Gamma Squad’s Best Games Of 2014: Part Two

Yesterday, we rolled out our annual top 25 with 21 through 25, courtesy of Nathan Birch, and today, I’ve got 20 through 16. So, what starts off the top twenty?

20) Watch Dogs

Did it live up to the hype? Not particularly. We were promised a game where you could take control of an entire city with your hacking skills and instead got Grand Theft Auto with a few new mechanics. But lost amid the tears was the fact that the game was fun to play and made clever use of line-of-sight as a mechanic to solve puzzles and get the upper hand. And the open world hid some painfully observed slices of life that raised some serious questions about a world where we watch instead of act.

19) Bravely Default

After two years of waiting, this throwback to the days when Final Fantasy games were turn-based and strategic hit American shores. It’s very much a clever refinement of the form with some smart ideas and thoughtful design. If you have a 3DS, it’s a game worth buying.

18) Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

It’s easy to argue that Nintendo just puts out the same game over and over again, but they’re always tweaking, balancing, refining, and toying with new ideas. Smash isn’t reinventing the wheel, but then again, why should it? It’s incredibly fun to play, beautifully responsive, and far less frustrating than previous entries. You’ll still get beaten up relentlessly by cute, colorful Nintendo mascots, but at least the reason why you’re knocked off the screen will make sense.

17) The Walking Dead: Season Two

Telltale follows up the fairly bleak and critically acclaimed adventure game with a sequel that’s even bleaker and more emotionally powerful. The game has some frustrations, but Telltale admirably commits to the idea that for Clementine, the world is not fair and she has no choice but to move forward.

16) Hearthstone

Blizzard puts out, of all things, a goofy and fairly lighthearted card game. But once you get past the shiny exterior, you find a very deep strategy game to rival some of the best CCGs.

Nate will be back tomorrow, with #15 to #11. Until then, what do you think of the rankings?