20) Watch Dogs
Did it live up to the hype? Not particularly. We were promised a game where you could take control of an entire city with your hacking skills and instead got Grand Theft Auto with a few new mechanics. But lost amid the tears was the fact that the game was fun to play and made clever use of line-of-sight as a mechanic to solve puzzles and get the upper hand. And the open world hid some painfully observed slices of life that raised some serious questions about a world where we watch instead of act.
19) Bravely Default
After two years of waiting, this throwback to the days when Final Fantasy games were turn-based and strategic hit American shores. It’s very much a clever refinement of the form with some smart ideas and thoughtful design. If you have a 3DS, it’s a game worth buying.
18) Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
It’s easy to argue that Nintendo just puts out the same game over and over again, but they’re always tweaking, balancing, refining, and toying with new ideas. Smash isn’t reinventing the wheel, but then again, why should it? It’s incredibly fun to play, beautifully responsive, and far less frustrating than previous entries. You’ll still get beaten up relentlessly by cute, colorful Nintendo mascots, but at least the reason why you’re knocked off the screen will make sense.