Another year has passed, and it’s time to hand out the hardware. This wasn’t the best year for AAA games but there were still some very good titles that are deserving of the title Game of the Year. Click through to read our full list of winners.
DISCLAIMER: Some games slipped under our reviewing radar this year, including a few blockbusters that may have radically shaken up these rankings. They include Grand Theft Auto V, Super Mario 3D World and Legend of Zelda: Link between Worlds. We only include games we’ve reviewed on this list, for obvious reasons. Now, on to the awards!
Disappointment of the Year: Ace of Spades
This inglorious award is not just for Ace of Spades release state, but for failing to sustain a strong community – I’ve been unable to find a good match in the past month or two. Considering how Ace of Spades was just mediocre to start with, I can’t say I’m terribly surprised.
Runner-up: LEGO City Undercover
LEGO City Undercover has its fans, who enjoy the quirky characters, the slapstick humor and traversing the open world on the various LEGO vehicles. Don’t count AAGH among them, though: the characters were annoying, the humor was overdone and both the world and the vehicles were boring as hell.
Strategy Game of the Year: Pikmin 3
Pikmin 3’s charm succeeded everywhere LEGO City failed. Its characters were charming, the story was entertaining and the world was a joy to explore. I also got to put in some time finally with the Bingo multiplayer mode and it’s a blast to play.
Runner-up: Age of Empires II HD
AOE2HD wasn’t a lot more than a nostalgia trip, but it was a very well done nostalgia trip and an all-time classic game. It didn’t tinker with its winning formula and it’s all the better off for it.
Action Game of the Year: Bioshock Infinite
The story in Bioshock Infinite wasn’t quite as sharp as the original Bioshock but the characters were some of the most believable of the year. The fabric-of-space tears, sky rails, and crazy enemies made the combat superb as well.
Runner-up: Rogue Legacy
In a good year for rogue-likes, Rouge Legacy was our favorite. The action was spot-on and the random heirs you pick from made each run through the castle fresh.
Adventure Game of the Year: Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag
The story was pretty good, but the real fun in Assassin’s Creed 4 was exploring the world at random, touring the cities and playing it like a pirate-based Grand Theft Auto.
Runner-up: The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn
Most anything “Skyrim” is a good thing, but Dragonborn was fun on its own for the short time it lasted. The throwbacks to Morrowind just made it better.
Overall Game of the Year: Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag
Sometimes there are games that transcend genre preferences – Assassin’s Creed 4 is one. Unless you just hate beautiful open worlds and great gameplay, AC4 belongs in your library. That universal recommendation is a good example of why Assassin’s Creed 4 is our Game of the Year.