GAF Games of the Year 2013 - Voting Thread - VOTING CLOSED

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Jul 24, 2009
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I'll keep these short, so they are easy to read:


1. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate ; 150+ hours on the game by myself, not a single one of those was boring. Fighting giant dinosaurs and beasts will never stop being fun, and the story is as irrelevant as it should be in this game-ass game. I'm in love with this game.


2. Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen ; Vanilla Dragon's Dogma was my GOTY 2012, so it's only natural that this is up here, it's just more quality content, and that's always a good thing.


3. Fire Emblem Awakening ; A little easier and less punishing than previous entries, but it compensates it greatly with the post-game content and the marrying and kids system to make hundreds of possibilities for the characters, giving this immense replay value.


4. The Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds ; My favourite Zelda since Link's Awakening. The gameplay is stellar, I really hope they take notes on this game to make the next big one.


5. Etrian Odyssey 4 ; Hard, beautiful, punishing. My new favourite dungeon crawler, it has everything I ask for in this kind of game.


6. Ace Attorney Dual Destinies ; A great entry to the series, only below T&T. I don't mind the streamlining of the investigations and the jump to 3D does wonders for the presentation, it also has my favourite non-last trial (the DLC one).


7. Rogue Legacy ; I love roguelikes, and this one is no exception. It plays well and the progress system streamlines a bit of the constant restarting process, which in this case works fantastically.


8. Bioshock Infinite ; Visually, it's a stunning game. Game wise, it drags a bit at the middle, but the rest of it grabbed me by the balls, I had a lot of fun mixing vigors and with the skyhook. Also, that ending blew me away.


9. The Last of Us ; Gorgeous, great characters, great writing. The actual act of playing it was the worst thing about this game, it still was fun, but the non-game parts were astounding.


10. Gunpoint ; Super-jumping spy, super-jumping through glass, muffling the sound mid-air and grabbing a guard in the air to punch him unconscious will never get old. The game had also a great sense of humor and the perfect lenght.

x. Pokémon X/Y ; If I made this list while I was playing the game, I probably would have put it in 2nd or 3rd place, but as soon as I beat the league, I realised there was barely anything else in the game to do, and I haven't touched it since.
x. Tomb Raider ; The story is garbage, the writing is high school tier, the characters are paper thin, but it plays great, and that's the most important thing.
x. Luigi's Mansion 2 ; Great game, loved almost everything about it, my #11 on the list.
x. Bravely Default ; I'm loving it so far, but I've not played it enough to comfortably pass judgement on it.
x. Mario and Luigi Dream Team Bros ; Wonderful game severely marred by the excessive plodding and hand-holdiness.

2012. XCOM Enemy Unknown ; This will be remembered as one the classics from this generation, an amazing game in all fronts.
 
Sep 21, 2006
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4. The wolf among us - came out of no where and blew me away
I guess I should finally try the first episode. I really don't know why I bought it. I'm a huge fan of Fables comics, but TWD game didn't really grab my interest.


EDIT:

8. Bioshock Infinite


9. The Last of Us
Haha! Marvelous drawings.
 
Mar 11, 2012
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1. Spelunky; I was severely addicted to the free PC version a couple of years back, and having the beautiful, greatly expanded-upon remaster available on the go is a dream come true. Ever fresh, ever challenging, this may well be one of my games of the forever.
2. Dragon's Crown; After waiting for this game for more than two years, VanillaWare's magnum opus, a beautiful ode to the golden age of beat'em ups, didn't disappoint in the slightest. It might not have a huge amount of content (as is usually the case with their games), but 160 hours and counting of playing it make it clear that's not an issue when the core gameplay is solid.
3. Rayman Legends; Packed with content for all skill levels (challenges and invasion stages being terrifically addicting), plus beautiful visuals and tight, responsive controls that simply feel good, this (and its prequel) may be the only platformers that stand a chance against the best Mario has to offer.
4. Lego Marvel Super Heroes; I've always felt that the Lego games declined sharply after Star Wars Complete, but this is by far the best one yet. There's an absolutely demented amount of detail on each of its 150+ characters (not counting alternate versions, who in many cases have different powers and idle animations), with each one of them packing an incredible amount of charm and personality. It's also simply delightful to websling, drive or fly around New York.
5. Desktop Dungeons; A dangerously addictive mix of roguelike with what may be called a minesweeper-like puzzle game, it asks you to conquer bite-sized dungeons (one screen each, usually a 10-20 minutes affair) while juggling your resources to defeat the boss. Those resources range from the mundane (HP, MP) to roguelike mainstays (enemies, experience) to the decidedly unique (unexplored tiles; the core mechanic of the game, which restore your life and mana).
6. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance; Platinum games doing what they do best (over the top, ultra-satisfying action), mixed with a story that eventually wanders surprisingly close in tone to the best of Metal Gear games, while not requiring any prior knowledge of the tangled history of the series.
7. Rogue Legacy; Delightful roguelite Metroidvania that controls like a charm and offers an interesting balance between the usual permadeath and an overarching sense of progression.
8. Don't Starve; Another roguevariant (sense a trend?), this time a survival one that reveals its secrets one at a time. One of the games where the feeling of mastery is strongest, its world always feels dangerous but more and more survivable as you learn more about it.
9. Velocity Ultra; Got this one for free at FutureLab's giveaway and it has become a favorite for my "I have a couple minutes free" moments. Addicting, "let's shave one tenth of second" kind of game that feels really great when cruising at top speed and teleporting all over the place with laser-guided precision.
10. Super House of Dead Ninja; Ultra-fast-paced and incredibly satisfying pure action game; it's all the action games you loved as a child destiled to their most intense essence. Controls like a dream and plays like the child of Shinobi and Spelunky on speed.

2012. FTL; My third-most played game of 2013 (after Guild Wars 2 and Dragon's Crown) is also my favorite indie game of all time, and probably my favorite 2013 game if it was released this year. An incredible, unique, engaging space crew simulator that's as elegant and simple in design yet deep in execution as the best of board games, it manages to combine its one-of-a-kind mechanics with a roguelike overarching structure for maximum heart-pounding. It's also getting an amazing expansion in 2014 entirely for free.

x. Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara; Perhaps the deepest, most addictive and most beautiful beat'em up classic arcade ever, Shadow over Mystara remains every bit as engaging and secret-packed as the day it was released.
x. Dust: An Elysian Tail; Incredibly beautiful indie game done by pretty much a one-man studio, it also packs a rather deep, Devl May Cry-like combat system. I have barely had time to play any of it, which is why it's not in the main list.
x. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen; I've barely scratched the surface on this one, but the Shadow of the Colossus-like "grab onto and climb bosses" mechanic alone makes it worth playing. Even aside from that, I simply loved its fun and fast combat system, at least playing a Ranger.
x. Gunpoint; Another game I have to play way more of, with highlights being its rewiring system, writing and how fun it simply is to jump through a window and land on a guard two stories down (or up!).
x. Papers, Please; Harrowing at times and hilarious at others, the best customs checkpoint simulator money can buy. One of those "this is way more fun than it should" game ideas.
 
Dec 5, 2011
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1. Super Mario 3D World ; just pure fun. Great level design, great gameplay,beautiful worlds. The very essence of video games.

2. The Last of Us ; My favorite naughty dog game. Filled with cliche post-apocalyptic standards, The Last of Us is one of the most memorable video game experiences I've had in years. Very similar to the feeling I had when I played Resident Evil 4 for the first time.

