours out of my family and I before next year.

10. The Evil Within; All I wanted was a “Good” game from the Evil Within. I would have been happy to get a little survival horror throw back and moved on to the other major fall games. Imagine my surprise when it was not only good, but actual kind of great^^ Outside of a few “trial and error” BS sections (Chapters 10 and 12. Why you do this to me?!?!) and a nice blended layer of “jank” over everything, this was the most fun I have had in the genre since Resident Evil 5 (yes, I actually really liked that one^^). The feeling of never being powerful enough, but finding a way anyway. The style and creativity that makes no two chapters feel the same. And a story that is engaging enough, but still keeping answers close to its chest really made this a wonderful experience. Oh, how about a save area that you do not feel safe in? Pitch perfect atmosphere^^

Special Mention/AKA my wife’s GOTY:

X. Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition;
How do you make a great even better? Ask Blizzard. Gosh darn it was this game fun and addictive even to the point of my wife scheduling Thursday gaming sessions with me and my two younger brothers. It only looks “ok” for these new systems, but is butter smooth, too much content to even get through on your own, and the best local co-op this side of Towerfall^^


My QB is a Dick and my coach is a Nutt
Jun 8, 2004
This was a really tough year to put together a top 10 list. Not because there weren't enough good games, but because there were too many. I was pretty much in cRPG heaven for the first time in years. It caused me to have to push a lot of really enjoyable games off of my list.

1. Divinity: Original Sin ; This is a game that took me by surprise this year. I had heard about Dragon Commander, but haven’t had a chance to play it yet. But seeing some of the reactions to Divinity on GAF sold me on the game and I am glad that it did. The story is a bit on the simple side, but what is there is charming and doesn’t detract from the game. The combat is what makes this game. It is both extremely tactical, with just a bit of nonsense thrown in when the elemental reactions start going off and half your screen turns into an explosion of poisonous gas. While I didn’t get to play much of the co-op, what I was able to try was really fun. I just wish I had friends who were into cRPGs so that I could have played the entire game this way.

2. Shadowrun: Dragonfall ; I felt Shadowrun Returns was an interesting and successful game. I loved the cyberpunk atmosphere and felt like the overall mechanics were solid. It was just missing a few pieces that held it back from being, namely the lack of a save anywhere system and overly linear story. Dragonfall took the basic structure, fixed the majority of the issues from Dead Man’s Switch, and then kicked everything into high gear. The story was engaging, the characters were interesting, and Berlin was a much more compelling setting.

3. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; Obsidian is my favorite game developer, so unlike many, I was not surprised that South Park turned out well. This game thoroughly encapsulates South Park to the point that you might as well be watching (and playing) an extended episode. The game is absolutely beautiful. It also contained some of the most memorable scenes in a game this year (or even several years), namely the fight against the underpants gnomes and heading into Canada. The only thing that keeps this from being 1 or 2 on my list is that the combat system is a bit simplistic for something that you spend so much doing.

4. Wasteland 2 ; Unlike South Park, I actually am a little surprised that Wasteland 2 turned out as well as it did. While I pitched in for the Kickstarter, I wasn’t a huge fan of inXile’s previous games. Luckily they proved me wrong and came out with a solid RPG. It was well written and actually allowed for a nice degree of freedom and player choice. Even more importantly, there were actually consequences to many of your decisions. Combat wasn’t as exciting as Divinity, but was overall very solid and enjoyable. If they make a WL3, I do hope they take a bit more time on the underlying systems. I am fine with separate weapons skills, but things like Brute Force seem a bit redundant.

5. Might & Magic X: Legacy ; This is actually the first non-Heroes Might & Magic game that I have ever played and I am glad that I did. It took a bit before everything clicked with me, but once it did I found the game to be extremely well put together. The dungeon crawling had just the right degree of challenge, without being overly frustrating. The combat is fast paced, but absolutely has a level of strategy and requires some thought into what you are going to do, especially when you come up against some of the more challenging bosses. The puzzles were also well designed, while for the most part not being too prohibitively difficult.

6. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls ; While I didn’t hate or strongly dislike Diablo III like many people, I did think that it had a lot of flaws. The auction house of course had a very negative effect on how loot worked, but even more importantly, the game just got boring after a while. Thankfully Reaper of Souls (along with the loot 2.0 patch) fixed almost everything I disliked about the game. The auction house was thankfully removed. The addition of Adventure Mode was even bigger. It added a huge amount of replay value that the game desperately needed. With Reaper, I finally feel that this is a worthy sequel to Diablo II.

7. The Banner Saga ; While this is another game I Kickstarted, it had been sitting in my backlog until the last week. I saw someone on this board describe it as a cross between Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, and Final Fantasy Tactics. That pretty much got me to install it instantly and finally sit down and play through it. Banner Saga is an immensely satisfying game. The combat is challenging and the choices are difficult. Sometimes overly so, as this is a very grim game that has no issues with killing major characters based on your actions. My only real complaint is that I don’t feel they do a great job of explaining the importance of certain systems. There also seems to be a bit of a difficultly spike toward the very end.

8. Valiant Hearts: The Great War ; The game play of Valiant Hearts reminded me a lot of The Cave, just done much better. It mixes together classic point and click sections, along with side scrolling adventure, action sections, and puzzle based boss fights. It paces itself in a way that prevents you from getting worn out of any one type. The art and music in this game is just beautiful. The story while being predictable in spots, did have its share of poignant moments, most notably at the end.

9. Mario Kart 8 ; This is only the third Mario Kart game that I have found myself loving (the first being Super Mario Kart and the second being Double Dash). I thought the levels were much more enjoyable compared to the Wii version. The art style of the game translated terrifically into HD and can be very stunning. I have predominately have played the game online and it works surprisingly well. I just wish with all of the old courses that they brought back that they would have included Baby Park.

10. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; As someone who is largely tired of first person shooters, I found Wolfenstein to be very enjoyable. Once you got out of the Call of Duty like tutorial, the game starts to open up into larger levels that allow you to tackle objectives in different ways. The shooting is very satisfying, with the exception of the pathetically sounding firing noises. Most surprising of all, the story isn’t completely stupid and they did a decent job of giving characterization to the meathead that is your avatar.


Feb 4, 2006
1. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; the best 2D gameplay platformer yet, fantastic game
2. Mario Kart 8 ; loved it, will never get old
3. Mario Kart 8: DLC Pack 1; DLC done right
4. The Walking Dead: Season Two: Episodes 2-5 ;
5. Wolfenstein: The New Order ;
6. Pushmo World ;
7. Art of Balance ;
8. The Wolf Among Us: Episodes 2-5 ;
9. Total War: Rome II ;

x. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ; a 2015 release in Europe, would be high up on the list otherwise
x. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; seems to be a pretty good game but it's not the type of game I like
x. Bayonetta ; not finished yet
x Bayonetta 2 ; not started yet

Making this list made me realize that I didn't play a lot of games last year.


Apr 11, 2009
I always have a hard time ranking things... Let's try:

