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

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Stripper13

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1. Destiny ; I could pick the game apart for having nearly no story, or repetitive missions, or a questionable loot mechanic etc. But no other game has hooked me as hard. My wife, several friends and I - are on nearly every single night with very few exceptions. Despite everything it does wrong, the gameplay is so strong that I love trying/levelling a new gun. It helps that I love the Crucible gametypes too.

2. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; Another entry into one of my favourite franchises ever. A complete no brainer. A bit disappointed by its similarities to Brawl - but that's about the only thing anyone could complain about.

3. Driveclub ; Absolutely nails the PGR feel.

4. Mario Kart 8 ; Another instant classic entry into the franchise. Loved it. Still play it regularly if people are over.

5. The Last of Us: Remastered ; It was my first time playing the game. I went in with semi-low expectations as I wasn't a massive fan of Uncharted. Damn was I wrong. Incredible game - and a strangely compelling MP mode to boot.
 

Yoshi

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Wish I had more time to flesh this out- hopefully I'll get back to it this weekend.

1) Bayonetta 2
2) Shovel knight
3) Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
4) Super Smash Bros Wii U
5) Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
6) Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
7) Bayonetta (Wii U)
8) Mario Kart 8
9) Ace Attorney Trilogy
10) Strider (PS3)
You should at least put one comment, in order to get your ballot counted. Weekend is too late, because voting will be over by then.
 

ArjanN

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1. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Kinda late to the party as a PC gamer, but defintely worth the wait. Action game of the year. Probably the best boss fight of the generation as well.
2. Shadowrun Dragonfall Director's Cut ; The setting, story and characterization made this the best RPG of the year to me. Can't wait for the new campaign in Hong Kong.
3. Shovel Knight ; Throwback, Megaman meets Ducktales meets (oldschool) Castlevania but more than just a nostalgia trip.
4. Sniper Elite 3 ; The more open environments compared to the previous game really open up the ways you can play this. It's now basically WW2 Hitman.
5. Double Dragon Neon ; Very underrated beat'em up. Funny, great soundtrack, and very solid mechanics.
6. Banner Saga ; Amazing soundtrack by Austin Wintory, really nice artwork tied to a decent tactical turn based combat and interesting world and story.
7. Gods Will Be Watching ; Gods Will Be Watching is essentially a collection of survival scenarios tied together with a story, where you manage your resources, while testing the limits of your morality. I recommend playing on the original difficulty, despite the developer patching in other more forgiving difficulties later as the unforgiving and bleak nature of the game actually ties into the scenarios and story quite well. Recommended if you're looking for something unique.
8. Crimzon Clover World Ignition ; best shmup this year, one man effort.
9. Transistor ; A nice improvement over Bastion.
10. Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming ;

Honorable Mentions

x. One Way Heroics ;
x. Abyss Odyssey ;
 

Zefah

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Jan 7, 2007
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1. Dark Souls II ; Far and away my favorite game this year. It certainly has its fair share of issues, but I enjoyed every moment through multiple play throughs. While the highs may not be as high as the previous games in the series, I feel like Dark Souls II is more consistently good throughout. It didn't have any huge lows for me like some of the sections in Dark Souls represented. For that reason, I think it will end up being a game I end up replaying more over the years to come.

2. Bayonetta 2 ; Just a blast to play. I might be in the minority in that I don't much like Platinum's brand of ridiculousness, but I am able to look beyond that for the absolutely superb action gameplay that this game offers.

3. Alien: Isolation ; I picked this up during the winter Steam sale and I sure am glad I did. The atmosphere that Creative Assembly have managed to create with this game is just incredible. I still haven't finished the game and am taking it slowly, but I come away from each play session more and more impressed with it.

4. The Banner Saga ; I backed this on Kickstarter, but my expectations were fairly low after the weird free-to-play thing they put out early on. The full game offered a truly unique and engrossing experience. Great visuals, amazing music, and surprisingly good writing and characters. I really enjoyed the world they created and look forward to seeing more. It helped that the game was a lot of fun to play, too, but that final boss fight can go straight to hell. I also really liked how I didn't know which decisions were actually affecting the events that played out in the game.

5. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; The best first-person shooter that I've played in a good while. Great combat, weapons, and even the stealth worked well. I actually really enjoyed the story and characters, too, which came as quite a surprise to me.

6. Shovel Knight ; Excellent throwback to older action platformers. Great gameplay married to excellent art and music. I'm not quite as in love with the game as some other people, but I definitely would like to play more from Yacht Club Games.

7. Far Cry 4 ; I'm actually surprised I enjoyed this so much while being rather bored with Assassin's Creed Unity, considering they are both set up in a similar fashion. I suppose it shows that the Ubisoft design philosophy can work as long as you nail the minute-to-minute gameplay, and boy does Far Cry 4 do that. It's a great game to pick up and play in small bursts and just have fun in the playground they've created.

8. Divinity: Original Sin ; The best combat system I've seen in an RPG in a long time. I wasn't a fan of the story, characters, humor, or setting in the game, but the excellent combat kept me coming back for more. I really hope Larian Studios makes more games like this, or at least some other devs are inspired to make similar games.

9. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls ; Along with the removal of the Auction House and the changes to the loot system, this was an absolutely excellent expansion for a game I already like a lot. I don't think it will ever have the staying power of Diablo II, but it's still a blast to pick up and play every once in a while.

10. Ryu Ga Gotoku: Ishin ; I'm a fan of the series and love the era that it's set in. They didn't do a ton to freshen up the gameplay, but that's OK with me. Being able to play this with great image quality at a high frame rate on the PS4 was great.
 

Benzychenz

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Eh, didn't even get to finish Danganronpa 2 and Alpha Sapphire :\ Let alone Shovel Knight, Transistor and Child of Light.

Guess I'll just post my picks later tonight then. Won't go into fancy graphics and stuff like I was planning but I'll get in the votes for what I've played.
 

Carcetti

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1. Alien: Isolation - Pure distillied tension and a flawless reconstruction of the Alien universe.
2. Divinity: Original Sin - The new yardstick of classic western RPGs.
3. The Talos Principle - A beautiful puzzler that stimulates your brain on many levels.
4. Elite: Dangerous - The triumphant return of the original space sim.
5. Dragon Age: Inquisition - An emotional soap opera fantasy that just keeps going and going.
6. Dark Souls II - The formula will get stale soon if nothing's done but the magic was still there.
7. Shadow of Mordor - Fun action with a new way of creating stories.
8. This War of Mine - Maybe the best 'serious game' of all time.
9. The Last of Us Remastered - last year's best, now better.
10. Shadowrun: Dragonfall - So much better than the original campaign.
 
Nov 7, 2007
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1. Bayonetta 2 ; The original Bayonetta was the best action game of its generation. The sequel looks better, it's more varied, and it's even more over-the-top.

2. Mario Kart 8 ; It took 11 years, but Double Dash!! has finally been topped. The anti-gravity mechanic was downright brilliant. It allowed for the most creative courses the series has ever seen and changed things up by actually encouraging players to drive into obstacles and other racers. I also appreciate how Nintendo used DLC to add value to an already excellent game rather than using it as an excuse to release an unfinished product.

3. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition ; Guacamelee! is the perfect game for anyone who has fond memories of Super Metroid or Symphony of the Night. The game is currently sitting at 90 on Metacritic, but it seems like no one on GAF has played the game despite it being free on the XBOX One earlier this year.

4. Super Smash Bros. for WiiU ; So much content. So much depth. So much replayability.

5. Child of Light ; Ubisoft dropped the ball on a lot of things this year and they rightfully received a lot of flack for it. I think it's somewhat unfair that their best game this year is seldom mentioned. I wish gamers would stop focusing on lifeless, overhyped AAA games and start paying attention to fantastic games like Child of Light that never seem to get he recognition they deserve.

6. Sunset Overdrive ; Insomniac is an awesome company and Sunset Overdrive was of the best new IPs of 2014. I hope the game finds the audience it deserves. The XBOX brand has never really been known for bright and colorful games centered around platforming, but Sunset Overdrive is the best reason to own an XBOX One.

7. Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker ; Captain Toad was the surprise of the year. I'd liken it to Zack an Wiki in the sense that's it's a undeniably awesome game that many will overlook just because of its colorful exterior.

8. Forza Horizon 2 ; I actually prefer he Horizon games to the mainline Forza series, and I think Hoilrizon 2 is the best arcade racer since Burnout Paradise.

