Best Action: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
The legendary Lord of the Rings series finally got the video game treatment it deserved thanks to Monolith Productions. Set between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, Talion's adventure focuses on mutilating orcs with bad-ass, Arkham Asylum-style combat and manipulating their ranks thanks to the ingenious Nemesis System.

Best Adventure: Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
The demented bear Monokuma locks 15 students in a school and promises freedom to anyone who kills a classmate and gets away with it. Players watch as the colorful cast cracks under the pressure and backstabs each other to avoid becoming the next victim. The great writing, unpredictable characters, and tense courtroom trials make Danganronpa an intriguing and surprising experience.

Best Simulation: This War Of Mine
War is a bleak, awful thing that affects far more people than the gun-toting soldiers often glorified in games. This War of Mine focuses on survivors of a war-torn Eastern European city, scavenging for food and supplies just to survive the fighting. Decisions have deep repercussions, potentially driving your survivors to suicide. It's a grim yet important look into the realities of war.

Best Racing: Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart is practically required ownership alongside every Nintendo console; the series is always popular and high quality, but Mario Kart 8 tops all its predecessors. With solid racing, new weapons, gravity-defying courses, and a replay mode that highlights the fantastic visuals, Mario Kart 8 is easily among the best of the Wii U's offerings.

Best Shooter: Destiny
After much anticipation, this year finally brought us the new shooter franchise from the creators of Halo. A confusing story and grind-focused leveling turned some players off to Destiny, but millions of others flocked to it night after night for months. With patches and expansions changing the experience, we foresee a long life ahead for Bungie's shared-world social playground.

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