Following the staff pick for our favorite anime episodes of 2014, I figured I’d do something similar for video games. I asked our staff to pick their favorite video games of 2014 and explain why. Here is the list.

Bravely Default (3DS)

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Silicon Studio/Square Enix

Release Date: 2/7/14

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In a time where traditional turn-based JRPG seemed to be becoming a thing of the past, as there were no notable titles of the sort in recent memory, Bravely Default was a breath of fresh air. Hell, it still is. I’m still playing it. With the twist of the Bravely and Default system, the game offers a modern touch that doesn’t take away from the classic RPG appeal of the turn-based RPG game, but instead adds to it. If you’re a fan of old school JRPGs or just want something new and entertaining to play on the 3DS, Bravely Default should be at the top of your list (along with Fire Emblem: Awakening.)

– Matt Boss

The Forest (PC)

Release Date: 5/30/14 (Early Access)

Publisher: Endnight Games

Developer: Endnight Games

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The Forest was a surprise for me this year in how much raw potential it has as a survival game. As an alpha build it has it’s glitches, however the content of this game will always leave you wanting more. The creators behind the game know the glitches exist and are extremely proactive in finding and fixing these problems along with packing the game with new content. Each patch shows new and exciting options to the game play including a steam based multiplayer option. The AI has come a long way and the different crafting and hunting options make this an excellent gaming experience. Overall for the price tag of 15$ on Steam is completely worth the investment  for those fans out there of the horror survival games.

– Jacques Artel

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Smite (PC)

Publisher: Hi-Rez Studios

Developer: Hi-Rez Studios

Release Date: 3/25/14

It seems like the MOBA genre has been dominating the free-to-play and eSports charts ever since League of Legends went big. Smite isn’t your average MOBA though, and instead offers something a little different. While most games in the genre offer a top-down perspective, Smite lets you play as your God or Goddess from third person. This makes it a little more accessible for people transitioning from games like World of Warcraft, and with its focus on fast gameplay with a wide variety of modes, Smite stands as one of the best in the genre. The game might have been in beta for a couple years, but 2014 marked the full release.

With Season 2 starting soon, there’s no better time than now to join the fray.

– Adam Capps

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Dark Souls II (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC)

Publisher: Bandai Namco

Developer: From Software

Release Date: 3/11/14

Dark Souls II would probably be the game I played the most in of in 2014. As a massive fan of the Souls series, I could not have been more excited for Dark Souls II. Dark Souls II’s greatest achievement was simply giving me more to explore in the Souls universe. Dark Souls II had changed in some ways I didn’t like, but then added some things that were massive improvements (like power stancing.) I’m biased, but if you play RPGs and don’t have Dark Souls II( as well as Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls) in your library, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

– Matthew Boss

Destiny

Destiny (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Bungie

Release Date: 9/9/14

After seeing the first commercial for this game, that was when I decided to buy the new generation consoles and take this game for a ride. The mechanics for this game are beautiful and smooth. I love the multiplayer and weekly heroics and nightfalls. Achieving the higher levels and better gear takes time but it not an impossible task like with other games of the same genre. With ever changing armor and weapon options with custom color schemes, this game brings a lot of extra projects for those meticulous gamers. The game does have its flaws such as a story that really doesn’t do anything to add to the game and limited exploring available. Unless you are doing a mission, raid, or patrol there is really no side exploration to do of the multiple planets like you would see with games such as “Dragon Age”. That being said the gameplay is still incredibly entertaining and with more downloadable content to come I don’t see this game slowing down anytime soon.

– Jacques Artel

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Super Smash Bros (Wii U)

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Sora LTD/Bandai Namco

Release Date: 11/21/14

It’s THE party game. Besides Mario Party. Or Mario Kart. Finally, we got a new iteration of Smash Bros., and it’s glorious. Super Smash Bros. WiiU brings the fantastic combat of the Smash series to the new generation with a largest cast of fighters yet. There’s not that much to say about Smash Bros., you should know what it is if you’ve played a game in the past two decades. Unless you somehow don’t enjoy playing Smash, this game can’t be looked over. It’s a game that focuses on one thing: Fun. Beating the shit out of your friends has never felt so good.

– Matthew Boss

There you have it, our staff picks for the best video games of 2014. Did your favorite title make our list? If not, what are your picks?

Header: KalaSketch @ Deviant Art

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Adam Capps

About Adam Capps

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Adam Capps is the editor of video games at BentoByte. He spends his days playing video games and his nights writing about them. He's also an avid fan of anime, manga and music.

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