We've removed the top two games from this list as they've been delayed into 2015, and replaced them with two surprise releases this year. Check 'em out.
While 2014 will without a doubt belong to the new and shiny consoles, there are still games coming out for the PC. A lot of games. PC gaming is still far, far away from being dead. With the new consoles out, chances are, too, that PC games will start pushing the hardware again, something that has not happened in the past years, simply because the consoles most games were made for were keeping the technical ante down quite a bit (of course here’s to hoping the devlopers of cross platform titles don’t just go sloppy on PC optimization with the excuse of consoles now having more power…). Next year will also be a good year to be a PC gamer, and here we have twenty reasons for that, as usual in no particular order:
20 Watch Dogs
Ubisoft’s too close for comfort near future smartphone-punk game has been shifted to 2014, which almost instantly makes it one of the most interesting upcoming games. As usual with Ubisoft, PC games will have to wait an extra month for the release, and can look forward to an unforgettable experience with Uplay. But still, this is one to look forward to. Chicago never looked so good. There will be tons of things to do, and if you don’t like the near future setting, you just have to squint and the game will pass as another entry to the Assassin’s Creed series.
19 Everquest Next
Everquest is coming back. The father of the MMO (yes, Ultima Online, we have taken note of your complaints regarding potential fatherhood and believe me we are investigating) comes back with a vengeance. Aggressively updated graphics and all the things you would expect from a huge MMO that dares taking on the mountain size gorilla in the room that is World of Warcraft. But at the same time they don’t, since developers Sony Online Entertainment have stressed their intent of keeping the free to play model as long as possible.
18 Assassin's Creed: Unity
Players once again enter the Animus and step into the body of an assassin from history in Assassin’s Creed Unity, whose role this time is Arno Dorian, a French assassin who walks through the streets of Paris in 1793 during the French Revolution. It’s a crowded world, built unlike any of the previous Assassin’s Creed titles with cooperative gameplay implemented from the ground-up. As with previous titles in the series, players can tackle the main story or go off on side missions thanks to the game’s open world setting. We look forward to playing the game on October 28 this year.
17 Wolfenstein The New Order
Fighting nazis never gets old. Fighting cyber robo nazis from the future? Uh, yeah that’s like the perpetual fountain of youth for awesome gaming recipes. Created by the people that made it possible for us mere mortals to actually become Richard D. Riddick for two games, the people who made up fabled and now fallen S
Machine Games, we are very much looking forward to kicking some shiny, metal nazi ass!
16 Broken Age
Tim Schafer returns to point-and-click adventures. Initially dubbed simply “Double Fine Adventure”, this game was one of the earlier kickstarter experiments with which Double Fine helped to start the kickstarter kraze we see today. I can’t really say too much about the game other than that it will be a Tim Schafer point and click adventure, which really says it all. It will probably be pretty awesome, if you like this kind of game.
15 Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls
Blizzard, the inventors of the expansion pack, bring back the expansion pack. Just like Lord of Destruction for Diablo 2 or the countless Word of Warcraft expansions, Reaper of Souls promises to bring more Diablo 3 click to kill madness to the people who desire more of those things. Also there will be a new level cap, a new character class, new skills, weapons and monsters to kill with those new weapons.
14 Dragon Age: Inquisition
After the debacle of Dragon Age II and the departure of the Doctors, BioWare took its time with the next big title, the third entry to the Dragon Age saga. Dragon Age Inquisition goes more into the direction of being an open world game, without fully becoming a Skyrim clone. The developers have been heard saying that the game will take some hints from open world games. Also the complaints about Dragon Age II have been taken to heart, so we can look forward to a much broader, much better developed experience.
13 Civilization: Beyond Earth
Alpha Centauri 2 will likely never get made, because EA owns the rights to it. But that’s okay, because Firaxis has announced Civilization: Beyond Earth—which seems a spiritual sequel. Its co-lead designer Dave McDonough is quoted as saying “There is a lot of inspiration from Alpha Centauri in this game,” and we’re inclined to believe him.
Civilization: Beyond Earth is a new imagining of what civilization in the future, civilization in space could be and we can’t help but wait for the game to come out.
