GameSkinny Staff's Favorite Games of 2014
Aloha, GameSkinny community! 'Tis the season of cold, the #snuglife, and Game of the Year awards - so we thought we'd reflect and share with you our own favorite games of 2014.
Joining me for this Game of the Year list today are editors Amanda Wallace and Auverin Morrow, product manager Rachael Johnston, developer Brian Schaaf, support guru Daniel Slater, and CEO Stephen Johnston.
Check out our picks and then let us know your Game of the Year in the comments!
Binding of Isaac Rebirth
Even though this is a relatively recent release (or re-release if you played vanilla), I haven't been able to stop playing. With its strange plot, characters, nerfs and buffs it has been endlessly enjoyable even when I fail at it.
Honorable Mention: Fibbage
I play a lot of party games, both of the board game and video game variety and Fibbage is my new favorite. With its unique control scheme, it's playable with more than 4 players which really opens it up for party play.
- Amanda Wallace
Dragon Age: Inquisition
I hate picking this because it's the obvious choice, but Dragon Age: Inquisition is my Game of the Year.
It's got a great story set in a beautiful world. Everyone knows that. But it is also a game that shows how dedicated BioWare is to its fans. BioWare took all our negative feedback from DA II and promised to make something better - and they didn't disappoint. Putting the fans first is something that I think is becoming rarer and rarer in the industry.
- Auverin Morrow
Dragon Age: Inquisition was able to grab me from the beginning - starting with how much time I spent in customization making my Qunari look perfect.
I am a big fan of a good story, and I felt immersed right from the opening cutscene. The gameplay is fantastic and the ability to just roam around the world is a lot of fun. I am not done with Inquisition yet, but I can’t wait to finish.
- Rachael Johnston
Warlords of Draenor
I have been playing WoW for ten years. I've seen it's ups and downs. Vanilla endgame was as if it was WoW on nightmare mode. Burning Crusade was nearly as difficult but more refined. Then Blizzard started down the easy and casual road with WotLK and Cataclysm. Mists was nearly as casual but I started to see their attempts to give the nightmare mode WoW back to it's core players. WoD has given us this nightmare mode back while still allowing casual play. It's the best of both worlds.
All around I've been very excited by WoD and expect to play a ton this expansion. Great job Blizzard for reviving the game!
Honorable mention: South Park: The Stick of Truth
It's so awesome to finally see an incredibly well done South Park game. The gameplay and storytelling of The Stick of Truth rivals almost all AAA RPGs, and most AAA games in general.
- Brian "Rothalack" Schaaf
Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition
The newest edition of Dungeons and Dragons released this year, and it is amazing! The advantage mechanic runs smoothly instead of constantly trying to add in conditional bonuses, leveling makes characters feel powerful without agonizing over individual numbers, and every choice I make feels like it makes a difference. I cannot recommend this enough.
- Daniel Slater
This game is simply wonderful. If you love games, you want to try Mushroom 11; it is a specimen of the finest quality. You move an amorphous fungus around the game world by "erasing" parts of it with your fingers. The fungus then regenerates what it lost somewhere else on the fungus blob. The end result is that you can make this fungus come alive and move, but not directly. Developers Itay Keren, Julia Keren-Detar, and Simon Kono give the vibe that they are be making Mushroom 11 with a true love of craftmanship. This is one to watch!
Honorable Mention: Minecraft
Ok, Minecraft didn't come out in 2014. In 2014 it sold to Microsoft for 2.5 billion. Billion, that's a 'B'. This purchase is one of the largest transactions in video game history. Minecraft is a force of its own and will be for years to come
- Stephen Johnston
It's hard not to absolutely gush about how rich every aspect of this game is. The story is surprisingly profound, combat has a wonderful depth and breadth with the Function system, and the soundtrack is just stunning. There is a metric ton of talent poured into the world building and art direction, every ounce only further enriches the gameplay experience. Transistor is not a long game, but is an entirely rewarding journey that is well worth your time.
Oh, and did I mention it's really freaking fun?
Honorable Mention: Hearthstone
Digital card games are a bit of a tough sell with so many established names and bad payment models - but Blizzard has made a satisfying package with smooth mechanics, a reasonable free-to-play model, and a blooming competitive scene. Hearthstone has hardly been out a year and its 1.5 expansions have kept the game fresh and addicting ever since launch.
- Jay Ricciardi
Well, there you have it, our top games of 2014. Now, the next question: whatchu got, 2015?