The lights are on
In a year of transitions, gamers were still treated to a wealth of impressive interactive experiences. Square Enix successfully rebooted Tomb Raider, Irrational Games expanded the boundaries of the BioShock universe with Infinite, Rockstar Games created perhaps its best open world yet with Grand Theft Auto V, and Naughty Dog's The Last of Us pushed the boundaries of video game narratives. The indie scene was equally impressive, with titles like The Stanley Parable, The Swapper, and Papers, Please winning over the Game Informer staff. With so many praiseworthy games, narrowing a list down to the best of the best wasn't easy.
After much deliberation, we hammered out choices. Here are the award-winning games of 2013:
Best PS3 Exclusive: The Last Of Us
The PlayStation 3 went out with a bang thanks to another stellar effort from Naughty Dog. Pushing the aging console to its limits, The Last of Us won us over with its atmospheric world, tense gameplay, and one of the best stories of the generation.
Best PS4 Exclusive: Resogun
Sure, it basically apes the core concept of Defender, but this stylish shooter from Housemarque delivers a perfect cocktail of nostalgia and addictive gameplay. Recalling the classic arcade gameplay loop, Resogun challenges you to constantly strive for the top score.
Best Xbox 360 Exclusive: Battleblock Theater
The Xbox 360's exclusive titles sputtered out in 2013, but looking past Behemoth's platformer would be a mistake. This puzzle-heavy platforming game from the makers of Castle Crashers offers a fun and diverse cooperative experience, complete with a level editor for more creative endeavors.
Best Xbox One Exclusive: Dead Rising 3
Erasing some of the major gripes with previous installments and drastically upping the zombie count, Dead Rising 3 is the blood-soaked standout of the Xbox One launch. Expanding the scale of both the open world and your weapon-making abilities, Capcom Vancouver's frenzied zombie slaughter party is a must-play for Xbox One owners.
Best Wii U Exclusive: Super Mario 3D World
With every iteration of the Super Mario series, Nintendo amazingly finds new ways to freshen up its classic platforming formula. Super Mario 3D World shines with HD graphics, addictive cooperative gameplay, and a new 3D world to traverse.
Click the next page to see our best PC exclusive, 3DS exclusive, and more.
Email the author Matt Bertz, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.