Best of 2014 – Day Seven: RPG, Fighting, Racing, Platformer

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 RPG, Fighter, Racer and Platformer:

Best RPG: Dragon Age: Inquisition

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The role playing genre has become so saturated at this point to almost every modern game now including some RPG elements. Dragon Age: Inquisition, though, is an Action-RPG all the way through, containing much of what has made BioWare so popular and more. While there’s your traditional character interactions through lengthy dialogue sequences and tactical gameplay segments, the Canadian-based studio has crafted a vast network of areas to explore, breathing much life in the world of Thedas we would only ever get through reading the books. Include various significant branching paths in the story and customizable ability trees, and you have an RPG of epic proportions.

Runner-Ups
South Park: The Stick of Truth Bravely Default Dark Souls II Divinity: Original Sin

Best Fighter: Super Smash Bros for Wii U

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Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is just about everything fans could have dreamed of. With more modes, more fighters and a seemingly endless supply of collectibles, Nintendo’s latest iteration of its fantastic fighting franchise is easily its most robust. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U retains the accessibility and irrepressible essence of fun that secured the success of its predecessors, but also takes important strides towards perfecting the experience with stunning HD visuals, customizable charactersand a refreshingly functional online experience. It’s a game we’ll be playing for years to come, and serves as a reminder of Nintendo’s incredible legacy.

Runner-Ups
Ultra Street Fighter IV Persona 4 Arena Ultimax BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-

Best Racer: Forza Horizon 2

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The original Horizon took a sterile series and injected some much-needed life into it. The sequel offers up more of the same with a grander scope. Instead of Colorado, you’re now racing throughout Europe and surrounding yourself with some of that region’s most beautiful sights and sounds. Stunning views are all over the place, while the licensed soundtrack is one of the best to date, perfectly fitting the setting and concept of racing in a festival. Horizon 2 brings in a new bucket list to give you constant challenges while retaining the gimmick races from the original. It looks great, plays perfectly and is the best racer on current-gen hardware.

Runner-Ups
Grid Autosport Mario Kart 8 F1 2014 Trials Fusion

Best Platformer: Shovel Knight

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Platformers have been a staple of gaming for decades. They’ve grown immensely since the early days of pixelated plumbers, but this year’s best harkened back to those simpler times and reminded the gaming world just how spectacular classic game design can be when done right. Shovel Knight is pure platforming perfection, boasting stellar mechanics and intelligent, challenging design, along with a cast of memorable and well-written characters that collectively coerce you into sticking around long past the credits. At its core, Shovel Knight is just plain fun, and even without the inherent nostalgic resonance it’s a game that is more than worthy of a place among the best the industry has ever produced.

Runner-Ups
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse Super Time Force Ultra Freedom Planet Strider

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