It's that time of year again where blogs give countdowns of the best everything of the year. There's no exception here on night.coffee, so here is a list of my favorite games that were released in 2014. They're not necessarily the best games of 2014, but they were games I enjoyed the most.
5. Towerfall Ascension
Towerfall Ascension, coming to the PS4 (and Steam) from it's humble beginnings on the Ouya platform (as plain old Towerfall) marks a return to local cooperative gameplay in a big way. I can't tell you how much fun it has been to play Towerfall with my co-workers after the day is done.
The gameplay is fast-paced, casual-friendly, and just plain fun. If you're familiar with other platform fighters like Super Smash Brothers, you'll understand how this game works: A number of players get together on the same screen and use their weapons, various power-ups, and debuffs to slay everyone else. It's just great.
4. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Blizzard struck gold (again) with this game. It's a digital collectible card game with mechanics easy to understand and follow (unlike the aging and arguably bloated Magic: The Gathering). The graphics, sound, and music are engaging, and playing with other people online is not intimidating at all the way the matchmaking is set up.
There's a ton of strategy and an ever-shifting metagame to learn, but it's more accessible than a lot of the competition.
3. Skylanders: Trap Team
Being a parent gamer with a child gamer, inevitably a kid's game is going to catch your interest. Skylanders is one of them for me. It's the fourth iteration of the Skylanders series, and in my opinion, it is the best.
It works with all previous Skylanders figures, including the newest "trap masters" with the ability to trap the bad guys in the game into traps to be used by the player throughout the game. Sure, it's a bit gimmicky, but that's the entire appeal. This is a game of gimmicks. But they work.
The game itself is a platformer, and it is deceptively easy. You can burn through it quick but it is pretty replayable in order to get all the items, acheivements, unlockables, and whatnot.
My only complaint with this game is that by now we have a collection of figures that pretty much requires its own curio cabinet.
2. Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2
The Bioshock series has captivated me from the beginning. It's all about the story, too. There's something about the air of mystery, subtext, ideas of multiple universes and infinite possibilities, etc. Like the TV series Fringe, Bioshock Infinite has pretty much blown my mind.
Burial at Sea Episode 2, while not the strongest of the series, gets the #2 spot since we get more time to play in Rapture and finally get to see the conclusion to this epic tale. Whether or not you like the ending, you have to admit it is quite a ride to get there.
1. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
Pokémon ORAS is a remake of the Generation 3 titles Ruby and Sapphire, which I also played. You'd think a remake couldn't possibly be that exciting, but these are not just remakes. It's more of a re-imaging of the story in ways it would be a spoiler to talk more about.
I've spent nearly 200 hours on Alpha Sahppire alone, finishing the main story in about 10 and spending the rest of my time hunting legendaries and shinies, breeding up battle-ready pokémon, trading with others, and battling other trainers. Besides World of Warcraft and Minecraft, the Gen 6 titles of Pokémon are the only games to suck me and in keep me consistently coming back every day to play it.
So there's my top five of the year. What's on your list?