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My Top Ten
Games of 2013
the moment you've all been waiting for - my Top Ten Games of 2013!
Of course, you've already read my Top Ten PC Games of 2013, but I
still wanted to write my overall list. I typically wait till about
mid January to crank out this list, giving me at least a little time
to dive into any new holiday acquisitions. What makes my lists unique
are my comparisons to last year's Most Anticipated Games of the year,
giving me a chance to praise or ridicule my past self based on my
bold predictions for what would be my favorite games. Let's take a
look at last year's list:
Anticipated 2013 (Written on Jan 22, 2013)
Grand Theft Auto V
Starcraft II: Heart
of the Swarm
South Park: The Stick
Marvel Super Heroes
ranking so high should elicit an instant groan and shaking of the
head, and I've mentioned in previous posts how disappointed I was not
just in the very publicized launch disaster but in the overall
direction and vision of the game. Aliens being on here should also
crack a few smiles, as this list was written before that train-wreck
of a game was unleashed upon the world. Reviews ultimately steered me
away, and it's the only game on that list that was released in 2013
that I didn't play. Both Watch Dogs and South Park were pushed back
into 2014, and we'll see if it makes this year's much more crowded
Most Anticipated list.
Kickstarter games on the top was a bit of a cheat, but I was super
excited over the explosion of multimillion dollar success stories in
2012. Unfortunately, barely any of them got fully released in 2013,
although I'm currently beta testing several. 2014 should see a ton of
releases for these games and will probably take over my next Most
leaves us with five games: Grand Theft Auto V, Starcraft II: Heart of
the Swarm, The Cave, BioShock Infinite, and Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
I played them all in 2013, though they weren't all day one purchases.
Read on to see if they made my Games of the Year list.
Games of 2013
10) The Cave (XBLA)
charming and humorous adventure was certainly to be expected from
Double Fine and Ron Gilbert, but I also thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle
designs, utilizing three playable characters to maximum
effectiveness. Sure it relies on replaying some of the same puzzles
in order to see all of the characters' stories but the writing is
well worth it, and the overall length is long enough for a single
playthrough and quick enough for multiple replays.
9) The Legend of Zelda: A
Link Between Worlds (3DS)
me as one of those gamers that never played a Link to the Past. I
know, I know, we all have our embarrassing gaps amongst gaming's
greatest titles. But now I have the distinct advantage of playing
what many have decreed as the greatest Zelda game ever - an update
to the original classic that instills new gameplay mechanics and takes
full advantage of the 3DS hardware. It looks really, really good, and
plays even better.
8) BioShock Infinite (PC)
the BioShock series but I'm not crazy about it, and I typically wait
til a sale to jump in. Thankfully Infinite was already down to $10 by
Black Friday! While the flying city of Columbia offered some nifty
new combat scenarios, and the sky rail mechanics were especially
spiffy, much of the story telling and general shooting felt very Been
There, Done That. Still, even an okay BioShock game is definitely
enough to warrant a place on this list.
7) Lego Marvel Super
Heroes (Xbox 360)
and I really like playing through the Lego games cooperatively, but I
was always held back by a general lack of interest in the source
material. Even the Star Wars games didn't thrill me much. With Lego
Marvel, however, I could really jump in with both feet and fully
absorb the awesome over-the-top story full of villains, heroes, and
every Marvel character you could imagine. The real treat was the
giant open world Manhatten that kept me flying around the city
unlocking new characters, discovering secrets, and completing side
6) Shadowrun Returns (PC)
crazy cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun deserves at least
one great video game a year, but since I'm not in charge of the world
yet, at least we've been blessed with this decidedly old school cRPG
via Kickstarter. Shadowrun Returns requires lots of reading,
turn-based combat, and a tool set to create your own adventures.
Basically, it's just wonderful.
Read my way too long but thorough review.
