The year is coming to a close. Soon, gamers, developers, publishers and journalistic outlets alike will be looking back at the best titles of 2014 to decide which ones are worthy of game of the year honors. There’s plenty to choose from within a wide variety of genres, from shooters to RPGs to action-adventure games. But which game will reign supreme? Well, that’s up to a lot of different people, including you.
We’ve gathered 10 of the hottest Xbox One games that launched this year. Which is your favorite Xbox One game of 2014? Let us know in the poll below!
1. Sunset Overdrive
What’s great about Insomniac’s latest venture is how it doesn’t take itself too seriously — or at all. Run on walls, grind on power lines and jump off buildings all while trying to destroy the mutants that run rampant after drinking FizzCo’s newest energy drink. The world is as colorful and zany as your fully customizable character, and crazy weapons and funny respawn animations keep the good times rolling whether you’re downing baddies or they’re downing you. If you’re a fan of Insomniac’s other work like the Ratchet & Clank series, you can’t go wrong with Sunset Overdrive.
Price: $49.99 (17 percent off MSRP)
- Tons of customization
- Fun traversal
- Engaging combat
- Huge, stylistic world
- Repetitive missions
- Fetch quests
- Boring NPCs
2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
In 2011, Microsoft published Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, a high-definition remake of the original Halo from Bungie. Porting the infamous first-person sci-fi shooter to the Xbox 360 proved to be a wise decision, and fans clamored for a re-release of Halo 2 in the same vein. Microsoft did them one better: Halo: The Master Chief Collection takes the four numerical Halo games and puts them in glorious HD for the Xbox One. Players are now able to seamlessly jump from one game to the next while reliving Halo‘s unforgettable campaign and unique multiplayer matches — when the matchmaking works, that is.
- More Master Chief than you can handle
- Remade multiplayer maps with HD graphics
- Access to the Halo 5: Guardians beta
- Four thousand Gamerscore
- Twenty gigabyte day-one patch
- No Halo: Reach
- No Halo 3: ODST
- Multiplayer matchmaking issues
3. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
Everyone remembers the Tomb Raider games when they first released. At the time, Lara Croft was nothing more than a polygonal sex object with pointy boobs and short-shorts. Thankfully, Crystal Dynamics decided to reboot the entire series, starting with Croft’s origin story, and what a tale it is. In Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, players get to relive Croft’s coming-of-age tale on new-gen consoles with updated graphics and free multiplayer DLC. If you didn’t play Crystal Dynamics’ retelling of the Tomb Raider’s story when it originally released last year, now’s the perfect opportunity.
Price: $31.53 (21 percent off MSRP)
- Satisfying combat and stealth
- Amazing story and characterization
- Interesting puzzles
- Lara isn’t a sex object anymore
- Dull multiplayer
- Not much added content
- Somewhat short
- Supernatural elements
4. Far Cry 4
Do you like first-person shooters set in a giant open world? How about ziplining, hang gliding, big game hunting and killing bad guys? If so, Far Cry 4 is up your alley. The newest addition to the series steps away from the lush environment of the tropics from Far Cry 3 and drops you in the middle of a civil war in the Himalayas. Besides moving your way through the story, there will be distractions to keep your entertained. The most attractive feature is a new one that allows players to invite friends who don’t even own the full game into their world to conquer cooperative missions together. If allowing your buddies to game with you free of charge to them isn’t a great idea, I don’t know what is.
- New wildlife
- Massive open world
- Drop-in co-op
- Free limited edition with pre-order
- Unwarranted cover art controversy
- No bonuses for killing war elephants
- Not much has changed since Far Cry 3
- Server issues at launch
5. Grand Theft Auto V
Rockstar Games knows how to make a living, breathing world. The Grand Theft Auto series is known for giving players absolute freedom in violent, crime-ridden cities parodying America’s most famous locales. In Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar Games allows for players to switch seamlessly between three protagonists: a rich family man struggling with maintaining relationships, a bonafide gangster and a psychotic hillbilly. Heists are a new addition that mimic the famous bank robbery mission everybody loves from Grand Theft Auto IV. All the other stuff people adore about GTA is there: guns, strip clubs, sweet rides and a solid story tying it all together. There’s a reason Grand Theft Auto V is sitting pretty at a 97 on Metacritic.
