The Unlikely Game of the Year Candidates Thus Far

The games primed to win the year's top award aren't what you think...

The games primed to win the year’s top award aren’t what you think…

At the start of 2014, gamers everywhere reveled in the year’s potential. It was gonna be exciting: From Titanfall and inFamous: Second Son to Watch Dogs and Destiny, the possible Game of the Year candidates seemed obvious. But after a series of lower-than-anticipated review scores and a bunch of delays, here we sit going into November, and the candidates are not what we expected. Admit it, they’re not what you expected, either.

If you check the highest-scoring games on Metacritic, you will find a bevy of unlikely leaders. Now, considering that most sources will not count updated productions originally released in 2013 (The Last Of Us: RemasteredGrand Theft Auto VTomb Raider: Definitive Edition, etc.), we have to focus on original games. So, here’s a sampling of the few games that have managed to score very well so far this year:

Rayman Legends (average Metacritic score: 91)
Bayonetta 2 (average Metacritic score: 91)
Dark Souls II (average Metacritic score: 91)
Velocity 2X (average Metacritic score: 88)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (average Metacritic score: 86)

Didn't see this coming, did you?

Didn’t see this coming, did you?

Odd little list, isn’t it? You can count Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster and The Last Of Us Left Behind DLC if you want, but that’s probably not kosher. The heavy hitters in 2014 have fallen a little flat so far and right now, there are only a few games left that can claim GotY status. These include Dragon Age: InquisitionFar Cry 4, and Assassin’s Creed Unity. But the trend this year is for big-name games to fall shy of expectations, so…

Let’s also not forget with games like Batman: Arkham Knight, Battlefield: Hardline, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt disappearing into 2015, the available pool shrank considerably over the course of the year. However, all this being said, one could argue that at least from a critic’s standpoint, 2014 is one of the most disappointing years on record.

Either that, or critics everywhere are simply becoming stricter…are they trying to fix the admittedly skewed 10-point scale?

7 thoughts on “The Unlikely Game of the Year Candidates Thus Far”

That’s just silly. LOL

I think some of the bigger games this year fell victim to hype. The critics just expected the world and it didn’t happen. I was actually pretty satisfied with games like Watch Dogs and Destiny, so I wouldn’t say this year was a disappointment.

I actually think Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster should be considered. I know it includes games that are over a decade old but they’re also completely different than what we see around today. I think it’s worth comparing that to the new stuff.

I get what you’re saying but I’m not sure I agree. If we’re talking about Game of the Year, I think we have to stick to titles that actually first game out in that year.

Yeah, I get that. I’m just saying that good is good. 🙂

What’s wrong with that list? If they’re good, they’re good. They don’t have to be hugely anticipated big-name titles to be impressive, right?

No, but that’s not really the point of the article.

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