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The 5 Best Games of 2014... So Far

Best Video Games of 2014 So Far

The Top 5 Games of 2012...So Far

Following up on a year that included three huge titles (GTA 5, BioShock Infinite, and The Last of Us), as well as the launch of two next-gen consoles, was a tall order. And as a result, 2014 has looked relatively bare in comparison, especially in the last three months and with so many delays of late-2014 titles to 2015.

It's true that the bounty of next-gen titles we were promised has yet to arrive, but that doesn't mean the first half of 2014 was without it's exciting new releases (both last-gen and current-gen). In fact, we can name at least five games released during the year that were well worth playing.

Let's start with number five.

5. Mario Kart 8

5 Best Games 2014 - Mario Kart 8

What we said: "Nintendo has put a lot of effort into making Mario Kart 8 the best it can be, and it almost got there with the end result being a gorgeous kart racer that innovates while staying true to its beloved formula. If there wasn’t previously a reason to own a Wii U then there is now, and gamers will be hard-struck to find a more complete Wii U experience than what’s offered here."

Why you should play it: While a lot will be made of Nintendo's financial struggles over the next few years, the fact of the matter is the company still makes stellar first party titles. Mario Kart 8 is proof positive that Nintendo knows exactly what they are doing with the Wii U, as the racing title not only looks gorgeous but it's a ton of fun to play. Those jones-ing for the franchise's heyday should look no further than this 8th iteration.

Available on: Wii U

4. Titanfall

5 Best Games 2014 - Titanfall

What we said: "What Respawn Entertainment has created is addictive, thoughtful, and accessible to a wide variety of gamers. It might not feel completely fresh, or deserving of its next-gen label, but the game brings enough new elements to the table that it should stand out from the pack."

Why you should play it: Titanfall may not be the next great multiplayer title, but it still adds enough new to the equation for hours of online fun. Titan combat gives the player an unequivocal sense of power, while the Pilot combat delivers a speed and precision that will surely influence shooters for years to come. Most of all, Titanfall makes any player, novice or veteran, feel like they're contributing.

Available on: PC, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

3. inFAMOUS: Second Son

5 Best Games 2014 - inFAMOUS Second Son

What we said: "Second Son may not offer much newness in terms of gameplay, story or progression, but polishes what we’ve come to enjoy from the series to date, bringing players a beautiful and fun game experience that’s absolutely worth checking out. We’re already looking forward to a sequel."

Why you should play it: Arguably the best-looking next-gen game to date, inFAMOUS: Second Son shows what these new consoles are capable of delivering when it comes to open world titles. New powers, a new city, and a new protagonist - Second Son has everything fans could have asked from a third game. Moreover, it sets the foundation for what could be an exciting new chapter in the franchise.

Available on: PS4.

2. Wolfenstein: The New Order

5 Best Games 2014 - Wolfenstein New Order

What we said: "MachineGames has accomplished their task of bringing some dignity back to the franchise, delivering a shooter that gets more right than many of its better-funded, blockbuster peers. Shooter fans may have had their doubts, but would be wise to play The New Order sooner rather than later."

Why you should play it: We'll admit that, prior to release, we had our doubts about Wolfenstein: The New Order, but the final game proved us very wrong. It's not easy to pin down why exactly The New Order works, it simply does. Boasting over-the-top gunplay, some pretty exciting set pieces, and characters players actually care about, this is how to make a shooter in the modern age.

Available on: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

1. South Park: The Stick of Truth

5 Best Games 2014 - South Park Stick of Truth

What we said: "South Park: The Stick of Truth defies the odds simply by doing the brand justice, but also sets a standard that future South Park games (or DLC) can aspire to. It’s not perfect, but it is the game South Park fans have waited for, beyond a doubt."

Why you should play it: The best compliment that could be paid towards The Stick of Truth is that it's the best South Park episode we've ever experienced. Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Obsidian Entertainment brought the town to life and packed it full of content, proving that fan service can be used as a positive. Underwear gnomes, Man-bear-pig, even alien abductions - this game is a fan's dream.

Available on: PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

Conclusion

Best Video Games of 2014 So Far

While many gamers have already set their sights on next year's slate of Triple-A titles (Batman, The Order, Uncharted), 2014 has delivered plenty of worthwhile games in its first half, and there are potentially even more on the way this fall. In fact, there are enough exciting titles hitting just in October to fill a top 5 list, but they'll have to surpass these 5 games first.

As far as this list is concerned, it was a close race between Mario Kart 8 and The Wolf Among Us, but we decided to wait and see if Telltale can stick the landing before passing full judgement on the game. However, if they do, we would not be surprised to see the game make our top 10 at the end of the year. As to whether or not other big releases like Assassin's Creed Unity, Dragon Age: Inquisition, or Far Cry 4 will join it? We'll have to wait and see.

Which of the games released in the first part of 2014 have stood out to you? What game do you predict will be the year's best game when all is said and done?

Follow me on Twitter @ANTaormina

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