1. Mario Kart 8 ; This game is just pure unadulterated fun, i played it for more than 100 hours and i can't stop coming back. For me is the best MK in ages, only the Battle Mode is a step back compared to the previous titles. It's also a beautiful game, with great lighting and vibrant colors. Even the DLC is top notch. People was expecting SSB to be Nintendo's best effort this year but for me MK8 took the cake. Well done Nintendo.
2. Dark Souls 2 ; if this is a B-team work then why we need A-teams? This game gets too much hate on GAF. I do agree that it's a step behind compared to the previous installment but still is one of the best games of the year for me (and for many people).
3. Shovel Knight ; a love letter to the 8-bits platformers from the NES era. Great pixelart, great music and great gameplay. My only complain: the game is not that hard and is very short.
4. Sunset Overdrive ; why did i put this videogame in my top 10? Well, as my grandma usually says, a video is worth more than a thousand words: http://xboxclips.com/keimik4ze/bb3d12d6-a015-4fd7-ac4d-8fa33af76743 (yeah, i was bad back then but i got better, i swear)
5. Forza Horizon 2 ; I haven't put many hours in this one yet but considering how much i loved the first one i think i'm not doing wrong including it in the list. People say this is a game about racing but for me is a game about driving. My favorite part is to wander the huge map just enjoying the beautiful world crafted by Playground Games. It's a joy. The sound, the lighting, the colors, the music... everything fits and adds up to this amazing experience. And the most important thing: it worked since day 1.
6. Alien: Isolation ; As a big fan of the Alien movies (especially the first one) i have been waiting for a game like this for years. Well, i couldn't be happier about how it turned. Let's say i tend to sweat when i'm nervous and tense and i did sweat a lot playing this game. This is what a Alien game has to be. Bonus props for the great atmosphere (built with flawless lighting and sound) and the constant nods to the Alien universe. My only complaint: it's too long, it dragged a little towards the end.
7. Bayonetta 2 ; Sadly i haven't put the hours i would have wanted in this game yet. It probably would be higher if that was the case. My opinion about Bayonetta 2 can be sum up as "more and better". The game is a refinement of the first one in every aspect and as a bonus it has a good and clever story (compared to the previous game i mean). I'm looking to put more time on it during this coming months. BTW, my faith in Platinum just keeps growing so i have high expectations for Scalebound (*cross fingers for a 2015 release*).
8. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; Probably my disappointment of the year. Then why to put it on my top? Well, it's a disappointment for me because the wasted potential, the game itself is very good. This game is the perfect example of quantity over quality. I will elaborate on this matter but not here. Anyways, i'm having a lot of fun with the game and i think it deserves to be in my list.
9. Threes ; yeah, a mobile game made it to my top 10 of the year. Threes is that good. A masterclass in game and visual design.
10. Nintendo Pocket Football Club ; I spent more than 100 hours playing this game. It's not the best football manager out there, far from it, in fact is very simple and barebones compared to the leaders of the genre. Still, the game is very endearing and i had a lot of fun watching the matches (and i have to admit it also made me yell a lot), i think it deserves a spot because that.

Honorable Mentions
x. Titanfall ; the most fun i had with a FPS since Halo 3. Hopefully the multiplatform nature of the sequel helps the series to get the praise it deserves.
x. Jazzpunk ; stupid fun is the best fun, this game reminds me to movies such as Airplane or Hot Shots. The visuals helped a lot.
x. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth ; i played just a few hours but i think it's my kind of game despite being ugly as hell.
x. Monument Valley ; a beautiful and little experience.

List of games in my backlog that could have made the top 10: The Banner Saga, The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead Season 2, Captain Toad, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Shadow of Mordor, Divinity: Original Sin, Wasteland 2, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Valiant Hearts, Transistor, Nidhogg, Towerfall Ascension, 1001 Spikes, Broken Age (i will play it when it's complete) and many more i probably forgot about.


Feb 14, 2005
Kyoto, Japan
1. Mario Kart 8 ; Heaps of tracks, loads of characters, beautiful HD graphics, seamless online integration, and great post-release support make the latest edition of Mario Kart my GOTY. This is how it should be done, folks.
2. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of all that this game has to offer.
3. Azure Striker Gunvolt ; Gunvolt is a much-needed Mega Man game while the Blue Bomber is in absentia.
4. Steel Diver: Sub Wars ; I poured over 100 hours into this much-overlooked tense, strategic submarine sim. Four-on-four online multiplayer in a 3D environment gives this game the depth that the original lacked. It's also F2P, so there's no reason to miss out.
5. Star Keeper ; This is one of the best games you'll never get to play: a Chinese homebrew NES game with only about 116 cartridges produced. Float around with your jetpack to collect stars while avoiding and shooting down enemies. The back of the box reads: "In order to defeat the Blue Moon and retrieve the lost stars, Dylan started an advanced aircraft - his house, 'Guardian One'. Dylan is driving 'Guardian One' to chase Blue Moon bravely, and starts a journey of mission..." It's a true modern retro classic.
6. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ; Charming. Simply charming.
7. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; DK had my platforming fix for the year taken care of.
8. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call ; It's more of the same, but is what the original Theatrhythm should've been. No needless restrictions to 5-song sets per game, gobs of tracks included from the start, and lots of gameplay options. It's a huge time-sink.
9. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS ; Fun, but hard to see on a small screen in limited resolution.
10. Mighty Gunvolt ; Short, but sweet.
x. Mario Kart 8: DLC Pack 1 ; Great value!
x. Bayonetta ; I haven't really started it yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.
x. Bayonetta 2 ; This sequel will have to wait until I've finished the original.
x. Entwined ; I picked this game up on a whim at launch, but it's still sitting in my backlog.
x. Child of Light ; I got this with PS+, and can't wait to try it!


