Top 10 Games of 2013


Top 10 Games of 2013

Despite being a transitional year for consoles, 2013 went out with a bang with some seriously solid titles. We witnessed leaps and bounds in terms of storytelling, went to breathtaking locales and platformed our way across some of the best games of the generation. Because everyone enjoys nice, arbitrary lists, I will offer my personal favorite games of the year.

10. Pikmin 3 Pikmin 3

It has been quite a long time since I’ve played a Pikmin game, so I was incredibly delighted to find just how enjoyable Pikmin 3 actually was. I loved being able to take care of these Pikmin as they in turn help me discover precious fruits and overcome obstacles. They’re utterly adorable. My girlfriend, who usually doesn’t enjoy watching me play games, was totally entertained as I traversed the silly environments and made attempts at leading a squad of Pikmin. The lighthearted nature of Pikmin 3 is what lends itself perfectly to that feeling of parental responsibility. You end up really caring for these creatures, almost more than the real characters of the story. It’s a fascinating type of game and one that is absolutely beautiful for even a Wii U game. The Wii U may not have had a good year in sales, but you can’t argue with the level of quality in the games released for it.

Available on Wii U.

9. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

It may seem like a cop-out to put a remake on the list, but it changes so many things from the already amazing GameCube version that it deserves its spot here. The updated graphics make the adventure feel far extravagant on the Wii U. Adding in the GamePad support along with trimming some of the fat off the more laborious quests help smooth out the game for a better experience. Traversing the vast sea at your own will and getting lost within the world were such sobering experiences compared to the rest of the ultraviolent games released this year. It is easily one of the best remakes, and gamers who missed out on its first outing owe it to themselves to play it.

Available on Wii U.

8.Devil May Cry Devil May Cry

Reboots were all the rage in 2013 with the likes of Devil May Cry and Tomb Raider. The controversial change of Dante to an edgier and crasser style actually ended up paying off with the help of the surrounding presentational values.  The world around Dante twists and turns as demons try to dispatch him with an outstanding soundtrack to help heighten the action. The combo-chain style of fighting returns but with the help of a grapple system that was simply a blast to use to bounce around enemies and Dante in combat. It is unfortunate that this game doesn’t get much praise, but as a fan of action games, it satisfied my taste for flashy, insane battles.

Available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

7. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Capping off the outstanding year for the 3DS was a surprisingly marvelous Zelda game. It looked like a remake of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Returning to that world does hold the game back slightly, but it touted some of the biggest changes to the traditional Zelda formula. Being able to go to whatever dungeon you like from the get-go was a refreshing take for the franchise. It also uses the 3D capabilities of the system to perfection to transform ordinary boss fights into epic battles. The story also crescendoes nicely at the end with the help of some interesting twists and heartfelt moments. My main criticism — why it isn’t higher on this list — is that A Link Between Worlds is insanely easy because of a lack of complex dungeons. Regardless, it just felt comforting to play a new Zelda game that was shed of the laborious nature of recent games in the franchise.

Available on 3DS.

6. Saints Row IV Saints Row IV

While 2013 is a landmark for fantastic storytelling, we sometimes play video games just to have fun. Saints Row IV gives the player super powers and an open world to play with, whether that be mindlessly blowing up things or gliding through the air collecting things around Steelport. The series has been slowly heading into absurdity, much to the chagrin of hard-core fans of the franchise, but for me, it was the perfect blend of hilarity and excitement to keep me hooked. Whether it be stopping a deadly missile in space to Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” or singing along with your homies to Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend,” Saints Row IV offers some of the best laughs and good times of 2013.

Available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

5. Fire Emblem: Awakening Fire Emblem: Awakening

It’s tough trying to explain why Fire Emblem: Awakening is such a fantastic game. It is in a very nice genre of tactical RPGs and can be very punishing. Because of its focused vision, Fire Emblem: Awakening executes its formula almost flawlessly. Leading troops into battle and commanding them to defeat your enemy are nothing special, but when your characters can permanently die, the level of tension rises exponentially. To add even more tension, Fire Emblem: Awakening features some outstanding writing to really flesh out the wide cast of characters and help you connect with them. Losing a valuable soldier is painful enough, but losing a good friend makes it much worse — in a good way. While the overarching story isn’t anything substantial, the real story is composed of the beautiful relationships and conversations with your comrades. Because of the powerful cohesion of interesting characters with addicting combat, Fire Emblem: Awakening deserves far more recognition and reinvigorates my love for Japanese RPGs.

Available on 3DS.

4. Rayman Legends 

Rayman Legends

In a year filled with Triple-A titles, it’s rather disgusting how much Rayman Legends is overlooked. Rayman Origins shocked everyone with its wildly creative art style and solid platforming, but Rayman Legends takes it to an entirely different level. Packed with an absurd amount of collectibles that would make Banjo-Kazooie jealous, Rayman Legends is pumped full of worthwhile content. The real star of the show is the exquisite level design, which continually changes and keeps up the variety so that you’re never bored. The soundtrack is one of the best this year with a large and bombastic theme that wonderfully suits the art design. Coupled with the simple but perfected platforming mechanics, Rayman Legends comes out as an amazingly solid game that’s hard to not enjoy.

Available on Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and PC.

3. Guacamelee! Guacamelee!

This is probably the most clueless pick on this list to some, but anyone who has actually played Guacamelee! knows how good it really is. In a nutshell, the game play is a mixture of “Metroidvania” mechanics with luchador fighting, and it mixes quite well. New luchador moves and powers are constantly unlocked to keep the fast-paced action as fresh as possible. The fighting is surprisingly crafted well and emanates an interesting feeling of power and satisfaction. When not fighting, the platforming is the best combination of difficulty and creativity so that you won’t be stuck on an obstacle too long but also won’t clear it on your first try. Oh, and the writing is pretty damn hilarious.

Available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.

2. Super Mario 3D World Super Mario 3D World

I didn’t choose a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One. I chose a Wii U because I wanted pure and game play-focused experiences, and Super Mario 3D World fits that description better than any other game. You can try to explain it in technical terms like “the mechanics are strong” or “the level design is solid.” These statements are true, but when it comes down to it, the game is just unbelievably fun. The insane amount of variety with different power-ups and unique quirks in the levels made it so that a smile never left my face when playing. I thought the happiness might waver off after completion, but the ability to play co-op with others brings loads of laughs and shenanigans. Super Mario 3D World may not be as big a landmark as other games, but it’s undeniably perfect in its ability to produce fun.

Available on Wii U.

1. The Last of Us The Last of Us

Although 2013 was a big year for storytelling in games, it’s funny how most of the games on my list lack a solid story. I feel that games often focus on either story or game play, and when it comes down to it, a game with better game play is what you look for when you want to unwind after a long day. The reason The Last of Us reaches the top of this list is that it molds game play and story in a way that no other game has.

It could’ve so easily fallen into the traditional types of zombie stories, but it instead focuses on just Joel and Ellie. The interactions between the two are largely carried by the fantastic voice actors who do an absolutely tremendous job on making us care about these characters. More importantly, the game play facilitates these interactions flawlessly. A combination of shooting, sneaking and survival characteristics fit the narrative and allow for a wide array of game play style for each suspenseful conflict.

Nothing is held back in The Last of Us, whether that be the realistic and gruesome violence or the wildly emotional moments with Joel and Ellie and the others whom they meet along the way. It feels appropriate that the ending is elegantly crafted and left ambiguous, still sparking some conversation among gaming enthusiasts today. The single-player campaign alone wins the top spot on the list, but the multiplayer portion is almost just as strong by incorporating the important parts that made the campaign great.

The Last of Us is simply a masterpiece. There is no other way to put it. It will go down as one of the most powerful experiences because it uses the unique style of the gaming medium to its utmost potential. For that reason, it is my favorite game of 2013.

Available on PlayStation 3.

slashcomment white signature

Leave A Reply