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Added by GruntLogic on 30 May 2014 11:56
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Best Games of 2014

Well, 2014 seems to have been kind of a "meh" year for gaming. Not just because of the games themselves, but also because of the developments in gaming.

Most notably was the whole Gamergate controversy, which... I think at this point, the less said about it, the better. It was a dark, shameful chapter in gaming.

There was also the fact that a LOT of really good games got pushed back to 2015 (Mad Max, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Batman: Arkham Knight, and The Order: 1886), and in their place, it seems like all we got were last gen games remastered for the current gen consoles (Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us).

The best of what's left is right here. There were a few games that I just never got around to, and sadly, I can't include them here, because for a game to make it on my Best Games of the Year list, I have to have actually played it.

So, without further ado...
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I'm not sure if anyone was more surprised than I was that this turned out to be an absolutely outstanding game. I've always loved what I think of as the Big Three in First-Person-Shooters. Wolfenstein, Doom, and Duke Nukem.

So, whilst I'm surprised, I am quite happy to be so.

Honestly, I was kind of getting bored with the supernatural take on the third reich as an explanation for how they become superpowerful. In The New Order, they ditched the supernatural for science-fiction.

The fact that they turned B.J. Blaskowitz from a caricature to an actual fleshed-out character was a stunning transformation. I'll admit that B.J. himself still might not have been the most riveting character in the game world, but he was WAAAAAY more than I was expecting. No, what blew me away was the supporting cast. I grew to love every single one of the rag-tag band of rebel fighters giving their all to jam up the cogs of Nazi supremacy. I honestly never would have expected to say that of a Wolfenstein game, ever, not in a million years.

All of this is ON TOP of some of the finest, most well-polished mechanics I've ever seen in a First-Person Shooter. All of the weapons feel great to use, and you can even get ridiculous and dual-wield assault rifles and shotguns. All of the weapons also have an alt-fire mode to boot! They also managed to squeeze in stealth mechanics that actually work! I cannot understate how rare that is in a first person game where stealth is not the primary focus of the game. I cannot suppress my impish glee at flinging a deadly throwing knife at a Nazi officer, thus disabling reinforcements. I'll admit, the throwing knife is kind of ridiculous, because it is essentially a one-hit kill, no matter where it hits. It's hilarious to see a Nazi officer just drop like a rag-doll when I fling a knife into his butt-cheek. Good times all around.

I simply cannot recommend this game enough.

Ridiculous? Yeah, Ridiculous FUN!
Well, I'm in agreement with pretty much every other critic out there in saying that Dragon Age: Inquisition is a pretty friggin' great game.

It seems like Bioware actually does listen to the complaints of the fans.

This game has some of the best characters in a Bioware game. I absolutely LOVE the Iron Bull. And Josephine. And Varrik. And Solas. And Dorian. And... well, the list could go on and on.

I love how this game really makes you feel like you are building this organization from the ground up, and you can just FEEL the burden of leadership on your shoulders. The Inquisition grows from a small group of people, to one of the most powerful organizations in the entire world. All because of you and the decisions you've made.

Many (not all) of the quests are fun and can be quite challenging, and above all, rewarding. It's no lie when I say that almost everything you do in this game goes towards making your characters, and in turn, the Inquisition more powerful and influential.

Great story, fantastic characters, and a pretty damn good combat system. This is Bioware at top performance.

If Batman: Arkham Asylum and Assassin's Creed II had a three-way baby with Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor would be love-child result of such a union. I mean, when you take two of my favorite game series, and take the best parts of those two games, and then you set in Middle-earth while trying to maintain the utmost respect for the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, ... well you had me at hello.

I know a LOT of people have commented on the Nemesis and I'll admit, there isn't really anything else comprable in gaming that I know of. It's a great way to try to work in emergent storytelling. You can form a kind of bond with the Uruk's you brand, working them up through the ranks of Uruk warbands. Each one has their own strengths and weaknesses, their own personalities... it goes a long way towards bringing these enemies to life.

A lot of care went into making this game, and it shows.

Ya know, nostalgia is a tricky thing. It seems like you always remember older games as being better than they actually were. That's how it seems to be with me, at least. I've gone back to play many of my old favorite games on the NES and they just aren't as good as I remember them being.

Shovel Knight is what it would be like if those games DID live up to what you remember them being.
Bigby Wolf is one of my new favorite characters in any media. I love the fact that Bigby Wolf (The Big Bad Wolf) is the sheriff of Fabletown.

Wait, the Big Bad Wolf and Fabletown? Am I supposed to take this shit seriouisly? Yes. Yes, you are. The Wolf Among Us is one of the best detective games I've ever played. This game is easily on par with Telltale Games other series, The Walking Dead, and that is not a statement that I'd make lightly.

This game inspired me to pick up the graphic novel that it is based on, and I'm truly glad that I did.

Play this game. You won't regret it.

This is easily one of the best JRPG's I've ever played. It represents the pinnacle of everything that JRPG's have learned over the years, and it refined that mix into a perfect blend. This little Nintendo 3DS game has easily earned it's spot among the best games of the year.

The sophomore effort of Supergiant Games is just as amazing as their first effort, Bastion. I am quite happy to include this game on my Best Games of the Year list, just as I was to include Bastion in 2011.

I especially loved the soundtrack of this game. I'm going to go ahead and say that this game has the Best Video Game Soundtrack of the Year.

There are very few games that I think are truly pants-shittingly scary. What's especially notable is that this game doesn't rely on jump-scares. This game nails what I think are the two great corner stones of horror. Dread and Panic. No game has ever brought those two feelings more than Alien: Isolation.

This is one of the great reasons to play games on PC. I really don't think that games of this caliber are possible on consoles. You absolutely need to use a mouse and keyboard to make full use of the myriad abilities at your disposal. This game pretty much embodies everything I love about Western RPG's. I am only too happy to include this Kickstarted game on my Best Games of the Year list.

Oh Titanfall, you were a strange, beautiful bird. Alas, you were not long for this world. It makes me so incredibly sad to see how the community for this game has dried up considerably in the months after it's release. I mean, the servers aren't dead, but the wait to find a match seems to grow with every passing day.

It was great fun while it lasted.



I feel like it's not fair to describe Far Cry 4 as being essentially the same as Far Cry 3, but... it pretty much is. Now, to be fair, I felt like Far Cry 3 was really, really good, so that's not necessarily a bad thing. I have thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of this game so far. The story isn't particularly deep or engaging, but it gets the job done.
I'm normally not a big fan of racing games, but Mario Kart games are always an exception. The only reason this game isn't on the main list is because they made the Battle Mode an absolute bore. It's essentially just doing a normal race track, only you have three balloons.
Now THIS is the game that Shadowrun Returns should have been! This game has just about everything I wanted from a Shadowrun game: Intense Combat, A large and interesting cast of characters, a solid and engaging storyline, and the chance for non-combat abilities to shine. This DLC is better than most full games out there.
Alright, I was torn about including Dark Souls II on my list. Why?! you might ask? Well, simply put, it is in the unfortunate position of being compared to its predecessor Dark Souls. I cannot help but feel that this game is just ever so slightly less compelling than Dark Souls. Now, having said that, I will now say that this game, wholly on it's own merits, is an absolutely magnificent game.
I love the original Fallout games. Fallout 2 is one of my absolute favorite games of all-time. The two big names behind those games are really Brian Fargo and Chris Avellone. Before Fallout, they made a game called Wasteland. That game was (in my mind) the prototype for Fallout. Wasteland 2 is the result of taking everything they've learned and loved about those games and distilled into a beautiful post-apocalyptic brew. I thank you again, Kickstarter.

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