- Breathing world
- Three playable characters
- Excellent voice acting and story
- Multiplayer doesn’t live up to the hype
- Needs more heists
- Online play is somewhat broken
6. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Any The Lord of the Rings buff will feel right at home with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The game is set sometime between The Hobbit and Tolkien’s famous trilogy about Frodo’s quest to Mount Doom as Talion, a Ranger of Gondor stationed near the Black Gate leading into the evil land of Mordor, is forced to watch his family be butchered by Uruks. What follows is a classic revenge action game dripping with Tolkien lore. What sets Shadow of Mordor apart is its nemesis system, which grants military ranks to Talion’s enemies. The Uruks are constantly vying for dominance, and the player can manipulate them to his will using special powers and abilities, making each play a unique experience.
Price: $49.07 (18 percent off MSRP)
- Nemesis system
- Satisfying combat
- Lore, lore and more lore
- Somewhat easy
- Disappointing ending
- Repetitive locales
- Herb collecting
7. Call of Duty: Advanced Warefare
Call of Duty is one series that has withstood the test of time, with releases spanning more than a decade and three console generations. The franchise has tackled everything from World War II-era battles to modern-day combat. The newest entry in the series, Advanced Warfare, takes place in the future, where jetpacks and hovering grenades are staples in military technology. Sure, it might look like Titanfall at a glance, but Advanced Warfare is a title all its own, and it’s bound to be a best seller just like its annually released brethren. I mean, even IGN gave it a 9.1.
Price: $57.60 (4 percent off MSRP)
- Futuristic weapons and gadgets
- Best-in-class multiplayer
- Zombie mode is back
- Kevin Spacey
- $50 season pass
- Average campaign
- Set pieces everywhere
- Same ol’ Call of Duty formula
No one can deny the extensive hype Titanfall received leading up to is release. Being one of the first notable exclusives for the Xbox One made everyone perk up and pay attention, and the fact that it was developed by ex-Call of Duty devs just added more to the game’s already robust credibility. Titanfall takes the traditional first-person shooter format and adds parkour and armored mechs to the mix, making for addictive and frantic online death matches.
Price: $33.98 (15 percent off MSRP)
- Frenzied FPS action
- Recently added co-op mode
- Giant mechs
- Weak campaign
- Only a few modes
- Little content
9. Dragon Age: Inquisition
BioWare is known for its ability to craft deep, intricate, personal stories. Just look at the best-selling Mass Effect series, which, in this humble editor’s opinion, is the best sci-fi universe to be created in any medium ever. The original Dragon Age was a critical and commercial success, with its long and detailed campaign where choices mattered. Dragon Age II didn’t hold up as well, though it’s still a great game. With Dragon Age: Inquisition, BioWare went all out in an effort to create one of the greatest fantasy RPGs ever. The developer’s track record proves they were capable of handling the task, giving players a sprawling world to explore, a brilliant story where player choice matters and a fun combat system players can tailor to their play style.
- In-game choices matter
- Style combat your way
- Customize your party and hero
- It’s not Dragon Age II
- Say goodbye to hundreds of hours of freetime
- Story is a bit cliche
- Combat could be more strategic
10. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
If you’ve played World of Warcraft, you know Blizzard sure knows how to make games that fit into the fantasy genre. Diablo III is a perfect example. It’s an action-RPG that’s all about one thing: loot. As you and your friends go through the procedurally generated dungeons slaughtering literally thousands of Diablo’s hellish minions, you constantly find shiny new gear and weapons. Half the fun of the game is customizing your hero to look and play as you want with the best equipment possible, which makes for an addicting loop: Kill baddies, equip new gear, repeat. As simplistic as the story and characters are, the gameplay is fast and fun, and it certainly keeps you coming back for more.
Price: $41.99 (30 percent off MSRP)
- Addicting gameplay loop
- Diverse classes
- Endless loot
- Incredible cutscenes
- Lackluster story and characters
- Nephalem Rifts not available before beating story
- Some classes feel underpowered
- Hardcore Mode is terrifying
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