(Also note, I haven't gotten to play Dragon Age: Inquisition, so I can't comment on it yet. I have no doubt in my mind that it would have been part of this list had I played it already though.)
10. Transistor (PC, PS4, Mac, Linux)
The creators of Bastion brought this wonderful project to life. Another awesome action-RPG that pulls you in with it's simple, but fluid gameplay, and a welcome strong female protagonist to boot!
9. Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Some may try to call this a rehash, but I doubt those people have actually played the game. This entry takes many of the best features from past Mario Kart titles and turns it into one of the best sequels yet. You can always count on Nintendo for fun factor.
8. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (PC, PS4, XBOX One, PS3, Xbox 360)
This is easily one of, if not the best game set in Middle Earth to date. Combining some of the best elements of RPGs the Batman Arkham games, with a little Assassin's Creed thrown into the mix, you've got yourself one beast of a game. If Assassin's Creed Unity left you with a bad taste in your mouth, this will do quite nicely.
7. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (3DS)
How do you make an already great game even better? Add more of everything! More music, more characters, and more goodies make this the perfect sequel. Rhythm-based games aren't going anywhere, and this is a great sign of that.
6. Dark Souls 2 (PC, PS4, XBOX One, PS3, Xbox 360)
While not quite as polished as the original Dark Souls, this is still an amazing sequel. You'll die a lot, curse a lot, and still keep playing until you hit that next big bossfight... which you'll curse at even more.
5. Five Nights at Freddy's 1 & 2 (PC, Android, iOS, Windows Phone)
Sometimes less can be more, and these games prove that in spades. A point-and-click survival horror series in this day and age? Absolutely! Between the absolute feeling of dread you get despite such a simple setup, and engaging backstory hidden within the lines, these are the must play horror games of the year.
4. Super Smash Bros. (3DS, Wii U)
What even needs to be said about this one? The game causes more people to buy Nintendo systems than any other these days, and is a vast improvement over the last entry on the Wii. This game (just like the others) will hook you in for life with its great mechanics and awesome gameplay modes (multiplayer obviously being the biggest).
3. Bravely Default (3DS)
If you've been having any doubts about the future of JRPGs as of late, your savior is here! Keeping everything you ever loved about classic titles from the RPG "glory days," while also removing all of the conventions that you hate, make this an absolute joy to experience. You'll actually feel spoiled by the time you go back to other JRPGs and realize how much work was put into this game. I for one can't wait for the sequel.
2. Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)
My issues with the blatant sexism in the series aside, this is without a doubt one of the greatest games to come out this year, especially for fans of action titles like Devil May Cry, God of War, and Ninja Gaiden. It has some of the smoothest controls and combat mechanics in any game of its type, and blows just about any other 3D action game out of the water. Every stage and boss fight will leave you feeling like you just climbed a mountain with ease, that's how pumped the action will make you.
1. Shovel Knight (PC, 3DS, Wii U, OSX, Linux)
In an age where a lot of independent games are usually rehashes of classic titles with little bits of personality thrown in (for better or worse), Shovel Knight does just about everything perfectly. From the nostalgic 8-bit music to the odes of gaming's past (Mega Man, Castlevania, Ducktales, etc.), you will not want to stop. Even after you've explored everything and vanquished all foes, there's a New Game + mode just waiting for you jump back into the fray with. If you had an NES in your childhood then this game belongs in your collection without a doubt.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
inFamous: Second Son
The Banner Saga
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Azure Striker Gunvolt
So what were your thoughts on gaming this year? Agree or disagree? Thanks for reading either way!