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

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Yuterald

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So, I finished a game from 2013 last night that I would like to add to my list, but would that be considered my LTTP 2013 game when 2014's thread rolls around? Or are some people trying to sneak some 2013 games in before the voting period ends?

Also, I think I already hit the character limit for my one post...The thing is, having reviewed what I've written, I feel like some of my honorable mentions sound more like they'd fit in a "most disappointing game" category instead. Are we allowed to create additional posts for personal categories that aren't tallied? If that's the case, I'll do some editing/trimming before I share my list.
 

JawzPause

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1. The Last of Us ; In my top 10 games of all time and the only game ever to make me cry. I don't think much more needs to be said.

2. Grand Theft Auto 5; Improved on Gta 4 in every way. I will never know how they pulled this game off on last gen consoles.

3. Brothers ; Biggest surprise hit for me. Didn't know what to expect, but after a 3ish hour emotional journey I had to put the controller down to think about the masterpiece I had just witnessed.

4. Battlefield 4 ; Bugs and broken game aside, playing this game at 60fps on ps4 with 64 players is some of most fun I've had this year.

5. Bioshock Infinite ; Didn't have the same impact on me as the first Bioshock, but still a great game with a interesting story to say the least.

6. Assassin's Creed 4 ; Hands down the best pirate game I've ever played. Game could have been higher on my list if it wasn't for some of the worst campaign missions I've ever played in my life. I DON'T WANT TO FUCKING TAIL HIM.

7. Killzone Shadow Fall ; Multiplayer isn't as good as the legendary KZ2, but still fun. I actually quite enjoyed the campaign, story aside.

8. DmC: Devil May Cry ; Surprisingly fun game, shame about the shit dialogue and story but I guess that's not what dmc is about.

9. Resogun ; Very fun twin stick shooter.
 

Jucksalbe

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So, I finished a game from 2013 last night that I would like to add to my list, but would that be considered my LTTP 2013 game when 2014's thread rolls around? Or are some people trying to sneak some 2013 games in before the voting period ends?
It's a 2013 game, so it's a 2013 GOTY. Just edit your list.
 

bluehat9

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1. Super Mario 3D World ; Thought I was getting burned out by Mario games after I didn't think NSMBWiiU was that great, but this game (and Super Luigi) brought me back. Multiplayer is great, later levels are great solo, the stamp system and other miis running around are fun. I don't like how some stamps require a cat suit that might not even be in the level, but still the most fun I've had this year.
2. Tearaway ; Fun, relaxing, and funny game. I like running around with a stupid looking design I cut out stuck to my Iota's face. Game also uses everything vita has to offer and some of it isn't the greatest, but most of the stuff is really cool.
3. Animal Crossing New Leaf ; Another relaxing game. Playing for a few minutes every day, finding something new, messing with the AI characters, collecting crap. When I want to do something and don't know what, this is the game I'll just wander around in.
4. Spelunky ;
5. Last Of Us ; When I finally got into it and realized how to play it (I gave up on trying to stealth through it) it was good. I don't think the story is as epic as a lot of people make it out to be and
I hated the ending. I get it, I just didn't like it. I don't know if this needs to be spoiler'd or not, but better safe than sorry I guess.
6. New Super Luigi U ;
7. Pikmin 3 ;
8. Knack ; I want to say here that the story is garbage and it seems like every single character is a jerk that you're supposed to hate, but the gameplay does remind me of the PS2 days, and I like that.
9. Guacamelee! ;
10. Call of Duty: Ghosts ; Don't hate. I though extinction mode was really fun and I still like the mp. Story got stupid fast, but I liked the parts where you were actually sneaking in somewhere or being ghost-like.
 

Yuterald

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Top 10: Beautiful Box Spread Edition (in no particular order)




The True Demon King Order:

1. Shin Megami Tensei IV ; What randomkid said. Seriously, there's not much more I need to add/say that hasn't already been said. There are very few moments in gaming where I find myself having to put down my controller (or portable in this case) to reflect/think about what I just saw/witnessed. SMT IV, from what I can recall, was the only game to do that for me this year (read this too). No other moment beats taking your first steps onto the desolate grounds of Tokyo. As randomkid detailed, the buildup/pacing up to that point of the game was just done so exceptionally well. The cinematic that plays during that scene accompanied by the amazing overworld theme created one of the most (if not most) memorable moments I've had all year. Although the battle system has its problems, the improvements that were made to the demon fusion and skill learning systems more than makes up for any issues/imbalances present in the core mechanics. My expectations for SMT IV were relatively high too, borderline unreasonable in some respects. SMT III: Nocturne raised the bar to nearly unreachable heights and not only were my expectations met, they were exceeded.

2. The Wonderful 101 ; Again, what else needs to be said that hasn't already been mentioned in this thread. I'll just have to echo the sentiment and say that this is Platinum's/Kamiya's love letter to not only everything they stand for as a company/developer, but also to everything they clearly love about gaming. Not to sound like a broken record (as I'm sure a lot of people have said this) but 101 truly is a celebration of video games. The PS2-era, Japanese developed, character based, action game genre (or whatever you want to call what DMC created) is still one of my favorite wheelhouses in gaming. I feel like the Wonderful 101 is not only a testament to that era, but also a wild and unique evolution of sorts to what Kamiya and crew created back at Capcom in the early 2000's. It's both a natural and unnatural spin/take on a well established formula. Having only cleared the game once, I still know I have a lot more to see and learn. I loved nearly everything about this game and I can't wait to go back to it over the years to come.

