Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 screenshot

Given its reception and many people announcing it as 'the best Mario Kart ever made' on its release, it should come as little surprise that Mario Kart 8 is one of the best titles to come along this year. Its success lies within its simplicity, too. At no point did Nintendo try and reset or change up what people expected from the series. It merely took all its best ideas, tweaked them as was necessary before unleashing it on the world. Yes, a few new additions sneaked their way in, but ultimately this is a 'best of' iteration and is all the better for it.

Mario Golf

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'Mario Golf?!' you cry, wondering why other, seemingly more important games haven't made it to this list. Tough! This isn't your list. We will, of course, read yours when you have one...

The bottom line is that Mario Golf's reemergence on the 3DS is an extremely moreish and well put together title. It never goes above and beyond what previous entries in the franchise did, but there's something so effortless and simple about it all you can't help but be sucked in. Like a fine RPG, World Tour eases you in and then paces itself wonderfully to ensure you're always progressing at an addictive rate. Admittedly you'll need some love of the sport, obviously, for it not to be completely impenetrable, but you won't find many other games as accessible or enjoyable as this.

Trials Fusion

Trials Fusion screenshot

It’s more of the same, but labelling that a criticism is like saying you can only eat one meal at Nando’s in your entire life. The stunt bike gameplay found in Trials has been mimicked but never equalled, so more of the same is exactly what we wanted from Trials Fusion. Competing against friends on the leaderboards makes this a game you’ll come back to time and time again, and the track creation tools have already produced some unbelievable fan-made content.

Tomb Raider Definitive Edition

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition screenshot

It’s a remaster, but it’s a very good one. The Tomb Raider reboot from Crystal Dynamics more or less delivered what was promised, and the visually enhanced PS4/Xbox One version is simply a prettier version of that already excellent game. This is a more open world than Lara has explored before, and beautifully sets up what should be another very successful series for Square Enix. For many people, this surprisingly violent adventure even managed to outdo Drake and co’s most recent outing.

Titanfall

Titanfall screenshot

For those growing weary of the yearly offerings for Call of Duty and Battlefield, Titanfall offered a very welcome breath of fresh air. The gameplay is fast and frantic, with both Titans and Pilots offering enough variety to justify their inclusion but with a fine balance that neither feels overpowered. Titanfall is an excellent multiplayer shooter, and is just the start for Respawn.

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

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A game that probably slipped under most of your radars, Danaganronpa is the best game to come to the Vita since Persona 4 Golden. A brilliant, narrative-driven murder mystery game that keeps you guessing right until the very end, Trigger Happy Havoc is well worth a punt for Vita owners desperate for something to play. This is a must-buy for fans of Virtue’s Last Reward, plus the sequel is due out this year, giving you even more reason to take a look.

South Park: Stick of Truth

South Park: The Stick of Truth screenshot

With such a long delay, many were worried that Stick of Truth may not live up to expectation, but it absolutely did and is hands down the funniest game of the year. Juvenile? Yes. Crude? Absolutely. True to the series? You bet, and is a game those with even a mild interest in the show will adore.

Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs screenshot

We called it “Ubisoft Open World Game: Chicago Edition.” It might share significant portions of its DNA with Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry 3, but that’s no bad thing and Watch_Dogs is still 2014’s best big, meaty action game to get properly stuck into while you’re waiting for the re-release of 2013’s GTA V. We’re a fickle lot, us gamers.

Divinity Original Sin

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RPG lovers who haven’t yet delved into Larian Studios’ crowdfunded masterpiece are in for a treat - Original Sin is smart, gripping, and more old-school than conkers at breaktime. It’s stuffed with fresh ideas too; for example, the dual protagonist set-up is inspired, allowing you to play your hero characters against each other while they’re slashing their way through hordes of orcs and the undead. This is the real deal, and it’s very likely to go down in history as one of the best RPGs of the decade.

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BC_Animus's Avatar

BC_Animus

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc sounds amazing. Damnit, and I just traded my Vita in too. <sigh>
Posted 14:15 on 18 July 2014
Apache287's Avatar

Apache287

Seriously no love for Wolfenstein: The New Order. That game deserves more credit then it seems to get. It made a 90s style run and gun shooter work in the era of good story and mechanics.
Posted 19:37 on 16 July 2014
mralexhead's Avatar

mralexhead

I can't agree with Trials (although I know its your list and I don't have to), so disappointed with this game, feels half finished and I'm still waiting for any news about a proper online mode. Fact that it made it into your list, along with the disappointing Watchdogs, and the Tomb Raider remaster shows what a crap year it's been so far for games. New console gen and all that though, things look like picking up in the coming months.
Posted 19:09 on 15 July 2014
MrScottyTay's Avatar

MrScottyTay

I'm so glad you put Danganronpa up on this list. The game has probably one of my favourite stories now, and because of the unique situation that the characters are in it ends up creating a great dynamic between the cast that is completely unique to this game. Love it. More people need to play it.
Posted 18:00 on 15 July 2014

Game Stats

Release Date: 16/04/2014
Developer: RedLynx
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 2,555 35
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