PC Gaming in 2014 had a rough year with numerous AAA games having issues on PC. Despite several issues from big publishers, there were some good games that came out. A couple kickstarted games come in on our list, along with a remake of another indie game. Three AAA games did make our list in the end though, with one port, another game in a series, and one brand new AAA IP earning a spot on our list.
Given the gap in budgets, it would be fair to say that 2014 was a banner year for smaller developers on PC. While not all of them made our PC list, many were on our long nominations list before the cut down. With all that said, here’s TechRaptor’s picks for PC games of 2014. — Keith Elwood and Don Parsons
With plenty of new games that came out this year, Yacht Club Games brought us some nostalgia with the introduction of Shovel Knight. Shovel Knight is a game built with a platform like the SNES in mind but brought to all of the current generations. Boasting 8-bit graphics and a difficulty to rival MegaMan, this game is both a challenge and fun for anyone playing it. It’s games like this that only come once in a while that truly draw in new gamers as well as capture the nostalgia of past gamers to show how fun and challenging games can be. With a complete story line to play through, as well as upgrades for armor, different spells and items that you collect, there is plenty to do through this retro adventure game. — Andrew Stretch
Currently Available on: Yacht Club official site
It’s no secret I love myself a first person shooter or two. Hell, I’ve devoted myself to play an obscure shooter every week – that’s how much I love ‘em! Despite my love of shooters, I can’t help but be incredibly pessimistic whenever a new one rolls around. “Wolfenstein is dead,” I remember telling my friend after watching the PAX demo. “This will be the game that kills it.”
I love getting proven wrong.
Wolfenstein: The New Order isn’t a classic FPS, not by a long shot. Levels are too long, there’s little to no backtracking, and you won’t see any time par or enemy counter when you complete a level. However, this isn’t a bad thing. Wolfenstein grips the ‘cinematic’ FPS formula and squeezes it for all its worth, doing its very best to make it work. And you know what? It does. Props to you Machine Games, I eagerly await your next project. — Perry Ruhland
Titanfall is a massively multiplayer online shooter featuring pilotable mechs and traditional first-person competitive gameplay. Titanfall is unique in that the story of the new franchise has been integrated into the multiplayer action. Depending on the skill of the players fighting for one of two factions it alters the outcome of the narrative. Prior to release this title was hyped as a mainstream competitor for Activision’s Call of Duty franchise. In the end the game swelled as a hit on multiple platforms but failed to receive the same recognition as the now legendary and controversial Call of Duty franchise.
Titanfall on PC was mostly a console experience – by that I mean it was not a very well polished port. The graphical capacity of the game was reduced for the consoles and left exactly the same for PC. The controls were decent although could sometimes come across as sticky when getting into demanding battles. The social networking was above average, but there was lag at times depending on the game. Titanfall on PC was playable but it was not treated with enough polish to come off as much more than a standard ported title. — Thomas Nelson
Valkyira Chronicles is a port of the Playstation 3 exclusive of the same name from 2008 with graphical and resolution enhancements along with keyboard and mouse support. The game is a tactical role-playing game taking inspiration from World War II that uses a stamina gauge for movement instead of the conventional ‘grid’ approach in games, such as Disgaea or X-COM. This freedom of movement and aiming for attacks adds an additional layer of planning and skill that is often relegated to percentages in the other titles referenced.The player’s squad comprises of up to ten members in various roles such as scout, shocktrooper, sniper, and engineer. Finding the right balance of squad members with a mixture of roles is the key to victory.
What separates this version of the game from the PS3 version is the inclusion of all the DLC, custom control mapping, improved visuals, and 60fps support at launch. Aiming as the sniper class with a mouse is a night and day difference compared to the analog sticks on the Dualshock 3. Very rarely does a port come around that is a total improvement over the original version, but Valkyria Chronicle on PC manages to make an already great game into something even better. — Matt M.
Currently Available on: Amazon (Digital Only)
Runner Up: Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Those who think this is a reskin of the classic dungeon crawler would be horribly mistaken. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth brings a fresh new look to the series, bringing along new powers, and the ability to stack multiple powers on top of each other to make a whole new set of interesting and varied combinations to defeat the forces of Mom. While the music and new cutscenes were an improvement over the original game, what shines through is the gameplay, which rewards precise shooting and using your environment and powers wisely. Little additions only make the game better, like adding the ability to play a specific seed that will recreate a dungeon, or the ability to continue a game later on in another session. In the end, it’s the type of game that’s perfect for days that you don’t know what to play or just want to get your Dungeon Crawler fix. — Shaun Joy
Currently Available on: Humble Store (Digital Only)
Top Pick: Divinity: Original Sin
Divinity: Original Sin is the newest entry in Larian’s Divinity series, and by far its most acclaimed. Original Sin is an old school turnbased RPG, with lots of written dialogue, side quests, and areas to explore. Larian brought it to Kickstarter in 2013, hoping to improve the alpha game they had and raised about a million dollars there. Getting significant fan feedback throughout, the game improved a lot and became one of the top games of 2014, as a success of both Kickstarter and Early Access.
The game’s customization, freedom in the world, and focus on systems over scripting makes it a game that stands out.. With the ability to kill basically anyone, and interact with everything in the world it is very much and open world. One of the more innovative things that it has is its co-op play that allows you to play a full RPG with your friend, and each of you as a main character. All in all, a great RPG with a lot of fun times and things to explore in it — Don Parsons
And that’s how we saw PC games of 2014. We found some good games on the whole to play, and hope you did too.
What did you think of PC games of 2014? Do you think that we left off a game that needs to be here? Tell us in the comments below!