I've always been of the belief that video games are more than simply games, but works of art. To me games are more than just an entertaining way to pass time because they do much more than just that. A video game has a lasting power than can leave memories to be cherished for years. Just like any other work of art, the best video games deserves to be recognized. 2014 was an amazing year to be apart of the gaming community. Our shiny new consoles finally got a chance to show their true potential. A lot of games released this year were really great but these 5 games I believe stood out the most, and deserve to be considered the best of the year.
Favorite Game Released Before 2014, Played in 2014: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Prior to playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate I had never played a game in the series. I've always respected the series but never really gave it a shot. Earlier this year, I purchased a Wii U and picked up a copy and was utterly blown away by the scale of this game. After going on my first hunt, I was completely sold. The epic battles and complete balance was incredible. Playing with a few of my friends made the experience even better. The only thing I regret about this title is that I hadn't got into it sooner.
5. Forza Horizon 2
I've always been a racing game fan but it's been hard for me find a game that could top my personal favorite Midnight Club: Los Angeles. This all changed when Forza Horizon 2 released. The beautiful agriculture of the game was the first thing that caught my eye. Southern Europe looked absolutely stunning. I was absorbed by the festivities and open world exploration. I loved how seamless the online play was as well. Everything was amazingly polished and detailed. Forza Horizon 2 turned out to be the best racing game I've played in years.
4. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
I was a huge fan of the original Danganronpa so naturally Goodbye Despair was a game I was ecstatic for. The Killing Field Trip was a bloody adventure that always kept me guessing. I quickly found myself getting attached to some of the characters. Spike Chunsoft added new mini-games into the already great trials to mix things up a little bit as well. More importantly than gameplay in a visual novel such as this however, is the story. From beginning all the way to the mind-blowing ending I never saw coming, I was completely engaged into the plot. I found myself constantly trying to figure out what would happen next even when I wasn't playing. Goodbye Despair is easily the best game I've played on the Vita in 2014.
3. Sunset Overdrive
Not only is Sunset Overdrive one of my favorite games of 2014, it also was one of the most surprising ones. I expected this game to be a good game but I didn't expect it to be a great one. I was completely wrong. Sunset Overdrive caught me off guard. The sheer amount of enjoyment I got from something as simple as traveling to my next destination by traversing building, street lights, cars, you name it, was great. Add in the crazy weapons, hilarious plot that never misses the opportunity to break the fourth wall and fluid combat and you have one of the best games of the year.
2. Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition is the only game on this list I'm having a hard time trying to finish. Not because it's a bad game by any means. There is just an ungodly amount of content. I'm about 60 hours in and I still feel like I'm just getting started. BioWare created an gorgeous world that makes me want to explore every nook and cranny in it. I love how each choice I make in the game feels like it carries weight. The gameplay mechanics are very well developed and even with a main story that sometimes can seem boring the game gives me so much it really hasn't mattered to me. Inquisition is my second favorite game of 2014 and only gets beaten out by my GOTY.
1. Dark Souls II
It's pretty easy to forget about Dark Souls II with all the AAA games released this holiday season. The early 2014 release and the fact it's a last generation title is probably the reason why, but I could never forget a game that brought me so many tears of joy and despair. Dark Souls II isn't for everyone. This game is truly for the most resilient of gamers. One of my favorite things about the game isn't its relentlessly unforgiving combat or the depressing world. I love how the game doesn't hold your hand at all. It literally throws you into the universe and forces you to figure things out on your own. I loved how every reward I got in the game I felt I had truly earned. I loved learning from my mistakes. I loved getting lost for hours. I loved the euphoria I felt after defeating the arduous bosses. Simply put, I loved Dark Souls II and it is my 2014 Game of the Year.
Honorable Mentions: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Bayonetta 2, Super Smash Bros, The Walking Dead Season 2, Wolfenstein: The New Order, South Park: The Stick of Truth.
Writer for Darkstation since 2014. I've been playing games my whole life and starting writing about them in 2010. Outside of gaming I enjoy anime and watching my Philadelphia Eagles let me down every Sunday. Follow me on Twitter @jsparis09