3. Shin Megami Tensei IV ; My first entry into Atlus' Megami JRPGs. I am really enjoying this game. I've continued to play it off and on since its release. I'm probably about 40 hours in. I'm excited to keep playing and hopefully beat it in the next month or so.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds ; Nintendo has reinvigorated 2D Zelda with what made it fun to begin with: exploration, great gameplay, simple yet magical story.

5. Pikmin 3 ; One of the most unique gameplay experiences I've had all year. The amount of feels I got while playing this game..... I can't even explain.

6. Gone Home ; Short and enjoyable. Interesting story, set in the 90's. I really liked this game.

7. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate ; I sank like 200 hours into this game. Unfortunately, it gets quite repetitive, but I was really into it the first half of this year.

8. Rayman Legends ; I am huge fan of platformers, and this one was one of the best. A little on the easy side, but it was incredibly enjoyable.

9. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon ; This game was a simple experience that brought me a lot of nostalgia. I didn't like the mission style focus when compared to the Gamecube Luigi's Mansion. But I still has a lot of fun.

10. Pokemon X/Y ; It's Pokemon!

11. Animal Crossing ; Tons of fun! But I got bored in a month. I'll come back to it one day though. Really relaxing game.


x. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; Just bought this from the best buy sale last week. Really excited to start playing this.

x. Etrain Odyssey Untold: The Millenium Girl ; I'm dying to try out some more Atlus JRPGs after my postive experenice with SMTIV.

x. Tomb Raider ; Never got the chance to play this since I don't have a ps3 or xbox 360 currently. This is a game I hope I get to try out in the future.
I'm not sure you're allowed to have 11 slots. Either your last one will be ignored/treated as an honorable mentioned or your whole list will be ignored.


Yep, I haven't noticed anyone who played Tearaway and A Link Between Worlds not put them in their GOTY list.
.......... I actually have played Tearaway and it's not on my list. Please don't hurt me!

I haven't completed it yet, only played about ~4 hours or so. It's charming as hell, I'm glad it got made, I hope we get more games like it in the future but... the gameplay itself wasn't that fun to me, and the story certainly didn't motivate me to power through. I am going to finish it and hopefully the second half changes my mind, but I don't love it like I hoped I would.

1. The Last of Us - really loved it from start to finish

2. Tearway - charming and awesome

3. Walking dead 400 days and episode 2- series keeps getting more awesome

4. The wolf among us - came out of no where and blew me away


Didnt play that many games this year
I don't want to seem like the ballot police, but the rules say that episodic games that haven't had their final episode released are ineligible
 
Nov 18, 2004
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1. The last of us ; Naughty dog really outdid themselves topping even their greatest achievement Uncharted 2
2. The legend of Zelda: A link between worlds ; Better than the Snes original, completely restored my faith in Zelda after the tutorial heavy Wii Zeldas.
3. Pikmin 3 ; Classic Miyamoto design, every corner oozes quality and polish
4. Super Mario 3d world ; 3d mario actually works in multiplayer!
5. The wonderful 101 ; Hard to get into but this is the best action-brawler ever made, topping even Bayonetta
6. Fire emblem: Awakening
7. Rayman legends
8. Luigis mansion 2
9. Metal Gear Rising ; a bit short but oh so sweet combat.
10. Bioshock infinite ; amazing setting and story, gunplay is a bit weak though and it often felt like a chore

x. Grand theft Auto V ; I am sure this would have been at the top, but i am waiting for a next gen version with good framerate
 
Feb 5, 2007
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1. Fire Emblem Awakening ; I can't believe I played a Fire Emblem game for more than 100 hours. But I love character interactions more than anything else in a game, and FEA had them a LOT.
2. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate ; My first Monster Hunter, yet 300 hours flew away just like that.
3. Pokemon X/Y ; After skipping Gen 5, returning to the world of Pokemon was amazing.
 
Mar 12, 2006
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1. Pokemon X/Y ; I never really got into pre-Gen 6 Pokemon. It just never clicked with me. But X/Y was just so amazing. I think the jump into 3D really gave the series the kick it needed to turn heads again. And it's a great game underneath as well. Enough to take number 1? Yes.

2: Metal Gear Rising ; RULES OF NATURE. But seriously, it was a fun ass action game and the most fun I had with a Metal Gear game in years.

3: Gran Turismo 6 ; I love to grind me some cars, and the current version of GT6 is pretty damn grindy. But in a good way, like a well-made cup of coffee. Some people think it's GT5.5 and I can understand that, but that's fine for me. The core simulation gameplay is still great and the added content and recent tweaks to payouts are excellent. I know they'll patch the shit out of it with more content and it'll be amazing next year.

4: Pikmin 3 ; Genuinely love this game. It's probably my favourite of the series. Didn't quite pop into my top 3, but it's still great.

5: The Last Of Us ; I didn't quite love the gameplay, but the story is truly affecting and I can see why it gets so many GOTY nods.

6: Super Mario 3D World ; This game had so much charm that it's impossible not to love. It feels like a more lived-in 3D Land. The cat powerup is so much fun.

7: The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; A big step-up from Skyward Sword and the DS Zeldas. The freedom you get by rent all your items is a breath of fresh air.

8: Luigi's Mansion 2 ; Charm and atmosphere out the butt. Great puzzles. Would love a sequel Next Level.

9: Fire Emblem Awakening ; I like Fire Emblem, but I never can completely get in to the series. This is probably the first game that I fully got into.

10: Resogun ; A great Defender-style shooter and visually amazing. So much fun.
 
Mar 14, 2012
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1. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; This is the first Fire Emblem I've ever played and I loved it. The art, soundtrack, character interactions, battle system were all fantastic. This game deserves every bit of praise heaped on it and it's got me excited for Fire Emblem x SMT and to check out previous games in the series.

2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; The only Zelda game I really enjoy is Link to the Past so an entry that draws inspiration from that is perfect for me. Being able to rent all the items was a fantastic change and I was pleased with the minimal amount of handholding.

3. Shin Megami Tensei IV ; Not quite as good as Nocturne but still a fantastic entry into the series and one of the best games I played this year.
 
Jun 29, 2013
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1. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate HD Edition ; So this game is gonna get crushed but I don't care, it absolutely shits on the competition in the gameplay department. I saw this game as a time to finally jump into the Monster Hunter series as their platform choice in the US has been terrible and I just can't play action games with a single analog and tiny screen. Welp, $~400 later I got to play it and then dumped 310+ hours in the span of two months. Had some great times playing online with GAF, so much that I feel bad for anyone that had to experience the SD Edition instead. I hope the series keeps ending up on consoles as it's the only way for me to enjoy it, and boy do I enjoy it. So much depth and fun for such a repetitive, somewhat archaic and completely fucking ugly game.

2. New Super Luigi U ; One of the finest platformers I've ever played the best thing Nintendo has done in ages. I wasn't huge on NSMBU but Luigi fixes basically everything wrong with the Mario version. Fantastic level design straight from world 1 and the new mechanics are so much more fun than plain ol' Mario. Only thing bad about this title is the music.

3. Tearaway ; Well look at that, back touch isn't completely useless! I'm not sure what to even say about this one as I'm still going back trying to 100% every level. It just feels like a 32 bit 3D platformer with beautiful current gen graphics and a game that every Vita owner should own.

