While 2013 was definitely one of the best years in gaming in recent history, 2014 is actually looking to rival it already. With many new IPs such as Bravely Default making an appearance (well, at least in America), and  new installments in fan-favorite series like Hotline Miami and Metal Gear Solid, we may end up having another solid year. So, for today's blog, I thought to look at some of the games I am most looking forward to, including why. I'm sort of hoping to also bring to light some games that some of you probably aren't aware of. Also, please note that these are games that are either confirmed for 2014, or that the developer/publisher has said will most likely be coming in 2014. This excludes titles like the next Zelda, Zero Escape 3, or Kingdom Hearts III.

Is this a surprise for me?

Before I get into that though, I just want to mention that all the support from you all has been astounding. Lots of people have called me crazy, but have still said that they've been looking forward to seeing all of these blogs and ideas I have, and I really appreciate it. To all of you reading these blogs, and commenting, and also to any of you who have taken the survey I put out for this month, I thank you very much, and hope you continue to leave your feedback and critiques for me, so I can continue becoming a better writer. You've all been awesome, and again, I thank you very much. But now, let's get into what I'm really excited about in the coming months.

Murdered: Soul Suspect

The concept of this game is basically the same as the cult DS game Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, because the protagonist is attempting to solve the mystery of their own death in each. My enjoyment in Ghost Trick was a little less than what I'd hoped, because the game fell into the trial-and-error category, but in a non-fun way. Some puzzle answers were weird, and the game also felt short. However, Murdered: Soul Suspect is not from the same developer, and looks more interesting in comparison. Besides just being a mystery game from the view of the victim, the character design of Ronan, the protagonist, is amazing. After waking up and seeing his own body, Ronan sees his killer shoot his body several times, which causes the ghost Ronan to have several holes in his body that emanate yellow light. I think this is definitely a title that deserves a look, and may end up being a sleeper hit like Ni No Kuni was last year.

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

For a few years, the Professor Layton series has had an installment release in a period between August and November, with the last installment releasing on October 8th of last year. I feel like Azran Legacy has sort of lost a bit of the hype that the last few titles had, since it's coming in February instead of the fall. However, it should have a lot of hype behind it, because it seems promising as a conclusion to the main Professor Layton series. With the answers behind the Azran civilization, the certain reveal of Descole's origin, and a deep secret about Professor Layton himself...I can't see a reason not to be excited about this 3DS title.

The Evil Within

Shinji Mikami has sort of been off the map for a few years, with several of his last few games being related to his work with the now-defunct Clover Studio and its successor, Platinum Games. He created his own studio, Tango Gameworks, and is now working to produce The Evil Within, which is his new attempt at a survival horror franchise. It's great to see him return to what he's famed for, especially because he's having creative freedom and he wanted to make this game, instead of being coerced by some publisher into doing it. I really can't wait to see what twisted, Silent Hill-ish monsters like the Boxman (seen above) the game has, because I'm a sucker for character design like that.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS

I'm not a fighting game person. The weird movement of games like Mortal Kombat has always turned me away from them, but that isn't the same with Super Smash Bros. I know that some people don't consider the series a true fighting game, but that's probably why I like it: the agility that the game has with platforming feels much more natural to control than Mortal Kombat, and the diverse roster of Nintendo characters is something I can connect with more than a roster of character that I don't ever interact with. Anyway, the new entry for Nintendo's latest consoles looks to have tons of polish so far, and to be another stellar installment. Now, if only they would confirm Shulk...

Professor Layton VS. Ace Attorney

Ever since the initial reveal of the crossover between two of my favorite franchises, I've been very, very excited. It's taken a long time, but now, finally, we know the game is coming to North America. I can't wait to see both Layton and Phoenix do dual pointing stances, and experience what is almost certainly going to be an amazing story.

Mario Kart 8

My brothers and I spent hours upon hours in Mario Kart Wii, more than any other game on the system. It may even be my most played game of all time, besides Left 4 Dead 2. While I wasn't a fan of Mario Kart 7 (handheld racing games aren't great, I feel, because your hand cramps), the next installment on Wii U looks phenomenal. It looks like a perfect example of how Nintendo likes to put in seemingly small changes to their franchises, that end up making a big difference. I love the art style that's being implemented, and the game looks absolutely gorgeous.

Infamous: Second Son

The Infamous series has always intrigued me, but I only recently bought a PlayStation 3, so I haven't been able to try it out yet. Regardless, the next game from Sucker Punch looks very awesome, and is really one of the few games I'm anticipating from the PlayStation 4. I don't know when I'm getting a PlayStation 4, but this game is definitely a motivator to get one sooner rather than later. The superhero nature of the game looks fun, especially because of the relatable protagonist in Delsin. 

Monolith Soft's X

While we don't know if the game is a sequel or spiritual successor to Xenoblade Chronicles, there's no denying that it looks like one of the most impressive games of what is now the current generation. Monolith Soft hit the correct nails with Xenoblade, and with X, they look to be doing it all over again. The vast environments (which also look fantastic in concept), the basically-confirmed 4-player online, and the gorgeous enemy design, all point toward this being a must-own title, and possibly the best game to come out this year.

There are several other titles I'm really interested in also, but I just wanted to mention those that got me thinking, well, "YES". Each of these titles looks to be amazing, and I really hope we're going to see a great year for gaming. Are you excited for any of these games, or do you think some of them look bad? If you have any other comments, leave them below, and I'll see you all tomorrow!