My Favorite Games of 2013

As I did last year, I've started compiling a list of my personal games of the year. This list will change over time until the year's end as I play more games and re-evaluate the games that I've already played.

List items

  • Fire Emblem: Awakening is easily the best entry in the series in years. Bringing back marriage, which hadn't been seen since the fourth game, was a great move, adding a great layer to the entertaining character interactions. And the return of the world map helps out by letting me advance at my own pace. And Anna! Anna is finally playable! How could I not love this game?

  • Like Fire Emblem: Awakening, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is easily the best entry in the series in quite some time. The addition of city customization adds a great personal touch to the game, and Isabelle, the loyal, overworked secretary at the mayor's office, gives the game a new brand of personality. I honestly haven't played an Animal Crossing title this much since the original on the GameCube, and I'm still going strong.

  • After the huge step up that was Dynasty Warriors 7, Dynasty Warriors 8 just keeps the positive trend going with some great roster additions, entertaining twists on the faction narratives, and a mix of brand new and returning mechanics.

  • This is easily the best Mario game in years. Even after only barely touching Super Mario 3D Land and the Galaxy titles, Super Mario 3D World kept me entertained all the way through the end and into the bonus world. Breezy at times, challenging at others, and always fun and entertaining.

  • This is the most fun I've had with a rhythm game in a long while. The vocaloid songs are top-notch, with some stand-out classics, and the gameplay challenge just ramps up with each jump in the difficulty scale. And it doesn't hurt that the vocaloids themselves are full of personality in their videos.

  • Shin Megami Tensei is back and as demonic as ever. It might be on a 3DS this time around, but Shin Megami Tensei IV is most deserving of being a numbered, primary entry in this RPG series.

  • It didn't hook me as much as Saints Row: The Third did, but that's a hard act to follow. Saints Row IV is beautiful batshit insanity on a presidential scale, and it's exactly what I wanted out of this game. Here's hoping that Volition has more time to work on a Saints Row V without the threat of a publisher bankruptcy forcing adjustments to their plans.

  • It might be an upgraded version of a years-old Wii title, but it's a much-improved version of that title. It has plenty of monster hunting action for anyone that's interested, and a great game on Wii U or 3DS.

  • Etrian Odyssey IV is the first game in the series I spent significant time with. I also picked up EO Untold later in the year, but EOIV wins out for a spot on this list, as it was the first to really grab me. Nothing quite like a good-old-fashioned hardcore dungeon crawl!

  • Yeah, there were plenty of games that were "better" this year, but I just can't ignore the amount of fun I had with Ken's Rage 2. Just a well made, entertaining violence-fest from start to finish with a story mode that serves as a very well-done adaptation of the vast majority of the manga storyline. For that, it was well worth playing, and deserving of a spot on my list.