Games I Played 2013

Since I typically play around only 10 new games a year I just put 'em all on this list. It almost seems weird to have two indie games above two massive new console launch titles, but they're just that great and/or the launch titles for the new consoles were that bad. Anyway, while the industry is getting turned on its head, I still had a heck of a time with games this year. Check it.

Honorable mention - The Last of Us. So I don't own a PS3. But so much was said about this game, both on the internet and from friends, that I had to see for myself what was up. I went on youtube and found a nicely made video with all the cutscenes and relevant gameplay bits inbetween. The story probably wasn't as impactful if I had been going through the game myself; holding the controller and interacting with the characters. But man... it was still something.

List items

  • Bioshock Infinte gave me the feeling of being a part of the world that was crafted around me. The art and music made the atmosphere of Columbia thrive, and I was amazed at every turn. Booker, Elizabeth, Comstock, and, of course, the Lutece's were all characters I found myself caring for and wanting to know more about. Connecting all of these pieces was the story, and what a story it was. I was left dumbfounded for a good 45 minutes after finishing it, and am still driven mad, in a good way, if I try to think about it for too long.

    The combination of a fantastic, well realized world, really cool characters, and an amazing, mind-blowing story makes this my favorite game of 2013.

  • If I knew anything about Gone Home before playing it I would have laughed in your face if you told me I was going to like it more than a new Batman game and two games with a ton of 80s jokes.

    On paper there's nothing standout about it. It's an everyday story with very simple mechanics. But Gone Home's simplicity allows for the story to take center stage. As the story came together, piece by piece, I felt deeply connected to something I could quite literally never relate to. That can be said about a lot of games, but the difference here is how real the story was. It's filled with so much genuine emotion and the way it's told is just brilliant.

    Gone Home was by far the most standout game I played this year.

  • YOU GOT THE TOUCH! YOU GOT THE POWAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!! YEAH!

    Saints Row IV is the ultimate video game power fantasy. Running, jumping, and gliding around the city is a joy. With the combination of the other superpowers, being the President of the United States of America has never felt better. The story is so completely over the top when you think it's reached peak stupid, it goes even higher. Five times over.

    Also, Keith David.

  • Speaking as someone that was very much born in the wrong decade, this unabashed homage to the 80s was really good dumb fun. And that final mission... OH GOD the magical things I saw. WOW!

  • ADVENTURE LINE! GO GO SECRET RANGERS! I don't know if there have been any other purely comedic games before The Stanley Parable, but it has to at least be the first one to pull it off perfectly. It makes fun of games, especially modern ones, in super clever ways and the majority of the gags had me laughing out loud. It's The Cabin in the Woods of video games.

  • It's unfortunate that people looked past this game because it wasn't made by RockSteady. I had a heck of a lot of fun donning the cape and cowl again, even if it was made by the hands of another developer (WB Games Montréal). There are some bits I liked more than the previous game, Arkham City, and other stuff I didn't. In the end, compared to the previous games in the series, I felt like there was more meaning to the story in terms of developing and exploring characters that have existed for decades. Outside of actual comics, the Bruce/Alfred dynamic is second only to what Michael Caine brought to the Nolan films. And with Mark Hamill retired as the Joker, Troy Baker did a PHENOMENAL job voicing him.

  • Yeah, yeah, I'm late to the party on this one. I somehow survived playing both this game and SR4 back to back. The story is completely bonkers in it's own right, and it's sequel wouldn't exist if it wasn't for this game. Unfortunately, SR3 marred by way too many crappy side missions. I think playing it RIGHT before SR4 came out impacted what I thought of the gameplay and the severe lack of superpowers. It's also possible that me playing it long after the zeitgeist was over made me think less of it. Actually playing it aside, the story of Saints Row The Third was over the top in ways I wasn't expecting even after hearing so much about it.

  • Nothing else says NEXT-GEN like a shiny first person shooter. Except I can't ever get into a game. And when I do, I can't play with my friends half of the time. It sucks that this had to get rushed out the door, because it's otherwise extremely good looking and really fun to play.

  • It's PEGGLE! What more do you need to know?

  • I feel like this game was a bit over hyped (thanks Brad Shoemaker). I understand why the controls are the way they are, but that doesn't change the fact that I struggled with them throughout the entire game. But it's not too long and I was able to manage in order to see the story through. While not the most emotionally impactful indie game I played this year, it was certainly good.

  • This game has a lot of problems. A LOT. But! Once you're on track it's still incredibly fun. If it wasn't for Race Night and the people that I play with, this game would probably be depressing.

  • Halo on my phone and tablet? Okay, sure!

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slowbird

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Good list with some interesting viewpoints.