Top 5 Best Games of 2014

2014 gamingwise sadly was a year defined by disappointments. Almost each of the hyped up games from last year's E3 came out to be big disappointments that were mostly far away from achieving and fulfilling the promised features and expectations gamers worldwide had. Destiny, Watch Dogs, and the numerous troubled Ubisoft releases this year were the worst examples for that.

Yet among those weak or at least underwhelming releases there were also some surprisingly good games that stood out even more in this gaming year.

Since our reviewed games this year once again are quite limited compared to our reviewed and rated movies, we narrow it down to our Top 5 Best Games of this year.

Without any further to do, here's Invisible Kid's focussed list of the rare Top 5 Best Games of 2014...

In a lot of ways, Far Cry 4 looks more like a Far Cry 3 2.0. Only aspects like a new story, setting, characters and a few tweaks here an there mark the major differences between the two entries. And even when the game's story and characters happen to be the weakest aspects of the game, with all of the gameplay of the succesful Far Cry 3 still being fully intact, Far Cry 4 automatically also is a marvel to play. Checking off each of the various and improved missions in Far Cry 4's greatly visualized Tibetian landscapes delivers hours upon hours of fun. Far Cry 4 is without any doubt the most enjoyable release of Ubisoft's troubled gaming year of 2014. And even though true innovations are rarely found in Far Cry 4, the game is nevertheless a must-play for fans of its predecessor and one of the strongest games from 2014 thanks to its great gameplay foundation.  

For the recap review click here.

Actually good movie licensed games are as rare in the video game industry as diamonds. And even though Middle-Earth - Shadow of Mordor plays a ridiculous lot like a mix of Assassin's Creed and Batman: Arkham City, this game set in the LOTR universe suprisingly enough manages to cleverly improve upon the formula of the gameplay it borrows from. Sure, its story might feel lackluster in many ways, yet its new Nemesis System, which makes fighting your way as a lone Ranger through the ranks of the orc armies way more personal and unpredictable, ultimately reveals Shadow of Mordor to pretty much be a more strategic and better Assassin's Creed game.
Middle-Earth - Shadow of Mordor is another game whose gameplay is the main selling point, which easily outweighs its very standard storyline and characters.   
For the full review click here.

Lords of Shadow 2 was easily overlooked in the sum of the 2014 game releases, since this year was heavily focussed on games for the PS4 and Xbox One. Lords of Shadow 2 on the other hand was one of the last games to be primarily developed for last-gen consoles. On top of that, the new setting of the story in a dark futuristic city made plenty of gamers dislike or at least worried for this sequel right from the start. Unluckily though, many gamers resultingly missed out on Lords of Shadow 2's solid and interesting storyline as well as its challenging and near-perfectly balanced combat mechanics. The ending of Dracula's story might have been pulled off a bit more satisfyingly but Lords of Shadow 2 still is is not only one of the best games this year but also the most underrated game of 2014.

For the full review click here.

The Evil Within is probably the most controversial pick on our list for this year.
Shinji Mikami promised a back to the roots approach for his newest game from newly formed development team Tango Gameworks, and in our opinion he fully delivered. Among all of the recent horror games that put a bigger focus on action instead of horror-survival, The Evil Within's gut-bustingly tense gameplay makes the entire game truely feel more being about surviving each level instead of winning it. This is mostly achieved through the fact that ammo and supplies are fittingly rare, which makes managing your resources an essential part of the experience. On top of that, the twisted and bizarre imagery evokes an interesting sense of fascination for the weird levels and worlds in The Evil Within. With that said, expectedly enough, character and dialogue are for the most part just as cheesy and unintendedly funny as one would expect from a Shinji Mikami game. But still, The Evil Within is the first truely back-to-the-roots feeling actual "survival horror" game that we've gotten for quite a while.

For the full review click here.

Shovel Knight is a game that oozes so much love and passion from the developers for video games in general that it just feels unreal. Crazily enough, Shovel Knight isn't only an independently developed game but it's also a crowdfunded one. And all that money sure went to excellent use when looking at the near flawless final game.
Shovel Knight is just as much a love letter to jump-n-runs from the NES era as much as it is a game that stands on its own with its individual unique ideas. It tributes and incorporates game mechanics from classics like Ducktales and more, offers nice RPG-depth with its variety of purchasable armor, weapons and more, varied, fun and challenging levels, a very surprising emotional and heartwarming storyline, and on top of that, a killer 8-bit soundtrack that honestly rivals the ones of Mega Man, Mario, etc.
The Shovel Knight demo raised our expectations for the game considerably, but little did we know that the final experience would smashingly surpass them.
It's a game so close to being perfect that it becomes very hard to find actual negatives in it, and even then, those don't turn out as anything more than just minor nitpicks.
In the end, it's easy to say that there's pretty much no competition for Shovel Knight as the all-around best game of 2014. And seeing that this comes from a small crowdfunded development team, Shovel Knight is quite an accomplishment.

Shovel Knight is Invisible Kid's pick for the best game of 2014!

For the recap review click here.

As already mentioned, movie licensed games rarely generate any hype whatsoever, and even though Shadow of Mordor isn't directly tied to a specific movie (but rather the LOTR (movie) universe), showcases of the game at expos mostly didn't amount to that much more than some slight curiosity from gamers.
However, Shadow of Mordor's core feature, The Nemesis System, made all of its borrowed gameplay aspects from other notable AAA games often put to actually better use than in the "source games" themselves. Thanks to its great sense for unpredictability, strategically fighting through the orc troops and assassinating one orc leader after the other all the way to the top makes missions pretty much always fun to play.
Considering how it defied the odds, it's a no-brainer that Shadow of Mordor is Invisible Kid's pick for this year's best video game surprise. 
For the full review click here.

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