4. Grand Theft Auto V ; another good Rockstar game, if completely overhyped and overrated

5. Soul Sacrifice ; haven't beaten this (or even gotten close) since I just got another Vita, but this game is already sucking me in completely and I love it. I thought it was gonna be a mediocre MH clone but it has it's own style while keeping the same core idea and gameplay of MH. I need to see this series on PS4 or PS4/Vita crossplay and I'll be in heaven.

6. RESOGUN ; The best game on PS4. This shit is so fun I'm still playing co-op even after I platinumed.

7. The Last of Us ; eh it's ok

2012. Hotline Miami (PC) ; Basically this is the game that showed me not all indie games are shit. What a badass game, and best OST ever.
 
Feb 18, 2012
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Oh boy, it's that time of year again.

The problem this year is that I haven't played any of the big games (so, no GTA, no Last of Us etc) and there a bunch of games that I've merely scratched the surface on (most notably, for my sins, Persona 4 Golden). I think I'm going to have to chew on this for a while.
 


1. Shin Megami Tensei 4 ; It is the game I put the most time into this year. Even though this is my first entry into mainline SMT, I was introduced to the general mechanics and feel of the series through Persona 3, 4, and SMT: Devil Survivor, but SMT4 is my favorite game in the series so far.

I was immediately captured by the game’s odd opening hours. The contrast between the medieval setting the game opens in and the strange hints of modern technology had me intrigued, even more so when you enter Naraku and are introduced to your AI companion Burroughs. Apart from the strange premise, SMT4’s opening hours were reminiscent of the Etrian Odyssey series. All traversal and interaction with the city is done through menus, the only time you are given direct control of your character is in the dungeon Naraku. It’s not until you crawl deeper through Naraku and find a post apocalyptic Tokyo buried beneath the ground that the game truly starts.

A massive and detailed world map opens up and the traversal through menus is completely gone, replaced with detailed environments for you to explore. SMT4 does an amazing job at making its world feel real. The atmosphere set by the environment, music, and characters is amazing. I also really enjoyed the game’s narrative, as per series tradition your choices have effects on the story. They change your moral alignment and determine which of the three late game paths and endings (law, chaos, neutral) you get. While the characters are a bit more one dimensional than those you might find in other games in the SMT series like Persona, they do a good job of staying away from the good and evil stereotypes. The ideals of each character are influenced by their backgrounds and their desire to preserve or disrupt the class and power structure of the world. The narrative is much more subdued compared to more popular entries in the series like Persona, but SMT4’s world tells just as much of a story as the characters do. Each area usually has some little tidbit of info and world building that really make the events that transpired feel like they had a real effect on the citizens of Tokyo.

Presentation aside, SMT4 is one of the most fun RPGs I have played in a long time. The beginning of the game is difficult, but it does a very good job at teaching you the in and outs of the battle system and demon fusion. The “Press Turn” battle system rewards you with more turns in battle for striking an enemy’s weakness or getting a critical hit, but what can turn a battle into an overwhelming victory for your party can also end in crushing defeat. The tug of war between both sides of the fight is made extremely interesting by this mechanic. The battle for additional turns can get intense. You will want to cover all your team’s weaknesses, but some of the more challenging enemies will punish you if you null or repel everything by spamming almighty attacks and destroying your party. This forces you to intentionally expose yourself and play around your vulnerabilities while trying to maintain an advantageous position. I found myself playing in a more well rounded style than I normally do in RPGs. I usually tend to be aggressive offensively, but the harder fights in SMT4 forced me to play more thoughtfully, taking advantages of buffs, debuffs, and specials abilities.

Demon fusions also saw a huge upgrade in SMT4. The searching system is incredibly deep. You can filter by new demons, top 10, race, demon name, skill type, skill name, affinities, and more. Fusing demons was more fun in SMT4 than it has ever been in the past. I spent hours upon hours fusing to get the demons with my ideal skills. It can take a while, but is very rewarding to track a fusion history backwards to find a skill you want and fuse a chain of demons to get the one you want with the skills you want.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the music. SMT4 has an incredible OST. The music really ties all the elements of the game together under a cohesive theme. The tracks featured in SMT4 range from faced pack rock to slower electro tracks yet they all feel like part of a whole. Some of my favorite tracks from the game include Tokyo Overworld, Camp Ichigaya, and the Boss Theme.

SMT4 was everything I wanted from an RPG and more. It has an amazing world, interesting characters, a killer soundtrack, a story that kept me interested the whole way through, and an absolutely fantastic battle system. I put over 100 hours into this game and I’m still not done.



2. The Wonderful 101 ; A strange looking game on the surface, but an incredibly deep and rewarding experience once you give it the attention it deserves. The Wonderful 101 opens slowly, but ramps up into over the top craziness that surpasses even Bayonetta.

The character action genre usually consists of the player character fighting hordes of enemies while trying to maximize their damage and combos while juggling fighting mechanics like weapon switching, parries, etc. “Crowd Control” is a common description of what these games are about. Platinum takes this core concept and flips it on its head. In the Wonderful 101 you are the crowd. The weapon drawing mechanic works very well. While the touch screen method works, the stick is a much more efficient way of weapon swapping and doesn’t force you to remove your hand from a key area of the controller. Each weapon has a unique symbol and the game does an excellent job of not mixing up what weapons you are trying to draw. Your team of 100 heroes make up each of the weapons (the player is member 101!). The longer you draw a sword, whip, fist, or any other weapon, the larger and more powerful that weapon becomes. You need to strike a balance between stun building team rush attacks, primary weapon switching, and meter management to smoothly dance your way through the fights. The games real depth comes in while trying to go for Pure Platinum rank in each mission.

Once you get a hang of the combat and you can start pulling off bigger and more extravagant combos. You won’t be good at first but when you put in the effort to learn the game you are rewarded handsomely. The game's systems let the player have a ton of creative control over their combos. Just take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYQWf6iyvB4

The story starts innocently enough, but the longer you play the crazier it gets. You can see clear references to a variety of sources the team at platinum are influenced by. I don’t want to spoil some of the best moments of the game but I will say this: The Wonderful 101 is the Gurren Lagann of video games.

The biggest complaint I can level against The Wonderful 101 is that it doesn’t explain almost any of its deeper mechanics to the player. The block and dodge moves, two absolutely key abilities to combat, are not given to the player. Instead, they are hidden away in the game's ability store with all the other upgradeable moves and powerups.

The Wonderful 101 is a pure video game. It may have its rough spots, but it knows what it wants to be and executes that extremely well. It is, by far, Platinum’s best game yet.




3. Super Mario 3D World ; I should have never doubted EAD Tokyo. 3D World was first announced with a pretty lackluster trailer and a lot of us wrote the game off after that. Looking back it was kind of foolish to dismiss this game after a trailer. After all, this is the studio that brought us two of the greatest games ever made. EAD’s first effort on the Wii U does not disappoint.

3DW takes what was started in 3D Land and perfects it. While the game starts out at a relatively simple difficulty, each world is expertly paced and ramps ups the challenge. Each level is a relatively straightforward path, but with the addition of three green stars and a stampl what was once a linear level turns into a puzzle waiting to be solved. The green stars and stamps are usually hidden from the player or take skilled platforming to get. Mechanically its a brilliant platformer. Each of the four characters add a unique style of gameplay. Toad ended up as my main character throughout the game. His running speed made him the go to despite not having a great jump. While some green stars throughout the game require a certain character to get, you never feel like you picked the “wrong” character. The second half of the game is almost perfect. Its just amazing level after amazing level, and after you finish the first 8 worlds, 4 extra challenging worlds (and a not-so-secret character) are unlocked.

