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Giancarlo Varanini's Top 10 Games of 2014

Giancarlo's got a whole lot to say about his favorite 2014 games.

Giancarlo Varanini is GameSpot's Executive Sandwich Artist and a regular member of Giant Bomb's Powerbombcast. He likes Fester's Quest, The Undertaker, and you following him on Twitter.

10. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

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9. Strider

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8. P.T.

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7. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

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6. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

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5. Titanfall

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4. Mario Kart 8

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3. Valiant Hearts: The Great War

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2. Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze

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1. Destiny

Destiny is a mess of a game, and I can't get enough of it. I suppose that says more about what it does right than it does wrong because Bungie nailed the most important part of any game, its foundation.

This might sound a little weird, but I haven't felt this satisfied firing weapons in a first-person shooter since GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64. There's just something about the speed of the weapons, their animations, and the damage they cause that makes even the most mundane tasks (like farming materials) bearable and the most intense moments that much more entertaining. And despite the fact that they share the same arsenal, the three classes are different enough to offer an experience that scratches a variety of play style itches. It helps that some of the respective class armor sets look totally sick, too.

In fact, the overall look Destiny is another big draw for me. Bungie created a fantastic (albeit weirdly anachronistic at times) science-fiction universe that comes to life in wonderfully detailed environments, weapons, and enemies. A single exotic weapon in Destiny has a grand story about why it exists based only on the way it looks (it's just too bad the game doesn't take time to tell it.) Look at the amount of attention paid to two of Destiny's more popular exotic weapons, the Gjallarhorn rocket launcher and the Suros Regime auto rifle. These two weapons contain a ton of details that have absolutely no bearing on function, but these and other equally detailed parts of Destiny reveal an immense labor of love and desire to construct a world that you want to learn more about.

Everything else in Destiny serves function over form, and there are simply too many functions that exist to prolong the value of a relatively small amount of useful gear and to preserve the utility of retreading familiar environments. In other words, Destiny just doesn't have enough stuff and the stuff that's there is being stretched beyond its limits to the point that it continually feels like the whole thing could snap at any minute, like an overworked piece of dough.

Still, I played a lot. I still play it a lot. Destiny delivered some of the most memorable moments in my 30 plus years of playing games. It got me to play competitive multiplayer for a week. It reunited me with friends that I haven't spoken to in years. It created a sense of community and atmosphere that very much harkens back to an era of gaming where I played a single game for months, dissecting every last bit of it and discovering secrets and strategies I wanted to share with friends the next day.