The Big Question: Was 2014 A Good Year For Games?

I've had this argument with a couple of people. I believe that 2014, on the whole, was a pretty bad year for video games, particularly if you're looking at large production games on consoles or PC.

On mobile platforms? I guess you could make the argument that 2014 was pretty decent. But in terms of the games we typically discuss and play on Kotaku, I'd argue it's been fairly weak.

I can't even think of any indie games that really, truly blew me away either. And handheld games? It feels like they've been missing in action.

Am I wrong? I'd love to hear arguments both for and against.


    Eh, I gotta say no. At least in terms of triple A games. While there were a few great ones, there were a lot of unfinished, disappointing or flat out broken games. Any games that stand out are also helped with less games for comparison (probably why I enjoyed Borderlands so much).

      The new Borderlands? The lack of terrain change / barren landscapes & bugs kind of put me off it.. also thought it was a little slower in moving than BL2.

      I should give it another go though I loved 2 insanely and would like to support Aus developers!

        The terrain regularly changed and those terrain areas were a lot smaller then in previous games, where there was even more lot of nothing. I also don't recall any bugs aside from having to restart one mission.

        and how is it slower when you have Oz kits? I spent half my time flying.

          I dunno man I just saw a lot of the same barren grey moon looking levels and a lot of filler quests that don't give much XP.

          Okay I am going to give it another try this weekend and hopefully I am wrong.

            I played those sidequests for the characters and stories, not the xp. I also think the xp is better paced then previous games. Especially when playing with other people who are more then happy to run around shooting random guys for you.

    I voted yes but only really because I'm really happy with Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. I've mostly been working on clearing out my backlog this year as well so that's probably biased my opinion quite a bit.

    I think it was a good year for developers to identify what they do and don't know about the new consoles.

    I also think it was beneficial in that it also taught console makers some of the problems with their processes (the major issues with games that should have been stopped at cert level, Sony issuing a firmware patch that broke upcoming and released games on its system).

    And I think that it was good in that it provided a pretty significant black eye to publishers when their games were so, so, broken.

    The year itself... probably not. But the repercussions of it... probably yes.

      They really shouldn't need that much time, from a technical standpoint the last gen consoles were much more difficult to code for and I don't remember their first year having almost nothing but broken games or 2GB day 1 patch's.

        Sure... but the common consensus is that the Bone was probably released a year early.

        Also, if a team spends 8 years developing for one set of systems, their not going to be able to change just like that. There are going to be teething problems... just no one expected them to be this bad.

    Keyword: Good. Not Great.

    Games that came out this year, I think were pretty good, but nothing that I thought WOOOOW.

    I think it's been an alright year for games considering most of the games we were hyped for have been pushed back to 2015. A fair amount of great solid sequels game out this year and most of the games I've gone back to haven't been new ip's but games that used their original as a starting point to get better

    I think so, there was a big gap in the middle. This year was Mikami's first horror game since forever as well as Dragon Age Inquisition which are up all my spare time.

    Also, finally got Shin Megami Tensei IV in the PAL region, it was only a digital release but it is such a great game, really solid concept s & an amazing soundtrack.

    Always happy for a new Pokemon even if it was a remake from my least favourite gen.

    Final Fantasy X&X2 on Vita is great, will be grinding levels in that for months on & off.

    Yeah, not a busy year, but some very solid releases.

      I've bwen too occupied with other games to make time for Shadow of Mordor, Alien Isolation & Persona Q.

      It has been good except the mid year gap.

      i didnt turn my ps4 on for the first half of the year....

        Bought mine in July for DAI & TEW.

        I wouldn't have turned it on since launch.

    It hasn't been bad. It hasn't been anything amazing. I think either "good" or "ok" are appropriate descriptors.

    2014 is the year the precedent was set that games didn't have to be finished to be released. On that basis alone - no, not a good year.

    Last edited 10/12/14 11:49 am

      Completely agree. The true level of contempt the major publishers and developers have for consumers was revealed, and it wasn't pretty.

    It wasn't a good year for games, and gaming culture. The Gamersgate kerfuffle and several other incidents have made "gamer" a dirty word again... In terms of games themselves, there were very few games that sparked innovation and found new and exciting ways in which games could be played. It was basically a year of perfecting mediocrity in general. That's not to say there weren't good games, just nothing really pushed gaming forward a step or two.

    Personally I had a good year of gaming. I played more than I have in others years and really enjoyed games like pokemon, tamadatchi life, alien, evil within, sunset overdrive, titanfall etc but at the same time I agree there wasn't really many big amazing titles.


    that about sums up my thoughts....

    actually, im waiting for quantic dream to release a quad pack, with remastered editions of Nomad Soul, Indigo Prophecy, Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls... i'd buy the shit out of that...

    Last edited 10/12/14 11:36 am

    No. 2015 will be though.

    Lots of broken releases, devs relying on hype and patches(and Valve canceling Frostivus and Diretide :( ), so I'd say no. Civ being a letdown makes it hurt even more.

    On the other hand, we had some nice surprises like Alien Isolation, Mordor, and Shovel Knight and surefire hits like Smash, Dark Souls II and ORAS.

    Had some great games, but for the most part it was NOT a good year.

    Personally, a year with fewer must-play games released is a year I can catch up on my backlog. No downside there.

