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Game of The Year 2014 Users Choice

My Game of the Year List for 2014.

This year was a slower year for me, with a fairly busy work schedule, I didn't get to put as much time into games as I would've perhaps liked. But I still managed to play most of the AAA titles going around. This year though, it wasn't really as much about the AAA titles anyway. It ended up being a year for the little guy and the surprise of a game that turned out to not be what expectations were perhaps building it up to be.

So here it is, my top 10 games for 2014.

List items

  • TellTale have come a very long way in recent years, first came the incredible Walking Dead Season 1, then The Wolf Among Us.

    I rate The Walking Dead season as an absolute high point in gaming, but to further prove how far TellTale have come, I rate The Wolf Among Us even higher.

    For what TellTale accomplished in The Walking Dead, they really did take it up another notch entirely with The Wolf Among Us. The writing is brilliant, the voice acting is spot on (same goes for the casting - with a Walking Dead mainstay making an appearance too) and the artstyle is superb. I think in terms of why I preference The Wolf Among Us ahead of The Walking Dead, it simply comes down to the theme not being so dour and 'everything has gone to shit'. There was a lot more room for creative fun with TWAU which I really enjoyed.

    Not one of the 5 episodes were weak and every episode was as engaging as the next.

    In what was perhaps a weaker year for the big AAA titles, The Wolf Among Us has come through as my Game of the Year for 2014.

  • Wow, I thought Binding of Isaac was good!

    The original on PC was my most played Steam game (I don't play a lot of Steam games, so this was my most played at 60+ hours).

    But then Nicalis came up with Rebirth, while the game keeps the inherent parts of the original this expands on the original Isaac and Wrath of the Lamb and brings even more gross, weird and extremely strange to the table.

    On top of that, the game was free with PS+ which meant I get the game on PS4 and Vita for nothing. So I also bought it on Steam, just to get that extra bit of gametime while at work!

    I still can't stop playing this game, it's both great for a short burst or an hour long session. Due to the random, never the same nature of the game it's always something new to explore and enjoy.

  • What a surprise this turned out to be. After seeing some fairly harsh reviews around the traps, I was very cautious with jumping in on this game. But once I got going, I couldn't stop.

    Gameplay wise I was reminded heavily of Hitman, which may seem weird from the outside. But once you get into it, you see this trial and error nature with a 'true path' concept attached.

    The story was also surprisingly strong, holding fairly tight for what ended up around maybe 15-20 hours of gameplay. Which on that, the gameplay also held strong with the aforementioned Hitman-esque gameplay but also changing it up with some minor puzzles and just some straight up action at points. I really never felt like the action just got boring and flat, there was always something happening, which is not to say there's a lot of action always going on. Isolation is just a tense game that keeps you on the edge of your seat at all times, which is just another facet that makes this game fantastic.

    Graphically, the game is astounding. Re-creating the world of Aliens to perfection, bringing you back to that "80's 2000's" world, where green text computers still exist now.

    This game was truly a horror game for the ages and I am very glad I got to play it and didn't give up when seeing the reviews.

  • Far Cry 3 was my GOTY for 2012. However, in retrospect I'd probably now give it to anyone of my other top 5 games in Hitman, Darkness 2, Journey and Borderlands 2.

    So when it comes to Far Cry 4, which I'd actually say is better than Far Cry 3, I feel like I'm giving it a fairer rating this time around. That's not to say, that in anyway, Far Cry 4 isn't deserving of being called an awesome game. The game does still sit in my top 5 for the year.

    As with Far Cry 3, this sequel just screams fun. With a ramping up of things to collect, more animals to kill, heaps more missions and side missions and an absolutely gorgeous landscape in which to do it in. This game is pure fun.

  • FIFA has been a mainstay in my GOTY lists over the years.

    Once again, FIFA 15 lands smack bang in the middle of my list.

    FIFA is always my most played game of the year and it always comes back to the fun, competitive and ever enticing gameplay. This year, the career gameplay was ramped up with the real attention to detail given to the EPL and expansion on that via bringing in every stadia from each EPL side. The atmosphere and feeling the upping in presentation that was brought with this takes the game to a whole new level. Whether it's hearing the Liverpool fans singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" or just the overall roar of the crowd when you score a goal, the feeling of being there has never been closer than this year.

    I still haven't even got into Ultimate Team as much this year, so there's really a lot of unexplored modes for me left. But right now, Career is fantastic and I'm happy with that!

  • Another surprise with this one. After delay, upon delay, upon delay...and then a change of publisher, who would've thought this would end up turning out to be anything but complete crap?

    Well, turns out not only was it not complete crap but it was totally freaking awesome!!!

    Never has there been such a perfect representation of licensed matter, yes there might've been better games made from licensed titles but this is purely and simply the best licensed transition as there was not one ounce of comedy, look or feel lost.

    Gameplay wise the game was probably not overly to my usual liking, turn based combat, but it was hard to fault the actual implementation other than it being a bit repetitive with how many combat encounters there ended up being.

    A great original story that manages to include an absolute wealth of characters and stories from seasons past, that also still manages to be entirely new and fresh.

  • The NBA 2K series makes it into my top 10 for a second year. I am really glad I got back into this series. While it hasn't taken my time as much as last years version, nor the other sports title I own in FIFA I have very much enjoyed what this edition has brought to table.

    The overall improvements were welcome, especially the change up to MyPlayer which allowed me to actually finally join the team I love (Indiana Pacers).

    Then, we move onto the Facescan...oooh boy, that was an interesting thing. I tried for over an hour to scan in my face using the PS4's Camera. It didn't work well, eventually I went with something that may have resembled me if I had been severely burnt by the sun and had also scraped half the side of my face on a pavement. So I was happy. Then a patch came out after a few weeks that claimed to have some improvements to the Facescan tech, I tried again. Results were just as mixed as before, however when aborting the changes to a new scan I managed to somehow fix up my previous face and everything in the world was right again. I still, to this day have no idea how that worked, but I'm glad it did as I was scared to look at my face in the game for much longer.

    So that's my story with this game.

    As with last year, a huge chunk of my outside time with this game has been spent with the MyNBA2K MyTeam Mobile app. The app was a massive improvement over last years effort and has been thoroughly enjoyable as well, very addictive and the extra feed in to the actual game with regards to VC has been even better handled. So cheers must go to CatDaddy for an awesome app as well.

  • Yet another one of those surprise good games, this has become a bit of a habit in 2014.

    Wolfenstein wasn't ever something I was really hanging out for as a title, but when I saw it going for cheap not long after release and after hearing some good things about it too. I decided I needed to jump in and give this game a go.

    As it turns out, this was one extremely solid FPS experience.

    A surprisingly decent story is attached to great shooting mechanics, a good semi-open level structure and some gorgeous graphics to match. It really feels like the idTech 5 engine is working to it's potential with this game, the levels being nice and open with the gunplay being ultra smooth and response makes for a fantastic engine to deal with.

    If there's a sequel to come from this beginning, I am well on board.

  • Destiny was a weird one, so much hype, so much expectation and while it didn't live up to that hype or expectation. Destiny was still a pretty good game, all things considered.

    A very weak story, with some fairly bland mission objectives couldn't stop what turned out to be a game with some great gameplay mechanics, a semi-interesting loot system and a co-op that still remained fun despite the faults.

    The loot, as I mentioned just above, was semi-interesting. The loot system as a whole isn't as good as something like a Borderlands where there's loot drops all the time, all around the place and just copious amounts of stuff to always get. Instead Destiny's loot system surrounded your level and eventually builds up to when you reach level 20, which is where the 'interesting' part comes into it. Basically, your future levelling beyond that 20 comes down to the loot you collect therein. There's no more actual physical levels to go up, you only go higher based on the loot you have. So the incentive in this loot system is done in a really interesting way, meaning you need to keep playing and going for high level risk for high level reward.

    But with that loot system, comes the biggest problem with the game. It's easy enough to overlook a bland story and fairly heavily repetitive missions if you have a good system like the above to fall back on. But when that loot system only really comes into it's own once you reach level 20 (and therefore have completed approximately 20+ hours of content, if not the entirety of the base games actual new, fresh content), then something has gone drastically wrong.

    And that, along with the flat story and repetitive missions, is where Destiny falls short of the mark of being a great game. The game just misses the mark too many times to be called great. There's plenty of fun to be had, but too many mis-steps along the way as well.

  • Two horror games on one list, who woulda thunk it?!

    As it turns out, there were actually a few pretty good horrors and Daylight sneaks into my list ahead of another horror I played this year being Outlast.

    Outlast ended up being the title that got all the glitz and glamour due to it being a PS+ title, but overall, I felt that Daylight was the more solid game throughout.

    Outlast was inconsistent despite a rip roaring first couple of hours. Whereas Daylight, hit a more consistent level of scares, if not for it being a little on the repetitive side.

    There was a decent story behind it all too, which definitely helped with the repetition during the game.

    I was very glad that I gave this one a go, it definitely provided a lot more scares than I was expecting.

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