2014 was an interesting year for gamers. Most of the attention was drawn to the new generation of systems. Due to this it seemed that we saw a limited amount of exciting titles. There were plenty of good releases but they often were pre-packaged with bugs and game breaking glitches. The year of 2014 brought all of these issues into the spotlight. Also, as an early adapter I was hoping for more next-gen exclusive games. It seemed that the newer systems were held back by cross-generation games. 2014 was the year of the HD remake/remastered/definitive/editions. Hopefully 2015 is geared more towards the new systems. I know there are already a few titles I'm excited for.
Game released before 2013, played in 2014: Dead Rising 3
I was always a fan of the Dead Rising series. When I saw the trailer for the third installation I was beyond excited. The initial reveal gave me the impression it was finally going to be a serious take on the sandbox zombie survival game. Later trailers proved me wrong and I was let down. Still I was excited for it to come out; it looks beautiful after all. Well I never got around to playing it. It took me until just this past September to find the time to get through it. The story was so-so but it was such a blast to play. I loved it.
5. Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein came as a bit of a surprise to me. I had never played any of the previous titles before. I was hesitant to even play this game at all. The FPS genre had grown a bit stale to me. However, this game was able to freshen it up for me. It offered a somewhat unique take on what I thought a shooter was supposed to be. It was refreshing to get a shooter without any multiplayer. Often the genre pushes the single player campaign aside and focuses all the attention to the cookie cutter multiplayer. Wolfenstein did neither of those.
4. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
As a huge Lord of the Rings fan I was skeptical when I heard there would be a new installation to Tolkien’s lore. Typically the Lord of the Rings games are not very fulfilling. I found Shadow of Mordor to be a great take on the world that Tolkien created so long ago. The game plays similarly to Assassins Creed but the elements are different enough that I can’t compare the two. The introduction and execution of the nemesis system alone gives this game a top five vote from myself. It isn’t easy to strike gold on the first try and somehow Monoloth Productions managed to do it. I hope they don’t try to franchise it. Sometimes it’s best to just leave good things alone.
3. Forza Horizon 2
Turn 10 and Playground Games have both been fantastically consistent with the Forza series. Turn 10 puts out the hardcore simulation titles and Playground Games churns out the arcade racers. Both styles are wonderful. Horizon offers the tuned and polished sandbox racer that gaming seems to be missing. The days of Need For Speed effortlessly outselling everyone else are over. Horizon 2 offers a fun soundtrack and an even more fun play-through. Aside from racing there is plenty of fun to be had on the European mountainside. When I hear someone is purchasing an Xbox One this is a game I tell them to get.
2. Pokémon Alpha Sapphire/ Omega Ruby
A new Pokémon game is huge news for all fans of the series. Hearing that the game for 2014 was going to be remakes of the third generation had me very excited. Getting the games at midnight and spending the entire following weekend rushing through them with my friends is an experience I will never forget. The nostalgia that hit me as I played through it was unparalleled. Getting to relive some of my childhood memories is something I always enjoy. The new additions to the game were also executed fantastically. Pokémon games always play well and often without many bugs or glitches. The experience was quick yet a wonderful one.
1. South Park: Stick of Truth
When I first heard that Obsidion was working on a South Park RPG I was ecstatic. Finally, a noteworthy developer to put out a game for one of my favorite shows of all time. They delivered on every aspect. The game was wonderful. The voices, the sounds, the story and the characters all brought me back to the tiny, little, mountain town I’ve grown to love so much. It was a wildly entertaining game that actually made me laugh aloud; something that a game rarely makes me do. It’s a great game for any fan of the show. Anyone who likes RPG’s should play it as well because it truly is an enjoyable experience. An easy choice for my GOTY.
Honorable mentions: Halo: MCC