Top 5 Games of 2014
2014 was another great year to be a gamer, in spite of some colossal disasters our gaming collections have never looked better. This has been the first full year we have had to appreciate the next generation of consoles, plus accessories like next generation computer speakers which have also helped to improve our gaming experience. So what better way is there to celebrate another year of gaming than with a list?
So what games really left a lasting impression this year? Well we have browsed our gaming shelves and decided to draft up the top 5 games we have played this year. We have even went as far as to include the two worst games of the year.
5.South Park: The Stick of Truth
The South Park games have been completely hit and miss for the past few years and none have come close to the glory of South Park way back in 1998. In fact South Park: The Stick of Truth was only pushed in to this year due to some development issues. I actually thought we might not see it at all due to all the delays. Thankfully South Park had a great release. The game was packed with humour, brilliant homages to the series and an RPG system with enough depth to keep you entertained for hours. I can barely find a fault in The Stick of Truth and rightfully so. Kudos to Matt and Trey for yet another excellent game.
4. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
Geometry Wars is by far one of the best arcade games this year. It captures your attention with its wonderfully bright and energetic gameplay and keeps you in your seat with the difficulty. We screamed, we cried and eventually we triumphed. In fact we wrote a review too, so check it out here.
Destiny was a game I was completely unsure of at the start. It came across as a pasty MMO that drew far too many ideas from the Halo series. In fact we gave it a lukewarm reception in our review. Since then I have funnelled hours in to Destiny, even going as far as acquiring a second copy of the game for PS4 just so I had the chance to play with some friends on other consoles. It still isn’t perfect but part of the experience definitely draws from having a great community of players grinding out exotic loot and slaying raid bosses.
2. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
While we are on the subject of looting we can’t help but sing the praise of Diablo III. Although Diablo 3 was released in 2013 it wasn’t until the Ultimate Evil Edition reached home consoles that I truly fell in love with the game. I know that the story didn’t go down very well and lots of people even still play Diablo 2 so competitively that they buy Diablo 2 items to get ahead of their competition. But, for me, Diablo 3 saved my dwindling interest in next-gen consoles with a game I could objectively grind for hours with friends. I could send gifts to others, take on their Nemesis’s and finally enjoy an experience similar to that on PCs. Since then the game has seen tweaks and updates to the nephalim rifts and how the game works. It was a great game and one that I return to every now and then just to get the next piece of armour in my ongoing quest to make the ultimate Zoo build Witch Doctor.
Blizzard certainly smashed my expectations this year with Hearthstone. I had never been interested in the lore of WoW but through this brilliant card game I found myself wanting to understand the references and really putting a lot of thought and time in to the game. HS is a free to play card game that I have thrown more money at than a giddy bachelor in a local gentleman’s club. I played it religiously day in and day out to grind enough gold for The Curse of Naxxramus and to earn packs in the Goblins vs. Gnomes card set. It has evolved beyond a game for me, it is my addiction.
Now with our list of gaming delights out of the way we turn towards some of the worst games this year. It pains me to say it but the following two games have more than earned their place. In fact if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t even be including a negative section of the list.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Very few games break my heart, and even fewer manage to do it purely out of poor execution. I had become so excited and fascinated by a remake of my favourite series of games on the Xbox One that I am still recovring from the horrid release of TMCC. I made sure I got my copy as early as possible just to make sure I could cram in all of my experience over a long weekend. In fact I was so enamoured by the beautiful visuals of the single player experience that I wrote off many flaws here. As time progressed and more friends picked up the game my concerns of a lack of players pre-release turned in to a disappointing reality. The online was broken and playing with friends became an almost impossible experience. Even as I write this there are still ongoing issues with finding matches online and odd bugs preventing what should have been an amazing experience. The silver lining is that we are at least getting a free remaster of Halo 3:ODST for our commitment to the franchise at a later undisclosed date. It will probably be a broken mess too.
Ubisoft found out the power of money and hype this year. They also found out how poorly received an open world copy and pasted game would be when they oversell the complexity of its mechanics. Watch_Dogs was one of the reasons I initially wanted to adopt next generation consoles day one, that E3 trailer was spectacular. Unfortunately Watch_Dogs the game left a bigger gap in expectations than even the eyesore of an underscore in its namesake. So by the time Watch_Dogs made it to home consoles I was hoping for something spectacular and ended up with GTA:Hacker Edition. Needless to say I felt like a right mug, like most of Ubisoft’s customers this year.
Well there you have it, our top 5 games of 2014. Stay tuned for our most exciting games of 2015 in the coming weeks!