The Bioshock franchise is a pretty well regarded in the gaming community but personally I couldn't finish Bioshock 1 or 2 as I was never fully interested in the setting or atmosphere those games. So what was so different about Bioshock Infinite that clicked with me? It's hard to say but I found myself immersed in the story and Columbia as a whole while I delved into all of it in almost one sitting. Maybe i'm a sucker for time travel / parallel world stories but it also helps that the game was actually fun to play as gliding around the skyrails, shooting things, and using vigors all felt like second hand nature.
Grand Theft Auto V
I think Rockstar hit it out of the park with this game, while I was skeptical about how switching between three main characters would work out it wasn't such a big deal when you actually sat down and played it. I haven't really had as much fun with a GTA game since San Andreas.
Fire Emblem: Awakening
When I finally bought my 3DS this year Fire Emblem: Awakening was one of the first games I bought and I was pleasantly surprised as I am personally not too familiar with the Fire Emblem franchise but I have delved into other SRPG's in the past and this has become one of my favorites in the genre. Great tactical gameplay, a great cast of characters, a pretty interesting story, and tons of replay value makes it one of the best games of the year in my opinion.
The Last Of Us
I probably fall into the camp who is under zombie game fatigue but The Last Of Us put enough spin on it to make it interesting and says a lot about a game if you can empathize with the characters emotionally. It's definitely one of the best stories in a game this year and worth playing.
Super Mario 3D World
I'll be blunt and say the Wii U in general was a disappointment but if there was anything that made me glad I actually bought one was this game. The Super Mario franchise always seems to deliver in terms of fun factor and this is the first time I actually had fun with a Super Mario game in quite awhile. Playing with my nieces and nephews with it's coop multiplayer is something I couldn't find anywhere else this year and deserves a spot on my list.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Assassin's Creed games have always been fun in some way or another and I don't want to say the series has lost steam over the past few games (Revelations and AC3 to be more specific) it certainly lost it's shine. Assassin's Creed IV is just fun and certainly brings the franchise back to top form with this recent installment.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
I haven't played many JRPG's recently and Ni No Kuni was one of the first games I picked up this year. What impressed me the most is the animation quality as I felt this was pretty much the closest game that resembled an actual Anime in motion(probably should mention Studio Ghibli was a part of this project). I think the story is pretty charming and the gameplay is kind of grindy but I couldn't help myself and kept trying to find new creatures and evolving more powerful versions. Worth playing if you are into JRPG's.
Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
While HOTS is an expansion I still felt it added a good amount of content and refreshed SC2 where I found it enjoyable to play again. SC2 is SC2, not much else to say that it's still a superb game to play.
Tales of Xillia
Again I was yearning for JRPG's this year and I haven't played a Tales franchise game in quite awhile (last being Symphonia on the gamecube). What else can I say other than the combat system is still one of the most unique and fun combat experiences you can have in a JRPG. If anything Xillia has gotten me interested in some of the past games I've missed out on. The story was decent and it's worth playing through twice as you can choose a different perspective depending on the main character you choose.
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
I'll be honest, it's a recent purchase and I haven't put many hours into it but it's already feeding off my nostalgia as I think Link To The Past is one of my favorite games of all time and while it certainly has similarities the game is still pretty damn fun to play and interesting as a game of it's own.