May 10, 2010

1. DriveClub ; DriveClub is not only an extremely fun, addictive game to play with its excellent handling model and strong social hooks, but it was also the first game to show me that, in terms of visuals, the new generation really has arrived. It's no exaggeration to say that it's the best looking game I've ever played - at times it genuinely looks real. And, as a lover of eye candy, it's that photorealism combined with the exhilaration provided by the purity of its racing that ultimately secures my 2014 top spot.

2. GTA V ;

3. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ;

4. Velocity 2X ;

5. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare ;

6. OlliOlli ;

7. CounterSpy ;

8. Strider ;

9. Luftrausers ;

10. Don't Starve ;

Honourable mentions for games I've yet to play.

x. Last of Us: Remastered & Left Behind DLC ;
x. inFAMOUS: Second Son & First Light DLC ;
x. Alien: Isolation ;
x. Far Cry 4 ;


Apr 2, 2007
It was kind of an usual year for me.
I enjoyed games, I really did, but nothing "sings" to me from the year.

1. Bayonetta 2 ; Beautiful insanity. A bit easier than it's predecessor, but ultimately felt better in just about every way.
2. Wolfenstein: The New Order ;
3. The Jackbox Party Pack ;
4. The Wolf Among Us ;
5. Dragon Age Inquisition ;
6. Dark Souls 2 ;
7. Sunset Overdrive ;
8. Alien Isolation ;
9. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ;
10. P.T. ;

x. The Last of Us: Remastered;
x. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc;
x. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair;
x. Monument Valley;


Jan 25, 2012
Vancouver, B.C.
1. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
2. Super Smash Bros U
3. Mario Kart 8
4. Bayonetta 2
5. Bravely Default
6. Fantasy Life
7. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

That's... it for me. Wow... played far fewer games than I had expected this year. Legit surprised Sony offered nothing for me but man, 2015 is going to be a REEEEEALLY hard time deciding my list. It won't just be Nintendo this time around, finally.


Aug 15, 2010
Overall, this year was pretty weak for me but Danganronpa was definitely the highlight of the year. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor ended up being a sleeper hit and The Evil Within managed to deliver on what I expected from it.

1. Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc ; The one that started it all
2. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; More of the same but even better and crazier
3. The Evil Within ; Mikami delivered on what he promised albeit with flaws
4. inFamous: Second Son ;
5. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor ;
6. DriveClub ;
7. South Park: The Stick of Truth ;
8. Far Cry 4 ;


Apr 11, 2009
Since when broken games get a free pass on GAF? I thought people here hated the trend of releasing buggy games.


Aug 11, 2006
Note: Everything was played on PC except Mario Kart and 80 Days

1. Divinity: Original Sin ; Everything I hoped it would be and more. Fantastic turn based battles, multiple ways of solving quests, no handholding telling me to do this or that. About the prefect difficulty for me as well, there were some tough spots, but never bad enough to make want to stop.
2. Jazzpunk ; This game scored a direct hit on my sense of humor. I had a blast tracking down every little secret joke in this thing.
3. Elite Dangerous ; A late addition to the list, but I can't stop playing this. Exploring space is awesome, and it looks fantastic at the same time.
4. Endless Legend ; A welcome change to some of the expected systems of this genre. This game is a really weird 4X game, and that is why it is so great.
5. Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls ; This managed to salvage Diablo 3.
6. Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare ; I picked this up on a whim and it was easily my favorite shooter of the year.
7. Mario Kart 8 ; I bought a Wii U for this game. Not sure the purchase was worth it, but this game alone is amazing. If only it had the variety of the Sonic AllStar's single player progression.
8. 80 Days ; A classic novel becomes a sort of choose your own adventure interactive story with amazing art and what feels like incredible variety? Yes please.
9. Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments ; I am a sucker for these games and this one is no different. Some of the puzzles again are a bit obtuse, but this is the closet version of the original Holmes you can find in media today.
10. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; I struggled to come up with a number 10 for this list, but Mordor was an amazing 5-6 hours before I felt like it wore out it's welcome. So I will go with that.
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