    At no stage during the year did I run out of great new games to play, I call that a good year

    Both. Lots of broken releases, lots of senseless overhype leading to underwhelming games... but also some amazing games came out this year. I can't decide if it was a crap year with some hidden gems, or a great year in which a bunch of stupid crap occurred...

    For me it was. Dragon Age, Diablo, Far Cry, GTA5, Wolfenstein, Shadow of Mordor and Destiny were all super enjoyable. Watch Dogs was OK. Add a few Lego games (which I always enjoy) and I end up a happy gamer at the ene of the year.

    (For the record, I'm talking xbone for all those games)

    Was it really a bad year? It feels like there's so many big amazing games constantly coming out that I can't keep up with them. That might be more a reflection on me, but it feels like a flood of great games!

    2014 saw all three of the current gen consoles finally coming into their own.

    The Wii U had the best exclusive drops with Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze and the best Smash Bros.

    The PS4 and Xbox One had a whole heap of games released - GTA V (more than just a remaster imho), Far Cry 4, Shadow of Mordor, Titanfall, Halo:MCC, Dragon Age Inquisition, Sunset Overdrive, Alien Isolation, Destiny, Watchdogs, Wolfenstein, The Evil Within, Infamous Second Son, and great "smaller" games like Trials Fusion, Child of Light, Shovel Knight and Transistor.

    On PC we got Divinity Original Sin! Warlords of Draenor revitalised Wow for many. Call of Duty Advanced Warfare proved that CoD could still be good and didn't need to slowly death spiral into mediocrity. Also Dark Souls 2 came out this year with some of the best Soulsian content ever in the DLC.

    South Park The Stick of Truth and Broken Age also dropped.

    Handheld games have been a let down. Bravely Default hit right at the start of this year, well technically Dec 2013 for us in Aus, but apart from that it's been pretty quiet apart from ports.

    I think if anything, 2014 was a year of a few big disappointments in gaming. Some of the most anticipated games just ended up being a let down. They were still good games, but the expectations were so high and they didn't reach them. Destiny is still fun, but not what I hoped it would be. Halo MCC is still the most worthwhile game package since the Orange Box, but it's let down by broken multiplayer. Titanfall was immense amounts of fun, but didn't have the longevity. Watchdogs in particular, the first trailer than screamed "NEXT GEN" to me, arrived as a shadow of it's potential. Gamergate was just a big disappointment in general. I think the disappointments put a damper on the rest of the goodness.

    I'm hearing a lot of people say it was a let down, but I was personally really happy with this year.

    Last edited 10/12/14 11:58 am

    A good year? Yes. A memorable one? no chance.
    As @ad posted, slower release years give us a chance to clear backlogs and really appreciate years where we have to prioritise new release games into our play time.
    To be honest, I don't even remember the first half of the year release wise, I was still playing Payday 2, and now it's FC4 and DA:I that takes up my precious time. 2015 will be solid by all accounts - as long as the hype is substantiated (I'm looking at you The Division - Witcher 3 already has my money and can't possibly fail)

    While the end of the year has been relatively decent, the first eight months were fairly dull. Watch_Dogs and Titanfall were both fairly underwhelming and it speaks volumes that they were still amongst the most memorable games out for a fair slice of the year. With the exceptions of Valiant Hearts and Mario Kart 8, there just weren't many good games that came out during the middle of the year.

    Of course, the end of the year wasn't immune to poor-quality games either, especially in the case of Ubisoft. With that said, I feel like pretty much all of Nintendo's new releases this year on the Wii U were exemplary and I'm bound to enjoy Dragon Age when I finally get my hands on a copy. However, as good as these last few months have been, I still can't help but feel that the majority of the year was exceptionally weak for games.

    I picked ‘No’ despite playing many good games.

    - I thought I’d get a PS4 this year, but there was only a handful of titles that really looked interesting (Shadows of Mordor, DA:I).
    - I love my Wii U and it did have a good year, but it was also a year of sequels (DKCR:TF, MK8, SSB, Bayo2).
    - In comparison, last year I played my first Monster Hunter, my first (and favourite) Lego game in Lego City, Wonderful 101 and Pikmin 3 (a sequel, but not seen since the GC days). All refreshing games.
    - The 3DS was also fairly quiet after a blistering 2013.
    - I’m finally getting tired of most so many Indie games being ‘puzzle platformers’

    I’m more excited for 2015. Splatoon, Xenoblade Chronicles and Project S.T.E.A.M promise new experiences. StarFox, Zelda, Yoshi and Kirby look to be quality sequels.

    Still can’t see that PS4 happening in 2015 unless the AAA industry rediscovers fun and innovation.

    There was some good stuff but I feel like the XBOX One/PS4 generation was a super slow starter. It felt like there wasn't much noteworthy stuff being released. I think part of that is that so much of what came out felt like it was geared towards the PS3/XBOX 360. A year earlier and it would have been fine but having the new hardware there took the wind out of the sails of some otherwise good games.

    I voted no.

    Publishers were too cowardly to go all in on the new generation of console hardware to the point where the next big things (Destiny, Watch Dogs etc) were feature identical on the old hardware.

    Many games that had ambitions of taking advantage of the new hardware arrived rushed and unfinished.

    Last edited 10/12/14 12:12 pm

    It was a good year for me because I was actually able to buy games :P

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now