12 Planetary Annihilation
While the game is currently accessible on Steam’s early access program, it is still far from finished, slotted for a true release sometime next year. Planetary Annihilation takes the real time strategy game formula of Supreme Commander to yet another level, going up to a, well, planetary scale. There will be huge multiplayer battles with 40 and more players participating as well as a single player campaign. And a lot of mayhem. Obviously.
This one is one of the smaller games on this list, but none the less one to look out for, as it scratches an itch that’s been abandoned for too long. Routine takes parts of Amnesia’s hide and evade horror game formula and transplants it to a mysteriously abandoned space station. The game runs on Unreal Engine 3, looks absolutely incredible for game made by two people, and will feature heavily on some cool features like procedural level and mission generation.
Another indie title that got a successful kickstarter. Darkwood takes the perspective from indie shooter Teleglitch, adding a procedurally generated world and story elements to the mix, and goes wild with monsters of all kind in the dark and a procedurally generated, permadeath horror adventure. One of the most exciting indiegames to look out for next year.
9 The Long Dark
And another kickstarted indiegame. This one takes survival seriously, pitting the player mostly against the elements and hungry wildlife. Finally you can starve and freeze to death, while you can also fend of wolves by keeping a fire burning through the night. Unlike other games, The Long Dark will not feature zombies or extensive gunplay, but focus exclusively on survival mechanisms. It sounds like an interesting concept and it will be exciting to see where this game ends up in a year time.
8 The Elder Scrolls Online
Bethesda’s answer to World of Warcraft has been a long time in the making, and thankfully, a lot has changed since those early proof of concept screenshots. The game now actually looks more like fans of the series would want an Elder Scrolls MMO to look. The game is already in closed beta, and will also be available on new generation consoles, though there will not be cross platform play.
Verticality is the name of the game in Titanfall, which varies from its predecessors in the Call of Duty franchise. Developed by the creators of Call of Duty, Titanfall is a multiplayer-only experience that promises to change the way we look at, and play first-person shooters as players are encouraged to scale walls, leap from building to building, and pilot gigantic mechs that tower over the battlefield.
6 The Sims 4
The Sims 4 arguably offers more of the same experience as its predecessors in the series, but EA promises to deliver an evolutionary experience with The Sims 4 with a new artificial intelligence and emotion system that changes the way the game is played. More than just a facelift, then, for the long-running series.
5 Lords of the Fallen
At first glance, Lords of the Fallen might look a lot like a Darksiders game, but at closer inspection it’s more along the lines of a German-made take on the Dark Souls franchise. There’s big swords, even bigger knights, and a whole lot of hardcore death in store for gamers. Much like Dark Souls, Lords of the Fallen features methodical combat and requires players to be quick on their fingertips.
4 Tropico 5
The banana republic simulator (not related to the clothing brand) goes into the fifth iteration, going more and more into the direction of a full on Sim City city building simulation. For the first time in the series, Tropico 5 will also feature competitive and cooperative online multiplayer features where the players can compete or cooperate with other, potentially rival dictators.
3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
It’d be funnier if the game were called Hotline Miami 3: Wrong Number, because then it’d actually be a wrong number and… well, you get the joke. The fact of the matter is that Hotline Miami 2 is the follow-up to Hotline Miami, one of the industry’s most visceral experiences despite being a top-down pixelart-driven experience. Expect more blood, more gore, and a whole lot of Drive-inspired masked mayhem and killing.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
An RPG developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the game’s narrative follows the New Kid, who’s new to the cozy town of South Park. The player partakes in a live-action role-playing game (LARP) session, which goes out of hand and turns into a fantasy war involving humans, elves, and wizards, all of whom are fighting for the all powerful Stick of Truth. It’s up to the player to return the town to normalcy and recover the artifact.
Wasteland 2 is the essential post-apocalyptic RPG sequel to the first Wasteland, and spiritual successor to the original Fallout games. Wasteland 2 was successfully crowdfunded through Kickstarter as part of a trend of high-profile developers launching projects on the site. Featuring party-based and turn-based combat, Wasteland 2’s places strong emphasis on player-driven narrative, much like its spiritual predecessor, Fallout.