The end of one year and the beginning of another brings a lot of us to look back and reflect on the year that was. Of course this means we at New Gamer Nation come up with our personal lists of the top games we played throughout the year. New Gamer Nation’s Editor in Chief had his list and expect to see more from other members of the staff. For me, this list was a little difficult because though I played a lot of games, it was hard for me to pick the 5 games that I had the most fun with. Though I kept going back to God of War Ascension, I felt it lacked something to stand out as a contender for Game of the Year…Much less, narrow that list to 5 and then rank them. This is why I didn’t rank them so much as awards for developers and publishers, but I came up with a list as a recommendation for you the citizens of New Gamer Nation.
5) WWE 2K14
Those that know me know that I am a huge wrestling fan. So every year, around the summer I go into my local video game retailer and pre-order the latest WWE game. What made this game special to me this year was the addition of more old school wrestlers. This isn’t to take anything away from the arcade-type games that did the same (such as Legends of Wrestlemania and WWE All-Stars), but the closest thing to the actual television presentation was what I wanted in a WWE game full of old school wrestlers.
4) Saint’s Row IV
There was so much to love about Saint’s Row IV. It is so fun in both humor and gameplay. It let me vicariously live out a dream by allowing my character (modeled after myself) to dress in the unlockable “Rowdy” Roddy Piper attire…Not to mention, Roddy Piper is in the game. The franchise left the term “over-the-top” at the last game and had the character go from cultural icon to President of the United States. When the character defused a nuclear bomb seemingly sacrificing himself (or herself for those that played as a female) to Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing”, I knew I was in for a wild ride with another Saint’s Row game…And I loved every minute of it.
3) Grand Theft Auto V
I have to admit, I was very apprehensive over GTA V. GTA IV, while a great game, just lacked something that I missed. Maybe it was in the darker and more serious overall tone in the game that kind of made me think GTA V would follow in the same footsteps…Even with all the teaser material. Boy, was I wrong. The game was well written with both humorous, serious, and exciting moments (sometimes in the same mission). It felt like a return to the form of the Grand Theft Auto franchise we loved in the Playstation 2 era with the San Andreas and Vice City games. The only major difference being the entire world looked a lot better and was opened up from the beginning allowing the players to fully indulge in the open world/sandbox game experience from the beginning.
2) Injustice: Gods Among Us
Netherrealm Studios has done something amazing with this game…They made Aquaman a badass. All the talk of a Justice League film had me worried that Aquaman would hold it back. That was until Injustice: Gods Among Us was released. Injustice is a great fighting game not only for comic book fans, but fans of fighting games. Usually I go into a fighting game and mash random buttons, but taking the time to try to learn little nuances helped me finally get a 6 hit combo. Maybe one day, I’ll actually get a hit on someone in online competition, but that doesn’t take away from how much fun I have with Injustice: Gods Among Us.
1) The Last of Us
If I were to rank one of these games above every one released this year, The Last of Us would be on top of that list nine times out of ten. From the opening sequence to the ending, The Last of Us delivered story telling brilliance set in the apocalypse. The Last of Us was quite intense, dramatic, and in the end made for “Game of the Year” material. I think it had to do with the fact that Joel wasn’t the typical “good guy” type protagonist, I’ve grown accustomed to. Not only that, but every situation played out showing the human side to tense situations not just in the game, but in myself as well. There were moments in the game where I had to step back and say “holy $#*%, I got away and almost died…again” or “I can’t believe that just happened”. Both types of situations made me put the controller down for a little while just to recover from what just played out. What helped in that recovery was seeing the world ravaged by destruction, and one where Mother Nature took back what once belonged to her. This opened things up for exploring in a linear game, if for nothing else just to see the sights, collecting hidden items, or finding Easter eggs in the game.
So there you have it, my personal games of the year. I’ve had my hands on a lot of great games in 2013 and hope 2014 holds the same for me in that regards. Also, with the Playstation 4 and Xbox One finally released, when I finally get my PS4 (it’s more than likely going to be the PS4 first…When I have the money), I’m looking forward to games like inFamous: Second Son and Watch Dogs. So now its up to you guys, did you feel like I missed out on something? Is there something you’re looking forward to this year? Feel free to discuss the list in the comments, or across any one of our social media pages.