Top 10 Games of 2013

Man. What a weird year for me. I didn't do a Top 10 of 2012, so I can't do a reordered list this year. This year I went to Las Vegas for CES with my company, went to WWDC for the first time, our company was bought out. I haven't had nearly the time to play that I used to, and I've missed so many games I'm sure are wonderful.

I'm excited and nervous to see what 2014 holds, and glad to be out of this year.

List items

  • The absolute best game of the year. I really did not enjoy playing this game. I could only play a few hours at most per session, and I'd feel tense for an hour after finishing. I'm pretty sure I nearly cracked the controller a few times from gripping it so hard.

    What an incredible ride. The realization that (mild spoiler) you're playing as a psychopath who's projecting his dead daughter into this miracle child. You don't play as a good man; really, you play as a monster.

    That ending is a rush of feelings that I wasn't quite able to define. This game left me disturbed for days. Play this game. Buy a PS3 to play it. Whatever you have to do.

  • Man, what a fun game. I'm pretty sure Volition said, "if this doesn't make the player smile, cut it". It's just so, so, so stupid. In the best possible way.

  • This is what AC in the modern day should look like. A truly special stealth action game. The time I spent in this world was massively enjoyable. Some good characters, a pretty good (if somewhat forgettable) story, and some fun open world collectable finding action.

  • I really enjoyed this cerebral, but coherent story about a man struggling to figure out if he's defined by his past. I really enjoyed the combat puzzles (until the last fight) but it's the characters and dialogue that really makes this game. It's disappointing that it's so linear, but it's still a fantastic experience.

    Also, the Luteces.

  • A short, incredibly well-told story with some fun mechanics. Pick it up and play it.

  • This game is odd. In so many ways it's the exact opposite of AC3. While AC3 had a pretty good throughline story, everything around that story was rough. It had a bland world, and I just ended up rushing through the story.

    AC4 has an incredibly enjoyable world, full of cool things to do and fun mechanics that work well for the tens of hours that this game runs. In contrast to AC3, the through-line story is forgettable, and in many cases, simply bad. Far too many characters are introduced with no, uh, introduction, you kill them and they spout some philosophy without you the player having any idea who they are or why they were there. Meanwhile other characters show up 3 or 4 times and are discarded in an "emotional" moment that has no impact because you never spent much time with them. The story missions themselves range from dull to frustrating.

    So why is it 6? The stuff that works, really really works, and what doesn't...well that's why it's not higher.

  • A simply fantastic arcade FPS. A surprisingly enjoyable story with some fun hooks, well-done shooting and fun environments. Any longer and it would have gotten drawn-out, this game defines the word "solid".

  • I'm well aware this is broken. Very fun, when I can play it. You know that "Only in Battlefield" marketing? It's incredibly true. There are not many games where you can fire a stinger a helicopter that someone else is flying have it start falling toward you, and as you slowly back away it hits a tree and explodes 5 feet from you.

  • I haven't gotten nearly enough time with this, but the improvements to the XCOM formula are well integrated and it's interesting to be forced around maps rather than crawling forward slowly.

  • Perhaps the most oddball on the list, I haven't played too many golf games, but this is a very well made, very fun golf games with some interesting asynchronous multiplayer hooks.