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

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Feb 28, 2009
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Aw man, no more 10 to 1? Tough to generate build-up when the first thing you see is GOTY.

Ah well, rules are rules. Will post once I get a bit further in Fantasy Life.
 

DJIzana

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Jan 25, 2012
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1. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - The soundtrack, the art style, the challenges... the only other DKC games I've really enjoyed have been 1 and 2. Easily the best platforming game I've played this year.

2. Super Smash Bros U: The music, character roster, single player content, 8 player Smash, working online, the collectibles and other games you can play coop or what have you... the stage bosses. Such creativity. I love it.

3. Mario Kart 8 - DLC done right... 16 courses, 8 cars, 6 characters for $11.00 if you get the combo pack? More devs need to follow this. Also, the music in this game, the graphics... I couldn't ask for more from a Mario game except for even more courses down the road. :D

4. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - Currently playing this one and I just love it. It may not be the most challenging game but it's certainly a lot of fun! I've always enjoyed the Captain Toad levels in Mario 3D World and am really happy they decided to make a full game from it.

5. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Started playing on PC when it first came out August 2013 on PC. I guess the reason its on this list is because of the PS4 version. Whatever... I'm including it on my list because I don't even have a total of 10 games for my top 10 Games of the year. My screenshots folder in this game is a total of 8GB. I absolutely love the art direction and scenery in this game. The screenshots folder alone should say how much I enjoy this game.

6. Shovel Knight - This game is amazing. The nods to other types of games out there, its music, its creativity... probably the only indie game I've actually went out of my way to go play.

That's it, folks. Wish I had more but yeah... not a lot for me so far in 2014. 2015 will change though, I'm sure.
 
Jul 7, 2011
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1. Bayonetta 2 ; Retuned mechanics and controls of my favorite game last gen, better pacing, no instant kill qte, packed with content and rounded up with a solid multiplayer.
2. Super Smash Brothers for Wii U ; Multiplayer madness with the best cast to date.
3. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; Best platformer on the Wii U and one of the best of all time.
4. Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- ; GG returns as one of the prettiest 2D fighters ever.
5. Mario Kart 8 ; Tight controls, eye-candy graphics delivered at 60fps, also Lugi death stare.
6. Dark Souls II ; Overhauled multiplayer made it the best Souls game, yet..
7. Velocity 2x; I'm actually more the danmaku style player but still a very enjoyable shmup this year.
8. Toukiden: The Age of Demons ; So far the best hunting game on the vita. I played it for hundreds of hours and liked it, so yes it's on my list
9. Pix the Cat ; Chu Chu Rocket meets Space Invaders Extreme.
 

HouseDragon

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Apr 28, 2013
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1. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; Amazing game, set inside an immersive world with so much lore to explore and delve into. An engrossing and memorable experience.
2. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; With a great narrative, I was completely hooked. Quirky, well thought out little gem of a game. Made quite an impression on me.
3. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; Nemesis system is truly revolutionary. It boosts a competent game into a truly memorable experience.
4. The Evil Within ; Horror, just how I like. Almost no jump scares (I hate them with a passion) and big on sky high tension and psychological horror, it's become one of my favorite horror games of all time.
5. Dark Souls II ; In the vein of previous games, this one has a multiplayer a league above its predecessors. Shame it falls a bit short from being excellent, but its still a Souls game through and through. Great game all around.
6. Infamous: Second Son ; Some of the best visuals I've ever seen in a game. And even though the gameplay is way more fun than its predecessors, it feels like it could've been even better. Hoping that Sucker Punch achieves a masterpiece next time around, because this game shows their talent, maybe more development time would've helped to get it to that status. It's still a ridiculously fun game though!
7. Driveclub ; One of the purest, most fun racing experiences I've ever had in a game. Visuals are out of this world and the sheer feeling of speed is superb. That's why the failed launch of the game is even more disheartening. Even though I haven't experienced the "club" part of the game that much, the base game is amazing and I hope that a community builds on the game in the coming months.
8. Destiny ; Yes, it was grossly anticipated and yes, it probably didn't deliver on all fronts. But I still had a blast playing this with friends. I hope to jump back now that the expansion is out, although I still have to get into a raid (the only one of my friends that is level 26, bummer). Even though I feel I haven't experienced it a it's fullest, I've still had a lot of fun with it.
9. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ; How I've missed you, Snake. It was a revelation playing an MGS game in PS4, with such great visuals and refined gameplay. I still miss Hayter (that's a whole other discussion), but If this is a taste of things to come, I'm confident MGSV:TPP will be in my top 3 games next year. Still, main complaint is that it's too short. But it's SO SWEET.
10. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4) ; A game that was in dire need of a remaster, it realized its true potential on current gen consoles. I've been having a great time with it. A new experience, almost as if its a different game.

Honorable Mentions:

X. The Last Of Us: Remastered ; Only reason I didn't put it above GTA V was because the difference (to me) is not as drastic to the core gameplay than it was to GTA V with the remastered version. It's still a superb remaster of a modern classic, but I've already had as my GOTY last year.
X. Ultra Street Fighter IV ; The expansion was a great excuse to go back to the OG fighting game series. I love the game, that's all.
X. Little Big Planet 3 ; The best single player in any LBP I've experienced (IMO), the addition of new characters is genius (and adorable, too). Too bad some bugs and different problems have brought down the game for me. Hope to see fixes to them soon.
 

Lilalaunebaer

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Jun 7, 2013
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1. Bayonetta 2 ; The best game of its genre since the first one. Epic, hilarious, great combat.
2. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Got the PC port and boy am i glad. The Parry System should be a standard for blocking in games period. Also "Nanomachines son".
3. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; The best shooter of the year, great gunplay and no dull moment.
4. Mario Kart 8 ; It´s Mario Kart man. Great amount of content, the online works great, has actually worthwhile DLC. It´s just fun.
5. Super Smash Bros. for WII U ; Insane amount of content, beautiful and i had this much fun in local Multiplayer since i don´t know.
6. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; I LOVE South Park and this was basically a playable season and a huge love-letter to fans.
7. The Last of Us: Left Behind ; Probably one of the best DLC ever
8. Hearthstone : Heroes of Warcraft ; A few days after posting this list, i started playing Hearthstone. My god this is great. Simple, easy to get into, complex tactics. Already dozens of hours in. Had to edit into my list.
9. Donkey Kong Country : Tropical Freeze ; One of the best platformers ever. Just soooo good.
10. Shovel Knight ; Just a great Platformer.
 

Brazil

Living in the shadow of Amaz
May 27, 2009
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1. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; Simply the best. Absolutely mindblowing.
2. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; The best version of the best game series ever.
3. Bayonetta 2 ; Sublime.
4. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd ; One of the best rhythm games ever.
5. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; An amazing, wild ride, despite the extremely weak first chapter.
6. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call ; So much content, and the formula's glorious.
7. Mario Kart 8 ; What a game.
8. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS ; Smash on the go.
9. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze; Easily one of my favorite platformers.
10. Shovel Knight ; And they said 80's/90's nostalgia was dead.
 

Gries

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Nov 21, 2013
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1. Valiant Hearts: The Great War ; tears. So many tears. Thank you Ubisoft for elevating our beloved medium to new heights by tackling serious topics in video games that touch people on a personal level. The UbiArt games have truly delivered so far. We need more emotional games like this one.



2. Grand Theft Auto V ; Rockstar delivered the AAA-GOTY two years in a row with GTA V due to their inclusion of a first-person mode, 150ish new songs and an increased draw distance. 170 hours and counting. A true classic.

3. inFAMOUS: Second Son ; Infamous 3 was the first 'woah next gen has arrived'-kind of moment for most of us, right? That alone deserves a bronze award. The main protag was - unlike Cole - very likeable and traversing a virtual city never felt more fluid (Maybe I should play Sunset Overdrive?). Being an asshole is so much fun in this game.

4. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ; the story is as dumb as usual, but hey at least the gameplay is finally enjoyable! MGS5 might become my GOTY next year, if Kojima really includes all the stuff that made Peace Walker so great in this new entry (base building, recruiting team members, fulton recovery system etc)



5. Child of Light ; Ubisoft's beautiful, unique take on the stale jRPG genre

6. Octodad: Dadliest Catch ; pure madness. My sides still hurt from laughing, incredibly entertaining slapstick humour

7. Mario Kart 8 ; the most charming multiplayer / couch coop game on the Wii U. There aren't enough race courses, though. Too much recycled content.



8. Hohokum ; Another weird little indie game that deserves more love.

9. OlliOlli ; I'm a sucker for skateboarding games, what can I say.

10. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions ; pew pew pew motherfuckers.
 

Cheesemeister

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Aw man, no more 10 to 1? Tough to generate build-up when the first thing you see is GOTY.

Ah well, rules are rules. Will post once I get a bit further in Fantasy Life.
ohhhhhhhh man, Cheese. say it ain't so D:
You can list the places in any order, but that increases the likelihood that you'll accidentally skip a place and invalidate your entire ballot.
 

