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7:00 PM on 01.01.2015

Here are all of Destructoid's Game of the Year 2014 editorials

With so much to organize and help put together, I didn't get a chance to do my own personal Game of the Year list for 2014. It's probably for the best, as picking favorites games is very difficult for me. It's like picking fa...

Jonathan Holmes

11:00 PM on 12.31.2014

Mr Andy Dixon's top 10 games I played drunk in 2014

Confession #1: I don't play a lot of videogames. Confession #2: The ones I do play, I play drunk. Huh huh. Number two do do. Here are the games I liked the best this year, and what I was drinking when I played them.

mrandydixon

7:00 PM on 12.31.2014

2014: I want to make love to you. Seriously.

[Enter the anti-Badger. --Mr Andy Dixon] Note: The Wombat could be anyone -- a Destructoid community member, a gaemz jurnalizmer, even some random Dutch guy. They could be just one person or Legion. You'll probably never find...

TheWombat



Laura Dale's attempt to nail down some Game of the Year 2014 winners photo
Laura Dale's attempt to nail down some Game of the Year 2014 winners
by Laura Kate Dale

It's that wonderful time of year again where I'm expected to sum up my thoughts on an entire year of videogames in one digestible list of what was objectively best and what I enjoyed subjectively in various categories. It's time to take all the videogames I loved and pit them against one another, forcing them to fight to the death until one one comes out as an award winner. 

You know what? Screw that! Everything I loved is getting an award this year, even if it's horribly flawed and objectively worse than something else it would normally be up against. These are my Game of the Year picks, all my weird tastes are getting the awards they deserve. Let's do this, these awards are totes legit.

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GOTY 2014: Best evidence that we should go full communism  photo
GOTY 2014: Best evidence that we should go full communism
by Steven Hansen

I'm back, baby!

You thought Steven Hansen's Destructoid's 2014 GOTY awards were done at three, come sambuca con la mosca? That we want health, happiness, and prosperity, rather than four (death)? We're up all night to get unlucky my friends. And to drink a bottle of Chartreuse so that our New Year's Eve vomit looks like Ecto Cooler Hi-C and the Streets of San Francisco run green with ghost spume.

I believe it was communist philosophers Groucho Marx and John Lennon who said, "The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas," and that's, like, so true! A distanced citizenry treated as targets (consumers) versus an engaged citizenry treated as co-conspirators and friendos can lead to anti-consumer practices. That's why the open nature of crowd funding and early access development has been big this year, as invested fans have helped bear titles that did not need mass market appeal. Sometimes you can use a little help from your friendos, because we're all in this together, man. 

Invisible Inc. is das kapital example of Early Access success and the winner of the Steven Hansen's Destructoid's 2014 GOTY award for Best evidence that we should go full communism. It is, by a wide margin, the game I have played most this year, and it's not even "finished." And, hey, maybe it sits on the wrong side of its tekno-Cold War-era aesthetic (the English-speaking side), but that angular 2D art and XCOM-like turn-based stealth are fresher than you might think given I just used a 20-year-old game as a reference point. Seriously, though. Turn-based stealth. It's amazing. 

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Alessandro Fillari's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014 photo
Alessandro Fillari's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014
by Alessandro Fillari

What a ride 2014 has been, right? There's definitely been a few ups and downs for everyone, including some that wanted to get their last licks before the year closes out. Still, we got to see some pretty exciting titles released, some that delivered and others not so much. Regardless of what your feelings are of the games, you can't deny that we've had plenty to play this year. So with that, I've decided to take a shot at talking about my noteworthy, standout, and otherwise memorable games of this year.

I'm not particularly fond of doing a full ten list, even though I've got plenty to say about the year's offerings -- so I've taken a cue from John Cusack and brought things down to a nice list of five. Though five is an odd number, the shorter length will make it easier for me to focus on what really stood out as my favorites. I've also included some minor categories and other noteworthy picks from the year, as my big hope is that you'll get to see some games you might have missed, or even think of others in a new way.

So with that, here are my standout picks for games released in 2014.

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Patrick Hancock's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014 photo
Patrick Hancock's personal picks for Game of the Year 2014
by Patrick Hancock

What a magical year this was! It's hard coming up with a GOTY list, especially if you force yourself to pick only 10. That's why I didn't, I picked as many as I needed to! It's thirteen; I picked thirteen games. 

There would probably be even more if I had played some of the games I really wanted to. But hey! Splitting time between fun and work is part of life, and it's a part we all strive to perfect. So anyway, here's the only list that matters this year: mine.

