6) Fire Emblem: Awakening
Nintendo and Intelligent Systems hit another one out of the park with the latest installment in the Fire Emblem series. The first Fire Emblem game for the 3DS puts the 3D capabilities to very good use, continuing the pattern of strong visuals from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn. Adding new features like pairing up units, this is a game your 3DS needs!
5) Battlefield 4
I’m baffled as to how Call of Duty became the go-to, big, blockbuster FPS that it has when Battlefield exists. In my view, it’s a much more fun, more complex game. It may have had a rough launch with various online bugs, and EA is under fire for potentially misleading statements about the game, but taken on it’s own, the only bad thing about Battlefield 4 now is that the PC version requires Origin.
4) Rocksmith 2014
Building on its predecessor, Rocksmith is a game that Ubisoft claims is the fastest way to learn how to play the guitar or bass. Called Rocksmith 2014 because Ubisoft wants to make it absolutely clear – this is not a sequel to Rocksmith, nor is it just Rocksmith with additional content. It’s an entirely new version with new features, new lessons, and improvements over the original. If you want to learn guitar or bass, it’s a good way to learn. I’ll be logging my progress in taking Ubisoft’s 60-Day Challenge in the New Year!
3) The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Nintendo goes back to basics in this sequel to 1991’s The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past. Set in the same version of Hyrule, Link must save both Hyrule and Lorule from the dangers of Princess Hilda’s plan. Featuring an entirely revamped item system, minimal hand-holding, and great new gameplay mechanics, I cannot wait for what Nintendo does with Zelda on the Wii U.
2) Bioshock Infinite
Players take to the skies in this game. While in a different setting from the first two Bioshock games, this one is the same fun game with plenty of exploration, Salts, and philosophy. While the first two games tackled individualism and collectivism, this one explores American Exceptionalism and the Third Great Awakening in American history.
1) Pokemon XY
I was really not a fan of Generation V, Pokemon Black and White. Most new Pokemon were entirely forgettable, the game was poorly paced, and they just didn’t feel like much of an improvement over Generation IV, Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver. Game Freak completely reversed course with Generation VI. They overhauled the graphics. They added a new type, Fairy. They made the online portions accessible from anywhere as opposed to specific points on the map. They didn’t add many new Pokemon, and the ones they did are of high quality. They added Mega Evolutions, which will be an entirely new level of depth to the metagame. And the game is paced wonderfully, and with a surprisingly good story for a Pokemon game.