There are a ton of video games coming out this year, and this is our list of the top 12 games you’ve got to play in 2014. This year is shaping up to be a great year for gamers with plenty of big name titles on the way.
All of these titles either bring back beloved game series or show us what’s possible with the powerful, new next generation game platforms. So let’s take a look at our pick of the top 12 must-have games of 2014.
12. “Tom Clancy’s The Division”
A crippled New York City is torn at the hands of disease and enemy terror. Soldiers are strengthened by the sights of their guns. This scenario could only be that of a Tom Clancy-branded game.While some believe “Tom Clancy’s The Division” won’t hit in 2014, the anticipation alone has us begging for the third-person shooter.
The game tasks you, one of just a number of infantrymen, with clearing the broken city of the threats that have hindered civilization so far. Developer Red Storm Entertainment promises that “Tom Clancy’s The Division” will be more than just another “run-and-gun” shooter. It’s a huge world. It’s a pretty world. And we cannot wait.
11. Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy an increasingly divisive series, with many hating the collection of games based around the ‘Fabula Nova Crystallis’ mythos of FFXIII, but even the staunchest critic of Square’s direction with its flagship license has to take note of Final Fantasy XV.
Although sharing the above mythology, XV isn’t connected to the other XIII games, and is its own creation, focusing more on action and combat. Third person is the viewpoint this time, and the world will be both open and interactive, with a full day and night cycle. The style of the game is also a departure from the last few FF outings, with a more gritty feel. Could be a mind-changer.
10. “Halo 5″
After captivating the industry in 2012 with “Halo 4,” developer 343 Industries has had to come to the realization that they have big shoes to fill with “Halo 5.” There are a number of exciting questions fans should be asking after the developer unveiled “Halo 5″ just months ago. Why is Master Chief wearing a cloak? Is the universe’s most renowned hero hiding from something or someone? These questions will most certainly be answered this fall. When they are, they will be a part of a new engine showcasing a full 60 frames per second, a la “Call of Duty.”
9. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The very adult, and very impressive Witcher series is headed back to our screens in 2014 in The Wild Hunt, and this should be the biggest Witcher instalment yet. It’ll feature a vast, ‘multi-region’ open world instead of the series’ previous more enclosed areas, and is set to round off the Geralt of Rivia trilogy in style.
8. “South Park: The Stick of Truth”
Not all of 2014′s most anticipated games are coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Wii U. Despite being delayed three times – yes, three – “South Park: The Stick of Truth” is shaping up to be a comedic goldmine and a very thought out role-playing game all the same.
For those out of the loop, the game is being made by the same folks who made “Fallout: New Vegas.” Check. The game’s script is entirely written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Check mate. “South Park: The Stick of Truth” looks like it was stripped straight from Comedy Central. If it plays like a triple-A, role-playing game and makes players laugh for hours upon end, everyone wins.
Simply the fact this this is Halo creator, Bungie’s first title since giving up the mantle of the Master Chief is enough of a reason to be interested in it, but Destiny looks great on its own merits. Admittedly, it all looks very Halo in style, which is to be expected coming from the same team, but a new direction and subject matter could spell a classic FPS in the making.
It’s an open world title and focuses on multiplayer with a mixture of weapons and magic. Bungie has also claimed that he game world will be alive, and random events can happen at any time, and it’ll feature various character classes. As long as it’s not too similar to Gearbox’s excellent Borderlands, this could be one of the biggest hits of the year.
6. MGS 5: The Phantom Pain / Ground Zeroes
Although as confusing as hell, with a main game and separate prologue (Ground Zeroes), the next generation instalment of Metal Gear Solid is a definite highlight of next year’s release schedules, and is going to take the stealth, espionage, action title into the open world. Although Hideo Kojima has already gone on record as saying that the game won’t look as good as other next gen titles, we think it looks pretty spiffy, and when it comes to stealthy gameplay, it’s one of the series that does it best.
As long as Kojima can rein in his obsession with ridiculously long cut-scenes, this could be the best MGS outing yet, and an early slice of next gen open world action. Ground Zeroes has a release date of spring 2014, and will serve as a taster of what’s to come in the main game, The Phantom Pain, which could arrive soon after. However, Kojima has recently hinted at a longer development time for the title, so a 2014 isn’t guaranteed.
5. “The Walking Dead: Season Two”
Few media outlets left “The Walking Dead: Season One” off their “best of” list in 2012. Fewer are leaving the game’s second season off their most anticipated list of 2014. After the roller coaster of emotions that was season one, players now tackle the zombie-infested world as Clementine, a young girl that’s become all too familiar with the reality of pain and death. With episode one of season two already out, it’s clear that developer TellTale Games is ready to pull on players’ emotional strings once again. If you do yourself any favors in 2014, check out “The Walking Dead: Season Two.” Just be sure you play through season one first.
4. “Infamous: Second Son”
“Infamous: Second Son” will have to appeal to a number of players who’ve never touched the series. Thankfully, developer Sucker Punch Productions seems up to the task. “Infamous: Second Son” is an action game with powers that even your average Marvel super hero would be jealous of.
Players will take the reigns of Delsin Rowe, a 24-year-old that enjoys graffiti and, well, nothing else. Like most stories involving super powers, Delsin comes across his powers and uses them to fend off enemies in a story that Sucker Punch hopes revitalizes the series’ name. Whether you’re accustomed to the franchise or not, “Infamous: Second Son” has all the makeup of a blockbuster title — quite possibly the first on PlayStation 4.
3. “Watch Dogs”
The gaming industry has seen enough of the game to know that it’s shaping up to be unique and, hopefully, something special. Playing as Aiden Pearce, you’ll get to cause mayhem with futuristic technology that would make even the iPhone 6 look “so last year.” The game is an open-world title similar to that of “Grand Theft Auto V.”
You’ll be driving and shooting, but also hacking and escaping in a way that left the crowd at its debut in 2011 speechless. If you’ve ever wanted to hack a stoplight in your favor, and let’s be honest, we all have, then “Watch Dogs” may be the 2014 hit for you.
2. Dark Souls II
Dark Souls II is our second-place runner up. Both Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls were soundly deserving games of the year in their respective release windows, offering the kind of challenge that few other games can hope to beat. The series is often called one of, if not the most difficult ever, but this doesn’t mean unplayable. The challenge is perfectly offset by a great combat system and a difficulty that’s harsh, but never unfair.
Dark Souls II will, hopefully, continue this trend, and despite early claims that the game may be easier. More recent details have revealed that it could, in actual fact, be even more challenging than ever before. The fear and trepidation you experience constantly as you venture around the world is unlike that of any other title, and the novel, and borderline genius multiplayer elements served to create a unique and absorbing action RPG that constantly dares you to have another go. It’s gong to be larger, with more variety and even more weapons, magic and, of course, ways to die. It’ll also have a revamped multiplayer. We can’t wait.
Some would argue that this is the title to get an Xbox One for, and at the moment, we’d find it hard to disagree. As both the next gen consoles exclusive launch line-ups are a little lacking, we’ve yet to see a true ‘killer app’, but Titanfall is our favourite to be the Xbox One’s when it arrives next year.
Cutting-edge online gameplay courtesy of the guys behind Call of Duty? Check. Giant, drivable mechs with bloody great guns? Check. Fast-paced, on-foot combat with free-running elements? Check. Really, how can this possibly fail to be one of the best online games ever? Hopefully, and as long as a mammoth screw-up is avoided, it won’t, and this will be one of the best games of the year. Fingers crossed.