Yep, we’re at the top ten games of 2014. If you’re curious about #11 through #25, you can find them right here. So, what did Nate and I agree made up #10 through #6?
10) Civilization: Beyond Earth
True, Civ pretty much gets a free pass from everybody, but this wasn’t a phoned-in effort. Instead, the new setting set the stage for far more player agency and giving your choices far more weight.
9) Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Nintendo takes on the perspective platformer genre popularized by games like Fez and essentially shows the rest of the industry how its done. Expanding off of a few levels in the main Mario franchise, it’s a brief game, but a delightful and well-engineered one.
8) Mario Kart 8
As we noted with Smash, all Nintendo does with their games is keeping refining the mechanics, adding new ones to balance the game, and clean up the graphics. And when the game itself is ridiculously fun, it’s hard to argue with the results. Bonus points must be awarded, however, for giving us the Luigi Death Stare.
7) Far Cry 4
Far Cry 4 could have just been Far Cry 3 with elephants and we would have been happy. Instead, though, not only has the game’s formula be refined and polished to a high sheen, with more fun side missions and better ways of getting around, the writing was substantially overhauled as well. Instead of a frat boy running around blasting goats, you played a man exiled from his birthplace in both body and spirit, and furthermore the game had the guts to argue that when a nation goes to war with itself, there are no winners.
Oh, also, you can crash an enemy compound with an elephant while your buddy flies in hosing everybody with grenades. Really, that you can’t argue with.
6) InFamous: Second Son
Sony’s open-world superheroics didn’t get a lot of love at the end of the year, and that’s a mistake. The inFamous series has always stood out for having just enough to do in the open world that you can spend hours messing with the game, but not so much that it feels like filler dumped in to claim “Eighty hours of gameplay!” on the box. Everything Sucker Punch includes in the game is put there because it’s fun, period, whether you’re solving hidden camera puzzles or blowing helicopters out of the sky, and we wish we could say that about more games this year.
What makes the top five? Nate will have that list tomorrow.