Having never putting thought into a top 5 list of my own and always reading others', I find myself recounting all the great and not-so great titles I've played throughout the year in order to give them actual priority spots in my head. 2014 gave me a ton of great titles to choose from, and being an exclusive PC gamer ensured no shortage of fun to be had. I'm always happy to see Steam popping out console-first releases to its store, giving us keyboard and mouse users a chance to experience more than just first person shooters like Call of Duty or Counter-Strike. Now bear with me as I go and name my entrees! (All of them PC released)
Favorite Game released before 2014, played in 2014: Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
As a PC gamer, every half decade or so I put together a new rig with updated everything so I can have a better experience. Back in 2012, I gave Dark Souls a try and immediately uninstalled it due to how badly my old computer performed with it. In 2013, with a new rig, I gave Dark Souls another try and immediately uninstalled it due to how badly I performed with it. Then in 2014 I hopped back on with the idea that somehow things would be better, and they were.Dark Souls is a punishing experience for those that can't adjust themselves to a game world with new rules. Those that can't dedicate time to learn and overcome will find themsleves under the heel of this beautiful and torturous giant. But fear not, for perserverance and investment will quickly give way to the gorgeous and rewarding adventure that is a medieval-like dark fantasy. A must play for anyone that wants to conquer a challenge.
5. The Walking Dead: Season Two
The first season saw an unlikely hero rise up to the challenge of saving as many people as possible while dealing with the harsh reality of a zombie apocalypse. Now, after having survived the endless ordeals and full of pain after having lost her dear friend and mentor, the new heroine takes the mantle and must do whatever it takes to ensure her new group's safety. Telltale delivered yet another immersive tale that keeps drawing you in for more with each new episode, and eager to explore all of the possible outcomes your decisions may bring. Sometimes, a game about choices and consequence is all one needs to connect with fictional characters!
4. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
At a first glance, this is the same Borderlands we all played already. Set on a moon and with the added features of (lack of) atmospheres and new elemental weapons, the presequel might seem insufficient to cater to those wanting a completely fresh take on the series. However, anybody who loves the epic formula of sardonic, dark humor mixed with badass fire-fights, lovable characters and a wacky storyline will not be disappointed by this short but sweet new installment. Prepare yourself to shoot psychopaths and butt-slam them out of orbit, because the lootsplosions will not make themselves!
3. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
When it comes to visually disturbing content in games, seek no further than Edmund McMillen's stuff. Rebirth promised to be a gigantic update and reworked version to the original; with everything it had before, plus the content from its original expansion, and more. Rebirth gave us all it promised and ensnared the competitive heart of many hardcore players to beat it until 111% completion. Rogue-likes are genre titles of which we can find tons around lately, but Isaac manages to be easy to learn, challenging and fit for nearly every level of skill to just pick up and enjoy. It's addictive and fun.
2. Five Nights at Freddy's
From the comfort of your office chair that you (in)conveniently can't leave, a Chuck E. Cheese nightmare unfolds before you as murderous animatronics attempt to violently stuff your body in a death-trap costume. Your only chance at surviving the night is to carefully manage your one resource that enables your actions to protect yourself. But when do you do it? Maybe the noise you heard is only in your head, maybe the character staring at you from the contiguous room won't actually come to the office. Five Nights at Freddy's is a game that puts a full sense of dread in our head, and it will not let go right until your last breath and it was one of the best horror games I've ever played.
1. Dark Souls II
The second I beat Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition I decided to boast to one of my friends who had played it before me. Ten minutes later, he shoved the sequel into my face as a gift, wanting us to play together. Ecstatic, I had no idea it was the start of a 302 hour long journey that I would split between two characters. With no end to player invasions and endless possibilities in the PvP scene, I could've sworn Dark Souls II had finally been able to soften me up towards the MMORPG scene, because even if this is no MMORPG, I would spend hours upon hours of item and equipment research just to make sure my numbers would be bigger than the random dude online that I was trying to pound into a bloody mess. It's dark, it's gritty, it's fun as all hell, it's Dark Souls II.
Honorable Mentions: Double Dragon Neon