Here are my top 5 games from 2014. These 5 are the ones that hit a spot when playing that many of the other games did not. These are my opinions, so you may not agree with them and that's ok!
#1 Bravely Default - 3DS
Bravely Default is my number one for 2014. It was a taste of the old world when it comes to RPGs. It took what was great about turned based and improved upon it. Lots of customization with 25 classes that can be mixed and matched. A large variety of weapons and skill and items were available too. The music, water painted backgrounds, and character models all had a sense of style. The story and characters were interesting and most importantly fun to watch.
Even though it was great it still had some flaws. The brave and default system was a little tedious and hard mode wasn't really an interesting kind of hard. However, those are personal gripes more than bad design.
#2 Dark Souls II - PC
Dark Souls II takes the second spot on my list. While this game is frustrating it was able to captivate me for over a hundred hours. Most games that upset me from terrible controls, mechanics, etc will have me putting down the controller before the 10 minute mark. Dark Souls II didn't live up to it's predecessor in Story and Lore but it did outpace it in combat and mechanics. Improvements to great weapons and equipment balancing was very noticeable. It was a lot easier to make it through the game with various playstyles and weapon types. Graphically it had that gritty dark vibe that reminded me all too much of Berserk (a good thing). The music at the right moments was awesome and helped to really put you in the magic circle.
Sadly Dark Souls did fall short in a few places such as Multiplayer still being a bit of a lag fest (not really the developers fault) and Soul Memory kind of breaking the whole idea of balanced fights via invasions. I kind of wish characters had more details when it comes to interaction, no lip sync in this day and age for a AAA title seems kind of weird (again, my person gripes). Last but not least, the remastered version, so far, is not being given to owners of the game for at LEAST a discount.
#3 Titanfall - PC
Titanfall makes it into the #3 slot. I'm going to get my grump off the table now. The game was multiplayer, that is great. However the main story felt very shallow, very stiff, and not well executed. I had my epic moments in the cut-scenes but I would have rather seen a large scale incorporation of the main story rather than a "separate rails multiplayer."
On the bright side this shooter was beautiful. It was a great leap over the bland CoD and BF games that people keep eating up. The connection between Pilot and Mech was seamless and felt amazing. Guns, perks, etc. felt extremely balanced from the get go. The game looked great, sounded great and played great. I give Respawn props on their first game and I would love to see where they go from here. They are definitely one of the companies I would enjoy working for.
#4 Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes - PC
Yes, I realize MGSV:GZ was a single mission wonder. I was surprised when I saw the credits and I instantly knew what the game was. It was a taste of the game to come, an interactive trailer of the Fox Engine and MGS V. I was not mad, I was excited to see how far Hideo Kojima and his team of Ninja coders, artists and amazing staff have gone. For $13 on sale via Steam it was totally worth the money. Easter eggs and story were available via the extra missions and there was a lot you could just play around with. Another Dream job would be working with the man himself at Kojima Productions, there is no limit to the potential.
#5 The Banner Saga - PC
The Banner Saga takes #5. I don't normally play games like this but the art and music pulled me in. The turn based combat looked interesting so I thought I would give it a shot. The amazing part about this game is the first time you play through it. It truly is an experience because the choices you make have real consequences. That alone made it worth the money. The setting and lore made that feel right and I wasn't upset when characters I had been working on died to a cliff or were stabbed in the back by a trusted ally.
My only gripe is combat. The fact that a characters damage is tied to their health made strategy kind of...weird. Perhaps it was my choices but I always seemed to be outnumbered greatly by enemies that had huge health counts and armor. I could never really get my characters leveled up because renown was being spent on supplies or I just wasn't getting any. So combat usually ended with all but 1 person down and a lot of times they were all taken out.
This concludes my list for 2014. I didn't get much console gaming in this year as I've been sticking to a lot of steam sales and enjoying the games I already own when I can. I have great expectations for 2015 and I feel like it may be the start of a new age. One where the big boys get their heads of of their ass and the little guys stop being a bunch of raging babies!
Let's make games, play games and have fun!