3. Zeno Clash II ; I almost completely forgot about this game when creating this list. That's not because it was forgettable or anything like that. No, it's because playing this game was an out of body experience. Even though my Steam profile says I finished it over the summer, I feel like I have already played this game, like in some alternate reality/past life. Zeno Clash is one of the most surreal gaming experiences I've ever had. The original Zeno Clash was a linear, stage by stage, first person brawler. Zeno Clash II, however, provided a seamless, interconnected world with an emphasis on action/adventure and exploration. Part Half-Life, part Breakdown, part god only knows, Ace Team has not only created one of the most fascinating cast of characters, but also has crafted one of the most memorable worlds I've ever had the opportunity to play/experience. I'll take that Zeno Clash III announcement any time this year, Ace. I'm ready for that conclusion!

4. Tearaway ; I had my eyes on this game the moment it was announced. At first, I had my reservations because I didn't care for Little Big Planet. I thought, as cool/interesting as the game looked and taking Media Molecule's track record into account, I figured that this was going to be another "make it your own game" programming-lite tool disguised as a platform/adventure game. As more information/screenshots were revealed, I realized that wasn't the case. I bought the game at launch and within the first level I realized I was playing something special. While I feel like the game harkens back to the N64-era in terms of its platforming/collect-a-thon-like nature/sensibilities, it's absolutely its own beast. Ironically, Tearaway actually is a "make it your own game" type of game, but for me, this time it was disguised as a REALLY cool/fun game. I also found the game to strike a nice balance between being relatively artsy-fartsy (quite literally) and actually managing to somehow remain a competent platform/adventure game (which I can't say for a lot of the "immersive/experience" games out there). The mechanics/controls are tight and the game just feels polished. I also cannot not stress enough how much this game utilizes the system's unique features and capabilities. Tearaway could not work on any other platform nor should Sony/Media Molecule ever even consider porting/remaking it without risking their artistic/creative integrity. Tearaway is the Vita.

5. Pikmin 3 ; This game should be known as the great compromise. It's as if Miyamoto and Nintendo handpicked the best ingredients from Pikmin 1 and 2 and somehow concocted the most refined and polished entry to date. Playing this game was like receiving a basket of fruits from Edible Arrangements. So thoughtful, so fresh, so delicious. Oh, the fruits of their labor. In all seriousness, for me, this game was a true marriage of everything I loved about the first two games. The resource/time management elements return from the original, but in away that doesn't cause unnecessary stress, if you're playing well enough and exploring thoroughly, that is. With the addition of damaging enemy body parts, two new Pikmin types, and some of the best bosses that the series has to offer, there was just enough new stuff to make it feel like a true sequel. Oh, those god awful randomly generated caves are gone now too (thank god).

6. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; When I read about all of the fundamental/formulaic changes they were making, I didn't really know what to think. Fortunately, I didn't over analyze the situation and I went into the game with a very neutral state of mind. What I was treated to was one of the most compacted, well paced, and tightly designed Zelda experiences I've ever played. I'm going to stress the word here because I don't think I've ever played a single game with better pacing. I mean, holy shit, does this game flow like water (the fact that it maintains 60FPS helps too). If I ever had to name a game that doesn't overstay its welcome it would be this game too. Sure, maybe the puzzles aren't the most challenging and the size/scope of some of the dungeons/palaces are relatively small, but everything just feels so cohesive, natural, and good. Also, not that I'd want every Zelda game to be like this going forward, but throw me in the camp that thinks the dungeons benefited from having all available tools from the get-go. Instead of focusing on the item/tool itself, the dungeons themselves and how they were designed became the focus which resulted in super fast paced, tightly packed houses of fun. All around, this was probably the most filler-less, no-nonsense Nintendo game I've played in the longest time.

7. Super Mario 3D World ; There's not much to say about this game. It's Mario. For me, these games are like comfort food at this point. It's straight up feel-good mechanics, pure and simple fun with that Nintendo polish that never seems to rust. While it didn't live up to Mario 64 (like anything ever will) or the Galaxy games in my books, it's pretty fucking perfect. This game is like a palate cleanser. It exists to wash away disgust/disappointment caused by other games. 3D Mario centers me and almost always hits the spot.

8. Ys: Memories of Celceta ; Falcom has become one of my favorite developers over the years. Ys, in particular, has almost become vital to my well being. I simply love stories/games about wandering swordsman/vagrants. Adol always happens to wash up/find his way to some island/continent where a calamity/world-changing-event takes place causing him to get involved. You then travel across fields (or a forest in this case) with clouds passing overhead (causing cool shadows on the ground) to some ancient ruins where you end up rocking out on some cool, pattern-based boss at the depths of a dungeon. At the very end you're just chilling/rocking out to a piano/metal piece during the credits. This is more or less my experience with every Ys game and Celceta is no different. With that said, I was a little disappointed with this game compared to 7 and Origin. Overall, it scratched enough of that Ys/Falcom itch I needed so we're still cool, guys.

9. Dragon's Crown ; Canaan Temple. I'll let the music speak for the game itself.
My list isn't complete until there's a game where Sakimoto/Basiscape contributed the soundtrack (Crimson Shroud was last year)...so, here we are...I do really like the game though!

10. Crimson Dragon ; A year ago, I would say I had no intentions on playing this game anytime soon, let alone buying an Xbox One...but here it is on my Top 10. I enjoyed myself quite a bit with this game despite the criticisms it has received from old school Panzer Dragoon fans and the media in general. If you look at this game as a Panzer Dragoon title, then sure, it's absolutely disappointing. For me, it's more or less a spiritual successor. The fact that they didn't label/consider this game a true Panzer Dragoon title leads me to believe that it was meant to be something else from the beginning. This game is certainly not a traditional rail shooter in most regards. It's more of a hybrid of sorts with Panzer Dragoon DNA. Crimson Dragon is an interesting specimen. While there's still a lot of reliance on player skill, memorizing stage layouts, and recognizing enemy/boss patterns, there's a much heavier focus on developing/leveling your dragons and using the appropriate attribute/element against your enemies. Instead of a classic, stage by stage, arcade-like experience, Crimson Dragon opted for short, 5 minute long missions that act more like waves of challenges. In that regard, the game can become relatively grind-y and you'll find yourself having to replay the same stage numerous times to "find a groove", so to speak.

