Kotaku Awards 2014: Game Of The Year

Kotaku Awards 2014: Game Of The Year

It’s time for the big one. Who did you vote Kotaku Australia’s game of the year for 2014.

And the winners are…

Reader’s Choice

Dragon Age: Inquisition
When this game took out both the PC and console game of the year, I started to see the writing on the wall. Dragon Age: Inquisition was absolutely dominant.


Super Smash Bros. Wii U
I have to say, that really took me by surprise. I had expected maybe Wolfenstein to take the runner-up spot, but the Nintendo crowd really came in strong and focused on this one.

Editor’s Choice

Alien: Isolation
I’ve always claimed 2014 was a pretty weak year for video games, but I did fall in love with a handful, making this choice trickier than I expected. There were a number of great mobile titles — Desert Golfing, Framed, Crossy Road, Monument Valley — and a couple of console games that I honestly loved — Dark Souls II, Mario Kart 8, Destiny, Trials Fusion. But in the end, one game emerged from the pack victorious and that game was Alien: Isolation.

Of all the games listed above, Alien: Isolation felt most important. It was a game that made a statement. Alien: Isolation was a statement, it was message to every development studio and publisher in the world and that message was: “be brave”.

Be brave in your choices. Take risks. Try something new. Be original. It’s difficult to take risks in a AAA environment where the stakes are high and the money at stake is ludicrous. The end result of that is a AAA environment that feels stagnant. Alien: Isolation ignored that. From most perspectives it is a recklessly made video game. I’ve said time and time again that Alien: Isolation is a small miracle: it’s difficult to believe the game got green-lit, let alone made. It’s an anomaly. An incredible anomaly.

I hope more studios in future will have the bravery — and the support — to follow suit and go for broke.


Mario Kart 8


  • Dragon Age and Smash Bros. were great games. But my personal GOTY remains Bayonetta 2. I’ve had so much fun with that recently. The wealth of great games coming next year will make this debate harder next time!

  • I’m still baffled as to why Alien: Isolation wasn’t a bigger hit, I feel like it was such a good game, that was completely overlooked.

    • Gonna guess that Colonial Marines soured the brand somewhat.

      Even if Duke Nukem 5 is amazing, a lot of people just won’t buy it because of DNF. It takes a lot of effort to make a good brand but just one screw up to ruin it.

    • Yup, Aliens Colonial Marines has hurt the IP no end. I WAS a huge Aliens fan boy but still haven’t bought this after the train wreck that was ACM. Honestly, if that game had of came out 10 years ago it would have been OK.

      • If you are an Alien fan then you should definitely give Isolation a go, otherwise you are missing out on what I and many consider the best Alien game there is.

    • I’m gonna say that I got it on sale the other day and I played it… and my heart was racing…. and I haven’t played in a while… It was great and haven’t been so anxious while playing ever.

      I also note I shouldn’t drink coffee before playing.

  • I love Alien Isolation, but still not finished it. Its absolutely the closest thing to a perfect Alien game there is.

  • I am confused about the fuss with Wolfenstein to be honest, I found it quite bland both visually and gameplay wise. It felt that “old school charm” that people titled it was just an excuse to recycle age old generic shooter fluff.

    The first whole sequence was being stuck in a turrent shooting planes, the second was avoiding robot dogs that were ‘chasing’ you in a 100% scripted fashion

    • I think that was the point. Then, after the hospital, it slowly changed and it went from being “Oh, more of this…Really?” to “Hey, this is quite clever” through to the end… man, those cut scenes and what happened to this guy. Sure, It wasn’t perfect but it was a hellova good game and better than I think anyone expected.

      Now… the new doom….

  • Dragon Age Inquisition has been nothing short of amazing for the 35 hours I’ve played so far.

    Just went the Orlaisian court and spend a good few hours at the masquerade plotting, gossiping and sneaking about causing mischief only to have it end on a bloodbath by my character’s own doing. I enjoyed every second

      • It’s a conspiracy! I haven’t played DAI yet, but I assume it’s ace. I did predict though that Mark would pick Alien a week ago. And you called me cray cray or something. 😛

    • Oh yes. That’s probably my real favourite too. Though Alien caught me by surprise more (didn’t expect it to be that good).

    • I enjoyed Dark Souls more than Alien. But I’ve never been much of a fan of horror games, and I strongly suspect Mark’s choice was heavily influenced by expectations and politics/philosophy. It’s not so much that Alien is a better game than Dark Souls, or a more fun game than Dark Souls, than… it was a bigger risk than Dark Souls, and giving it kudos is more important for the health of the industry.

    • I say we all spam the vote next year for the remaster which I will be buying day one!

      How you can see an RPG like Dark Souls and somehow imagine that an RPG like dragon age (complete with sports game rings around each party member) is superior, I pity the people who haven’t experienced the souls games.

  • My picks were…
    1. Alien: Isolation
    2. Mario Kart 8
    3. Super Smash
    4. Dragon Age: I
    5. Destiny

    But i am happy with DA:I getting the nod, well deserved.

  • Dont get me wrong, I’m sure DA:I is really great, but how can a game thats been out for 2 weeks get game of the year. Is it really that good?

    • Most recent AAA release that doesn’t play like a dog, heavily advertised, continuation of an acclaimed series, beloved developer.

      Doesn’t matter how good/bad the game is, all the boxes are ticked.

    • It’s better than DA2 (not hard) but full of junk filler… It’s no graphical masterpiece either.

      It was a pretty poor year gaming wise though.

    • Because most of the other AAA releases this year sucked. It’s a huge, ambitious game, and while it’s not without it’s share of faults, it’s probably the best game of the year given what it was up against.

  • Mark, when you summarising what’s good about alien isolation, you don’t ignore The qualities of alien isolation, and then talk exclusively about the risk adverse general gaming environment.
    Alien Isolation has one a gigantic flaw – among many flaws, and that It is dominated by the perception of “value of money”above anything else. That’s why that game is so goddamn unnecessary long. And that value for money imperative, proves that the publishes greedy hands has smudged The good work and intentions of the creative developers.
    5 or 8 Hour game, that it should’ve been, was anathema, and that ruined the game among other things for many others and myself.

  • Its a real shame a lot of you voters never played Bayonetta 2. That game was easily my game of the year. Freakin… AWESOME!!

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