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GOTY 2013

There are some really notable games that I haven't got around to playing this year, chief among them being The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. There is little doubt in my mind that Zelda would be number one or two on this list, had I actually gotten my hands on a copy. Some other notable omissions are Rayman Legends, Saints Row IV, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Thomas Was Alone, Antichamber, Pokémon X/Y, Device 6, Guacamelee!, Beyond: Two Souls, Pikmin 3, Proteus, Shelter, and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team.

Oh, and I really like The Wolf Among Us, but I'll save that one for next year, seeing as it needs to be judged in its entirety.

List items

  • What is there to write that hasn't been written, said, drawn, or otherwise expressed about this game, its story, and its characters? Probably nothing. I will say, however, that I legitimately loved how this game played from start to finish, which appears to be a rather controversial opinion.

  • Like Patrick, this was my first Fire Emblem experience. Hot on the heels of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, this game grabbed me with its tactical depth, likeable characters, and fine-tuned difficulty.

  • There's always a man, a lighthouse, and a place on this list.

  • There's so much crazy creativity packed into this game that it blows my mind.

  • I was a total skeptic, but Gone Home's heartfelt narrative, subtle storytelling and characterization, and incredible attention to detail won me over. I think $20 is a crazy list price, and I'm not really sure it's a game in the strictest sense, but it is one of the best pieces of interactive entertainment I experienced all year.

  • The best of Chaos Theory and Conviction wrapped into a package that delivers a solid solo campaign and varied, enjoyable co-op. Oh, and Spies Vs Mercs returned. I had a ton of fun with this one.

  • Huge swathes of my teens were spent playing isometric CRPGS, especially the Infinity Engine games. This game updates the formula in such a way as to appeal to both nostalgia and modern sensibilities. I really hope the next crop of neo-crpgs lives up to Shadowrun Returns.

  • 8888888888888888888888888888888...

  • Glory to Arstotzka!

  • I played through this game five times on successively higher difficulties. FIVE TIMES. That's crazy for me. I still play the survival mode from time to time.

  • Dammit, it was hard to cut this game from the top 10. Its atmosphere and world building are almost unparalleled in games right now. Few games can immerse you in a world better than Metro: Last Light. Combine its incredible world with the HUD-minimal, high-stakes Ranger Mode, and you have one of the tensest and most engaging first person shooters around.

  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown was my favorite game last year, and I returned to it many times this year, even before Enemy Within. This expansion keeps the amazing mechanics of its predecessor, polishes rough edges, and changes things such that it challenges experienced players to mix up their usual routines. The only reason this isn't in the top ten (or top five, for that matter) is that is in an expansion for a game released in 2012.

  • DEEEEEEEATH FROMABOVE. Drunken parties are honestly the only time I play this, but holy hell is it fun in those instances.

  • I played over 140 hours of this. The devs really stepped up the pace from RO2. The increased emphasis on tight spaces and firepower increases the frequency and intensity of firefights and turns this game into a white-knuckled and action-packed tactical experience. I played this game more than any other, but other games were undoubtedly better.

  • It's a hot mess, and it launched with no campaign. Still, I have had some of the best and most-satisfying co-op experiences that I've ever had with this game.

  • It's really good, and I like it a lot. But it's still just more Assassin's Creed. But, Boat fights. Always boat fights.

  • Lacking polish and innovation, this game was still solid mechanically and has a story leaps and bounds better than the previous entries in the series.

  • I enjoyed the heck out of Rogue Legacy, but it didn't grab me in the same way other Rogue-likes like FTL and Spelunky have.

  • Charming as hell, Dark Moon really does wear out its welcome before its conclusion

  • I totally understand why people like this game so much, but even they would admit it's a one tick pony. The trick didn't really work for me, and so it didn't make the cut.

  • It's great, but, after finishing the rather poorly paced campaign, I had no interest whatsoever in revisiting it despite its compelling characters and world.

  • Solid reboot that needed more raiding of tombs and maybe less shooting.

  • If there was a list for best cyber sharks this game would win it, hands down.

    Plus it has a RoboCop gun. Robo. Cop. Gun.

  • I played it obsessively for about three months and then stopped. It's still really great at what it does. It's probably the most relaxing game I've ever played.

  • Interesting narrative and super-tight gameplay make this game a real surprise. Who'd have thought this game would be so good after the turd that was CoJ: The Cartel?