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Game of the Year Awards 2014

Highlighting the best games from the year gone by

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Introduction  |  Gameplay Awards  |  Special Awards  |  Genre Awards  |  GOTY

Best PC Exclusive
Best PC Game 2014 The Banner Sagawinner badge The Banner Saga

"You can nitpick The Banner Saga to death, but despite its flaws the game is a joy to play. People who are looking for a fantasy world with weight and depth will fall in love with Stoic's tale of man and varl pushed to the brink. This first attempt at a full single player campaign has demonstrated the studio's skill, leaving me hoping there is more in store." - Josh Hinke

Honorable Mentions:The Talos Principle, Wasteland 2, The Sims 4

 

Best PlayStation 4 Exclusive
Best PS4 game 2014 Infamous: Second Sonwinner badge Infamous: Second Son

"Following the success of the franchise on the PlayStation 3, expectations were high for the PS4 debut of Sucker Punch Productions. What they delivered with Second Son is an enjoyable, albeit brief experience. Once you've unlocked all powers, the combat is at its best with satisfying, open world brawls. You truly feel like a superhero. This is also the best PS4 looking title to date." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions:Transistor, P.T., Velocity 2X

 

Best Xbox One Exclusive
Best Xbox One Exclusive 2014 Forza Horizon 2winner badge Forza Horizon 2

"Forza Horizon 2 offers almost everything that arcade racing fans crave, and it does so with style. This is a very good looking game, from the cars to the environments. Yet another great soundtrack will keep players immersed at all times, like no other racing game can. Seamless multiplayer is a welcome addition. Car Meets are a great idea and online free roam is tons of fun. It's a great time exploring the new, truly open world while completing Showcases, finding boards to smash, and taking photos of cars for the Horizon Promo." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions:Sunset Overdrive, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Titanfall

 

Best Wii U Exclusive
Best Wii U Exclusive 2014 Bayonetta 2winner badge Bayonetta 2

"Bayonetta 2 is a great continuation of a series many thought would be dead. It’s a non-stop, action-packed game filled to the brim with ridiculous characters and outrageous moments. In the first cutscene you’ll watch a black Santa Claus drive up the side of a building to deliver Bayonetta her guns while she fights angels on a jet. This game looks fantastic and really shows what the Wii U can do." - Austin Clark

Honorable Mentions:Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

 

Best Downloadable Game
Best Downloadable Game 2014 Transistorwinner badge Transistor

"Transistor is really smart, looks and sounds great, and will leave you wanting more when it's all over. It features a smart and unique combat system, gorgeous visuals and superb audio design. People were looking for a really good follow up to Bastion, and that's what they've got here." - Austin Clark

Honorable Mentions:Valiant Hearts: The Great War, The Wolf Among Us, The Banner Saga

 

Best DLC / Expansion
Best DLC / Expansion 2014 Left Behind (The Last of Us)winner badge Left Behind (The Last of Us)

The Last of Us: Left Behind is a single-player DLC of The Last of Us. It acts as a prequel to The Last of Us and tells the story of Ellie and Riley. New light is shed on Ellie’s relationship with Riley, her best friend and sometime-mentor from a military boarding school they grew up in together. After disappearing for weeks, Riley returns with a surprising revelation on her whereabouts. Ellie and Riley sneak out of school for the last time, leading to a series of events that will forever change both of their lives. Left Behind features less combat than that of the main game, with the DLC focusing more on exploration and the narrative.

Honorable Mentions:The Western Front Armies (Company of Heroes 2), The Legend of Zelda (Mario Kart 8), Burial at Sea (BioShock Infinite)

 

Best New IP
Best New IP 2014 Titanfallwinner badge Titanfall

"Titanfall is a multiplayer first person shooter in the vein of Call of Duty. Does it live up to the hype? Yes. Is it the FPS revolution everyone was hoping it would be? Probably not. It all comes together superbly. It seems that almost every match something happens which I would describe as ‘awesome’, and that’s not a word I throw around lightly. There’s not a lot wrong with Titanfall, other than it not being the revolution some people were hoping for. If you’re bored of the standard multiplayer FPS formula, Titanfall might not hold much lasting appeal, but that doesn’t stop it from being a fantastic game." - Matt Porter

Honorable Mentions:Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, The Banner Saga, Sunset Overdrive

 

Most Improved Sequel
Most Improved Sequel 2014 Dragon Age: Inquisitionwinner badge Dragon Age: Inquisition

"Combat is a mixture of the mechanics from the previous two games in the series. This means there is tactical combat, from Origins, and the more action-orientated approach from the sequel. The merger between the action and tactical mechanics proves highly successful. This is not the only reason why combat is better balanced with the story. The density of enemy encounters is looser and battles can be circumvented or abandoned. You can dictate when and where the action occurs, largely because of the world design, and this is the biggest improvement for the combat." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions:Wolfenstein: The New Order, Risen 3: Titan Lords, Van Helsing II

 

Most Surprisingly Good Game
Most Surprisingly Good Game 2014 Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordorwinner badge Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

"Video games surrounding the lore of Middle-earth have always been hit or miss, with most falling in the latter category. But, Monolith Productions has created a new standard for Middle-earth games with Shadow of Mordor. The combat is gratifying, the visuals are gorgeous and the unique features such as the nemesis system combine to create a great action game experience. Fans of either the lore or action games should definitely take an interest in Shadow of Mordor." - Peter Hoey

Honorable Mentions:South Park: The Stick of Truth, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare

 

Most Disappointing Game
Most Disappointing game 2014 Assassin's Creed: Unity Assassin's Creed: Unity

"Unlike previous games, Unity doesn't really involve Arno in the historical events. The parkour does feel vastly improved when it works, but at the same time, there are many frustrating occasions where the game refuses to cooperate and flings our hero to his death, or right into a group of foes. The new engine also struggles noticeably in many areas, including wildly inconsistent visuals, unstable framerate, and various environmental and physics glitches. There are moments of excellence here, but the overall experience is very familiar and brings its own set of problems." - Alex V

Dishonorable Mentions:Destiny, Watch Dogs, Thief

 

Worst Sequel
Worst Sequel 2014 Thief Thief

"The gameplay is stiff, inorganic, and burdened by some truly underwhelming level design. Generally a mockery of the greatest positive features of the Thief series. The least you can say is that it's functional. Sound bugs, dodgy cutscenes, optimization issues and magical vanishing save files only serve to apply another layer of grime to an already-disappointing game. A poorly-designed outing that might, in another continuity where the previous Thief games never existed, have earned itself the heady accolade of 'barely average'. Unfortunately, we all know that it could be - and has been done - so much better." - David Will

Dishonorable Mentions:Grid Autosport, Assassin's Creed: Unity, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark

 

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