Metareview: GOTY Edition

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Metareview: GOTY Edition
Over the weekend the Joystiq hive mind concluded its annual hive dance and deemed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor the top dawg of 2014. Monolith's action-RPG may have hacked and slashed its way to the top of our list, but a glance at The Rest of the Internet makes one thing clear: When it comes to 2014's GOTY awards, there isn't One Game to rule them all.

With that in mind, we've taken the Metareview format we use to collate other outlets' reviews and given it a GOTY paint job. As ever, it's just a sampling of all the publications out there and plenty of places have yet to dole out their awards. Nonetheless, here's a wee look at the best games of 2014 according to everyone else.

Mario Kart 8
Named GOTY by: Eurogamer

"But the best thing about Mario Kart 8 is that it is defiantly old-school and thrillingly modern all at once. It incorporates some of the best features of contemporary social gaming without jumping on any bandwagons that might lead it astray. It offers depth and customization and a long tail of unlocks, but it doesn't put grind before purity. Online, it's competitive but friendly, with excellent ranking and matchmaking, a level playing field and - something previously thought impossible - a charming lobby. It's a game you keep playing again and again and again because you're having fun, not because you're working towards your next meta-goal. It's even got an add-on that's worth buying."

Joystiq Top 10 of 2014: 9th

Dragon Age: Inquisition
Named GOTY by: Polygon, The Escapist

"BioWare's sprawling, ambitious fantasy game is not perfect, not even close to being perfect. But it aims so far beyond the series' own previously-set parameters that its foibles and shortcomings are entirely forgivable. Like many games before it, Inquisition seeks to provide a powerful interactive fiction while laying out an explorable geography of self-expression. Neither of these things are wholly achieved, and yet they are both so likably and capably rendered; I suspended any harsh criticism and accepted that perfection on such a grand scale is not yet possible." (Polygon)

Joystiq Top 10 of 2014: 2nd

Destiny
Named GOTY by: GamesRadar

"It's a living, evolving entity that improves with every update, embracing the philosophies of this current generation of always-online, always-upgrading consoles. It's a shining example of the grand ambitions of a world-class developer who wants to push the shooter genre into a new generation; to give its players more than 'just another FPS'. Destiny is not a perfect game... but for my money it's by far the best game of 2014, and it's only going to improve."

Joystiq Top 10 of 2014: DNF

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Named GOTY by: Giant Bomb, GameSpot

"What makes Shadow of Mordor special, however, is how it improves on that stealth-action-parkour formula while simultaneously introducing its own unique element: the nemesis system. The mechanic is the one from 2014 most likely to influence systems-driven games in the years to come. In Shadow of Mordor, your enemies aren't just the ones the game tells you about, but the ones you make on your own as you hack and slash your way through the game's parched environments. The Uruk that got away will remember your face. His facial scars will be a roadmap of the brutality you forced him to endure. And when you next meet, he will bellow his displeasure before unleashing vengeance." (GameSpot)

Joystiq Top 10 of 2014: 1st

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Named GOTY by: GameTrailers

"It may seem like we're overly giddy about our casual past-time, over-hyping a game meant to be played in between other games. But Hearthstone has only gotten better and better this year, and as our skills get sharper we enjoy playing it more and more. It would appear to be smaller than the competition, but the hours we collectively invested against the AI and other players surpassed most of our video game addictions in 2014."

Joystiq Top 10 of 2014: DNF

Bayonetta 2
Named GOTY by: Edge, Destructoid

"Bayonetta 2 had to fight to be born. Despite the relative popularity of the original game, Sega and Platinum struggled to justify the funding for a follow-up. Nintendo swooped in, securing the exclusive publishing rights for the sequel. In doing so, the company signaled to fans that it was opening its doors to third-party developers in all-new ways, and that it was willing to shed its 'family friendly' image when it felt it was right to do so. The game hasn't been embraced by Wii U owners in the same way that Smash Bros. or Mario Kart 8 have, but that's sadly to be expected. What's important is the people who love Bayonetta 2 really, really love it. I'm yet to meet someone who has played through the game who didn't name it as one of their top titles of 2014." (Destructoid)

Joystiq Top 10 of 2014: 3rd

[Images: Nintendo, EA, Warner Bros, Activision-Blizzard]

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