One benefit of not being on the cutting edge of current game releases is that I can play my backlog at my pleasure, and pick out the games I want to play them, regardless of how “fresh” the game is. The more I play games, and get involved in the community, the harder it is to avoid the itch to play the current hotness, but luckily, 2014 was a pretty downer year in games, so I don’t feel too bad about missing out. Next year might be a different story, but hey, we’re here for 2014!
I played a sprinkling of games that came out in 2014, but the majority of my playtime was spent either in MMO’s or games that I’ve longed to play for some time. Once I get through my lengthy backlog, maybe I’ll have enough time to devote to what’s current (not likely), but for now, here’s my top 10 games that I played in 2014.
Destiny is an odd story. Perhaps what became hurt by the amount of marketing and hype behind the game, it became a polarizing experience. While I can’t argue the shooting mechanics and art style, the game was a disappointment for me in regards to the story and mission design.
I felt the game wanted to cater to both the shooter audience, and pull in the MMO crowd, but failed to satisfy either. However, I did enjoy the 20 some hours I played of the shell of the game, and felt it deserves a spot on this list.
I literally had no idea what to expect from this game coming in, which is surprising considering its been a popular game for years. Also, I didn’t expect my girlfriend to become so attached to the little marshmallow man, and the simple mechanics and plot line. While a relatively short game, FEZ does a great job of creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere and simple yet complex world to explore. Without the help of online guides, I never would have figured out a lot of the puzzles, but I really enjoyed gathering all the cubes and filling out my map.
- Infamous: Second Son
This game marked the kickoff of next gen for me. I purchased a couple of games at launch, but Infamous felt like the first game to bring a next gen experience. The visuals were spectacular. Sucker Punch did an incredible job of making a fun game to play, with multiple special abilities that really added depth and a sense of accomplishment to the game. I got a little burned out towards the end, but it definitely scratched my “superpower” itch that I never realized I had.
7: Halo 4
I don’t ever want to know how many hours I’ve sunk in Halo 3, specifically the multiplayer, which is why Halo 4 is perhaps a bit disappointing for me. Halo players are famously against change, which I am definitely in crowd with, but I felt the changes the new developers made were not that great. People who like Halo like it for being Halo, and for not being Call of Duty, but for some reason 343 wants to merge the two. I wouldn’t be against speeding up the combat, but Halo was special, and it has to keep that feeling to keep me hooked. Unfortunately, Halo 4 didn’t keep me hooked, but I really enjoyed the campaign and will continue to hope Halo 5 will bring back the glory.
6: Final Fantasy XIV: ARR
Final Fantasy will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s the game that made me fall in love with video games, and I’ve played most of them since VII. I purchased ARR at launch (luckily I avoided the hot mess that was XIV), but never got my character past the starting zone. It just didn’t hook me like other MMO’s have. Plus, I think I was getting busy with work, so I let my sub lapse. This winter, I decided to hop back in, and am really enjoying my Gladiator. I’m impressed with the world design and how it feels to just play the game. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my character to max soon. Definitely a great game.
- Red Dead Redemption
Again, late the table with this one, but man I enjoyed it. I think I would have enjoyed the experience a bit more if I hadn’t sunk dozens of hours into GTA 4, but I really felt like a bad-ass cowboy in the west. Rockstar nailed the atmosphere, along with quirky characters and compelling story. Also, that ending, man. I don’t think I’ll go back and do “everything” like I usually do with Rockstar games, but hoping there will be a next gen Red Dead 2. Yes Please.
Star Wars. MMO. Lightsabers.
- Metal Gear Solid
I remember playing through the first maybe quarter of the game back when it released on Playstation. I loved the characters, story, and setting, but for some reason I never finished it. Luckily, I found a collection online, but was shocked when it included pretty much every game but MGS 1. After downloading it, I hopped in and made my way through the story, one codec call, cardboard box, and creepy boss at a time. Loved it. I can’t wait to see where the story leads.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition
I was so excited for my first RPG on the new consoles. I’ve been a huge Bioware fan over the years, and absolutely adored the first Dragon Age. I think I played through it about 4 times, which was less than what I had originally planned. The Inquisition had spectacular visuals, compelling storyline and character backstories, fun side quests, incredible writing, and overall fun gameplay. Combat got a little frustrating, and a “recommended level” guide would have been nice for quests or zones, but overall, best “new” game I played this year.
I’m not sure how I missed out on this gem, but I did. Wow, what an experience. What’s weird is I think it was strengthened by the timing of when I played it. Being a big fan of SWTOR, this game
was essentially what lead to the MMO, so it was fascinating to go back and play through the storyline, and see what lead to the game I am so dedicated to today. Unfortunately I knew
ahead of time the big twist at the end, but it didn’t make it any less epic. Not to mention SWTORs recent expansion, which dealt with the protagonist of this incredible game that no doubt paved the path for many great games. Definitely my most memorable gaming experience in 2014, and therefore my top game of the year.