With all three new consoles finally out on the market, previous gen machines still going strong and both portable and mobile gaming rolling full steam ahead, 2014 was a pretty big year for video games. But for every big AAA hit we could see coming from a mile away, there were an equal number of unexpected gems popping up all over the place.

Whether an indie darling, a big-budget success that nobody saw coming, or even a game that literally nobody knew about until the day it was released, the past 12 months have been good to gamers who like to root for the underdog or try out something brand new and unexpected. Here are 10 of our favorites from 2014.

Bravely Default
Bravely Default is another underdog of early 2014, coming to the market when RPG fans weren't too keen on anything “classic style” that Square Enix had to offer. Developed by SE and Silicon Studios, we knew that Bravely Default both looked and sounded excellent, but something about the game's promise to return to the roots of RPGs had many gamers going in with their shields held high. Square Enix hasn't exactly been batting a thousand in the RPG department as of late. Then the game actually launched and, not only did it deliver on its promise of old-school RPG goodness, but it managed to plug in a huge number of new tweaks that pulled the genre into the new generation. It got a bit repetitive, sure, but that hasn't stopped a legion of new fans who are eagerly clamoring for Bravely Second to finally drop.

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