The five best (non-Nintendo) games of 2014

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Y&rsquo;know, I was looking through the list of games that graced 2014, mildly depressed at the more disappointing entries of <em>Watch Dogs</em> and <em>Destiny</em>, and found how slim the pickings were for noteworthy games. Hell, I was as surprised as anyone to see Nintendo, who was looking bad with mediocre sales of the Wii U, really coming out and knocking 2014 out of the park in terms of game releases.


So screw it, Nintendo will get its own, entirely separate list, otherwise they would have dominated any top five list I would create. As an aptly-titled <em>Destructoid</em> article pointed out, 2014 was &ldquo;the year that sucked for everyone but Nintendo.&rdquo; So listed below are all the best games that weren&rsquo;t exclusive to a Nintendo console.


Honourable mentions to S<em>hovel Knight, Middle-earth</em>: <em>Shadow of Mordor</em> , and <em>Dark Souls 2</em>, which I&rsquo;ve yet to play, as well as <em>PT,</em> which didn&rsquo;t quite make the list since it&rsquo;s technically a demo, not a full game. These are simply the opinions of one man,&nbsp; and your own opinion may vary.


<em>South Park: The Stick of Truth</em> (PS3, 360, PC)


Dear All Terrible Cash-In Licensed Games,


See? When you actually allow developers more time to work on a game, and give them proper co-operation with the actual creators of the show their game is based on, you can have a critical and commercial success far greater than some uninspired schlock.


<em>Stick of Truth</em> is the closest we&rsquo;ve ever gotten to playing a TV show, and it&rsquo;s amazing. It&rsquo;s everything a good licensed game should be.


<em>Alien: Isolation</em> (PS4, PS3, XB1, 360, PC)


Yet another licensed game, and another proper usage of a licence, especially after the terrible <em>Aliens&nbsp; Colonial Marines</em>.


Frankly, this game has problems. Pacing can be bad, and the last third of the game is not even worth playing. But it&rsquo;s an example of horror done right.


When the game actually commits to hiding from the unsurmountable enemy that is the Alien, the player&nbsp; clutching a motion tracker, inside a closet, hearing the beep beep of the tracker become more rapid. This is horror. Not <em>The Evil Within</em>&rsquo;s aimless horror set pieces, or an action shooter disguised with horror elements.


Just you, a monster, and a closet.


<em>TowerFall Ascension</em> (PS4, PC)


<em>Smash Bros</em>. may hold the spotlight, but the more simplistic combat of <em>TowerFall</em> is a breath of fresh air within the often overcomplicated combos and counters of the fighting game scene. It&rsquo;s just you and up to three friends, a handful of arrows, and instant kills. It&rsquo;s worth it for anyone who likes a tense, couch-gameplay session. The retro graphics and moody music provided doesn&rsquo;t hurt either. Anyone who likes <em>Smash Bros.</em> NEEDS to play this game.


<em>Far&nbsp; Cry 4</em> (PS4, PS3, XB1, 360, PC)


Yes, it&rsquo;s very much the same routine as the last <em>Far Cry</em>, but that&rsquo;s not necessarily a bad thing. Whether it&rsquo;s exploring the Tibet-esque land of Kyrat in a one-man gyrocopter, systematically taking out an outpost with stealth and a sniper rifle, or just strapping some C-4 onto an elephant and rampaging into battle, it&rsquo;s just fun, and I love it!


And between <em>Watch Dogs</em> and <em>Assassin&rsquo;s Creed: Unity</em>, it&rsquo;s still the best game UbiSoft released last year.


<em>Dragon Age: Inquisition </em>(PS4, PS3, XB1, 360, PC)


When a next generation comes by, it can take a while for a large, open RPG to hit the platform. After all, <em>Persona 5</em> still hasn&rsquo;t come out, and the last entry in that series was on the PS2. So simply having a proper RPG on the newest generation would make it rank highly. The fact that it improves on the preceding <em>Dragon Age II</em> in every way doesn&rsquo;t hurt.


Characters are what make a BioWare game. From the stony, yet idealistic Cassandra; to fight-loving ,yet tolerant Iron Bull, and the moustachioed dapperness of Dorian, there are moments with these characters that will last long after I am done the game.


I wouldn&rsquo;t quite rank it as my favourite BioWare game, but with the beautiful Frostbite engine and the open environments, it&rsquo;s a close second to <em>Mass Effect 2</em>, and easily my favourite game of 2014.