Top games of 2014


Jake Roach, Staff Reporter


5. “Darks Souls II”

Finally. That’s all I can say. The Souls series has been begging for a quality PC port since Demon Souls dropped on PS3, and now it’s here. Unlike the port of the first Dark Souls, Dark Souls II makes the game comfortable to play with a keyboard and mouse which, as I’ve since learned, is the ideal way to play this game.

Other than the huge improvement on controls, the game serves to improve in other areas as well. The areas are absolutely gorgeous which is too be expected, but the environments feel more open and evoke a sense of wonder mixed beautifully with dread, giving a bleak, but hopeful outlook to your character.

4. “Payday 2 (Hotline Miami DLC)”

I know I’m kind of cheating here since Payday 2 came out in 2013, and you all already know how I feel about Payday. Despite the inconvenient release of this game that it can’t be included on this list, one DLC can.

For those who don’t know, Hotline Miami is an ultra violent, top down, beat ‘em up. The game looks and sounds like an overly medicated psychopath is running the streets. This contrasts a lot with the very “grey” appearance of Payday. The game is very modern and realistic, so it was to the surprise of many when a DLC based on Hotline Miami was announced.

The DLC has less of a story then the rest of the game, but it is so fun. Being able to see a 2D world come to life with the engine Payday 2 is ran is amazing. I have just planned this mission over and over again and still am not sick of it.

3. “The Talos Principle”

This one is little more of an unknown despite being one of favorite games this year. The Talos Principle takes the first-person puzzle idea from Portal and infuses it with a deep plot rooted in philosophy. Although the plot is confusing and a lot of the events don’t make sense in the beginning, the game still has great puzzles and great gameplay. Never do the puzzles feel clunky of broken and although many times I was scratching my head over them, never did they feel impossible.

The Talos Principle finds the perfect balance that needs to be achieved within puzzle games, the balance of difficulty. I was always entertained with the story, with the side plots, and of course, the incredible puzzles.

2. “South Park: The Stick of Truth”

Anything South Park becoming my favorite thing ever is no surprise. I love the show, and further more, I love the universe. Matt Stone and Trey Parker (the creators of South Park) have achieved a perfectly over the top satirical world. So when this game was announced, I was excited.

There is one reason why this game works so well and that’s the fact that it feels like an episode of the show. The humor is perfect, with jokes being delivered with precision instead of feeling clunky. Match that with a decently balanced combat system, interesting upgrade tree, and multiple side quests and you have a solid RPG that achieves depth while still maintaining simplicity.
There was never a moment I wasn’t nearly falling out of my chair with laughter, and feeling like I actually was part of the world I was playing in.

1. “Shovel Knight”

For anyone who has looked into the best games of 2014, Shovel Knight has undoubtedly shown up. I’d had to rehash the same game that everyone else has praised, but it’s simply because it deserves it. Given the fact that Shovel Knight was completely crowd funded, having no financial support from a major studio, the game still delivers a huge experience.

The genre of 8-bit style platformers is grossly over-saturated, with Shovel Knight just appearing like a mere bandwagon addition. However, even in a genre that has been dead for years, the game feels fresh. I’ve played a lot of platformers and they feel like old games. Shovel Knight doesn’t. It delivers a modern experience with a retro look, taking influence from countless classic games, giving fond memory of “Mega Man”, “Metroid”, and “Castlevania”.
Generally I’d go for an epic for the game of the year, not a $14.99 one-off platformer, but I just couldn’t deny that I had the most fun with Shovel Knight this year, and that’s why I think it’s the best game of 2014.