This year of gaming brought us the first full year of the next generation of consoles. It welcomed us new triple A 'IP's and worthy sequels. You could also call 2014 the year of broken games! I would need more than two hands to count how many games launched completely out of whack this year. Now these are all my opinions and I will only be talking about games I have actually played and can give an opinion about. So if I missed out on one of your favorite games this year, I give my apologize.
Let's start with my guilty pleasures of the year. Madden 15, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Assassin's Creed: Unity have all given me hundreds of hours of pure enjoyment. While these are all sequels, they absolutely squeezed new life into their respective franchises.
Madden 15 was a huge step up over the very mediocre Madden 25. Where its predecessor failed to be anything near "next-gen", Madden 15 picked up the slack and delivered a spectacular football game. From its overhauled presentation to its slick new graphics it's a joy to look at. It is also more in depth than ever in terms of gameplay. You can say that EA Sports actually made an effort this year.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is exactly what the doctor ordered. If you were looking for a reason to get back into the franchise, here it is. You think the franchise needed retooling or rebooted? Check. Advanced Warfare has change Call of Duty forever and it's hard to think about going back to a time before exo suits and double jumping. Not only is the multiplayer the best in the series since the original Modern Warfare, it boasts a great campaign.
Assassin's Creed: Unity was probably the worst reviewed Creed game since the third one, but I could not agree less with the final verdict. Unity is my favorite Creed game since the third! Maybe I'm just a sucker for bad Assassin's Creed Games. From its jaw dropping open world, its polished graphics, and stellar gameplay; there's a lot to like about Unity and it's a shame bugs and glitches ruined the experience for some. I on the other hand encountered none of those problems, my opinion was unswayed.
There were many new IP's this year hoping to kickstart a new franchise. Watch Dogs, Destiny, Titanfall, and Sunset Overdrive were all valiant efforts. None of these games particularly made excited at the possibility of a sequel though. Watch Dogs was a nice game, but did not really rock anyone's world. Titanfall was probably the most overrated game this year. People still lie to themselvesselves believing this is a "true next-gen" experience. It's not, it displays some of the worst graphics on the X-Box One and has very boring gameplay. Sunset Overdrive was a breath of fresh air but was not a game that kept you in its clutch longer than it took to beat the game.
Destiny was the only new IP I stuck my teeth into. While I did not have huge expectations for the game, I was still let down by all the promises made my Bungie. After I accepted its shortcomings, though, I was met with a fairly deep experience that married a somewhat open world shooter with very light RPG / MMO elements. I put about 50 hours into the game and had a great time with it. But its expansions would have to do a whole lot to get me to return to the world of Destiny.
Console exclusives were all the rage this year, especially on the Xbox. We had Infamous, Drive Club, and The Last of Us on PlayStation. With the Xbox releasing The Masterchief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, Titanfall, and Forza Horizons 2. Oddly enough Forza was the only excellent game out of the bunch and indeed was a true next gen experience. Infamous was also a fantastic game that took advantage of the PlayStation 4 even though it played things a little too safe. The Masterchief Collection was supposedly to be the second coming of Christ, but somehow 343 Studios manages to botch the release of the game. While the campaigns worked and were there, people wanted to play Halo's multiplayer, which did not work. Even till this day, nearly a month after release, it takes dozens of minutes to get into a match full of lag.
Farcry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition both released last last month. I have started both and am enjoying both. Far Cry is an awesome over the top open world FPS, while Dragon Age is an amazing piece of work that is unrivaled by any game on any platform. It's simply breathtaking to play. But since I'm only half way through Farcry and have only put half a dozen hours into Dragon Age, I think it's unfair to include these games into my final verdict. Although I can tell you Dragon Age will / is a top contender. I can not explain how good the game is even though I have not scratched the surface of it yet.
So out of all the games that released this year that I have beat and actually spent enough time with, my game of the year would be Destiny. Yes, it's kind of out of left field. Destiny is a game that so many people played including tons of my friends and I. It may not be groundbreaking or lived up to its promises, but it's fun to play. Whatever was was beating the campaign, doing raids, or playing Crucible, I had a blast with it. I may not feel the need to go back to the game, but I respect the time I had with it.
Now to my real game of the year. Out of all the games that released this year and all the hours spent on dozens of these new games, there was one game I found myself returning to. Battlefield 4 released in October of 2013, but it is the game I played the most and have had a blast with. I platinumed its mediocre campaign and have mastered its deep multiplayer (which is what keeps me coming back). I'm in a clan and we play all the time! Also with the release of map packs every couple months, I can not help but return to the battlefield. Battlefield 4 is a cop out pick, but I'm just being honest. It's the game I played most in 2014, putting over 400 hours into the game.