Jamix012

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Jun 6, 2012
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1. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair; What an incredible experience from beginning to end. So much better than the first game in absolutely every way (except the improved hangman's gambit). A masterpiece among visual novels.
2. Shovel Knight; My favourite 2D platformer released in the last 20 years, and probably longer. An incredible experience from start to finish bolstered by a magnificent soundtrack by Virt.
3. Bayonetta 2; Bayonetta 1 was too flawed to make my top 10, honestly. While Bayonetta 2 is not perfect by any means, it is a great example of how a sequel can improve on it's predecessor without changing the core gameplay. Gone are the quicktime events and item penalties that I felt plagued the first game and in comes a brand new graphical style full of charm.
4. Super Smash Brothers for 3DS; In the end I opted to go with the handheld entry in my top ten. Smash on the go is perfect and possibly my favourite version of Smash ever.
5. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney;
6. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; If it weren't for the length this would undoubtedly be number 1. This is the best hour of game Kojima has ever made.
7. Hyrule Warriors; Fantastic Co-Op game for someone who doesn't care about framerate. Silly story, but overall a very charming package.
8. Metal Gear Rising; If it were an entirely new game, this would be number 2 without a doubt. Platinum's best game bar none.
9. Pokemon Omega Ruby; Another fantastic remake. Enjoying it more than I have enjoyed Pokemon in a while.
10. Ys: Memories of Celceta; Picking a top 9 was not too taxing, but picking a number 10 was incredibly difficult. In other years I think all of my honourable mentions could have made my top 10 in some form or another, but unlike a lot of people I found 2014 to be one of the best years in gaming in a long time. In the end, despite all the other games in my honourable mentions being worthy of this spot, I decided to choose Ys: Memories of Celceta as my number 10. Despite the graphical and performance shortcomings, it was a fantastic game with a real open world and a brilliant soundtrack. Not my favourite Vita game by a long shot, but truly a great game.

Honorable Mentions
x. Persona Q;
x. Sunset Overdrive;
x. Tales of Hearts R;
x. Child of Light;
x. Hearthstone;
x. Super Smash Brothers for Wii U; Would have probably made the top 10, but I opted out of putting two Smash games in there.
x. Final Fantasy X HD;
x. Bayonetta;
x. Tomodachi Life;
x. Halo: the Master Chief Collection;
x. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare;
x. NES Remix 2;
 

LGom09

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Jun 23, 2012
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1. Bayonetta 2 ; It outdoes Bayonetta in almost every category and that game is nearly flawless.
2. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; Amazing level design, incredible music (soundtrack of the year), and from a control perspective, maybe the best-feeling 2D game ever.
3. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; Pure fun.
4. Bayonetta ; One of my all time favourites. It would be number 2 if it wasn't a re-release, but I'll just slip it here since I have no other games to list. Compared to Bayonetta 2, I prefer the pacing and the music of this one.

It was a backlog year for me so the only other 2014 game I played was Legend of Korra, but I don't think it deserves a mention.
 

Panda Rin

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Jun 1, 2011
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1. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; best RPG I've played all year. Loads of content, lovable characters, and interesting world.
2. Dark Souls II ; Poor man's Dark Souls. I still really enjoyed it though, and it was nice that it was actually playable on PC. I would actually say I enjoyed the gameplay more in this iteration, but the world and lore wasn't up to scruff.
3. Divinity: Original Sin ; Played with a buddy of mine. Took around 90 hours to complete. The combat system is the best SRPG system to date.
4. Transistor ; Visually and musically stunning. Gameplay was fun.
5. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; Surprise of the year for me. Amazing gunplay, likeable characters, beautiful visuals, and interesting take on the WW2 formula.
6. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor ; Another surprise of the year. What AC should have been.
7. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; Filled my turn-based RPG need. Wasn't even a fan of South Park.
8. The Banner Saga ; Sleeper hit. Simplistic gameplay accompanied with great visuals.
9. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare ; Another surprise of the year. Great squad-based gameplay and the visuals are good.
10. Destiny ; Underwhelming, but enjoyable PvP with a few friends. Expected a lot more from this.

looking back, 2014 wasn't all too great of a year for me. Lots of surprises though. 2015 is much more compelling.
 

PranooY

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Nov 18, 2013
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1. Dark Souls II
2. Danganronpa
3. Danganronpa 2
4. Ace Attorney Trilogy remastered on 3DS
5. Wolfenstein: The New Order
6. Velocity 2X

2014 for me was Backlog year. Finished a lot of non-2014 games.
 

kenta

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Jan 27, 2005
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1. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor ; I've never played an Assassin's Creed game, so this was a fresh and surprising experience for me. It actually took some time to click, but once it did I had a complete blast with it.
2. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition ; Once again, I've never played a Diablo game so it was fun seeing all the environments and making things explode. I will say I was kind of ready for it to be over by the time I was done with it (and I can't fathom how people play it for hundreds/thousands of hours), but really enjoyed it nonetheless.
3. Rogue Legacy ; Great game. Tight controls and a fun twist on roguelikelikelikes.
4. Destiny ; I very much enjoyed the Alpha and skipped the Beta so as to not wear myself out, thinking the full game would consume my life. Yeah, no. My thoughts echo most everyone's: The gameplay is solid, the different worlds are nicely polished and overall it's a very slick game. But it's indefensibly shallow and I value my time far more than their endgame does, so it wasn't hard to walk away as soon as I beat the campaign.
5. Escape Goat 2 ; Clever little puzzle game! Had a great time staring at a puzzle for 10 minutes and dinking around with various possible solutions, and then finally having the lightbulb go off and executing a solution. Thumbs up.
x. Spelunky ; This was the year I got a Vita and so therefore this was the year I really played Spelunky in earnest, but it wouldn't feel right giving it a numbered slot. It would have easily been my number one game of 2012, though.
x. Grand Theft Auto V ; Once again, I didn't play this last year and wouldn't feel right giving it a numbered slot, but I enjoyed playing through it on PS4 recently. Great mission design and variety, impressive world detail, lots of fun.

x. Trials Fusion ; I loved the crap out of Trials HD and was hoping this would engross me to a similar degree. It ended up falling flat for me, unfortunately.
x. Transistor ; The game never really clicked with me. The combat system was more of a chore than anything else, and the story was told so opaquely that I just stopped trying to understand what the heck was happening. I had to force myself to get through this over the course of the year.
 

bombshell

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Oct 23, 2013
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1. The Last of Us: Remastered; The best game of last generation, now even better in 60 fps. Nothing this year has provided me with as much fun as revisiting the flawless campaign in this game and the unique Factions multiplayer.
2. Dragon Age: Inquisition;
3. Driveclub;
4. inFAMOUS: Second Son;
5. Far Cry 4;
6. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition;
7. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare;
8. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor;
9. Velocity 2X;
10. Destiny;
 

Auto-Reply

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Sep 1, 2013
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1. Bayonetta 2; It's also the only game I've played that came out in 2014, not sure if it's better than the first but that shall be not the question here.
 

Occam

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Oct 15, 2013
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1. Binding of Isaac Rebirth
2. Rogue Legacy
3. Shovel Knight
4. Evil Within
5. DriveClub
6. South Park: Stick of Truth
 

Kane1345

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Mar 5, 2013
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1. Bayonetta 2 ; How do you improve upon the brilliance that was Bayonetta? You make Bayonetta 2. I didn't think it could get much better but boy was I wrong. Fantastic game that everyone who likes character action games should play! Amazing combat, awesome set pieces and just a wonderful package.


2. Super smash bros for Wii U ; Besides being a fighting game fan I've never played smash before (although some people don't call Smash a fighting game but that's besides the point :p) Good fun alone with a surprising amount of modes but wow this is the best fun you can have locally with friends. I haven't had this much fun locally since forever.


3. Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc ; I didn't know what to expect from this. I have never played a game of this type before and I must thank my friend for introducing me to it. I was totally engrossed in this story from beginning to the end. Great characters and unexpected twists, fantastic.


4. The Wolf Among Us Episodes 2-5 ; Walking dead season 1 was my GOTY when it was released. I felt like season 2 was a bit of a letdown but TWAU was completely unexpected for me. I had no knowledge of this universe and was totally hooked until the end of the season. Can't wait for season 2


5. Infamous: Second Son ; This was the game that made me say "Wow, this is next gen". Solid gameplay, beautiful graphics and just pure fun for me. Yes there wasn't much innovation but when it played and looked that good I didn't need it. Looking forward to playing the next entry


6. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; The nemesis system was brilliant. Knowing I created my own enemies who got stronger every time they killed me and the feeling of euphoria after slaying them was brilliant. I hope to see more of this kind of system in gaming going forward.


7. Mario Kart 8 ; Good alone, great in local competitive and online this was a great entry in the series for me. Thank god for the inclusion of the horn to stop the blue shells although I still rage at three consecutive hits before the line lol. Good ol Mario Kart syndrome heh


8. Dragon Age Inquisition ; I'm not really a massive fan of open world type games and was especially skeptical of DAI after number 2 but for me this was open world done right. Origins is still my favourite Dragon Age game but this was a great RPG and after a slow start (get out of the hinterlands!) I fully enjoyed it. Also
Dorian and Sera
have the best conversations :D


9. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; I never thought an FPS would make my list this year but here we are. WTNO came out of nowhere for me with tight shooting an interesting old school feel and great characters that were well written. I felt it lost steam a little bit in some of the penultimate levels but picked up again at the ending. Impressed!


10. Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition ; Diablo 3 on PC was a disaster for me at launch and soon after I stopped playing after beating the game in a few days with friends. Someone convinced me to pick up the PS4 version and boy am I happy I did. Superior for me in nearly every way to the PC version it's great fun solo and and coop.
 

DidntKnowJack

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Feb 26, 2009
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Subject to change before deadline.

1. Driveclub ; Much maligned, a little misunderstood, but overall a really fun experience. Driveclub had its issues at release but it has grown into a game any racing fan can get behind. It doesn't have a lot of the fluff some modern racing fans have come to expect such as open world tomfoolery, but it offers on an easy to learn yet hard to master racing model. This isn't a simulation, this isn't arcade, but it straddles both lines well. Driveclub is a throw back to racing games of old and it delivers where it counts - fast and (usually) frantic racing. It has some jaw dropping visuals, an impressive weather system, and its the most fun I've had with a video game this year. Plus, those short load times are worth noting. Races load very quickly, and restarts are instantaneous.

2. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; For me, this is a shining example of Bioware doing what they do best. They've created a fun world to explore, beautiful landscapes, and just an amazing game to lose yourself in. I was a little worried about getting this game after DA II, but Bioware delivered and I find it to be an improvement over Origins which I absolutely adored. There is a lot of meat to this game and absorb, and the formula though tried and true still works.

3. Kirby: Triple Deluxe ; This is a game that came out of nowhere for me. It released with little fanfare, and to be honest it doesn't break any new ground or offer any fancy new gimmicks, but as a Kirby game it excels. It succeeds in what it tries to achieve - offer a solid new Kirby game that fans old and new alike will get pleasure from. If this game doesn't plaster a smile all over your face, nothing will.

4. Watch Dogs ; Possibly a little over hyped, I think watch Dogs provides a capable and fun open worldgame. I personally had a lot of fun with it and I thought it looked pretty damn good. Not an amazing title, but its solid.

5. Infamous: Second Son ; I had to nominate this game for its visual fidelity. The game looks so damn good, especially for a first generation offering. It doesn't break any new ground, its got its share of issues, but damn is it pretty.
 

Clockwork5

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Feb 19, 2013
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1. The Last of Us: Remastered ; Had not played the original but this game blew me away
2. Dark Souls II ; Co-op made this game something really special. I preferred it to the first.
3. Mario Kart 8 ; Fun.
4. Bayonetta 2 ; Character action at its finest.
5. South Park: Stick of Truth ; Best humor in a game.
6. Dragon Age Inquisition ; This game has a great balance of story and adventure.
7. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; Polished 2d platforming at its finest.
8. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition ; Best Diablo of ever.
9. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; Best FPS of the year.
10. Far Cry 4 ; Did not disappoint.
 

Kssio_Aug

Member
Sep 14, 2013
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By now:

1. Forza Horizon 2 ; The best racing game I've played. It was a super solid release, and the gameplay is top notch, it is also full of content and has some beautiful graphics.
 

Auctopus

Member
Apr 6, 2014
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1. Driveclub - A triumph of a racing game, marred by an abysmal release. It's been improved by a gorgeous weather system but the skeleton of this game was always there: addictive gameplay, beautiful track design, amazing visuals and free DLC tracks/cars/updates.
2. Dark Souls II - A shadow of it's predecessors but nonetheless a highly recommendable RPG. The game failed where it tried to replicate the victories earned by it's prequel through calculations over passion. What people believed made up a Souls game but assembled in a cold and thoughtless manner.
3. MGS: V: Ground Zeroes - The best playing and looking Metal Gear Solid game ever made. Yes, a little short but a delicious taste of what's to come next year.
4. Transistor - I won't go on about the art style and soundtrack as they have been commended enough but the combat system in this game is highly underrated, puzzlingly deep combinations achieved through limited ingredients. Once you think you've found the best load out, a new match-up will make you rethink your whole play style.
5. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth - Binding of Isaac but on pills with a visual upgrade. That's it.
6. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor - A game that outdoes it's contemporaries but fails to bring anything new to the table. Incredibly fun and the only game this year to make me feel like a complete badass.

That's about it for notable games for me, they took up a lot of my time. Most of my other time was spent playing indies such as Spelunky or Rogue Legacy.

Notable mentions:
TLOU: Remastered - Beautiful remaster, brilliant game. It was nice to have the upgrade visuals for my second time with this title.
Alien: Isolation - Played a bit at my friend's house and was really impressed. Didn't play enough to feel comfortable putting it on my list though.
 

Ansatz

Member
Oct 6, 2013
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1. Mario Kart 8 ; Blown away in every respect. Item balancing, anti-gravity, handling, track design, music, graphics, online, dlc and the MK TV function.
2. Bayonetta 2 ; Love over the top and fast-paced action, it feels like I'm the one responsible for converting button presses into cool things happening on the screen.
3. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; Just controlling a character feels so satisfying, nailing the physics makes the game so much more enjoyable to play.
4. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ; Simply outstanding game design, would be my number 1 if the puzzles had more complexity and was slightly more challenging overall. The order doesn't really matter though, 1-4 are interchangeable for me.
5. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; This is how you do a sidescrolling platformer, outstanding level design and clever puzzles.
6. Shovel Knight ; Captures the essence of what made NES special, it's gaming in its purest form.
7. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare ; The new movement mechanics feel liberating, love the various futuristic settings too.
8. Titanfall ; That feeling when timing a jump from way above the ground and landing on top of a moving mech.
9. Hyrule Warriors ; Polished for Musou standards and lays a solid foundation.
10. Pushmo World ; Will they ever run out of ideas.
 

rjc571

Banned
Jun 23, 2012
8,108
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----- Game Eligibility Rules -----

Eligible games:
  • Playable content released this year is eligible. This includes new games, remasters, ports, and so on.
So Virtual Console games released this year are eligible? I can vote for Ice Hockey for the NES as my game of the year, if I were so inclined?
 

kuroneko0509

Member
Oct 14, 2012
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I realized that I didn't play a lot of 2014 games last year as I spent more time clearing my backlog. But at least I manage to make my top 10 list... in time lol

1. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; I admit I'm pretty bad with Smash, but somehow it still makes me keep on playing it even after getting thrashed by lvl.9 CPU. That aside, the Sakurai magic is still in there in my opinion. The smoothness of playing this even when in 8 player mode (and to a certain degree during online play) makes me feel this is my GOTY 2014. Not to mention this version includes more Fire Emblem reps, including Lucina :3

2. Valkyria Chronicles ; VC is really one of the best srpg that I've played in my life. Not to mention, the PC port done well on launch unlike some other console exclusive ports.

3. Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire ; The 3rd generation remake. This remake was done very well by Game Freak.

4. Azure Striker Gunvolt ; That Megaman Zero vibe. That's what I felt when I see the announcement made somewhere early 2014. Although it plays quite opposite to Zero series, the feel of action platformer is still about the same. Although it primarily focus on high speed action like playing time attack mode, you don't have to do so in order to enjoy it actually. This game also features lots of fun customization like... quad air dash.

5. Mario Kart 8 ; Stunningly beautiful. That should be expected for the 1st HD Mario Kart game. While there are some changes and removal from the previous entry, this game is still enjoyable to the max.

6. Hyrule Warriors ; Zelda? Checked. Musou game? Checked. While this game doesn't have that much playable characters in the beginning, it doesn't mean the musou experience is reduced as each characters with different weapons plays uniquely from each others. Besides, kudos to Omega Force & Team Ninja to manage intergrating Zelda series elements in the gameplay.

7. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; Upupupu my visual novel game of the year. Everyone should play it and see how Monokuma laughs in this game lol

8. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS ; A full fledge Smash game that is portable? Why not! Eventhough the 3DS control isn't that great, it still manage to deliver Smash feel to me. Besides, being able to play this on the go is its charming point.

9. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call ; The 2nd game of the theatrhythm series managed to remove my most hated mode from the 1st series. Plus, this rhtyhm game now features button control, so rhythm game fans who don't like touch controls can enjoy it too.

10. Drakengard 3 ; Minus the bad, ps2 level graphics, this game is actually fun to play.
 

Jeff-DSA

Member
Feb 14, 2005
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gamertheory.com
1. Bayonetta 2 - Took all what made the first game great and improved on it. As perfect of an action game as I've seen in a long, long time.
2. Super Smash Bros. Wii U - Probably the most feature-rich, polished game to come out in 2014. Tons of fun alone or with friends.
3. Sunset Overdrive - Rarely do over the top reveals ever cause anything but disappointment, but Sunset Overdrive delivered on all its promises and was the best XB1 game of the year.
4. inFamous: Second Son - Criminally overlooked, this game was the first "next-gen" game that really impressed me.
5. Titanfall - Second only to Sunset Overdrive on the XB1 right now, Titanfall is a blast to play and is easy to come back to after prolonged time away.
6. Mario Kart 8 - Not since Mario Kart 64 have I had so much fun with the local multiplayer. The game is gorgeous and it plays like a dream.
7. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Pure joy from start to finish with some of the most clever and challenging game design I've ever experienced in a 2D platformer.
8. Shovel Knight - In an era where it's cool to do a pseudo retro style, Shovel Knight pulled it off well with a solid combo of great gameplay and presentation. The soundtrack is aces.
9. TowerFall Ascension - Outside of Smash and maybe Mario Kart 8, you'd be hard pressed to find a better party game for 2014. It was a big hit at office parties.
10. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions - I feel like this pick is robbing a few of the big releases that came late in the year, but I didn't expect to be so fully won over again by Geometry Wars. It's just the perfect pick up and play title.
 

Hugstable

Banned
Aug 3, 2012
11,981
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1. Bayonetta 2: Came into Bayonetta for the first time ever on the Wii U, and after having experienced an amazing first game, the second just blew me away with it's more refined gameplay, crazier bosses and even more color! The world of Bayonetta is beautiful, and the action gameplay is some of the best I've ever controlled. Bayonetta 2 is a joy to playthrough the whole time, and I just couldn't have enough of the game, beat it on both 2nd and 3rd Climax, and I still have alot of stuff I haven't seen yet!

