Best video games of 2014 — what to watch for in 2015

Superheroes, prehistoric creatures and a beloved little Italian man highlight 2015's big releases.

2014 was a great year for gaming. The next gen systems got to flex their new muscles and show gamers what they are made of, previous gen systems gave gamers one last hurrah, and mobile gaming continued its rise to prominence. Now that 2014 is over, let’s take a look back at the top 5 games of last year — and what may be the top contenders for 2015.

5. Destiny
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Developer: Bungie
Platforms: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360

Destiny was, without a doubt, the most talked about game of the year. The makers of Halo attempted to bring players into a new sci-fi universe rich with exciting gameplay and an immersive narrative. I say “attempted” because Destiny’s narrative fails to be immersive and just ends up being confusing. Story aside though, Destiny does deliver exciting gameplay, allowing players to explore an alternate version of the solar system, shoot creepy aliens, get cool loot, and level up their character as high as they can, all while playing online with as many friends as they want. Plus it looks really pretty.

4. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Developer: Monolith Productions
Platforms: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC

What happens when you cross the free flowing combat system from the Batman: Arkham series with the free running and stealth from Assassin’s Creed? You get Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. But instead of knocking out orcs with your fists you chop of their heads and stab them with a sword, all while free running and sneaking across a pre-Lord of the Rings version of Mordor. What really makes this game unique is the ability to take control of enemies. You can make them fight other orcs, give you intelligence, or rise through the ranks of Sauron’s army. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had in Middle Earth.

3. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Developer: Blizzard
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC

Easily the most addicting game of the year, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a simple online trading card game that gives players a chance to cast spells, summon monsters, and obliterate opponents online; exactly what video games are all about. The best part is that Hearthstone is free to play and while it offers players the option to pay for things in-game, like more card packs, it also has its own currency system. Players earn gold by completing daily quests, competing online and playing in the arena. Hearthstone is fun, simple, and addicting. Why am I not playing it now?

2. Mario Kart 8
Release Date: May 29, 2014
Developer: Nintendo
Platform: Wii U

Move over Forza Motor Sports, there’s a blue shell coming your way. Mario Kart 8 was the best racing game of the year by far and the most exciting installment in the franchise since Double Dash was released for the Game Cube. While partners have yet to make a comeback, Mario Kart 8 gives players a chance to race through stunning HD courses, pelt their friends with koopa shells and bananas, and look bad-ass doing sweet tricks off of jumps. Now if only NASCAR could implement these same things then maybe actual racing would be more fun to watch.

1. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Developers: Gearbox, 2K Australia
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Low gravity. Lasers. Butt-slams. These are only a few great things found in the latest installment of the critically acclaimed and seriously funny Borderlands franchise. The FPS-RPG mash up returns with four new characters and dozens of level-up combinations. The story, as always, is phenomenal. It balances serious dramatic moments with great humor, so you can laugh while you shoot stuff. The loot is abundant (there’s even a machine that helps turn crappy loot into better loot) and low gravity makes combat more challenging and more fun. What’s not to love about that?


Now that we've examined last year's bests, let's look forward to 2015, which is sure to bring its share of awesome, amazing games. Here's at the look at five coming out later this year that I can't wait to dive into.

5. No Man's Sky

Release Date: TBD 2015
Developer: Hello Games
Platforms: PS4, PC

Not much is known about No Man's Sky or its British developer Hello Games. It's slated for release sometime in 2015 and promises a lot of space exploration and possibly alien dinosaur hunting. No word yet as to what the story will be like or who the main character is, but something this pretty has to be a lot of fun.

4. Batman: Arkham Knight

Release Date: June 2, 2015
Developer: Rocksteady
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The final game in Rocksteady's acclaimed Batman: Arkham series can be summed up in three words: batmobile, batmobile, batmobile. Yes, not only will you be able to fight all of Gotham's villains as the Dark Knight, but you'll be able to do it in style while driving a kick-ass ride. You couldn't ask for anything better in a Batman game.

3. Bloodborne

Release Date: March 24, 2015
Developer: FromSoftware
Platform: PS4

Zombies. Gothic architecture. A giant sword. It all sounds like a recipe for fun. The makers of such hits like Dark Souls and Demon's Souls look to add another successful Action-RPG to their repertoire with Bloodborne. Be warned though, FromSoftware is known for making games that are really difficult. But then again who doesn't like a challenge?

2. Evolve

Release Date: February 10, 2015
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Get ready for the evolution (wink wink) of multiplayer. Turtle Rock Studios, the makers of the Left 4 Dead series, look to combine the competitive and cooperative aspects into one big game. A four player team of hunters tries to defeat a ferocious player controlled monster. It's like a big boss fight, except your friend is the boss.

1. The Order: 1886

Release Date: February 20, 2015
Developers: Ready At Dawn, SCE Santa Monica
Platform: PS4

What happens when you combine Arthurian legend, 19th century London, and werewolves? Zeppelins. Lots of zeppelins. You also get what looks to be an exciting shooter: The Order: 1886. The weapons may be a bit anachronistic, but the story looks interesting and everybody loves to kill werewolves.


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