Ultimately, Creative Assembly has delivered on its promise of an unforgiving thriller that refuses to pull its punches. Isolation reaffirms the Alien as the ultimate horror icon, both terrifying and awesome; trapping you within its cage proves to be the shot in the arm the franchise needed. Bold, unrelenting and very scary, Alien: Isolation is a triumph in every department. No prior knowledge is necessary. Just prepare yourself for the most terrifying game of the year.
So, goalkeepers aren't as good as promised, the soundtrack is rubbish as usual and the menus still aren't as simple as they could and should be. Regardless, when all is said and done, FIFA 15 is the best football game we've ever played. It combines match day pageantry and superb gameplay perfectly, and builds nicely on last year's sterling effort. After so many years of trying, EA has, with the exception of a few little missteps, finally gotten player AI right and created a fast, fluid football experience that looks and feels like the real thing. This will go down as the year that EA finally ticked all the boxes.
New 'N' Tasty is exactly what it claims to be: a new experience still instantly familiar to anyone that played the original, and vital playing for those that didn't. Oddworld was a defining presence on the Playstation, and New 'N' Tasty will remain a defining experience on the new generation of consoles, too. It's a pleasure to see a remaster done so well.
2014 will have better games, stronger ideas and more visually impressive spectacles, but none of this stops Watch Dogs from being another very fine offering from Ubisoft Montreal, a studio that has a commitment to both quality and narrative that should always be admired.
It's a tough game to criticise. The setting is perhaps not quite as striking as the original game's clay-coated Colorado, but that could be as much to do with the familiarity of the European landscapes for a European reviewer as it is the actual layout of the roads. Perhaps the offline mode could have a little more structure to keep you locked in to its most thrilling events, but that would damage the freeform amiability of everything. It's just a very special racing game. There's a depth of content here that matches the game's undoubted class, and ensures Playground Games is a genuine powerhouse in the world of digital racing. Forza Horizon 2 is a gorgeous, confident and relentlessly gratifying drive, and easily the best first-party exclusive on Xbox One.
If there's anyone out there who's getting into Mario for the first time with the Wii U, this is a great example of an alternative kind of game to New Super Mario Bros. U. For the rest of us, Super Mario 3D World might not be a "game changer" like Super Mario 64, but it'll always be remembered as the one that let the cats out.