A lot of the reward/challenge comes from going for S-Ranks and Medals, so if you're into that sort of thing, the fun's there, but it depends on how much of the core game works for you. I found the game to be tough to put down and I've more or less exhausted all that there was to do and see over the past few weeks. Saori Kobayashi's soundtrack/work on this game is phenomenal too and you can find myself freaking out about it over in the soundtrack of the year thread. I don't know, the game just really clicked for me, but I completely understand why some people didn't care for it. It's all about expectations.

Honorable Mentions: (again, no particular order, just like seeing everything lined up)




x. Killer Instinct ; I think this was the most fun I've had with a fighting game in the longest time. The combat is accessible, rewarding, and fun enough from the get-go, but there looks like there's enough depth and complexity if you really want to invest the time. The game looks amazing too, especially when you perform Ultra Combos and the arenas get destroyed. The soundtrack is great as well, especially because of how dynamic the music is during battle. The thing is, the game is kind of incomplete. I feel like this may be a better candidate next year when Double Helix/Microsoft (hopefully) updates it, but technically it's a 2013 game so whatever. As of right now, I could see this game being my go-to fighter for the entire generation. I really, really like it.

x. Puppeteer ; Name dropping Dynamite Headdy is what got me interested. Then I saw the visuals/art style and I knew I had to play it. I've never been disappointed by a Japan Studio game. I really do like a lot about this game, but I sort of wish it did a few things differently in retrospect. I think the heads could have served a bigger/better purpose other than simply triggering scripted events or bonus rooms throughout the stages. For example, the train head could have had Kutaro jumping onto the back of the train to plow through groups of enemies. The lion head could have been a lion's roar to stun enemies, you know, ideas like that. I feel like the heads should have been tied to the combat more, but then again, maybe that would have taken away from the focus on his scissors. I mean, what do I know? The amount of care/love put into all of the art assets and unique animations was staggering though. Clearly this game was a labor of love. This game sort of reminds me of why I liked Kirby's Epic Yarn so much. Both games are simple, easy, fun games, but they're packed with so much passion, art, and attention to detail. The humor, however, was not my cup of tea and the game was a bit too chatty for me despite how well written/acted it was. In the end, it wasn't irritating enough to make me think less of the game. I'd take a less talkative, more realized Puppeteer 2 in a heartbeat!

x. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; This game completely took me by surprise. I never expected Starbreeze of all developers to produce something like this either. This is minimalistic storytelling in the most literal sense. No menus, written dialogue or tutorials, everything is communicated to the player visually and aesthetically. Something else that took me by surprise was how the characters spoke in an incoherent/gibberish-like manner. I probably wouldn't have even enjoyed this game as much if the characters communicated in a normal/real language. The game itself had great pacing, incredible settings/environments, and fun puzzles too. The ending, for whatever reason, didn't evoke the kind of emotion/feeling I expected/wanted to have when everything was said and done, but otherwise it was a very memorable experience.

x. Kokuga ; I think you'd better have the full soundtrack playing in the background as you read this.You'd think I'd have Resogun or some other more respectable arcade shooter in my top 10/honorable mention lists this year, but that's not the case! I actually (almost humorously), really, really like this game. Kokuga is fascinating to me. I would almost consider it the The Room of arcade shooters. The thing I find funny about this game is that it seems to take itself very seriously when it's more or less a joke (from what I've gathered) according to arcade/shmup enthusiasts. Before you even get to the title screen you're blasted by this super dramatic introduction scene with the most amazing music ever. When you launch the game you're greeted by this announcer that sounds like he's some guy with a voice changer from some FPS LAN tournament that's held in a high school's gymnasium during the summer. It's really something else.

Honestly, I don't feel that there's anything necessarily bad about the game itself or the core mechanics. The game is meant to be played cooperatively and because it's local-only, you're probably better off flying to Japan to find a game, if you so choose to fulfill such a desire. Seriously though, the game has all the right intentions/ideas. Much like Darius, you're presented with a grid-like path through the game and there are different routes to take, unique bosses to fight, and ridiculous, overly dramatic endings to watch. There's just not much too it though and the replay value is almost non-existent. The scoring system is very simple and there's no real incentive to "get better". No additional modes or unlockables either. In a way, I feel like this game has a lot in common with Crimson Dragon. Both games had moderate hype/expectations considering their pedigree (didn't some ex-Treasure/Ikaruga guy work on Kokuga?) but either because of lack of vision/direction/whatever, they just didn't resonate with the target audience. In that sense, I suppose that's why it fails as being a respectable shooter in the scene. What you see there is what you get here...and in a strange way, I like it.

x. Mighty Switch Force 2 ; The Mighty series is one of my favorite sides of WayForward. As much as I enjoyed Flip Champs and Milky Way, Switch Force is my favorite of the bunch. It's just a great puzzle/platformer with awesome sprite work and killer tunes. Jake Kaufman's contributions to these games helps a lot in that regard and Mighty Switch Force 2's soundtrack is definitely top-tier stuff. Although this felt more like an expansion pack of sorts, the water hose mechanics added a nice refreshing spin to an established/working formula. I would like to see WayForward take this series in a broader direction, however. I'm not the biggest fan of games that are essentially a collection of stages in "list" form. I want to see more context, like a world map, with more bosses and themed zones/areas. I understand that they wanted to make these games quick pickup & play affairs, but I see a lot more potential for this series and I want more from it.