9. Bravely Default ; The game gets off to a great start and never quite lives up to its full potential, but it's still one of the best JRPGs I've played on the past five years.
 
Jun 22, 2013
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1. Bayonetta 2 ; The best action game of all time. amazing boss fights, flawless gameplay and beautiful music.

2. dark Souls 2 ; A solid sequel to one of the best games ever made. The DLCs were amazing.

3. Mario Kart 8 ; amazing visuals and one of the most fun games I have ever played.

4. The Evil Within ; The spiritual successor to RE4, the game has a great atmosphere, solid gunplay and one of the best upgrade systems in the genre. Shinji Mikami delivered and the game was a blast to play.

5. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; A good WRPG with beautiful world design and visuals, but the game's side quests focus on too many collecting and fetch quests prevented the game from taking a higher place in this list.

6. Super Smash Bros Wii U ; Not a huge fan of the series, but it's a blast to play with friends.

7. The Wolf Among Us ; I loved the story and the overall atmosphere. I hope there is a season two.

8. Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze ; A great platformer with an astounding soundtrack.
 

Olorin

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1. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft ; The one game I've played all year long, pretty much daily. Blizzard has done an excellent job in creating a streamlined, highly polished collectible card game.
2. Fantasy Life ; Just one more quest. Oh, now I can do that too. Maybe I should switch lives so I can get that. There's so much to do!
3. Kirby Triple Deluxe ; A wonderful platformer full of little details and polished to perfection. And Kirby Fighters was a great Smash minigame.
4. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; Another great smash game. I haven't put enough time into it yet, but it's always a blast at parties.
5. Mario Kart 8 ; Confession: This is the first Mario Kart game I've played more than an hour. I don't care about racing games at all, but Mario Kart 8 just oozes fun.
6. Pokemon Alpha Sapphire ; It's Pokemon. Nothing spectacular, but good fun as always.
7. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS ; Smash Bros on the go! Too bad there's lag, even in local multiplayer matches.
8. Child of Light ; The game has some serious flaws, but it was still a heartwarming, worthwhile experience.
9. Fairune ; Cute little rpg that brings the genre down to it's purest basics.
10. Pushmo World ; It's just more Pushmo, but that's not a bad thing.
 

nny

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I haven't played quite a few 2014 releases that I wanted to, but this is the possible list, as of today:

1. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; Great experience, at times you feel like you're stuck with everyone there...and a story that doesn't let you put the Vita down. Began Danganronpa 2 recently, I get excited every time I see it above Danganronpa 1 on the lists in this thread...have they really improved it?
2. Blackwell Epiphany ; The best recent point 'n click series comes to an end. Overall a great sendoff to the series, but the very very end left a bit of bad taste in my mouth, hence why it's not higher.
3. Valiant Hearts: The Great War ; Very touching.
4. The Wolf Among Us: Episodes 2-5 ; Pretty fun story.
5. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney ; It was less than the sum of the two parts, but a fun experience.
6. The Walking Dead: Season Two: Episodes 2-5 ; maybe if there wasn't that first season to compare it with it I would have liked it more.
7. Hexcells Plus ; I'm a sucker for this kind of puzzle games, so good.
8. Master Reboot ; Interesting story; don't expect the most polished game ever, but it's an adventure game worth experiencing.
9. Murasaki Baby ; Nice visuals, good use of the Vita.
10. Hohokum ;
 

El-Suave

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1. Hearthstone ; The game I've played the most this year, and the game that has provided the most fun and joy. Great and pretty fair implementation of micro transactions, which is remarkable.
2. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; Hilarious and very true to the show, on par with the quality another South Park movie would need.
3. Valiant Hearts ; I love that the developers tackled this subject matter and how they've handled it for the most part. It has moved me and I've learned some historical facts as well.
4. Destiny ; It's bad and downright atrocious in some aspects, but I'm still playing it. The core gameplay is super fun.
5. Far Cry 4 ; More of the same is a good thing in this case since I loved Far Cry 3 very much.
6. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; The Nemesis system is a nice innovation and the game plays really well.
7. Infamous: Second Son ; Very polished with a true "next gen" feel early in the year. Neon power is super cool.
8. Watch Dogs ; It delivered what I wanted from it, played well and had some nice innovations in its multiplayer.
9. Assassin's Creed: Unity ; The freedom during the assassinations moves the franchise forward as does the ability to enter and play in so many buildings.
10. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; I appreciate how over the top but authentic (concerning the German voices and songs) it is at the same time.
 

War Peaceman

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1. Grand Theft Auto V ; I hadn’t enjoyed a GTA game since Vice City. I hate open world games. I hated GTA V on PS3. Yet this astonished me. The first person view makes the world feel so much more immersive and real. The detail in this game is astonishing and I loved the simple pleasure of driving around in a helicopter seeing the neon blossom flashing beneath me. Even the gameplay feels better in first person. This is a game truly enhanced by being a port; the sharing function is particularly great with this game.
2. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; A really chunky and well-designed FPS. The moveset is flexible and the perks/varied armoury encourages you to use different approaches throughout the game. Even the story is, for all its nazi idiocy, surprisingly heartfelt with decent characters and emotional moments. Given that Wolfenstein 3D was the first game I ever played, this was a real treat.
3. Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes ; This was a really exciting game as it demonstrated the real gaming potential that the MGS series has moving forward. The gameplay was well designed, giving you a genuine variety of routes and styles with which to progress. People have always emphasised the series’ story over its gameplay (wrongly so!) and this is the best yet.
4.The Last of Us: Remastered ; After the effusive praise, I was a little surprised by this. There are too many animation flaws and AI issues that ruin the immersion. The best parts are when you are alone, which is damning, given the premise of the game. Nevertheless, a nicely put together game and it is hard not to admire the ambition, even if the execution isn’t quite there.
5. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call ; I loved its predecessor and this is a better honed version of that. I was impressed by how much restraint they showed on the DLC side. It is packed with content and the levelling system is as addictive as it was before (with some of the exploits removed).
6. Peggle 2 ; It is more Peggle, which is pretty good. Nothing at all revolutionary, mind!
 

sackninja

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Note: No Xbox one or wii u.

1. Little Big Planet 3 ; Well Little big planet 2 was my game of all time and this one was just better. I encountered only minor glitchs and all the new additions are fantastic. Will probably spend a large amount of time making an epic adventure.
2. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth ; The original Boi was my secod favourite game of all time. And once again this is just an improvement in every way to the point where I can't play the original anymore. Hugely addicting and recommend it to all.
3. The Last of Us: remastered ; It was the first time I played it. Am only about 2 hours in so not final impressions but already seems amazing. Can't wait to play more but got sidetracked by lbp3.
4. Hearthstone ; Brillaint card game. Goblins vs Gnomes added a lot to the game. It's just so much fun. Recommended for everyone.
5. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Phantoms ; Most of my time in this game was in beta however I found this game hugely enjoyable. Almost 100 hours in it. The only pc shooter I could get into.
6. Infamous: Second Son ; I didn't play many games this year but I found this extremely enjoyable, some may disagree but I found it great.
7. Call of Duty: Advanced Warefare ; What did I say about not playing many new games this year, I buy most of my games used a year down the line, but got this as a present and was pleasently surprised.
8. Sportsfriends ; It was this year on ps4 anyway and I had way too much fun with it, in the limited time I played it.
 

Field

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1. Dark Souls 2 ; Not my favorite in the series but its still my game of the year.
2. Alien Isolation ; Finally a game worthy of the Alien name. So atmospheric and creepy.
3. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; Loved the story and characters and the great brutal gunplay.
 

Riposte

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This might be the chief sentiment by which we remember 2014.

What a weak year.
Several lists in this thread prove you wrong. But comes down to taste I guess.

EDIT: It's funny to see remastered entries more or less admitting they already played the game the previous year, although maybe I'm not quite up to speed on the new rules.
 

Aaron D.

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Wow, was this really necessary?
I can't get over the Bayo2GOTY username. Unless it's a Platinum gag-account, it seems like you're insta-dating yourself. Esp. considering how hard it is to secure an account around here. It's like a username proclaiming OUYA4Life or something.

So strange.
 

Lostconfused

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I can't get over the Bayo2GOTY username. Unless it's a Platinum gag-account, it seems like you're insta-dating yourself. Esp. considering how hard it is to secure an account around here. It's like a username proclaiming OUYA4Life or something.