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1:00 PM on 12.31.2014

Adam Tierney's favorite games of 2014

[Game developer Adam Tierney took to our Community Blogs to share his short list of 2014 favorites. Want to share your own GOTY stories? Go write something! --Mr Andy Dixon] Hey Destructoid! I'm Adam Tierney, a videogame desi...

AdamTierney

7:00 PM on 12.29.2014

Destructoid's Game of the Year 2014 Community Choice Award!

What a wild year it's been for us gamers. In spite of all the insanity this industry inevitably attracts, when we look back on everything that has happened over the last 12 months, I think there's one thing we can all agree o...

mrandydixon



Brittany Vincent's random assortment of Game of the Year 2014 picks photo
Brittany Vincent's random assortment of Game of the Year 2014 picks
by Brittany Vincent

I'm not entirely sure what year it is. Is it 2015? That's what I keep hearing around the internet. I'm pretty sure it's still 2014, at least for a few more days though. Who can be sure in tumultuous times like these?

Anyway, I can barely remember what I did yesterday or what happened on the last episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show I watched before the holiday break. So it's probably superfluous to attempt to recall every single game I played this year and rank how much I enjoyed each one.

So here's an attempt at diving deep into the dozens of games I played this year. I'm pretty sure I enjoyed a lot of them, but Wikipedia is failing me and GoDaddy doesn't save the changes sent to the server when I save my "recent articles" page on my portfolio hosted on WordPress, so I'm not even really sure what all came out this year. But I know which one was my favorite. It's Bayonetta 2, actually, because it's the only game I favored over sleep. And when I'm nearly fetishizing sleep at this point in my life and a game can hold my attention so long that I'll forgo resting in order to strike down just one more boss and get maybe 3.5 hours of sleep for my day job, it's something special.

So yeah, my games of 2014. Y'all betta werk.

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Destructoid's award for Overall Best Game of 2014 goes to... photo
Destructoid's award for Overall Best Game of 2014 goes to...
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

Why do we love videogames? Some say it's the escapism, or the ability to wrap you up in a story that you get to help tell as it's being told to you. Others say it's the way they can bring friends together, or occupy your mind with interesting mechanics to master and problems to solve. 

The truth is though, no one really knows why we love videogames so much. When you truly connect with something, be it a song, a movie, a game, or another person, it's not always easy to put the feeling into words. When asked "How do you know when it's love," legendary rock and roll group Van Halen responded with the unhelpful axiom "I can't tell you but it lasts forever." If Van Halen couldn't explain love, then how the heck are we supposed to? 

We may not be able to explain why we love games, but we sure as spit can talk about which ones we love the most. We saw a lot of write-in votes here, for games like Bravely Default, Hyrule Warriors, Grimrock 2, inFamous: Second Son, Tomodachi Life, and a bunch of others that we talked about in the Mechanics, World Design, Multiplayer Design, and Narrative Design award announcements earlier this week. In the end, the top four games came within arm's reach of each other. Dark Souls II came in fourth, Shovel Knight beat it out for third. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U just barely missed the top spot, landing in second. 

The winner is a true Cinderella story of gaming, which I will likely gush about in the paragraphs to follow. Before we get into that, be sure to vote in our reader's poll. It's democracy in action.

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The award for Best World Design of 2014 goes to... photo
The award for Best World Design of 2014 goes to...
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

Growing up, a lot of kids I knew liked to try to sound grown up by saying they played videogames "for the story". Maybe they had adapted the phrase from the adults they saw on TV who said they read Playboy magazine "for the articles". Regardless, the stories in the games they loved were often terrible, and they weren't the only ones. I'm not one to point fingers. There was a time when this was some of my favorite storytelling ever, in gaming or otherwise. 

So why are we so enthralled with bad stories? I can only speak for myself when I say that the world crafting in a game can often compensate for failings in narrative. When we watch a good movie or read a good book, effective storytelling can transport us to other worlds. A game doesn't need to rely on storytelling to do that. Instead, we can skip over the storytelling part through methods unique to gaming as a medium, planting us directly into their worlds through techniques that we're still learning to truly understand.  