x. The Starship Damrey ; My frame of reference for PC style, point & click adventure games isn't the greatest. I've just never had the desire to play many of them and it's absolutely a genre I didn't grow up with. I'm not even sure if this game would fall under that category, but I'm going to throw it in that pool anyway. I bought this completely on a whim and it ended up being one of the most memorable games I played all year. This game was extremely short, like, 2-3 hours long, but it had such a lasting impression on me. While the story is relatively easy to follow, the twist/reveal at the very end of the game left me pretty nearly speechless. It was just downright cool. The puzzles may not be difficult, but if you haven't played this game and this sounds interesting to you, I challenge you to not act surprised when you see the ending.

x. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon ; I almost feel bad for delegating this game to the honorable mentions section because I loved nearly everything about it. I almost share the exact same sentiment for this game as I did for A Link Between Worlds, but just not as positively. I loved the original Luigi's Mansion. It was like playing/running the mansion from the original Resident Evil only with Nintendo's creative touch and charm. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon took a lot of what I like to call, "Mansion Philosophies" (established by old school Resident Evil, of course) and chopped them up into shorter, more streamlined, more refined scenarios packed with fun and creativity. What was lost in that process was the overall zen-like flow you experience when that "Mansion" design is done properly. This was done quite obviously due to the portable nature of the game, but I much prefer the design/structure of the original. The other aspect that was missing for me was the personalized/stylized ghosts from the first game. The ghosts in this game looked like they were from De Blob or some other somewhat generic-looking game. Overall, the game worked for me though. Oh, and Luigi's animations are ridiculously cool!

x. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood ; This game was a nice end of the year surprise. While I didn't think much of this studio's previous efforts on Max and the Magic Marker, the Curse of Brotherhood has definitely made me put these guys on my radar. This is just another solid puzzle/platformer. The visuals were nice, the pacing was great, and the stages were just the perfect length. New ideas/gimmicks were introduced and built upon around every corner. The game also tied its collectables to the story/narrative, which is always appreciated. What resonated with me the most about this game was the fact that it reminded me of Heart of Darkness from the PSone. While it looks like a kid's game at first glance, it's definitely a darker, more brutal adventure than it appears to be. Max's deaths, like in Heart of Darkness, are quite detailed.

x. Volgarr the Viking ; I literally just finished this game last night for the first time. I bought Volgarr at launch, but I only played it here and there and never really gave the game the attention it deserves. I was browsing my Steam library last night and I saw this chilling there in my digital library, beckoning me. I decided to boot it up and three hours later I'm watching the credits. What a wild and challenging ride this game was. Volgarr is a throwback to the NES/SNES-era in terms of game design and difficulty. This game rests all of its laurels on stage memorization and pattern recognition. The controls are super tight and any mistake made is clearly the player's fault.

This game's got all the right ideas too. Stages are challenging, but memorable enough to "master". They're not overly long either so it's completely digestible. Bosses are tough at first, but become push overs once you learn their patterns. The coolest thing about this game's structure is that there is an alternative, more challenging path through the game. The thing is, you essentially have to get through the stages without getting hit (and also collecting/opening all chests). While I haven't attempted this alternate path, it apparently leads to the true final stage/ending. What's great is that depending on how far you've gotten, you can essentially skip stages to practice a level. The thing is, this locks you out of the true path so if you really want to be an old school guy, you gotta do it the hard way. The only thing this game could have used was a better soundtrack. The music is relatively unexciting and it kind of brought my energy level down while playing it. Music's really important to me and it sometimes can make or break a game. The animations were pretty good too, but the game did have a somewhat blurry/washed out look.
 

randomkid

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Thanks for all the SMT4 shout outs dudes. I even got a couple people to grab Friday Monsters so that's what's up.

Also, this Kokuga soundtrack is really solid! I am so glad they kept the announcer ha.
 

Pudge

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1. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon; I love Blood Dragon as much as a man can love a piece of media. The neon lighting, the laser spewing animals, the shotgun from T2, the pistol from Robocop, the dialogue, the retro cut-scenes, I could go on and on. Blood Dragon hits every entry on my checklist for entertainment, and then invents new ones to check off with a laser sword. It presents a world where Nirvana never hit it big and the '80s raged on for an eternity. In that world, this is what AAA gaming looks like, and it's beautiful.

2. Saints Row 4; An evolution of everything that makes Saints Row the best open world game around and the sequel to Crackdown that we've all be waiting for. Volition can do no wrong with this series, and I'll follow them wherever their twisted minds want to go.

3. Fire Emblem: Awakening; I have loved Fire Emblem since it first hit American shores, but the one thing I've always hated is the character permadeath. I got emotionally invested in my soldiers, and watching them die over and over after half hour battles is not my idea of fun. Awakening fixes this with its casual mode, and lets crazy people like me enjoy the game while masochists can play it the way it was intended.

4. The Stanley Parable; What can I say about this game? It's an excellent study in interactivity, a master class in humor in games, a cerebral gem in a sea of brainless shooters. The experience was short, but this game made every moment count, and it's unforgettable.

5. Pokemon X; Pokemon Stadium battles in a full RPG. It's all I've ever wanted since the N64 days, and that combined with the improvements in training and online functionality makes this more of a revolution than many other entries in the series.

6. Shadow Warrior; An amazing old school FPS that combines mazes fill with secrets and high octane modern violence seamlessly. Slashing demons with my katana felt like a highly improved Dead Island combat system, and the writing and style this game oozed out was insanely cool.

