Game of the Year 2014: The Gamer's Lounge Picks
The crew of The Gamer’s Lounge has gotten together and discussed our game of the year picks. To some of us, our GOTY candidates were epic 60 hour RPGs, for others it was new IPs destined to change the face of gaming, and for some of us our choices were games that flew under the radar. 2014 was truly a great year for gaming for every platform.
Erik-Game of the year is a tough one to pick. There are a lot of great games. I tried to think about what I really liked this year. I had a blast with Destiny, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Borderlands The Pre Sequel, Far Cry 4, Dark Souls 2, Metro Redux, and GTA V. I think about all the other games I played this year from the retro classics such as Splatterhouse 3 and Zombies ate my Neighbors to games from the last few years such as Fallout 3 and Alan Wake. My game is one of those that may be on people’s top 15 lists for good games but was passed over by a lot.
My Game of the Year is Metro Redux. Granted I already finished Last Light once but I have never played 2033. The re-worked visuals and better framerate were a call to me to pick it up. The price was right as well. The story in those two games keeps pulling me back. I’ll be playing Far Cry 4 or Borderlands and thinking when will I play Metro Redux again. I feel the urge to play it.
The characters, the choices, the story, and the adventure pull me in and I want more. It is a challenge these days to find an action or fps game that has a heavy focus on story and where the play feels invested in the characters. I highly recommend this game and at this time Metro Redux can be found for under $30 at most retailers.
Nathanael: There are many aspects to judging whether a video game is worth your hard-earned time and money. How many hours does it take to finish? Does it have a good story? Are the graphics amazing? Is the gameplay fun? Some games do better in one category at the expense of another. Good games manage to excel in several categories. Great games may have a few blemishes here or there, but the overall package delivers in every single category. Dragon Age Inquisition is a great game.
Inquisition is the first game in quite a while to so fully captivate my attention for a long period of time. I am completely immersed in the world while playing, and I'm thinking about lore, characters, and quest lines when I am not playing. Inquisition has everything a person could want in a fantasy RPG. The story is interesting and well told. The characters are well-rounded and fun to interact with. The combat system is enjoyable no matter which character class you choose. The environments are gorgeous and massive in scale, yet every corner is still full of little details to discover.
It is a testament to the game that when the credits finally rolled after 90 hours of play, all I wanted to do was start the game with a brand new character and do it all over again. Dragon Age Inquisition is the best RPG I've played in years, and is easily my favorite game of 2014 by a landslide.
Ryan--I purchased a 3DS solely for one game, Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney. I was introduced to the Ace Attorney series when it came out on WiiWare, and fell in love with the quirky humor. I heard of the crossover: while some crossovers are just cash grabs, this seriously looked like a fun way to mix two stories with similar fan bases. The idea alone made me start looking for Layton games, and I pounded my way through the whole series while keeping up with Phoenix as well. Clocking over 30 hours in my 3DS timeline, I can say that Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright was worth the wait. It may not be some epic, grand-scale AAA shooter franchise, but for me it shows what is right with video games when people get together to make something quality that truly is there for the fans to enjoy. Despite their differences, the two gameplay styles made for a fun mix, and the storyline allowed both troupes to shine. I hope this isn’t the last time we see Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright share the screen.
John - Most years picking a game of the year is pretty easy for me. This year there have been so many great games come out that it is hard to pick just one. The Wolf Among was great, Diablo 3 on PS4 was fun. Even with all it’s issues Assassin's Creed Unity is one of the best games to get this year. While only playing Dragon Age for about two hours I can see where this one is most likely the consensus for game of the year but not having played it much I don't think I can fairly say that it is my pick. But after spending over 280 hours playing Destiny, its hard not to pick it as my game of the year. I have always loved MMO’s and for as much as Bungie, or anyone else for that matter, doesnt like to say that it isn't one it most certainly is. I am surprised how much I love playing Destiny. I have said the past few years that I was pretty much done with FPS’s. I find them boring and repetitive. What Bungie has done is merged two different styles of games. While some may think they haven't done it very well, I will be the first to say they have stumbled along the way. But I have still found a lot of enjoyment out of the game. One, and maybe the most important, reason is I have five other teammates that I play with that have just as much or more fun with Destiny then I do. You can play Destiny by yourself but the real fun is playing as a group. If you have thought about dipping your toes in the waters of Destiny there is no better time to jump in. Many retailers have it on sale for $40 or less.
Jeremy - Looks like I am in agreement with most everyone else when I say that this year is a hard year to pick a “Game of the Year”, as there are quite a few great candidates to choose from. After a couple of days contemplating whether I should choose GTA V, Destiny, Super Smash Bros., Dragon Age Inquisition or any of the other games running through my head, I decided to go with Far Cry 4. I am in the same boat as John when it comes to Dragon Age. It very well could have been my GOTY, but I just didn’t get to put as much time into it as I would have liked before naming it so. I am mainly a sports game player and don’t really prefer first person shooters, but Far Cry 4 is one of the few first person shooters that managed to keep me coming back for more. The game has amazing graphics, along with a good story and plenty of side missions to keep you busy. Being a single father who doesn’t have much free time for gaming, Far Cry 4 was one of the few games I felt I was able to pick up when I could and not need to put in lots of hours at one time. 2014 was a big year in gaming for me, as I am sure it was for a lot of people. I am very excited to see what the 2nd year of next gen gaming brings us!
Matthew - I haven’t had a chance to play too many new games this year, recently becoming a “young professional” and all. With that being said, I have REALLY enjoyed Destiny for the Xbox One. Despite its issues, I have really come to love the game. They are listening to the feedback from the players, and working on fitting their complaints into their vision for the game. For instance, people had problems with the amount of glimmer they were getting. A lot of people seemed to have maxed out. Well, now they made items more expensive. You want that new gun? You are going to have to save for a week (or play a lot) in order to get it. They also introduced a lot more content in the recent expansion, the Dark Below. In expands on the current Hive lore on the in-game story. It doesn’t add so much story as to completely address the lack of narrative the base-game is infamous for, but it is a great step in the right direction.
I would say my runner-up would be Grand Theft Auto V for the XBox 360. It had solid mechanics and a good story. The only reason that it is second to Destiny is simple. I think Destiny is just more fun. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it has something about it that is just…. fun. Maybe it is the teamwork. Games are always more fun with friends, and Destiny is almost required to have friends in order to play.
There are the picks for Game of the Year 2014. As readers can see there were lots of great games for 2014. What was yours?