2. Kirby Triple Deluxe: It's Kirby, I love anything with Kirby, but this Kirby game was no slouch. In fact I may state that it's probably the greatest mainline Kirby game I have ever played, taking it's seat alongside the other great Kirby Classic, Kirby SUper Star. The gameplay is filled with tons of great Kirby fun as he massacres all the poor waddle dees all in the name of saving Dreamland. Plus it even has many extra game modes, one very special and something I thought breathed new life into the game. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

3. Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze: David Wise's Soundtrack was just top notch, and I played through the entirety of this game in just 2 sittings. The platforming, the secrets, the OST, even the bosses, just all felt like straight platforming perfection. Only thing that may have disappointed me was the fact that the game was much easier than Donkey Kong Country Returns.

4. Love Live School Idol Festival: My most played mobile phone game, put hundreds of hours into it, and despite the F2P mechanics, I never really gave in and just enjoyed the Rhythm Music gameplay without worrying about trying to draw the Super Rare and Ultra Rare Idol Cards. Even met a great community in the meantime while enjoying this game!

5. Persona Q: A mix of Persona Q and Etrian Odyssey, it was like a match made in heaven. It mixes the best aspects of both series, with the dungeon crawling gameplay that I can just never get enough of. Please Atlus, make more games like this, first Person dungeon crawling was just done so well here, and each fight can be a challenge (I played in Hard). Best part was the fanservice for Persona fans with many great character interactions throughout as the casts of P3 and P4 make for hilarious conversations. Really like what they did with the whole sub-persona system also, really switched things up.

6. Far Cry 4: Having never played a game in this series before, this game was quite a surprise for me. I got addicted, and ended up not only Platinuming the game, but I also got 100% completion, as in all Shangri-La, all collectiables... EVERYTHING. I FUCKING LOVED IT. Just the vistas, exploring the unknown, hunting animals, stealthing outposts, it all just felt good. I loved almost every minute I spent in Kyrat, and while many don't like the Shangri-La portions of the game, I fell in love with them, the atmospehre there was something else.

7. Driveclub: Put almost 25 hours into this game trying to collect all those stars in the Tour events. It's been a long ride for us fans who bought this game on day 1, but we endured, and it's amazing to see this game where it is today, and the future of Driveclub as well. It's a mix between a Sim and Arcade racer, with handling that tends to lend itself to the more sim side of driving, while the structure of the game is more arcade in that you have no garage, but you unlock cars over time by leveling up, which means you never in turn have to purchase cars. Plus with all the updates coming in like weather and the upcoming Elements tour pack DLC, I'm really excited for this game even going into 2015.

8. Shovel Knight: A true 8-but classic released in 2014. Loved this game so much, I triple-dipped. Yeah that's right, TRIPLE_FUCKING_DIP. Can't wait to Quad Dip once it releases on PS4/Vita :D. BUTT BUTT LIVES ON!

9. Danganronpa 2/ Danganronpa 1: I consider both games together since they came out both this year, and when it comes to a visual novel experience, it's tough to top the despair that Danganronpa has. It's hard to talk about this game much without spoiling anything, but it's a very Phoenix Wright style of Visual Novel game where murders happen and you have to have Classroom debates to find out who the killer is.

10. Smash Bros. WII U: Smash Bros in HD with good online is everything I dreamed it would be. It would be higher up in my list, but I haven't gotten super deep into the game like I used to in melee, and 2014 was just an overall big enough year for me in gaming to where something as prolific as Smash ended up in the #10 spot. So many great fighters and brand new stages, this is the same Smash we all know and love!


Will edit in reasons for my choices once I get home, typing on a phone is tough stuff lol.

Honorable Mentions
1. Call of Duty Advanced Warfare

2. Captain Toad
 

Iva Demilcol

Member
Apr 26, 2014
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LeBlanc Teahouse
I bought a lot of contenders to GOTY 2014, but I didn't play most of them because of "lol, backlog" so I don't even need a list comprised of 10 titles:

1. Dark Souls II ; The game I played the most during 2014 was DS II. The game is not perfect of course, but neither DS nor Demon's Souls were. I invested a lot of time doing co-op against bosses and invading other players online. I even invested a lot of time writing down all my theories about the lore of the game. It'd be totally unfair to not recognize it as my GOTY 2014.

2. Dark Souls II: The Lost Crowns ; If DS II was my GOTY, I think it is important to point out that the DLC made the game even better. The first and third DLC areas are some of the best areas in the series in my opinion. This DLC also showed a glimpse of what we can expect in the next games of the series.

3. Sunset Overdrive ; I'm not a big fan of open world games but in this one even going from one place to another is just so fun; also I prefer colorful graphics instead of those grey and brown worlds that we saw a lot of during previous gens.

4. Bayonetta 2 ; Bayonetta 2 is a great sequel to a fantastic game. The reason why it's not higher on my GOTY 2014 list is the fact that even though there's a lot of thigs with the potential to make me go back and play it again, I don't feel like doing that. The game's easier than its predecessor and therefore it's less fun.

5. Super Smash Bros. for WiiU ; SSB 4 is one of the reasons why I bought a WiiU. It's not higher on this list because so far I feel the game lacks something...

6. Inazuma Eleven ; A soccer game for people who don't like soccer. I love the series, and I would've played most of the games already if it wasn't for region locking.

7. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood ; This one is not on the list of eligible titles even though the 360 version was released on February 2014. I loved this game, it's brought a lot of good memories recently. We played this title a lot during the holidays (My dad, my niece and myself). I think it's a good and charming title.
 

kitzkozan

Member
Oct 1, 2007
3,086
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0
Well goddamn, I somehow was able to reach 10 games after thinking it would be a struggle to reach half that (although I have HD remasters).


1. Bayonetta 2 ; Just like my #2 pick, this one is also a game that's a refinement of it's predecessor. The basic structure is the same as in the original, even if the stage aren't as claustrophobic and contained so you have a little more freedom to explore them. The story is just as crazy over the top, which doesn't bother me at all given that I tend to enjoy a Fantasia fest film festival which is held anually in my city (which will run a couple of crazy over the top movies). In fact, the craziness of the overall story and action by the lead character herself tend to amuse me or just make me laugh. :p That's certainly not the main reason why I bought these games to begin with and most fans of the franchise will say the same things. It's all about the superb combat mechanics, which are partly similar to a fighting game which is my favorite genre. :] I love the combo system of this action game like no others, since there is plenty of variety and you can mix and match your favorite ones depending on the situation (depending on the type of monster you face or if you need to juggle). Not content with plenty of offensive options as far as combo goes, you also have a plethora of weapon to experiment with. The responsiveness and fluidity is also second to none, which are all important factor that add up in making the Bayonetta franchise the pinnacle of it's genre. For this sequel, Platinum Game mostly focused on trimming the fat or mostly eliminating what wasn't appreciated in the original (so less insta fail QTE or minigames), and focused on providing the goodness which is and will always be it's combat system. Yes, the boss battle aren't as "epic" since you mostly fight human sized ones and I don't see anything wrong with that. It's just a matter of perception and I guess that for some gamers, fighting less oversized freaks lessen the grand spectacle. It is recommended to play in 3rd climax to fully appreciate the game and I'm definitively going to make a go at it once I have more time to dedicate to this happy (starting next week), since it is true that 2nd climax hasn't been too troublesome thus far.

2. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; Growing up, platformers were my favorite kind of game and we had a significant quantity of them to pick from (2 or 3D). I had a slight preference for 2D ones as they had a tendency to be harder and required precise jumping. Of course, some of those are also considered as all-time classics now suck as DKC 2 or the Mario brothers. It remain to be seen where this one will eventually be placed on such a future list, but it's a modern classic imo. Just the fact that Retro is dedicated to making AAA 2D platformers blow my mind given that it's a genre relegated to niche status and thus mostly receiving love from indies (the big budget platformers from Nintendo EAD are in 3D nowadays, when you look at the cheap production values of the new super mario bros. series). Tropical Freeze is an improvement over Returns which was already a very good platformer, in part because it's not bogged down by the motion play controls. Finally, you can master the rolling technique which is crucial for speed run or getting 100% completion. And the stages are absolutely loaded with hidden secrets and bonus puzzles pieces that you collect by jumping and figuring out all the layouts for hard to reach items. It's just loaded with creativity, from the stage layout to the various themes of each world and how they affect them (dynamites blowing up the ground you stand on, lava tides, crumbling platforms, etc). Even the underwater section are incredibly well designed, which can sometime be a weakness in a platformer. Personally, I enjoy the boss battle and Retro decision to make them longer than usual. In most Nintendo games, you only need to stomp them 3 times by tradition and in Tropical Freeze you need several hit to defeat them which make them drawn out (and they sport plenty of patterns). I think it's a very nice touch, since it make them more memorable instead of being a mere annoyance like they usually are in a Mario Bros. outside of Bowser. :p In a nutshell, this is Tropical Freeze and it's not very surprising to see that it's been cruelly underrated in 2014. It doesn't reinvent the wheels of gaming or platforming, but the inspiration and execution is second to none and I believe that great design is ultimately timeless. The industry always try to favor a game which try to "push the genre forward", but gaming will always first and foremost be about the interactivity and Tropical freeze excel at it (and in Nintendo good ole tradition, has basically no story which the gaming press love to focus on). The soundtrack, art direction and vibrant colors are also another noteworthy and they all combine in making this one of the all tie great. I'm glad that I fell for the GAF hype for this one as 2D platformers with AAA level of production values are incredibly rare these days.

3. Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall ; The last time I participated in a GOTY thread, I picked Xcom as my #1. I always had a soft spot for tactical rpgs or games and enemy unknown delivered excellent tactical combat in spade. Dragonfall feature the same kind of tactical combat where you take turn and give orders, along with hit or success% when you are about to fire a shot or use a spell. It's dumbed down since it's not the main focus of the game unlike Xcom (there's no extra layer of depth by trying to gain higher ground, environment isn't destroyable and there aren't as many skills which affect tactical combat). Instead, this is an rpg which strike an excellent balance between solid dialogues / writing, roleplaying, C & C and a simple form of tactical combat. It's an improvement over what I played of Dead Man's switch campaign since you get a more involved story, less linearity and an actual team dynamic. The game isn't without it's faults (the rpg and combat mechanics don't have that much depth) and the UI isn't the greatest since it was designed for PC and tablets, but nothing crippling. It's unfortunate that I couldn't find the time for Divinity as it does seems like the stronger crpg, but Dragonfall is a quality title and rather short and to the point which was perfect for me given my crazy 2014 schedule. :p This is a quality rpg, which was supposedly made better with the director's cut which I didn't even install yet. It does showcase the potential of the developer, which is still small and lacking in money as most working in the indie field are. Worthy of a kickstarter push for the upcoming Shadowrun HK in my book. :]

4. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls ; Blizzard actually salvaged Diablo III, which was never the garbage game that most people though it was imo. A deeply flawed game for sure, but that could actually deliver on it's promise with proper effort put into fixing it's most glaring problems. The new creative team actually delivered on most account, fleshing out was was deeply lacking about it which is an actual endgame. The fifth act is much better than the vanilla campaign thanks to new enemies which keep the fighting interesting and improved boss battles. Adventure mode is the big game changer for DIII, as it allow you to focus on the biggest strength of the game which is the frenetic fighting and experimenting with builds to take on more challenging battles to get the best possible loot. It got really stale and boring when all you had was replaying the campaign over and over, but adventure mode just let you have silly fun by tasking you with simple objectives over an act which eventually lead you to collect rift keystones which will be used to access nephalem rifts and eventually greater ones. It also brought back more randomized tiles thanks to these nephalem rifts, options to change the properties or value of items and ladders. Perhaps Warlords of Draenor is the superior expansion, but Reaper didn't make me regret my decision to purchase that year long pass for WoW which gave me my digital copy of DIII anymore. This is now an excellent arpg which will probably be improved further with another expansion down the line since Blizzard changed their business model (possibly bring back an interesting pvp mode?).

5. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; Man, I can actually understand why some who enjoyed the game on GAF tried to compare it to HL2. There are similarities when you look at both campaign, since they both have vehicles sections (and water is involved) and they have their trademark weapon. The legendary gravity gun in HL2 and the LKS in Wolfenstein which can actually be upgraded. Sure, the campaign itself doesn't bring anything new to the genre and Machinegun game didn't re-invent FPS mechanics. Instead, they just focused on making the best possible game and they executed. The writing is surprisingly decent and the story is certainly bearable, which is already better than near 99% of FPS campaign out there. Level design is very gun, as it's both constrained and allow some room for exploration since there are collectable to find or alternate path to get better angle to gain the advantage in a shootout. The stealth section aren't great, but I appreciate that they decided to include them since I actually this method of approach in my FPS. It does cut down on needless wave of enemies and the throwing knifes are fun to use. Even the universe is engaging as you fight freakish nazi super soldiers, robodogs and mechs. Not to mention the locales which are varied, much more so than another game which is somewhat similar in it's aesthetic such as Killzone. It's not surprising that a couple of gaffers said that Machine gun game should be hired by Sony to take charge of the Killzone franchise once you play Wolfenstein. ;)

6. Guilty Gear Xrd ; I think Arc System Work did a sequel to their most famous IP the "right" way with Xrd. First of all, the art style is similar to the established look of the earlier titles while using very good tech. The anime look of the series using the unreal 3 engine is just awesome imo (while being a 2.5D game), which is something that Capcom could of done as well. Outside of retaining the look and sound, it's mostly the gameplay that's very similar to X and XX which is important for old fans of the series. Capcom has always struggled to keep the consistency between each SF (deliberitely or not) since each new SF game is very different from the preceding one, but Xrd remain close to it's predecessor. They made it more accessible, but in a smart and calculated way. The biggest barrier of entry in the X2 era (XX, Reload, Slash, Accent core + R) was mastering the false roman cancel (cancelling a move during it's active frame) which had a massive impact on competitive play (and required way too much time for most). It's been removed in Xrd, but instead it's been replaced with 3 levels of roman cancel (yellow, red and purple) which activate in different circumstance (yellow cost 25% of your tension bar if you cancel a move early and it doesn't connect with your opponent, purple cost 50% and will activate if you cancel a move late and it doesn't connect or isn't blocked by your opponent and red also cost 50% and allow you to cancel a move at any time if you connect or if it's blocked). It's much simpler than the old roman cancel system, while nearly everything else is brought back from X2 outside of the roster. The pace is slightly slower, but nothing like the contrast between SFIV vs II turbo or III for example. :p So the game is more accessible than before, it retain the aggressive style of play and characters which have plenty of options as to what they can do along with an interesting take on how to make a story mode work within the FG genre. Instead of having cutscenes or voiced dialogues intertwined with 1 vs 1 battle (which some would say are meaningless), it's purely a 4-5+ hours movie using the 3D models while the fighting is relegated to the arcade mode which has the leftover of the story. I don't know if it will prove to become the de facto way to make story mode in the future, but it's an interesting approach that should be mentioned. Online multiplayer is good, especially after they improved the netcode with the latest patch. In 2015, it's crucial for a FG to have solid netcode these days since it's a genre that strive on competitive play and the genre isn't at the peak of it's popularity so local communities can be hard to access depending where you live.

7. Mario Kart 8 ; Possibly the best multiplayer experience of the year, although you will have people vouching for Smash Bros. Wii U as well. MK 8 isn't anything new, outside of the anti-gravity gimmick which doesn't really impact the established tried and true gameplay of the franchise. Although, I played the game recently just to refresh my memory and anti-gravity sections are interesting because they enable spin boost techniques. Yes, the single player content isn't very in depth and that's been the case for numerous game now. The battle mode is a severe regression since they scrapped specially made arenas for the standard courses. Still, MK is first and foremost about being a fantastic multi experience and 8 doesn't disappoint. The game look fantastic in HD and I love the attention to details and look of every course (art direction isn't too shabby as well). The selection of course is great and there are very few dud in the selection. I appreciate that Nintendo made several shortcut in the courses which test the skill of the player as is the risk of bumping into another kart which can give them a boost of speed so you have to gauge the risk / reward factor, although it's somewhat mitigated by the items which does come down to having sheer luck in winning a race occasionally (but hey, it's part of the fun :p). The DLC model should also be commended since it's a great value for what you get which is plenty of extra courses for a cheap price if you look at the industry standard (which will make MK8 the most content rich of the series). So all in all, I can't really find too much fault with the game outside the fact that it's more of the same MK which isn't a bad thing. :p I think this one has been received with more enthusiasm than usual because of the solid online play, HD graphics, good amount of content and solid control signifying that it's a great package as far as a MK game has offered if you look at the past titles since Double Dash.

8. Heartstone: Heroes of Warcraft ; This has got to be one of the best free to play game on the market so far right? First of all, it bear the trademark of a Blizzard game which mean that it's superbly polished. Second of all, it follow the mentality of being a game which is easy to play, hard to master. It's very intuitive and you quickly learn how the cards can affect each others and how each character class operate. Now, hard to master probably doesn't apply to Heartstone as luck is a factor given that it's a trading card game. You need both skill and luck to win, but that's what can make the game so addictive. I love the distinctive Warcraft touch all over it, which give it it's own personality ranging from the sound effects to the actual cards and special effects that they can generate which is lifted from WoW. Incredibly well done and the best part is that micropayments aren't rage inducing since you can use the ingame currency (gold) to buy everything (although you will grind for a much larger amount of time). You can even disenchant spare cards and craft what you actually want given enough arcane dust. So the base game is very solid and Blizzard gradually add cards and content to it, which mean that it should have a long life ahead of it (if you look at a real TCG like Magic the gathering). There's just so much that is offered here and it's the perfect casual game which you can play 10 minutes a day on your PC or smartphone.

9. GTA V (PS4) ; The last of Us has better writing, characterization and story hooks, but it's the inferior remaster. For me, GTA V was easily the best remaster of 2014. The game was too ambitious for the last gen consoles, so I feel it's right at home on the PS4 / XB1 and soon PC. It simply look incredible for an open world game and the addition of the first person mode is a nice bonus. The level of polish is second to none, but I wouldn't expect any less from Rockstar given the amount of money invested in making this ridiculously popular game. So I never got to play my Xbox 360 copy since I wanted to fund my PS4 so I quickly sold it back, thinking that I would play it on my new console. I'm happy that they took the backlash from IV seriously and made V more video gamey if I may say so. It's a fun game to play given all the side activities (flight school, gun practice, sport minigames, underwater exploration, exploiting the stock market, etc) and also because each character can activate a special power. Kudos for the heists, which are the highlight of the campaign since it involve switching between characters and accomplishing different tasks in the same mission. So you've got an open world with lot's of stuff to do, but also plenty of option to burn the money you amass on car or gun customizations (or new clothes / haircut). You can also purchase properties, so Rockstar took elements from previous efforts (Vice city, San Andreas and IV) to make sure that their newest opus could keep you occupied and entertained for hours on end. If there's still a weakness in the series, it's the controls which simply aren't good enough imo. Not so much the shooting which isn't great, but just how your character move around which is still stiff as fuck. Taking cover is not a gracious affair and I still can't believe how crappy the jumping animations are (and sloppy lol). If I remember right, I never had much difficulty driving and shooting at the same time in Sleeping Dogs, but in GTA V it's an absolute chore. XD So while I understand why each new title is praised and popular because of the insane production values and the polish that they tend to have, it blow my mind that so many gamers still put up with shit tier controls when you're on foot. Still, got to commend Rockstar on delivering a great open world game despite the flaws that come with the genre and the GTA quirks.

