If you're like me, you love video games, but you don't love paying full price. That's why I've put together a list of the top 20 video games of 2014. These games are new enough to meet our standards, but just old enough to find them at a savings. This post contains affiliate links; all opinions are my own.
Top 20 Video Games of 2014 – Many and Varied
There were some amazing games released in 2014, and they ran the gamut from action RPGs to strategy games to racing games. I've put together 20 of the best of the best. You need all of these in your library. All of them.
1: Super Smash Brothers
This takes the number one spot on my list of the top 20 video games of 2014 for one simple reason. Super Smash Bothers. Super Smash Brothers for the Wii U got an astounding 9.8 from IGN, a 9/10 from Gamespot, and a 4.5/5 from Metacritic. It brought everything we all know and love about the series to the Wii U with even more polish, bigger moves, and of course, better smashing.
2: Bayonetta 2
Bayonetta 2 takes a spot on my list of the top 20 video games of 2014, because it brought all the action and fast pace of the first installment and cranked it up a notch. This uber action game is one of the best of its kind. The only downside is that, unlike its predecessor, Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U exclusive title.
3: The Walking Dead: Season 2
Telltale games brought us this gem, so it's no surprise that it made the top 20 games of 2014. This game combines a choose your own adventure feel with a smooth interface, wonderful art, and a real sense of the tense drama that we all get from the show. You have to think when playing this one. Your actions have consequences.
4: Shadow of Mordor
This game is one of the absolute best of the top 20 games of 2014 and the one I'm currently obsessed with. Think the Batman Arkham franchise but with orcs and swords. From it's unique look at the world of Tolkien to the setting to the infighting of the orcs, Shadow of Mordor delivers on every level.
5: Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls/Ultimate Evil Edition
The Reaper of Souls expansion made Diablo 3 more like the Diablo we all loved and less like the Diablo 3 initial rollout, which we all hated. It makes my list of the top 20 video games of 2014, because it fixed the annoyingly buggy constant internet connection required and brought back the rewarding, addictive gameplay that we bemoaned was missing from the start.
6: Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Do you love the Persona RPG series? Do you love fighting games? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then you'll love Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. The sequal to Persona 4 Arena, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax brings all the weirdness that the series is known for and packages it quite well into a polished fighting game.
Titanfall takes everything we love about Modern Warfare and packages it into something just new and different enough to make it awesome. Think Modern Warfare but with huge mechs and ultra high-tech gear. This is one of those games that you just can't walk away from. It's the video game equivalent of Lays. You can't play just once.
8. The Evil Within
Thanks to Bethesda, we can finally have our beloved Resident Evil back. This is NOT a Resident Evil game. In fact, it's in no way connected to Resident Evil. However, it's everything we loved about old school Resident Evil before it got all screwed up. This makes my list of the top 20 video games of 2014, because it gave me everything I yearned for but didn't get in the latest installments of the Resident Evil series. Namely, a slow protagonist, things that can easily kill me, boxes, and dour environs.
9: Civilization: Beyond Earth
This game gets a place in my top 20 video games of 2014 because it's flat out awesome. Think Civilization V but with no diplomacy and everything trying to annihilate your settlements. This game is brutal in its portrayal of settling another planet. It's not all gifts and killing barbarians to curry favor. No. This is build and don't die. And after you don't die, go kill your enemies. #awesome
What?! That's a thinly veiled Magic: The Gathering knock off for the computer! Well, yes and no. While it does seek to capitalize on the TCG format that became popular due to Magic, it's quite different. I love MTG, but I have yet to master Hearthstone. It is brutal in its simplicity, and has much more strategic depth than you'd think. For these two reasons, it gets a spot as one of the top 20 video games of 2014.
11: The Legend of Grimrock II
This is another game on my list of the top 20 video games of 2014 that I'm currently obsessed with. The Legend of Grimrock series is a serious homage to the first person dungeon crawlers I grew up with. Unlike it's predecessor, this game has some serious chops. It introduced a new race, new classes, a completely overhauled map system and more. If you love dungeon crawlers, this bad boy is for you.
12: The Banner Saga
Next on the list of the top 20 video games of 2014 is The Banner Saga. This game is essentially a tactical RPG and a choose your own adventure book all rolled up into one. It's heavily story driven, but the combat is satisfying. If you love games that are heavy on story and have decisions that matter, this is one to check out.
13: Dragon Age: Inquisition
One word. Awesome. Dragon Age: Inquisition gets a spot on my top 20 video games of 2014 list, because just like its predecessor, it takes everything I've ever loved about the Neverwinter Nights D&D series and makes it raw and gritty. This is not a game for young kids. It's an epic adventure for teens and adults.
14: Dark Souls 2
Do you love action RPGs? Do you love the difficulty level to be so high that at times you're tempted to hurl your controller at the television? If so, then Dark Souls 2 is the game for you. This makes my list of the top 20 video games of 2014, because it is delightfully difficult. And that's okay. The epic difficulty of this game only serves to heighten the overall feel of what is already one of the darkest RPGs I've ever played.
15: Alien: Isolation
BOOYAH! This game is just so… epic? No, that's not a good enough word. It's… well, it's like surviving the movie, Aliens. Remember how guns were what they used when they ran out of places to run? Remember how the aliens were practically impossible to kill and a face hugger meant a slow, painful death? Yeah. It's that. It's awesome and it totally earned its spot as one of my pics for the best video games of 2014.
16: Mario Kart 8
What can I say about this? It's uber in its awesomeness. It's absolutely one of the best of my top video games of 2014. It's all the annoying bombs and obstacles being thrown at us by our friends that we've come to know and love from the Mario Kart franchise, but cranked up by a factor of one zillion.
17: Forza Horizon 2
While I don't have the skill or reflexes to play a racing game, I had to give Forza Horizon 2 a spot in my top 20 video games of 2014 for its reviews and for its depth and breadth. You'll be hard pressed to find a racing game with as many cars, options, events, and locales as Forza Horizon 2.
18: Divinity: Original Sin
Divinity sin is one of those glorious games that sees the humor in itself. It's a throwback to the days of top down D&D dungeon crawling that pokes fun at all of the stereotypical story lines to be found in a game like this. It makes my list of to 20 video games of 2014 because the mechanics are good, the graphics are nice, the story is sufficiently fantastical, and it doesn't take itself too seriously.
19: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
This gem in my list of the top 20 video games of 2014 is one that I would consider a sleeper. In my opinion, games that make you think are very underrated. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is like the darkest dark place in Myst or Riven that you can think of. It's got a compelling story, great visuals, and at times, you'll jump right out of your chair.
20: Wolfenstein: The New Order
Last but not least on my list of top 20 video games of 2014 is Wolfenstein: The New Order. It's everything we've always loved about Wolfenstein buy hyped up on steroids like a giant, overly aggressive body builder that wants eat your face off. Am I exaggerating? No. It's the story of an alternate universe where the Nazis won WWII and are now in possession of extremely high end tech. While set in the 60s, the Nazis have access to crazy contraptions like uber huge mechs.
Snag Something on This List of the Top 20 Video Games of 2014
You won't be sorry! 2014 was an exceptionally good year for video games. Developers have really stepped up their games, and they made that clear with all of the games on my list of the top 20 video games of 2014. Every game on this list is delightfully meaty and worthy of sinking your gamer teeth in for a good stretch of hours.