2014 is almost over. Although I am looking forward to the games due out in 2015 than what has come out this year, there were still a good chunk of great video games released in 2014. This list recognizes my top games of the year. Before you read and ask why a certain title failed to make the list, recognize that this list is purely based on my opinion. Opinions are subjective and greatly differ. So, sit back, relax and enjoy.
HONORABLE MENTION: Mario Kart 8
There is almost a perfection in Mario Kart 8’s simplicity. The Mario Kart franchise always offers a ton of fun. It is a great game to play with friends or at parties. The courses had some fun new depth, between the underwater and anti-gravity portions. More than anything, I am fond of the mix of the battle and action in the races. Mario Kart is back and better than ever.
5. Far Cry 4
Far Cry 4 offered a ton of depth and gameplay. The game had an amazing new setting with the country of Kyrat. The story, pitting a returning prodigal son in Ajay Ghale against a tyrannical despot in Pagan Min, is not all that it seems. The game featured a massive single-player campaign and some amazing visual set pieces in an open-world sandbox.
4. Alien: Isolation
Creative Assembly did the unthinkable. The developer created an amazing video game experience, based on the Alien movie franchise. Such a feat was almost unbelievable after the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines. Alien: Isolation was a visceral experience. As a first-person survival horror game, it was quite challenging. The game did not constantly hold your hand and spell everything out for you as sub-par, modern games tend to do these days. No auto-saves and a dynamic Xenomorph creature added to the game’s heightened sense of fear.
3. Super Smash Bros. Wii U
I love Smash Bros. and Nintendo. Super Smash Bros. made a glorious return on the Wii U this year, and it was better than ever. Finally getting to play as Mega Man in a Super Smash Bros. game was a dream come true. I am a big fan of toys-to-life games, and Nintendo finally saw fit to exploit this idea for Super Smash Bros. with the Amiibo. With 2014 coming to a close, things are finally starting to look up for Nintendo.
2. Wolfenstein: The New Order
I almost get the sense that people are forgetting about this game and how MachineGames really hit it out of the part with Wolfenstein: The New Order. The New Order offered great first-person shooter gameplay, but also a fantastic post-modern narrative. The game had a great sense of style and a wicked sense of humor. The game came off like a subtle commentary on modern first-person shooters by placing an old-fashioned video game protagonist BJ Blazkowicz in a more modern video game scenario.
1. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
As a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings franchise, I have been let down by the type of video games to come out of the series for the last decade or so. It has been a long time since the underrated entries, such as the movie-based versions of The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was a fantastic change for the better. Shadow of Mordor looked and felt somewhat familiar. The open-world sandbox and gameplay was reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed and the Batman: Arkham franchise. The combat especially was comparable to the free-flow combat of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. However, Monolith Productions really made the game ingenious with the advent of the Nemesis System. In many ways, the game’s success hedged on how well the Nemesis System came out, and it worked quite effectively. The game came out smooth and polished, not to mention the release of a good deal of free DLC content by Warner Bros. Interactive. Triple A game publishers and developers should take note.