Best console games of 2014

How many of our pick of the year's top title have you played?

It's been a great year for gaming. As the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have firmly established themselves as the home games machine of choice, the games that show off what they can do have started to come through.

Nintendo's Wii U has enjoyed a resurgence, with some huge exclusives hitting the shelves, and the handheld platforms have stood up to the challenge of mobile gaming with some truly quirky and innovative releases. Here's our pick of gaming's very best of 2014, ordered by console. But what about you? Share your favourites in the comments below.

Xbox

Titanfall

Titanfall: hugely over-the-top and tons of fun

When Titanfall finally arrived in March it was always going to find it hard to live up to the insane amount of hype it had generated. Any criticims tended to centre around a lack of revolutionary features in this debut title from former Call of Duty developers Respawn. That may be fair - but what Titanfall does, it does brilliantly well. Tearing across the landscape as a fleet-footed soldier is enormous fun, before you get to climb inside a titan's armour and all hell breaks loose. Titanfall is fast, noisy and - for brief moments - it makes you feel like king of the world. Just like a great shooter should do.

Honourable mentions:

Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2

PlayStation

The Last of Us Remastered

The Last of Us on PS4: absolutely lush

The Last of Us bossed game of the year lists everywhere in 2013. This, its remastered for PS4 version, inches a stone-cold classic even closer to perfection. Graphically it's remarkable, and with a frame rate of 60 frames per second it's also fast and smooth. The gameplay is just as it was originally - that is to say clever and gripping from the outset.

Honourable mentions:

LittleBigPlanet3, Resogun, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth,

Wii U

Super Smash Bros

It's great to see the Wii U getting the quality games it deserves

The Wii U was waiting a while for a game that can single-handedly sell consoles, but in Super Smash Bros it finally found it. This is a franchise that has served Nintendo well over the years, but in this iteration it genuinely plays better than ever. There's the best part of 50 fighters to choose from, and this vast range of skill sets provides the game with a depth that's furthered by a range of different modes. As with all the best Nintendo games, this one is simple to play, but will take sheer dedication to master.

Honourable mentions:

Mario Kart 8, Teslagrad, Bayonetta 2

Multiplatform

Dragon Age Inquisition

Dragon Age Inquisition offers epic RPG action

If you just want a game that shows how beautiful new-generation graphics can be, Dragon Age Inquisition is it. But get past your marvelling at the game's stunning landscapes and you'll find yourself drawn into a game world that is both epic and addictive. Inquisition does everything that a great RPG should do. It gives you a massive game world to explore and a compelling storyline to work your way through while you do it, all the while leading you on a gradual ascent towards enormous power.

Honourable mentions:

Alien Isolation, Destiny, Dark Souls 2

PlayStation Vita

Velocity 2X

Any game that brings back shoot 'em up action gets our vote

Mashing up the best elements of a shoot 'em up, a puzzler and a platformer, Velocity 2X is an intense and frantic experience that feels completely at home on Vita. Created by indie publisher FuturLab, the gameplay has that sense of freedom that comes from titles not saddled by massive budgets, with more than a nod to titles from the NES/Megadrive generation. You'll spend half the time in a spaceship shooting waves of enemies and the other half careering through platform levels as the game's central character - and throughout you'll be swept away by Velocity 2X's innovation. 

Honourable mentions:

Fez,  The Swapper, Pixeljunk Shooter Ultimate

Nintendo 3DS

Shovel Knight

It's just like 1990 all over again

The title gives you a clue; this is an odd game. But odd in all the very best ways. As you'd guess from his name, our hero is indeed armed with a shovel: a multipurpose weapon that can both take out enemies and launch him over them. As soon as you take control of him you'll be drawn into a world that takes the best elements of eight-bit platformers and makes them even better. Clever touches abound, such as the option to smash checkpoints (thus losing your chance to save) in return for extra treasure.

Honourable mentions:

Bravely Default, Persona Q Shadow of the Labyrinth, Retro City Rampage DX

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