The VG247 staff pick their favourite games of the year – did that one with the space guns make the cut?
You’ve already told us your games of the year and it was a very impressive top 10.
So now it’s the turn of the VG247 crew, because believe it or not, we also play games for our own pleasure. We each pick three games of the year and then make wild statements about why they are VERY IMPORTANT and why YOU SHOULD GIVE A SHIT.
Patrick Garratt, publisher
Considering Hearthstone is “just” a card-battler, Blizzard’s latest IP caused an enormous stir this year. Not only did it flatten Magic’s status in the genre with all the grace of a Tyson hook, but it signaled Blizzard’s arrival on the mobile scene with a superb tablet version. Hearthstone may be a simple concept, but its importance shouldn’t be understated.
A game as playable as anything else Blizzard has ever released, Hearthstone is unequivocal proof that free-to-play doesn’t have to be evil. Everyone I know has at least tried it. I have personally played this game for many, many hours, and have hopelessly addicted hardcore gamer friends. A lot of people play Hearthstone a great deal.
I was half-and-half. I loved it, and I have spent money on Hearthstone, but a flatness in the formula stopped my regular play. But, regardless, it’s one of 2014’s most significant releases, and one I doubt I’ll ever delete from my hard drive.
“How anyone can not look back on the middling review scores they pulled out of the air less than a week after release and not be interminably embarrassed is beyond me”
Destiny is an amazing, controversial game. When its elements correctly tessellate, it’s a unique shooting experience capable of dragging millions of people through the same instances hundreds, thousands of times. Seeing Destiny as anything less than a phenomenal achievement is literally wrong. That is an objective statement.
I’ve said it before, but Destiny’s second-to-second shooting is the most engaging and balanced I have ever seen. How anyone can not look back on the middling review scores they pulled out of the air less than a week after release and not be interminably embarrassed is beyond me.
I dropped 50 hours on it like small change, but that wall beyond level 25 was just too much for me. It’d be easy to say I’d still be playing every night if not for the new-gen GTA release, but that wouldn’t be true. I stopped because grinding unchanging content over dozens of increasingly difficult dailies and Strikes became dull. Destiny blew my mind, but there are only so many times I can listen to Dinklebot say exactly the same thing at exactly the same point in exactly the same mission. Something had to give.
I’m sure I’ll return in the future, but, as incredible as it is, I’m done for now. So there’s no GOTY tick from me.
- Grand Theft Auto 5
GTA 5 is my game of the year. I knew it was good – you can’t really sell 34 million copies of a bad game – but an investment of over 150 hours in both the Story mode and GTA Online has shown me a depth of vision and breadth of scope that has, in my experience, no equal. I’m not even close to stopping playing. No, of course it isn’t perfect, but it’s still the most obvious top-score game I’ve seen in recent years.
Many major franchises are capable of surviving hardware leaps, but there’s only one able to span generations with a single game. That Rockstar was confident enough to launch the same title on advanced hardware only a year after the initial release, first-person cameras and a breathtaking visual boost included, is testament to the apparently unshakeable pole position of the publisher, the mythical development skills of Rockstar North and, of course, GTA 5 itself. The new-gen launches were a watershed console event, and I’ve no doubt we’ll see similar activity surrounding the PC release early next year.
While the upgrades are yet to truly take effect – as highlighted by disappointing matchmaking in GTA Online’s new versions – claiming GTA 5 isn’t one of the greatest pieces of interactive software ever made is in the same area as climate change denial. You must buy it. This is a must-own video game. My winner of 2014.
Next: Brenna bleats on about her top 3.