Game of The Year 2014

This year was weird. The deadline for this thing is in like two hours, I still have barely finished any games this year, and I can tell you why.

Spelunky.

Spelunky is so freaking good that I could barely stand to play anything else for the first six months of this year. That aside, AAA games were not especially enjoyable to me this year, but luckily in the past few months I've found some stuff that really resonated with me.

Adventure games, as you'll see in a second, were on fire this year, and I hope that continues. In my top three you'll see a game so emotional to the core, one deeply rooted in science fiction, and one so well written that it could bounce seamlessly between humor and tension in an old school way all exist in the same "genre" but be so wonderful and different.

2014 was a crazy year, both in games and personally for me. I hope 2015 is better. Without further adieu, my ramblings here are over, enjoy the list or whatever, and see you next year.. in 50 minutes.

List items

  • I don't love rewarding a game so highly that is not fully out, but this game is just simply incredible. It's surreal and touching, wonderfully written and styled and completely perfect. Only the third act released this year, so the third act is my game of the year. In just a short two hours, KR0 manages to do affect me more deeply than anything else on this list. And the crazy part is that the crux of the "gameplay" is making dialogue choices that don't matter in the slightest, except they do.

  • I’m becoming a huge adventure game fan. I never knew they had such great capacity for story, and I'm still coming to grips with the mechanics of these games, but The Fall is so logical in its design, it ends up working brilliantly. Pair that with a story that is apparently only the first part of a much larger thing, but is so concise, specific and independent. The Fall stands toe to toe with the best of science fiction in any medium, and that's the highest praise I can give it.

  • Adventure games, huh? Basic gameplay, fun and interactive stories. Broken Age: Act 1 did it really well. I played it on my iPad, loved every second of it, and I'm ready for the conclusion in the next few months.

  • I loved Binding of Isaac, even though I was terrible. I'm still terrible but now this game, art and music aside, is flawless. It's not Spelunky, but damn is it close.

  • Storytelling is why I plays games most of the time, and The Stick of Truth told its story, in South Park fashion, so well that I fell in love immediately. It pretends to be a JRPG but deftly avoids the biggest pitfall of that genre, ridiculous padding and terrible pacing. At a tight 10-15 hours, this game was rip-roaring the entire way through, and somewhat broken combat aside, South Park: The Stick of Truth was just exceptional.

  • I love the Dragon Age series, even 2, and Inquisition is a great follow up. The world is massive and fun to explore, and the story is fun to watch. I hate everything about the controls and the lack of the in depth tactics menu is a huge problem that I hope gets addressed, but the game over all is simply stunning.

    There are so many caveats that go along with this game, but I've played a lot, I'm going to play more and I hope the story ends as well as it began.

  • I wrote of this game after I played it the first time. Sure it was creative, but there was no challenge and it took forever to actually get moving. But the expansion and the Red level really turned this little iOS game into something truly special.

  • I only got to play Nidhogg a handful of times, but good lord it is so much fun. The only problem I have with it is that I'm way better than my friends at it.

  • Confession time. I didn't finish this game, but I need to reward it and play more. I love the art, the style, the music, and the story. I tolerate the gameplay, which is why I haven't beaten this game yet, but I will and then I'll feel bad about this game being lower than it should be.

  • Three days ago I would have said it was ridiculous to have Destiny on this list, but after playing it with a friend all I want to do is play more Destiny. Fuck. Also the shooting is exceptional.