So strange.
Join Date: 12-20-2014

Several lists in this thread prove you wrong. But comes down to taste I guess.
So something entirely subjective has been objectively proven wrong. The final results will probably speak more to the overall output and quality this year.
 
Feb 4, 2013
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1. Ace Attorney Investigations 2 ; A better game than the first one in every way. I really enjoyed the cases, the story and the characters enough for this to be my GOTY.

2. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Great boss battles, over-the-top gameplay all in the universe of Metal Gear. What more could you ask for?

3. Alien: Isolation ; Despite the game being tough as balls in certain sections, I have to give props to the Creative Assembly for not chickening out and introducing elements would simplify the gameplay and make it easier. I like the fact that the alien is a merciless fucker who would track me down in vents or when I'm hiding in a closet. It gives the game a lot more tension which you rarely find in horror games.

4. Shovel Knight ; This game not only emulates the best of the NES era, it introduces plenty of new elements in the genre to be considered a great game.

5. Valiant Hearts ; One of the few war games which actually focuses on the people effected in the war and not just the war itself. The ending also brought me close to tears.

6. Divinity: Original Sin ; What a great time for classic PC RPG's. Divinity OS has a world you want to explore and fight in even if it may not be the biggest world you'll find in modern RPG's.

7. Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey: Book One ; A sequel to one of my favorite adventure games might have been a little short for the first chapter but it certainly has all the classic character traits and writing I've come to love for a Longest Journey game.

8. Broken Age: Act 1 ; Has all the humor of a Tim Schafer game combined with the certain dark elements brewing beneath the surface. A great story and excellent voice acting also helps.

9. The Evil Within ; The level design and enemy encounters is what makes Evil Within a great game for me. Even though it may not rank high in the 'horror' or even story department, Evil With makes it up with Mikami's brilliant level designs and encounters.

10. Lethal League ; A simple concept turned into a tremendously fun multiplayer experience, play with friends for a great laugh and taunt 'till you drop.
 

Durante

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I didn't even bother voting last year since I can't single-handedly improve GAF's taste, but it would be a huge disservice to the majesty that is 2014 to not do so this year.

1. Might & Magic X: Legacy ; I'll quote myself from my PC Gamer article:

In a year filled with amazing games in my favorite genre, it’s hard to select a single one to stand above the rest. However, if I had to choose, it would come down to Might & Magic X: Legacy. As a grid-based open-world turn-based first person party RPG, it’s a representative of what might be the rarest RPG subgenre of them all. Certainly, this is not a choice I’d have ever expected to make at the start of the year, but M&MX is the complete package. It combines rewarding exploration and dungeon crawling with great character development and combat systems, and had me glued to my screen throughout its entire duration.

I am still amazed by the fact that this game was even made, and in the shape of a true old-school sequel and not an ill-advised attempt at “rebooting” the franchise. As you might be aware, Might and Magic is owned by Ubisoft these days, and, as the story goes, it is only due to the near super-human persistence and passion of some of their employees—and the success of 2012’s Legend of Grimrock—that the project ever got off the ground.

2. Divinity: Original Sin ; Another self-quote:

With Divinity: Original Sin, the fine folks at Larian Studios managed to fulfill their ambition of providing world interactivity on a level with Ultima 7, which has always felt a decade ahead of its time in that regard. But that’s not the whole story: in the process of doing so, they also created what might well be the best turn-based combat system in any RPG ever.

I do not say this lightly, or merely to underscore just how good it is – having played a good chunk of them, I truly cannot think of any RPG which does turn-based combat better than Divinity: Original Sin. Its combination of a polished action point-based free movement system with highly meaningful and novel environmental interaction and a huge variety of spells and skills allows for almost limitless tactical possibilities. Even over the course of 70+ hours and a very combat-heavy final stretch, this ensured that the encounters never got old or repetitive.

On top of these achievements, Larian have also proven (again, really, after all most of the Infinity Engine games did the same) that it is possible to create an uncompromising, deep, old-school RPG experience while including full campaign coop, a lesson I hope many other developers will take to heart. Larian themselves are already planning two new RPGs based on their engine, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

3. Dark Souls II ; Probably the 2014 release I spent the most time on overall, and a worthy successor to one of my favourite ARPGs of all time.

4. Age of Wonders III ; My highest-ranked non-RPG this year. Perhaps the best potential successor to Master of Magic yet, and a game that would have gotten a lot more playtime had it not been for the deluge of fantastic RPGs.

5. Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall ; Probably the best story I played this year, and a massive improvement over its predecessor. Can't wait for Hong Kong.

6. Wasteland 2 ; Another case of a game that would have scored higher in any other year.

7. Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky ; The only console game on my list. Not the best Atelier title, but still a very solid entry in one of my favourite series of atypical JRPGs.

8. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; Short but very entertaining, it deserves a spot.

9. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; I can't really make an objective argument as to why I liked this so much, but I did. Go Vita!

10. Crimzon Clover World Ignition ; It would have felt wrong not to include this, one of the best shmups released in years.

The really insane part is that my favourite games from 2013 would all fall below place 5 (at the very least) on this year's list. Oh, and I haven't played enough of Legend of Grimrock 2 yet, otherwise it might well be on there. The same goes for Dreamfall Chapters.
 

sleepydeer

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Oct 5, 2014
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I didn't play much 2014 stuff...

1. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; Flawlessly achieved what the developers wanted, which it turns out is what I wanted too.
2. Hexcells Plus ; Excellent puzzle design, tough and satisfying to crack.
3. Nidhogg ; Local multiplayer was the best 30 minutes of gaming I've had in a long time.
4. Ikaruga PC ; Perfectly pitched.
5. Kerbal Space Program ; Running a space programme turns out to be genuinely fascinating, and let me finally grasp orbital mechanics intuitively. Wish I'd had it as a student.
6. Minecraft Vita Edition ; Minecraft in bed is a powerful phenomenon.
7. Pinball FX 2 South Park Pinball DLC ; Made me smile.
8. Surgeon Simulator Anniversary Edition Content ; The carnage stopped being the joke. That I played this dumb thing enough to get good at it is the real punchline.
9. Strike Vector ; The movement in this game is three-dimensional twisting, darting and zooming fun, it made otherwise pretty standard arena deathmatch interesting.
10.

Honorable Mentions
x. Dominions 4 ; Came out December 2013 so no way would I ever have got to it for the 2013 votes, and it had major content patches this year that most games would have sold as DLC. Plus it's incredible: sparse presentation, dense mechanics and ridiculous amounts of flavour. New GOTY 2013, sorry BioShock.
 

Mman235

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Jun 28, 2013
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I haven't got around to playing some of the games I own that would likely be on my list (Wasteland 2 and Alien Isolation) or I'm part way through them (The Evil Within and Shadowrun: Dragonfall being two examples, since I'm most of the way through I may end up tweaking my list for the former later) and I don't own any of the new consoles, but I'll try anyway from what I have played through:

1. Dark Souls II ; Just as brilliant as ever and I don't really consider it to have any more flaws than the other games do (although I think the overall less coherence is a valid overall complaint, but I don't mind it much). The DLC also just made it even better. So it's the easy GOTY for me.

2. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; With fleshed out Single Player campaign focused shooters becoming so rare Wolfenstein ends up being a breath of fresh air. It has some things that prevent me from putting it up with the classics (like the way a lot of the enemy variety mostly involves various varieties of slow armoured enemies), but it's the closest anyone's come in ages.

3. Legend of Grimrock 2 ; Does a great job building on everything from the original and expands it in all the right ways without losing any of the original's essence. That they continue to embrace modding is also great for it's future.

4. Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition ; Provided some of the best co-op play of the year, it's unfortunate that it's designed so I had to rush two SP characters through to not play on complete joke difficulty settings in co-op, but outside that hurdle it's nice to see something keeping local co-op alive and obviously promoting it as a notable part of the game.

5. Shin Megami Tensei IV ; While I probably wouldn't put it above Nocturne this is still a great follow-up ans a strong RPG in general, although the handling of what ending you get and the "morality" pissed me off and resulted in me losing a lot of my investment in the endgame the first time, as I feel my character got railroaded into a decision they would have never made or went along with because the game makes no distinction between law-chaos and good-evil.

6. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; It's a shame the challenge is so non-existent even with the difficulty turned up, because it's the one thing that drags it down compared to all the ways it captures the show's atmosphere, visuals and feel so perfectly.

7. Might & Magic X: Legacy ; I played this a while ago so my memories are a bit fuzzy, but I remember a lot of strong dungeons and similar, even if I had problems with things like the pseudo-linearity that means exploring can frequently get you into unwinnable fights with no way to run.

8. Transistor ; While I haven't decided which is better, I appreciate how this is actually smaller in ambition than Bastion in many ways, and they didn't feel the need to make it bigger just because it's a spiritual sequel (especially in the days of endless tacked-on fetch-quests and similar). The pseudo turn based combat style is also an interesting try at something different.

9. Shovel Knight ; Like Volgarr the Viking last year it's an attempt at an older style that actually understands the true reasons that style is good rather than the shallow nostalgic ones. I don't think it's quite as successful for me as Volgarr was but it's still very strong.

10. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth ; Admittedly I'm waiting for the upcoming DLC before I fully sink into this, but what I've played so far does a good job at an unorthodox Rogue-like style, and also expands well on what I played of the original version.

Honourable Mentions:
x. Shadow of Mordor ; Outside the Nemesis system this is a pretty typical open-world game, and the Nemesis system is harmed by how easy the difficulty is, but it does at least meaningfully improve on the Assassin's Creed style in some ways, and it actually came out mostly polished and functional (which shouldn't be too noteworthy, but given how things have been this year...)

x. Lords of the Fallen ; While essentially a poor man's Dark Souls it trying to replicate the formula still makes it better than a lot of games. However, while easier overall a lot of the challenge I had comes from frustrating stuff like shitty hitboxes (apparently this is how some people think the DS 2 hitboxes are like or something?). It also has too much backtracking despite being far shorter than any Souls game, and the class imbalance is far greater than anything in the Souls games. Still it shows some nice potential as a first attempt, and I'm glad it did well enough for them to refine the style with a sequel.
 

Mooreberg

Member
Jun 6, 2004
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1. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; biggest surprise of the year
2. Wolfenstein The New Order ; Excellent game play and story
3. Farcry 4 ; Best open world shooter so far
4. Hitman GO ; Extremely clever puzzle game
5. Bayonetta 2 ; Best third person action game since DMC3
6. P.T. ; Best viral marketing ever
7. inFamous Second Son ; Fun mechanics and game world
8. D4 ; Greatest meal sequences of all time
 

Riposte

Member
Sep 21, 2010
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videogames?
twitter.com
So something entirely subjective has been objectively proven wrong. The final results will probably speak more to the overall output and quality this year.
I guess "comes down to taste" isn't enough to escape the subjectivity police.

I didn't even bother voting last year since I can't single-handedly improve GAF's taste, but it would be a huge disservice to the majesty that is 2014 to not do so this year.
That's a terrible reason not to participate! The open democracy of the vote is hopeless, yes, but interesting voices like yours are worthwhile in themselves and shouldn't be drowned out.
 

Blizniak

Member
Jul 21, 2009
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1. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; I haven't had this much fun with a first person shooter since Far Cry 2 which was by far my favorite fps of last gen.
2. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; They managed to make fun and challenging bossfights and underwater levels that were amazing. Noone does that. The amount of stuff they packed into all the levels kept blowing my mind every step of the way.
3. Betrayer ; This came as a total surprise. It looked cool but I didn't expect the other half of it at all. I enjoyed bits and pieces of story they dripped throughout the game and that sense of dread every single time you ring a bell...
 

Vertti

Member
Oct 5, 2014
606
1
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1. Mario Kart 8 ; almost perfect kart racer. I don't care about battle mode so that's not minus for me. Looks and sounds great. Netplay works almost flawesly and is huge fun.

2. Super Smash Bros 4 Wii U ; If you have friends who know how to play it doesn't get much better from this. It has small flaws but the core gameplay is so good and rooster is fantastic so worth of all the praise it has got.

3.Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze ; Damn Nintendo what a year! One of the best platformers ever and that's much to said knowing how good all the previous parts in the series are.

4. Shovel Knight ; If you wanna make 8 bit game in 2014 this is how you do it. I don't care if you take old ideas if you can make them work this well. But still, I have to admit there is this small been there done that feeling lowering my rating but only slightly.

5. Valiant Hearts ; Surprise of the year! I really liked this game but same can be said about the games above it. The gameplay maybe a simple but everything else is so nice I don't care. The story, the small tidbits about WW1, the music and oh the graphics. I love how this game looks. Hopefully we see more ubiarts game because they seem to work well.

I'm still playing Kirby Triple Deluxe and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and haven't even started Bayonetta 2 so can't rate those.
 

Tadale

Member
Dec 26, 2006
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970
1. Dark Souls 2
2. Shovel Knight
3. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
4. Mario Kart 8
5. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
6. Danganronpa ; I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed this game. I haven't played a visual novel type game since Phoenix Wright 2 or so, and I thought the genre just wasn't for me. But Danganronpa succeeds in creating a story that's easy to get sucked in.
7. Destiny
8. Super Time Force
9. Destiny
10. Fantasia
 

CSX

Member
Jan 16, 2011
6,225
0
610
I avoided choosing remasters/ports of games I already played the original version of. In other words, no GTA V, FFXHD ,etc

10. Fibbage ; This game is hilarious and a fantastic party game. It managed to jump over the hurdle that prevented me and so many others from ever buying the numerous trivia games that came before it for our shiny consoles, the controller issue. Using your phone as the controller is genius and guarantees that the only money you have to spend to make this game work is the game itself.

9. Infamous: Second Son ; Dumb spray can missions aside ,the traversing of the city and battles was fun. One of the first games I got for my PS4 and definitely don’t regret it. All the powers also had cool effects to come with how great this game looked. I eagerly wait to have the free time to play First Light and eventually what the next Infamous will be!

8. Far Cry 4 ; Did you like Far Cry 3? Do you want more of that? Voila! However, I started to find hunting in the series to be a nuisance. If the next game keeps the same system of locking upgrades through hunting, I don’t think I would be able to stomach it. I also found climbing towers to be a waste of time. If Far Cry 5 manages to stay away from those Ubisoft tropes of game design, then consider it another entry into a future list. Otherwise, I think I’m done with this series after this year.

7. A Bird Story ; This game caught my attention when I found out it was made by the creator of To The Moon. Kan Gao’s experiment of creating a really short story (1 hour) without using any words or dialogue outside of the menus is something I never experienced before. This cute, touching tale of a young boy and the bird he befriends combined with Gao’s amazing score kept me engaged till the end credits where it’s revealed how this game ties with To The Moon 2. If you were a fan of To The Moon, take the time to play this and know that Gao hasn’t lost his touch!

6. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS ; Initally, I had no interest in picking up this game. I only played Brawl to the bare minimum of unlocking all characters and calling it quits, the exact opposite of how my ten year old self played Melee. Thus I thought I gotten “too old” for this series. Then one day, I pulled out my phone after my class and saw the news announcing Lucina and Robin as playable characters. That piqued my interest and $10 in eshop credit later, I got a digital copy. The transition to handheld controls was excellent which shocked me. Soon I found myself enjoying like I was ten and playing melee. In fact, I played it so much that I set the controls for the Wii U version to work like the 3DS!

5. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth ; When it comes to milking franchises, Atlus has done it in a way that seems unique and tasteful. Yes, the Persona series is a complete 180 in terms of genre, sales, and budget when it comes to the franchises we often accused of being milked to death. However, I believe that this allowed Atlus to be creative and spread out their loveable cast of characters to fighting games , a rhythm game (lol) and now a spinoff rpg based on another series that they make. Persona Q is the product of Atlus going “Hey our legion of Persona fans! Check out this game and hopefully you like it and buy future Etrian Odyssey games!” Well…it worked on me. My only experience with Etrian Odyssey is a demo which I never finished. Yet here I am, filling out maps, avoiding F.O.E.s , making specific party formations…everything I thought I would absolutely hate doing I started digging. To top it off, the music is catchy (the Stroll music my god!) and seeing the cast of characters from P3 and P4 interacting with each other is great fanservice. My major gripe is that the setting of this game is designed so that everyone meets up when both cast of characters haven’t matured or found their resolve in their core game. I felt that if Atlus decided to change that, it would have led to more interesting dialogue and interactions among them. Nevertheless, this game is a great final sendoff of these characters I have come to love over the past decade and thus my wait for Persona 5 can truly begin!

