Jacob’s list of top games in 2013.2013 was a pretty great year in gaming. People also don’t have all the time in the world to dedicate to playing all those great games. Here’s my list of games I think you can’t miss from this year.
Number 10: Injustice: Gods Among Us (PS3)
I’m big into super heroes you guys. I’m also big into alternate universe storylines. When I learned there was going to be a game released that focused on both these concepts, I was pretty excited. Thankfully, the end result didn’t disappoint either.
For the first time in a long time, I played a fighting game where the story gripped me. I loved the take on all the heroes and villains in this alternate world and was completely consumed by it, even to the point where I became a reader of the digital comic tie-in.
It needs to be said that I’m pretty awful at fighting games. However, I felt that Injustice was incredibly accessible to novice fighting game players such as myself. It still has that competitive edge to it but it was easier for a player like me to pick it up and learn some pretty spectacular combos with a bit of practice.
Number 9: Payday 2 (Xbox 360)
If you’ve got three friends, Payday 2 might be the most fun you spend with a game all year. Meticulously planning the perfect robbery and casing the joint with friends is fun, but it gets even better when you no doubt botch the job roughly five seconds in and then it becomes an all out war for the goods.
On top of that, collecting and customizing masks adds a fun and creative way to set yourself apart from your fellow robbers. The game also has a surprisingly deep skill system, and with the right skills, even the hardest jobs are possible. At $40 brand new, you’re crazy not to give Payday 2 a try.
Number 8: Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox 360)
Grand Theft Auto V, arguably the biggest game release of 2013, managed to be bigger and badder than any of the games before it. There is so much to see and even more to do in this game, we all would have probably been fine just playing this game all year and it would have kept us plenty busy.
Now that the game’s multiplayer has a lot of the kinks worked out, there is about twice as much to do on the Los Santos map. Rob some convenience stores with a friend, then catch a game of golf before joining an offroad dirtbike race that ends in an epic police chase. If you’re looking for something to keep you busy for a long time to come, GTA has you covered.
Number 7: Dragon’s Crown (Playstation Vita)
Dragon’s Crown is everything I loved about side-scrolling beat-em-ups all rolled into one gorgeous package. The combat is tight and addictive, the character progression keeps you coming back, and the different character all add new and fun ways to play the game.
On top of all that, just look at the game. It has some of the most pleasing looking visuals in any game of 2013 (right behind Ni No Kuni) and every background vista, enemy design, and character design is a pleasure to look at.
Number 6: Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Xbox 360)
Splinter Cell: Blacklist successfully marries what the series has moved to more recently, with games like Conviction, and the more stealthy games of the series’s past. It gives you the option of how to play and numerous pathways through each level. It’s a great compromise so that every type of player gets what they want while playing as Sam Fisher.
Spies vs. Mercs was also revived with Blacklist much to my happiness. I’m not even good at it, but it is so fun and addictive that I don’t even care. I love the strategy that come with both sides, the predatory feel that I get playing as the spies, and the terror that I feel playing as a merc, knowing more than likely someone is watching me.
Number 5: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (PS4)
I’ve always been a fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, but as the years went on and the series moved to annual releases I found myself suffering from AC fatigue. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag made all that fatigue disappear and I re-fell in love with the series.
For the first time since Ezio’s iteration in Assassin’s Creed II, the series had a wholly likable character in Edward Kenway. On top of that, the series managed to stop taking itself so seriously and just have some fun with the story. If you bailed on this series long ago, Black Flag is the title that you get you back on the ship (get it?).
Number 4: Bioshock Infinite (Xbox 360)
I love a game that can give you a total mindf***k. Bioshock Infinite manages that in spades, while developing one of the best realized worlds in gaming. Columbia surpassed Rapture, in my eyes, as being the more interesting of the two Bioshock cities. Some of the best moments I had with the game were just wandering the city.
The game also sports one of the best stories and best acting in any game out to date. Both Booker and Elizabeth become incredibly developed and the city of Columbia carries as much mystery as the derelict city of Rapture did in the first game.
Number 3: Fire Emblem: Awakening (Nintendo 3DS)
Oh man, had I been patiently waiting for this game. I didn’t enjoy Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon when it came out on the DS years back but with the release of Fire Emblem: Awakening early this year, everything was forgiven.
This game added so much to an already great system. Your own customizable character, dialogue options, a great story, and so many great characters. Being able to marry different characters to each other and unlock their kids from the future to join your army added a new level of replayability. This is the 3DS game of the year; go experience it.
Number 2: Resogun (PS4)
As the years go by, more people look to games to mature and be more than just “games.” They expect them to have deep stories, complex characters, and mature themes. Playstation 4’s launch title, Resogun, spits in that idea’s face and brings us back some old school, addictive gameplay and it is glorious.
Resogun is like Galaga on crack. You move up, down, left and right and it’s all about that legendary high score. There’s no story, no character motive, it’s all about making those numbers tick higher and higher until you achieve ultimate bragging rights among your friends list. This game cannot be missed.
Number 1: The Last of Us (PS3)
Is this really that much of a surprise? Everyone knew The Last of Us was going to be good, but it turned out the game was nearly flawless. If games are truly moving into a more mature are, with complex issues covered, then The Last of Us is the game that companies need to look to to see how it was down.
From the game’s opening moments, the game is out to prove you that it is something more than just another post-apocalyptic game. Through the gameplay, the writing, the acting, and the visuals, The Last of Us is one of, if not the, pinnacle of modern gaming.