A critic's picks: Top 10
games of 2014
1. Dragon Age: Inquisition (Bioware, for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC): This overstuffed role-playing epic has everything you could want in a fantasy saga: war, magic, exploration, romance and, yes, dragons.
2. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment, for PC, iOS and Android): This delightful collectible card game is simple enough for any newcomer to enjoy, but you'll want to spend hours tinkering with your deck.
3. Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Ubisoft Montpellier, for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, iOS and Android): This stirring war drama tells the story of a European family torn apart by World War I and the brave dog that helps them.
4. South Park: The Stick of Truth (Obsidian Entertainment, for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC): From the sublime to the ridiculous, as Cartman and friends defend their town from aliens, Nazi zombies and Al Gore, it's a terrific role-playing game that doubles as a savvy parody of the genre's clichés.
5. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions, for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC): A brilliant take on J.R.R. Tolkien, rewards a smart strategic approach as much as skillful swordplay, and it's utterly unique.
6. Monument Valley (Ustwo, for iOS and Android): Each of the three-dimensional landscapes looks like an M.C. Escher drawing, with paths and staircases that seem impossible to traverse.
7. Wolfenstein: The New Order (MachineGames, for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC): Set in an alternate Europe where the Nazis won, this first-person shooter is an expertly paced thriller.
8. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Nintendo, for Wii U): This puzzler's 3D mazes are first-rate, and you'll want to spend hours exploring every nook and cranny.
9. Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal, for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC): The new Himalayan setting offers not just breathtaking scenery but also the opportunity for all kinds of high-altitude high jinks.
10. Threes! (Sirvo, for iOS, Android and Xbox One): Fork over the $3 for the original of this much-copied math game, whose smart design turns a simple premise into an enthralling, infuriating instant classic.
Lou Kesten, Associated Press