Capping off an extraordinary and varied year for PC gaming, it’s time to declare the best of 2014. This has arguably been one of the best years for the PC in recent memory, despite—perhaps because of—a relatively quiet schedule of big-budget releases. We’ve seen the classic RPG return to the platform in half a dozen forms, the 4X strategy game find fresh new expression, and simulation-driven survival horror take centre stage.
It’s been an involved process to distil the year down to the seven awards we'll reveal in the coming week, but we think we’ve arrived at a selection of games that we consider well worthy of their accolades. Each of our judges nominated five of this year’s games that meant something to them: by pooling our selections, we revealed which games cropped up over and over again as the year’s best.
In each case we’ve assigned awards that suit the strengths of the games that receive them: rather than bind ourselves to strict and often unhelpful categories, we prefer an approach that allows us to celebrate all of the games that stood tall in our memory at the end of the year. Our choices reflect the breadth and quality of releases you’ll only find on PC. Hopefully you enjoyed 2014 as much as we did.
Game of the Year 2014: Alien Isolation (opens in new tab)
Best Singleplayer: Dragon Age: Inquisition (opens in new tab)
Spirit of the PC: Divinity: Original Sin (opens in new tab)
Commendation for Design: Endless Legend (opens in new tab)
Best Multiplayer: Towerfall Ascension (opens in new tab)
Most Original: Jazzpunk (opens in new tab)
Cultural Phenomenon: Hearthstone (opens in new tab)
Our approach to awarding game of the year awards necessarily leaves certain games behind—particularly those that may have only had a single vocal advocate. To ensure that these aren’t totally left out, each of our judges has also identified a ‘personal pick’. You’ll fi nd these running alongside the main awards, providing some insight into the games that we’ve individually been returning to over and over this year. Some are classics that fell inches short of a full award. Some aren’t classics, but they’ve got their fans. Even if everybody else hated them. That happens sometimes too.
Tim Clark: South Park: The Stick of Truth (opens in new tab)
Chris Thursten: Blade Symphony (opens in new tab)
Tom Marks: Valkyria Chronicles (opens in new tab)
Samuel Roberts: BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Part 2 (opens in new tab)
Tony Ellis: Wolfenstein: The New Order (opens in new tab)
Phil Savage: Xenonauts (opens in new tab)
Shaun Prescott: Titanfall (opens in new tab)
Chris Livingston: Watch Dogs (opens in new tab)
Tom Senior: Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls (opens in new tab)
Evan Lahti: Dead State (opens in new tab)
More personal picks coming soon... watch this space!