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The Top Ten Games I played in 2014

So... I didn't play a whole lot of new games this year.

In some ways I feel it's weird for me to try to play all the games I want to in any given year (as much as I used to try). For one, as much as I'd like to, I don't get paid to play video games. For two that's just unrealistic these days with the glut of games coming out at any given time. To even think there aren't enough games in existence at any given time has become a ludicrous notion.

So, I have a humongous backlog that I've been slowly playing through all year. Not to mention I got bit by a nostalgia bug and bought a ton of old Genesis games I once had but had to get rid of which originally dwindled my Genesis collection down but is now slowly returning. This means a lot of the games I played this year didn't come out this year. Several came out last year in fact.

You know what. Since this list is just my feelings anyway I'm not doing games that came out this year. I'm doing the 10 best games I played this year. The only rule I put on myself is that I had not played them before playing them this year. If that somehow puts you off you can leave now. I'm totally ok with that.

List items

  • I don't really even have to think about this much. Dark Souls is still the best game series to come out in a decade. I'll stand by that statement until I die. Even though the latest installment wasn't as directly influenced by Hidetaka Miyazaki, and it feels like it in parts, they really nailed the core mechanics of what makes a Souls game so special. As long as they continue to make games that play and feel the way the souls franchise does, and is as engaging and satisfying to play, they'll have me buying every single one and laughing all the way to the poor house. I still gotta get on those DLC which I hear are really good, but I have so many games to get to. This game is still miles better than any other game currently being made; even if it's predecessor was better.

  • I am a little hesitant to say this is the best Adventure game I've played in a long long time, but that may actually be the case. Daedalic does put out decent Adventure games from time to time (Ok, Book of Unwritten Tales mainly being the only other good one), and they have a few writing problems they tend to fall into that can be off putting. Interestingly they use that and turn it on it's head in this game. You expect one thing as you're playing (and at a certain point you may even expect that this game is nothing special and almost give up on it). Then there is a turn in which this game goes from just another run of the mill adventure game being made by Daedalic to "What the fuck! I can't believe they are telling this story. This is so amazing it's actually making me cry!" Seriously, this adventure game gets really good at a certain point and it doesn't let go once it does. I actually found myself captivated by it and it was almost like when I played my first Monkey Island game. I can't say enough good things about this game. It's really amazing, and has a really touching story for anyone who nostalgically looks back on their life and the moments or things in it. Especially with the loss of my Father this year I don't think I could have understood what they were going for at any better time than now.

    It's a damn good adventure game; as pure as it comes. If you're into that then this is one you have to play.

  • I'm glad I played this at all considering I would never have anticipated a CoJ game to ever be good. Say what you want about CoJ (whether you like it or not) those games aren't good. Ever. The writing is awful, the acting is atrocious, the game play feels wrong, and nothing about them is satisfying. For some weird reason, though, this game turned out the opposite. It even got me researching old wild west gunmen again and watching my favorite show to ever grace TV (Deadwood) for the 4th time or whatever. This game is a ton of fun, and not just because the shooting is satisfying (which it mostly is), but because they do a lot of clever things due to the premise. It's an actual must play for anyone looking for a FPS that is trying something unique.

  • You're probably saying to yourself "Hey, Josh. Didn't this game technically come out in 1996?" Yes, my friend, it did. Interestingly as many FMV and other Adventure games as I have played, I did not play this one (or even hear about it) until whenever Vinny played it on UPF. Then when they re-released it on steam I had to play it. I have a (probably) unhealthy obsession with weird insane adventure games. This game is nothing but pure "What the fuck?". I can't spoil too much, as this game is full of twists, but suffice to say this game is really graphic (lots of gore), tackles some really messed up shit, and comes off like a young college students love letter to David Cronenberg. While the end parts of this game are a nightmare to play for the most part I really enjoyed the utter insanity that encompasses this game.

  • I know a lot of people liked this game, and I agree that it's good, but only #5 good. I don't think anything at this point will ever recapture our love of first person shooters like when Wolfenstein 3d first came out and this game really is no exception. Thankfully the developers of this game have their own unique take on the genre and that mostly comes through in this game. While I personally would have liked it if it was just shooting nazis and looking for hidden passages, the story in this is good (on par with any decent modern action film really) and the gameplay is solid enough to keep you mostly engaged. You really should play this if nothing else because it's well made, but also because it's another first person shooter that offers something different.

  • Ever since finishing this yesterday I have been thinking about what I would say about it. It's really silly in a looney tunes kind of way, but every little moment and bit is something that can't be spoiled or it would very much lose it's impact. So instead I am going to mention this game that came out in 1997. It was called The Simpsons Virtual Springfield. If you played that, and you liked what that was doing, you should play Jazzpunk. It's... worth it?

  • It's very interesting to me that this game came out at all good. The fact that it's even worth discussing probably says something about how much effort went into making sure this game was good. Thankfully Parker and Stone were at the helm of this game (what seems like all the way) and the game is better for it. If you ever liked South Park, and fell off for whatever reason, chances are you probably already played it this year (as it seems like everyone did). If you don't like South Park, or find it offensive, you should probably just pretend it doesn't exist and continue to watch that channel on TV you like so much. You know the one.

  • So, Telltale is pretty good at delving out story as a challenge and making that interesting. I am finding it increasingly fascinating how it seems to be splitting their fanbase (as some people hate this direction that they are going in). I personally really enjoy it and I think the stories they are telling are better than a lot, if not all, other adventure game developers out there. I hear it helps that I played this all in one sitting instead of one episode at a time. I guess they still need to work on dulling out episodes in a way that intrigues people better. I've never played a telltale game like that, though. So, that's never been an issue for me. I enjoyed it, and found very little to complain about. The ending is kind of stupid, though.

  • The biggest thing that annoyed me about this game was that it's ~60 hours long and 40 or so hours of that are utter filler that I can't stop myself from doing for some god damn reason. None of that is fun. Despite this I completed every single thing possible in this game and it makes me angry to think about. I like the game play, though, and it felt much more enjoyable to be a pirate than it was to be the Native American in the 3. Mainly just the nebulous feeling of control felt better, and it fit better with the pirate aesthetic to me. It felt more like Assassin's creed again and everything I liked about Assassin's Creed to begin with, and even more. It helps that I enjoyed Kenway's character, but I also enjoyed stabbing dudes better in this one. Or pirating with mah ship; taking over ports and finding booty. The shanties were neat, and the world was way too fucking big. The non animus stuff was really stupid in a fun way, but I mostly could not care less about any of that at this point.

    Anyway, despite all the bad stuff I can say about this game I really did enjoy most of it. They got a lot more right with this one. Even though... I don't think they know why that is.

  • I really liked this MMO. It does things differently and tries to break away from whatever the format is that makes all MMOs feel like World of Warcraft. The combat is more frantic, and the movement is more fluid. There's in world puzzle solving, platforming, action, and adventure across a galaxy of weird cartoony people creatures. I find more and more that I only briefly like most MMOs anymore, but I do still think this one stands out. If nothing else I feel like it did the best, to me, at trying something new.