Even before the consoles that we will soon, grudgingly have to start referring to as “current-gen” consoles were released in November 2013, last year was a very good year for games. Grand Theft Auto 5 earned so much money in just three days that if the game were somehow able to declare itself a country, it would have a higher Gross Domestic Product than nearly 25 countries. Call of Duty: Ghosts shipped over a $1 billion in product in 24 hours. Indie games from small developers continued to explode, free-to-play is still on its upward march (the top free-to-play game earned nearly $1 billion in 2013), and Steam hit record numbers. Life was good for gamers.
But 2013 is dead to us now, we looked back and it turned to salt. With that in mind, we cast our eyes to 2014 and some of the biggest games coming our way.
The games on this list are by no means the games we think will be the best of the year. It’s far too early to even guess at something like that – we actually ended up awarding our Best Game of the Year to smaller titles the last two years, and both of which started out under the radar (Walking Dead and Gone Home). Instead, this list is propagated by the titles people will be talking about the most through the year.
We will come back to this list frequently and update it as new games are announced, release dates change, and more. You might notice omissions like Halo on the Xbox One and the next Assassin’s Creed. That’s simply because neither is confirmed for 2014. If and when they are, we’ll update the post. And if there is a game we missed, let us know in the comments and we’ll check it out.
To the games!
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
February 11, 2014
Square Enix tri-Ace/ Square Enix
One of the first major releases of the year ignores the shiny new consoles altogether in favor of the current-gen systems. The third game in the Final Fantasy XIII series brings back the character of Lightning to end the FFXIII storyline once and for all. We hope.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
(PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
February 25, 2014
Mercury Steam/ Konami
If you haven’t played the first Lords of Shadow and intend to, you should get on that ASAP. The sequel picks up immediately after the twist at the end of the original. Stop reading at this point if you are among that rare group – you’ve been warned. In the sequel, you are Dracula and you fight Satan. What more do you need to know?
February 26, 2014
Eidos Monteral/Square Enix
One of the first next-gen releases of the year, and arguably the first major one of the year, Thief revitalizes the long-running franchise by being more thief-iery than ever. The game will be on current-gen systems as well, but the PC and next-gen versions are what have us drooling.
South Park: Stick of Truth
March 4, 2014
Even though this year will feature the release of several games that will help to define the next-gen systems, the current-gen systems aren’t going to be neglected just yet. For evidence, look no further than the RPG based on South Park, which is written by series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z
March 4, 2014
Team Ninja, Spark Unlimited, Commcept/Tecom Koei
At some point in this list we will talk more about the next-gen titles on the way, we promise, but it’s tough to overlook a new Ninja Gaiden game. Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z will play like the last few Ninja Gaiden games, but it’s a spin-off starring a ninja seeking vengeance against series star, Ryu Hayabusa. Twist!
Dark Souls II
March 11, 2014
From Software/ Namco Bandai (From Software in Japan)
For those looking for a blend of agony and ecstasy in their gaming, From Software has you covered with the sequel to one of the more unique – and frequently frustrating – games of 2011. The plot is that you are a guy that dies and dies and dies, then occasionally pulls off something utterly incredibly … before dying. Those with the patience and drive to dig deeper will be left with an incredible game and plenty of bragging rights.
March 11, 2014
Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
This online-only multiplayer game from a huge chunk of the team that originally created Call of Duty has a spot on almost every “most anticipated” list around. And for good reasons. PS4 owners, prepare to hear a lot about this game.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
March 18, 2014
Although we don’t yet have a release date for Metal Gear Solid V, we won’t be completely Metal Gear-less in 2014 thanks to Ground Zeroes. Think of it as a prologue to MGSV. A very, very big prologue with an open-world feel. Whatever it is, more Solid Snake (or Big Boss as the case may be), is always a good thing.
Infamous: Second Son
March 21, 2014
Sucker Punch Productions/Sony
PS4 owners will be glad to know that Sony seems to be continuing to push for console exclusives, and the Infamous series will be among the first up following the launch. Like the last two games in the series, you play a superhero … or a supervillain depending on your approach. The last games were impressive in their scope, and the next-gen version should simply increase that.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
March 25, 2014
One of the biggest PC games in the last few years is back with an entirely new act in the campaign, and a host of other additions via the Reaper of Souls DLC. If you own the PC version of Diablo 3, there isn’t really much more to say, except “shut up and take my money, Blizzard!”
The Elder Scrolls Online
April 4, 2014 (PC); June 2014 (PS4, Xbox One)
ZeniMax Online Studios/Bethesda Softworks
The Elder Scrolls series heads online with an MMORPG set in the same world as Skyrim and the previous Elder Scrolls games. Instead of losing countless hours wandering around an incredibly addictive game world alone, you can now lose countless hours wandering around an incredibly addictive game world with other people!
September 9, 2014
When people talk about upcoming next-gen titles, Destiny is almost always one of the most anticipated. Part of that is thanks to the timing – the game was announced before even the next-gen consoles were revealed – while part of that is because it looks freaking awesome. Plus it’s a new IP from the makers of Halo. If you’re not interested, you’re doing life as a gamer wrong.