10. The Last of Us: Remastered ; I didn't participate in last year GOTY thread, but it was hard to miss the fact that it would eventually win by a comfortable margin. I was intrigued to play it since ND apparently nailed both the story and mechanic aspect of their newest opus. I wanted to see for myself and I bought the game at the very end of 2013, but never got the chance to actually play it lol. I sold the PS3 version back and here I am with the remastered version which contain most of the DLC. Yes, the game is indeed very good, if not excellent and among the best of the last generation. The graphics are excellent and the set pieces are even better, possible the best ND has done yet. The production values are incredible and the tech is very solid, but I expected that from ND. The story and characterization are the greatest strength of the game and the writing is well above average for a high profile AAA game. I like the post apocalyptic world that they crafted since it remind me of The road novel. The gameplay isn't as strong however, so I'm not sure if I would call this a "timeless masterpiece". While shooting or melee combat is very responsive and thought out, the problem mostly concern the enemies that you encounter. There's a lack of variety in enemy type and you quickly know what to expect from infected or human opponents. Boss battles are also nothing to write home about from a mechanic standpoint, so I can see how people could view the game as becoming repetitive. I think it's the story that ultimately hook the player in finishing the game and not it's gameplay which isn't as fun or interesting as it could be. MGS V ground zeroes may be demo, but I had more fun with the playing part because of superior mechanics implementation (and Phantom Pain should have satisfying boss battles). Anyway, I'll give the game the credit it's due in making a cohesive experience where the story, gameplay and world have synergy (can't accuse the protagonist of being a mass murderer given the context). The online multiplayer is surprisingly good, since it preserve the mechanics of the game which are quite good and don't subject you to the AI or predictable patterns as you fight actual human opponents.

Honorable mention:

x. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ; I have no idea how the full game will end up from a storyline standpoint, but I'm willing to put up with Kojima weirdness / craziness in order to experience a lengthy game with such solid mechanics. The new standard from a gameplay standpoint concerning the MGS series. I already love the possibilities offered from an open world approach (the game structure + "sub quests" design will give it more content thus interactivity and possibly drop the over reliance on cinematic cutscenes that Kojima fell in love with). I anticipate that Phantom pain will deliver one of the best balance of open world and solid gameplay mechanics / level design (great boss battles, stealth possibilities and replay value which should inspire western developers to improve upon their mechanics).

x. Alien isolation ; I haven't been keeping up with horror games which are experiencing a resurgence. In the last few years, I've played the Dead Space trilogy and that's pretty much it. This game has revived the interest, along with the P.T. demo which is intriguing given the implication of Kojima and Guillormo Del Toro. :] I can't believe how good it look, especially from an art direction standpoint. They truly nailed the look of the first movie along with the atmosphere. The biggest accomplishment is the great sound design, which make the game work. It goes without saying that the game isn't for everyone given it's well documented flaws (the padded length, uneven pacing or savepoint system) and because it's not a power fantasy adventure where you kill hundred of aliens, but I actually like that you are nearly powerless vs the xenomorph. It is quite possibly the best way to make a great alien game since the franchise was born out of a sci-fi / horror hybrid movie. The later parts of the game and androids / survivors can be considered the weakest part, but they nailed the core aspect of the game which is the xenomorph being a deadly threat.
 

Chemo

Member
Aug 5, 2006
4,615
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0
1. Dark Souls II ; While people endlessly bitched about this one because it's not as good as Demon's Souls or Dark Souls, it was still far and away the best game of the year, and a fantastic game as well. So much time invested.
2. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition ; Another great game with so much time invested. Diablo III gets better and better with time.
3. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; Man, this one was a complete surprise. I hated the first two so much but gave this one a chance and loved it to death. The Dragon Age team has really gotten their shit together.
4. The Evil Within ; Felt like RE4 with splashes of The Last of Us and Killer7 (gameplay and tone-wise, respectively). Fantastic game.
5. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; Such a good adventure game, and a wonderful experience on the Vita. Really scratched that Ace Attorney itch I had this year as a person who mostly only does portable gaming on Vita. Which leads me to~
6. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; I can't believe we actually got both of these. So good.
7. Transistor ; This game was just completely beautiful and a great deal of fun. The music and sound design were amazing.
8. Freedom Wars ; Man, this game is so fucking addictive and it seemed like no one gave a damn about it. Poor Vita. Ahh well, great game! I hope it somehow gets a sequel, or a PS4 reimagining... the franchise has too much potential for it to die as a single game.

Having trouble of thinking of anything else that rates, so there you go.
 

MisterR

Member
Sep 6, 2014
2,956
11
315
Not the strongest year for gaming in recent times, but there were still tons of great games. I would have voted GTA V and The Last of Us 1 & 2 last year, but it just didn't feel right using them this year.


1. Sunset Overdrive; I loved the traversal. Moving around the city is a joy. I love it for the colorful world and not taking itself too seriously. It’s just a fun game that’s not afraid to be a video game.
2. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition; A huge time sink that plays great. The culmination of several iterations and a great improvement on the original game.
3. Dragon Age; Inquisition; a huge world, a great story with great voice acting. It feels like a real world.
4. Mario Kart 8; This game, like the best Nintendo games, makes me feel like I’m 8 years old again. It’s beautiful, charming and fun to play.
5. Titanfall; While it was lacking in content, what was there was amazingly fun. The movement is amazing.
6. Pro Evolution Soccer 2015; The best soccer game I’ve ever played. It really captures the feel of the sport like no other.
7. LittleBigPlanet 3; Love the new characters. This is just a great game to put in and play with my son.
8. The Evil Within; Got this for Christmas and had to add it to my list. It's been fantastic.
9. Infamous: Second Son; Beautiful game. Great powers, especially neon. Great movement.
10. Driveclub; great sense of speed and beautiful to look at.

Honorable Mention:
x. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare; Finally some much needed change to the series. Best one in a while.
x. Madden 15; Ditto. The best looking and playing Madden in many years.
x. Destiny; Even lacking a story the moment to moment gameplay is aces.
x. Resogun; Looks and plays great. Spent a lot of time on this one.
x. MLB 14;The Show; year in and out the best sports game. Just got clipped by PES this year for me.
x. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare; just a great pick up and play multiplayer, another favorite to play with my son.
 

Floridian

Member
Aug 25, 2014
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I'm in South FL.
2014 was one of the weakest years for me, but i'm looking at the positives.

1. Grand Theft Auto V; To me, this is the best remaster, and best open world game I've ever played. Rockstar has outdone themselves on the department of creating a truly living world. I can never get bored with it and always find something new to do everytime.
2. Hearthstone; This was one of the sleeper hit games for me this year, as I usually play WoW and don't look at other games that Blizzard Offers. It's free, mobile, and incredibly addicting. What I like about it is that it's simple enough for casual play, and trying out new decks each time with paladins, warlocks, warriors, etc gives me new opportunities to approach things.
3. Super Smash Bros for Wii U; The 4th game in the series, I enjoyed it a little bit better than brawl, given the expanded cast and 8 player chaos mode. It's superior to its 3DS counterpart, and I'd recommend it to any smash bros fan.
4. Mario Kart 8; The main game and DLC has been very satisfactory for me, and it's tied with Double Dash as my favorite racing game. It's the best racing game this year, incredibly polished, and looks amazing too.
5. The Last of Us Remastered; This was the first time I played this game because I didn't get the chance to get on the ps3. Overall, it's a really great game that has one of the best stories told in gaming for me. The connection between Joel and Ellie were believable, and each of the characters had an important role in the story rather than just being on the side.
6. South Park: The Stick of Truth; Strangely this was one my most anticipated games from 2013, which sucked because it was delayed to 2014. It gave me a pleasant throwback of Paper Mario: TTYD through it's gameplay, and the humor is what sticks out to me. I'm also a big south park fan so it made the experience better for me.
7. Pokemon: Alpha Sapphire; There's not much for me to say rather than it kicked ass in the remake department in terms of mechanics, music themes, and characters. The delta episode was a pleasant surprise, although I was expecting some sort of battle frontier like Pokemon Emerald.
8. Shovel Knight; I really appreciated the throwback to 2D gaming elements for this game, and it was for me one of the original games that wasn't based off a sequel that I played and enjoyed.
9. Captain Toad; Treasure Tracker; When I played Super Mario 3D world last year, i wasn't exactly a fan of these levels using the gamepad as I felt they were forced just to use it, but after seeing trailers of this standalone game, Nintendo made it work. It truly utilized the gamepad and successfully made a complete game with plenty of levels and even bonus ones. Again, it was polished and looked amazing.
10. Drive Club; I don't really play racing games, but this game for me was an enjoyable graphical showcase, and did its goal in immersing me on a racing experience across different environments.
 

Jaykay

Member
Jun 5, 2013
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New Jersey
1. Shovel Knight ; While it certainly takes a lot from the NES games that inspired it, Shovel Knight creates it's very own strong identity.
2. Hearthstone ; A genre that I never previously could get into, Blizzard's TCG is a streamlined approach with a ton of personality.
3. Transistor ; Amazing world and soundtrack further amplifies that experience of the stellar combat.
4. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; Defying the odds stacked against this game, Obsidian made one of the strongest licensed games yet.
5. OlliOlli ; A new twists on the skateboarding genre that is one of 2014's true under-appreciated gems.
6. Super Smash Bros for Wii U ; Both versions are great, but the Wii U version's 8 player Smash gives this the edge.
7. Bravely Default ; A great callback to traditional Final Fantasy games with systems that make it stand out on its own.
8. Hitman GO ; A great change-of-pace for the Hitman series.
9. This War of Mine ; Heart-achingly beautiful.
10. Luftrausers ; Easy to start up a game for a few minutes, but hard to put the game down.
 

boingball

Member
Feb 11, 2005
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Wellington, New Zealand
1. inFamous: Second Son ; Waited with my PS4 purchase for this game and wasn't disappointed (though this game was weaker than Infamous 2). Loved the improved handling though.
2. Grand Theft Auto V ; An improvement of one place compared to last year (PS4 version this year vs PS3 version last year). It is still a blast to drive through San Andreas and the graphic upgrade is awesome (while it was a miracle what Rockstar got out of the PS3/360, last gens hardware was not really good enough to run it well).
3. The Last of Us Remastered ; Another remaster with a nice graphic upgrade.
4. Little Big Planet 3 ; Love me some LBP.
5. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; Toss-up which of the two Danganronpas I like more. I go with the original. Great story and great characters (even if a lot of them die early)
6. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; A great second story on top of the first one and another great cast of characters. Can't wait for Number 3.
7. Velocity 2X ; Plenty of great indie titles on the Vita and the PS4. This to me is the best of the best, some more mentioned below.
8. The Last of Us: Left Behind ; The best DLC I have played so far.
9. Walking Dead Season 2 ; Enjoyed the second season though it had some issues compared to the first season. I wish Telltale would invest some of the money into upgrading their engine (and not just spend it on new licenses).
10. Destiny of Spirits; Spent and still spend an ungodly amount with the game

Other great Indie titles on the Vita:
x. OlliOlli ; the best skateboarding game since Tony Hawk
x. Luftrausers ; the best of the high-score chasing games

Shame of the year:
x. DriveClub ; Great game engine but crap social and online component forced on top of it. After failing to start or join a club for a couple of days it went into my backlog and I haven't played it since. A WRC or Motorstorm game using the game engine would have made it easily into the Top 10 (or in this weak year into the Top 3 even).

Overall a very weak year. Here I was hoping for some great new IPs at the start of a new generation but with the death of AA games we only have indie titles (which can still be great but will never have the polish of a great PS2 game) or crap AAA titles trying to be the next CoD (which I have no interest in whatsoever). Titanfall, Destiny, The Crew and Watchdogs are actually new IPs but the only one which would have interested me is Watchdogs, perhaps Watchdogs 2 will be good enough to make me buy it.
 

Maxwood

Oh rock of ages, do not crumble, love is breathing still. Oh lady moon shine down, a little people magic if you will.
Mar 6, 2012
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01: Divinity: Original Sin ; A modern classic with one of if not the best turn-based combat system I've ever had the joy of playing with. Even though the story's pretty thin and not all that interesting, Rivellon's still a magnificent place to explore. By yourself, or with a friend. I'd advice against playing with strangers, though. For the best possible experience, roleplay with someone who follows your pace.


02: Might & Magic X - Legacy ; It's the first time I've played a Might & Magic title and I want more. It's a flawed gem. A technical mess, but never bad enough to demolish the experience. A dungeoncrawler with a rather large, suprisingly interesting overworld, with secrets and challenge's to overcome hidden everywhere. Incredibly fun game, even with it's rough edges.


03: Dark Souls II ; I despise the completely fucked up hitboxes and the large amount of cheap encounters, something the other Souls games didn't have, but still... There's something magical about Majula. Something enchanting which resulted in me spending over one hundred hours in it's world and getting every achievement. The Atmosphere, incredible artwork and most of the games level-design made the world a joy to explore. And that's the reason why I play and love the Souls games; the incredible exploration.
Least in series, but still a very fun Castl...uh, Souls game.


04: Broken Age - Act 1 ; Clearly made with a lot of love and filled to the brim with personality and atmosphere, but a bit lacking in the gameplay department. I didn't mind the fun but simple puzzles, what dissapointed me the most where the lack of hotspots and interactivity. And yet, I loved every single minute of it. Can't wait for part 2. Brilliant cliffhanger.


05: Escape Goat 2 ; Addicting, challenging puzzle-platformer. A tour de force in puzzle design.


06: The Wolf Among Us ; The first post-Sam & Max project from Telltale I actually really enjoy. I'd had rather seen a more traditional Point & Click, but it's still an incredibly captivating adventure.


07: Stealth Inc. 2 ; Filled with a lot of very well made, smart and challenging puzzles. I didn't enjoy the Metroidvania aspect, though. Which is weird, since I love Metroidvania's. Still, a very well made puzzle/platformer.


08: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft ; A suprisingly atmospheric and very addicting card game. Took me completely by surprise.


09: Thief ; Never played any of the other Thief games, so that didn't get in the way of my enjoyment. More of a Adventure/Stealth then pure Stealth game, which some will hate. Incredible art-direction.


10: Assassin's Creed Unity ; An impressive mess, technical and gameplay wise, but i'm in love with Paris. It's such a joy to explore and incredibly detailed. A shattered jewel.
 

Primethius

Banned
Jan 20, 2008
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1.The Evil Within ; A spiritual successor to RE4. Fantastically paced and with a variety of environments to keep the action fresh. Every battle left me with just enough ammo to keep me on my toes.
2. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; A worthy Smash Bros. sequel with a great roster, good online netcode and fantastic graphics.
3. Divinity: Original Sin; Simply the best RPG I've played in some time. Nothing else compares and this is a game I've gone back to time and time again, most recently after the disappointing DA: Inquisition.
4. Bayonetta 2 ; A great sequel that improved over the original in almost every way. My only gripe was the lack of difficulty for an experienced player.
5. Mario Kart 8; In a year of fantastic racers, MK8 is probably the best. Pure fun, great online and fantastic visuals.
6. Dark Souls II ; A step down from Dark Souls I, but still a fantastic game and a great sequel in its own regards. Surprisingly difficult for someone coming off DSI, which was an added bonus.
7. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; My surprise of the year. The music, gunplay and cutscenes were fantastic and I really loved many of the characters in games.
8. World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor ; An expansion that marks the return to form for WoW expansions, akin to something like WotLK. Great music and fantastic zones so far.
9. Driveclub ; In the same vein as MK8, a minimalist experience focused on racing. Love the car handling, great menus, fast loading and is focused solely on the racing aspect. Great tracks and just overall, a beautiful looking game. Beats out FH2, as close as the two were for me.
10. Transistor ; The music in this game is absolutely fantastic. The combat is superb adding to the replayability of the game and it has wonderful pacing.

Honorable Mentions
x. The Last of Us: Remastered; My GOTY from last year at 60fps and 1080p. A fantastic remaster and with everything that has happened, probably my favorite remaster.
x. Sunset Overdrive ; Combat emphasizing traversal was great along with the music but it didn't make it into the top 10 because the story and humor were utterly lacking. Some guns were absolutely fantastic and others, not so much.
 
Dec 3, 2011
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1. Dragon Age Inquisition; the first BioWare game in a long time i've really enjoyed and it's a true sequel to DA Origins. I've put in about 100 hours so far and i'm still working my way through the game. From the challenge of the dragon fights (suck it Skyrim) to the astrarium puzzles, there's a heck of a lot to do. In terms of lore they pretty much blow everything out of the water with regards to expanding on things like the Blight and the Fade.

2. Grand Theft Auto V; i bought it on the Xbox One after getting it last year for Xbox 360 and it's definitely a lot better, a lot cleaner and the simplest thing of adding in a first person view turns the game on its head.

3. South Park: The Stick Of Truth; a fun game to play that is probably the best representation of a TV to video game release ever made. There has to be nods to almost every episode in the game, it's just jammed packed with South Park history.

4. Terraria; after spending hundred's of hours on this game on PC, i thought i'd give it a try on Xbox One and it's still awesome. The price is ridiculous but it's worth it.

5. Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare; it's better than Ghosts! More? Okay, the campaign is very good and graphically it feels like an actual attempt at taking the series to the new gen systems. Game play wise the Exo suit really changes the dynamic of the game. Multiplayer wise, Sledgehammer have shown they have some great ideas, from customising the score streaks to the idea of the Armory and finally giving players a proper customisable soldier.

6. LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham; the LEGO games are insanely underrated and this is no exception. The amount of playable characters is enormous and they pretty much utilise a full DC roster. I think they stick with the Batman name because it probably has more recognition than DC's name on its own, which sucks really, but there are some great Batman costumes in the game too.

7. Guacamelee! Gold Edition; a super fun platform title that really ties in well with Mexican folklore and culture.

8. Goat Simulator; my 2 year old niece watches me play this game on my laptop and laughs her arse off constantly. I wish there were more ridiculous games like this.

9. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; although it's essentially a tech demo, it's an impressive one to say the least. Can't wait for The Phantom Pain.

10. Super Smash Bros Wii U; fairly low on the list mainly because i haven't played it much, but it's an awesome Smash title and i can't wait to really get my teeth into it.
 
1. The Last of Us Remastered; TLOU is an evergreen title that would be a GOTY contender in any year it's released in. It's my nr1 as it Includes the amazing Left Behind DLC I hadn't played yet before the remaster, I also ignored the MP on PS3 so that component was all fresh and new as well, it was my favourite multiplayer game along PvZ GW.
2. Driveclub; Most underrated race game ever, the car handling is superb and graphics are one of the first next gen moments on PS4.
3. Soul Sacrifice Delta ; base game was already best in its genre, this adds tons of improvements and new content.
4. inFamous Second Son
5. FFX HD; remaster of one of my fave rpgs, the last great mainline FF with a deeply moving ending
6. KH HD 2.5
7. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd ; fun and hard rythm game with catchy songs


Yeah not the best of the years, even struggling to come up with a top 10. Year of the definitive editions.

