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The Game Informer Fight For The Top 50 Challenge 2013

Around this time each year, Game Informer begins the process of creating our list of the top 50 best games of the year. This year, we decided to let you in on a part of the process.

When you're making a year-end list, game's generally tend to fall into three categories: games that are likely to make the list, games that won't make the list, and games that are - as they say in NCAA basketball - "on the bubble."

The ones that won't make the list are easy; there's a lot of crap released each year that doesn't need to be discussed. There are also the merely routine games. No one is going to sit in a meeting and argue that Madden 25, which scored a solid-but-middling 7.75, is a significant part of the year in video games. There are also generally 20-30 games that will make the list with little debate. Spoiler alert: I think you can safely book The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V on our top 50.

The interesting debates spring from the bubble games. These might be games that were critically divisive, quality titles that were buried amid a few larger releases that came out at the same times, or great games that somehow failed to create a buzz.

We created the Fight For The Top 50 Challenge is in order to educate ourselves (and hopefully you) about some of the worthwhile games of 2013 that deserve more attention. Here's how it works: each Game Informer editor picked a game to champion that they felt deserved more attention. They got to assign that game to one of their coworkers to play.

On Thanksgiving Day, we'll post each editors short essay about the game they chose to assign to a coworker and why they feel it is worthy of our top 50 list. On Friday, the other editor will post their reactions to the game they were assigned - and if they agree that it's one of the year's best.

Champions - Thursday, November 28

Splinter Cell: Blacklist - Ben Reeves

Saints Row IV - Mike Futter

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time - Matt Helgeson

Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch - Andrew Reiner 

The Swapper - Dan Ryckert

Shin Megami Tensei IV- Kim Wallace

Device 6 - Jeff Cork

Metro: Last Light - Jeff Marchiafava

Dead Space 3 - Tim Turi

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Joe Juba

Gunpoint - Kyle Hilliard

Lego City Undercover - Ben Hanson

Payday 2 - Matt Bertz

Battleblock Theatre - Matt Miller

Papers, Please - Matt Kato

Challengers - Friday, November 29

Splinter Cell: Blacklist - Andrew Reiner

Saints Row IV - Matt Bertz

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time - Kim Wallace

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch - Tim Turi

The Swapper - Kyle Hilliard

Shin Megami Tensei IV - Joe Juba

Device 6 - Ben Reeves

Metro: Last Light - Matt Helgeson

Dead Space 3 - Jeff Marchiafava

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Ben Hanson

Gunpoint - Matt Kato

Lego City Undercover - Matt Miller

Payday 2 - Mike Futter

Battleblock Theatre - Dan Ryckert

Papers, Please - Jeff Cork

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