1. The Walking Dead
2. Halo 4
3. Mass Effect 3
Kind words about Mass Effect 3 are hard to come by. Draped in controversy and engulfed in backlash, Mass Effect 3 was a bitter end to one of the most beloved franchises of the generation.
Most gamers wouldn't dare place Mass Effect 3 atop their GotY lists after the dismal out-of-the-box ending failed to give us the all-encompassing finale we beckoned for, but I guess I'm a little more forgiving.
As unforgivably bad as the original endings were, it didn't negate the unforgettable experience that the rest of Mass Effect 3 brought to my year in gaming.
That memorability stems from the Mass Effect 3's riveting and heart-wrenching storyline that bode farewell to our favorite companions and the bond we shared with them -- savoring our last moments with the likes of Garrus, Liara, Joker, Wrex and so many others as the blood-soaked showdown with the Reapers ensued. Some of the trilogy's most touching moments are found within Mass Effect 3, making it hard for even the stiffest of gamers to make it through the game without getting a little misty-eyed.
From a gameplay perspective, although Mass Effect 3 is quite a drastic change from the deep Western RPG it once was, the action-oriented focus ended up being a change for the better, as Mass Effect 3 was the most intuitive and satisfying gameplay experience in the series. Refinements to speed, movement, cover mechanics and gunplay made for a more responsive game, which lent itself well for the new online multiplayer mode that was a pleasantly surprising and addictive addition.
In some form or fashion, Mass Effect has been scrutinized for nearly everything its done since the first game -- the streamlined experience, the dismissal of deep RPG micromanagement, plot direction and the prioritizing of competitive multiplayer. But, I happen to be one of the few people who believed that those changes were for the better.
Perhaps Mass Effect didn't become the series that we dreamed it could be, but my overall expectation of the trilogy was met, and in some ways, surpassed. I'm not oblivious to Mass Effect 3's blatant shortcomings, but I saw way too much good to be oblivious to its greatness.
If that isn't the popular thing to say about Mass Effect 3 these days, so be it.
4. NBA 2K13