The Best Games of 2014 So Far

So far, 2014 has felt like a year of surprises. Some of them have been good while others—like the growing crop of games that have been pushed to next year—are bummers. But, there've been standouts among the games that have come out. Let's talk about them, shall we?

This has been the year where the PS4 and Xbox One's battle for new-system dominance has gone into full swing, while Nintendo's been redoubling efforts to get people interested in the Wii U. Titles like Infamous: Second Son, Titanfall and Mario Kart 8 games from the major players have been showcases for the strengths of their respective consoles. They looked great, kept us awake way past our bedtimes and started friendships/arguments with others who were playing. That was expected, though.

What's been more exciting has been games like Shovel Knight or Super Time Force, perfectly-tuned throwback action platformers with clever twists on existing formulas. Or the fact that Wolfenstein: The New Order managed to deliver well-sketched characters and heartfelt sequences. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes may be short but its freedom represents a radical depart from what Hideo Kojima's done before, a possible signpost to the future of his signature franchise. And then there's been releases like Valiant Hearts, OlliOlli or the first chunk of Broken Age, full of their own specific charms.

So, tell us the games you've loved most so far in 2014. The ones that paid off on your high hopes and that pleasantly surprised you. I'll start things off with some nominations of my own below but you guys can begin your own discussions, too. There isn't any formal prize to be had but we'll probably all get a sense of what games have kept people happy so far in this calendar year.