Graphically it’s absolutely gorgeous. The Wii U may not be on the technical level as its next gen competition but EAD has shown that they can make truly amazing looking games on this hardware. The game being locked at 60 fps doesn’t hurt either. The music needs to be recognized as well. The orchestrated tracks from Galaxy have been traded out and replaced with a jazz big band. I think the change is excellent.

My one complaint is that the existence of a run button is completely useless. I get that they wanted to support Wii remotes as controllers but I think that decision negatively impacts the controls. The game is meant to be played with an analog stick so a run button not necessary whatsoever.

Despite those problem’s I truly think that Mario 3D world is easily on par with the excellence of the Galaxy series.



4. Guacamelee! ; Guacamelee! came out of nowhere for me. At the time of its release, I was really into speedrunning Super Metroid. That’s all I was playing at the time. So when I heard a new game in that style was on its way I was super hyped. I went into the game with the speedrunning mentality and I was rewarded with a super unique game with incredibly solid mechanics.

I never played Guacamelee as a metroidvania style game. I wanted to speedrun it from the beginning. Luckily I wasn’t alone. The small group of people that competed for the fastest times made running the game extremely fun. Chatting about route planning and combat strategies in the Speed Demos Archive forums was a blast, and watching other people run the game was a great way to see where you needed to improve. Probably one of my favorite moments of the year was when I got first place on the speedrun leaderboards. Although it did not last long I was very proud of the achievement (I did it again when the PC version came out too). Now with the rumors of the game being ported to PS4 and Xbox One I have regained my motivation to keep running this awesome game.

My current personal best is 1:08:46. (#2 on PSN, #5 on Steam)



5. Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies ; I played through the whole Ace Attorney series this year in anticipation of the fifth game in the series. Ace Attorney grabbed me in a way that I haven’t been grabbed in a long time. Essentially a visual novel with some light point and click elements, the AA series continues its tradition of interesting stories, fantastic characters, and incredible music.

Ace Attorney: DD removes some of the more “gamey” parts unfortunately, but that’s the only real negative about the game to me. One thing I really enjoyed was the more interconnected nature of each case. The cases in the 4 previous games were more standalone, but AA:DD does a good job at carrying an overarching narrative through a variety of scenarios. The new characters are all super memorable, especially Athena who proves to be one of the best new characters of 2013. I also want to mention the DLC case which is one of the better cases in the game. Probably one of the best pieces of DLC this year. The music is out of control. New versions of old themes return and the new music composed for Dual Destinies is amazing. It’s my favorite soundtrack of the year by far.

While it’s not the best game in the series, it comes pretty damn close. I can’t wait for AA6!



6. Fire Emblem Awakening ; Fire Emblem is one of my favorite franchises of all time. Awakening is a solid installment but I think it made too many concessions in its design in order to attract new players.

One of my favorite aspects of the previous games in the series was their tight balance. The games progressed from chapter to chapter with no overworld. That meant there was only a limited amount of experience points available in the game, forcing the player to outthink the enemy. Awakening gets rid of that, adding an overworld with random enemy encounters giving the player the availability to grind their way out of a tough spot. No longer are you forced to play smart. You can just overpower your opponents by grinding. The core Fire Emblem gameplay is still there, figuring out how to approach a scenario and making your way through each map is fantastic. The tension brought by permadeath is a great motivating factor. Your choices a have a real weight to them and you will be punished for making mistakes. The new pair up mechanic works well for the most part, but often times the pair system just creates a god unit that can sweep the battlefield.

Apart from the issues I had, the game is still a fantastic SRPG and a good entry in the series.



7. Pokémon X/Y ; I’m happy to say that Pokémon has made the jump to 3D successfully. The changes to the game’s structure might not be there, but like the rest of the series, the smaller changes are so numerous that it has a dramatic effect on the game overall. I’m most impressed with the way Game Freak was able to transition to 3D while still capturing a lot of the classic visual elements that are so loved. The overworld and characters look great and you can finally customize your trainer’s appearance, but the most impressive change is the battles. Game Freak has done a fantastic job at making the battles look more dynamic while retaining the fast pace of play.

The introduction of the Fairy type was a much needed change for the series. The balance changes overall have rejuvenated the excitement of battling for me. For the first time in a Pokémon game I actually like double battles. X and Y are the best games in the series yet, and I look forward to seeing how Game Freak progresses Pokémon in the future.




8. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Despite being extremely short, MGR was a great game. Platinum did a fantastic job at blending Kojima’s craziness with their own. The cutting mechanic was pulled off very well alongside the standard character action. You can see the rough edges and it’s clear that Platinum had to rush a game in development hell, but the end result is pretty fantastic. It’s just another testament to Platinum’s uncanny ability to make amazing action games.

Also the soundtrack… that’s some good shit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTQIogLBFBs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLvgvsI5jAg



9. The Last of Us ; I’m probably one of the few people putting TLOU this low on the list. As someone who really did not like the Uncharted series I wasn’t expecting TLOU to set my world on fire. I was pleasantly surprised once I tried it for myself. With a story leagues better than anything seen in Uncharted and with actually good third person shooting gameplay I was quite pleased.

I don’t really need to go in to all the details about why this game is good. But I will say that I think that the climax is the weakest part of the game. While the shooting mechanics are much better than Uncharted they don’t really do much for me.

The Last of Us is a good game with an excellent story.




10. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; A good game, but the biggest disappointment of the year for me. ALBW does what everything people want from Zelda yet those changes didn’t work for me. The individual pieces of the game, gameplay, world, music, etc. are all super high quality. However, the big changes to the structure of the game all negatively impact the experience.

The item rental concept and open dungeon order are meant to do a lot to help exploration, but they end up being the biggest flaw. Every dungeon is built around the sword, the wall merging mechanic, and occasionally one of Ravio’s items. Because you can tackle the dungeons in any order there is no difficulty curve. Its like every dungeon is the first. The dungeon designs just aren’t very challenging because of this. There was not one puzzle in the game that I had to stop and think about. This is worse to me than low combat difficulty because at least you can choose to get heart pieces or not. Some dungeons are so short that I was able to finish them within 10 minutes.

Despite the new structure not working for me, the game plays perfectly. The music is phenomenal, the world is nostalgic yet has new elements, the artstyle is great and the 60fps makes the game a joy to play. I criticized the game so much because Zelda is my favorite series in gaming and I’m disappointed that the new twist on what had become a series formula did not work for me. It really is a great game, even with these problems.
 

Vire

DancingJesus
Aug 16, 2009
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1. The Last of Us ; My personal game of the generation and I think it's no secret how much I adore this game. Simply the best storytelling, voice acting, and pacing in any game this year - or any year. Thank you to the team at Naughty Dog, Gustavo Santaolalla, Neil Druckmann, Bruce Straley, Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker for delivering one of my favorite game experiences in the past decade. I expected a lot of this game and it exceeded my expectations.



2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Two Worlds ;



3. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag ;



4. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft ;



5. Pikmin 3 ;



6. Fire Emblem Awakening ;



7. Far Cry: Blood Dragon ;



8. God of War: Ascension ;



9. Year Walk ;



10. Device 6 ;




So long 2013! One of the better years in recent memory for video games.
 
