Kotaku Awards 2014: Console Game Of The Year

What's our console game of year? Click on to find out...

Reader's Choice

Dragon Age: Inquisition This was way closer than the PC game of the year vote, but Dragon Age: Inquisition still managed to be the clear winner here.


Destiny So Destiny wins the biggest disappointment of the year, best online experience of the year and is now runner-up in our console game of the year vote. A testament to one of the strangest reactions to a video game in history.

Editor's Choice

Alien: Isolation No other game released this year has affected me like Alien Isolation.

Actually, scratch this. Alien Isolation might be the most intense gaming experience ever. It's not that Alien: Isolation is 'scary', like Silent Hill scary or 'jump out of your skin' scary. In Alien: Isolation fear simply feels 'real'. It feels legitimate. In Alien: Isolation your fears run deeper, they feel justified. The tension is otherworldly. To date, Alien: Isolation is the only video game that had me sitting in a locker, completely afraid to move. What other game has the power to do that?

Alien: Isolation is just such a brave, innovative game and when you consider its genesis — a licensed property, unproved studio — it's incredible the game even got made. The fact that it ended up being such a phenomenal experience is nothing short of a miracle.


Mario Kart 8 The best Mario Kart since the first? Maybe. I'd argue it's neck and neck with Mario Kart DS for that honour. Either way, that's enough to make Mario Kart 8 my second favourite game of 2014.


    I REALLY enjoyed isolation and the risks they took putting it out make it an even greater story for me. Plus I hope it shows the industry you can make different games successfully. All that said I still think inquisition was a better over all game. To me alien's gameplay and level design carried it while the story was thin and repetitive. If they fixed those it could have been so much more.

      I agree, just the fact that they made a 'non space marines' game using the Alien franchise took guts, and I'm so glad they did.

    Yeah, play Alien Isolation in the Oculus Rift and tell me it isn't the most intense gaming experience of the year.
    That and MK8 were my picks, so I am pretty happy :)

    Man I’ve only played a few hours of DA and I haven’t touched Alien or Mario Kart!
    What have I been doing all year!?

    Destiny is the most interesting addition there and I’m not surprised its taken out awards on both ends of the scale.

    As I see it there’s two ways you can look at it: It either does more right than 99% of games out there, or it does more wrong than 99% of games out there. Depending on your focus it can be great, shit or somewhere in between.

    IMO if you look at it on its own it is a worse game than it should have been and probably deserves a score of about 70%, but if you take away the hype and compare it to a generic shooter that get 75-85% (A Killzone or a Bulletstorm) then the sum of its parts are probably better than those games and it deserves a higher score.

      Personally, I think 'failure to meet expectations' is a totally valid review modifier. If you've been hyped for the last couple years and the game fails to meet marketing's promises, you're going to be a lot more disappointed than you would've if you'd played the thing in a vacuum - ergo, your experience is affected, and the score reflects that experience.

      And yeah, it's easy to see how this affected reaction.

      Destiny was a fantastic game to a certain type of gamer: Lobby-shooters playing PVP and co-op.

      Destiny was marketed to a completely different type of gamer, enthusiasts of rich, deep narrative who were expecting to build a character who would 'become legend'. THOSE gamers were incredibly disappointed. The other type rated it as an awesome game.

        I couldn't have said it better myself.

        You make an interesting point even though I’m not sure I agree with you.

        I’ve never seen a review criteria or score explanation that factors in wether a game lives up to “hype” or not. The game should be judged on its merits and against what else is available on the market.

        Things that the game tries to do and fails at should be factored into a review score though. I mean even if it’s an unnecessary feature if it doesn’t work or isn’t fun then it should be marked down for those things.
        Destiny has plenty of things that it tried above and beyond other shooters and actually gets wrong so I’d mark it down for those things rather than the things that they said it would be and that it isn’t.

        Does that make sense?

          Yeah... no, I can see that. I think it's like you say: we just disagree. We have different priorities.
          I like the inclusion of hype as a factor, because marketing is deliberate, it is paid for by publishers, it is something that they decided to focus on as a resource outside of dev resources. It affects expectations.

          Any tools reviewers have to fight back against publisher manipulation is worthy, in my opinion.
          Deceptive demos/betas/review-copies not matching the release copy, for example: that deserves a heavy panning. Sim City reviewed very well... under tightly-constrained pre-release reviewing conditions that carefully didn't allow the cracks to show through. Better than it deserved. Some publications went back and re-reviewed. But Metacritic only takes the intial score.... so the deception played out.

          And it's not all moralizing. I really, truly expected something different than was delivered from Destiny, so I was deeply, deeply disappointed. As it was, my feelings about what is a solid 7-8 shooter, really did sit closer to a 6-7 experience. Any in-depth review might sort out what that expectation is about, but that's not what scores are for. Scores are kind of the opposite of that. They're at-a-glance.

          I think what you're saying is correct, it should be objective. But when it comes down to it, a reviewer is still going to go into an experience with a certain amount of knowledge and hype dependent on what the marketing was for the game. So its kind of hard for that not to factor into the final grade. Even if they never mention that in the review you can be pretty sure their score does reflect those sorts of things. Its just the natural bias that'll always be present in someones mind.

          Its like if you get somebody who already doesn't enjoy a certain type of game to review that kind of game. They aren't going to enjoy the game as much as somebody who does and thus even though they have to be objective, their experience is still going to be affected and their score of that game as well as a result.

          At the end of the day the game was great in some ways, it was hyped to be something it didn't really live up to and they made a large number of perceived errors in certain aspects of the game. I think the scores it got were fair and I think any of the awards it won in this are also fair.

    I'd hardly called Creative Assembly an "unproved" studio - they've been around for what... 15 - 20 years? Obviously Alien Isolation is a different kind of game to the Total War series that they're better known for (and I'm sure a lot if the team would be separate from the Total War team), but they've been around long enough to know what they're doing.

    But yeah, great game although perhaps drags on a bit too long. There's a reason horror movies don't usually go for 3 hours (apart from generally being low budget, that is) - it's just exhausting for the viewer, and I found playing the game exhausting in the same way. It would have been a better game if they'd cut the last third of it, I reckon.

    Such a very interesting game, I wish I could just put down Destiny for a couple of hours to put some real effort into this game. Good choice I think!

    Yay! I win!

    Love me some Dragon Age, just wish Mordor had gotten more love.

    Bit sad not to see Bayonetta mentioned :(

      It's numbers, I'd say. An excellent game (I gather) that not as many people are in a position to play compared to other titles.

        I didn't mind it but I all honesty I didn't rate it as much mire than a generic action beat em up. I still think if it were on all part forms it wouldn't have been rated so highly

    I would have picked differently (Where the hell is Smash Bros!?) but good choices overall, I think.

    wow so both PC and Console. $10 says it doesnt win overall GOTY that would be fkn funny.

    Random thought:
    Why bother having a pc game of the year award and a console game of the year award if the one game can win them both? Kinda defeats the point of separating them if you ask me.
    Why not keep they pc award to pc exclusive games and the console award to console exclusive games? And then have a multiplat award. That would make more sense to me. Because aside from the input differences I don't feel like there's really that big of a difference between pc and console versions of games to warrant two awards.

      I've often wondered the same. "What is a 'playstation/xbox/nintendo game'?"

      Always bothered me on things like gamerankings where the top ten was filled out with multiple versions of the same game :P

      I guess because its possible for there to be two distinct winners and the categories are chosen at the beginning. Just seems to be with the games coming out on everything and its dog, the chances of the same game winning are pretty high...

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