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Introduction

The time has come once again, as the staff at EGM sat down and fought it out over which of this year’s released we’d put into our list of the top 25 games of 2014. There were a lot of choices, a lot of mixed emotions, and a lot of arguments. However, a list we created?and here are our choices for our top five games of the year.

EGM’s Top Twenty-Five Games for 2014: Part Five

#05: South Park: The Stick of Truth

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment, South Park Digital Studios
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

EGM’s Take

Fans of the supremely popular South Park have clamored for years to get a proper representation of everyone?s favorite foul-mouthed youths in videogame form. After countless delays and a change in publisher, many thought that day might never come. But it finally did this year, and the fact that we got a full digital representation of South Park to explore in this game alone should?ve been enough to make our list. Combine that, though, with a hysterical storyline that channeled the spirit of the show (courtesy of its creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker writing the whole thing), and you had the makings for an all-time classic RPG that South Park fans everywhere are still laughing about.

#04: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Retro Studios
Platforms: Wii U

EGM’s Take

Retro has a way of taking Nintendo franchises and making them relevant again. They did it with Metroid, and they did it again with Donkey Kong Country. And after getting their feet wet with Metroid Prime, it?s no surprise that the sequel was bigger and better in every way. Well, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze proves the pattern of success as it was able to trump its predecessor, too. Not only does the game look even better with the full HD graphics of the Wii U, but the precision platforming Retro crafted over the game?s several dozen courses honestly has us wondering whether or not Retro may be Nintendo?s equal at this point when it comes to characters jumping around on screen. Add in the return of Dixie Kong and making Cranky playable for the first time ever, and there?s more than enough variety here to keep fans coming back for more.

#03: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Monolith Productions
Platforms: Ps4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

EGM’s Take

Perhaps the best part about Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is that you don?t have to be a Tolkien scholar to appreciate it. After all, revenge is something that every person can relate to, which is why the game?s innovative Nemesis system is so successful. Whether or not you recognize the name Celebrimbor (let alone know how to pronounce it), you understand the language of a rampaging Uruk trying to kill you?and wanting to get the best of him if he does. Yes, the game?s comparisons to Assassin?s Creed are obvious, but Shadow of Mordor also features elements of sports rivalries and the 1-on-1 matchups you?d find the squared circle or the octagon. In fact, it?s no surprise that Shadow of Mordor?s director of design worked on EA Sports titles in the past?it definitely shows.

#02: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Sora, Bandai Namco
Platforms: Wii U

EGM’s Take

The Wii U debut of Nintendo?s crossover brawler isn?t just good, it?s unnecessarily good. Any one of the major updates to the game?the massively diverse 49-character roster, the new 8-player battles, the wealth of interesting game modes, the robust and smooth online play?would have been enough to carry a standard sequel. Heck, the chance to pit Mario, Mega Man, Pac-Man, and Sonic against one another probably would?ve warranted the cost of admission. The fact that Masahiro Sakurai and his team included all of the above is borderline insane. And the breadth of Smash Bros. doesn?t come at the expense of strong fundamentals, either. Prior entries have been more technical or more accessible than this, but none has ever struck so fine a balance between the two extremes.

#01: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Publisher: EA
Developer: BioWare
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, Pc

EGM’s Take

Dragon Age: Inquisition is not groundbreaking. It isn?t a revolution nor a reinvention of the wheel. It isn?t the savior of fantasy RPGs, and it certainly isn?t the second coming of the genre. What it is, however, is role-playing done right, and done tight. Bioware?s third Thedan tale of swords and sworcery combines the best parts of the past entries into a concentrated, robust experience that offers something for everyone?action, adventure, romance, political intrigue, character-driven emotional arcs, dragons, magic, mystery, you name it. More importantly, it handles all of this with deft hands, never laying on the fantasy tropes too thick or beating players over the head with needless explanation or watered-down worldviews in service to world-building. Dragon Age gets that relatable, engaging characters are at the heart of any good fiction, and you won?t find a better cast to quest with (and try to bed) than Inquisition?s.


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EGM’s Best of 2014: Part Five: #05 ~ #01

It's the end of the year, and that means one thing: end of the year awards! Up today is the final part of our look at the top 25 games of 2014, with entries #05 through #01.