Aug 20, 2012
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I have a little over 50 hours in Mario 3D world, ( still haven't beat the last world ) which would be my goty. The game really challenges the player and the difficulty/content is really great in this game.
 
Jun 12, 2007
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1. The Last of Us ; Genuinely advanced gaming forward as an medium. One of the highlights of the entire generation for me.
2. Grand Theft Auto V ; A monumental achievement considering the scale of this game. The new high water mark for open world games.
3. Gran Turismo 6 ; GT has NEVER been better than this. The new benchmark in racing games
4. Bioshock Infinite ; One of the strongest openings in a game. Very ambitious. Respect what they tried to do here. The story ultimately was wacky unfortunately. But it's winning points make up for it's flaws.
5. Tear Away ; MM are they are the masters of their craft. A Truly unique experience.
6. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen ; Has almost all the ingredients of “My Perfect Game”. Fantastic combat system, open world, RPG mechanics, great end game support and NG+, hundreds of hours of fun.
7. Dead Space 3 ; I really enjoyed this one. Soured for some people by pay to win schemes. But I love Dead space, and this was still a fantastic sequel to me.
8. Soul Sacrifice ; Played so many hours of this. Surprisingly satisfying story arc to the single player game! Very unique and interesting.
9. Hotline Miami ; Counting this one because the Vita version was this year. If I was ever in involved in the making of an, this is the game I wish I could have my name attached to.
10. Puppeteer ; Unique, ambitious and gorgeous.
 

Vire

DancingJesus
Aug 16, 2009
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Hearthstone hasn't been released yet so it's ineligible. It's also in the "confirmed ineligible games" list in the OP.
Eh alright, I've played it for a few months now, so I felt like I had a pretty good handle on what the game is like, but I understand it's still in beta.

No worries about not counting it; still one of my favorite games this year and some of the most fun I've had this year. There's nothing quite like being wittled down to 2 health only deal out a devastating 15 damage in one turn to steal the game from your opponent.
 
Jun 11, 2013
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1. Grand Theft Auto V ; GTA V is a beautiful game and as my favorite franchise I had to put it first. The world is amazingly detailed and truly feels like Southern California. When I play I feel like I'm part of the world. Like IV and all GTA's before it I will be playing GTA V for years to come, I just hope it gets released on PS4.

2. The Last of Us ; TLOU was a huge surprise, overly enjoyable and the story always kept me on the edge of my seat like a good Hollywood movie. I'm really tired of zombies but TLOU did it just right, too bad it ended so quickly.

Those are the only two GOTY worthy games I played this year.
 
Jul 16, 2009
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I still have a few things to play before I make my list, but I think I'm gonna limit it to like 5 or 7. I'm having a hard enough time finding 5 as it is, making a top 10 would just be lying to myself. There have been a lot of solid games this year, but only a few I've enjoyed to the point that I feel they deserve to be listed.
 
Sep 21, 2010
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Excellent post. Today I've been having a hard time putting my thoughts to paper without falling into some terrible cliches that end up being pretty impersonal. When I see this I think to myself I need to do at least a little better, especially since I'm going to be talking about some of the same games. Got some time to get the creative juices flowing though.
 

Vire

DancingJesus
Aug 16, 2009
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The only regret I have for 2013 is not being able to play Tearaway. :(

Probably would have made my list if I had the chance, looks delightful. Alas, it's not enough for me to plop down two hundred bones just for that game.
 

Papercuts

fired zero bullets in the orphanage.
Sep 1, 2007
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I still have a few things to play before I make my list, but I think I'm gonna limit it to like 5 or 7. I'm having a hard enough time finding 5 as it is, making a top 10 would just be lying to myself. There have been a lot of solid games this year, but only a few I've enjoyed to the point that I feel they deserve to be listed.
I think I'm having the opposite issue.

Though I do think the first quarter or so was surprisingly weak. Decent lot of known IPs with weak showings this year.
 
Jun 20, 2013
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The only regret I have for 2013 is not being able to play Tearaway. :(

Probably would have made my list if I had the chance, looks delightful. Alas, it's not enough for me to plop down two hundred bones just for that game.
To be fair, you could probably get a vita used for 150(Normally with games and a memory card), and it's far from the only game on the platform worth the purchase.
 

Vire

DancingJesus
Aug 16, 2009
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To be fair, you could probably get a vita used for 150(Normally with games and a memory card), and it's far from the only game on the platform worth the purchase.
Shhhhh! I don't need GAF to convince me otherwise, I just spent a small fortune on a PS4 and Christmas gifts.

Another time... another time.

Incoming drunk impulse shopping
 
Jul 16, 2009
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I think I'm having the opposite issue.

Though I do think the first quarter or so was surprisingly weak. Decent lot of known IPs with weak showings this year.
Well I'll just put it out there that I'm not much of a handheld guy. I'm sure I'd easily have enough for a top 10 if I had a 3DS and Vita, but I already spend a lot in the console and PC space (would be even more if my PC was better, which it soon will be), so I just can't add handhelds to that.

What I did enjoy enough to list, though, I absolutely loved. I'd rather 4 or 5 of those than a top 10 with 1 memorable title and 9 just for the sake of ranking everything else I played in 2013.
 
Nov 11, 2013
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1. The Wonderful 101 ; Simply amazing. I was expecting it to be good because Platinum was in charge, but it was even better than I expected. The universe, the characters, the music, and most importantly, the deep, deep gameplay kept me coming back for more. It's been my most played game since September and it's just awesome. Totally fresh concept that throws all kinds of new stuff your way all the time.
2. Pikmin 3 ; Speaking of fresh, this game defines that very word too. Such a change of pace from everything that's been released recently and it's just a ton of fun to lay back and play. Once again, the soundtrack was amazing and even though the story was very minimal I enjoyed it to bits. Loved the GamePad integration when playing with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk.
3. Rayman Legends ; I loved Rayman Origins. It was my game of the year for 2011, hands-down, and was the reason that I bought a Wii U at launch. Rayman Legends improved upon Origins in nearly every facet. There were slight gameplay adjustments, the visuals were stunning, the levels were more creative, the music was somehow better than Origins' already godly soundtrack. Basically, it was more of the same and that's a good thing. I also loved the online functionnality and everything having to do with lum collecting. Don't get me started on the music levels. The only reason why it's lower than the two previous games on this list is because I was let down by the very toned-down difficulty when compared to Origins.
4. Super Mario 3D World ; It's Mario, it's beautiful, it's fun. That's really all there is to know. I'll keep it brief and describe it the way I've been describing it to everyone I know: Super Mario 3D World makes Super Mario 3D Land feel like an early beta of 3D World. I loved 3D Land, probably my favorite 3DS game to this day, and 3D World just improves upon it in every way. A ton of fun, a soundtrack that made me smile all the way through, and signature killer gameplay. I just wish that the final boss fight wasn't so disappointing.
5. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Damn son. This game was just pure entertainment. It wasn't on the level of Wonderful 101 as far as depth is concerned, but it was simply a ton of freaking fun. Did I mention it was fun? Because it was. The blade mode was so freaking satisfying and the boss fights were amazing, not to mention that the soundtrack was crazy good too. Overall, I wish that it was longer, but at the same time, what I loved is that there was no filler whatsoever.
6. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies ; Took everything about the series that I love and put it into another great sequel. I was a huge fan of the art style and the characters, as always, were super memorable. Nice 3D effect too, and I'm saying this as a guy who generally dislikes the 3D aspect of the 3DS. Once again, amazing soundtrack which managed to top its predecessors'. Just a ton of fun overall. I'm just a huge fan of the series so this had to be on the list.
6. Grand Theft Auto V ; I've loved GTA since the 3D games started coming out, and I have to say that GTA V is a good GTA game. There's a ton of awesome stuff about this one, like the protagonists and the general variety in the missions, but I couldn't help but be disappointed by many of its elements. I didn't like the fact that the characters other than the protagonists were less than memorable. I just felt that the game didn't have enough of an identity to make it as good as San Andreas, Vice City or even GTA III. It's a better game than GTA IV, but one thing I have to say about GTA IV is that it did feel like a GTA game, which I had a hard time feeling with GTA V. Definitely amazing nonetheless.
7. Mario & Luigi Dream Team ; Overall super good game, great world and characters, humorous as always, and, god, the soundtrack is sublime. It would maybe rank higher if it weren't for the tutorials which never went away. Still really lengthy and really good,
x. Resogun
x. LEGO City: Undercover
x. Injustice: Gods Among Us
2012. Alan Wake ; This released on PC in 2012, and I played it on PC in 2013. The characters and story were sublime. I loved everything having to do with the game's universe even though I was a little let down with the repetitive gameplay. Still an amazing experience overall and definitely memorable for years to come.
 
