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Best of 2013

Not all the games on my list may have come out in 2013 but that's when I played them. Before I get into top 10.

Honorable Mentions

Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag (PS4) I haven't finished this game yet. I should also say I'm not a big AC guy and haven't been interested in an AC since the second. I find myself playing it off and on sporadicly but no matter what I'm doing in it I'm having a blast. Roaming the open seas and having a plethora of interesting things to partake in this beautifully presented open world is a delight that hasn't worn off yet.

Borderlands 2 DLC (PC)

Mindlessly shooting stuff, getting loot, expanding skill trees. Right when I thought I was out they pulled me back in.

Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward (Vita)

I'm still making my way through this one. So far the characters seem interesting and the story is keeping my attention but I feel like it could lose me at one bad plot device. The idea of having to finish many different paths to see different endings to make sense of things is what slowed down my interest in playing it. I have come to like the idea of living with choices in games like The Walking Dead. I am starting to see the reasons for why VLR does what it does but having to keep track of which "version" of a character I'm seeing is strange. Like different timelines. I hope future JRPGS get away from this design choice. True endings, etc.

The Wolf Among Us (PC)

Only the first episode is available so far. I'm enjoying it though. The setting is strange, the writing and tone of the subject matter makes everything fit oddly well together. I look forward to seeing if they can keep my interest.

Shadowrun Returns (PC)

I tried this game out because of my fondness for XCOM:EU. The mixed fantasy cyber-punk setting was strange at first but it sort of grew on me. It doesn't feel as tight as XCOM:EU but I did put some solid time into it. I enjoyed what I played and need to get back and finish it at some point.

2013 Games I Feel Bad About Not Playing But Will Eventually

The Last of Us

Beyond: Two Souls

Metro: Last Light

DmC Devil May Cry

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

List items

  • Guilty Gear xx Accent Core Plus R (PSN)

    Did someone say Guilty Gear? Oh, I did. Well since we're on the subject, I really like this fighting game. It's pace is like nothing else and once you get use to it and your character of choice you feel in total control. Until you get 6P'd by May twice in the face and IKed on dizzy. But if you stick with it you learn not to let that happen and you realize that it's your fault it ever did. It's a lesson you can take to any fighting game. The skill ceiling in GG is high and you get out what you put in. It's a very rewarding FG.

  • GTA V (PS3)

    I've always enjoyed the GTA series but could also recognize a lot of things I didn't like about it. I find my attention span for gaming is not what it use to be and for me to finish a game these days it has to really get it's hooks into me. Having three main characters helped keep things interesting and stayed away from the pitfalls that previous GTA games had of being too long to be interesting all the way through with one MC. The story isn't anything new but the way they present it is refreshing. It also helps to have that R* attention to detail that brings the open world of GTA to life.

  • XCOM: Enemy Within (PC)

    I bought this on sale as an excuse to re-visit XCOM: Enemy Unknown going in with the intention of starting a new game and expecting to lose interest a quarter of the way through. It instead got me back into the game in a big way, beating it on Classic difficulty (I'll admit I scum saved more then a few times) but also beating it again on normal difficulty on Ironman (one save, no scum tactics.) The expansion adds so much stuff to the base game and balances out other mechanics that it's well worth the money, even at full price. XCOM: Enemy Unknown made my 2012 GOTY list at #3 and I'm a bit surprised and delighted to welcome it back.

  • Spelunky (Vita,PS3,PC)

    It's Mario for crazy people. You learn from your mistakes and eventually get past the mines you never thought you would only get to the jungle and get run through by tiki spike traps. It is truly wonderful. It is truly rewarding. At first you blame the game, but it's always your fault. Thinking back to when I never thought I would get past the mines to getting to the City of Gold at least every other run is a testament to how this game teaches you by learning from your mistakes.

  • Bioshock Infinite (PC)

    The art, the setting, the production values. Bioshock Infinite is the kind of triple A game I love to see. It's not perfect by any means. I wish it had less combat and more story bits, even though I did enjoy the combat. I wish they concentrated on certain aspects of the story instead of just bringing them up for what seemed like shock value. The ending made me sit in the dark for a good 15 mins. I made a trip to the forums and after 5 mins of browsing closed them. It was not the destination but the journey, not everything needs to be neatly tied up.

  • Saints Row IV (PC)

    You know what's great about Saint Row? It a video game first. It's so concerned about presenting you with a constant stream of explosions and nonsense that you only have one of two choices.

    1. You buckle up and thoroughly enjoy the ride.


    2. Decide video games are not for you.

  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma (PSN)

    Future Mike travels back in time to deliver the secret of life to Past Mike. They converse and when done only one thing about Past Mike's future does not sit well with him.

    Past Mike

    Wait... I imported a Japanese game? I imported an anime Japanese fighting game? I imported a BlazBlue game!?!? What the fuck, man!? I don't know you! You're not me!!!

    Future Mike

    I knew I shouldn't have brought that up. Well, I say "importing" but you actually make a Japanese PSN account and split on the digital version. Also it's not like you buy it out of nowhere because you buy the previous version BB Extend and..

    Past Mike

    (Covers ears) LaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLa....

    Future Mike

    Did I mention you can play as a character who can turn into a wolf at any time?

    Past Mike

    Well fuck. Why didn't you lead with that!?

    It was from this point that Mike tried to play BB with an open mind and learned that it isn't so bad after all. In fact, it is quite fun.

  • Tomb Raider (PC)

    This was my favourite third person action game of 2013. They made traversing the unknown exciting and presented Lara Croft in a different light that worked and was believable in most situations. A great jumping off point for the reboot of a franchise.

  • State of Decay (PC)

    State of Decay is the design doc for a zombie game I feel like I came up with at some point in my life. It's not some triple A game with a huge budget but the things it does and tries to pull off are really smart and engaging. I kept being pleasantly surprised at the mechanics they layered on to this zombie survival open world game. It makes me hope other games that try and do this stuff take note and makes me eager to see what this studio does next.

  • Dragon's Crown (PSN)

    I went through the whole thing with a friend and had a blast. The argument over proportions aside the art looks fantastic and they added enough depth to make me sink a ton of hours into a side scrolling beat em' up game in 2013.