2014 Could Be The Best Year Of Gaming Yet

There’s no denying that 2013 shaped up to be a pretty great year for video games, with loads of stand-out titles keeping players entertained for hours on end and two new consoles making their way to market. But from where we’re sitting right now, 2014 could be primed to become one of the best years in gaming history, period.

I wasn’t hugely keen on 2013 as it was happening, in terms of gaming. At a glance, it felt like the past 12 months simply weren’t delivering enough in terms of “OMG, everyone has to play this!” content. But then I sat down and got to digging into what 2013 really had to offer. I was stunned.

Not only did the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launch this year, but both portable and console gamers had a veritable mountain of content to plow through last year, including a new BioShock game, a new Grand Theft Auto, a new Pokemon, a new Animal Crossing, a new Zelda, a new Mario Bros. and Naughty Dog’s beloved The Last of Us. That's only the tip of the iceberg. The year also included dozens of smaller, yet equally fantastic offerings on PSN and XBLA like Brothers, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, and Guacamelee. The PC, meanwhile, was flooded with indie darlings such as Gone Home, The Stanley Parable, Papers, Please and Kentucky Route Zero.

So long as your tastes weren’t too narrow, there was a ridiculous amount of quality gaming to dive into last year, but 2014 will up the ante. While there likely won’t be as many major installments in established franchises like GTA and Mario, what we currently have on the itinerary is still massive in its own way. And there’s a nice mix, too, including noteworthy sequels, lots of new IPs and another veritable army of games marching out the door from independent developers. And this being January and all, I’m only talking about the games we currently know will likely be hitting shelves this year. There’s no telling what else might get piled onto the heap.

In the world of sequels, inFamous Second Son, Dark Souls 2, Bayonetta 2, Metal Gear Solid 5, The Witcher 3 and new entries in both the Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. are likely to keep fans new and old glued to their TVs for the next 12 months. And then there are new games like Watch_Dogs, Titanfall, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Destiny and Bravely Default set to make waves.

And as for those indies, we’re talking about The Witness, Hohokum, Transister, Hotline Miami 2, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, and That Dragon, Cancer, just to name a few. There's also the wider release of 2013 battle hit, TowerFall: Ascension, to look forward to.

Honestly, we’re only seeing a fraction of the picture here. Who knows what PSN, XBLA, and free-to-play offerings will come out of nowhere to shock us? I’m already getting stressed out about trying to find time to play all of these games. That, of course, is a wonderful “bad” situation to be in.

So tell us, dear reader, how was your 2013 for gaming and, more importantly, what are you most looking forward to in the New Year?

Ryan Winslett

Staff Writer for CinemaBlend.