Our 2014 Favorites: Josh Hawkins

Our collective top 10 Games of the Year are coming next week, but first, we each chime in with some personal favorites. First up: freelance contributor Josh Hawkins.


I’ve played a lot of games this year, and I have to say I’ve had my fair share of disappointments this year, but for every single disappointment there has been a masterpiece, or at least something close to a masterpiece. I mean, when you really think about it 2014 has been a great year for video games. Anyway, enough with my babbling. Here are a few of my favorites from 2014.

Elite: Dangerous

What really needs to be said about this game? It’s space with the aspects of Euro Truck Simulator and ace dogfighting in the stars. Seriously, it has to be one of the single greatest games I’ve ever picked up and played. Why? Sure it’s been done before, it isn’t revolutionary by any means, and yes Star Citizen is still in development and is believed to be a million times better, but the thing about Elite Dangerous is that it does everything I want it to do, and it does it right. I can mine, I can jump from system to system selling useless stuff, I can even shoot down other players, and best of all I finally get to live my double life as a Space Captain. I’m pretty sure that’s been every guy’s dream since they were five.

Civilization: Beyond Earth

For some Beyond Earth was a “meh” title at best, but for me it was one of the best Civilization games I’ve ever put time into. Sure there are things I’d like for it to do better, and the civilization leaders are a bit dull, but overall Beyond Earth gave me a great Sci-Fi fix while giving me the usual “one more turn” treatment that ended up taking up many of my nights after release. Be right back -- my Capitol is under attack.

Neo Scavenger

Neo Scavenger may not look like much on the surface, but once I started digging deeper into it I was lost in the beauty of the cruel world that creator, Daniel Fedor, had crafted. The game has just exited early access into its final release as of December 15th and is still just as much of a time vacuum as the day I picked it up. Together the cruelty and unforgiving nature of Neo Scavenger’s apocalyptic world and the turn based gameplay make this game an astonishing addition to the “one more turn” genre.

Age of Wonders 3

For me Age of Wonders was a new experience altogether. I’d heard how amazing the previous games in the series had been, and was intrigued by the idea of a more fantasy themed setting versus the historical theme behind the majority of the Civilization games. I was immediately pulled in by the story, which reminded me of the old Warcraft games, and the setting, and art style. It’s a beautiful game, and much like two other games on my list –- Neo Scavenger and Beyond Earth –- I allow it to eat up way too much of my time once I start playing it. What can I say, I’m a sucker for good stories and fantastic gameplay… but then again I guess most of us are.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

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