Feature

Readers' Choice Best Of 2014 Awards

by Jeff Marchiafava on Jan 08, 2015 at 12:26 PM

Yesterday, we shared the results of over a month of deliberating, debating, and obscenity-filled arguments: Game Informer's picks for the best games of 2014. Today, we're back with the results from this year's readers' poll. Just how "wrong" were we? Read on to find out what your fellow readers think.

Over 7,500 readers took the survey, and while there was plenty of overlap with our editor picks, there were some notable exceptions as well. Let's crunch some stats.

Best PlayStation 4 Exclusive: Infamous Second Son
No surprises here: As with the G.I. editors, readers overwhelmingly chose Infamous Second Son over Sony's only other PS4 exclusive, Driveclub. Infamous raked in 93.7% of the vote, leaving Driveclub in a distant second.

Best Xbox One Exclusive: Sunset Overdrive
The race for the best new-gen Microsoft exclusive was equally lopsided, with Insomniac's wacky open-world action game receiving 87.5% of the vote. D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die came in second at 7.2%, while the Xbox One's other exclusives, Dance Central Spotlight and Kinect Sports Rivals both failed to crack the 3% mark.

Best Wii U Exclusive: Mario Kart 8
Crowning Nintendo's top exclusive for its home console was a bit harder for readers this year. Mario Kart 8 claimed top honors with 47.4% of the vote, while Bayonetta 2 (GI's pick for best Wii U exclusive) came in second at 34.6%. Next up was a distant Hyrule Warriors, which was the favorite for 7.8% of readers.

Best PC Exclusive: Civilization: Beyond Earth
Larian Studios nabbed Game Informer's award for best PC exclusive with its sprawling indie RPG, Divinity: Original Sin. Readers, on the other hand, favored some more prominent franchises. Civilization: Beyond Earth came in first with 20.6% of the vote, followed by The Elder Scrolls Online at 14.3%, and World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor at 13.3%. Some readers also loved Divinity, however, as 12.9% named it their sim of choice.

Best Vita Exclusive: Freedom Wars
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc was the G.I. staff's pick for best Vita exclusive, but the 16.1% of votes it garnered in the readers' poll was only good enough for second place. SCE Japan Studio's action RPG Freedom Wars won handedly with 46.4% of the vote.

Click the next page to see what readers chose for best action game, cooperative multiplayer experience, and more.

Best 3DS Exclusive: Bravely Default
Readers also differed on Nintendo's best handheld exclusive. Silicon Studio's throwback RPG Bravely Default won with 33.1% of the vote. Runner ups included Kirby: Triple Deluxe (12.7%), Yoshi's New Island (12.1%), and finally Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth (12.0%), which won top honors from the G.I. staff.

Best Mobile Exclusive: Flappy Bird
Okay, now you're just trolling us, right? Dong Nguyen's flappy-winged phenomena fluttered into the hearts of readers this year, and won the best mobile exclusive award with a whopping 31.1% of the vote. Monument Valley (G.I.'s pick) came in second with 16.7%, followed closely by Kingdom Rush Origins HD, which captured 13.9% of the vote.

Best Action Game: Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
The vote for the best action game of 2014 came down to Bayonetta 2 and Shadow of Mordor for the Game Informer staff, with Mordor ultimately winning out. The same proved true for readers: Monolith's orc-stabbing romp dragged in 33.6% of the vote, while Bayonetta 2 hacked and slashed its way into the number-two spot with 13.4% of the vote.

Best Adventure Game: The Walking Dead Season Two
Game Informer's editors were enthralled with Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc this year, which earned our pick for best adventure game. However, Spike Chunsoft's disturbing murder mystery only garnered 3.0% of reader votes. Instead, readers favored Telltale's adventure offerings this year. The Walking Dead Season Two led with 31.5%, followed by The Wolf Among Us, which won over 23.4% of voters.

Best Cooperative Multiplayer: Destiny
Some readers cried foul when we announced yesterday that Destiny was our go-to game for co-op in 2014, but the majority handedly agreed. Bungie's social shooter won the readers' poll with 36.0% of the vote, followed by Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (18.6%), Far Cry 4 (15.5%), and Dragon Age: Inquisition (12.9%). It just goes to show you that shooting aliens is always more fun with friends.

Click the next page to see what readers chose for best competitive multiplayer experience, platforming game, and more.

Best Competitive Multiplayer: Super Smash Bros.
When the G.I. staff picked Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft as our favorite competitive multiplayer game, we knew it was an unconventional choice. Only 6.0% of readers agreed, putting Blizzard's free-to-play collectible card game in a distant sixth place. Winning top honors was Super Smash Bros. with 28.1% of the vote, followed by the year's big three shooters: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (16.6%), Destiny (14.3%), and Titanfall (14.0%).

Best Fighting Game: Super Smash Bros.
Well, at least we can still agree on a few things. G.I. editors and readers alike both overwhelmingly chose Nintendo's mascot-packed brawler as the best fighting game of the year, with it garnering 77.3% of the reader vote. The closest runner-up was EA Sports UFC, with just 8.2% of readers giving it the nod.

Best Racing Game: Mario Kart 8
G.I. editors and readers also agreed on the best racing game of the year. Mario Kart 8 won over 60.0% of readers on the road to victory. Forza Horizon 2 claimed the silver cup with 21.4%, while The Crew was forced to settle for bronze with a modest 7.0% of votes.

Best Platforming Game: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Nintendo's domination continues, with Donkey Kong taking top honors in the platform genre, capturing 44.2% of reader votes. LittleBigPlanet 3 came in second at 32.7%, while Kirby: Triple Deluxe only managed to suck up 8.2% of the vote.

Best Puzzle Game: Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
The G.I. staff gave our best puzzle game award to The Talos Principle, but Croteam's first-person mind bender couldn't beat out Nintendo's mushroom-headed treasure hunter in the eyes of readers. Captain Toad collected 51.7% of the vote, followed by mobile hits Monument Valley (16.5%) and Threes! (15.1%).

Click the next page to see what readers chose for best role-playing game, MMO, and more.

Best Role-Playing Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition
No surprises in the RPG category, as the G.I. staff and readers both gave Dragon Age the top nod. Inquisition garnered 44.0% of the votes, while South Park: The Stick of Truth conjured up 16.7% of votes, and Dark Souls II slayed 13.8% of readers with its brutal but rewarding difficulty.

Best MMO: World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
Although readers ultimately agreed with our pick of Warlords of Draenor as the best MMO, the category proved to be one of the closest showdowns in the poll. Blizzard's mainstay won with 29.5% of the vote; The Elder Scrolls Online received 28.9%, coming up just 29 votes shy. Star War: The Old Republic – Shadow of Revan was a close third, garnering 26.0% of the vote.

Best MOBA: Smite
A new category for Game Informer this year, Smite was both the editor and reader pick for the best new MOBA of 2014. Hi-Rez Studios' new take on the formula was awarded 48.4% of the reader vote, followed by Infinite Crisis (39.4%) and a distant Vainglory (6.6%). Given the rising popularity of MOBAs, we expect to see more new contenders next year.

Best Rhythm/Music Game: Fantasia: Music Evolved
Although it wasn't a crowded genre this year, it was a competitive one. Readers agreed with our pick of Fantasia, which garnered 37.8% of the vote, but Ubisoft's annual juggernaut Just Dance 2015 was a close second (33.0%) followed by Square Enix's tap-happy Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (29.2%)

Best Simulation Game: Goat Simulator
G.I. editors gave the best simulation game award to the thought-provoking indie game This War of Mine, but readers had something a little more light-hearted in mind. Coffee Stain Studios' buggy hit Goat Simulator won with 43.0% of the vote, followed by This War of Mine (20.6%), and The Sims 4 (19.6%). It's a good day to be a goat.

Click the next page to see what games readers chose for best shooter, sports game, and more.

Best Shooter: Far Cry 4
The anti-Destiny crowd was out in full force yesterday when we named Bungie's controversial hit the best shooter of 2014. It was a close race, but readers ultimately favored the open-world chaos of Far Cry 4, which accrued 25.3% of the vote. Destiny was a close runner up, however, at 23.7% – just 98 votes shy of the crown. Lagging a bit further behind were Wolfenstein: The New Order (16.9%), Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (13.2%), and Titanfall (10.8%).

Best Sports Game: FIFA 15
Our pick for top sports game was also the reader pick; 28.3% of respondents favored FIFA 15, while Mario Golf: World Tour came in second at 23.0%. The other annual hits rounded things out as follows: Madden NFL 15 (16.1%), NBA 2K15 (15.1%), and MLB 14: The Show (8.5%).

Best Strategy Game: Civilization: Beyond Earth
Firaxis Games is no stranger to winning awards, and this year was no different. The G.I. staff and readers both gave Civilization: Beyond Earth the top spot; it received 31.1% of the reader vote, followed by Hearthstone (25.5%) and The Banner Saga (16.7%).

Best DLC: The Last of Us: Left Behind
Who says last gen is dead? This year's best downloadable content was for last year's games. We gave the top honors to The Last of Us: Left Behind, which readers also favored at 31.6%. Second place went to BioShock Infinite's Burial At Sea expansion, which garnered 21.5% of the reader vote. After that came Dark Souls II's Crown of the Sunken King (10.2%) and Destiny's first expansion, The Dark Below (7.6%).

Best Remastered Game: Grand Theft Auto V
Thanks to the rising popularity of new-gen consoles, there were countless remasters released this year. We found it impossible to beat the addition of a first-person mode in GTA V, and readers agreed. Rockstar's open-world masterpiece received 25.7% of the reader vote, followed closely by the graphically improved The Last of Us Remastered (21.6%) and the value-packed Halo: The Master Chief Collection (17.1%).

Click the next page to see what readers chose as their game of the year.

Game Of The Year: Dragon Age: Inquisition
In the G.I. offices, the debate over the game of the year was a contentious one, with editors split evenly (and arguing endlessly) between Dragon Age: Inquisition and Middle-Earth Shadow of Mordor. Not so for readers: Dragon Age was the runaway winner with 22.6% of the vote. Super Smash Bros. came in a distant second at 10.2%, and Mordor grabbed the third spot with 8.1% percent of the vote.

At the other end of the spectrum, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z got a single vote from readers, which – before you laugh – makes it infinitely more popular than Tropico 5, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, Mercenary Kings, and Fantasia: Music Evolved, which all turned up goose eggs. Way to make your voice heard, Yaiba fans fan!

Disagree with the results? Don't blame us – we weren't the ones voting! Criticize your fellow readers and share your own picks in the comments below.