12/30/2014 11:08 EST | Updated 03/01/2015 05:59 EST

The Best Video Games of 2014


2014 was not, shall we say, the best! year! ever! for the medium of video games.

The end of a console cycle tends to be where greatness resides, thanks to developers sussing out the tech so well they focus all their efforts on narrative and gameplay, so perhaps we've been spoiled the past couple of years as the PS3/Xbox360 era came to a close.

There weren't any unanimous triumphs like last year's GTA V and The Last of Us, both of which topped Metacritic's best-reviewed of 2014 list with new console updates of old console games.

Both the PS4 and Xbox One struggled to define themselves during their first year in the wild while the Wii U struggled to get consoles into living rooms despite releasing an incredible amount of quality content.

And then there was #GamerGate. Sigh.

But even an industry in transition wracked by a misogynistic online insurgency still put out some great games. In fact, the lack of monumental triple-A titles allowed many games to soar that might otherwise have been overlooked.

So here are my picks for the best games of 2014.