Top 10 Best Xbox One Games of 2014: The Heavy Power List

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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)

Buy Sunset Overdrive here.


Pros:

  • Tons of customization
  • Fun traversal
  • Engaging combat
  • Huge, stylistic world

Cons:

  • Repetitive missions
  • Collectibles
  • Fetch quests
  • Boring NPCs

Find more Sunset Overdrive information and reviews here.



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.

Price: $59.78

Buy Halo: The Master Chief Collection here.


Pros:

  • More Master Chief than you can handle
  • Remade multiplayer maps with HD graphics
  • Access to the Halo 5: Guardians beta
  • Four thousand Gamerscore

Cons:

  • Twenty gigabyte day-one patch
  • No Halo: Reach
  • No Halo 3: ODST
  • Multiplayer matchmaking issues

Find more Halo: The Master Chief Collection information and reviews here.



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)

Buy Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition here.


Pros:

  • Satisfying combat and stealth
  • Amazing story and characterization
  • Interesting puzzles
  • Lara isn’t a sex object anymore

Cons:

  • Dull multiplayer
  • Not much added content
  • Somewhat short
  • Supernatural elements

Find more Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition information and reviews here.



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.

Price: $59.99

Buy Far Cry 4 here.


Pros:

  • New wildlife
  • Massive open world
  • Drop-in co-op
  • Free limited edition with pre-order

Cons:

  • Unwarranted cover art controversy
  • No bonuses for killing war elephants
  • Not much has changed since Far Cry 3
  • Server issues at launch

Find more Far Cry 4 information and reviews here.



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.

Price: $59.96

Buy Grand Theft Auto V here.


Pros:

  • Breathing world
  • Three playable characters
  • Excellent voice acting and story
  • Trevor

Cons:

  • Multiplayer doesn’t live up to the hype
  • Needs more heists
  • Online play is somewhat broken
  • Trevor

Find more Grand Theft Auto V information and reviews here.



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)

Buy Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor here.


Pros:

  • Nemesis system
  • Satisfying combat
  • Ratbag
  • Lore, lore and more lore

Cons:

  • Somewhat easy
  • Disappointing ending
  • Repetitive locales
  • Herb collecting

Find more Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor information and reviews here.



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)

Buy Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare here.


Pros:

  • Futuristic weapons and gadgets
  • Best-in-class multiplayer
  • Zombie mode is back
  • Kevin Spacey

Cons:

  • $50 season pass
  • Average campaign
  • Set pieces everywhere
  • Same ol’ Call of Duty formula

Find more Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare information and reviews here.



8. Titanfall

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)

Buy Titanfall here.


Pros:

  • Frenzied FPS action
  • Recently added co-op mode
  • Giant mechs
  • Spyglass

Cons:

  • Weak campaign
  • Only a few modes
  • Little content
  • Snipers

Find more Titanfall information and reviews here.



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.

Price: $62.99

Buy Dragon Age: Inquisition here.


Pros:

  • In-game choices matter
  • Style combat your way
  • Customize your party and hero
  • It’s not Dragon Age II

Cons:

  • Say goodbye to hundreds of hours of freetime
  • Challenging
  • Story is a bit cliche
  • Combat could be more strategic

Find more Dragon Age: Inquisition information and reviews here.



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)

Buy Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition here.


Pros:

  • Addicting gameplay loop
  • Diverse classes
  • Endless loot
  • Incredible cutscenes

Cons:

  • Lackluster story and characters
  • Nephalem Rifts not available before beating story
  • Some classes feel underpowered
  • Hardcore Mode is terrifying

Find more Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition information and reviews here.



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