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Feature: Game Of The Mid-Year 2014

Posted by Dave Letcavage

Who doesn't enjoy reading a good list or five?

And that’s that…

We’re now officially halfway through 2014, and the second half of the year is underway — time sure does fly, doesn’t it?

While the past six months might not have been bursting at the seams with truly great blockbuster games, there has been more than enough quality entertainment to keep Team pX busy and satisfied. For example, of the 25 games that we’ve reviewed this year, we’ve awarded seven 7s, four 8s, three 9s, and even one ultra-rare 10. That means that our review team has found over 60% of what we’ve covered to be worthy of easy recommendations. When you take into account that only three games scored lower than average, we’d say that things are unfolding rather smoothly.

So in honour of this mid-year transition, we’ve asked our writers to compose lists of their favourite Xbox games released between January 1st and June 25th (the deadline for this feature). Keeping it to five meaningful choices, an honourable mention, and a little verbage to add context to it all, please join us as we reflect on the best gaming experiences we've had so far in this half-formed year.


Ken Barnes (@SuperKMx)

So far, things are going well in terms of the amount of great quality content that's been made available for both current and last-gen systems. With E3 just gone, we know more about the great deal of awesome-looking titles coming up towards the end of this year, but we shouldn't forget all the cool stuff that's already available. There's pretty much something for everybody available on Xbox One now, and the Xbox 360 - whilst in decline in terms of the amount of titles being released for it - is still in great shape. It's a good time to be a gamer, and that's for sure.

1. Titanfall

2. Rayman Legends

3. Watch Dogs

4. Peggle 2

5. South Park: The Stick of Truth

Honourable Mention: Trials Fusion


Dave Letcavage (@DRL)

I really did try to choose between 1001 Spikes and Child of Light for the #1 position, but it was just way too hard. Where 1001 Spikes tested the platforming skills I’ve spent the last 20-some years perfecting, Child of Light was so special that it rekindled my interest in turn-based RPGs. So since both games obviously mean a heck of a lot to me, I’ve decided to settle for an uneventful, boring ol’ tie — sorry for the lameness! Outside of that the list pretty much compiled itself. It’s been a quality six months of gaming on my end, and with a healthy holiday release schedule on the horizon, I'm almost scared of what kind of choices and changes I'll have to make come December.

1. 1001 Spikes (tie)

1. Child of Light (tie)

3. South Park: The Stick of Truth

4. Trials Fusion

5. Strider

Honourable Mention: Watch Dogs


Anthony Bacchus (@Anthinator)

After E3, it's clear that the later half of 2014 is when most of the years' biggest games are all scheduled to come out. However, the first six months have brought us some quality games on both Xbox platforms. Watch Dogs is arguably the highlight so far this year, but Titanfall also managed to freshen up the FPS genre at the perfect time. Super TIME Force finally saw a release and South Park: The Stick of Truth proved that with enough care and dedication, even licensed games can surprise you. The Xbox One has had a successful run so far but forthcoming titles like Sunset Overdrive, Destiny, Assassin's Creed: Unity, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection show that the best games are still yet to come.

1. Watch_Dogs

2. South Park: The Stick of Truth

3. Titanfall

4. Child of Light

5. Super TIME Force

Honourable Mention: Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition


Eric Santana (@EricDS)

I think what surprised me most about my list is that two digital-only titles made the cut. Child of Light has been the highlight of my Xbox experience this year, and it's going to be high on my overall list for years to come. Dark Souls II was barely edged out because I got to share the Child of Light experience with my family. MGS:GZ would have made the list if it had more content. It's the best-looking and best-playing iteration of the Kojima series yet, but you could finish it in one afternoon. I'm really excited for the fall lineup on all console,s but have my eye on some Xbox One exclusives that could take some of these spots very soon.

1. Child of Light

2. Dark Souls II

3. Watch Dogs

4. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

5. Strider

Honourable Mention: Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes


Josephine Johnson (@MegaKILLScreen)

It's been a good six months so far! I've played and enjoyed games I normally wouldn't have touched and I've fallen back in love with the Dead Rising series. South Park was a surprisingly great game (which I finished in two sessions - occasionally grunting at my fiance to bring me food) and Tomb Raider amazed me with its dark themes and well paced story. The greatest thing is, following E3, it looks like the best is still to come!

1. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare

2. South Park: The Stick of Truth

3. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

4. Child of Light

5. Peggle 2

Honourable Mention: Dead Rising 3: Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX


What Xbox games have meant the most to YOU so far this year? Head to the comments to share your lists, comment on ours, or even make predictions on which upcoming releases you anticipate to make the cut. Destiny? Sunset Overdrive? Halo: The Master Chief Collection? There's plenty of great stuff on the horizon, and we have no doubt that our lists will look quite different come the end of the year. What about yours?

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User Comments (15)

Gamer83

#1

Gamer83 said:

Hasn't been as good a start for PS4 and X1 as I'd have liked but still some great games. I'd say my top 5 for the mid year are...

1. Watch Dogs
2. MLB 14 The Show
3. Mario Kart 8
4. inFamous: Second Son
5. Wolfenstein: The New Order

Special mention to Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, great re-release of a great game but it's still technically a 2013 game so I can't give it any recognition amongst games that actually released this year. If I were to do that however, it would be no. 1.

JD_John

#2

JD_John said:

It was hard going "all in" on the next generation this early in the life cycle, but I have to say the first half of 2014 has been good to me for all platforms.

1. Mario Kart 8
2. Trials Fusion
3. Rayman Legends
4. Titanfall
5. Infamous Second Son

Most Disappointed: Watch Dogs

Really looking forward to the fall/holiday season, specifically Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, Destiny, Super Smash Bros., Halo MCC and Ori and the Blind Forest.

kensredemption

#3

kensredemption said:

As far as all next-gen consoles are concerned, my top 5 consists of:

1. Mario Kart 8
2. Child of Light (Bought it for all three NGC's)
3. inFamous: Second Son
4. Titanfall
5. Strider

Honorable Mention: A Realm Reborn: Final Fantasy XIV.

The reason being that it's as fast-paced as other MMOs that succeeded WoW and is executed so seamlessly on my PS4, a far cry from its PS3 counterpart. Though, I do think the WHOLE gaming community would benefit by making it as accessible on as many platforms as possible. I played XI across the PS2, PC and 360 playerbases. I'd like to be able to play with PC/Mac/PS3/PS4/NWU/XBO users utilizing in-game voice chat as well, but I digress. I keep going on my quasi-progressive gamer rants, ha ha ha.

kensredemption

#4

kensredemption said:

@JD_John "Really looking forward to the fall/holiday season, specifically Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, Destiny, Super Smash Bros., Halo MCC and Ori and the Blind Forest."

No Bayonetta 2 or Devil's Third for you, then?

sakanakami

#6

sakanakami said:

1. Child of Light
2. Bravely Default
3. Valiant Hearts
4. Mario Kart 8
5. Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare

DRLAdmin

#8

DRL said:

@kensredemption I'm not so interested in Devil's Third, but man am I excited for Bayonetta 2. That release can't come soon enough.

kingston589

#9

kingston589 said:

1. Mk8
2. Kirby triple deluxe
3. Watch dogs
I dont think i have played any other new games

kensredemption

#10

kensredemption said:

@DRL I know exactly what you mean. I'm just excited to experience both games on the Wii U. Been itching for an action game for awhile since I've been playing XIV too much.

hydeks

#11

hydeks said:

1. South Park The Stick of Truth
2. Dead Rising 3
3. Titanfall
4. Ryse: Son of Rome
5. Watch Dogs

Honourable Mention: Tomb Raider Definitive Edition! I only put it here cause it's a 2013 game, but you couldn't tell that by looking and playing this game. Can't wait for the next Tomb Raider, and I never use to like Tomb Raider at all! :-)

Gamer83

#12

Gamer83 said:

@kensredemption

Is Devil's Third confirmed for this fall? If so, that moves just ahead of Bayonetta 2 as my most anticipated Wii U game for the rest of the year. I figured Devil's Third was 2015 though.

Dohv

#13

Dohv said:

No game released this year so far deserve GOTY. In my opinion.

EricDS

#14

EricDS said:

The list was limited to Xbox releases for us but I've liked what I've seen in the comments. Lots of different lists :)

kensredemption

#15

kensredemption said:

@Gamer83 Actually, I'm not too sure about when DT will come out. I've heard 2015, others say 2014. I'll just wait until something's confirmed.

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