4. Forza Horizon 2 ; When a game starts off with you driving on a roadtrip in a supercar as you see the beautiful horizon and a track from one of your favorite artists plays on the radio, you know that it will be amazing. My god, it is so hard to put down this game. This is THE reason to get a XB1. I love how the cars handle. I love the soundtrack. It constantly gives me that “One more race” feel. I regret never opening my copy of the first Horizon game if this was what I’ve been missing out on! My main problem with the game is the loading times. They are a little too frequent as seen in the garage/showroom and a little too long. Also, the game just loves to advertise its DLC which can be quite annoying. Regardless, this is what heaven looks like to car enthusiasts in video game form.

3. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; From its looks to its humor, this is the South Park game we waited for. Whether you are a current fan of the series or a former, this is a game you shouldn’t miss. There are great references to the older seasons and the RPG mechanics is fun though easy to exploit. I have never laughed so much due to a video game. If I recall correctly, the long and frustrating development history of this game has soured Matt and Trey’s thoughts on contributing to more South Park video games. Hopefully, this won’t be the end of the four boys’ adventures on a console. Again, if you were ever a fan of South Park, you are doing yourself a disservice by not playing this game!

2. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ; So just like the 3DS version, I initially had no plans to get this game because I already have the 3DS version and thought it’s just the same thing. A Black Friday deal and a gift card later, I found myself with a copy of this game. Wow! Take everything I said about the 3DS version and add an amazing collection of music tracks and a great clean look to the characters and stages. I particularly love the song choices to represent Fire Emblem! 8-player mode is chaotic in a fun matter and online shockingly is functional. The amount of recycled stages and music from previous Smash games is a little too much for my taste but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the best games I played this year.

1. Bayonetta 2 ; Let me describe my history with character action games. DMC 1 – played, never finished. DMC 3 – played, never finished. DMC 4 – played, never finished. DmC – played , never finished. Wonderful 101 – played, never finished. However, I did finish the God of War trilogy and MGS Rising. Ignoring DmC and Rising, there is just a feel to Japanese character action games that gnaws at me to the point I get tired of it and stop playing. In fact, I tried playing Bayonetta 1 right before 2 and gave up after a few hours. This is when I started to regret buying this game. Nevertheless, I started Bayonetta 2 and holy shit. From chapter 1 to the very end, this game was a journey of nonstop intense sequences and boss battles. Yes, you can argue that Bayonetta 1 did the same but 2 set the knob to 11 and beyond from the get-go. Even in the backgrounds there is often intense action going on, giving you a savory sensory overload as you deal with your battles against crazy looking boss #100. Combining that with refinements on how Bayonetta feels to play and control, this game gave me a high I didn’t want to end. The dodging and comboing mechanics makes every battle absolutely perfect. Hell, I even sat through all the ridiculous dialogue in cutscenes just to see the crazy actions the title character will soon do afterwards. I can forgive how all the loading times are way too damn long. I can forgive that sequence towards the end that goes for a little too long. I can’t believe that at one point this game wasn’t going to be made! Thank you Nintendo for saving my GOTY 2014!
 

entremet

Member
Dec 6, 2008
85,419
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1,160
Voting has been kinda slow this year, maybe it needs a reminder in the thread title?
The vote last year was on page 44. (I'm on the default 50 PPP).

Right now we're in the early 30s.

I play a lot of old stuff, so I never vote.
 

Ramenman

Member
Apr 4, 2007
7,136
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I edited my post from wayyy back (page 23 or 24 I think) due to playing Burial at Sea 2 recently. For the sake of potential discussion, I'll put here what I wrote on it :

Last minute edit for this as I just finished it last week. It was simply incredible. Gameplay-wise it makes real changes to the Infinite formula, all while keeping the cool bits (grapple hooks + stealth gameplay = good). The level design is back to being great, with exploration not only possible but rewarded in spades. To me this is Irrational Games saying goodbye by reminding us they're fucking kings at what they do. Incredible animation/cutscenes and overall production values, incredible art direction and lighting, incredible audio (music, songs, ambiances, everything), incredible-dible environment design that includes breathtaking views/lights/ambiances and storytelling/world development with an unrivaled attention to detail. Incredible story concepts too. And now with a true return to form from a gameplay standpoint, simply delicious. Even just the intro for this episode suffices to sell the unmatched talent these people had together, I marveled at the first part of this intro for probably 20 minutes, just soaking in the place, with a genuine smile upon my face at the discovery of every single square inch of it, only to be even more amazed when it all starts twisting into the beginning of the game. And the places you see, dammit. If you're a fan of Rapture and the first Bioshock, you see things and take part in scenes that simply can't fail to amaze and delight. Thank you so much, guys.
 

Lostconfused

Member
Apr 26, 2007
16,166
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0
www.neogaf.com
I guess "comes down to taste" isn't enough to escape the subjectivity police.
Some people are impossible to please.

That's a terrible reason not to participate! The open democracy of the vote is hopeless, yes, but interesting voices like yours are worthwhile in themselves and shouldn't be drowned out.
Yeah people do appreciate reading personal lists and reasons behind them all the time, not to mention there are personal benefits as well as the vote organizers are willing to provide participants with some tailored results.
 

timetokill

Banned
Oct 19, 2004
32,841
0
0
Los Angeles, CA
Rogue legacy eligible :) also reserving
Reserved for future use.
Why do you reserve?

Btw, reserved.
Holding. Also, still playing 2014 games.
I'll make my list
I'm on pins and needles.
 

SxP

Member
Jul 17, 2011
1,485
0
0
1. Grand Theft Auto V ; Fixes a lot of what I didn’t enjoy in GTAIV by focusing on fun first and foremost. Some of the mission were absolutely bonkers. Blaine County is a real highlight as well, and I’ve spent hours just exploring it.
2. The Last of Us: Left Behind ; Getting to play as Ellie before the main game was a real treat, and the story and the interactions were top-notch. Plus, the addition of three-way battles made for some really fun combat encounters.
3. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ; The Nemesis system ensured that wherever you were, whatever you were doing, pure, beautiful chaos could erupt any second when captains piled on you to take you out. The only real issue with this was that you were far too powerful near the end of the game, making those encounters a lot less fun. Also, I would have liked seeing more fleshed-out and inventive main quests.
4. Driveclub ; I’ve waited for this game since the last Dirt. I’ve had quite enough of open world racers, and I don’t enjoy pure sim racing, so this was right up my alley. Playing a point-to-point race in a thunderstorm might be one of the best experiences you can have in gaming.
5. Fez ; For the most part, the puzzles were inventive and fun to solve. The world was really engaging and beautiful as well.
6. Rogue Legacy ; Roguelikes(-likes?) are kind of hit and miss for me, but this was a definite hit. By allowing me to purchase upgrades that carried over between runs, it struck a nice balance of defeating enemies because you were better at the game, and making you feel powerful by effortlessly cutting through enemies that were previously a challenge.
7. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; A great story, great variation in levels, and a seamless blend of stealth-light and pure shooter gameplay.
8. Velocity 2X ; I was skeptical of the addition of on-foot sequences, but eventually I liked them far more than the ship sections, in no small part due to the set range teleport on foot which allowed for more fluid and less frustrating runs. It would have been higher if not for the telepod throwing. I will never understand why they put that in the game.
9. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare ; Exactly the type of multiplayer I like. Small scale, no vehicles, and where you don’t die before you ever know what’s happening.
10. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; While it’s far from the masterpiece that 999 is, or even VLR, it’s still a great game and a massive improvement over its predecessor. Although that may just be because of the different expectations I had going into this game. I already knew the main plot was probably going to be quite poor, so my playthrough was infinitely more enjoyable by just focusing on the plots contained within each chapter. The first game was retroactively ruined for me by its super dumb main plot in the last chapter, and that may be the reason why it’s not on my list.

x. MLB 14: The Show ; First MLB game I’ve played, and I was instantly hooked.
x. Minecraft ; I’m not exactly the right type of player for this game, as I’ve immediately lost interest when I no longer had trophies to guide me into what I could be doing, but I’ve still enjoyed my time with it immensely.
 

