As the existence of this post proves, the obsessive side of my personality always drove me to have a soft spot for the acts of cataloguing and making lists. That's exactly why, when the end of the years gets near, I give up everything productive that I could be doing and instead start playing all the games that I missed during the rest of the year. The goal is simple: being able to list all my favourite games of the year in an orderly and popularly accepted matter, meaning a yearly top ten.
This year I surprisingly ended up playing almost everything that has been released, missing only Wolfenstein: The New Order and Assassin's Creed Unity amongst the major releases (and while I hear great things of the former, I doubt I would have ever appreciated the latter, having been bored with the franchise since Assassin's Creed 2), and having played basically every indie with lots of "buzz" around (plus a handful of hidden gems). Naturally "playing everything" is a utopian concept, but this year I feel pretty satisfied with my "playing habits".
Talking about things I feel satisfied with, this year has actually been pretty cool for games (and I'm wilfully ignoring all the toxicity stemming from stuff like gamergate, because, putting it bluntly, fuck them). We had a bunch of pretty decent "triple A" games like Alien: Isolation and Dragon Age: Inquisition, some flawed works that show lots of potential like Shovel Knight and Gods Will Be Watching, and generally a lot of really good stuff. I'd say that it was a year with lots of "pretty good" games, but without any kind of "excellence", but then there's my "game of the year" that disproves that claim in any kind of way. So... yeah, lots of good games.
Now before we start, some ground rules (because, as games teach us, rules are FUN):
- I use European release dates to determine what came out in 2014
- I don't consider portings and "HD editions" as new releases (Ryse, for example, is still a 2013 game for me, despite coming on PC in 2014)
- I consider episodic game to come out in the year in which their last episode is released (And that's why Kentucky Route Zero is not on the list)
- No early access games (apart from Crypt of the Necrodancer, but I have reasons! I swear!)