TSA Game Of The Year 2014: Overall

While this year didn’t have the consistency in releases as last year had, with the new generation PS4 and Xbox One still being in their infancy, there were some fantastic titles in there, which we’ve celebrated over the last few weeks in their individual genres.

We’ve pooled all of the games together and the TSA staff have cast their votes, collectively choosing our Game of the Year as well as runners-up. The result comes as a bit of a surprise, to say the least.

In third (or fourth, technically) place, we have Bioware’s choice-driven RPG Dragon Age: Inquisition. It fixes many of the issues people had with its predecessor and also took the title of our Role Playing Game of the Year by quite a large margin. It’s an impressively deep game, with hundreds of hours of content and a great cast of characters which are all handled well.

We actually have two games which managed to take second place: an indie and a brand new AAA release. First up is Transistor, a beautifully crafted game with an intriguing plot and a great central mechanic, allowing you to plan your sword attacks before taking your shot, upgrading and tailoring these in quite a unique way. With some fantastic visuals and a great sense of style, reflected in the game’s impressive soundtrack, it’s a superb game worth of our runner-up spot.

Let’s not forget about our other second place game, either. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was a surprisingly great spin-off of a popular franchise, and while it stuck to rather standard open-world mechanics for the most part, the tactical Nemesis system – in which you faced procedurally generated Orc rivals – was one of the stand-out game features of 2014. Fighting your way through the ranks, defeating a warlord’s guards, before taking out the big bosses themselves proved extremely fun throughout, adding a personal touch to something we wouldn’t usually think twice about in a game.

To say Mario Kart 8 as TSA’s overall choice for Game of the Year is a massive shock isn’t quite right: we can’t think of a better, more pure and fun game in the last twelve months, and isn’t that what it’s all about in the end? With over double the votes of its runners-up, it’s quite a smooth victory for the racer, with no blue shells in sight.

From the gorgeous visuals, running at 60fps and bringing an unrivaled sense of speed to the series, to the extremely fun multiplayer gameplay, or even just the host of single player championships, Mario Kart 8 is a resounding success. To put it simply, it goes above and beyond what we’d expect from a sequel, and turns the excellent-at-the-time Mario Kart Wii into something you’d never want to see or play again.

The game also features some incredible track design which truly takes the series to the next level, with anti-gravity allowing for three dimensional tracks rather than flat raceways. Remakes of old tracks go above and beyond what you’d expect to see and some of the new ones are ingenious too, from the downhill slalom of Mount Wario to the colossal golem as the centrepiece of Bowser’s castle. All-in-all, it’s a superbly crafted package, showing that the Wii U should not be forgotten about.

Mario Kart 8 is TheSixthAxis’ Game of the Year 2014.

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  1. Mine is Monument Valley (& its Forgotten Shores DLC) just pipping Velocity 2X.

    Can’t think of a AAA game worthy in what seems a piss poor year, although I loved Tomb Raider Definitive Edition

    Might need to get myself a Wii U, its games look incredible even away from MK8

  2. Great result folks, great to see the Transistor love my personal goty

  3. Think I have to buy a Wii U for MK8 and Smash.

    Btw: According to the poll, DA: I got forth place, not third ;)

    • Technically, it looks like DA:I scored the 3rd highest number of votes. Just happens that 2 other games scored the second highest.

      So you could probably argue it’s 3rd. If you were weird. Or didn’t know how numbers worked. Or put it as 3rd because christmas.

  4. So Nintendo sell half the number of Wii Us as Sony sell PS4s, in twice as long. And then churn out yet another Mario Kart game. And somehow win game of the year. Probably in many places.

    Must get around to Shadow of Mordor sometime, because it looks a bit different. And Transistor is a great game. Tries to do something different with it’s combat, being part “action RPG” and part turn-based. Both of those two seem like they should be a better choice for GOTY than the usual lazy Nintendo churning out the same thing year after year. But I guess if they sell, unlike the Wii U itself, I can see why they want to go for the safe option.