D

Deleted member 30609

Unconfirmed Member
I just read through most of this thread. Thanks as always, guys! There's something special about seeing someone with a list that resembles my own, if only because I realise there are some games they've listed that I've yet to play extensively (the new Civ expansion, for example) or haven't even heard of (Guacamalee).

It's amazing how much more interesting these threads are nowadays. Mandatory comments are a great idea.
 
Nov 10, 2007
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I've written up my top three... and I'm fairly confident in their order. But man, so many good games this year. It's insane. Ranking the remaining seven is tricky!

EDIT: Vire, is it OK if I use half of your banners? lol
 
Sep 21, 2006
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1. The Last of Us ; My personal game of the generation and I think it's no secret how much I adore this game. Simply the best storytelling, voice acting, and pacing in any game this year - or any year. Thank you to the team at Naughty Dog, Gustavo Santaolalla, Neil Druckmann, Bruce Straley, Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker for delivering one of my favorite game experiences in the past decade. I expected a lot of this game and it exceeded my expectations.
Same here, just like Silent Hill 2 was last gen, and it definitely exceeded all my expectations as well.
 
Jul 20, 2009
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1. Fire Emblem Awakening ; A fantastic handheld Fire Emblem with enough stuff in it to last hundreds of hours.
2. Rocksmith 2014 ; A fantastic learning tool and an improvement over the last game in almost every single way, except for Uplay.
3. The Last Of Us ; Despite forgetting this in my first ballot (Jesus) it's really good.
4. Hearthstone ; Really good for F2P.
5. Antichamber
6. Pokémon X ; It's Pokémon.
x. WWE 2k14 ; It's really fun but it's really fun because it's broken and buggy as hell. I can't rate it normally because of that.
x. Bioshock Infinite ; I sort of liked Bioshock Infinite but in retrospect not enough to give it points for GOTY.
2012. WWE '13 ; Also a very buggy and broken game which I feel okay with giving a point in the 2012 ratings. Only played it this year.
 
Dec 15, 2005
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1. The Last of Us; Powerful story. Believable characters. Amazing grahics. Great gameplay. It has everything. It's also currently my favorite game of the generation. Loved it so much.
2. Grand Theft Auto V
3. Ni No Kuni
4. Tomb Raider
5. Hotline Miami
6. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
7. Tearaway
8. Resogun
9. Gran Turismo 6
10. The Puppeteer

x. Bravely Default: Flying Fairy; still not finished it. I'm experiencing some sort of fatigue with it. Can't seem to be bothered with the game anymore. Don't know why. Maybe because I don't like any of the characters, and the story is really boring.
 
Mar 11, 2010
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1. Super Mario 3D World ; The most fun 3D Mario game yet. Also, in a time where FPSs and TPSs flood the market, a new Mario game felt very refreshing. Loved going and getting all the green stars with my son.

2. Papers, Please! ; I love when a great indie game comes along and reminds me how much I love games again. This one brought back strong memories of playing Carmen Sandiego when I was a kid.

3. Saints Row IV ; I've always been a huge fan of the Saints Row series. While the third and fourth games don't live up to the first two, they are still great in their own right. Kudos to the devs for trying something really new here. Felt like a great mix of Saints Row and Crackdown.

4. The Swapper ; It felt like playing a 2D Portal with better graphics. Amazing game with a downright haunting ending.

5. Pikmin 3 ; If you've played a Pikmin game, you know what this is all about. I had a huge smile across my face the whole time playing it. The very definition of a charming game.

6. Grand Theft Auto V ; Much like GTA4, this game felt great because of the city and the technology. Too bad the characters were just dreadful. More cuss words and stupidity in thirty seconds than any other game I've ever played. Also, I thought most of the side quest stuff was completely useless and pointless from the main game.

7. Last of Us ; This was my "third person shooter with chest high cover everywhere" game of the year. Gameplay was tired and boring, but the story was really good and kept me going. Most of my friends never ended up making it to the end, so I always have to tell them what a great ending it was.

8. Assassin's Creed IV ; Best AC game I've played since two. The story and characters were still all atrocious, but the side quests and main quest were all pretty great.
 
Apr 28, 2012
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1. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; The way PG combined music into specific moments of bossfights is amazing.
2. The Swapper ; My mind couldn't handle some of these puzzles and I had to use a guide. Visually beautiful, loved the story!
3. Dragon's Crown ; Amazing art and music.
4. Volgarr the Viking ; Precision. This is a game about precision, remembering enemy/trap patterns and executing your plan perfectly.
5. Metro: Last Light ; Beautiful graphics, a good balance of humor and despair make the atmosphere great!
6. Gunpoint ; Quite clever mechanics, nice humor. Perfect length.
7. Dust: An Elysian Tail; Came out on PC this year. Charming characters and art. Fluid animations make it play extremely well.
8. Anarchy Reigns; A deeper campaign than I expected, memorable characters. Great soundtrack. PG craziness!
9. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons; The way Starbreeze managed to tell a coherent, emotional story with no dialogue, text or UI is a great achievement.
 
Dec 21, 2010
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1. The Last of Us ; Awesome action/survival game with surprisingly good multiplayer. Reminded me a little bit of RE4.
2. XCOM: Enemy Within ; Once I started this, i was so addicted, just like i was with Enemy Unknown, everything about this game just hits right at home with me.
3. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; Probably my favorite SRPG, the team managment was really fun in this and the combat was satisfying as hell.
4. Bioshock Infinite ; Beautiful looking game with an interesting plot and good action. Polished as hell all around too.
5. Tomb Raider ; I was hooked from beginning to end with this game, the story was nothing to write home about but the action was good and overall it was just a really well made game.
6. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; First time playing an Animal Crossing game and boy was i addicted. Can't wait to go back in to this after i get a new 3DS and discover that my town has been abandoned. :(
7. Guacamelee ; Really fun metroidvania with an awesome soundtrack.
8. Metro: Last Light ; Huge improvement over Metro 2033. It's one of the best looking games available on PC right now too.
9. DMC Devil May Cry ; Really satisfying combat with hilarious shlocky moments provided by the story.
10. Risk of Rain ; Cool art and really fun sidescrolling action gameplay with permadeath.

