2014 is over, everyone and it’s time to move on to 2015. Before we do, however, we have to put a cap on the past year with our 2014 Game of the Year awards. Did your favorite game win? It’s time to pass out the awards.
Multiplayer Game of the Year
This may be the most hotly contested entry on this list, with Smash Bros. Wii U going toe-to-toe with Mario Kart 8 for the award. Bringing couch co-op back is a huge plus for both of them, and they also have solid online components (for a Nintendo game). In the end, it was the lackluster battle mode from Mario Kart 8 ceding the award to Smash Bros. Wii U as our Multiplayer Game of the Year
Graphics of the Year
This was another closely contested category. Mario Kart 8’s sharp, fanciful HD visuals were pushed to the brink by Sunset Overdrive’s general visual overload. In the end it came down to Mario Kart 8 being a step above Sunset Overdrive in creativity and artistic design, earning it our Graphics of the Year award.
Audio of the Year
Did Nintendo win 2014? Not really, but its two blockbuster releases are among the best games released all year. The music for Smash Bros. Wii U is far and away the best soundtrack of the year with all-time classic tunes combined with excellent remixes of fan favorites. That, combined with the strong sound effects and solid voice overs win it our Audio of the Year award.
Disappointment of the Year
A game that no one really asked for, Elder Scrolls Online had some decent idea and okay execution, but it had to live up to Skyrim and Oblivion’s legacy while simultaneously bringing an MMO experience worthy of a $15 a month subscription fee. With Bethesda dropping their 6-month subscription option, free to play future rumors abound – which I speculated on in our original review. This all makes Elder Scrolls Online our Disappointment of the Year.
Game of the Year
It didn’t have the best graphics this year and its audio presentation – while very good – didn’t get it into the “best of” conversation for that category. Ultimately it is the culmination of a good story, great game play, awesome NPC companions, and very good presentation that sees Dragon Age Inquisition sitting here. Of all of the games we reviewed in 2014, this was the best overall experience and our definitive 2014 Game of the Year.