7. Bioshock Infinite; A title that has been slipping down this list since it was released. I loved the story and world-building here, but the the gameplay doesn't have the depth of its predecessors, and the DLC was lacking because of its length. i'm ready for Irrational to break out of the Bioshock mold and try something new.

8. Batman: Arkham Origins; A worthy followup to the other Arkham games that was better than City in my eyes at taking the linear gameplay of Asylum and bringing it into the open world. The multiplayer is unique and enjoyable enough for what it is.

9. Typing of the Dead: Overkill; Filled with unnecessary cursing, blatant exploitation and the stupid humor that can only come from typing bosses to death, Overkill is a blast that is easily recommendable to anyone with a taste for awful movies and anyone who hasn't gotten tired of fighting the undead.

10. Deadpool; Actually my number 11 game but Puzzle Platformer is DQ'd, so this gets bumped up. An excellent action game that seems like it will also serve as the swan song for Activision's Marvel games. It fits the bill.
 

AcridMeat

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I just uploaded my list as a giantbomb post but it's not strictly 2013 games, just my favorites from continuing my favorite hobby last year. Brothers and Stanley Parable are super close for my favorite that came out in 2013, but I think I stand by Stanley Parable.
 

JDHarbs

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1. BioShock: Infinite ; Every game has flaws, but what separates the best from the rest are the ones that make them easy to deal with. Infinite does just that. The gameplay isn't great, but literally everything else is. It had me on the edge of my seat from the breathtaking arrival at Columbia to the mind-blowing conclusion. This was one of those rare gaming experiences that I will never forget. My game of the year, and arguably my game of the gen. I can guarantee that years from now I will still be playing this game.

2. The Last of Us ; This is one of those rare games that does everything well. So well that its actually hard for me to poke holes in it. So why didn't I put this at #1? Well, I can't really figure it out either. Something just felt like it was missing. It does everything just as good or even better than Infinite does, but I still found myself enjoying Infinite far more. I think the hype might have ruined it for me. The game started off really strong, but it wasn't until I reached the Winter that I really started to enjoy it again. Its not the "Citizen Kane of games" to me, but its probably the closest thing we have to it.

3. Tomb Raider ; This game falls just shy of greatness to me. Combat has always been a weak point for the Tomb Raider series so this reboot tried to hard to fix that. So hard that it actually didn't feel like Tomb Raider anymore. If it had just leaned a little bit more towards the great puzzles the series is known for then we would've had ourselves the perfect Tomb Raider game. That aside, I loved watching Lara's transformation into the badass she is today. Crystal Dynamics has a great foundation for this new series and I can't wait to see where they take it from here.

4. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; I always have a hard time figuring out where to place Indie games like this on a GotY list. The experience is great, but it has a fraction of the content that AAA games do. The gameplay was incredibly unique and fun even if it was a little frustrating at times. I loved the characters, story, and setting. Its a great little game with an ending that I found to be more emotional than anything in The Last of Us.

5. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon ; Easily the most fun I've had playing a game this year. I wasn't around in the 80s, but my parents raised me on its music and movies so I enjoyed this "ode to the decade" very well. Where this game really shines is in its humor. Its a fantastic parody of the action movies from the 1980's and today's action games. This game is what all DLC or expansions should strive to be, a unique experience that deviates from the main game instead of extending it. While games like The Last of Us make strong attempts to push this medium forward as an artform, Blood Dragon makes the argument that we're a form of entertainment that shouldn't take ourselves too seriously and have some fun.

6. Outlast ; I haven't even finished the game yet and its already everything I've ever wanted in a horror game. No guns. No melee weapons. Its just you and your wits against a building full of lunatics. You're thrown into a section of the building where you must carry out objectives without being spotted by enemies. If one spots you then you gotta run and hide before they catch you. The rush it gives when being chased down by one of those things is absolutely intense and frightening. The atmosphere is great, and there are some good jump scares scattered throughout. Now that the holidays have come and gone then hopefully I'll be in the mood to finish it soon.

7. The Stanley Parable ; The concept of this game was genius. It challenges the concept of player choice in games and does it in a really interesting way. It has some good humor throughout. Unfortunately, the gameplay just consists of walking through doors and its laughably short even with the multiple endings so I had a hard time placing it very high on this list.

8. Batman: Arkham Origins ; New developer, new voice cast, lesser-known villains, and a prequel? C'mon, who makes a prequel before a series is finished? I wanted Arkham 3, and I got this so let's just say I went into this game with really low expectations. I'm happy to say that I'm glad I picked this one up anyway. The story is the best in the series so far, and the gameplay makes good small adjustments that don't ruin what still works. It has a lot of the same problems that plague most AAA games today though. Unnecessary multiplayer, QTEs, etc. I love this series, but it feels like its in the early stages of franchise fatigue.
 

Forsaken82

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585
Chicago, IL
1. Bioshock: Infinite ; Sure, Bioshock: Infinite does not offer that fantastic first impression you got from Rapture in the original game, but I feel like that ending completely made up for it. The combat was alright, and I wish the tears system was more fleshed out and utilized but I feel the game simply excelled at the setting and story line so much that everything together simply made for my favorite experience of the year. It was just a fantastic overall package. I am both excited and curious to see where Irrational takes this franchise in the future after that crazy ending.

2. Tomb Raider ; Let me just get the controversy out of the way, Last of Us is the front runner to win GOTY... TR not so much. my 2 and 3 can go either way otherwise. I think TR deserves more love. Anyways, The game looked fantastic, I Loved the combat system complete with a unique arsenal of weapons and upgrades that kept combat interested and I actually felt like the game embraced its Tomb Raider namesake by giving the player quite a bit of exploration including metroidvania style backtracking. The story was take it or leave it, but it served its purpose in giving me a reason to get from A to B. I also found the QTEs to be a little to intrusive, but otherwise a solid overall experience.