2012. Persona 4 Golden ; Probably my favorite JRPG, cool characters, social links are fun to manage, plot keeps you interested the whole way through and just deep enough turn based combat to move through the dungeons. And a catchy jpop soundtrack to finish this mix just makes this game a fantastic experience.
 
Dec 29, 2005
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1. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; I knew that Rising was going to be my #1 immediately after I finished the game. No game this year had me more in awe of not just what was on screen, but what I was doing on screen. The game succeeds completely in making you feel like a badass. Rising provides another excellent combat system from Platinum, bosses that remind you of a time when boss fights weren't mostly just a chore and the most awesomely ridiculous metal soundtrack ever. Rising doesn't bother with the bloat of some other games, it's short and sweet. The main goal by Platinum was clearly to provide a nonstop thrill ride that never cease to be fun; and they succeeded in spades.
2. The Last of Us ; I have been a critic of Naughty Dog for a long time, finding the Uncharted series to be largely overrated spectacles that focus more on being a cinematic experience than being an actual great game. So, I'll admit that I went into Last of Us hesitant and doubting. Instead, I found a game that finally succeeds in what Naughty Dog was attempting to do this entire gen. The Last of Us has a great story and succeeds in making a world that feels alive, there's no doubt about that. However, it's also a great game with some of the best stealth gameplay around. Hats off to Naughty Dog with this one, you proved a doubter wrong.
3. The Wonderful 101 ;
4. Super Mario 3D World ;
5. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies ;
6. Fire Emblem Awakening ;
7. Pokemon X/Y ;
8. Grand Theft Auto V ;
9. Saints Row IV ;
10. Soul Sacrifice ;
 
Oct 1, 2009
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1. Fire Emblem Awakening ; It's hard to even put into words just how much I enjoyed Fire Emblem. By making the series more accessible and making the biggest barrier to entry - permadeath - optional, it allowed those who've never got into SRPGs to finally dive in. I enjoyed every moment immensely, enough to go through and do a proper permadeath playthrough on hard straight after my first one. I loved literally everything about the game, and I really hope that the series doesn't slip back into it's stodgy old formula for future instalments.
2. Pokemon X/Y ; After generations of disappointment X and Y were a real shock, finally making changes to the formula that the franchise has been begging for. I honestly had never thought another Pokemon game could capture the joy I felt playing G/S/C all those years ago, but X/Y came so close to toppling my long standing favourites.
3. Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory ; Mildly janky, long winded, tons of grinding and awful framerate are not exactly what you'd expect someone to say about one of their favourite games of the year, but Neptunia Victory was a real oddity. The story and characters are completely silly and it's about as stereotypically Japanese as you could expect, but that's why I loved it so much, it never once takes itself seriously.
4. Hate Plus ; A visual novel is only as good as it's story, and while maybe not quite as engrossing as it's prequel, Analogue: A Hate Story, it was a lot easier to follow and had a unique time element.
5. Gunpoint ; Came literally out of nowhere and kept me hooked until the end. Such a unique idea coupled with wonderful music and a light but gripping story.
6. Sly Cooper Thieves in Time ; Sanzaru really proved their worth with Thieves in Time, capturing the magic of Sly 2 after the franchise had been absent for so long.
7. Animal Crossing New Leaf ; 700+ hours invested and yet I still find it hard to put AC too high on my list. After the awful DS and Wii games this one was a massive improvement that brought back my old AC addiction, mostly due to the ability to shape the entire town through public works. That said it still has some baffling design decisions that mean you have far less control that you'd like and eventually led to me giving up on my town.
8. Payday 2 ; This game has been a serious love/hate relationship since the beta period. I love the underlying gameplay mechanics, but Overkill's constant poorly thought out "balance" updates have led to long periods of time where the game has been totally unplayable. This would be much higher on my list if they'd just stop listening to the whiny super hardcore players who claim that literally everything is too easy. Now excuse me while I go and rob another bank.
2012. Persona 4 Golden ; Sadly a typically late European release means I couldn't put this at number 1 either last year or this year. There isn't much to say, Persona 4 is my favourite game of all time and Golden was a heavily improved and expanded version, it'd always take the top spot.
 
Feb 9, 2010
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1. The Last of Us ; Great gameplay that I hope Naughty Dog refines for their future titles. Joel and Ellie were two of the best characters of this generation. I want to play more games with them. Music was perfect plus the story was the sublime for any medium.
 
Jul 25, 2013
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1. The Last of Us ; Too much has been said about this game but its been a long time since I felt something for the characters and the situations they were in making it a far better experience then I expected.
2. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag ; Very little future/modern stuff, lots of pirate action, and a character that is enjoyable to play as creates a great experience.
3. Metal Gear Rising Revengeance ; Nanomachines...
4. Fire Emblem Awakening ; This was the first 3ds game I played which I entirely enjoyed my time with the entire experience. I had moments in other titles which swept me off my feet but they tended to be few and far between. Donnel is the best!
5. Don't Starve ; Between the art style, the music, and the sound effects this game just on an initial impression is amazing.
6. Grand Theft Auto V ; Even while broken the online was pretty fun and the single player characters were compelling in their own ways.
7. Batman: Arkham Origins ; While the game itself felt like an expansion the story was very good and some tweaks to the combat system freshened things up.
8. Monster Hunter Tri: Ultimate ; Enjoyed the game greatly and the only reason I have a WIIU.
9. Injustice Gods Among Us ; The story was enjoyable and the hybrid between MK style combat and combat more common in other fighters was interesting.
10. Dive Kick ; Two buttons are clearly better then any other combination for fighting games.
x. Rogue Legacy ; I have not played enough of this game to add it to the list proper but from the few hours I've played I can tell I will enjoy it.
x. Dynasty Warriors 8 ; Once you're in this deep and already looking around for the next empires release these titles find their way into most lists you make. Wait what another Gundam Musou is coming out? Oh... you're just making fun of me :(.
 
Jan 19, 2010
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1. Dota 2 ; Dota 2 is an online game, where 10 players, 5 for each team, will try to destroy each others Ancients. Sounds simple, however, the vast amount of heroes, many mechanics, some not quite clear for new players, will become much more clear as you keep playing and your skills will improve overtime. One of the most rewarding skill games out there.

2. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies ; A sequel to Apollo Justice, an Adventure game of Courtroom drama (and hilarity!). Introduces 3 lawyers this time, so each case you will play with one lawyer while the other helps you out. This game removed some of my favorites things about Ace Attorney, which is investigating every single object you see on the screen. A bit of downer, but the game is still really good, albeit on the easy side. One the best games for the 3DS.

3. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate ; The only reason Ace Attorney 5 is over this is because MH3U is more like an expansion to Tri (and Portable 3rd), but it is still a very skill based and intense game. Introduces to the west many new weapons, and monsters that were thus far only in Japan. It comes with G-rank hunts, some of the most difficult monsters await you there!

4. La-Mulana ; A "Metroidvania" with many puzzles, amazing music, and hard boss battles. A hardgame, and a total must play.

5. Skullgirls ; An extremely charming fighting game, that it is surprisingly easy to get into even if you aren't used to fighting game, like me. Comes with a meaty tutorial which explains many of the mechanics in the game. While there aren't too many people playing online, I always manage to find someone to play against.

