In just shy of three weeks, 2014 will be upon us. The past twelve months have brought the video game world tons of great new games, innovative ideas and of course, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Needless to say, it is a great time to be a video game fan and as the year winds down, looking forward to the next year makes things only look better.
2014 isn’t even upon us, but the dozens of titles scheduled to release within the year are nothing short of amazing and have rapidly become topics of continual conversation. Of all the games coming out next year, a handful take the cake as the most anticipated titles. These games stand out for any number of reasons and are sure to be remembered as not only 2014’s best games, but as some of gaming’s greatest efforts. Take a look at the top fifteen games to look out for in 2014.
15 – South Park: The Stick of Truth
The much delayed South Park: The Stick of Truth has gone through one hell of a development cycle. From continual delays and the changing of publishers, Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s love letter to role playing and fart jokes has long felt like it would never see the light of day.
South Park: The Stick of Truth seems to be a game that has a lot going for. The game’s development is in the hands of Obsidian Entertainment, creators of many of the most-beloved RPGS ever to hit shelves. Developmental pedigree aside, there is no denying that taking place in the South Park world adds almost unlimited potential for farcical and hilarious situations and dialogue.
14 – Divinity: Original Sin
Fans of isometric, traditional role playing games around the world rejoiced when Larian Studios announced that they would be once more returning to the Divinity franchise. The crowd funded project that became Divinity: Original Sin quickly met its fundraising goals and has continually shown that Larian has lofty goals for the game.
Divinity: Original Sin is set to be a prequel to other titles in the Divinity saga and seems to be a triumphant return to the classic role playing experiences of days past. Divinity: Original Sin will feature the brilliant writing and RPG elements that Larian has built a name around and is sure to be one of the definitive RPG experiences of 2014.
13 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle
The JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure franchise is an example of source material with unlimited potential. Succeeding in manga, anime and video game formats is no small task, but JoJo is still thriving and looks to be more popular than ever thanks to the upcoming JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures: All Star Battle.
All Star Battle is a 3D fighting game featuring a heavy roster from the insanely deep roster of characters from the franchise. Players will be able to play through the story’s eight different arcs while selecting from different characters and features all of the craziness that JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is known for.
Already released in Japan, fans of the series were thrilled to hear the All Star Battle will be seeing an international release in 2014.
12 – Bravely Default
Bravely Default looks to be the definitive game for disenfranchised Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest fans to flock towards. Heavily inspired by both franchises, Bravely Default features both job and combat systems that are very much reminiscent of classic-era RPGs.
Developed by Silicon Studio and Square Enix, Bravely Default swept the Japanese market off of its feet when initially released and has become something of a rally cry for 3DS owners pining for more RPG titles.
11 – Mad Max
During this year’s E3, tons of amazing games were officially announced and Mad Max was certainly one of the titles that garnered the most attention. A spiritual successor to one of the coolest film trilogies ever created, Mad Max will take players and throw them into an apocalyptic world where survival is by no means a guarantee.
Featuring a focus on high-octane action, ‘Mad’ Max Rockatansky and his companion Chumbucket are tasked with building a vehicle called the Magnum Opus which the two hopes will be the key to surviving in a world where order no longer exists.
Drawing on the three Mad Max films for source material means that the upcoming game will be a brutal and engrossing game with a focus on vehicular mastery. Fingers are crossed that “I’m just here for the gasoline” is uttered at least once.
10 – Bayonetta 2
Bayonetta 2, the WiiU exclusive follow up to 2009’s smash hit Bayonetta, might just be the game that kick starts the slow beating heart of Nintendo’s console. Developed by Platinum Games, Bayo 2 has a lot going for it. The game’s dangerously talented protagonist and over-the-top combat earned the original Bayonetta serious acclaim and from what has been revealed about the sequel, it is safe to say that Bayonetta 2 will be a bigger and better entry into the franchise.
9 – The Evil Within
There is no denying that the state of survival horror is far from thriving. The once great genre has fallen far from its disturbing roots much to the disappointment of fans. The Evil Within might just be the genre’s first real chance of returning to its former glory.
Directed by none other than Shinji Mikami (of Resident Evil fame) and developed by his studio Tango Gameworks, The Evil Within has the potential to be a hauntingly good survival experience.
The Evil Within throws players into the shoes of a Detective who finds himself surrounded by sheer insanity, violence and true horror. From what has been seen of The Evil Within so far, the game looks to be horrific and bloody – just what the survival horror world needs.
8 – Infamous: Second Son
Infamous: Second Son picks up almost a decade after the events of Infamous 2 and introduces players to a new protagonist and brings players to the Seattle streets. Second Son promises to do everything that the previous two Infamous titles did so well – including awesome powers and tremendous parkour based navigation.
