Best Platforming: Super Mario 3D World

Several good platforming games released in 2013, but we could only reward one of them our 2013 platforming game of the year award. Super Mario 3D World narrowly edged out Rayman Legends thanks to its ambitious attempt to integrate cooperative play into a 3D platforming world. The results were magnificent, once again confirming Mario's status as a legendary gaming icon.

Best Puzzle: The Swapper

Facepalm Games melds the sci-fi exploration of Metroid with a clever, clone-based puzzle mechanic. This highly atmospheric journey through a derelict space station is challenging enough to stump you from time to time, but as you learn new tricks eventually the answers reveal themselves. A game that continually surprises, The Swapper is a must-play.

Best Role-Playing: Pokémon X & Y

A perfect jumping on point for those who have been away from Pokémon for years, X & Y brings several improved changes to the stalwart RPG franchise. The 3D world, fully-modeled monsters, and Nintendo's best use of online in its history helped push this game to the top of the RPG heap in 2013.

Best MMO: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Given its disastrous launch, it would be easy to dismiss Square's Final Fantasy XIV reboot altogether. But for some Game Informer editors, A Realm Reborn is the best Final Fantasy experience of this generation, period. The improved structure, addictive job system, more compelling content, and several nods to the series history not only redeem FFXIV, but make it the best MMO of the year.

Best Rhythm/Music: Rocksmith 2014

Learning how to play guitar by yourself isn't easy. For those who can't afford an instructor, Rocksmith is a great alternative. Working out the kinks of the previous iteration, the 2014 edition is your best option on the market. 

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