2013 Game of the Year Awards
Although 2013 saw the release of two powerful new consoles in the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, the majority of my favorite games of the year came on the hardware we've grown familiar with over the past generation.
I've compiled my top 10 games of the year and have listed them below, starting with my 10th favorite game and working up to number 1. There's also a brief explanation for each title. If you've missed any on this list, I highly encourage you to give these a shot.
10. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD (Wii U)
Loved the original, but didn't remember it being this good. The art style and cel shading is unmatched even to this day.
9. Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
While I didn't find 3D World to be as revolutionary as Mario 64 or Mario Galaxy, it's still an excellent entry to Nintendo's historic franchise.
8. Rayman Legends (PS Vita)
Just pure fun. Gorgeous art, near-perfect controls, and fantastic music. I could have done without the Murphy levels.
7. Guacamelee (PS Vita)
Drinkbox Studios nailed it yet again. Guacamelee was one of the games from 2013 to provide a significant challenge, requiring a familiarity with each of the game's many mechanics.
6. Grand Theft Auto V (PS3)
GTA didn't really reinvent the wheel (pardon the terrible pun), but Rockstar didn't need to. GTA V is pure fun from start to finish. There's a ton to see and do, but the story left me wanting more. The heist missions were great. In fact, I wish there had been more of them.
5. Tearaway (PS Vita)
Wow...not sure I've ever played a game more charming. I smiled more during my playthrough of Tearaway than probably any other game on this list. The art style and graphics are truly unmatched. Love how they used the Vita in so many different ways that never felt forced or inconvenient.
4. Bioshock Infinite (PS3)
The story ended up a in strange place that I didn't expect...but I could not stop playing Infinite. There was a constant urge to see what twist awaited behind the next corner. I found the gameplay somewhat repetitive at times, but never bad. The plot was enough to keep me going and, oh what a story it told.
3. Tomb Raider (PS3)
No doubt that Crystal Dynamics borrowed a number of mechanics from other recent high-profile titles, but Tomb Raider stands as on its own as an amazing title that breathes new life into an age-old franchise. They did a fantastic job making me care about Lara again.
2. Resogun (PS4)
This one took me by surprise and I certainly never expected it to be Game of the Year material. Gorgeous and addicting, I'll likely be playing Resogun throughout the PS4's life cycle.
1. The Last of Us (PS3)
Naughty Dog's latest masterpiece took everything I love about gaming and brought it together in a single, cohesive package. Jaw-dropping graphics, sublime acting, incredible story, fully immersive atmosphere, top-notch stealth gameplay (despite what some may tell you)...The Last of Us has it all. I knew immediately after finishing that I had experienced something very special. At the end of the day, there's really no higher recommendation I can give than to say that every adult who considers him/herself a gamer should play this game. It's uncomfortable and even hard to play at times. You'll laugh. You'll smile. You may even shed a tear. One thing, however, is certain: you will never forget playing The Last of Us.