So continuing tonight’s hot post about the best albums of 2013 (which was just a list, nothing more unfortunately) here are the best games from the cyclical year of 2013. This year was a huge year as it was the final big year for both the PlayStation 3 and X-Box 360 as the next generation got off to a semi slow start due to a lack of titles but it should soon kick off for both consoles with huge exclusives on the way. Much like with music there wasn’t too much time to play a lot of games with a hectic work schedule and other personal demands. The rules are simple games that came out in 2013 are the only ones up for the title, so no Persona 4 The Golden. Later I will do a comparison of what changed between the recent years of my top game from teh last few years and even digging up before this year, I do plan on doing that with the album of the year but not the film because there is always a weird thing about doing that with movies. Without further ado here is the list.
10. Beyond: Two Souls – PS3
While not as good as expected the Ellen Page Simulator makes the list on the fact that it is a very bold game, very bold. Both Page and Willem Dafoe star and boy do they star in this story driven game that lacks any form of a hud that might distract a gamer from accomplishing the goals of the game. And while it is more like a Tarantino film in the way that it is told out of order it still is definitely worth a look in a sea of first person shooters and action games Beyond is a unique experience.
09. Batman: Arkham Origins – PS3, X-Box 360
While Arkham City was the perfect Batman game, Origins takes a few steps back but not enough to make it an awful game. Origins pretty much copies the same style of play but the world feels a little more devoid. The story is pretty good but not as good as the last few games. The assassins angle feels a little underplayed but the gallery of rogues is there as in previous games but in a younger group set. I love the idea of the Origin story but at the same time it does feel like a couple steps back including visually as tears and other graphical chops hold this title back from elite status.
08. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – PS4, PS3, X-Box One, X-Box 360
Pirates are awesome. Assassin’s Creed is also awesome. This should be a marriage made in heaven. With all of the flaws in Assassin’s Creed we thought Ubi Soft would fix most of the flaws and they did that, but they didn’t make a perfect game. I haven’t played an Assassin’s Creed game that I have loved so much since ACII but on the plus side at least it isn’t as flawed as ACI. The game should be thoroughly enjoyable on the next gen with amazing graphics that showcase the ability to display realistic water and other such effects, the story as well as the gameplay feel a tad bit off but that doesn’t make Black Flag a game you should skip over. The franchise is still as solid as ever but with a little work on the yearly installments we could have a super hit.
07. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time – PS3/Vita
The racoon returns for a fourth installment in his long awaited series. This time Sly and his friends must travel through time to help out his ancestors to save the Cooper family and all their secrets. Featuring impeccable voice acting and a brilliant score the fourth game, this time not done by Sucker Punch, feels just like the other titles in the series. The cel-shaded graphics fit in nicely and don’t seem a bit out of place at all in this console generation. The big sell on the game is not just the nostalgia feeling from playing the first three on the old consoles but the fact that if you buy a brand new copy on the PS3 you get a code to download the Vita version of which you can swap saves on the go.
06. LEGO Marvel Superheroes – PS4, PS3, X-Box One, X-Box 360, PC, Vita, 3DS
A recent release and a shocker to make the list, the latest in the LEGO series this time tackles the Marvel Universe and with much guilty fun! Featuring an open hub world similar to GTA where the players can run around and cause as much havoc as they want LEGO Marvel is a guilty pleasure mixed with the joyous glee of a child’s imagination. The game features well over 100 playable characters spread across the 20 or so missions in teh game. With gorgeous next gen graphics (see the environments on the PS4), the LEGO characters shine with amazing lighting effects. The humor is there for adults to play on their own or with their children. File this under guilty pleasure of 2013.
05. Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus – PlayStation 3
This PS exclusive takes us back to the old days of R+C and not like the previous two installments. With the same game play as the Future series and a nice graphical update this is a fun albeit short trip back into the old school days of Ratchet and Clank. Our favorite Lombax is once again armed with a plenthora of strange but fun weapons that make you cackle as you watch them being unloaded on countless enemies. While the game is short there is the feeling that the series hasn’t lost it’s touch and the hope that a PS4 title will soon be on the way. Once again the Clank elements have been done well through the rough 10 hours of the game that we get but it’s more if you explore like I have done.
04. Tomb Raider – PlayStation 3, X-Box 360, PC
Lara Croft has had a rough go of late but the latest reboot from Square is fantastic. Copying a large amount of elements from the adventures of Nathan Drake, the latest in a series of older franchise reboots lands the mark. The game was so good that they are doing an update for the next generation consoles. With a compelling story about a young Lara who is stuck on an island who has to grow into the character that we have grown into (she’ll probably turn out differently!). The well crafted story is well acted out and has the emotional depth that we sympathize with Lara through most of it. With game play similar to third person shooters and almost some from Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider is a mixture of both fun and intense QTEs but this gamer is looking forward to the sequel (just see my review earlier this year.
03. Grand Theft Auto V – PlayStation 3, X-Box 360
The first reviews were almost entirely positive on the next installment on Rockstar’s super huge money printer and you know what, it deserved it. A massive world with almost realistic graphics (or the Dog Graphics) make this the Mark Whalberg of video games. Featuring three distinct main characters with three distinct personalities and different play styles it is safe to say this is the best GTA game of them all. You could expect Rockstar to stick with what they did best in the previous games and rest on their laurels but they made a better looking game that plays better. Mix in the shoddy GTA Online (it has gotten better) and you have a product that will keep the gamers coming for months.
02. BioShock Infinite – PlayStation 3, X-Box 360, PC
Several years after being announced the third title in the BioShock franchise was the main front runner in the game of the year list up until the summer months. With eye popping visuals and a stunning batch of audio work the team over at 2K games did a fantastic job making us forget about the other titles in the franchise. For a first person shooter to feature a story as deep as this one and on top of it the deep symbolism and meanings hidden in just the ending, well it’s just breathtaking. And while some complain about the game’s not insanely long campaign just realize it gets better with each playthrough. I enjoyed multiple trips up to Columbia and every time felt like the first time.
01. The Last of Us – PlayStation 3
The Last of Us is the latest magnum opus from the team over at Naughty Dog. The makers of Uncharted, Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter have delivered a near flawless post apocalyptic journey that delves deep into the emotional back stories of both the main characters while asking deep questions about how humanity would have moved on following said event. Add in the actual survival horror gameplay that has been missing in recent Resident Evil titles, a fabulous score, fantastic voice acting and gorgeous graphics and you have one of the best games of this generation.