Game Rant's Top 10 Games of 2014

Best Games 2014 Lists

At the beginning of 2014, it seemed as if it could be a huge year for current-gen console owners - but  delays dashed most of those hopes. Granted, there were still plenty of worthwhile releases on the docket, but a few of the major players decided to shift into 2015 and take advantage of a little more development time.

So, while the year didn't have too many "incredible" games, it did offer a diverse array of experiences to suit any number of tastes. This was the year where multiplayer-focused games were just as important as story-driven ones, and where new gameplay mechanics sure to influence future games were first discovered. It was also the new consoles' first shot at wowing gamers.

Some games were obviously more successful than others, with a handful finding ways to succeed as others fell flat right out of the gate. Still, when it comes to our favorites picking 10 was slightly easier than in past years, if only because the line between the good games and bad games was clearer than usual. Here are Game Rant's top 10 games of 2014.


10. The Wolf Among Us

Top 10 2014 - The Wolf Among Us

What We Said: "Even if the first season’s conclusion ties in perfectly with Bill Willingham’s comic series, players are left with the impression that Telltale didn’t try to tell a story within the world of 'Fables,' but uses the world to explore a genre and themes they wished to. That is the very best we could hope for from any adaptation, and that approach has paid off handsomely."

Why You Should Play It: Beyond proving that The Walking Dead was not just a fluke, The Wolf Among Us boasts a sophisticated narrative filled with nuance and tough, morally grey choices. Yes, it flounders a bit in the middle portions, but this noir adaptation of a beloved graphic novel is so unique that it's impossible to ignore. It says a lot when a developer can live up to high expectations, and even more when - in the case of The Wolf Among Us - they surpass them.

Available On: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One


9. Destiny

Top 10 2014 - Destiny

What We Said: "Destiny is the type of game where there’s a lot to enjoy if you make the most of it. Putting in an effort to coordinate with others to tackle certain bounties or challenges is just plain fun, and the story and other stuff isn’t required for that sort of cooperative experience. That’s where Destiny is at its best and where it can build from in expansions and sequels." 

Why You Should Play It: We've talked at length about why Destiny is both a disappointment and a game of the year contender, and the fact that we're still talking about it speaks volumes. It's a game whose mechanics are so tight and whose world seemed so vivid that you couldn't fathom it falling short. Yet Destiny did fall short, but not enough for it to miss a spot on our top 10. This game has, without question, consumed more Game Rant writers' lives than any other game since the site's conception, and we're still playing it daily.

Available On: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One


8. Mario Kart 8

Top 10 2014 - Mario Kart 8

What We Said: "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. While roster and Battle Mode woes are noteworthy, they’re shrug-inducing in the grand scheme of things. Overall, Mario Kart 8 is a no-brainer purchase for existing Wii U owners, and a very legitimate motive to invest in the console."

Why You Should Play It: Mario Kart is always a must-purchase for any Nintendo system, but even then this Wii U iteration is something else. From the track selection to the visuals to the diversity of karts, Mario Kart 8 reminds us what a great franchise iteration should look like. More than all that, though, Mario Kart 8 is just plain fun to play, and is great for all ages.

Available On: Wii U


7. Super Smash Bros.

Top 10 2014 - Super Smash Bros

What We Said: "With a ton of trophies to collect, music to discover, challenges to complete, characters to unlock, stages to earn, fighters to customize and friends to smash, there’s enough content to keep diehard fans and casual players alike satisfied for months to come. Add in the possibility of downloadable content (confirmed to kick off with Mewtwo in Spring 2015), and the latest Smash game is poised to be an ever-green blockbuster that’ll keep Wii U owners entertained well into the new year."

Why You Should Play It:  Like Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros. offers approachable gameplay to all ages, but packs enough nuance that hardcore gamers won't feel the game is dumbed down. The roster is bigger and more eclectic, the modes are great as usual, and online/cooperative play ensures long-lasting fun will be had with this Wii U release. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U proves that the franchise may have gaps between releases, but creator

Available On: 3DS, Wii U


6. Far Cry 4

Top 10 2014 - Far Cry 4

What We Said: "In terms of bang for your buck, Far Cry 4 is hard to beat. Call it a massive, glorified expansion pack if you will, but don’t miss the opportunity to get lost in Kyrat."

Why You Should Play It: Considering Far Cry 3 was one of the best games of 2012, few could fault Ubisoft for lifting most of that game whole cloth for Far Cry 4. Obviously, some key changes were made for this sequel, including a better story, crisper visuals, and more fully realized characters, but this is still ostensibly Far Cry 3.5. But because the experience felt so unique the first time around, few will mind the opportunity to dive back into the mechanics in a new setting.

Available On: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One


Next: Game Rant's Top 5 Games of 2015



5. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Top 10 2014 - Dragon Age Inquisition

What We Said: "BioWare has gone above and beyond the demands and expectations placed upon them (while charting a course that we hope Mass Effect will also follow). We’ve yet to play through everything the game has to offer, but the level of polish and nuance in what might amount to half of the overall experience is enough to drive the point home...After dozens of hours of Inquisition under our belt, it’s safe to say that players won’t need to explore every corner of the game to make the experience worthwhile  – they’ll simply want to."

Why You Should Play It: Dragon Age: Inquisition is, quite simply, what fans expect from every BioWare release. It's massive in scope, rich in character and story, and its combat is modern RPG in approach. More importantly, Inquisition provides the blueprint for BioWare's future as a development studio, showing how they can expand current and upcoming titles to meet growing needs. Dragon Age: Inquisition is as good a time sink as players could hope for.

Available On: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One


4. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Top 10 2014 - Call of Duty AW

What We Said: "As a complete package, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the shot in the arm that fans have been waiting for. It’s not a total reinvention of the franchise by any means, but smart touches here and there help make each component part more engaging than in past years. The campaign is pure spectacle in all the right ways, with a competent story, worthwhile characters, and some memorable set pieces, but multiplayer is really where Advanced Warfare shines."

Why You Should Play It: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare brings enough new elements to the table in both its campaign and multiplayer that fans and detractors will likely both find a lot to enjoy. The multiplayer is fast and varied in a way Call of Duty has failed to be in such a long time, and its campaign is actually compelling enough to be memorable. It's still Call of Duty at heart, but Advanced Warfare has us excited for what Sledgehammer can do in the future.

Available On: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One


3. Wolfenstein: The New Order

Top 10 2014 - Wolfenstein

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:  Despite some general disinterest during early previews, Wolfenstein: The New Order is that rare game capable of exceeding all expectations. It hits all the baseline notes of a solid shooter in terms of mechanics, variety, and level design, and its story is surprising complex and filled with dynamic characters. Wolfenstein proves that with a confident team, shooters can be more than mindlessly bloody affairs - and have a sense of humor too.

Available On: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One


2. South Park: The Stick of Truth

Top 10 2014 - South Park

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: Humor in games is one of the more difficult tricks, and yet South Park: The Stick of Truth makes it appear so effortless. Yes it's raunchy, but fans of the show know that all too well, and almost come to expect it. In fact, The Stick of Truth feels like a super-sized episode of South Park more than anything else. Most games eventually sink back into a comfort zone, but South Park keeps surprising players until the very end. If you're not of the faint of heart, play this game.

Available On: PC, PS3, and Xbox 360


1. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Top 10 2014 - Shadow of Mordor

What We Said: "Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor seems like a clear winner for best Tolkien-inspired video game ever. The game respects the lore of the universe, but doesn’t require that players come in with an encyclopedic knowledge of Tolkien to feel attached to the characters. The combat and leveling systems are familiar in a way that there is a low learning curve, but they are both unique enough that it doesn’t feel like you are just playing Batman with a new skin. Whether you’re a Tolkien junkie or not, you won’t want to miss this one."

Why You Should Play It: It may borrow a little too heavily from Batman and Assassin's Creed, but there's no denying plenty of games will be "borrowing" Shadow of Mordor's nemesis system before too long. Like with some of the games on this list, we didn't expect much from Shadow of Mordor and yet found ourselves utterly transfixed. The story does well to tie-in to Tolkien's books and the world actually comes to life thanks to the dynamic enemies. Shadow of Mordor's impact will be felt for years to come and it is therefore the top game released in 2014.

Available On: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One


Honorable Mentions

Top 10 2014 - Hearthstone

  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft - Blizzard makes the collectible card game approachable and addictive thanks to clean presentation and smart design.
  • Titanfall - an excellent multiplayer shooter that could have been a game of the year contender with a little more depth.
  • The Walking Dead: Season 2 - not as great as the first season, but another gripping narrative from Telltale Games that's rife with conflict and tough choices.


There you have it: Game Rant's choices for the top 10 games of 2014. What games did you enjoy the most from last year? What do you think was the best game? Let us know in the comments below.

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