Favorite game I played this year: XenoBlade Chronicles
Runner-up: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
I fuckin' adore XenoBlade Chronicles. This is a clear merger of Japanese and western RPG traditions, with great characters, story, and action-packed combat. By far the most beautiful game on the Wii, in both audio and visuals. I haven't finished XenoBlade yet (taking a break from playing it right now, actually), but I want to try and beat it in the next few days. I'm about to fight Egil.
Favorite 2014 game I played this year: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Runner-up: Bravely Default
Dragon Age: Inquisition seemed too big. Its environments were vast and richly detailed, and I didn't even step into one of them (the Hissing Wastes), but the ten or eleven I did check out in detail were awesome. The dialog, scenarios, and character interactions were awesome. One mid-game plot point still haunts me, and it kinda makes me want to create a new world state and a new Inquisitor just to try going the other way on it. It's my favorite BioWare game since Mass Effect 2, and maybe my favorite BioWare game ever.
Most disappointing game I played this year: Batman: Arkham City
Runner-up: Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Yeah, I played a lot of checklisty action RPGs and open-world games this year. Arkham City was really pretty, and sometimes it was really cool, but several basics of gameplay (brawling, checking walls for clues, gliding) didn't really do it for me. Arkham City didn't wow me with its scale like the environments of XenoBlade or Dragon Age, and the smaller details didn't impress me much either. When Arkham City is good, it's great (the boss fight in the police station, predator scenarios, scenes with Harley and Joker). But the game seems small and short compared to its peers, and its highs don't match the highs of Arkham Asylum.