Close
Feature

Game Informer's Top Scoring Game Reviews Of 2014

by Bryan Vore on Jan 15, 2015 at 10:00 AM

We review loads of games every year, but only the best receive our special Game Informer awards. Some earn a Silver (a score of 8.5 to 8.75), some Gold (9.0 to 9.5), and an elite few make it all the way to Platinum (9.75 to 10). The most outstanding reviewed game featured in Game Informer Magazine also receives our coveted Game of the Month award. We've compiled every awarded game that released in 2014 so that you can easily browse and keep track of the top scoring games. If a particular game catches your eye, you can click on the title to read the full review. The 2014 list is now complete so see if your favorites make the cut. Be sure to check back for our 2015 list once more games have released.

Nav: SILVER | GOLD | PLATINUM


The Banner Saga

PC | 8.5

“Despite a few minor issues with enemy variety and the tedium of recurring encounters, Banner Saga stands out as an excellent tactical RPG with considerable depth.” —Daniel Tack


BioShock Infinite - Burial at Sea Episode 2
PS3, 360, PC | 8.5

“Finishing Episode 2 is bittersweet, since it’s the last piece of content created by Irrational Games as we know it. However, Burial at Sea also ties together the landmark creations of the talented team in a satisfying way, making it an appropriate curtain call for this amazing studio.” —Joe Juba


Broken Age: Act I
PC | 8.5

“With imaginative puzzles and wondrous settings, Broken Age: Act I is a delightful game for fans of adventure.” —Jeff Cork


Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Vita | 8.5

“I was surprised, captivated, and challenged by the culprit in every case.” —Kimberley Wallace


Game of Thrones: Episode One - Iron from Ice
Xbox One | 8.5
(Also on PS4, PS3, 360, PC)

"Duplicating its success from The Walking Dead, Telltale has created an excellent new way for fans to enter Westeros – one that has a unique vibe that sets it apart from the books and show. The Forresters' story boils with intrigue in this first episode, and with Telltale's scribes mimicking George R. R. Martin's cruel pen, concludes with a cliffhanger and chaos." —Andrew Reiner


Infamous Second Son
PS4 | 8.5

“For the third time, Sucker Punch has crafted a game that is worth playing through twice.” —Andrew Reiner


Kingdom Rush: Origins
iOS | 8.5

"Even if Origins doesn’t dramatically advance the series gameplay, I had a great time once again holding off the monstrous hordes. I’m hopeful to see Ironhide stretch its talented creative muscles a little more within the bounds of its tower defense expertise, but for the time being, Origins continues a successful structure without any stumbles." —Matt Miller


Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Game of the Month: June 2014
3DS | 8.5

"The difficulty level in Kirby’s outings remains consistently low, creating a relaxed breed of enjoyable (but predictable) action. Triple Deluxe doesn’t change the Kirby formula drastically, but it improves the difficulty curve and adds several fun mechanics."  —Kyle Hilliard 


LittleBigPlanet 3
PS4 | 8.5
(Also on PS3)

"LittleBigPlanet 3 is a strong showing for Sackboy and company, but one that points to the fact that – unlike Nintendo’s Mario, who’s been reinvented many times over the years – this series’ future is likely to follow the arc of another Sony platformer, Ratchet & Clank, by settling into a comfortable groove. As a fan of the genre, I’m fine with that – though this one doesn’t make as many waves as the original did back in 2008." —Matt Helgeson


Lords of the Fallen
PC | 8.5
(Also on PS4, Xbox One)

"Lords of the Fallen is a surprisingly solid title that wasn’t even on my radar. While it borrows heavily from the Souls franchise, it’s done well and with its own signature flair. I highly recommend this game to anyone that enjoys that series, and if you haven’t gone down that road before, it might be a more forgiving entry point into the action RPG." —Daniel Tack


Luftrausers
PS3, PC, Vita | 8.5

“Luftrausers is one of the most satisfying, enthralling arcade shooters to hit the market in recent memory.” —Tim Turi


Metro Redux
PS4, Xbox One, PC | 8.5

"Metro Redux may not offer much to entice players who have already played and enjoyed these games, but this remastered bundle is the best way for newcomers to experience the thrills and scares of this under-appreciated series." —Matt Bertz 


MLB 14: The Show 
PS4, PS3 | 8.5 

“New features dramatically cut down the time it takes to complete a game, allowing players to get deeper into seasons.” —Andrew Reiner


Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
PS3, 360 | 8.5

"Ultimax makes small tweaks to the fighting system, but it also keeps things fresh with new characters, an intriguing story mode that Persona fans will adore, and plenty of modes to keep you busy. None of Persona's essence is sacrificed to make a fighting game." —Kimberley Wallace


Pro Evolution Soccer 2015
PS4 | 8.5
(Also on Xbox One, 360, PS3, PC)

"This is a great PES with which to kick off the new systems – it retains its heart while staking out vital new directions. It's not the largest of milestones and it has its stumbles, but it already puts the franchise on more firm footing than last generation." —Matthew Kato 


South Park: The Stick Of Truth
PS3, 360, PC | 8.5

“It’s one of the most faithful adaptations of a license I’ve seen, and it ranks among the best comedic games ever released.” —Dan Ryckert


Super Time Force
Xbox One, 360 | 8.5

"Super Time Force is a fascinating design experiment, and deserves your attention if only for its innovative twist on the classic shooter experience." -Matt Miller


Tropico 5
PC | 8.5

"If you’ve played the series before, you should feel right at home. If you haven’t, it’s a great place to start – this is the most fun and accessible installment yet." -Daniel Tack


The Walking Dead Season Two – Episode 3: In Harm's Way
PS3, 360, PC | 8.5

"I felt emotionally drained and dejected after finishing this episode – but what’s so fascinating is never once did I want to stop playing. I want to see Clementine win." -Kimberley Wallace


The Walking Dead Season Two - Episode 5: No Going Back
Game of the Month: October 2014 
PS3, 360, PC, Vita, iOS | 8.5

"Telltale brings it all to a head in the season two finale, letting you decide how Clementine has grown. The decisions aren't easy, and they affect where she ends up; in a way, these choices say just as much about you as they do Clementine." —Kimberley Wallace


Watch Dogs
PS4, Xbox One, PC | 8.5
(The PS3 and 360 editions did not earn our Silver award)

"The main draw of any open-world game is the gameplay, and while not perfect, Watch Dog's hacking abilities add an engaging and unique twist to the third-person action. Ubisoft has another deserved hit on its hands, and I look forward to seeing where the new series goes next." -Jeff Marchiafava


The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3 - A Crooked Mile
PS3, 360, PC | 8.5

"A Crooked Mile is a much more balanced episode than its predecessor. The excellent pacing, the varied choices, and how the writers still make me guess their next move keeps this episode riveting." —Kimberley Wallace


Destiny
PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360 | 8.75

"Even with its stumbles, the initial release of Destiny is a colossal achievement in interactive design, integrating a number of differing genre elements into a smart and unified whole. Bungie’s latest futuristic opus is one of the first true event games of this new generation, and while it still has room to grow, it’s worth your attention right out of the gate." —Matt Miller


Far Cry 4
PS4 | 8.75
(Also on Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC)

"The half-baked co-op is disappointing and the game sticks to the conventions of its direct predecessor almost to a fault, but the wondrous Himalayan setting packed with activities still makes Far Cry 4 a trip worth punching your passport. Come for the gunfights, and stay for the viscous honey badger hunts." —Matt Bertz


The Last of Us: Left Behind
PS3 | 8.75

“Instead of blunting the impact as I feared, Riley and Ellie's story adds resonance to the original game's ending. For The Last of Us fans, this is a ride well worth taking.” —Matt Helgeson


Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers
Xbox One, 360, PC, iOS, Android | 8.75

"Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers is possibly the best of the series, and an excellent option for gamers that might be interested in learning how to play Magic: The Gathering."—Daniel Tack


Our Darker Purpose 
PC | 8.75

“This Tim Burton-esque romp through the nightmare dreamscapes of the Edgewood Home for Lost Children is almost everything a player looking for a modern ‘roguelite’ could desire.”—Daniel Tack


Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire 
3DS | 8.75

"The new PokéNav Plus elements are Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’s biggest and best new additions. They change the way you participate in Pokémon’s most attractive mechanic – collecting Pokémon. It’s what separates Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire from X & Y, and ultimately makes them superior games. Having a better sense of which creatures I still need and where to get them is something I’ve been craving, and it makes this iteration in the series my personal favorite." —Kyle Hilliard


Shadowrun: Dragonfall 
PC | 8.75

“Dragonfall is an expansion in name, but its characters, story, and approach to gameplay feel more like a sequel.” —Matt Miller


Shovel Knight
Wii U, PC, 3DS | 8.75
Game of the Month: August 2014 

"Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight not only looks and feels like a lost gem from gaming’s past, it hybridizes classic gameplay mechanics from Capcom hits while injecting a modern risk/reward system. The polished core is topped off with a familiar yet authentic visual style that drives the whole experience home."—Tim Turi


Skylanders: Trap Team
PS4, Xbox One | 8.75
(Also available on PS3, 360, Wii U, and 3DS)

"Giving Toys for Bob an extra year to work on this sequel paid off, not just with the concept of villains partnering with heroes, but the world they inhabit feeling more alive. Trap Team is an expensive proposition (see sidebar), but one that pounds out thrills and gives fans plenty of reason to visit Skylands for a fourth time." —Andrew Reiner


Strider
Game of the Month: April 2014
PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC | 8.75 

“Strider is a great reboot for old-school arcade junkies and at the same time a fresh action experience for newcomers to the franchise.” —Bryan Vore


Velocity 2X
PS4, Vita | 8.75

"Futurlab’s stellar game is challenging and unusual, and its complex controls are demanding. For that reason, Velocity 2X may not fascinate novice gamers, but experienced players will delight at its varied gameplay, spare design aesthetic, and daring speed." —Matt Miller


The Walking Dead Season Two - Episode 2: A House Divided
PS3, 360, PC, iOS | 8.75

“It has everything that made season one so gripping, like important relationship development, tragedy, and stunning revelations.” —Kimberley Wallace


Wasteland 2
PC | 8.75

"Wasteland 2 feels like a perfect execution of what inExile hoped to accomplish with this Kickstarter-fueled project, not only an excellent retro nod to the computer RPGs of decades ago, but a great RPG of today. After a 26-year hiatus, this long-awaited sequel is a worthy successor to the CRPG throne." —Daniel Tack

Nav: SILVER | GOLD | PLATINUM

Be sure to click on the blue game titles to jump to the full review text.

Nav: SILVER | GOLD | PLATINUM


Bayonetta 2
Wii U | 9.0

"Creating a sequel to an already-polished game is a challenge, but Platinum Games’ approach ultimately succeeds. Bayonetta 2 is rooted in its past while taking steps (but not strides) toward the future. Though I was disappointed by some of the familiarity, I was usually having too much fun to care." —Joe Juba


Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Xbox One | 9.0
(Also on PS4, PS3, 360, PC)

"Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s single-player campaign is a ridiculous summer movie romp with sobering visions of the future of weaponry. Bring popcorn, because the real fun begins with the multiplayer, where the wealth of customization options should have players coming back for game after game." —Daniel Tack


Civilization: Beyond Earth
PC | 9.0

"Civilization: Beyond Earth doesn’t take the series to the outer galaxies in terms of revolutionary new gameplay, but it provides fantastic modifications and mechanics that allow it to stand proud as a worthy bearer of the Civilization name. This is a must play for strategy fans, and if you’ve always been curious about the genre but never jumped in, your opportunity is here." —Daniel Tack


Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Sunken King
PS3, 360, PC | 9.0

"The zones themselves are among the most labyrinthine in Dark Souls II and include a huge amount of dead drops and lethal traps, which are often served up under duress from unwavering foes. This creates an atmosphere of claustrophobia and keeps an uncomfortable pressure bearing down on the player throughout the entire DLC experience."—Daniel Tack


Divinity: Original Sin
Game of the Month: September 2014
PC | 9.0

"Divinity: Original Sin isn’t just a great turn-based RPG, it stands tall on its own as an amazing title where players can truly blaze their own paths through the world as elemental wizards, crafty rogues, and brutal warriors."—Daniel Tack


The Evil Within
PS4, Xbox One | 9.0
(Also on PS3, 360, PC)

"Few Paranormal Activity fans care how these malevolent demons come back again and again – what truly matters is that the audience’s nerves are frayed until they’re raw. The Evil Within excels at keeping your palms sweaty while delivering a harrowingly rewarding gameplay trial. Watching the credits roll with a sigh of relief doesn’t feel like winning; it feels like surviving." —Tim Turi


Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster

PS3, Vita | 9.0

“For those who want the complete arc of the Final Fantasy X saga, the collection delivers. Even without a nostalgic lens, both games hold up well.” —Kimberley Wallace


Hearthstone
PC, iPad | 9.0

“Drawing upon many of the staples of collectible card game design with a focus on accessibility and modern sensibilities, Hearthstone succeeds as a standout example of where DCGs are headed.”—Daniel Tack


Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas
PC, iPad | 9.0

"Naxxramas is an excellent addition to the core game, and an exploration of sorts to examine the potential for additional single-player Hearthstone content. While there is little replay value to the encounters themselves, the adventure provides a substantial amount of new content that spills over into ranked, casual, and arena mode and changes how you approach the game." —Daniel Tack


Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix
PS3 | 9.0

"Kingdom Hearts II and Birth By Sleep offer an incredible amount of quality gameplay. If you’re feeling nostalgic or running through for the first time, there’s a ton of meat to sink your teeth into that can easily last well into the new year." —Bryan Vore


Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
3DS | 9.0

"Persona Q is easily one of my favorite games this year. It delivers in both quality gameplay and wonderful characters, but what stands out is the extra effort that went into every area, always raising the bar."  —Kimberley Wallace


Rayman Legends
PS4, Xbox One | 9.0

“Rayman's latest outing lands on new-gen consoles with everything that made it great, and a few minor extras.” —Jeff Cork


Smite
PC | 9.0

“Smite is an excellent addition to an expanding genre, and one that distinguishes itself from the rest of the pack with decidedly different gameplay, a quirky and lighthearted take on classic mythology, and a variety of interesting modes.”—Daniel Tack


The Talos Principle
PC | 9.0

"The Talos Principle is a meaty puzzle experience that will take you over a dozen hours to complete and then leave you chewing on some of life’s greatest mysteries for weeks. You might not be able to solve the nature of humanity, but the rest of this game’s puzzles will leave you feeling brilliant enough to try." —Ben Reeves


Threes 
iOS, Android | 9.0

“The game rewards strategy and patience time and time again, and you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not having it on your mobile devices.” —Dan Ryckert


Towerfall Ascension 
PS4, PC | 9.0

“With the release of Towerfall Ascension, I’m finally able to play a game I love without having to worry about any obnoxious technical issues [from the Ouya edition].” —Dan Ryckert


Transistor
PS4, PC | 9.0

“Supergiant Games' follow-up to Bastion is a powerfully imaginative action/RPG that evokes a sense of wonder and revels in experimentation.” —Matt Miller


Ultra Street Fighter IV
PS3, 360 | 9.0

"The handful of new characters and modes won’t entice newcomers, but considerable changes and balances have been made to the engine. It isn’t groundbreaking, but it keeps the venerable Street Fighter IV on top of the fighting game hierarchy." —Jason Oestreicher


Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
PC | 9.25

“Almost every facet that players rightly attacked in the original game has been refined and revamped, transforming the title into an enjoyable action/RPG experience.” —Daniel Tack


Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition
PS4, Xbox One | 9.25
(Also on PS3 and 360)

"The complete Diablo III experience is enjoyable played solo, but by allowing a combination of online and local cooperative play for up to four players and adding some fun new social tools, Blizzard has made this the cooperative game to beat on new-gen consoles. No matter your experience level with the game, this is an excellent time to dive in to the action." —Matt Miller


Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze 
Game of the Month: March 2014
Wii U | 9.25

“DK returns (again) with a smooth, finely tuned blend of wonder and punishment.” —Bryan Vore


FIFA 15
Game of the Month: November 2014
PS4, Xbox One | 9.25
(Also available on PS3, 360, Wii, PC, Vita, and 3DS)

"FIFA 15 takes the series into a whole other level with gameplay that betters the surmounting hype that threatened to engulf it. Playing it makes me believe I can do just about anything with the ball at my feet, and this self-assurance is powerful." —Matthew Kato


Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Xbox One | 9.25

"Master Chief Collection raises the bar for remastered compilations by allowing players to experience these games as they really were, and how our memory has colored them over the years. Whatever your main incentive for getting The Master Chief Collection may be – replay the story, relive the multiplayer – you won’t be disappointed with this revival."  —Kyle Hilliard


Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes
Game of the Month: February 2015
PC, iOS, Android | 9.25

"The first expansion set for Hearthstone is a major step forward for the already accessible and fun game, and I hope to see even more variety as we move past Goblins vs Gnomes into the future of the digital card game." —Daniel Tack

Mario Kart 8
Game of the Month: July 2014
Wii U | 9.25

"None of the previous titles in the franchise can boast the rock-solid total package that this one offers." -Dan Ryckert


Sunset Overdrive
Xbox One | 9.25

"Outside of the mission monotony, Sunset Overdrive is an immensely rewarding experience that has a look and style all its own and a great gameplay package to complement it. It’s a colorful return to form for Insomniac games, and a hell of an exclusive for Xbox One." —Andrew Reiner


Super Smash Bros.
3DS | 9.25

"Super Smash Bros. has KO’d my assumptions and renewed my enthusiasm for the series." —Jeff Cork


Titanfall
Xbox One, PC | 9.25
360 | 9.0

“Respawn evolves the competitive shooter through a wealth of innovations and cleverly balanced action.” —Matt Miller


Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
PS4, Xbox One | 9.25

“It's simply a great port of a great game. The added content is a welcome addition, but didn't markedly affect my enjoyment of Tomb Raider.” —Matt Helgeson


Dragon Age: Inquisition
Game of the Month: December 2014
PS4, PC | 9.5
(Also on Xbox One, PS3, 360)

"After two disparate entries with different philosophies, Dragon Age’s identity crisis is over. With a mixture of open-world exploration, entertaining combat, and top-tier characters, the team at BioWare has found a winning formula that isn’t shackled to either Dragon Age: Origins or Dragon Age II. Inquisition is not defined by the traditions it returns to, but by the new directions it forges for this magnificent fantasy universe." —Joe Juba

Nav: SILVER | GOLD | PLATINUM

Be sure to click on the blue game titles to jump to the full review text.

Nav: SILVER | GOLD | PLATINUM

 


Dark Souls II
Game of the Month: May 2014
PS3, 360 | 9.75

“Dark Souls II respects you enough to assume you can figure things out, despite having perhaps lost some of these sensibilities by playing other titles that walk you through on tether from start to finish. As a result, the rewards and achievements are that much more satisfying. It’s only March, but Dark Souls II stands tall as a potential game of the year.” —Daniel Tack


Grand Theft Auto V
PS4, Xbox One | 9.75

"I can’t stress just how much fun it is to experience Grand Theft Auto V again from a new perspective. The impact it has on the series is huge, but is somewhat muted from it debuting in a re-release and not a new entry in the series. I went into this review expecting to play the same game again, and I did, but Rockstar made it feel new." —Andrew Reiner


Super Smash Bros.
Game of the Month: January 2015
Wii U | 9.75

"Even if you aren’t able to regularly round up an eight-player posse, there’s more than enough great stuff here to keep you busy – both solo or in traditional four-way matches. I’ve had a great time rekindling old Smash Bros. rivalries from the GameCube era and introducing it to a new generation of players. Its mix of accessibility and deep strategy is remarkable, and it’s an instant lock in my party-game rotation." —Jeff Cork


The Last of Us Remastered Edition
PS4 | 10

"All the graphical improvements are wonderful, but you may be wondering if The Last of Us Remastered is for you. Like the best visual updates, Remastered plays like you remember it. If you played 2013's Game of the Year near release and have been dying to return to the dark tale, then this is a great opportunity. If you never played The Last of Us at all, this is absolutely the way to do it. But be careful - you'll never want to go back to the PS3 original again after reveling in all the improvements." —Tim Turi

Nav: SILVER | GOLD | PLATINUM

Be sure to click on the blue game titles to jump to the full review text.