Tomorrow begins the month of August, and with that, we start to draw nearer to the inevitable rush of release at the end of the year. But what about all the games that are already out? Rather than forget all about them, let’s take a look at some of the best games that have come out so far this year. These eight certainly qualify.

Don’t see your favorite? Tell us what it is in the comments!

Splatoon

First revealed during Nintendo’s E3 2014 Digital Event, Splatoon was a huge hit for the Wii U earlier this year, something the company desperately needed. The team-based shooter relied on shooting paint, rather than bullets, and the team that paints the most territory their color wins the game. It was especially notable because it was an attempt to do something new with a third-person shooter. It was also a lot of fun.

Grey Goo

Petroglyph remembers when the real-time strategy game was the king of the gaming jungle, and Grey Goo embodies many elements of the classic formula, while incorporating enough new touches to stand on its own. It’s all about the strategy of battles, not individual squad management. Also notable is the differentiation between the factions, as each is unique – the Goo especially so. As a
whole, it’s a must-play title for any fan of real-time strategy games, past or present.

Kerbal Space Program

Who doesn’t want to send a Kerbal into space? At first glance, Kerbal Space Program looks like the type of game that will be fun and simple to approach. But once you dig in, you’ll find that it’s actually an in-depth engineering and space travel simulator that will challenge you to even build a working rocket. Once you get the hang of things, it’s time to turn your eye to the stars and send your Kerbals into space. It manages to balance adorable Kerbals and hard-core physics into a really great time.

Bloodborne

If you’re a fan of the Dark Souls series, you already know about Bloodborne. Basically, it’s a more aggressive take on the series, offering you a firearm and urging you to stay on the offensive. Yes, it’s still damn hard, and yes, you still need to nail the timing and understand the mechanics to progress, but it just feels faster paced. It also feels a bit more streamlined, stripping out some of the series’ complexity in favor of reinforcing that faster pace.

Grand Theft Auto V PC

Yeah, it took them far too long to get GTA 5 to PC, but at least when it got here, it was pretty damn good. The addition of first-person mode is a huge boon for PC players, and the new Director Mode lets you film all the hijinks you get up to in the game’s sprawling recreation of Los Angeles. GTA Online is also working fully for PC players, and co-op heists are finally available to everyone. It’s a lively world to live in, and Rockstar’s filled it with more ways to enjoy yourself than ever before.

Cities: Skylines

After EA’s reboot of the SimCity franchise fell flat, the door was open for someone to step in and do it right, and that’s just what Paradox and Colossal Order did. Cities: Skylines is offline-friendly, allows modders to go hog wild, and offers up the huge scale that fans of the classic city builders were looking for. As a bonus, there’s word of an expansion with more details scheduled to be announced at Gamescom next week.

Pillars of Eternity

Originally made possible through crowdfunding on Kickstarter, Pillars of Eternity brought back the classic Infinity Engine-style RPG, and made it just as awesome as you’d expect. Obsidian has perfectly captured the essence of the classic titles, from the character creation to the crafting to the tactical combat style. Not only is it a blast to play, it’s great bang for your buck, as the game sports a campaign that stretches over 80 hours or so.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

We waited a long time for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to arrive, but when it finally did, we found that the wait was completely worthwhile. The game’s vast world encourages you to explore, and there are a huge number of unforgettable side quests to experience. You’ll hunt fantastic creatures, traverse breathtaking landscapes, and throw down in the revamped combat system. It even sports a card game within the game that could probably make for a decent stand-alone title. Overall, it’s an engaging, deep experience that hits all the right notes to keep you interested and invested. As of the first of August, it’s definitely my choice for Game of the Year.

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