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‘Dragon Age,’ ‘Far Cry 4’ among top video games of 2014


Here are the Top 10 video games of 2014, according to the Associated Press:

1. “Dragon Age: Inquisition” (BioWare, for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC): Despite its grander-than-grand scale, “Inquisition” is a breathtakingly detailed role-playing saga unique to each player portraying the leader of a revolution in the fantasy realm of Thedas. BioWare deserves to be heralded for its commitment to storytelling and creating the most engrossing journey in gaming this year.

2. “Alien: Isolation” (Creative Assembly, for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC): Creative Assembly didn’t just painstakingly pay digital homage to Ridley Scott’s original “Alien” film, the developers also crafted a thrilling first-person experience. In a medium where problems are usually solved with the business end of a rifle, “Isolation” instead forces players to outwit, not outgun their extraterrestrial enemy.

3. “Far Cry 4” (Ubisoft Montreal, for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC): One of the best virtual experiences I had this year was enjoying a peaceful flight across the shadows of the Himalayas in a rickety gyrocopter only to suddenly be shot out of the sky by soldiers. Then I returned fire while parachuting down into their base. Such wild moments made the open-world shooter “Far Cry 4” a rainbow of chaos.

4. “Mario Kart 8” (Nintendo, for Wii U): Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and company returned to the driver’s seat for more high-octane banana tossing and shell throwing in the latest installment of the long-running kart-racing series. “Mario Kart 8” swerved past obstacles to become the year’s most addictive game for the Wii U, thanks to an eye-popping aesthetic, user-friendly online experience and gravity-defying race tracks.

5. “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor” (Monolith Productions, for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC): Set between “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” the liberating “Shadow of Mordor” is a revenge tale with a twist: it pays to learn about your orc adversaries, not just blindly take them down. That’s just one innovative touch in a game that makes Middle-earth feel more alive than any entry that’s come before it.

6. “Titanfall” (Respawn Entertainment, for Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC): How can you go wrong with giant robots? Respawn Entertainment dropped an army of mechanized beasts into the multiplayer shooter genre and created a rollicking new dynamic with players battling for power from both inside and outside those titillating tanks. It’s the only online shooter I kept making return trips to in 2014. Sorry, “Destiny” and “Call of Duty.”

7. “This War of Mine” (11 Bit Studios, for PC): If the virtual dollhouse series “The Sims” was set in a country where food and shelter were scare, it would be the gripping “This War of Mine.” With haunting black-and-white imagery and emotionally unrelenting gameplay, 11 Bit Studios’ account of a group of ordinary citizens struggling to survive is a reminder that games don’t have to be fun to be engaging.

8. “Sunset Overdrive” (Insomniac Games, for Xbox One): The end of the world has never been as ridiculously entertaining as it is in “Sunset Overdrive.” Insomniac Games, the tricksters best known for the “Ratchet & Clank” franchise, daringly delivered a cartoony rendition of the apocalypse where energy drinks turn folks into monstrous creatures and electrical lines serve as modes of free-running transportation.

9. “Wolfenstein: The New Order” (MachineGames, for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC): While most resurrections of old-school game franchises fail to re-ignite the fire sparked by their ancestors, “New Order” auspiciously reimagined Nazi-killing protagonist William J. Blazkowicz as a three-dimensional man out of time. “New Order” turned out to be a solid first-person shooter that’s anything but dim.

10. “Super Time Force” (Capybara Games, for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC): Both ingenious and hilarious, the time-bending platformer “Super Time Force” flipped the genre on its head by pushing players to rewind pixelated, nostalgia-filled mayhem over and over again. Messing around with the space-time continuum hasn’t been this amusing since “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” — the movie, not the game.

Associated Press