5) Fire Emblem: Awakening
Emblem Awakening was the first game that nearly made me break down
and buy a 3DS. I love turn based strategy-RPGs and was agonizing over
missing this one. When I did finally get my 3DS, Fire Emblem was #2
on my wishlist after Pokémon. I admit I'm only about 10 hours in right now but
so far it's everything I want in a new Fire Emblem game, and the new
Casual mode means I don't have to restart a whole battle when a
character dies, but instead treat every battle like the intricate
chess match I so sorely love.
4) Rogue Legacy (PC)
a recent convert to the action-platforming genre unfortunately called
"Rogue-like." Last year I had Spelunky and FTL on my Top Ten
List, and Rogue Legacy can proudly claim a spot right alongside them.
What sets it apart (aside from perfect level design and gradual
difficulty) is the progress you can make even after all those repeated
death attempts, and that each new character will have its own set of
crazy traits and class skills. The perfect title for both Rogue-like
veterans and newcomers.
3) Pokémon Y (3DS)
Pokémon. I've loved you off and on for the last 15 years but 2013
was really something special. After taking a few years off I snatched
up Pokémon Black for the DS and sunk over 100hrs like it was nothing
in the Spring. In the Fall, my frenzy for X and Y had finally boiled
over, and I bought that awesome Pokémon X/Y 3DS XL. For two months
the only 3DS game I had was Pokémon Y, and it's all I needed. Seeing the familiar creatures in a new 3D world was just too cool, and new battle mechanics like Mega Evolution really changed things up while still keeping it in familiar territory. It's a shame the post-game is lacking, but only because I want to squeeze every last drop from the best Pokémon title yet.
2) State of Decay (XLBA &
I loved State of Decay
so much I ended up playing it on both XBLA and PC when it released on
both platforms. The zombie apocalypse simulator took my dream of a
GTA-style action game with zombies and crafted something unique and
awesome with randomized missions and characters, perma-death, a huge
world to explore, and tons of vehicles, weapons, and items. Just when
I grew tired of replaying the story mode, along came the first DLC
that had a built-in New Game Plus that I completely ate up. My
biggest surprise of the year, and I can't wait to see what's next for
1) Grand Theft Auto V
all the problems and disappointments GTA Online has had recently, it
feels weird revisiting my thoughts of the game. I really loved my
time with the single player portion of GTA V; it's the first game
in the series that I've completed 100%, and I've played them all. The
new concept of three protagonists was a great addition, and allowed
for every mission to cut down on the mundane parts and experience the
action from multiple angles. While the story only briefly flirted
with interesting themes, it's the characters and individual moments
that truly stand out. All of that plus GTA Online that I did play for
a solid six weeks straight (and had a ton of fun playing with
friends) has to net GTA V the coveted #1 spot on my list.
Injustice: Gods Among Us,
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Reus, Gone Home
And now for some fun extra
Most Disappointing: SimCity
Biggest Surprise: State of Decay
Best Original Music: Rogue Legacy
Best Soundtrack: GTA V
Best Art Design: BioShock Infinite
Best World Building/Atmosphere: GTA V
Best Writing: Shadowrun Returns
Best Cooperative Game: Lego Marvel
Best Game Nobody Else Played: Reus
Favorite New Game Mechanic: Rogue
Most Innovative: Rogue Legacy
Best New Character: Trevor Philips
Favorite Moment: See this list
I managed to play over 25 new games
this year, without even including DLC - and that's on top of
working through my constant backlog of games with Rogue's Adventures!
My top three games were Day One Purchases or Pre-Orders, while most
games I was able to take advantage of sales, trade-ins, and coupons.
Going into 2013 I had no idea that I would get a 3DS, and all the
games I played this year made my list. All three came out in 2013 and
this was really a banner year for the system. Without them I think
2013 would've been a slight disappointment overall to last year,
although it was a fantastic year for indie games. With new consoles
we can finally start seeing true next-gen titles, and I anticipate
2014 to be one of the best years in gaming we've ever seen.
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