Hundreds of games were released last year and because we’re not artificial gamer-bots hell-bent on the destruction of mankind, we didn’t get a chance to try them all, but we definitely had our favorites. Today we bring you our picks for the top five games of 2013.
A highly stylized heist game in the vein of 1960’s Neo-Noir films. Full disclosure, I went to college with one of the artists that worked on this game, but that really didn’t influence how much I loved playing this game. This is one of those games where you have to react and strategize in a heartbeat, but you have some many characters to choose from, as well as mix and match. Anyone can find a play style that works for them.
4 – Shin Megami Tensei IV
Hard is really the best way to describe this long awaited sequel. This is a JRPG not for the faint of heart. While it lacks in the story department, it’s gameplay and setting is everything I love about the series. Like Papers, Please, the mechanics of collecting and fusing demons sounds boring on paper, but once you get into it, you find yourself constantly thinking about it, or at least I did.
3 – Papers, Please!
This was one of those games I kept hearing about and kind of rolled my eyes, until I checked it out. Holy crap was it amazing. You play as a border guard in a fictional Soviet style dystopia scrutinizing the passports, work permits, entry tickets, etc. of people attempting to enter the country. It sounds boring, but I honestly sunk about three hours into this one without even realizing it the first time I fired it up.
2 – The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Where to start with this one? Aside from being a throwback to arguably the greatest game in The Legend of Zelda series, it manages to stand brilliantly on it’s own. This is everything you could ever want from a Zelda game. While Lorule feels a bit lacking compared to the Dark World, it by no means takes away from the game or the excellent, and welcomed, old school exploration.
1 – Fire Emblem: Awakening
This was the year I finally took the plunge and picked up a 3DS, so of course I needed to get a game. I’d never been that into turn based strategy RPG’s, but this one really blew me away. The game offers you the option of perma-death, so when your characters die in battle, they stay dead and can’t be revived. I honestly found myself getting attached to the characters more so than most games and I don’t think I could ever play through the game in classic mode.
AMGfail’s Top Five
My addictive nature far outweighs any negative review this game has received by the press. No matter how bad the storyline or voice acting is, I can’t.. stop.. evolving.. dragons! I’m a huge Panzer Dragoon fan, so getting to swap out, level and evolve multiple dragon types in this spiritual successor was the perfect time sink for me in 2013.
What exactly makes a game “a game” is the topic of many a debate and no game incited more riots in that aspect than Gone Home. There is no combat, no puzzles, no terrorists to shoot and no dragons to slay, but the atmosphere and story-driven narrative stuck with me long after finishing the game. It’s not for everyone, but I enjoyed it.
Maybe I just like “bad” games or something, because I absolutely loved Ryse. It filled the mindless bloodshed void that I had in 2013 and the combat became surprisingly deep in the higher difficulty settings. In a year full of great games, it had to be something special for me to be in the middle of my third playthrough.
Yet another game that seemed to divide the gamer community, Bioshock: Infinite was the first great game that I played in 2013. I enjoyed the storyline and felt Columbia was on par with Rapture, but I understand it’s flaws. I was actually so confident that I’d never have more fun with a game in 2013, but boy was I wrong.
Giant dragons smothered in Tron lights, 16-bit cyborg sex scenes, inquisitive dinosaurs that shoot lasers from their eyes and two scoops of 80’s sex appeal? Blood Dragon had it all. It took an already solid Far Cry 3, simplified the leveling system and hit all the right notes with me in 2013.
Honorable mentions – The Stanley Parable, Tomb Raider, Rogue Legacy & Papers, Please!
We hope you enjoyed our picks for the best of 2013. It truly was an incredible year for gaming. If you haven’t gotten a chance, be sure to check out this week’s round of Nerd Wars! and cast your vote for game of the year. We will be announcing the winner tomorrow!