GOTY 2013

Here are games I interacted with in the year of 2013, which I perceived as being of a high quality.

In all seriousness, in most years I'm lucky if I play 10 new games period, so I realize that several of these games probably don't qualify, but that's how I roll.

List items

  • Being totally honest, yes, I felt like I got ripped off for paying $18 for a 2 hour experience. But I can't look back at this year and say that their was a game that felt as considered, curated, and restrained as this. The level of depth and detail present in each room in the house is truly something special. I'm certainly willing to admit that my preconceived notions of value tarnish my view, but it certainly is a experience worth taking part in.*

  • (PC) All Giant Bomb related hyperbole aside, its indubitable that Brothers is one of the best games released this year. It is masterfully produced and considered. Unfortunately these kinds of experiences make the low points all the more noticeable, the brief experience doesn't allow for you to connect with the few characters as much as you probably should thus lessening the impact of the games later sections. Despite the games undeservedly heavy handed story, Brothers is in fact, one of the top 10 games this year.

  • (Steam) Spelunky makes me happy, well, it actually makes me furious, but in the best way possible of course. It is a game of constant discovery. While I haven't put as much time as I probably out to into it, I appreciate the fact that each play through warrants a slightly different approach. As someone with virtually no patience for this kind of trial-by-fire progression, its refreshing to actually enjoy this kind of game.

  • *See my comments on Gone Home, replace "house" with "game" and $18 for $12 and add something in their about being one of the most funny games this year.

  • Without being overly verbose I would say that while I was disappointed with the games main narrative and gameplay theirs something magical about the sandbox and atmosphere that Rockstar creates with its open-world games that present here in spades. Aka my favorite times in GTA V where when I was doing something ELSE than playing the main game.

  • *See my comments on Gone Hom....

    In all seriousness, as similar as it is, it's almost all experience as their is a far more abstract narrative that deals with broader themes of death, life, and loss. Its probably even shorter and has even less 'content' than Gone Home, yet its dedication to its own vision is exemplary.

  • (PC) Much has been written about Infinite and I would say I fall somewhere in the middle. I still maintain that BioShock 1 has a more focused and atmospheric experience with a stronger cast of characters, but on the other hand Infinite sheer production value and scale is difficult to NOT be impressed by.

  • (iOS) While it might be blasphemous to include a iPhone game on this list Badland is just a great concentrated mobile experience that is all about mechanics and beautiful art design.

  • (PC) The PC version came out this year ALRIGHT! Also the only reason its this far down on the list is because fuck the Uplay client.

  • While Pokemon X/Y is all the way a Pokemon game, I can appreciate the fact that they took a rather simplistic approach to the games mechanics and features. Sure, most of that was probably due to the games development of a entirely new engine, but whatever the reason its refreshing to see a Pokemon game without stupid Beauty Contests and whatnot and focus more on meaningful features. If only someone could make the online component suck less.