NME

Member
Jan 6, 2006
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Owings Mills, MD
1. Shovel Knight ; I beat Shovel Knight on release day. It took about six hours. When you consider that I put in 52 hours on the Steam release and another 82 hours into the 3DS release, you can understand how much I adore this game. It's a loveletter to classic action/platforming games from the NES including Castlevania, Super Mario Bros. 3, Ducktales, a little bit of Zelda 2, and most of all, Mega Man 2. Going after so many classic games can be daunting; you're basically setting yourself up for failure because how can you compete with a generation worth of nostalgia? Indeed, when the game was on kickstarter I ignored it as another pixel art game leaning hard into nostalgia, but once I played it, God damn is it great. The art style is irrelevant other than to pay homage to the games that inspired it, but the controls, mechanics, and especially the music are wonderful and remain a pleasure to enjoy even 130+ hours into my time with the game.

2. Mario Kart 8 ; I enjoyed Mario Kart 8, but I've never played it by myself. Do I just like this because most multiplayer games are inherently more fun? Perhaps, but as Mario Kart games go, this plays better than ever, looks better than ever, and has more interesting characters and levels than ever.
 
Feb 9, 2006
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1. Bayonetta 2 ; In an ideal world, all games would be designed with the mindset of Platinum and in an even better world they would set the sales charts on fire. I think too many games, especially of the AAA variety, go in directions I dislike. Games like AC Unity and Inquisition hide shallow gameplay behind massive worlds with tons to do, but most of what you do is repetitive. Here's a game that is lean and mean: it's all about the gameplay, which is accessible but has lots of depth if you dig in a little deeper. It has a strong visual identity that is all its own and it's loaded with content not spread out over tons of DLC packs. It's a videogame that wants to be a videogame and it's one hell of a game to boot. Poetry in motion.
2. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; This might very well be the best platformer not made by Nintendo themselves. As a platformer, this game has it all. It has excellent level design with a ton of variety and lots of stuff going on. It's genuinely challenging, especially if you want to 100 percent it with some devious hidden levels that are often hard to find, let alone complete. And it has arguably the best soundtrack of the year. Like Bayonetta 2, Tropical Freeze offers a complete package and another good reason to have a Wii U underneath your television.
3. The Talos Principle ; Who would've thought that the studio behind the Serious Sam series was capable of making a puzzle game that outsmarts Portal in the puzzle department while giving you a crash course in philosophy at the same time? Not me, but Croteam did exactly that. It's a game that makes you think in multiple ways and that's something worth celebrating.
4. Towerfall Ascension ; 2014 was a stellar year for comfy couch MP gaming. Nidhogg, Smash Bros, Sportfriends, Lethal League and others. For me, the one that towers (pun slightly intended) above them all is this one. Mechanically it just feels so right. The arrows, the dash (oh, that glorious dash), the level design, the modifiers; it just works. What gives it the edge over its competitors is the fact that you can play it with more than two players at once, the incredible amount of content and the wonderful presentation. But yes, that gameplay. Few games manage to make you feel like an utter badass at one moment because even though you had no arrows left, you managed to kill all your opponents by jumping on their head at the right moment like Mario on acid, only to fuck it all up the next round by killing yourself with your own arrow. But whether you win or lose, it's tremendous fun all the same.
5. Shovel Knight ; As someone who is gaming for well over 20 years, platformers are a big reason why I started gaming in the first place. This lovely throwback to classic NES platformers that Capcom did so very well back in the day, is one of those games that just manages to play so damn well. Cool mechanics, great level design, a good challenge with awesome boss fights and a lovely sense of humor. And man, are those chiptunes cool.
6. The Binding of Isaac Rebirth ; I never played the original so this PlayStation Plus gift (not the only one in my list) was a rather lovely surprise (even though I knew the game had a fair share of fans). What I love about this game is how unpredictable it is. I refuse to use Wiki's to look up what certain items and combinations do, as it's way more fun to discover it myself. It's a game you curse at one moment, while feeling like an overpowered killing machine the next. It's incredibly addictive, not in the least because of the clever unlocks and challenges. Rebirth is loaded with content and a game I can see myself playing for a long time to come.
7. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; The most fun FPS since Bulletstorm for me. While it's not perfect (I wish strafing was a more viable option and there are a bit too many of those armored fuckers that are not that fun to fight later on), I immediately followed up my first playthough with another despite a lack of gaming time, so it must have done something right. For me, it's a combination of clever level design that often allows for multiple approaches, rather wonderful world building with memorable characters, lines and moments, that badass feeling of dual-wielding two powerful guns and tons of varied locations to keep things fresh. Oh, and Tapfer Kleine Liebling.
8. Velocity 2X ; While I might ultimately prefer the less is more design of Velocity Ultra, this is still a lovely little title and I applaud FuturLab for not making the same game twice and actually trying new stuff. I much prefer the ship gameplay to the on foot gameplay which doesn't have the same flow for me, but trying to nail those Perfects is a real work-out for your fingers and muscle memory. Again, it's very much a game that puts the gameplay front and center, which is how I prefer my games. Superb presentation as well, both on the graphics and audio side of things.
9. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ; My favourite Nintendo developed game of the year is this wonderful little game that takes the fun diversion of Super Mario 3D World and moulds it into all kinds of lovely little gaming scenarios. It's colorful, it's cute, it's relaxing and it's a ton of fun. May Tokyo EAD make games for a long time to come.
10. Super Mario Kart 8 ; Probably the best Mario Kart ever, though I still miss the feather and wished Battle Mode would actually be good. But everything else is pretty damn glorious. The courses, the presentation, the online, the replays and the DLC. It's a game you love to hate because that first place was within your grasp before you were showered with multiple shells so you ended up seventh instead of one just before the finish, but it's a game that never stops being fun.

Honorable mentions: Luftrausers, TxK, Hitman GO, P.T., Hohokum, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, Monument Valley and 80 Days.
Not yet played but really want to: The Evil Within, Dark Souls II and Alien Isolation.
 

robotrock

Banned
Feb 28, 2010
26,206
2
0
1. Bayonetta 2 ; Bayonetta perfected.
2. Sunset Overdrive ; This is a video game that is made by Insomniac that feels like a video game made by Insomniac.
3. Jazzpunk ; Jazzpunk! Great name.
4. D4 ; It's a huge relief to know that Swery understands what made Deadly Premonition so great. Hoping we get another episode.
5. DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ; This spot is dedicated to both the DanganRonpa games. Both equally great, but I'll put this one on the list because it did it first. These games freak me out and give me nightmares. A+
6. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; If this was an episode of South Park, it would be my favorite episode of South Park.
7. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; Fantastic writing, fantastic gunplay, and perfect pacing.
8. Transistor ; The combat mechanics! The visuals! The presentation! I had a lot of fun just fucking around with the combat for a few playthroughs.
9. Roundabout ; This is my favorire two hour narrative focused game of the year that isn't Jazzpunk. Funny game. Cool message!
10. Luftrausers ; It feels really good to fly a plane and shoot things. Plus, those visuals and that soundtrack. Perfect shitter game.

x. Persona Q ; I'd probably put this on my top 10 list but I haven't finished it yet. I really like the Persona 3 and 4 cast though so the game could probably be garbage and I'd still like it genuinely. I'm the worst.
x. DanganRonpa 2: Goodbye Despair ; It's as good as DanganRonpa. So, a really good video game!
x. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; David Wise! Never been a fan of Donkey Kong Country but I can appreciate a really well made platformer. It'll probably be my 2014 game of 2015 when I have the chance to put more time in it.
x. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ; This is the best Metal Gear has ever played. Looking foward to the real game.
x. Monument Valley ; Gorgeous. Closest thing I'll get to another Echochrome.
x. Threes ; I have a lot of hours in this game and I need to mention it, honorably.
x. Sportsfriends ; Joust should be the next Wii Sports movement.
x. OlliOlli ; Game too good


I wish I could write like some of you guys.
 

Kabouter

Member
Feb 10, 2006
22,757
1
1,290
Was a bit of a last minute thing for me this year, so wasn't able to put in as much effort as last year, sorry about that.

First some random awards I feel like giving out.

Peter Molyneux Award for Least Living up to Expectations



Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth – While Beyond Earth is by no means a bad game, it was easily my most disappointing game of the year. I could go in depth to all the mechanical reasons for this, and there are plenty of those, but I have to say that my main disappointment was in its presentation. Don’t get me wrong, its music is fine and the graphics are decent. However, it’s all just so bland. The factions are barely distinguishable so that you don’t come to identify with any of them, they have no real character. The affinity system doesn’t have nearly the impact that it should and still feels like you’re not making an actual choice. The world feels really bland when it has no right to be, sadly an all too common failing of sci-fi strategy games.