3. The Last of Us ; So now that the controversy is out of the way, let get down to it. This game LOOKS fantastic... So much so that I feel the game would have been better off as a PS4 launch title than a PS3 summer title. Technical issues aside, this was definitely the most emotional experience I had all year (even more than Bioshock) and while it dragged a little bit in the middle, I kept wanting to see the relationship between our two protaganists grow. My biggest complaint of the game (and part of the reason with the #3 rating as well) I have never been a fan of how Naughty Dog handles combat and this game is no different, thankfully due to the smaller enemy encounters (and stealthier nature), it was not nearly as bad as the uncharted games, but it still had moments of poor mechanics (I should comment, I played TR on PC so I don't want to hear anything about how TR controlled the same. It isn't going to change my vote.)

4. Path of Exile ; I honestly don't know if this should even count for this year since Ive been playing the closed bet since early 2012 and I don't think it changed all that much since 1.0, but with that said... anyone that paid attention to my list last year... I am a loot whore... love these games, and PoE nailed it. Whats more is it nailed it with no cost!

5. Injustice: Gods Among Us ; Ok... this is a slight bias on my part... but damn if it isn't a fun fighting game! Any fighting game I can be fairly decent at I approve of!

6. Gunpoint ; By far the most surprising game I played. I had followed this game since its debut at the IGF and thought it was a great concept, and actually playing the game exceeded my expectations. The puzzle design was just really clever. My biggest issue with the game is its so bitesize at around 3 hours. I feel this game would benefit from mod support.

7. Hammerwatch ; Retro style Gauntlet! What more needs to be said? There is a lot to like with this indie gem.

8. Trine 2 ; I loved the first game, so I was expecting more of the same with Trine 2 and thats exactly what I got... This game is gorgeous and just a pleasure to play co-op

9. Dota 2 ; Not the biggest fan of this Genre, but this game has certainly grabbed my attention.
 

zoku88

Member
Dec 25, 2006
19,497
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0
30
1. Europa Universalis IV ; I was really impressed with how Paradox treated this game as a follow up to EUIII. They took trading, which was pretty mundane in earlier and made it into something way more interesting and rewarding. Limits to activity is no longer based on the number of magistrates you had and are instead based on monarch points, with how much you gain per month depending on the stats of your monarch. Sure, there are problems with certain things, like how coalitions are handled, but overall, it is the most enjoyable game I've played this year (maybe except for CK2, which was probably my GOTY last year.)

2. Civilization V: Brave New World ; When Civilization V launched, it was kind of a mess. The enemy AI could hardly deal with the hexes. Diplomacy options were very limited. It seemed like the only really good thing to do was make war. Bad for me since I've been mostly a peaceful player in past iterations. The latest expansion added idealogies and trading. Idealogies add something more to the UN voting (which wasn't there either before, I forget?) And trading gives you an extra income source that doesn't mean you have to rely on getting bigger to get more money. Plus, the new civs (esp Venice) are particularily interesting. Great fun. I probably would have played it more if it was on Linux, though.

3. The Guided Fate Paradox ; Man, I really loved ZHP. This is like that, so of course I would love that too. In a lot of rogue-likes that I've played, I kind of got 'lonely' since the main character was always by himself. I like the fact that the angles accompany you ^^

4. DOTA 2 ; This is probably one of my most played games of the year. The International this year really piqued my interest. Alas, I haven't really played much recently, given that the community is a complete POS. This probably would have been my #2 in that case.

5. Tales of Xillia ; I don't really have much experience with the Tales Of games. I've only really played Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Graces F before. The battle systems were always good (with Graces being the best), but I always felt like the characters were a bit childish. I really loved Xillia, though. I don't hate the characters and the immature ones eventually mature through the events of the game. The battle system isn't at good as Graces, though. I wish there were more end-game content as well. But all in all, pretty fun.

6. Ys I & II Chronicles+ ; I got into the Ys games pretty recently. I never really put much interest in the earlier games, since walking into enemies at an angle seems pretty dumb. I was pretty wrong though, and these games can be pretty fun.

7. Hate Plus ; .

8. Football Manager 2014 ; Unfortunately, this only launched a couple of months ago. so I haven't had much time to play this. What I can tell that Football Manager continues its general trend of meaningful improvement year over year. This time, they also saw fit to produce a Linux version as well, always a plus for zoku ^^

9. Wargame: AirLand Battle ; I haven't really had much time to play this as well. It seems to be going against the general trend of the RTS genre more or less dying. I'm sure this would be higher if I were more of a competitive RTS player, instead of someone who mostly plays against the CPU.

10. Ys: Memories of Celceta ; I think this might be the second year in a row where I put two Ys games. Celceta barely makes my list, though. Of the three types of Ys games I've played (Oath-type, original type, and Seven type), seven type is bare far my least favourite. It is still a fun game, but it really isn't that challenging. I really hope the next game has a new engine. Or, at least, not this one...

x. Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien ; This is the first endless runner game I've played. It was pretty fun. Pretty good music as well.

x. Disgaea Dimension 2 ; Pretty much a Disgaea game. I actually like the systems story of Disgaea 4 more, though. I haven't finished it yet, so maybe my opinions might change in the future.

2012. Dishonored ; This is probably the first stealth game I've played where I didn't hate playing stealthily.
 

ThanksVision

Member
Jan 24, 2009
5,972
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0
Okay year, I reckon. I only managed to play the "big" releases of the year. Fell in love with 2 games (Antichamber & TLOU) and liked quite a few others. Couldn't make it to a full 10 though.

e: actually now that I see my list in full, this year had a great push for games with strong narratives. Or at least, games that tried lots of new things in terms of narrative. Cool!

