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Summer Sale Madness

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Mortuss's Top 10 GOTY 2013

This list will only contain games I've spent significant time with, as I choose not to comment on games I haven't played. I will also only list the system I played them on, and I'm avoiding anything that didn't come out this year in some fashion. As always, this is just my opinion about my experience. If a game you love isn't on here, there's a fair chance I never got to play it this year. Feel free to mention any games you think are better in the comments.

List items

  • On Xbox 360

    I'm happy to say that Infinite lived up to all the hype I had for it. This game gripped me by the throat and dragged me along behind it without a break until the credits had rolled. Very few games manage to do that for me anymore, and I treasure the ones that do. This game takes top billing for me this year because it felt like it had no weak point. The story, the acting, the setting, the length and the combat all felt pitch perfect, and left me with nothing significant to complain about. Riding the skyrails while shooting wildly into my foes, as Elizabeth tosses me more ammo for my beloved revolver felt great every time and the many revelations that come in the final act of the game left me agape. I enjoyed this game immensely and look forward to the next outing for the Bioshock name.

  • On PC

    This game wasn't fun, per se, but it reached me where I live. Specifically, it spoke to me as an equal and as someone who has had the same feelings as I have. Feelings that are dark, self-destructive, and despairing. It gave me a sense that I'm not quite as alone in these feelings as it seems sometimes, and that sense is worth a number 2 slot for me. Everyone who plays this game is going to feel differently about it, but I would recommend that anyone who has problems with depression or has friends or loved ones dealing with those problems, to give this a try. It may help you feel a little bit less alone (as it did for me), or help you understand your friend or loved one a little better. Either of those things is a good thing.

  • On Xbox 360

    I happen to be part of the oft-neglected or ridiculed group of people who play fighters for the single-player due to my anti-social tendencies and anxiety about competition. This has left me feeling left behind in the dust by many fighters, but Injustice is not one of them. Injustice gave me a cheesy but fun comic style story mode, hundreds of challenges, arcade endings to earn, and actual content to unlock to boot. The fighting system was fun and easy to get used to for an amateur Mortal Kombat player, with a clever character trait system and flashy environmental attacks, and the game stays fun in couch versus. On top of all this, it encouraged me to look more into the wider DC universe and gave me a better appreciation for it. That means it had one of the biggest lasting impacts of this years games for me and earned its spot at number 3. Plus, who hasn't wanted to see the Joker get his face punched in a few dozen times?

  • On Xbox 360

    I won't be the first or last person this year to say I liked GTAV. As someone who found himself bored halfway through its predecessor, I was excited to find myself feeling real good about GTA again. The story is dark and rewarding at the right times, though still containing some unfortunate series cliches, particularly the "These Quest Givers are giving you the runaround" cliche. The heist missions kick all kinds of ass, I only wish there had been more. The ending I earned did feel good and satisfying, and freed me up for some serious dicking around (I try not to use cheats until the story is over). The city didn't feel as though it had quite as much to do in it as advertised, but the most fun things to do (as tends to be the case in GTA) are the ones you make up yourself. Whether I was rolling a jeep down Mount Chiliad as Trevor or making impossible hair pin turns in a City Bus at 60mph as Franklin or avoiding my awful family as Michael, I was having a good time. All that, and the impressive scope of the game combine to earn this number 4.

  • On Playstation Vita

    This game may have first come out several years before 2013, but it wasn't until it came to the Vita that I had an opportunity to play it. The tight, pitch perfect platforming and addictive cave exploration quickly had my love. Spelunky uses its procedural dungeon maker ingeniously, and there is a surprising amount of depth within the game once you scratch below the surface. Hidden rooms and levels, ancient relics, and puppies to save are around every corner. In one car ride I racked up 70 deaths, and enjoyed every spike trap impaling, every shotgun blast to the face, and every arrow in the back. But seriously, screw Tiki Traps.

  • On Nintendo 3DS

    I had once been hooked on pokemon, in the way many children/preteens were. I played constantly, training Pokemon and collecting them all. The last Pokemon game I played was Silver, of gen 2. Thirteen years later, Pokemon X/Y hooks me all over again. The first game I played on my new 3DS XL, it did not disappoint. A nostalgia friendly Pokemon roster meant a lot of familiar faces mixed into the mountain of unfamiliar ones, including an opportunity to choose one of the original 3 starters (Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander) to take with your party. The gameplay has only refined so much, but my long time away meant it felt mostly fresh regardless. The online system for battling and trading with anyone anytime is a great step forward, and playing with my Pokemon in Pokemon-amie was strangely enjoyable. I may never catch 'em all again, but I love catching what I can.

  • On Xbox 360

    Saints Row IV may not be a smart game, it may not be a bug-free game, it may not be the best Saints Row game. What it is though, is Fun. The super powers you receive early on, and ludicrous weaponry you accumulate leave you no shortage of entertaining ways to wreak havoc in Sim Steelport. The Dubstep Gun and Super Speed stand out in particular to me as good fun. I also really appreciated the callbacks to old SR 1 and 2 moments. The story is straight up doofy, the acting is just alright, and many assets are reused straight from SR3, but none of that really impedes a good dumb time. Particularly when you play it with a friend who can also appreciate a good dumb time.

  • On Xbox 360

    If we were talking about State of Decay as it was when it came out, I'd hesitate to put it on this list. The number of bugs that plagued it at release were numerous and frustrating, in some cases game-breaking. That being said, it was still fun then to explore and scavenge through the remnants of the town and farms, just harder to do. Nowadays the game has been patched several times, and is far more stable. I had a great time with the game when it came out, and it only got better going back to it months later. Scavenging and exploring are two of my favorite things to do in games, and State of Decay delivers on both fronts. Slowing becoming a zombie breaking lethal weapon was good fun too. Zombies are maybe a bit overdone by now, but people keep finding ways to make them fun. Oh, and I want to thank the man who left two Uzis and a Shotgun in his barn. You saved my life.

  • On Playstation 3

    The Last of Us is not as high on my list as perhaps it should be, but I'm judging it as someone who only got about halfway through it. My life was hectic when I got it, and I never finished it. The atmosphere and writing for the characters were both top notch, and the settings looked beautiful despite their dilapidation. The combat and stealth were obviously inspired by Uncharted and a little familiar, but that's no knock considering it's the same developer. I haven't quite had enough fun with it to put it any higher though. Maybe it should be higher on my list than this, but I won't know until I finish it.

  • On PC

    Like Depression Quest, Gone Home isn't exactly fun. What it is, is immersive. Despite the way it chugged on my crappy laptop, I found myself totally lost within the game as I explored this unfamiliar house, unsure what was happening or why I was alone. Some of the main story being told felt predictable, but the ambient story-telling was truly engrossing. The changes in tone through the game were handled perfectly and naturally. At different times I was creeped out, saddened, amused and uplifted, and that's an impressive spread for a short, simple game like this. Good writing and atmosphere carries Gone Home into this list, but that's nothing to sneeze at.

  • Honorable Mention on PC

    I didn't actually play Outlast so I don't feel comfortable putting it higher, but I did watch Patrick play it. Playing Horror games doesn't sit well at all with me, so Spookin' With Scoops is the only way I'm likely to enjoy it. It was as entertaining to watch as some of these were to play though, and that's a pretty nice endorsement in my book.