By now, you probably know the biggest video games slated to arrive during the rest of 2014. Super Smash Bros., Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Dragon Age: Inquisition are but a few of the must have titles on the way.
With that in mind, don’t forget about the games flying beneath the radar. While the following may not have the same high level of buzz as WWE 2K15 and Alien: Isolation, you should still put them on your need-to-play list.
Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition (PS4/Xbox One, 8/19)
Yes, another version of Diablo 3, but here us out. For starters, this marks the game’s next gen debut for Xbox One and PS4, but it goes well beyond that. Not only does it include the Reaper of Souls expansion, but also a new character class (the tank-like Crusader) and a new Adventure Mode that lets you freely wander around Sanctuary completing Bounties. Perhaps the biggest selling point, at least on the PlayStation side, is The Last of Us exclusive content that lets you kill enemies from the game, namely Bloaters and Clickers. Throw in online multiplayer, and the Ultimate Evil Edition looks attractive, especially if you never played Diablo 3.
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright (3DS, 8/29)
We’ve read about this mash-up for over a year, so it’s good to know that by the end of August, we’ll be able to solve Professor Layton style puzzles and then cross examine witnesses in the Phoenix Wright courtroom. The plot sounds kind of cheesy (they’re trying to help a girl accused of being a witch, and her name is Espella Cantabella), but we have a feeling that it’ll come together in what should be a head-scratching good time. No objections here.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call (3DS, 9/16)
Super Smash Bros. will be huge on 3DS, but won’t come out until October 3. In the meantime, definitely pick up this sequel to one of the best music games to debut in recent memory. Curtain Call should surpass the original Theatrhythm with over 200 songs that span over 20 games in the celebrated franchise, including Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. The game includes 60 characters to customize in the all-new Quest Medley, which pits them in musical battles against minions and bosses. Collectible cards and a versus mode round out the package.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (PS3/Xbox 360, 9/30)
The first Personal 4 Arena fighting game was a big hit with critics, and casual players may think Ultimax is just an upgrade, similar to Ultra Street Fighter IV, which couldn’t be further from the truth. It is in fact a sequel that continues the plot centered around the strange Midnight Channel. New characters join the roster, like Junpei Iori and Yukari Takeba from Persona 3, while multiple fighters now have Shadow versions that feature new fighting mechanics. Basically, if you loved the first Arena, you need to pick up Ultimax.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS3/Xbox 360/PC 10/14)
It is somewhat bizarre to list a Borderlands game here, given the series’ popularity, but with more people making the jump to Xbox One and PS4, there’s a risk of The Pre-Sequel getting somewhat overlooked. That said, we can’t wait to explore Pandora’s moon Elpis as four brand-new characters (we’re partial to Athena the Gladiator) and take full advantage of the anti-gravity effects. You can play as Claptrap for the first time in the series, and new weapons, vehicles and loot are tempting reasons to jump into this universe again.