We al­ways ex­pected 2014 to be a tran­si­tional year, but we had no idea it would be quite like this. It was the year of the re­mas­ter, with the two best games of the pre­vi­ous 12 months reap­pear­ing along­side many other reis­sues. It was the year of the cross-gen game, with de­vel­op­ers’ de­sire to get the best out of new con­soles stymied by their need to cater for old ones. And it was the year of the de­lay, with some of the heav­i­est hit­ters pushed to­wards the end of the cal­en­dar or off it en­tirely. There have been high­lights, but it speaks vol­umes that only one PS4 or Xbox One ex­clu­sive makes our top ten this year. For the early adopters, 2014 was the year of look­ing for­ward to 2015.

It’s been a cu­ri­ous year, then, but far from a dis­ap­point­ing one, and there are plenty of rea­sons to be cheer­ful else­where. Ja­pan, for in­stance, is back to its best. Big stu­dios have bro­ken out of their com­fort zones and into new gen­res, mar­kets and business mod­els with stun­ning suc­cess. Oth­ers have sim­ply kept do­ing what they’ve al­ways done, and done so bet­ter than ever. As ever, indies have kept push­ing at the bound­aries, chal­leng­ing con­ven­tion and sub­vert­ing ex­pec­ta­tions. Wii U, mean­while, has hit its stride in glo­ri­ous fash­ion. PS4 and Xbox One may not be there yet, but there’s still a good deal to cel­e­brate in a medium that be­comes richer, and broader, with ev­ery year that passes.

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