The Second Annual Ubisoft award for bar-fillingest Game of the Year


* Screenshot taken from post by GAF-user GroinShooter (what's in a name) in the PC screenshots thread

Assassin’s Creed Unity – While last year I really couldn’t justify giving this to anything other than Cookie Clicker, this year Ubisoft has convincingly won it with Assassin’s Creed Unity. ACU is overall a good game (see below), but man does it have some bars to fill. When you first arrive in Paris and open the ingame map you will be blown away by the amount of icons indicating all the potential bars you can start filling. And then you realize that Ubisoft also has a companion app for the game where there are more bars to fill and there is AC Initiates, which tracks your stats and gives you yet more bars to fill.

Best User Made Modification



Courseplay for Farming Simulator 15 – The mod that proves that the best way to play Farming Simulator 15 is to barely play it yourself, Courseplay is a way to automate tasks on your farm, enabling the player to manage a much larger farm without having to use the multiplayer feature. On top of that, it distinguishes itself by being very easy to use and having excellent documentation available on its website. Developer Giants Software should strongly consider including Courseplay in Farming Simulator 17.

Anyway, onto the actual GOTY list. When I include ratings, I use a scale where 6 is an above average game that I would recommend, a 7 is a good game and so on. A 10/10 is not a perfect game, but it is an instant classic, and represents my belief that the game is amongst the best in its genre.



1. Europa Universalis IV: Art of War ; While I could fill about half this list with the great expansions EU4 has received in 2014, I’ll just go with the best of them. Art of War and the accompanying 1.9 patch have added a great deal to what was already a very well developed and detailed game. It now gives due attention to regions that had previously received relatively little in the series, regions like West Africa, Mesoamerica and the Andes are now actually interesting to play and interact with. Furthermore, the complete overhaul of the map in other regions as well has ensured that playing outside of Europe doesn’t come with reduced tactical flexibility due to larger province sizes.

On top of that, various mechanics were also overhauled or added that either add historical flavour (like the Thirty Years War mechanic), add convenience (such as template building) or give the player some more options in expanding his country (client states, marches, using subject casus bellis). Overall, Art of War is a significant improvement to a game that had already been improved a great deal earlier in the year. It helps keep Europa Universalis IV the best strategy game available today, as well as the best multiplayer game of any type, thanks in part to the awesome GAF MP community. (9/10)



2. 80 Days ; 80 Days was a game that for me came almost out of nowhere, I essentially bought it as an impulse purchase in the App store over the holidays when I didn’t have access to my PC, but I ended up absolutely loving it. The game’s world is so wonderfully crafted through its writing and presentation, it’s exactly the type of world that Verne created himself. A world that really conveys the optimism and sense that the world is being transformed by technology for which the French Belle Époque is known. Add in a great deal of replayability due to the amount of content present and the different choices offered to the player, and you have a truly great gaming experience. (9/10)



3. Tropico 5 ; The more I think back on the games I enjoyed most this year, the more my mind goes to Tropico 5. While it certainly wasn’t a revolutionary change compared to Tropico 4 - though far more of one than Tropico 4 was compared to 3 - it offered just enough of a twist on the solid foundation the previous games in the series had built to make me get back into the series for another forty or so hours. The addition of different eras, going from colonial to modern times, really adds to the sense of progression for your island in the game. The campaign reinforces this by having you play the same islands between missions, rather than offering you frequent fresh starts as was the case in the campaigns in previous entries in the series. Overall, Tropico 5 is still an evolutionary step for the series, and I wouldn’t mind seeing developer Haemimont take some bigger risks with a possible Tropico 6, but it’s a very good game nonetheless. My only minor complaint would be that the addition of more frequent combat should’ve come with more control over how that combat progresses. (8/10)


*Image by GAF-user AnyoneInCherno, taken from the OP of the excellent PC screenshots thread.

4. Assassin’s Creed Unity ; Before the hate starts, I will qualify my choice. Assassin’s Creed Unity was rightly heavily criticized for its state at the time of release, with one of my friends actually still being unable to play the game. That said however, I experienced no significant bugs and actually fewer glitches than I did in a patched Black Flag. Performance was thankfully solid on my PC as well, so I was thankfully one of the few able to enjoy the game without any problems. I have decided to also rate it based on my experience rather than that of other people, as I do that with every game and have done so for years.

Simply put, I consider Unity to be the best entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise since Assassin’s Creed 2. I love the fact that Ubisoft finally took the game back to the part I always liked best, roaming around in beautifully recreated historical cities. Unity’s Paris is recreated in astonishing detail and more importantly, thanks to the inclusion of many interiors and the addition of far more NPC’s feels incredibly alive. It is one of the few video game cities that actually feels like a living city.

There are however also notable improvements in the gameplay of the game, like the virtual elimination of instant fail tailing missions that so plagued previous entries. The addition of assassination missions that offer the player a great deal of freedom is something I hope they stick with from now on, I missed these open assassination missions in every Assassin’s Creed game since the very first. Other welcome additions include co-op and a functionality to automatically climb down from a building, something that I’m going to miss a lot when I play AC Rogue this year.

Not all is great however, I do dislike the unbalanced nature of smoke bombs and the fact that it has gotten rather annoying to fight opponents with firearms, even though overall the combat is an improvement. I could also have done with less equipment being locked behind club competitions, and wouldn’t have minded some present day gameplay. (8/10)



5. Goat Simulator ; Goat Simulator is a game that is stupid in all the right ways. There’s really not very much to be said about the game other than to say it’s absolutely hilarious and has a surprising amount of content at this point. (7.5/10)



6. Never Alone ; Never Alone is not a game that shines because of its gameplay. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly passable, but it’s not going to be winning any awards. Where the game does shine is when it comes to its presentation and its inclusion of videos exploring Inupiat culture. I find it hard to put my finger exactly on why I enjoyed the game as much as I did, but upon finishing it I was very happy to have played it and hoped to see more developers exploring unfamiliar cultures rather than always going back to the same well. (7.5/10)



7. Monument Valley ; Too short and light on difficulty, this puzzle game and its DLC were nonetheless a wonderful experience. Its puzzles are very creative and the visuals and music help to create an almost serene atmosphere that suits the game’s story and gameplay. (7.5/10)



8. Farming Simulator 15 ; While FS15 brings very few new things of significance to the table compared to FS2013, it’s still a hopelessly addictive game that kept me entertained for a long time. Few games are as relaxing to play as Farming Simulator is, and it’s fun to progress in terms of equipment and grow to be able to work ever larger fields and do ever more things at the same time, especially with the aid of the Courseplay mod. It’s however not as good as I think it should have been. The addition of logging isn’t a particularly interesting one, but the overhaul of the interface and visual improvements are nice. I do want the next entry in the series to be truly different though, I want to finally build my farm rather than buy more fields for a farm that is already built up from the start. Let me make my farm my own, let me place all the buildings, let me determine where the fields are and so on. It’s not like it would be beyond the capabilities of the engine, and it would improve the game and its longevity immensely. (7/10)



9. The Sims 4 ; I was extremely skeptical of EA/Maxis’ decision to pull back on the scale of the Sims, where the Sims 3 moved to a large open world, the Sims 4 moved back to small closed neighbourhoods. I figured this was another SimCity fiasco in the making, however, I was happily proved wrong. The Sims 4 might be light on ambition, which certainly isn’t a good thing, but it is a far more polished experience than its predecessor which has terrible performance on even the fastest of PC’s when you have a few add-ons installed. I like the additions to the interactions between the Sims, with different moods affecting the way Sims interact, but the real selling point of the Sims 4 to me is its improved editors. I’ve always enjoyed building more than anything in these games, and this is far and away the biggest improvement the editors have had since the first game. It’s a lot easier and quicker to build the house you want to build, and I’ve had a lot of fun doing just that in this game. (7/10)



10. The Room ; Ironically, in the year I played both the Room and its sequel, the original is the only one I’m allowed to vote for because I played that on PC whereas I played its sequel on iOS. While I’m not much of a fan of its horror-esque presentation, the puzzles in this game are very well designed, its difficulty is just about right for my tastes and there’s a surprising amount of variety here. (7/10)

Honorable Mentions



x. Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD ; A solid port of a pretty good Assassin’s Creed game. For my full thoughts see my review of it on Steam here. (6.5/10)



x. Watch_Dogs ; Watch Dogs is not a bad game by any means, but on the whole it feels a bit plain and just lacks character. I do however view it as a series that has potential. The concept behind the franchise is something that offers a lot of opportunities to designers, and they definitely have a chance to build on this game to make this into a great series. Some parts of the game do show a glimmer of what might be, like taking out convoys and eliminating gang hideouts. I can only hope that a possible sequel is as much of an improvement over this as Assassin’s Creed 2 was over the original. (6.5/10)

A number of games I didn't get around to playing, but overall I can only conclude that this was a relatively poor year for video game releases. Hopefully 2015 will be better.
 

