In what has become an annual tradition – I’ve done it for the past 4 years, although those posts are now all lost to the ether due to my big server shutdown of 2014 – I like to end the year with a big post that goes through my favorite media of the year. This is a HIGHLY subjective list, it’s a list of the stuff that I really liked from the stuff that I experienced – and I of course do not experience everything that comes out. I do it more as an exercise for myself, as I enjoy looking back at what I took in throughout the year, and to have a think at what brought me the most joy. The way I do it is that I narrow it down to a top 5 – that I list in alphabetical order – and then I add in a few honorable mentions. I usually forget to include some things, and so I sometimes go in and update this post if something I really liked comes to mind.
Favorite Games (Consoles)
I try to keep these lists filled with media that came out in 2014, and for games it’s always a tough one since I tend to buy a lot of stuff when it goes on sale, which means in the early part of the year I played a lot of stuff that actually came out in 2013 (and I still do). One of my favorite gaming experiences of the year was playing Wind Waker HD, and Super Mario 3D World was a close second (I got my Wii U in January). For each game, I indicate the platform I played it on.
- Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)
- Broken Age (Mac)
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U)
- Fantasy Life (3DS)
- Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
Honorable Mentions: Azure Striker Gunvolt (3DS), Banner Saga (Mac), Costume Quest 2 (PS4), Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition (PS4), Hyrule Warriors (Wii U), Luftrausers (Vita), Pushmo World (Wii U), Rayman Legends (Vita), Rogue Legacy (Vita), Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball (3DS), Shovel Knight (Wii U), Star Wars Pinball: Heroes Within (PS4), Stick It to the Man (PS4), Super Smash Bros. (Wii U/3DS), Super Time Force (360), TowerFall Ascension (PS4), Transistor (PS4), TxK (Vita)
Favorite Games (Mobile)
Over the years, I sometimes have a separate category for mobile games (that I pretty much all play on iPad, as I’m not really a big iPhone gamer) and sometimes I don’t (like last year), but this year I felt there was a lot to highlight. Sure, some of these are multi-platform, but this is how I experienced them.
- Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series
- Monument Valley
- Tales from the Borderlands
- The Sailor’s Dream
- The Wolf Among Us
Honorable Mentions: 80 Days, Deep Under the Sky, FTL: Faster Than Light, Hearthstone, Hitman GO, Joe Danger Infinity, Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf, Out There, Papers, Please, République, Star Wars: Commander, Threes
This year I started binging more and more on seasons instead of watching stuff weekly, and there are still series that are on my watch list (like Boardwalk Empire, Fargo, and a few more). I’d also like to highlight Amnesia Fortnight 2014, a documentary video series that followed Double Fine Productions’ 2-week game jam, that aired on YouTube.
- Game of Thrones
- Mad Men
- Monday Night War
- True Detective
Honorable Mentions: Black Mirror, Constantine, Gotham, Halt and Catch Fire, House of Cards, Louie, Orange Is the New Black, Over the Garden Wall, Rick and Morty, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, Shameless, Star Wars: Rebels, The Flash, The Walking Dead, Top Gear
This is a tough one too in terms of really covering the year, since being in Japan, I don’t really get to see a lot of the stuff that comes out in the latter part of the year until the following year. So keeping that in mind, here’s what I most enjoyed this year. Also, I can honestly say that Jodorowsky’s Dune was my absolute favorite film of the year. I’m also noticing that I slowed down in my movie watching this past year, and there’s still a lot I’m looking forward to watching.
- Edge of Tomorrow
- Jodorowsky’s Dune
- The Zero Theorem
Honorable Mentions: Appleseed Alpha, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Snowpiercer, The Grand Budapest Hotel
In past year I would have a separate category for tracks and albums, but since I stopped doing my Codex podcast, I don’t really keep track of the songs that really stand out for me, as I tend to listen to albums as a whole. Also, I don’t include these because they are made up of old material, but some of my favorite releases this past year also includes The Pixies’ Doolittle 25: B-sides, Peel Sessions, and Demos (with the “Demo 1” version of “Wave of Mutilation” being a particular standout) and Fugazi’s First Demos.
- Intro Bonito (Kero Kero Bonito)
- Michael (Les Sins)
- Our Love (Caribou)
- Pom Pom (Ariel Pink)
- St. Vincent (St. Vincent)
Honorable Mentions: Atlas (Real Estate), Brill Bruisers (The New Pornographers), Here and Nowhere Else (Cloud Nothings), It’s Album Time (Todd Terje), Lese Majesty (Shabazz Palaces), LP1 (FKA Twigs), Morning Phase (Beck), Nikki Nack (Tune-Yards), Rips (Ex Hex), Sylvan Esso (Sylvan Esso), Syro (Aphex Twin), You’re Dead (Flying Lotus)
Even though I read a ton of comics throughout the year, I always very much look forward to all of the year-end “best of” lists that come out, as I constantly find tons of stuff I missed that I want to read, especially when it comes to graphics novels.
- Black Science
- Deadly Class
- Harley Quinn
- Alex + Ada
- The Multiversity
Honorable Mentions: Andre the Giant: The Life and the Legend, Avengers/New Avengers, Futures End, Gotham Academy, Hawkeye, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Justice League 3000, Low, Moon Knight (1-6), Seconds, Sex Criminals, Stray Bullets: Killers, Supreme: Blue Rose, The Fade Out, Velvet, Zero
This is the first time I include a list of favorite podcasts, and I figure it’s about time since listening to these is something I spend so much time on.
- 8-4 PLAY
- Pop Culture Happy Hour
Honorable Mentions: All Songs Considered, DLC, Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews, WTF with Marc Maron