I own Bayo 2, MK8, DKCTF, Alien Isolation, Wolfie TNO and a few other hi profile games but yet to beat them. I'll edit the list if I finish and loved them enough to put them in.
 
Feb 27, 2014
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Reserved, in progress, and all subject to change.

1. Hearthstone ; Blizzard's most purely cerebral strategic experience to date, this is the one game I played every month from January to December and confidently expect to be playing this time next year. The Warcraft theme is vividly translated into every aspect of the class and card design and the implementation of free-to-play is an example for the industry to follow. The continued support in the form of unique single-player puzzles and new cards is quick and timely enough to assuage any concerns about a stagnant metagame, while the mechanical bedrock itself goes further than any other Blizzard title in being fun and competitive at all levels at play, from the lower card-impoverished ranks of the constructed ladder to the unpredictable drafts of the Arena. A rare strategy game where wild experimentation and optimized perfectionism both have their place in the sun.

2. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; The finest, most complete integration of environment art with high-precision 2D platforming design, and a game that truly reveals its elegance in the later stages and its checkpoint-free hard mode. Every stage is meticulously composed like a piece of music with its own logic of escalation, its own story to tell; and a quick glance at the world-record speed-run replays directly integrated into the game will affirm how perfectly the rhythm of every note, every enemy and obstacle is aligned. The boss fights and underwater controls are an acquired taste, but are ultimately dependable enough to be reined in by the player's mastery. No need to compare apples and oranges and stack this up against the Mario series; the environment-driven side-scroller has a design philosophy of its own, and Tropical Freeze is its most beauteous and robust expression. It retained my attention for over sixty hours—astonishing for the genre—and I would be happy to tackle it top to bottom all over again. (First impressions here and here.)

3. Bayonetta 2 ; To lift from William Goldman, this is the Good Parts Version of Bayonetta, a polishing of the original game into a crystalline realization of nearly everything that was good about it—mainly the dynamism and responsiveness of its combat system, unmatched in three dimensions. It comes at the cost of the first game's freshness and variety, and the overall sameness of the combat environments (every verse a Muspelheim) refocused the encounters to be all about the enemies and not at all about the space you are fighting in; but this can be forgiven when fundamentals like your weapons and combos are so brilliantly varied, the linear environments are less claustrophobic and a smidgen more explorable, and your movement is more fluid across the board. The first Bayonetta may be the more memorable game but it's the sequel, with all the kinks worked out, I would rather sit down and play. A master class in iterative refinement, and an absolute joy. (First impressions here.)

4. Bravely Default ; I say this with total sincerity: this is the best traditionalist Square-style JRPG since Chrono Trigger. The modern conveniences introduced to the old-school Final Fantasy format are by themselves a laudable refinement, from the variable encounter rate and the adjustable animation speed to the programmable party automation—all improvements I could now hardly imagine doing without. But what elevates Bravely D from merely tidy to tremendous are the incredible versatility of the job/skill combinations, the tactical richness of the instantaneously understandable battle system, and the inventiveness of the late-game boss fights. For once the battling takes centre stage as the primary thrill of the experience, if at the great expense of the story and characters (never a strength of JRPGs to begin with, though here they are particularly bland), which exist mainly to provide an inexhaustible battleground for playing with the range of party configurations. This is elegant turn-based battling at its best: never a chore, and never second fiddle to surface pleasures.

5. Shovel Knight ; Mega Man 9 notwithstanding, this is the first self-consciously retro game from anybody to successfully evoke the twilight of the NES era, from the colour palette and sound design to the animations of characters dancing, and improve on it with twenty additional years of accrued wisdom in level design. The art and music are the equal of the 8-bit classics, and the thematically cohesive stages are always fair, never cheap, in leading the player's eye towards buried secrets and experimentation with new mechanics. The subtle poignancy of the minimalist narrative is an understated highlight of the game, one that I would go so far as to propose is the most satisfying and mature storytelling I saw in the class of 2014. The standard experience is on the short and easy side, and not without questionable hiccups like the ability to acquire missed items without discovering them or the late-game saturation of gems with nothing to spend them on, but every room in every stage is so polished and delicately paced that one hardly minds the straightforward linearity or the minor oversights. For all its brevity, Shovel Knight is an unforgettable diversion to be cherished in the years ahead, and the standard to which every bid for nostalgia should be held. (First impressions here.)

6. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; It's easy enough to celebrate the expansion and refinement of an already proven formula and enumerate the many tweaks and optimizations to a game we already know. Where SSB4 excels, however, is in the care and attention devoted to nearly all of the newly introduced characters on the roster, each designed to offer a unique style of play that evokes the character's origin more vividly than ever before. The Wii U version inherits a few traces of the quantity-over-quality problem we saw in Brawl, with its underdeveloped stage builder, largely forgettable new stages (surpassed by its 3DS sibling), and the inflexible chaos of Smash Tour, but in all other respects it pares down the experience to what the core of the series does best—the fighting itself—and buttresses it with extensive support for co-op play, unprecedented fighter customization, and randomly generated challenges, with the high-risk, high-reward Crazy Orders shining as the jewel in the crown. And no advance warning will prepare you for the madness and delight of your first eight-player rumble, even against seven AIs in the rejuvenated Classic Mode.

7. Mario Kart 8 ; In one sense this is Mario Kart on the straight and narrow, a pure and undistracted racer with nothing new to compete with the tactical idiosyncrasy of Double Dash or the richness of MKDS's Mission Mode, still beholden to the collection of functionally similar kart parts devised in MK7, and bereft of a meaningful Battle Mode (which has not reliably progressed since Super Mario Kart on the SNES). But as a racing game, this is by far the best that Mario Kart has ever been, and it is all thanks to the vivid dynamism of the courses, twisting roller coasters that are more than the sum of their visual and musical beauty. Just about every new course is an instant classic, and the distinctive DLC additions—an industry best—leave on with a convincing impression that the developers are not even close to running out of ideas. It should not go unacknowledged, either, that the crispness of the online play sets a new standard for Nintendo.

8. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ; A less cerebral game than I had hoped, more about platforms than puzzles, yet a sterling parallel companion to Super Mario 3D World where deft manipulation of the camera takes the place of jumping. However, the optional challenges and rapid-fire variety of toybox stages adequately covers for the ease of traversing from A to B, so while the game is simple, it is never boring, and its finest moments—the odd stealth mission, luring Chargin' Chucks through a swarm of enemies on a moving train, a dive into a pinball machine—evoke the nuts and bolts of a disassembled 3D Zelda, whereas the final unlockable stage is an arcade-style test of endurance that stands out as a game in its own right, a Pac-Man for the modern era. (First impressions here.)

9. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition ; Half of this game is an excellent 2D Metroid clone that competently fills the gaping void of the decade since Nintendo's own Zero Mission, retrofitted for hand-to-hand combat; the other half is a devious assortment of twitch platforming challenges and beat-'em-up skirmishes that test the player's command of the move set to the fullest. These twin predilections are pursued with the greatest finesse (all in the delectable audiovisual package of a distinctive Mexican aesthetic, too), if at the cost of a clash of tendencies in level design, where the game can't quite decide on whether to commit to rooms designed for one-way traversal or for fluid, connected exploration that grows the game-world outwards on all sides. The colour-coded exploration is a little thin, but next to the Metroid series' own occasional slips into linearity, Guacamelee! holds its own as equal to its inspiration. (First impressions here.)

10. Endless Legend ; Perilously close to being a major, important entry in the annals of 4X strategy—and yet so far. Meaningful faction asymmetry, an inventive solution to infinite-city sprawl by situating cities as provincial capitals with an interest in wresting outlying barbarian villages under their control, and the inheritance of the elegant resource and hero systems from its precursor Endless Space make for a distinctive alternative to the Civilization series that capitalizes on the fantastical creativity of the Civ IV mod Fall from Heaven in a vigorous setting where all bets are off. It's unfortunate, then, that a game so slick in empire management should be encumbered by an ambitious tactical combat system that lacks responsiveness, opaque victory conditions that seem an afterthought, and a conservative tech progression that falls short of substantially affecting how the game is played as you take your empire into the later eras. Here we have the core of what could emerge as an enduring fantastical rejoinder to Civilization fatigue—the hint of a masterpiece—but further support and development will tell if Endless Legend can reach those heights. The game that is playable now is a promising start.

Honourable mentions:

x. Hyrule Warriors ;
x. Mario Kart DLC Pack 1 ;
x. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS ;
x. World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor ;
 

elmars369

Unconfirmed Member
May 13, 2014
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I've only bought 7 games (that were released in 2014) this year, so here they are...

1. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; Story and writing in the DGR games are just... phenomenal. Absolutely amazing.
2. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; Consult 1.
3. Dark Souls II ; Liked DeS better than DkSII (haven't played the first DkS), game was still good none the less.
4. Freedom Wars ; Best hunting game in my experiance. Great art style, great gameplay mechanics and the setting was really interesting too.
5. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; Game was fun from the hour I played it on PC, got the special edition on black friday for PS3, haven't opened it yet.
6. Tales of Symphonia Chronicles ; Played it for a good bit, but kind of got burnt out on it around the ~40(?) hour mark. I've played too much Tales in too short of a time span, need to wait a while before going back to them.
7. Minecraft; It's Minecraft. On Vita.
 
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