The Infamous games have long been considered one of Sony’s flagship franchises and Infamous: Second Son is certainly one of the best reasons to grab a PlayStation 4.
7 – Watch Dogs
Ubisoft’s open-world sandbox paints a dystopian picture where technology is both the cause of many problems and solution to others. Watch Dogs has been one of the most discussed ‘next-gen’ titles since the game’s initial announcement and hype has continued to build as Ubisoft continually released new information about it.
Originally slated to release alongside the new consoles, many fans were disheartened when Ubisoft announced Watch Dogs’ delay until 2014, but the team’s reasoning behind holding the game back to fine tune every single element of it leads many to believe that Watch Dogs will be the next big thing in open-world experiences.
6 – Persona 5
Persona 5 has been requested and demanded by JRPG fans since what feels like the day after Persona 4 was released. For years, fans questioned when they would get the next entry into Atlus’ spin-off turned flagship franchise and the silence has finally been answered.
Persona 5 was announced recently through a cryptic message over and equally mysterious trailer. The Persona titles have always dealt with themes more mature than many other titles in the genre, and the imagery of being chained to a chair and being a slave (as seen in the trailer) is sure to please fans.
Nothing else is really known about Persona 5 aside from its announcement and 2014 release, but that doesn’t mean that the gaming world isn’t excited for the game.
5 – Dark Souls II
From Software revolutionized how gamers tackle challenge and view online play with Dark Souls, adding depth and danger to virtually every step players took in their game. An example of near-perfect game design, those who entered Dark Souls’ world of Lordran were left instantly looking for more.
From Software’s development of Dark Souls II has been highly scrutinized from the second that the game was announced. Concerned fans feared that the game would be ‘casualized’ in order to make concessions for inexperienced gamers. From Software responded in kind however, assuring die-hard fans that the Souls’ signature challenge would return – with a vengeance.
The bleak world of Dark Souls II is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated games set to come out next year and is certainly one of the most challenging.
Get used to dying; it will happen a lot.
4 – The Order: 1886
One of the most mysterious games to be announced at this year’s E3, The Order: 1886 caught the attention of nearly everyone when its trailer was first shown. Many cried foul at the trailer, claiming that Sony’s exclusive title was nothing more than an example of cutscene foolery, and that a game simply could not look that good.
Ready at Dawn have now proven that video games can – and will – look as good at The Order: 1886 does. While not much has been revealed about The Order initially, a recent Game Informer feature shed some light into the game’s unique, alternate take on world history.
Featuring ancient orders of knights, strange monsters and some seriously innovative weaponry, The Order: 1886 is one of the most intriguing titles set to come out next year.
3 – Destiny
Bungie wowed the gaming world with the announcement of Destiny. The studio’s work on Halo established Bungie as a force of game making nature, earning them numerous accolades and a gigantic fanbase. Destiny, Bungie’s first game post-Halo, seems to be in many ways the studio’s greatest entry yet.
The post-apocalyptic, first person shooter/RPG has a lot going for it. Bungie’s attention to story crafting and design influence spanning human history and mythology almost ensure that Destiny will be a title that stands high above the rest of its peers.
2 – Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid series has been a staple of the video game world across numerous console generations and has long been seen as one of the greatest franchises in video game history. The epic, spanning saga of the MGS universe has been able to absorb millions of players – continually leaving them wanting more.
Metal Gear Solid V’s announcement is exactly what series fans were anxiously waiting for. From first moments of the cryptic trailer, to Kojima’s official statements about the game, there has been no denying that any news regarding MGSV has been a thrill ride in and of itself.
Kojima’s decision to split Metal Gear Solid V into two halves, with Ground Zeroes serving as the prologue, was met with wild speculation. In typical Metal Gear fashion, Kojima’s response when speaking of Ground Zeroes promised nothing short of unbridled innovation. Billed as the first game to use Kojima Production’s amazing Fox engine, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes may be the prologue to MGSV proper; but there is no doubting that the game will be one of the best titles of 2014.
1 – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Projekt RED shook up the role-playing world with their Witcher franchise. The previous two titles in the series blended traditional elements, mature themes and masterful writing in a way that no other games had been able to. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the follow-up and final chapter in Geralt of Rivia’s story – and there is no denying that the game will be everything that a RPG fan could ask for.
CDPR has always brought fans amazing visuals and from everything that has been shown of The Witcher 3, the game will blow visual expectations out of the water. The finely tuned fantasy world will surely be one of the most immersive and well-realized locations gamers have ever seen.
With brilliant visuals and tight gameplay, there is no shortage of reasons why Geralt’s final chapter will be one of gaming’s greatest entries. In an era where many developers tend to cut corners or rush a product, CDPR has continually stuck to their guns and made good on their promise of delivering a mature and unforgettable role playing experience.
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