2014 is drawing to a close, and the festive spirit is no doubt getting plenty into the gaming mood. We've already revealed our Game of the Year Staff Awards, but now it's time to see which titles have most excited the Nintendo Life community over the past year.

We opened voting for the Game of the Year Reader Awards on 16th December, and thousands of votes have been cast as you selected your favourites. Unlike the staff voting, the community had the tougher job of selecting one game in each category, but as a testament to the quality of the 2014 line-up on Wii U and 3DS there were an impressive number of games that earned votes. Those that selected 'Other' as opposed to the shortlisted titles certainly had their say, too.

These are your awards, then, so let's get to the details.


Wii U Retail Game of the Year

This award followed the trends of the staff equivalents, with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Hyrule Warriors earning honourable mentions despite missing the top three. The final results, however, are a little different.

Nintendo's blockbuster Holiday release, alongside the amiibo range, has clearly captured the hearts of Nintendo Life's readers. It saw off a spirited challenge from the second placed game, and shows that the hard work of Masahiro Sakurai and his team has succeeded in satisfying a lot of Wii U owners.

Second Place: Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo)

Third Place: Bayonetta 2 (Platinum Games / Nintendo)

Wii U eShop Game of the Year

One of the most intriguing categories as a result of the broad range of releases on the platform, this had plenty of titles battling for placings. Those that missed out from the top three by a handful of votes included NES Remix 2, SteamWorld Dig and Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition.

To be blunt, this terrific platformer from Yacht Club Games won by a huge margin, picking up 44% of the votes in a diverse field. This is a title that's been acclaimed by many that have played it, with the developers picking up a host of major awards as a result; challenging, impeccably designed and with gorgeous audiovisual detail, this is an outstanding game on the eShop.

Second Place: Bayonetta (Platinum Games / Nintendo)

Third Place: Child of Light (Ubisoft)

3DS Retail Game of the Year

Nintendo's portable is still the go-to system for millions, whether relaxing at home or getting in valuable play time on the road. 2014 brought us some excellent retail games, and the community vote has brought some clear differences from the staff equivalents, with one of the biggest franchises in the world earning a place that it previously missed. Intriguingly, we also have a top three entrant that picked up last year's now-defunct "3DS Retail Third-Party Game of the Year" reader's award, yet it was eligible again due to its 2014 release in North America. Honourable mentions that missed the top three go to Fantasy Life and Kirby: Triple Deluxe.

A comfortable winner, the portable Smash Bros. entry secures the staff and reader's 3DS Retail double. Arriving before its HD brethren, this handheld release did an excellent job of warming us up for the home console game and, actually, stood very well on its own two feet. A technical marvel on the diminutive system, and another triumph for Masahiro Sakurai and his team.

Second Place: Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire (Nintendo)

Third Place: Bravely Default (Square Enix)

3DS eShop Game of the Year

Like its Wii U equivalent, the eShop category on Nintendo's portable can lead to some particularly intriguing votes. It was another strong year on the store, and one title made such an impact on some that it claimed third place despite only being available in North America when voting was open. Special mentions go to Steel Diver: Sub Wars, Azure Striker Gunvolt and Retro City Rampage: DX, which all narrowly missed out on a placing in the top three.

Just like in the Wii U category, this title absolutely ran away with the vote, this time with 46% of the total. It's clearly the stand-out download success story of the year, and due to its release on both Wii U and 3DS has achieved an unprecedented double double, securing the Wii U and 3DS eShop gongs in both the reader and staff votes.

Second Place: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy (Capcom)

Third Place: Shantae And The Pirate's Curse (WayForward)

Overall Game of the Year

It's time for the ultimate award now, the game that you - the Nintendo Life community - voted as your Game of the Year across both Wii U and 3DS. Just like the staff votes this result shows that the wow factor has resided with the Wii U this year, with home console games taking the top three places. As for those that just missed out, we offer a hat tip to Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire.

As per the Wii U retail category, the terrific fighting game from Nintendo executes a Final Smash to its rivals. Masahiro Sakurai and Nintendo made sure to emphasize that this HD début for the franchise also represented the IP's biggest game yet; it's difficult to argue. A huge roster, 8 Player Smash, innovative amiibo support, online matches that actually work, and a glut of modes make this a substantial package. There's more to come in 2015, too, with Mewtwo DLC and online Tournies on the way.

Second Place: Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo)

Third Place: Bayonetta 2 (Platinum Games / Nintendo)


Those are the Game of the Year Reader Awards for 2014, then. Feel free to let us know what you think of the final outcome, and share your own personal lists, in the comments below.