2014 was a pretty good year for video games. We saw many great titles make their way to a variety of platforms, even through the many ups and downs that occurred in the industry. Personally, I enjoyed the many RPGs that were available to create my own story, as well as the titles that expanded on multiplayer and tried to enhance it. I also enjoyed the games that brought back endlessly explorable open worlds, and even some of the independent titles caught my eye. There were definitely more than enough games in 2014 for everyone to enjoy — here are my top 10 favorites..
10. Destiny (PlayStation 4)
Bungie’s first major release since the Halo franchise turned out to be a pretty decent sci-fi RPG, and something almost everyone seemed to get their hands on at some point in time. Now, did Destiny live up to the hype? Not quite. It was an enjoyable FPS adventure that I found myself, along with other online players, spending hours trying to achieve the highest level, but it was a letdown in based on what was expected. It isn’t as expansive as what was teased, but Destiny is a solid game that can bring hours of enjoyment to an average gamer.
9. Assassin’s Creed Rogue (PlayStation 3)
Assassin’s Creed Rogue is the better of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed releases this past year, but it’s not much of a change from last year’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. It’s a fun ride overalll, but it didn’t stray far from the mechanics and graphics of its predecessor. In fact, it was almost the exact same game in that aspect. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. The ship warfare, as well as the comba,t are all things I enjoyed previously, and they were all put together with an interesting story that kept me playing. For the most part, it was the narrative that put this game into my top 10; it took an dark turn to the side of the Templars and brought us along on an Assassin hunt for the majority of the game.
8. Dark Souls II (PlayStation 3)
The next game in the line of From Software’s seemingly impossible fantasy RPG series, Dark Souls II is a fun but oh-so-difficult adventure. Pretty much every aspect of Dark Souls that made it a memorable game was brought over or improved upon in Dark Souls II. I enjoyed this game for its real time action with varying weapons, magic, and miracles. This game is also enjoyable online too; I found myself playing PVP quite often with friends online. Whether or not I was good is a different story.
7. Pokemon Omega Ruby (3DS)
This wonderful game played a nostalgic harp string as soon as I picked it up. The original Ruby was a good game that introduced the next generation of Pokemon, and it was smart of Nintendo to do something like this with its recent success of X and Y. Omega Ruby brought me back to Hoenn one more time to see how it has changed with different graphics, and new Pokemon, as well as their Mega Evolutions, that added a powerful flare to the game. It’s definitely my favorite handheld of the year, and hopefully Nintendo will release DLC to expand on it even more.
6. Infamous: Second Son (PlayStation 4)
Infamous: Second Son was a tremendous step forward for the series. The new characters and the setting in Seattle, Washington were only the beginning for this wonderful title. All of the powers you can control are amazing and added to the story in their own way. They were also incredibly fun and easy to handle, and I used the neon powers for a hilarious way to make it around town in as little time as possible.
5. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! (PlayStation 3)
Although it says “Borderlands” in the title, I wasn’t expecting a similar experience out of this title. The Pre-Sequel! was developed by 2K Australia, and it’s a shorter game in comparison to its predecessors. This, however, doesn’t mean it lacked in any way. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! brought back that usual flare with cell-shaded graphics, an endless variety of guns, new hunters, and all of the swear-filled commentary from the other characters. Set atop Pandora’s moon, I played my way through the events that link the stories of Borderlands 1 and 2 and had a great time with it. After the Pre-Sequel!, I am excited to see what 2K and Gearbox have in store for us next.
4. Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One)
There is only one word I would use to describe my experience with Sunset Overdrive: hilarious. It’s amazing grinding around, and the combat is, for the most part, fluid and fun. But what really took it for me were the weapons. Each gun you acquire in the game has its own creative and entertaining name. I found the “Flaming Compensator” to be a fun one to use during fights and boss battles. Although it was a short adventure, I will most likely find myself playing through this game a couple more times just for the hell of it.
3. Shovel Knight (3DS)
I don’t usually buy indie titles on the Nintendo Shop, but I just couldn’t help myself with this particular game. Shovel Knight has been my go-to handheld game for a very long time. This side-scrolling, 8-bit, adventure references back to the play-style that retro-gamers desire, while also keeping it modern enough for other gamers looking for a more contemporary experience. Shovel Knight is definitely one I see myself playing for quite some time.
2. Far Cry 4 (Xbox One)
To preface this, I hadn’t had any experience with the Far Cry games whatsoever, which means I got to play Far Cry 4 as a completely new game, and wow was it fun. Ubisoft’s recent release in the series kept me on my seat, and I thoroughly enjoyed the open-world gameplay, the combat system, and the multitude of side missions that made this a lengthier experience for me. Although there is obviously a narrative, I found myself wanting to complete as many side missions as possible just for that “build your own story” feel. Far Cry 4 is a fantastic game; my only problem can be summarized in two words: Honey Badgers.
1. Dragon Age: Inquisition (PlayStation 4)
It wasn’t difficult choosing my #1 favorite game of the year: the second I picked up Dragon Age: Inquisition, I was in love. Only having the pleasure to play Dragon Age: Origins I did not have first-hand experience with the disappointment that was Dragon Age II, but I could definitely notice the tremendous shift made between the two. The vast open-world that Inquisition brings is amazing, but again, I found myself playing mostly side missions for not only, EXP but because they’re so damn fun. In BioWare fashion, the characters are great and offer comedic commentary. Due to the variety of character and class combinations, this is one I will definitely return to.
Biggest Emotional Journey: Valiant Hearts: The Great War
This game sends you straight to the trenches of World War I for an emotion-driven, beautifully presented story. It is also accompanied by sharp 2D graphics that fit not only the narrative, but also the mechanics. Valiant Hearts is definitely focused on war’s tremendous human costs and that’s what made it feel authentic. I loved every aspect of it, and basically rode an emotional roller coaster the entire time. It was well worth it.
This is part of Invisible Gamer’s ongoing Game of the Year coverage. Stay tuned over the coming days for more top 10 lists, as well as the official Invisible Gamer Game of the Year.