This year in videogames brought many amazing worlds to life. The write-in votes for this category, including Tomodachi Life, Shovel Knight, Broken Age: Act 1, Bayonetta 2, Hohokum, and Extrasolar are about as varied a bunch of games as you could expect to see. That came across in the voting as well, where our staff's preferences were on full display. One staff member would give nearly every vote to South Park, where another would place the game at the bottom of the barrel. In the end, we had yet another three way tie for third place between Valiant Hearts, Five Nights at Freddy's, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. That left two games to fight it out, Bravely Default and Alien: Isolation, with just a vote between them deciding the winner. Read on to find out who came out on top, and don't forget to vote in our reader's poll on the way out

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The winner of Destructoid's Best Narrative Design of 2014 is... photo
The winner of Destructoid's Best Narrative Design of 2014 is...
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

Any game can use cut scenes to tell a great story. That trick was impressive back when CD-ROMs were cutting-edge technology. Today, the expectation for story-focused games is to work towards interweaving narrative techniques into every aspect of the design. Videogames can do so much more than pure linear storytelling devices like text or film. The best Narrative Design award is Destructoid's way of acknowledging the games that best proved that in 2014. 

Telltale had two games nominated this year. Neither won the award, though they didn't do half bad either. The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead Season 2 found a place next to Broken Age: Act 1, Either One, and Dragon Age: Inquisition near the middle of the pack. Notable write-in votes include The Talos Principal, The Banner Saga, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Danganropa 2, Civilization: Beyond Earth, 80 Days, Wasteland 2, and Valiant Hearts, among others.

In what some would call a Christmas miracle, two games got the exact same amount of votes to win, making them Prom King and Queen of this year's best Narrative Design award ceremony. I know a lot of people hate ties, but I love them, so I'm going to embrace it. Sometimes two things are equally successful, standing side by side with their own important roles to fill. It's hard for me to find anything not to like about that. If you don't feel the same, go on and vote in our Reader's GOTY poll and make your tie-hating voice heard. The two winners of today's best narrative design award will be waiting for you below when you get back. 

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The award for Best Game Mechanics of 2014 goes to... photo
The award for Best Game Mechanics of 2014 goes to...
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

The idea behind the best mechanics category is to highlight games that you'd love to play even if they had stick-figure graphics, no multiplayer, no music, and no story. Some of them may be filled with complex operations. Others may be simple one-button affairs. Regardless, these are games that keep you coming back again and again, hoping to get all the parts to fit together just a little bit better each time.  

The votes were really all over the place here. Games that I figured had a good chance of taking the top spot like Sunset Overdrive and Geometry Wars 3 were beat out by write-ins like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, The Castle Doctrine and Divinity: Original Sin. Other surprise staff nominations like Wolfenstein: The New Order, Xeodrifter, Road Not Taken, Mario Kart 8, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Bravely Default, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Xenonauts, Mercenary Kings, Freedom Wars, Destiny, and Infamous: Second Son didn't do quite as well, but regardless, the message is clear: the Destructoid staff plays a lot of different kinds of games strictly for the mechanics. 

There was also a three-way tie for third place in this category, between three games that couldn't be much more different. In the end, Bayonetta 2, Octodad, and Shovel Knight all tied for the bronze medal in this particular popularity contest. Now that's a three-way crossover I'd pay top dollar for. With those games down, only OlliOlli and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor remained. Keep reading to see which one landed on top, and don't forget to vote in our Reader's Poll for your favorite game of 2014

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Rust Cohle's GOTY games for 2014 photo
Rust Cohle's GOTY games for 2014
by Rust Cohle Games

Another year, another series of GOTY lists fueled by fanboyism and cognitive dissonance. We all know the AAA games get their fair share of nods and stick shakes. That's why I'm here to tell the world what my GOTY games are for 2014.

Not that it matters; we're all living in our own linear perceptions, anyway. Our ideals, biases, telling us right and wrong. All I can give is a taste of what my mind perceives to be true.

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The winner of Destructoid's Best Multiplayer Design of the year is... photo
The winner of Destructoid's Best Multiplayer Design of the year is...
by Jonathan Holmes

[Image credit: Mike Lambert]

Counting up the votes for Dtoid's Best Multiplayer Design was exciting. I had no idea how the voting would go. Big games like Destiny, Titanfall, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare didn't do half as well as you might have expected In fact, Advanced Warfare got just as many votes as small-but-scrappy titles like Sportsball and 1001 Spikes. Nidhogg and Sportsfriends managed to beat the lot of them though, landing near the middle of the ranks.

Sadly, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare didn't do so hot, though I chalk that up in part to the fact that not a ton of our staff have played it yet. On the other hand, it was nice to see a strong showing from write-ins like Samurai Gunn, Octodad, Divinity: Original Sin, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Screencheat, Crawl, Cannon BrawlGang Beasts, Mercenary Kings, Hearthstone, Magicka Wizard, and GTA Online.

In the end, it was down to three big games: Towerfall: Ascension, Mario Kart 8, and Smash Bros. for Wii U. Keep reading to find out which title won, and don't forget to vote in the Reader Poll!

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