45) The Wolf Among Us - Episode 2: Smoke and Mirrors

Genre: Adventure
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Windows PC, Linux, iOS
Release date: March
Why: We were massive fans of the first episode of The Wolf Among Us, and were particularly smitten by its compelling story, rich characterisations, and engaging player choices. It's pretty early to make the call, but Telltale Games appears to have another winner on its hands, whose accolades could rival those it continues to receive for The Walking Dead.

44) Tropico 5

Genre: World builder
Developer: Haemimont Games
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Windows PC, OS X, Linux
Release date: April
Why: The Tropico series has long been a delightful alternative to the likes of SimCity, and the fifth game of the series may be the best yet thanks to all-new artwork and a new multiplayer mode. It will also allow players to manage their country from its historical foundation in the colonial era, through World War II and the Cold War, and into the present. We’re in.

43) Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z

Genre: Action brawler
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows PC, iOS
Release date: February 27
Why: Ninja Gaiden (2004) and Ninja Gaiden 2 (2008) were both great games that each got better versions the year after they released, but Ninja Gaiden III was a big disappointment. So here’s Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z with a brand new protagonist, a dramatic new art direction, and a sweet-looking retro mode. But the biggest reason to look forward to Yaiba is that despite the aforementioned slip, Team Ninja is still one of the best fighting game outfits around.

42) Trials Fusion

Genre: Racing
Developer: RedLynx
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC
Release date: 2014
Why: RedLynx has presided over the Trials series since the second game, and each and every release has been a winner. That’s because with every life you either get the satisfaction of nailing a tricky course, or get to witness the hilarious spectacle of an invincible man rag-dolling down painful obstacles. Fusion looks to take Trials to even more ridiculous levels, and as is the case with most ridiculous things, we welcome it.

41) Planetary Annihilation

Genre: Real-time strategy
Developer: Uber Entertainment
Platform(s): Windows PC, OS X, Linux
Release date: Q1
Why: Some of you may not know about Total Annihilation, but it was a unique RTS that still tops Best Strategy polls 15 years after its release. Yes, above StarCraft. Its principal designer Chris Taylor is now with Wargaming, but some of the developers that worked on Total Annihilation (along with spiritual successor Supreme Commander, as well as Command and Conquer, and Demigod) are now at Uber, and have successfully Kickstarted a successor that explodes the game’s scale out to the planetary level. Oh. God. Yes. Please.

40) Divinity: Original Sin

Genre: Turn-based RPG
Developer: Larian Studios
Publisher: Larian Studios
Platform(s): Windows PC, OS X, Linux
Release date: February 28
Why: An isometric, co-op fantasy RPG with tactical turn-based combat, Original Sin is another Kickstarter graduate that will serve as a prequel to 2002’s Divine Divinity. We’re excited because the Divinity series and spin-offs are well-regarded, but also because Original Sin promises a highly interactive world, plenty of choice and consequence, and even comes with a world editor so players may create their own campaigns.

39) Child of Light

Genre: Platformer/turn-based RPG
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Windows PC
Release date: 2014
Why: Another gorgeous-looking game running on Rayman’s UbiArt Framework, Child of Light is inspired by the likes of Vagrant Story and Limbo. Despite this, it looks to be a unique beast; a platformer with “active time battle” combat similar to that found in Final Fantasy titles concocted by the creative director and developers behind Far Cry 3. Besides which, who doesn’t want to play a game where your objective is to rescue the sun, moon, and stars from a nefarious Queen of the Night?

38) The Witness

Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Number None, Inc.
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Windows PC, iOS
Release date: Q1
Why: It’s been a long time coming, but Braid designer Jonathon Blow is finally releasing his second game, and it's pretty easy on the eye. Blow has wisely kept most details of The Witness to himself, but he did say that "the mazes aren't just puzzles, they are lines of communication that aggregate, become more complex, and eventually say surprising things". Well that clears that up, then.

37) Among the Sleep

Genre: First-person survival horror
Developer: Krillbite Studios
Platform(s): Windows PC, OS X, Linux
Release date: Q2
Why: A thesis project that was successfully Kickstarted then Greenlit on Steam, Among the Sleep is an intriguing title from Norway-based indie Krillbite. Casting the player as a two-year-old in a horror is ludicrous, but also kind of genius: toddlers are innately weak and vulnerable, and the world is terrifying and mysterious at that age. The player’s perspective will be different as a child of course, but there will also be the option to use an Oculus Rift to really inhabit the role. One request: no weird breastfeeding scenes please.

36) Quadrilateral Cowboy

Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Blendo Games
Platform(s): Windows PC
Release date: 2014
Why: Blendo is just a one man studio, but that man (Brendon Chung) knows how to create interesting games. His last effort, Thirty Flights of Loving, was one of GP critic Adam Goodall’s favourite games of the past generation, and his prior releases have all been indie game festival darlings. Continuing that trend, Quadrilaterial Cowboy has already won the Grand Jury Award at the 2013 Indiecade Festival, its code-based hacking mechanic winning over even the most skeptical players. And it's been compared to William Gibson's Neuromancer novel, so it's probably gonna be alright by us.

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