Now that 2013 is officially behind us and every site has given out their game of the year awards, let’s turn our attention to 2014.  Here are the games I’m most looking forward to:

You can bet your ass that No Man’s Sky is on this list

12) Phantasy Star Online 2

LOCALIZE THIS ALREADY GOD DAMNIT

Phantasy Star Online remains one of my favorite games of all time.  The original came out all the way back in 2000, but I found myself firing it up just last week.  PSO 2 has been out in Japan for a while now, and while there are detailed guides on how to play on those servers, there are conflicting reports whether or not the game will be localized for the West.  The main site has been silent since PAX, but here’s hoping there is some movement on that sooner rather than later.

11) Super Smash Bros Wii U

I’ll take the Blue Bomber all day

Super Smash Bros has been destroying friendships and breaking controllers since it’s initial release on Nintendo 64.  Brawl on the Wii is seen by many as a decline from Melee on the Gamecube, but there’s no denying the popularity and sheer fun that can be had in Smash Bros.  A dive into HD should help boost this well-loved franchise.  And let’s not forget about the introduction of the most sadistic fighter in series history.

10) The Order: 1886

Victorian London, guns, and monsters

The Order: 1886 gives you control of a knight from an ancient order in Victorian-era London.  It’s clear that science has advanced to the point of weapons that seem futuristic even by current standards, but there is an alien/zombie-type enemy threatening civilization.  Action, supernatural beings, guns, survival horror … sign me up.

9) Driveclub

No, this is not a photo

While arcade-style racing games like Mario Kart and Need For Speed can be fun, I’ll take a closer-to-reality racing game any day.  Xbox has Forza, and soon the PS4 will have Driveclub.  Each and every aspect of racing seems to be a competition in Driveclub: speed, cornering, drifting, etc.  It also looks like it will have incredibly striking visuals.

8) Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

The end of a trilogy (and of the world?)

Final Fantasy XIII isn’t that well received.  One friend of mine, a huge FF fan, sold his copy of the original FF XII before finishing it and implored me not to bother playing it.  But I’ve enjoyed both FF XIII and FF XIII-2, so Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is something I’m definitely looking forward to.  I really like the idea of the entire game being timed — Lightning has seven in-game days to save the world.  There is even a full-fledged costume editor!

7) Titanfall

Mech fighting always has a place in my heart

Titanfall is the first game from Respawn Entertainment, the studio from former Call of Duty creators at Infinity Ward.  It looks to be another big-time multiplayer-centric game with different classes, special abilities, weapons, and game modes for straight up killing or objective-based combat.  There’s always been a special place in my heart for mech fighting games, going all the way back to Earthsiege 2 for PC in 1995 (played with an actual joystick!)  I’ll be diving into Titanfall for sure.

6) Watch Dogs

Hacking in next-gen HD

I was looking forward to Watch Dogs so much that I pre-ordered it in my PS4 bundle.  It was unfortunately delayed to 2014, but I’m still excited for it.  Set in an open-world Chicago where a central computer system monitors everything, you control a hacker and former criminal.  Missions can be completed Rambo-style with guns blazing, stealthily without anyone seeing you, or from a distance by hacking computers and cameras around the city to do the dirty work for you.  Definitely one to keep an eye on.

5) Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: Season 2

I need more Clementine in my life

I’ve talked about Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead so much on this blog that I won’t go too in-depth here.  Season two just started a few weeks ago, and after season one was amazing and emotional, season two is a must-play for me.

4) No Man’s Sky

Vast open-world space exploration … I hope

After stealing the show at Spike’s VGAs, No Man’s Sky was on a huge upswing.  A beautiful open-world game about space exploration with randomly-generated planets?  Hell yeah!  Unfortunately, a flood destroyed much of the developer’s offices around Christmas and word is there is a second flood barreling down in the next few days.  I hope Hello Games can put the pieces back together so we can all enjoy what looked like an amazing adventure.

3) Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Let’s hope it’s as good as D2: Lord of Destruction

Diablo III has had a rocky road, to say the least.  Server issues at lunch, a pay-to-win auction house, item duping, the whole nine yards.  When the expansion, Reaper of Souls, was announced, it was a ray of hope for fan of the series.  Diablo II may be looked back on now as an all-timer, but it wasn’t until it’s expansion, Lord of Destruction, that it really took off.  With complete overhauls to classes, itemization, crafting, and the Paragon system, along with a new class in the Crusader, removal of both the gold and real money auction houses, and a level cap increase from 60 to 70, I’m hoping and praying that Reaper of Souls will right the Diablo III ship.

2) Dying Light

Parkour and zombies … continue, please

Dying Light was another smash hit at the VGAs  A parkour/open-world game set in a zombie apocalypse, players must survive as best they can, scavenging for supplies and weapons.  The infection grows stronger at night, as the typical shambling infected turn into sprinting terrors when the sun is down.  Gameplay videos show pseudo-X rays of the infected when you smash them, giving a truly visceral feel when you break one’s shoulder with a hammer.  Different classes and item crafting should make this a game not to be missed.

1) Destiny

September can’t get here soon enough

Destiny is the first game for Bungie after they left the behemoth Halo franchise they created.  It’s set in a sci-fi universe where an alien race is set on destroying humanity (Bungie, aliens destroying humans, hmmmmm).  There looks to be guns, magic, melee fighting, some kind of power armor … everything you’d need to defend Earth from an alien invasion.  Bungie has said that Destiny will be a very long project, with many games in the series over as long as 10 years.  Destiny is hands-down my #1 most anticipated game of 2014.

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So there you have it, my most anticipated games of 2014.  Agree/disagree?  Leave a note in the comment section!

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