1. Antichamber ; It is almost as if Alexander Bruce sat down and thought "hmm... I should make a game for ThanksVision." This game isn't for everyone. I get that. Antichamber's abstract visual & puzzle design is a turn-off for many people, but that is what kept me coming back. My brain twisted and turned in completely new ways, thanks to the game's dynamic environment and its non-euclidean geometry. This is one of the few puzzle games where I didn't look up any of the solutions when I got stuck, and I can't really pinpoint why I never brought myself to google search answers. I was stuck on certain puzzles for extended periods. I'd leave the game for hours and return to it, sometimes to instantly solve the problem or continue hitting my head against a wall. I was consumed by Antichamber for about a week. I love this game because it's a giant puzzle made up of much smaller puzzles, and all of them are only possible in a videogame.

2. Beyond Two Souls ; David Cage is... an interesting man, to say the least. I feel like he wants to create games that probably can't even be made yet. Although heavily-flawed, he offers entirely new experiences. He's a master at instilling mood; Heavy Rain is absolutely ridiculous and filled with plotholes but I still think that game is dripping with atmosphere. And with Beyond, Cage takes multiple steps in the right direction. The writing and narrative here is still pretty mediocre, but it's all around much more sound than his previous work. The performances are much better (as it should be with Paige & Defoe on deck), and the graphics are out of this world in places... I couldn't believe it was running on the PS3. I think Cage is going to get it right one day (hire a writer please), and until then, I'll follow each game he puts out, because his games are totally out there and different and more memorable because of it.

3. Super Mario 3D World ; I played through this game with my brother and his buddy. There's a level where every character jump causes platforms to switch, and with three people hopping about and racing towards the flagpole as fast as possible, it became a bloodbath. We lost dozens and dozens of lives, but that was hands down the hardest I laughed in a videogame all year. Heck, that was the hardest I laughed thanks to any medium all year. People say the multiplayer isn't fun. I hold the opinion that any game's multiplayer can be fun with the right people, and this is especially true of these Mario games. Yes, Nintendo goes back to the "Mario well" pretty regularly, but when the games remain this joyous and charming, does it really matter?

4. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger ; Basically this game is just a super slick and fun-as-hell arcade shooter with a twist on narrative. It does a lot of really cool things with its bar-patron fable-esque narrative: changing enemies and landscapes right before your eyes, and the novelty of it all never wears off cause it's used so sparingly. What does this game cost, like $10? You should probably play this game

5. Gone Home ; one of those games that I played and didn't think about, and then it crept into my thoughts a week or two later. So I played it again. And then one more time. One of the more finely-crafted things on my list. No BS in this game, it tells its story and the credits roll. Bethesda should look into this level of environmental story-telling.

6. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; I'm finding myself less interested in challenging titles. I used to set games on the hardest difficulty and go for every trophy I could, but now I appreciate games that allow me to take my time and work through things at my own pace. Enter New Leaf, the latest in a series that epitomizes relaxing gameplay. I lived in my fake town for about 2 solid months, and the game quickly rose to the top of my "most hours logged" list on the 3DS. I'd have a hard time burning out on AC if all the games continue to be as innovative as this.

7. The Last of Us ; What can I say about TLOU that hasn't already been said? I could make a laundry list of superlatives to describe the writing and the characters and the plot. But I'd rather focus on a specific moment: the bit after
the car crash, where Ellie is taken away from Joel for a brief second, and he has to kill some meathead before he can save her. I've never had a rush like that in any other game, where I needed to protect (LARA CROFT !!!) Ellie at all costs. Any game that can make me feel the way I did while I was charging at the freak who was holding her down deserves all the praise in the world
. This would probably be #2 but I want to give points to other games that might be less represented. TLOU is going to be #1 on the GAF list, and rightfully so. This is the game that the entire generation has been building toward.

8. Bioshock Infinite ; This game is just downright cool. It reminds me of Inception in a way--fun commerical popcorn rollercoaster that you shouldn't think about too much afterwards. There are flaws. The combat can be finnicky. I don't think the level design is as interesting as it could have been for a game featuring the entire skyhook/rails technology. The atmosphere becomes less and less interesting as the game goes on. blah blah BUT the artstyle is lovely (sans steampunk look), and the whole game is an enjoyable ride that simply FLIES. The last minute reveals compensate for most of the flaws in this game, as long as you leave it at that and don't delve too deeply.


x. Tomb Raider ; I already played Uncharted 2
x. Grand Theft Auto V ; here's another gta game that is good and riddled with the same flaws that the series has always had. story has lots of potential but simply falls flat in the end. I started getting into programming HEAVY and made a couple android apps this year. Latest was a frogger clone that took quite a bit of time and brainpower to get everything to work. But after I finished that, playing GTA basically involved me asking "how the F did they do this" aloud over and over again. Can't think of many games that let me crash headfirst into an oncoming train while listening to "Fergalicious." I think Rockstar makes brilliant worlds and characters but they never deliver on the plot (besides red dead redemption aka 2010 goty) so yeah, that's why it didn't make the cut
 

Gully State

Member
Nov 11, 2007
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California

1. DOTA 2 ; Icefrog brought over the core game, and Valve supported it with pageantry. Thus, a classic was reborn. Streamlining without sacrificing gameplay at its finest. I started playing DOTA 2 shortly after the first international and have been thoroughly hooked since. I love that the game continually allows for player growth due to its sheer wealth of mechanics and how those same mechanics result in unique and different combinations that continually surprise me even 1500 hours in. It makes DOTA a bastion to emergent gameplay. There is a classic analogy of basketball having the same soul of jazz. That same analogy applies to DOTA 2. Both are at their best when solo improvisation shines but not at the expense of the team's cohesive tempo. I also love how Valve built tools to foster the community that just make sense. From giving the game away for free but charging only for cosmetic items; supporting the pro scene through ticket sales and the International (which is the best run pro gaming tourney outside of maybe SC tourneys in South Korea) and even leveraging the community to become content creators. In short DOTA 2 is proof that free to play and games as a service can offer significant value to the consumer. That said, my queue just popped and well...
 

