Stuff Gadget Awards 2014: Alien: Isolation is the Game of the Year

The British-made sci-fi shocker had us hiding in space cupboards – and loving every minute of it
Alien: Isolation is the best game of the year

Having spent 11 of 2013’s 12 months getting excited about next-gen games more than actually playing them, it’s a relief that 2014 has brought with it a bunch of bona fide belters.

The PS3 and Xbox 360 have done OK for new games, too, while the Wii U hasn’t been completely ignored either.

So which game is the best of 2014? Well according to you lot, it's both the scariest survival horror game of the year and the best use of a movie licence in ages. Yes, it's Alien: Isolation.

READ MORE: See all the Stuff Gadget Awards 2014 winners

Winner: Alien: Isolation

Stuff Gadget Awards 2014: Game of the Year

With many first-person shooters now little more than fish-in-a-barrel sims, it’s refreshing to play a game with a much deeper barrel. Oh, and 
a xenomorphic fish that has a nasty habit of sneaking up on you and turning your internal organs into external ones. Alien: Isolation is the gaming equivalent of walking blindfolded across a tightrope over a pool of gnashing piranhas – the danger might not always be visible, but you know it’s just under the surface. Extra-terrestrial stand-offs and unforgiving gameplay mean it’s not for everyone, but for its truly terrifying atmosphere, one of the greatest inventions of sci-fi cinema finally 
has a game worthy of the Alien name.

READ MORE: Alien Isolation review

Runner-up: Dark Souls II

Stuff Gadget Awards 2014: Game of the Year

Games are too easy these days. They’re full of hand-holding tutorials, stories that explain every single thing, and waypoints for every objective. Dark Souls II has none of those things, so you spend much of your time with the game confused and lost. And that’s when you’re not dead, because this is a seriously tough game even once you know how to fight. If you’re confused as to why any of this makes it brilliant, you just don’t understand. 

READ MORE: Dark Souls II review

Runner-up: Destiny

Stuff Gadget Awards 2014: Game of the Year

Combine the super-tight shooter thrills of Halo with the super-addictive loot and levelling of something like Diablo and place it in a massively multiplayer setting and you’ve got a recipe for many players’ idea of gaming bliss. And this is just the start for Destiny - Bungie says it has a ten-year plan to expand its new universe, beginning with The Dark Below in December. 

READ MORE: Destiny review

Runner-up: FIFA 15

Stuff Gadget Awards 2014: Game of the Year

It’s not the biggest leap forward in FIFA history, but FIFA 15 is faster and more responsive than its predecessor, with more emphasis on weight and momentum. Serious skill and clever tactics are rewarded more than ever, too, making this a must for dedicated FIFAddicts. 

READ MORE: FIFA 15 review

Runner-up: Forza Horizon 2

Stuff Gadget Awards 2014: Game of the Year

Forza Motorsport’s open-world spin-off gets the Xbox One treatment in awesome style: stunning Mediterranean scenery, dynamic weather and the most exotic cars in the world, all recreated in sizzling 1080p. New off-road point-to-point races are a particular highlight. Most importantly, Forza Horizon 2 captures the feeling of driving very fast better than any other game.

READ MORE: Forza Horizon 2 review

Runner-up: Mario Kart 8

Stuff Gadget Awards 2014: Game of the Year

Wii U owners haven’t had a great deal to shout about this year, but when the one big release is a new Mario Kart game you’re entitled to shout really, really loud. That’s doubly true because Mario Kart 8 is the best game in the series in years - a sort of greatest hits of tracks and features, all with glistening new graphics and the ultra-fun, ultra-competitive multiplayer racing we all remember so fondly. 

READ MORE: Mario Kart 8 review

Runner-up: South Park: The Stick of Truth

Stuff Gadget Awards 2014: Game of the Year

No-one predicted that South Park: The Stick Of Truth would actually be good, but it is and then some. That’s mostly because it distils the show’s humour so darn well, from the art and animation to the utterly offensive humour and constant fart gags. It’s like playing an episode of the TV show, albeit with an RPG-style battle system that shouldn’t fit but somehow does. Even a little touch of censorship for the EU version can’t dampen the juvenile enjoyment. 

READ MORE: South Park - The Stick Of Truth review

Runner-up: Titanfall

Stuff Gadget Awards 2014: Game of the Year

Is there anything that can’t be spiced up with the addition of giant robots? Line dancing, maybe. Actually, now we think of it line dancing with giant robots sounds utterly brilliant. But the point is that Call Of Duty definitely could be improved with giant robots, as evidenced by Xbox One exclusive Titanfall. If super-fast-paced multiplayer shooting and stomping are your thing, Titanfall is your game. 

READ MORE: Titanfall review

Runner-up: Watch_Dogs

Stuff Gadget Awards 2014: Game of the Year

With it’s open-world city setting, big budget cinematic storytelling and almost endless side-missions, Watch_Dogs has a great deal in common with Assassin’s Creed. But here the horses and pirate ships are replaced by motorbikes and cars, blowpipes by assault rifles, and Eagle Vision by the ability to hack anything. Spy on people, hack their phones and cause crashes by changing traffic lights at your whim. POWER!

READ MORE: Watch_Dogs review

Runner-up: Wolfenstein: The New Order

Stuff Gadget Awards 2014: Game of the Year

We expected this reimagining to be all about shooting cyborg nazis with two machine guns at once, which is sort of is, but Wolfenstein: The New Order is also all about the futility of war, the horror of living life under a repressive regime and the relationships that blossom in those terrible conditions. All sound a bit sincere? Just get back to the action then - there’s loads of it, it’s vastly OTT and it’s a great deal of fun, too. 

READ MORE: Wolfenstein - The New Order review

READ MORE: See all the Stuff Gadget Awards 2014 winners