2014 is going to be a big year for games with the next gen consoles having their first full year to show off what they can do. From console exclusives like inFamous: Second Son and Mario Kart 8 to multiplatform juggernauts like Watch Dogs and Destiny, here are VGU’s top 10 most anticipated games of 2014.

10. Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8

The Mario Kart series has been one of the most successful Nintendo franchises since it made its debut on the Super Nintendo back in 1992. The series has been through a lot of innovations and the Wii version of the game has the distinction of being the best-selling racing game of all time (and the second selling overall Wii game behind Wii Sports).

Mario Kart 8 will be the first Mario Kart game to appear on the Wii U and will incorporate popular elements from the 3DS game Mario Kart 7 as well as some new features like anti-gravity zones where players can ride on walls and ceilings. We here at VGU have been waiting a long time for some big name Wii U titles and Mario Kart 8 will definitely be one of them in 2014.

9. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Lightning Returns

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is the latest entry into the series and one of the most anticipated titles of 2014. Already released in Japan, the Western market is expected to see this title in February. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is the final chapter in the XIII series, wrapping up the story of the main protagonist, Lightning.

Lightning Returns is set five hundred years after the ending of XIII-2, centering on the final thirteen days of the world. With the doomsday clock counting down, Lightning is in a race against time to stop the destruction of the world.

Gameplay shifts in this title with the countdown clock, challenging players to be judgmental in their decisions. The other main focus is the use of a single character in battle, as the previous XIII titles allowed for multiple characters to be controlled.

With Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII set to be the final chapter in the XIII series, no doubt that many fans are eager to see how Lightning’s story comes to an end.

8. Destiny

Destiny

Bungie became a household name (among gamers at least) with the massive success of the Halo franchise but when it was announced that the company would no longer make games in the Halo franchise, we all wondered what would be next. Bungie finally announced that the studio had a deal with Activision to make the next 10 years’ worth of games and that the world of Destiny was going to be the one we’d be inhabiting for that time period.

Destiny is a first-person shooter RPG that takes place in a massive open world environment. The game’s story takes place in the final remnants of human civilization, a civilization that had begun to colonize the cosmos before an event known as “the collapse.” Now a large white orb called “the traveler” hovers over the last human city, granting the defenders of the city the ability to wield an unknown force.

Bungie will no doubt be using a lot of the knowledge it gained from the Halo series and other similar sci-fi shooters to create a unique and engaging world that we can’t wait to play in September.

7. Super Smash Bros. 

Super Smash Bros

The Super Smash Bros. series has been another heavy hitter for Nintendo and is looking to make a big debut on the 3DS and Wii U this year. The massive crossover fighting game sees characters from some of the most popular Nintendo franchises squaring off in epic battles.

The Super Smash Bros. series has provided tons of great competitive multiplayer gaming over the years and the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game will have some form of cross functionality. The brawler title is a huge part of Nintendo’s gaming lineup for this year and we here at VGU are hoping for great things.

6. Halo on Xbox One 

Halo

The Halo franchise has been one of the biggest draws for Microsoft’s Xbox consoles over the years and in 2014 we are slated to see a new Halo game from 343 that will continue the story of the Master Chief. Little is known of the title at this time other than the fact that this is set to be a full entry into the series, starring Master Chief, and running at 60fps.

The Xbox One has been selling pretty well and the prospect of a big name title like Halo for the new series is sure to help bolster 2014 sales of the console itself. Halo 4 left the Chief in an interesting position with new threats lurking and the story can really go just about anywhere from here. We’re definitely excited to see what comes next.

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