Berto

Member
May 19, 2010
1,471
1
0
Lisbon
pixelhunt.wordpress.com
Unfortunatly I didn't play as many 2013 games as I wanted, a mix of no free time and a huge backlog made me pass on many games that usually I would play. I'm only putting 5 games in the list because those are the only ones that I think deserve to get points for their quality. It didn't help that most of the 2013 games I played were disapointments for me like Rome 2, Tomb Raider and A Machine for Pigs. I suspect The Stanley Parable would be on the list but I only played the mod back in the day. So, these are my votes:

1. Europa Universalis IV ; I'm an Europa Universalis fan for a long, long time, the third game had a few launch issues, but EU IV is almost perfect for me.
2. Bioshock Infinite ; Let's put this out of the way, I didn't like the extreme abundance of combat, I mean didn't mind it, I just didn't enjoyed how frequent it was, but beside that it was a pleasure. Loved the setting, the story, the art direction, the voice acting, the soundtrack... it stayed marked in my head for a long, long time.
3. Brothers A Tale of Two Sons ; A very short game but it never loses the momentum, a mature and bittersweet story masked by a superficial kiddy look. Loved it.
4. Papers, Please ; A very clever game wich uses the gameplay to pass some interesting and relevant messages.
5. Gone Home ; It's like a sequel to Dear Esther and I loved Dear Esther. it follows the same philosophy but with more interactivity covered by a sweet and naive love story. .
2012. Dark Souls PC ; I might be cheating because it's really a 2011 game but the PC port was 2012 so I don't care lol It's the game that ruined gaming for me. Almost everything feels like a complete boredom after experiencing Dark Souls.

Edit: Shit! almost forgot about Brothers!
 

added_time

Member
May 27, 2010
3,510
0
0
1. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; A lot has been said about the Animal Crossing games being popular because they are addictive. However, a lot of games have you collect things but don't have the charm that the Animal Crossing world has. Playing this just makes me feel happy no matter what I'm doing. I wish more video games made me feel that way.

2. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon ; I'm starting to think Next Level Games are one of the best assets Nintendo has. They are getting consistent in making sequels to Nintendo properties that live up to the series they are a part of. This is just a great game with lots of charm, beautiful graphics and lots of re-playability.
 

Clear

Member
Feb 2, 2009
8,436
1,254
800
I spent most of my gaming year playing favourites from earlier in the generation, and stuff like FFXI which I seem to have been playing forever. As a result I've played fewer new titles this year than I'd have liked, and so I'm sticking to a simple 2 title list, my goty, and a runner-up.

1. The Last Of Us ; Head and shoulders my favourite game of the year. 'Nuff said.

2. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen ; This expanded re-release really delivered the dungeon crawling goods, and at its mid-price rrp offered tremendous value for money.

Honourable mentions:

x. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; May have merited third place but as I haven't finished it yet...

x. Guacamelee ; Same issue as MGR.

x. God Of War:Ascension ; Beautiful, but lacking in substance.

x. Dead Space 3 ; Visceral tried too hard to please everyone with this, and ended up with a poorly-paced effort that prematurely wears out its welcome. Although thankfully not a requirement, the micro-transactions were intrusive and irritating. That said, its not a terrible game, just a big step back from its predecessors.

x. Batman: Arkham Origins ; At its core this is a good game, and it has some stellar sequences for fans of the character/dc universe. However it is also riddled with bugs, poor sign-posting, and for the most part feels like inferior retread of Arkham City. Not a disaster because the core of the game is so good, but not a patch on the Rocksteady games.
 

Kyonashi

Member
Nov 12, 2012
2,540
0
415
London, UK
(Don't worry, no spoilers are actual story spoilers. It's just that thing GAFers do for comedic effect.)

1. The Last of Us; Permit me to tell you a little story about TLoU. When my copy arrived, my PS3 had died like a couple weeks earlier. As I live in a student house, all my closest friends share my PS3 and so no-one had one for me to borrow. In the end, the day it arrived, I arranged to walk 20 minutes away to play it at a friend-of-a-friend's house full of people I'd vaguely known in my first year of study, but not too well. As I played the opening of the game, one by one, each member of this house walked through the lounge, and one by one they all stopped what they were doing and just watched. The opening of the game finished, the titles rolled and we just stood there in silence.
And that's the story of how I almost cried in front of a room of 20 year old guys I barely knew. From their faces afterwards, I think they all felt the same way.
As a film student and lover of games, I despise the term 'cinematic' in videogames. It needs its own term, to be its own thing and embrace the activity of the medium rather than the passivity. The Last of Us isn't a turning point, and it isn't the glorious new realisation of gaming's exact future. But for me, with the emotions I felt playing it, and the incredibly mature and phenomenally written ending to the game (I could talk for three times as long about why I love that game's ending), and the ACTIVE connection to characters and story through gameplay, it's the biggest step-forward I've felt in a while.
Also it wasn't an FPS.

2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds; I've always been torn on whether Majora's Mask or Link to the Past is my favourite Zelda. I replayed LTTP just before playing this, and all I can say is it at least lives up to its predecessor. It's invigorated my love for the franchise and made me hopeful for its future, and I appreciate a game with no padding. Now I just want a 3DS MM so I can try and finally decide my favourite...

3. