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Editor's Choice: Jonathan's Xbox One Game of the Year for 2014

This year has been a huge year for the Xbox One, and as we showed you guys last week with our most anticipated games article; we can't wait to see what 2015 has in store. However, it is now time for me to reflect on the past and choose my favorite game of the year. Just a heads up, this is my personal opinion and you guys are encouraged to share your favorites in the comments below.

Let me start by telling you what I personally look for in a game. First off, I'm a sucker for an immersive story. Any game that can make me feel as if I am the biggest part of the story is a winner in my book. Secondly, I love a game that isn't afraid to try a new gameplay mechanic or reinvent an old one. This keeps things fun and fresh. Lastly, cohesion. If you can make a great game with a great story and great mechanics that don't disconnect you from your character, you have struck gold my friend.

So without further ado, here is my favorite game of 2014.

Sunset Overdrive

I guess the best way for you guys to understand why I love Sunset Overdrive so much is to take you guys through the journey it took me through. As most of you know I'm fairly new to the site and this was my first big AAA game review. Also, this was Microsoft's biggest new IP of the year, so I had a lot of pressure on me to say the least.

When I launched Sunset Overdrive I knew I was playing something different. I mean the bold colors stand out from the start. The yellows, reds, and blues. This was refreshing as many games have somber colors schemes. But little did I know the boldness of the colors were a hint of what was to come.

My first couple of hours into the game were tough. I had trouble getting used to the controls and I somewhat as if the game was trying a little too hard. You had this crazy new type of traversal, yet the game just kind of throws you in there and hopes you will pick it up. But this wasn't the only thing that threw me off in the beginning. Insomniac Games is well known for their sense of humor that they proudly display in their games. Well, I felt like as if it was a little over the top.

Not only was I put off by the humor at the beginning at the beginning of the game, I was dismayed when I realized that a lot of the missions where point A to point B type of missions. You guys have surely played these before. Someone in the game wants you to go fetch some item for them and then bring it back to them. These type of missions drive me crazy. Especially when that's all a game is doing.

At the point in the game, I reached out to Paul and Sam and expressed my concern with them. I was afraid that I was going to give my first big title a horrible rating. I was sad that I was only 3 hours into the game and I wasn't enjoying myself. However, something changed.

Sunset Overdrive started adding amps to my weapons that created some crazy firefights. It also started giving me new movements to add to my traversal such as air-dash and being able to pound into something and jump up from it. While it was adding all of these new things to the gameplay, it was also began to get smart. The humor and the story were falling into place and I was having loads of fun with the game. Never has a game been so self-aware, yet not obnoxiously so.

I honestly can't remember the last time I thoroughly enjoyed a game as much as I did Sunset Overdrive. To put it best, this game was the shooter genre's equivalent that Burnout was to the racing game genre. Everything was just over the top fun. The game even has a fast travel option, but there was no honest need for it. Traveling from one side of the map to the other often resulted in some awesome chain moves that came at the expense of the OD'd. I mean a gun that lets you shoot flaming teddy bears at enemies will always be a winner in my eyes.

So if you haven't bought Sunset Overdrive yet, I advise that you do so. Yeah, the first couple of hours are a total grind, but once you get through it, your side will be splitting from it breaking the fourth wall and you will endure aching face muscles from smiling so much. The game took me back to a time when games were just pure fun and didn't think too highly of themselves. We are surrounded by games that tell somber stories and consist of brutal deaths. However, Sunset Overdrive shows that you can even have fun when you're dying by awesome re-spawn animations.

I guess the reason I truly enjoyed the game was because it was such a breath of fresh air that it's been so hard to forget it. Sunset Overdrive you were my hero in 2014 and a great start to my writing career. I hope there are more games just like you somewhere out there in the not too distant future.

  • Sunset Overdrive - Xbox One - $39.99 - Amazon (opens in new tab) - Xbox Store (opens in new tab)
70 Comments
  • I guess Forza Horizon 2 would have come a really close second...or was it something else Jonathan??
  • Mario is the best..!!
  • Mario for Xbox game of the year would have been a rather leftfield choice.
  • Even RoadRash is good..Definitely much faster than Forza Horizon..!!
  • Yea, Mario 3D land for the WiiU is a EPIC game (No quiestion must own if you have a WiiU).....About my only reason to get a WiiU (Yes, I have been known to buy a console for 1-2 games before, ask my wife and family)
  • Forza is an awesome game but I couldn't consider for GOTY since it has no story but it was one of my favorite games though. Close second would've been The Walking Dead season 2 or Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • What about far cry 4
  • Titanfall..??
  • FH2 was my 2014 Game of the Year on XB1.
  • "here is my favorite games of 2014"
  • Lol right, fucking pointless post
  • How was it pointless?
  • I got a great idea then...we won't write anything. Sound good?
  • Sounds good...especially if you are going to get all sensitive about some opinions.
  • Polite and intelligent opinions are fine. Rude or dumb ones are not.
  • @John B5  Can you not see the irony in what you posted? The guy being sensitive was the raing nerd ReconVirus saying "fucking pointless post" Presumably he doesn't agree, but you cannot disagree with someones personal favourite game. He even had a polite request from the author on why his article was pointless. Honestly you kids need to grow up a bit.
  • Wow..!! Nice choices there..!!
  • Lets everybody not say anything, read anything, or do anything until Windows Phone 10 is released...
  • Yes it is completely pointless as are all game / film reviews because everyone has different opinions
  • Its not pointless. I love to hear why people like certain games, their opinions can often give insight in games and be valuable when making purhcasing decisions. For example, I just bought "Endless Legened" as Angry Joe talked about it in his top 10 for 2014. I love it, and it was due to Joe's love for it and detailed opinion that helped me make a good choice. So no, its not pointless. If you find it so, don't read it, don't comment and jog on please. You post was actually the pointless one. Hopefully my repost educates you not to be so blinkered next time. I live in hope.
  • My Top 5: 1. Minecraft, 2. Titanfall, 3. Fantasia, 4. Project Spark, 5. Super Time Force
  • Super time force was awesome! Wish you could play #IDARB. You're going to love it!
  • I'm not sure why they didn't make #IDARB the Games with Gold option in January instead of D4. Clearly #IDARB has been ready for weeks, so why shelf it until February's Games with Gold? It's especially perplexing since the alternative is to release D4--a game that's only been out for 3.5 months--as January's Games with Gold selection, thereby pissing off many customers who just bought it in the past few months (including many who just bought it a few weeks ago when it was on sale for 1/3 off). It would've made a lot more sense to release #IDARB--a game that no one has bought yet--as January's Games with Gold and made D4 (an excellent game, by the way, and one of my favorite Kinect games ever) the Games with Gold selection for February.
  • I felt a little disappointed with SO in the beginning as well, then it started to grow on me
  • I loved this game. I hope it did well enough financially to warrant a sequel (as was hinted at several times throughout the game. But then again, I'm still waiting for Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money).
  • Rumor has it that it didn't come anywhere close to Microsoft's sales expectations, which is worrisome. It's a very good game.
  • Dragon Age Inquisition ftw
  • Indeed, Dragon Age wins GOTY for me.
  • Fantastic choice!
  • Halo:MCC ftw
  • Can't disagree with this. It's a great game. A great exclusive.
  • Totally agree with this. Almost 100% this game and dlc. Didn't think I would play it as much as I have.
  • The color of this game makes me think of Jet Set Radio.
  • Exactly what I thought going into SO for the first time.
  • Some of the developers were former team of Smilebit, creators of JSRF.
  • I honestly have to say it was favorite game of 2014 as well. Nice mix of other great titles like Jet Set Radio, Infamous and Crackdown.
  • Fully agreed. Best game on XO
  • Anyone else having issues with Halo 5 beta matchmaking?
  • Yeah, but persistence is key, at least for myself. Just keep trying to get into a match and you eventually will.
  • For a new game, yeah, I have to agree with this. My only gripe is that I would expect a longer story from Insomniac like Ratchet and Clank, but other than that, it was awesome.
  • Yea I do wish it was longer as well! Hopefully we get more out of SO2. I'm hoping for a co-op campaign.
  • Where do you get that Xbox one controller?
  • Best buy :)
  • Good pick
  • No Alien Isolation love then?
  • Sunset Overdrive is hyped up garbage, in my opinion.
    Easily my most regretted purchase, followed by Titanfall. My top 3:
    1. Halo MCC
    2. Forza Horizon 2
    3. Destiny
  • That fact that you think Sunset Overdrive is garbage, regret purchasing Titanfall (the best FPS game of 2014, by far), and put Destiny in your Top 3 pretty much means you have zero credibility, coupled with terrible judgment.
  • Aww, I'm sorry if I hurt your fanboy feelings. It is just my opinion.
    Titanfall is extremely repetitive and has nearly zero storyline. I did like the feel of the shooting though.
    Destiny... I like everything about it, except the slow load times when "traveling" between missions, I really dont know what there is not to like about it other than it being somewhat short.
    I think my list is more of an indictment on a lackluster set of games in 2014, but the fact that you like Sunset Overdrive gives you zero credibility too me... so...
  • Dude, you just have a different set of likes and dislikes. Leave the immature trash taking for your posts on BGR willya. FYI, I'm in your camp on TitanFall, but respect the opinions of others as well as my own.
  • lol, Sunset Overdrive was 'hyped up garbage' yet you listed Destiny as one of your favorites? Okay.
  • What's wrong with Destiny?
    Yeah it was hyped, but I think it delivered other than being a little short.
  • Yeah def one of my favorites on Xbox.  Loving Dragon Age Inq.on the PC. 
  • Mediocre year. All in all my favourite game was Wolfenstein: The New Order. Great story, solid shooter.
  • Agreed. I loved Wolfenstien so damn much! It was hard picking a personal goty, but I think I enjoyed DA:I and Wolfenstien the most this year.
  • I want to buy the game disc. Does this mean that it stays as game disc only whenever I play this game? I dont know how this works. So far I've purchased digital, so I dunno if the disc is still required after installing this game.
  • You need to keep the game in the drive, but it only reads it to launch it. Basically, it's just like on the 360.
  • If you buy digitally, you  never have to have a disc in the drive to play. If you buy the disc version instead, you always have to have the disc in the drive to play.
  • Where did u get that blue controller???
  • It's been available exclusively at Best Buy since November 4, 2014.
  • Should have been a Top 5 or a Top 10 post. This is really just a single opinion. Would love to see what multiple writers thought instead of a single writer. Oh well you win some and lose some. Btw Sunset Overdrive is awesome!
  • Don't worry, my list will have several games on it. :)
  • Fav new game: TitanFall, Xbox one. Fav newly discovered Oldie: Iron Brigade, XBox 360.
    Your mileage may vary...
  • TERRARIA
  • This one was mine too. I was so annoyed when the bundle for this game just straight up disappeared after a week.
  • It sold out. I was surprised they didn't do another production run.
  • Wow, some people just like to be rude and put down other peoples opinions. Good artical Jonathan, I like your writing style. I might give this game a try.
  • Also, he clearly stated that this was just his opinion, I guess some of you didn't read that part
  • Forza Horizon 2 was probably my favorite game of the year as it was the one I played the most.
  • I have just spent over 20 hours in Sunset Overdrive.  All the missions, the challenges, the weapons, and the great moves just love it.  And Fizzie he steals the show, music is great also.
  • like a burning train.