By EGM Staff | 12/30/2014 12:00 PM PT

Features

Introduction

The time has come once again, as the staff at EGM sat down and fought it out over which of this year’s released we’d put into our list of the top 25 games of 2014. There were a lot of choices, a lot of mixed emotions, and a lot of arguments. However, a list we created?and here are our choices for our top five games of the year.

EGM’s Top Twenty-Five Games for 2014: Part Five

#05: South Park: The Stick of Truth

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment, South Park Digital Studios
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

EGM’s Take

Fans of the supremely popular South Park have clamored for years to get a proper representation of everyone?s favorite foul-mouthed youths in videogame form. After countless delays and a change in publisher, many thought that day might never come. But it finally did this year, and the fact that we got a full digital representation of South Park to explore in this game alone should?ve been enough to make our list. Combine that, though, with a hysterical storyline that channeled the spirit of the show (courtesy of its creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker writing the whole thing), and you had the makings for an all-time classic RPG that South Park fans everywhere are still laughing about.

#04: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Retro Studios
Platforms: Wii U

EGM’s Take

Retro has a way of taking Nintendo franchises and making them relevant again. They did it with Metroid, and they did it again with Donkey Kong Country. And after getting their feet wet with Metroid Prime, it?s no surprise that the sequel was bigger and better in every way. Well, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze proves the pattern of success as it was able to trump its predecessor, too. Not only does the game look even better with the full HD graphics of the Wii U, but the precision platforming Retro crafted over the game?s several dozen courses honestly has us wondering whether or not Retro may be Nintendo?s equal at this point when it comes to characters jumping around on screen. Add in the return of Dixie Kong and making Cranky playable for the first time ever, and there?s more than enough variety here to keep fans coming back for more.

#03: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Monolith Productions
Platforms: Ps4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

EGM’s Take

Perhaps the best part about Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is that you don?t have to be a Tolkien scholar to appreciate it. After all, revenge is something that every person can relate to, which is why the game?s innovative Nemesis system is so successful. Whether or not you recognize the name Celebrimbor (let alone know how to pronounce it), you understand the language of a rampaging Uruk trying to kill you?and wanting to get the best of him if he does. Yes, the game?s comparisons to Assassin?s Creed are obvious, but Shadow of Mordor also features elements of sports rivalries and the 1-on-1 matchups you?d find the squared circle or the octagon. In fact, it?s no surprise that Shadow of Mordor?s director of design worked on EA Sports titles in the past?it definitely shows.

#02: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Sora, Bandai Namco
Platforms: Wii U

EGM’s Take

The Wii U debut of Nintendo?s crossover brawler isn?t just good, it?s unnecessarily good. Any one of the major updates to the game?the massively diverse 49-character roster, the new 8-player battles, the wealth of interesting game modes, the robust and smooth online play?would have been enough to carry a standard sequel. Heck, the chance to pit Mario, Mega Man, Pac-Man, and Sonic against one another probably would?ve warranted the cost of admission. The fact that Masahiro Sakurai and his team included all of the above is borderline insane. And the breadth of Smash Bros. doesn?t come at the expense of strong fundamentals, either. Prior entries have been more technical or more accessible than this, but none has ever struck so fine a balance between the two extremes.

#01: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Publisher: EA
Developer: BioWare
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, Pc

EGM’s Take

Dragon Age: Inquisition is not groundbreaking. It isn?t a revolution nor a reinvention of the wheel. It isn?t the savior of fantasy RPGs, and it certainly isn?t the second coming of the genre. What it is, however, is role-playing done right, and done tight. Bioware?s third Thedan tale of swords and sworcery combines the best parts of the past entries into a concentrated, robust experience that offers something for everyone?action, adventure, romance, political intrigue, character-driven emotional arcs, dragons, magic, mystery, you name it. More importantly, it handles all of this with deft hands, never laying on the fantasy tropes too thick or beating players over the head with needless explanation or watered-down worldviews in service to world-building. Dragon Age gets that relatable, engaging characters are at the heart of any good fiction, and you won?t find a better cast to quest with (and try to bed) than Inquisition?s.


Read More