Dash Kappei

Not actually that important
Apr 8, 2005
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Unfortunately I've only scratched the surface on many of these and other games, so for a few of them I'm kinda working on the good promise they showed after a few hours with them.




1. Mario Kart 8 ;

2. Dark Souls II ;

3. Bayonetta 2 ;

4. Alien: Isolation ;

5. South Park: The Stick of Truth ; We need more comedy in games, this the most funny and clever game since the gold days of Lucasarts' point&click adventure masterpieces.

6. Super Smash Bros for Wii U ;

7. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood; loved it! Especially the PC version which came out in 2014 ;)

8. Shovel Knight ;

9. Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 ; finally, the return of the King. For real.

10. Trials Frontier ; my most played game of 2014, without a doubt, I've spent $0.99 on it. I've enjoyed my time with it, I spend a lot of time playing iOS games and it's only fair to give it a spot on my goty list.

Honorable Mentions

x. The Last of Us Remastered ; It was my 2013 GOTY.
x. Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition
x. Sky Force 2014
x. Hitman Go
x. Valiant Hearts
x. GTA V ;
x. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; everything that was brilliant about yesteryear's FPS, and that has gone somehow lost in the myriad of corridor stop & pop FPS titles which pushed the genre backward since everybody started following COD's money trail.
 

CecilRousso

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Jun 29, 2008
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1. Broken Age - Act 1 ; Ticked all the boxes for what I want from a classic P&C adventure games, that's also feels worthwhile today. The puzzle structure, , story, memorable characters (the knife!), art style, etc. Superior to all other kickstarter adventure games I've played so far.



2. Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 ; It's always a good sign when even losing is fun, the game's great. As every year, I hate their UI with a fierce passion, and the commentary is probably the worst ever in a sports game, but the game is actually very very good this year.



3. 80 Days ; An interactive novel where no one should be able to to fault the gameplay. Actually quite tricky! Awesome style also. Nice.



4. Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes ; Partly because it's a Metal Gear Solid game that's fun to actually play, and partly because the dialogues are so awful, and awful funny way. Like in a "bad actor role in sitcom tries to act but can't" funny way. I had less then zero interest in Phantom Pain before this, but actually want to buy it now. That this was small didn't bother me at all, since it was so replayable. Like the old Jagged Alliance 2 demo, with a demo, that you could play in tons of different ways. Quite awesome.



5. Shadowrun: Dragonfall ; Maybe a bit arrogant to say, but you can't but wish that Bioware would learn from this title. Instead of filling the game with needless crap, it cuts away everything but the essential, while still mantaining proper RPG gameplay. And characters where not everyone are BFF's forever, and where arguments go beyond "oh you!". Thanks to RPS and Neogaf for making me interested in the title.



6. The Wolf Among Us ; Telltale makes interactive novels, and really good ones. Wishing for puzzle based gameplays seems a bit misguided considering how good they are what they do.



7. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; I usually don't care about FPS, singleplayer or multiplayer, but this one I beat. It did annoy me sometimes, at the beginning and att the end, but it's still a pretty awesome title. Art style, characters and music were the best part, but I also liked how it handled transitition between stealth and action. You were rewarded for the first, but not punished for the latter. That made it so much more enjoyable to play.



8. Dragon Age: Inquisition ; It pretty much have to be on this list, based on me playing it for more hours then any other game released this year, and how I kept returning to it despite being so sick of it. The characters are great, they really are, the writing is solid, and in many ways it's a dream game considering the scope and possibilities in it. But the quests are shit and dissapointing , they really are. The game fails miserably in every moment it tries to be Skyrim, and succeeds when it tries to be Dragon Age. Let's hope Bioware f*cking learns.



9. Valiant Hearts ; It's always a bit sad when the gameplay doesn't hold up to the other parts of the game, but story, art and music compensates enough to warrant a place here. The ending alone pretty much does that. Cred to Ubisoft for this, but the big publishers should all be able to afford to push 2-3 titles like this each year for goodwill if not for something else.



10. Civilization: Beyond Earth ; I haven't played this enough to be able to judge if it should be higher, but I'll let it just because of the feeling it gave me in the first hours, with the sense of exploration, the different technology tree and what felt like diverse victory conditions. Maybe all of that is shit when played enough, but it sure felt better then most other games to start with at least. It was sci-fi, good sci-fi. It should be on this list.

Honorable Mentions

x. Broken Sword 5 - The middle part had great puzzles, but they didn't evolve the series with this in any way unfortunately.
x. Defence Grid 2 - It was more Defence Grid, and really good, but annoyed me who had played the previous game for 60h+ too much unfortunately.
x. Hexcells - Pretty sweet puzzle game. Not played it enough though.
x. Transistor ; Stylish as hell, but unfortunately not a very fun game. Don't make the next game as painfully linear please Supergiant games.
x. South Park: The Stick of Truth - Pretty fun combat system, but I expected a better RPG from Obsidian.
x. Wasteland 2 - I really want to like this, but the combat, camera and art style makes it hard.
 

Steel

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Jun 20, 2013
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Was a bit of a last minute thing for me this year, so wasn't able to put in as much effort as last year, sorry about that.

First some random awards I feel like giving out.

Peter Molyneux Award for Least Living up to Expectations



Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth – While Beyond Earth is by no means a bad game, it was easily my most disappointing game of the year. I could go in depth to all the mechanical reasons for this, and there are plenty of those, but I have to say that my main disappointment was in its presentation. Don’t get me wrong, its music is fine and the graphics are decent. However, it’s all just so bland. The factions are barely distinguishable so that you don’t come to identify with any of them, they have no real character. The affinity system doesn’t have nearly the impact that it should and still feels like you’re not making an actual choice. The world feels really bland when it has no right to be, sadly an all too common failing of sci-fi strategy games.
Feel the exact same way about Beyond Earth. Such a disappointment. I'd suggest you check out Endless Legend if you want something along the lines of Civ that actually does something interesting. It's sci-fi-fantasy that actually has some flavor to it.
 

BumRush

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Dec 4, 2009
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1. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ; My GOTY and my favorite 2D platformer of all time. It's obviously beautiful, but it really shines in its crisp controls.
2. Wolfenstein: The New Order ; I didn't expect too much going in, but what I played was the best FPS single player story I've played in years. Tight controls and an engaging story make it a treat to play.
3. The Last of Us: Remastered ; Having never played the PS3 version, I was blown away by the story and characters of this gem. Really makes a strong argument for the "games as art" movement.
4. Mario Kart 8 ; It's Mario Kart. I can play with my wife and have a blast.
5. Lords of the Fallen ; I wasn't too impressed with what I played of Dark Souls 2, despite Demon's Souls being one of my favorite games of all time. Lords of the Fallen - despite it's buggyness - did many refreshing things for the genre (pause button, rune slots, checkpoints). Sure it's effectively "Souls for Pussies" and Bloodborne is still my most anticipated game for 2015 but it did a nice job of keeping me entertained for the 20-30 hours I put into it.
6. P.T. ; Even typing the name and thinking about it reminds me just how scary it was. Would have been much higher on my list if it was a full game and not a playable teaser.
7. Diablo 3:The Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition ; I'm sure it's a much more robust experience for many but I like to play most of my games single player these days (having a family will do that) and it's not as much fun by yourself as it could be.

I know this list is pretty pathetic but I really only got back into playing games in August / September after not playing for a while. I didn't play Shovel Knight, Bayonetta 2, Evil Within, Alien, etc. but I'm guessing they would've placed high up if I had.
 
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