Game of the Year 2013

I hadn't planned on making this list until past Christmas, but my schedule is filling up fairly quickly. I figure I'll get this done and edit in any changes if I play something better by the end of the year (doubtful, but you never know).

In any case, this is the best of what I played this year. Not all of these came out in 2013, obviously, but I don't really care about that. Keep in mind I haven't played a great many of the best games of the year - you won't see The Last of Us on here simply because I haven't played it, not because I'm a pretentious douche.

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11 Comments
Posted by ThatFrood

Far Cry 3 is radical.

And what you say about GTAV is really interesting. I haven't played it, but when those first couple of blogs started cropping up about how GTA had a "nastiness" to it that was unacceptably vile I rolled my eyes at it as just more needless cultural sensitivity. But then I saw more and more of it, and even from people who I wouldn't pin to be the sort that would voice concern.

I still haven't played it, but now I see it again in your GTA review. It seems that nastiness really is there.

Edited by Slag

Hmmm you say Borderlands 2 is the best 2012 2013 GotY and yet Farcry 3 is 2nd overall...

I kid, I kid. :)

Glad you liked Fire Emblem man, wondered if you dug the series being a disgaea fan. For me FE has better balance of story missions vs grinding than Disgaea (and I like the artstyle significantly better), but that's a matter of personal taste.

Nice list!

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Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@thatfrood: I'm not normally squeamish about violence in games or any other medium. I honestly can't pin down why certain scenes in GTAV affected me, but they did. It kind of baffles me - I've seen everything from Oldboy to Battle Royale, and while I've been disgusted or grossed out (thank you, Troma), I can't say as I've ever experienced the same small disquiet of those moments in GTA V. I don't particularly have anything against moments like those in games, but now I know they're not for me.

@slag: P I reserved my top ten for games I only started playing in 2013, so Borderlands 2 wasn't eligible. If it was, it would have been number one, simply based on the sheer amount of time and fun I had with it.

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Posted by Demoskinos

@thatfrood: I'm not normally squeamish about violence in games or any other medium. I honestly can't pin down why certain scenes in GTAV affected me, but they did. It kind of baffles me - I've seen everything from Oldboy to Battle Royale, and while I've been disgusted or grossed out (thank you, Troma), I can't say as I've ever experienced the same small disquiet of those moments in GTA V. I don't particularly have anything against moments like those in games, but now I know they're not for me.

@slag: P I reserved my top ten for games I only started playing in 2013, so Borderlands 2 wasn't eligible. If it was, it would have been number one, simply based on the sheer amount of time and fun I had with it.

Its the humanity of it. The torture scene was you and one guy. When your mowing down dozens of people they are objects or things in the environment. In this case it was one guy tied to a chair begging you for his life and the humanity of that moment is what made it disturbing.

Also, glad to see some of your choices. We had a fair amount of overlap in our choices even if the order is different.

Posted by Slag

@sparky_buzzsaw: I guess that's not surprising since that's what like 3 all time for the generation for you?

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Posted by dankempster

Great list you got there, Sparky. Glad you enjoyed Tomb Raider, too - I'm pretty sure if I was making one of these lists it'd be contesting A Link Between Worlds and Pokémon Y for the title of 'Best 2013 Game of 2013'. I know it gets compared to Uncharted a lot, but personally I felt it had just as much in common with Arkham Asylum thanks to that upgradable inventory of awesome items. Also, thanks for inadvertently reminding me that I need to check out Ni No Kuni and Fire Emblem Awakening in 2014. Both look like games I'd have an absolute blast with.

Oh, and I was a little surprised not to see Disgaea D2 on here at all. From reading your thoughts on it in your recent blogs, I guess I'd just assumed it'd make your list. Asking purely out of curiosity, is there any particular reason that it didn't?

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Posted by FLStyle

I still need to play Dust! Thanks for the indirect reminder, good list also.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@demoskinos: I noticed that when I read your list we had a lot of the same tastes in games for 2013. As for GTA V, it's still something I'm turning over in my head, but I think you've nailed at least part of it. There's also another scene with Trevor that disquieted me when it's implied he kills the owners of the apartment he took over. It made me a little sick.

@flstyle: Hell yes, you do. Dust is terrific. And thanks!

@dankempster: I really struggled with whether or not to put Disgaea D2 on here. I'd advise anyone interested in playing a Disgaea game to start with it, as they've done a fantastic job of simplifying a lot of the more annoying gameplay elements. But at the end of the day, there's just too much rehashing and not enough forward motion. It doesn't help that the story is the most dreadful in the series to date, although I do like certain new characters. There are also some little things that annoy me, such as DLC characters that have been lifted directly from prior games without introducing enough changes to warrant paying even more money for them (even if I know I'm going to buy them anyways).

None of that is to say it's a bad game, and it has the best post-game content to date, which is really saying something. But it is a bit of a placeholder of a game, much like Saints Row IV or AC IV, and in all honesty, both of those are much more worthy of a spot on the top ten than Disgaea D2. The next Disgaea or NIS RPG (beyond Witch and the Hundred Knights) MUST introduce new character models, artwork, and gameplay elements, or they're going to stop being day one purchases for me.

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Posted by Demoskinos

@sparky_buzzsaw: Oh, I knew exactly what two moments you were speaking of. I think that is where most of the discussion around Trevor heads usually. I think that moment worked in that way largely because up until that point that scene had a very comedic undertone to it of sorts when all of a sudden it turns dark on a dime. The other half you already sort of nailed what he does is implied. Its the same reason so many great suspense films with creatures like Alien work so well because you almost never see the thing your terrified of. That moment lets our imaginations run wild with what horrible acts Trevor just did to these people. One whom he was previously at least somewhat cordial too.

I had largely the exact same reactions but in the end upon reflecting about it I was sort of excited that a game could pull those kind of reactions out of me. It was shock value that was built up and executed in the proper way.

Posted by Slag

@sparky_buzzsaw:

hunh my last comment came off oddly much more combative than I meant it to. The forums seems like they ate 90% of my reply that gave it better context. Sorry about that.

Anyway I enjoyed your list as always Sparky and I hope you and your loved ones have a very merry Christmas!

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Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@slag: I didn't think it came off as combative at all. No worries, man, and a merry Christmas to you and yours too!

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