6. Tomb Raider ; Let's make a few things clear, as a Tomb Raider game, it is VERY disappointing. It lacks, ironically, many tombs (which are optional), puzzles, and the platforming known to the series before this reboot. As a third person shooter, it is quite good, but VERY easy. Most of your deaths will most likely be some QTE scenes, which this game doesn't lack.

7. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed ; A very fun Kart game, very different from Mario Kart regardless what some may tell you. Items are a lot less "cheap" and lacks the universally hated Blue Shell-like item. Which is a big plus for many. If there's something I didn't care much are the characters apart from Sonic (& friends), is becaus many of those are unknown to me or never played their game. This does not affect the quality of the game.

2012. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition ; One of the best games from last gen, very replayable, not as hard as some claim however. While some mechanics are a bit hard to grasp, since some aren't well explained, understanding them will make you treat your equipment, item management and souls very different. It rewards the players for being daring, which is a HUGE plus for me.
 
Sep 7, 2010
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I haven't been playing too many 2013 games other than ones on my 3DS.


1. Fire Emblem Awakening ; Such a fantastic game. A bit easy compared to previous entries in the series but the overall package of this game is fantastic. Length, visuals, sounds, gameplay. Everything was better than I expected and the more I played the more it grew on me. Few games make me want to start a new game on a harder difficulty straight away, this is one of them. Not a flawless game, I have a few complaints but definitely the game I enjoyed the most.

2. Animal Crossing New Leaf ; Always something to do in this game and it is very casual and relaxing. The tunes are catchy and everything is cute and pretty funny. The online component is great and playing with friends once in a while makes this even more enjoyable. Love the built in screenshot feature, have hundreds of them doing silly things.
3. Metal Gear Rising: Revengence ; Didn't like the story but the game was a lot of fun to play. Game with the best bosses I've played in a very long time.
4. Pokemon X/Y ; I am not someone who plays Pokemon each generation. This one is fantastic because of this. It is similar enough in gameplay that I can quickly work things out but the deeper mechanics, EVs, IVs, Breeding was fun to learn later. The transition into 3D was great. The animations are superb and the easy online system is fantastic. The fact that many of the first gen pokemon return is great as well. Pokemon Amie is cute. While the towns feel a bit lifeless due to NPCs having only one thing to say most of the NPCs do say something a bit interesting to me. Some give advice while others can make small references to other games or popular culture. The game is full of small references which is great.
5. Dynasty Warriors 8 ; Musou games doesn't really need much explanation. I enjoy it, it is relaxing I like the Chinese setting and themes. I'm a sucker for games with huge character selections/recruitment. I enjoy leveling/powering up my favourite characters and combat is one of the better ones I've played in a Musou game. The visuals are also very nice.
6. Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds ; A fantastic entry in the franchise. The game plays well and the rental system is actually quite nice for Zelda veterans. A lot of nostalgia but at the same time the game is great on its own.
7. Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen ; Great game with a fantastic new take on magic and job/vocation system. The pawn/companion system is something we haven't had before either. The combat is where the game really shines. I can't rate the combat above Souls or Monster Hunter personally, but this game allows you to feel powerful through progression more than the others while Souls and MH gives you a greater feeling of achievement as you conquer your foes through skill and familiarity.
8. Path of Exile ; Not sure if this counts. Delete it if not. Recently hit steam and huge 3.0 update. I've tried Torchlight and played a friend's Diablo 3. Neither really compares to this in my opinion. PoE is fun, the dialogue and voice acting is superb. The game itself is dark and violent. The passive skill tree is mind blowing. And the best part about all of this is that it is actually free. No pay to win. Pay for aesthetics items but otherwise just go have some fun with this freebie.
9. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate ; The lack of online infrastructure on 3DS and questionable water combat kept this from taking a higher place. The game itself is still a lot of fun though. Hunting huge monsters and slowly bettering your gear so you can hunt more efficiently and tackle bigger beasts.

Will think of a 10th later. Maybe.

x. Tomb Raider ; A good game but I felt the puzzle side of thing that made the older Tomb Raider games great were severely lacking. The way Lara is such an exceptionally good survivor makes the story feel forced.

Last year also later.
 

DashReindeer

Lead Community Manager, Outpost Games
Aug 2, 2011
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1. The Wonderful 101 ; I mean, it's hard for me to describe here just what made this game so absolutely incredible to experience, but a big part of it is the very thing that turned off so many people and kept it from getting the review scores it deserved: the controls. The drawing lines to select weapon mechanic may have been unfamiliar to a lot of players, but it was an incredibly unique idea that led to an incredible action game experience. Once you can execute to the patterns without any difficulty, you'll find that this is the best character action game of the year, maybe of all time.

2. Super Mario 3D World ; Yeah, duh. This would have been the top of the list if Wonderful 101 hadn't existed. Brilliant level design, gorgeous visuals, inspired soundtrack, 4-player 3d platforming madness, basically everything I could have asked for. The only thing holding back Mario 3D World is the nostalgia associated with Mario 64 and a camera that is pulled back more than modern gamers seem to like.

3. Monster Hunter 3U ; 300+ hours in and still ticking, this is undoubtedly one of the best games of this or any other year. The depth of mechanics, and the brilliant local and online mulitplayer support makes this game even better than previous MonHun games. With intense action, dozens of brutal monsters to fight, and hundreds of weapons and armor to craft, this is the game I needed to erase Diablo III and Borderlands II rom my memory.

4. Legend of Zelda : A Link Between Worlds ; Wow. Now this is a 2D Zelda. Who would have thought that a Link to the Past sequel might actually best its predecessor, but Link Between Worlds may have pulled it off. At the very least, it gives this all-time Nintendo classic a run for its money in basically every area. For me, the length was one of the only downsides, as it was shorter than I had hoped for. The Item rental system also didn't really work for me because I'm never gonna die in a 2D Zelda game at this point in my gaming career, but most people I talked to died a few times, so I can see how they chose to go that route. If future entries in the series can match this one in quality, then Zelda will continue to be as relevant as ever.

5. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon ; I thought for sure this was going to be the best 3DS game of the year while I was playing it. Next Level did what they do best, brought the characters and world to life with fantastic animations and sound effects. However, this time they married it with amazing level design and puzzle solving, creating a game that bests the first entry in most ways imaginable.

6. Fire Emblem Awakening ; Just a fantastic strategy RPG. This took everything people loved about Fire Emblem games and made it more accessible to newer players while retaining the hardcore modes for the series veterans. This is the way this series should progress, and I hope we see more of it soon.

7. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Would have been the best character action game of the year if The Wonderful 101 hadn't come along and one-upped it. Still, Revengeance had possibly one of my favorite characters of the year, in Bladewolf, along with some of the coolest boss fights ever seen in a series known for its boss fights.

8. Papers, Please! ; An indie darling, but well deserved. This is the kind of new experience that we need to see in the games industry.

9. Rayman Legends ; Rayman Origins had already impressed me with its impeccable art design and fast-paced gameplay, but Legends basically improves on everything from its predecessor. This is one damn fine 2D platformer, and would have placed higher on my list if it had only been a little longer.

10. NES Remix ; This is a pretty recent game, so some might be shocked by its inclusion, but dammit if I don't love the shit out of this game. The challenges are designed to highlight key aspects of each of these classic games and the remixed stages make you look at them in a whole new light. This game is designed to teach new gamers and kids how to appreciate these older games that might otherwise be labeled as "outdated." I think it's pure brilliance, and I hope we see DLC piled high onto this one (along with SNES and N64 Remixes) for years to come.
 
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