I don’t normally keep playing games after I’ve written about them. That’s just the nature of writing about games as a job. You experience them, you process them, you mostly move on. But as I look back over the games I played in 2014, I realize I spent an inordinate amount of time with games from 2013 and 2012. Guild Wars 2, Grand Theft Auto V, Diablo III, and Marvel Heroes were significant parts of 2014 for me. If they weren’t so obviously games from other years, they would most likely be on this list. In fact, one of them is, but I think it earned its place.
I spent a lot of 2014 with boardgames. I’m tempted to extend my fanatical platform agnosticism to include boardgames. But ultimately, I can’t reconcile the fact that boardgames are such a different type of experience, with unique advantages and disadvantages. I still intend to write about boardgames, but I’ve decided it’s proper to hang a curtain — not too thick a curtain, but a curtain nonetheless — between videogames and boardgames.
I fell out of love with the iOS as a gaming platform this year. Not to say it doesn’t have some exceptional offerings and a unique niche. But as I sampled various iOS games in 2014, time and again I felt that it’s not a gaming platform any more, but a business model. And I’m not interested in the business model it’s pushing.
Conversely, something really clicked with the Wii U this year, even alongside the sexy shiny newness of my new Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Three of my ten favorite games of 2014 are Wii U exclusives. On top of that, I was delighted with Star Wars Pinball (a standalone spin-off of Pinball FX) and Hyrule Warriors (a Zelda-fied Dynasty Warriors). Try as I might, I can’t resist that Nintendo magic.
Finally, I wish I had gotten the chance to play Thief, Wolfenstein: New Order, Infamous: Second Son, Batman: Arkham Origins, Elder Scrolls Online, The Evil Within, Hitman Go, Valiant Hearts, Tropico 5, Costume Quest 2, Lords of the Fallen, Little Big Planet 3, and Lego Batman 3. But onward to the games I did play!
After the jump, the top ten games of 2014. Continue reading →