Thoughts on Games of 2014

1. Destiny - This game wasn't for everyone, but I certainly felt that it was for me. I have never spent more time with any game than I have with this one, and I just adore the gameplay mechanics and art direction. The game has some design flaws and structure issues, but I think those flaws give it a certain character. This is just barely my GOTY, but it was a very close call between this one and...

2. Dragon Age Inquisition - I'm an unabashed fanboy of everything related to this series, and this game is pretty much anything and everything I could have expected or hoped it would be. The sense of scope is unparalleled in any game I've ever played (including Bethesda stuff), the characters are well written, the world is beautiful and a pleasure to explore, the story is engaging, and the systems are well implemented and widely customizable.

3. Forza Horizon 2 - "Skyrim with cars" is how I think I can best explain this game. Breathtaking visuals, a fun campaign, a leveling structure, and a lot of good reasons to explore the open-world in a wide variety of licensed vehicles. It took everything I liked about something like Burnout Paradise (probably my racer of choice for the last generation) and amplified it in refreshing, engaging new directions. This game is reason alone to own an Xbox One, even if you don't consider yourself a fan of the mainline Forza series.

4. Shovel Knight - I feel like the recent "retro rebirth" movement of the past decade or so was more or less perfected in this game. Perfect controls, gorgeous sprite work, killer soundtrack, and exceedingly well designed, scalable difficulty.

5. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - The expansion and all the updates that came with it (new loot system, end of auction house, challenges, etc.) have catapulted the already-exceptional Diablo III into the upper echelon of my favorite games of all time. I am itching to try the console version at some point, but the PC version is now clicky perfection.

Honorable Mention:

Titanfall - fighting people online in giant mechs never gets old, and the sense of movement and firepower in this game is really something to experience.

Best iOS game: The Sailor's Dream - Simogo's games are consistently a cut above the rest of what's on mobile