Best of 2014 – Day Two: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Wii U

Over the next ten days, Hardcore Gamer will be revealing its Best of 2014 Awards leading up to our Game of the Year. Today we present you with the Best of PS4, Xbox One, PC and Wii U:

Best PS4 Game: Transistor

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No 2014 game blends music, art design, story, action and strategy quite like Transistor. Supergiant’s second title tells the understated, but powerful story of Red, a singer who loses both her voice and her partner. Confusion plays a major role in Transistor’s proceedings, after all this is supposed to be a mysterious cyberpunk apocalypse. From the gorgeous watercolor-style visuals to Ashley Barrett’s harrowing vocals, every second of this six-hour experience oozes beauty. Combining time-stopping turn-based mechanics with traditional action-heavy gameplay was a brilliant choice, as players are always forced to think about their next move. On top of all of this, the link between completely open-ended skill unlocks and the surprisingly deep back-story will keep players grinding for that next function. The PlayStation 4 may not have had the AAA exclusive lineup that some might have hoped for, but even if it had, Transistor would still stand out as a superb offering.

Runner-Ups
inFamous: Second Son LittleBigPlanet 3 Velocity 2X MLB 14: The Show

Best Xbox One Game: Sunset Overdrive

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Sunset Overdrive was one of the most hyped games when the Xbox One was announced at E3 2013. Insomniac’s latest game pays homage to its past adventures marvelously and is one of the fastest-paced games you’ll see. This neo-zombie shooter combines sarcastic comedy with the most advanced grinding mechanics out there. You’re able to traverse anything in the world in some form or fashion, and can either grind on or hop off of nearly everything you see. This results in you having the perfect vantage point to take out enemies en masse during the third-person shooter portions. This setup blends shockingly well with the tower defense mode that you’ll encounter in both offline and online play and makes it a perfect gateway game for that genre and a must-have for anyone who loves frantic gameplay experiences.

Runner-Ups
Forza Horizon 2 D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die Super Time Force Fantasia: Music Evolved

Best PC Game: Divinity: Original Sin

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While the year was marred by a number of different Kickstarter games that either disappointed fans or disappeared into the ether never to be heard or seen from again, Divinity: Original Sin managed to exceed upon everyone’s expectations. Boasting an enormous world to explore to your heart’s content, the game doesn’t even give you the slightest hint of how to tackle it all. There is just so much to do and so many different ways to do it that no two playthroughs will be exactly the same. With excellent exploration, engaging combat, and a wonderful story to unravel, this is truly a great RPG from start to finish.

Runner-Ups
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Civilization: Beyond Earth Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director’s Cut The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Best Wii U Game: Shovel Knight

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2014 was a big year for Wii U. Nintendo stepped up with a string of blockbuster releases like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, but even those exceptional first party efforts couldn’t steal the spotlight from one indie superstar. Yacht Club Games’ debut title Shovel Knight was a roaring success on Nintendo’s home console, channeling the nostalgia of the NES era while combining and refining the mechanics of several time-tested classics. It’s the kind of game that, had it been released in the 1980s, we’d be talking about today in the same sentence as legends like Mega Man, Mario and The Legend of Zelda. Frankly, that’s an incredible achievement.

Runner-Ups
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Mario Kart 8 Bayonetta 2 Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

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Continue to Day Three →