Honorable Mention: Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight was released in 2014, which is why it didn’t make the official list, but it is being ported to PlayStation systems in 2015. I can’t wait to dive back into my personal 2014 Game of the Year once again with better controls and… Kratos?! This game cannot come soon enough.

Developer: Yacht Club Games

Publisher: Yacht Club Games

Platform:  PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, 3DS, PC, Mac, Linux

#15. Not a Hero

Not a Hero is a violent 2D shooter with a similar feel to Hotline Miami and the gameplay rhythm of Roll7’s previous title, OlliOlli. I can’t wait to see how this acclaimed studio has transitioned to the action genre while maintaining the mechanics of their skateboarding hit.

Developer: Roll7

Publisher: Devolver Digital

Platform: PS4, PS Vita, PC

#14. Moon Hunters

A lot of indie games over the past years have focused on single-player campaigns or competitive co-op, so it is always great to see developers creating deep cooperative experiences that brings people together. Moon Hunters looks beautiful, and its focus on teamwork and group puzzle-solving has many people excited play this intriguing action RPG.

Developer: Kitfox Games

Publisher: Kitfox Games

Platform: PS4, PS Vita, PC

#13. Cuphead

Cuphead is an action-platformer inspired by 1930’s cartoons, so it will be one of those incredibly divisive games that will either tickle your fancy or turn you off because of its incredibly unique art style. I, for one, am sincerely grateful that this developer was willing to take a risk, and I cannot wait to bask in all its creative goodness.

Developer: Studio MDHR

Publisher: Studio MDHR

Platform: Xbox One, PC

 #12. Axiom Verge

Axiom Verge has received a lot of media coverage over the past year for good reason; this is the game that Metroid fans have been waiting for. The look, feel, and sound are everything that fans have been begging for, and it was all created by one man, Tom Happ. Simply unbelievable.

Developer: Tom Happ

Publisher: Tom Happ

Platform: PS4, PS Vita

#11. Mighty No. 9

Say, doesn’t that little blue guy look familiar? It should! Mighty No. 9 was designed by the creator of the original Mega Man series, Keiji Inafune. Surprisingly, he has managed to avoid being sued into oblivion by Capcom, but hey, that works for us! Blue Bomber fans rejoice! Your hero has returned… kind of.

Developer: Comcept, Inti Creates, Abstraction Games (Vita and 3DS Ports)

Publisher: Comcept

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita, 3DS, PC, Mac, Linux

#10. Chasm

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably beaten Castlevania: Symphony of the Night at least a bazillion times, and you’ve probably got the entire map permanently seared into your brain. Discord Games has the solution, a procedurally generated Metroidvania game that changes every time you play it. Brilliant!

Developer: Discord Games

Publisher: Discord Games

Platform: PS4, PC, Mac, Linux

#9. Time Spinner

I just love everything about Timespinner. It’s like Lunar Ray Games looked deep into my digital soul and designed this game just for me. The art, gameplay, and narrative are everything I want in this type of game. Please, just take my money.

Developer: Lunar Ray Games

Publisher: Lunar Ray Games

Platform: PS4, PS Vita, 3DS, PC, Mac, Linux

#8. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

To be honest, this game is a total mystery to me. I just don’t know what to expect. All I know is that the title, the gorgeous design, and the dark undertone have captured my attention. I can’t wait to explore the mystery of this word and uncover its secrets.

Developer: The Chinese Room, SCE Santa Monica Studio

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platform: PS4

#7. Grim Fandango Remastered

If you’ve never played the original Grim Fandango, then you missed a truly fantastic game. However, like many other games that have been receiving the HD treatment recently, this gem is shining brighter than ever. This is one of those games that you cannot miss.

Developer: Lucas Films (Original), Double Fine Productions (Remaster)

Publisher: Double Fine Productions

Platform: PS4, PS Vita, PC, Mac, Linux

#6. Below

Since it was first announced, Below has been one of those indie games that has been at the top of many radars. This atmospheric adventure is ready to challenge players to see how long they can survive in this brutal world as they try to discover what lies below.

Developer: Capybara Games

Publisher: Capybara Games, Microsoft Studios

Platform: Xbox One, PC

#5. Inside

From the moment the trailer begins for Inside, a feeling of dread, tension, and anxiety will grip you. As you watch a young boy seemingly running for his life, its easy to compare the implied feeling to something like that of Nazi occupied France in WWII. Inside looks like it will be a truly mesmerizing and poignant experience.

Developer: PlayDead Studios

Publisher: PlayDead Studios

Platform: Xbox One

#4. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Guns, chainsaws, and Molotov cocktails, OH MY!  I have been itching to play this sequel like cone other. I was hooked on the original Hotline Miami in a bad way. I went without sleep several nights just chasing high scores. Seriously, I just couldn’t stop. Please… more violence, more mayhem, and more of that stick soundtrack.

Developer: Dennaton Games

Publisher: Devolver Digital

Platform: PS4, PS3, PS Vita, PC, Mac, Linux

#3. No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky is the one game on this list that I am more excited to see developed than I am excited to play. This incredibly ambitious title is probably the most anticipated indie game for the industry, but I just don’t know what to think yet. What will we do in that vast universe, what will we see, and will it be any fun? I can’t wait to see how this game turns out.

Developer: Hello Games

Publisher: Hello Games

Platform: PS4, PC

#2. RIME

How can you watch the trailers for RIME and not be absolutely captivated? It looks like Team Ico partnered up with the Zelda team to create this hybrid of glorious wonder. This game looks simply breathtaking.

Developer: Tequila Works

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platform: PS4

#1. Ori and the Blind Forest

I have never been emotionally moved by a trailer, until I saw Ori and the Blind Forest. After I saw the video, I had to check the developer’s site to find out more. Inspired by games like Super Metroid and Zelda: A Link to the Past with narrative influences like Studio Ghibli and Lion King?! Be still my beating heart! While its exclusivity may not be permanent, this is the game that finally sold me on an Xbox One.

Developer: Moon Studios

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Platform: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC