The overall best fit
[Image credit: Mike Lambert]
I’ve long been of the opinion that the relationship between a person and a videogame is similar to the relationship between a person and another living being. It’s part of why you see people fiercely defend their favorite games, like they would their friends or family. It’s undeniable — we form two way relationships with these things. I first picked up on that back when Little Computer People launched on the Commadore 64, though the idea didn’t really solidify in my mind until Nintendogs was released on the Nintendo DS.
The idea of reviewing a videogame like it is a static, concrete product is similar to the idea of reviewing a person via some testing method or other wholly “objective” assessment tool. It can’t ever be totally accurate. There will always be some subjectivity in there. More so, trying to diminish the importance of the personal relationship between two things, be they a game and person or a person and a person, causes you to bypass the most interesting stuff. We can’t ever completely separate our unique perspectives from out assessment of videogames, so why not embrace them?
That’s what we did with this year’s Game of the Year Awards. While we worked to do a some analysis on why the world design, multiplayer design, mechanics, and narrative design of various games were particularly impressive in 2014, the truth is we don’t really understand why we love certain games, just like we don’t always understand why we love certain people. We just do. They fit with our brains and make us feel right.
Here are some of the games we loved the most in 2014. Don’t forget to vote for yours!
- Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes
- Alien Isolation
- Bayonetta 2
- Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
- Dark Souls 2
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- Dragon Age: Inquisition
- Far Cry 4
- Kentucky Route Zero 3
- Shovel Knight
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
- The Wolf Among Us
[NOTE: Re-releases of games that contain minimal new content, incomplete products like Steam Early Access titles, and episodic titles that are not fair to asses as stand alone experiences were not eligible for this year’s awards. Due to time constraints, games released in December 2014 were also not eligible.]