    Personally, DA:I is my choice. Yes, it’s another RPG that doesn’t really do that much new. Except be enormous and look stunning. Not seen a game that makes me stop and look around admiring the scenery so much since Red Dead Redemption (which was obviously the best PS3 game made).

    Bit depressing to see so many sequels though. And absolute crap like Binding of Isaac. And that Towerfall nonsense.

    • How exactly does number of system sales in any way relate to the quality of one particular piece of software on that system?

    • You don’t like Towerfall or Mario Kart?

      Looks like you need to grab a buddy or two to play some local multiplayer with.

    • Ooh, eight games in over twenty years, not even one per system. Yeah, that’s churning them out. It’s less than the amount of Call of Duties and Assassin’s Creeds we got since just last gen.

      Nobody handles their series better than Nintendo. With usually just one per system and there’s always something new to it.

  5. To be fair, there was far less content on the Wii U for Wii U owners to spread their votes as is shown by Bayonetta 2 being pretty much the only competition on the platform. Statistically it pretty much makes it’s victory somewhat skewed. If it had been a shortlist from each platform then the result may have been somewhat different. As it is for sh1ts and giggles though, who cares! Dark Souls 2 for me with DA:I a very close second but hey ho. Happy New Year!

    • I think I t’s a real shame that this is the first reasoning that jumps to mind. Yes, a number of us own Wii U’s, but it’s not like we’re obligated to vote for games on that platform as it merely represents one platform of many that we play on. We all voted for whatever games we felt like and Mario Kart 8 was in a lot of our top 3 games, allowing it to scamper off into the distance.

      • My point is perfectly valid. It is the reason shortlists should always be used. I didn’t say it didn’t deserve to win btw, I haven’t played it so I am unable to comment. I am merely making an observation. In a game of the year category or any ‘of the year’ award I would expect it to be selected from 5 or 6 of the best titles at most. There are 23 games listed there for example. It’s far too many titles to make a selection from.

        Example based on what I’ve played and what I’ve read would be shortlist of , Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, DA:Inquisition, Dark Souls 2, Shadow of Mordor and South Park Stick of Truth.

        If from that 6 more people believe Mario Kart 8 to be a better game than Dark Souls 2 then who am I to question their choice and lack of taste :P

        Happy New Year!!!!

      • That’s a different point entirely to Wii U owners slavishly voting for Wii U games. We’ll take it on board and see what happens next year then…

      • Sorry, perhaps I should have been clearer in the original reply. My point was related to the number of choices. I merely used the Wii U as an obvious example. I should have realised that it was akin to trolling Apple sheep.

      • sorry again, hit post when I didn’t intend to. I’m actually more surprised that Hearthstone didn’t even get a mention. Especially considering what an underwhelming year it has been for games.

  6. “That doesn’t count!”, Dara Ó Briain’s impression of the Wii….

    Cool stuff! I’m glad you guys enjoyed it. I’m still not getting a Wii.

    Nice to see Elite Dangerous getting some love. I’m gonna blow some more Anacondas now.


  7. Miku Hatsune Project Diva F 2nd is my game of the year. Music gaming perfected.

  8. For me, my personal Game Of The Year is Dragon Age:Inquistion. It’s a lot better then DA2 but i’m not going to say that DA2 is crap because i heavily disagree. It was just a rushed game due to EA being greedy and wanting to shove many games out as possible during that period. DA:I, It got the time Bioware needed for it although it’s not the perfect game. There are several flaws with it and the ending is a bit meh. The banter bug is just awful and it seems to have been resolved in the latest patch. Bioware explained how the banter system works. Turns out it’s a bit too random. But no game is perfect. DA:I is the only game that i have played from launch day untill the end of the year. Or for over a month. Shame i can’t import the world states due to various reasons involving email accounts, limited ways of connecting the console to the net etc..

  9. Quite suitable then that it was the last game I played in 2014. Four player fun while we wait for the new year.

    I think my personal GOTY is Dragon Age, but only because Mario Kart 8 has a lackluster battlemode.

  10. This along with the amount of SNES titles available to download which means my Wii U is a worthy second fiddle to my beloved PS4 :-)

    Well deserved :-)

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