The common narrative you’ll hear is that 2014 was a disappointment; it is a notion I've personally bought into at times.
2014 undeniably is a disappointment for common decency and gaming community itself (on that front “disappointment” is massive understatement), but is it true for the actual games released this year? You know after making this list, I kinda don’t think so.
Looking at the candidates for my personal list I saw a lot of really good games, but few if any truly great ones that we will be talking about for years to come. But then as I made this list I thought Danny O’Dwyers episode of the Point where he talked about Expectations and how my generation has really been spoiled by constant dramatic technological improvement for decades.
And I realized that I myself had an expectation this year to see something that may have not been realistic or fair. And that was I wanted to see something that “justified” these new consoles that truly felt “next gen”, that showed an experience these consoles could offer that the previous gen obviously could not, Even though I personally decided last year to sidestep the console cycle by going PC this gen (and thus really had no rational reason to want to see this happen). Maybe that's not a fair expectation anymore with graphical improvements getting harder and harder for the human eye to even discern.
I don’t really think anything came out this year that sold me on a PS4 or XboxOne. So yes that clear slate of games doesn’t exist as of yet, what we have is more nuanced and iterative improvements. So if you were looking for that big tech leap you probably were disappointed.
Still if 2014 was the year of the pretty good and really good but not great games, well you could do a lot worse. If you didn't have fun this year, you probably didn't approach it with an open enough mind.
Many of these games in the list I have not nearly played enough, but at my age and what I know of my tastes. I generally know how I feel about these games. Like any normal non professional reviewer I haven't been able to play every relevant release due to time and $ so this list could change as I eventually get to them. It's the nature of the beast that many of these user lists are won and lost at time of purchase.
This year in particular this list is likely going to change radically in the next 6 months as I’m just really starting to get into some key 2014 releases now (Divinity, Wasteland 2, Wolfenstein e.g.) and there’s still a few key ones I haven’t touched at all (Dark Souls 2,Mordor) and some I’ll likely never get to unless I buy hardware (Danganronpa, Freedom Wars e.g.).