The past year has been a bumpy ride for the video game industry with campaigns like GamerGate and the slew of buggy games that came out in the fall. However, five games did stand out in 2014 and they deserve to be recognized as titles that defined the year.
Number five on this list is an independent game that was funded by Kickstarter and is praised as one of the best platforms in recent years. “Shovel Knight” is inspired by the likes of “Mega Man”, “Duck Tales” and “Super Mario Bros. 3”. The 8-bit style of “Shovel Knight” almost instantly evokes nostalgia. The game does have some innovative mechanics to make it stand out on its own, like the ability to destroy checkpoints for money. The gameplay is tight; the music is well done and the fact that this game was funded by people who wanted to see the game come to fruition is to be admired. “Shovel Knight” deserves this slot for being a game changer in the industry as a whole.
Next, we have another indie game, this time with amazing jazz and cyberpunk music and amazing gameplay. “Transistor” follows a singer named Red who lost her voice and a long talking sword called the Transistor. In a dystopian cyberpunk world, Red must find out what happened during the event that caused her to lose her voice and why the city is empty. The look and sound of the game are beautiful, similar to previous game from Supergiant Games, “Bastion”. Gameplay can take a more action-oriented approach with four available functions that can be customized or can be more tactical with the ability to stop time and plan out attacks. With the innovative combat, a deep story and presentation that rivals AAA games, “Transistor” deserves the number four spot.
In the middle of the list is “Dragon Age: Inquisition”. Nobody expected “Dragon Age: Inquisition” to be bad, but the game blew expectations out of the water. While the graphics may not be the best they could be, the wealth of content and character in the game is undeniable. Building an inquisition and sealing portals to the demon realm may be the main plot, but with several people to join in your party and multiple ways to build your character, both in appearance and personality, it is no wonder why “Dragon Age: Inquisition” is on this list.
The runner up on this list is an Xbox One exclusive that took a third person shooter and cranked the insanity meter up to 11. “Sunset Overdrive” not only provides a gorgeous and expansive open world in Sunset City that has been overrun by mutants, but funny and overly stereotypical characters and dialogue that is almost sure to get a laugh. The weapons range from typical guns like an AK-47 to the absurd like a vinyl disc shooter or The Dude: a gun that shoots bowling balls. The city has rails to grind and cars to bounce on, so the game is fast-paced and exciting. “
Finally, the best game of 2014 is “Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U”. Not only did this fourth iteration provide gamers with a reason to buy a Wii U, it gave those with the console something else to buy: amiibo. These toys can be used with the Wii U to save customizable characters and transfer them from console to console. Also, the game is fun to play, adding characters like Little Mac and Mega Man. The ability to play online almost seamlessly and with 8 players at the same time gave the ability for more people to join in on the fun. Nintendo has given gamers many great games to play in 2014, and “Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U” is the best this year from the platform.