Telltale Games

The 25 Best Video Games of 2014
The 25 Best Video Games of 2014

10

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

Whether playing on 3DS or Wii U (or both simultaneously, which is possible), the fourth iteration of Super Smash Bros. will presumably, and rightfully, be deemed one of the greatest fighting games of all time. Masahiro Sakurai and his compatriots at Sora Ltd. have accomplished something truly magical here: They’ve finally created a game that can literally be played forever, avoiding entering an obsolete state if downloadable content and software updates continue to be released. The sheer amount of customization, collectibles, and modes of play are more than just ostentatious fan service; they’re characteristics of a product that was constructed with tremendous care and attention to detail. Where else could you witness or take part in a colossal eight-player donnybrook between the medium’s most famous mascots in glorious, spotless HD? Mario backing Nintendo, Sonic representing Sega, Pac-Man for Atari, and more have been tossed into the grandest of matchups made possible by the most balanced assemblage of stages and combatants to grace a brawler in recent memory.  LeChevallier

The 25 Best Video Games of 2014

9

LittleBigPlanet 3

The thing about LittleBigPlanet 3 is that it defies encapsulation. It isn’t just adorable. Or just a platformer. It’s like a Turing machine in that it’s an object that potentially contains all other objects, thanks to its ability to recreate (in sack-puppet and cardboard-cutout form) just about anything that floats your fancy. If you’ve always wondered what Death of a Salesman would be like as a video game, you can build it. If you’ve long thought that any game would be much improved if it had Portal in it, you can put it to the test. It’s hard to imagine anyone growing bored of LittleBigPlanet, since there’s always some entirely new device being cooked up right around the corner, whether that involves constructing a roller-coaster course for Sackboy’s hook helmet to latch onto or building a nightmarish, spike-lined death trap for Swoop to attempt to fly through.  Riccio

The 25 Best Video Games of 2014

8

P.T.

Both Guillermo del Toro and Hideo Kojima were quick to mention when P.T.’s big secret was out that it was little more than a warning shot, a living statement of intent for the next Silent Hill, and that the game we’ll get in a few years won’t be directly tied to this in any way. If P.T. is little more than a high-water mark Kojima and del Toro set for themselves, then wish them luck if they want to top what is the most aggressively fierce assertion of pure horror in an interactive medium. Each run around P.T.’s unsettling Moebius strip of a house brings something new, something unknowable, something unpredictable, and something unforgettably malevolent. This isn’t horror you kill with a shotgun. This isn’t a place you negotiate with. This is inescapable horror that entraps, crushes, and oppresses. In less than 60 minutes, P.T. accomplishes what nearly every horror game prior spend hours never achieving.  Clark

The 25 Best Video Games of 2014

7

Far Cry 4

Big, bold, brash, and yes, silly as hell, Far Cry 4 is more of an astonishing technological feat than anything else. Its characters are across-the-board nugatory, its story overwhelmingly grim, but the open universe it creates is nothing short of spectacular. The game’s setting, the Himalayan nation of Kyrat, provides countless opportunities for ridiculous, spur-of-the-moment bursts of scatterbrained violence and high-octane Hollywood blockbuster-caliber action. One-upping Far Cry 3 in nearly every artistic category, the game sets the standard for everything next-gen, adding an excellent co-op mode to its already stacked solo campaign. A knee-jerk reaction to Far Cry 4 is that it’s just Far Cry 3 re-skinned and thoroughly shellacked, and yet as much as Ajay Ghale and Jason Brody or Kyrat and the Rook Islands are ultimately interchangeable, Ubisoft Montreal continues to outdo themselves with each Far Cry chapter, causing the eyes of stern franchise naysayers to pop as they attempt to discredit the innumerable achievements consecutively manifested. LeChevallier

The 25 Best Video Games of 2014

6

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Years from now, when we talk about how great Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was, there will be few who remember generic grizzly protagonist Talion, his ethereal charge, Celebrimbor, or their quest for revenge. But you can believe there will be tales told for years about the enemies players created, how players nurtured their enemy’s hatred, engineered uprisings from the inside, and watched Orcs tell tales of the player’s many failures, thus making legends, heroes, and despots out of lowlifes. The Nemesis system, where the game’s enemies have their own constantly changing social hierarchy based on their misdeeds, is one of those ideas we can expect to see more of—a literal and figurative game changer that makes every action against one’s hated adversaries a personal, thrilling affair. It helps to make a fun, but unassuming licensed Lord of the Rings action title into a fascinating medieval House of Cards, where the only common language of men and Orcs is backstabbing.  Clark

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