Game of The Year 2014 Users Choice

List items

  • At a time when more and more games are emphasizing mobility, no game this year provided me with as much pure joy and wonder at zipping around and blowing things up as Sunset Overdrive.

    It takes a little while to get into gear, but once it does, this game doesn't let up. In much the same way that I could get countless hours of entertainment by doing the same trick run in SSX over and over again, I spent an unreasonable amount of time just moving through the open world of Sunset Overdrive for no other reason than to just fluidly jump, grind, and shoot while my combo meter built up.

    Add in some great visual design and some over-the-top dumb fun ala Saints Row, and you have all you need for an amazing roller coaster ride to distract you from the self-serious fare of annualized AAA games that tend to dot these GOTY lists.

  • Just when you thought the pseudo-retro platformer was dead and buried, here comes Shovel Knight to show that there's life in it yet. A great soundtrack, lively [mostly] NES accurate graphics, challenging Duck Tales meets Mega Man gameplay, and a surprisingly touching story elevate this game above the standard fare of pixel-art rubbish being churned out on a regular basis.

  • Gorgeous art and some of the best writing I've seen in any game. Period.

    I had been thinking about just not bothering with making a Game of the Year list this year, but then I played this and realized I absolutely had to make a list just so I could include it. This supplemental side-story is little more than a brief glimpse into what Night in the Woods will be, but it's a breathtaking one while it lasts.

  • No game defied the odds in 2014 like this one. For a while I had little faith that this game would even get released, but damn, I had no idea it could actually be great. It's a remarkably accurate rendition of the show, filled to the brim with fan service, and has some surprisingly solid RPG mechanics. An absolute must-play for anyone that has ever liked South Park.

  • While Forza Motorsport 5 was certainly a great game, there's a certain sterility to the mainline Forza games that I've found increasingly more tiresome in each iteration since Forza 3. Luckily, the Horizon franchise is ready and willing to loosen the neckties, rub some dirt on the tires, and dent some fenders.

    For whatever missteps mainline Forza Motorsport may continue to take, Forza Horizon 2's EDM infused romp through Southern Europe is more than enough to keep my car lust raging and guarantee that I'll be getting another hole punched in my Cult of Greenawalt punchcard next year.

  • If CoD: Advanced Warfare and the Halo 5 beta are any sign of things to come, it looks like the crew that previously reinvented the multiplayer FPS with CoD: Modern Warfare have pushed things in a new direction yet again with their emphasis on heightened player mobility.

    I know there's been a lot of fuss made by some people about a supposed lack of content in Titanfall, but I personally find the whole conversation to be pretty pointless. It's extremely well polished, feeling fresh yet familiar, and is just plain loads of fun - certainly more than enough fun to hold my attention for 100+ hours and justify a full price purchase.

  • This year saw something of a mini-resurgence of the classic CRPG, and while I didn't get a chance to play Wasteland 2, Divinity certainly held my attention for quite a while. The writing is a bit hit or miss, but the gameplay is very well put together and really emphasizes exactly the sort of strategic character and party building that fans of the genre want.

  • While everybody and their brah was fiddling with jetpacks in 2014, this game showed that there's still some juice to be squeezed from the straight ahead no-frills shooter design of old. It even had some surprisingly solid writing to boot.

  • The 'Nemesis System' delivered one of the more unique and interesting sandbox experiences I've had in some time, but the writing (especially the lackluster ending) and bland primary mission design hold this game back from being something greater. I'm looking forward to seeing if Monolith is able to successfully build on this foundation in the inevitable sequel.

  • Accept this meager offering RNGesus and grant me epic draws.

    This game got me into a genre I haven't cared at all about since SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighter's Clash on the Neo Geo Pocket Color, so I think it deserves a spot on the list somewhere. It also deserves credit for being one of several games this year, among others like Crossy Road and Terra Battle, that have demonstrated a 'mostly' fair and non-exploitative form of Free-to-Play.