2013 was a pretty crazy year for videogames, right? We saw the side-effects of a overly long generation in the form of games that certainly shouldn’t exist in franchises that have probably outstayed their welcome like Gears of War . It has certainly be underwhelming in the realm for high-budget game design in terms of lack of releases and shoddy launches like Battlefield 4.
With that, the lackluster big business side of the industry has virtually given the entire playing field for independent game developers. With titles like Rogue Legacy and Gone Home, we saw the culmination of ideas that couldn't exist in a pre-Xbox 360 era.
We’ve grown dependent on small-budget games like Papers, Please to deliver interesting mechanics that otherwise wouldn’t be appropriate for a larger title, and games like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and The Walking Dead to allow us to have a deeper emotional connection.
The type of connection that has been promised from the beginning that only videogames are capable of doing. If 2013 has proven anything, great games come in all sizes and from all corners of the industrialized world. Now more than ever can videogames truly take people on journeys and command emotional responses.
Games can commentate on serious ideas, deliver higher nuanced narratives, interlace mechanics and story telling, or just deliver us dumb fun in the form of a Dub-Step Gun.
Of course this year we saw the untimely passing of Ryan Davis just days after his wedding. He has been an inspiration to me over the years since first listening to GameSpot’s podcast back when I was in Middle School. We had similar taste in games and the way he can academically critique something in a serious manner and immediately switch to goofy fun is a personality trait I can only dream of nailing down so finely.
I wasn’t an intern long at Giant Bomb thanks to my unexpected deployment to Afghanistan. But he treated me with respect and was a constant professional. He appreciated the coffee pot never went dry while I was in the office. He even sent me and my platoon a package overseas containing over 100 hours of Giant Bomb material and even offered up some games and clothing. He’s the kind of person that made everything simply better when he participated and he will be missed.
Here are my favorite 10 games of the year in order from 1-10. Thanks for reading!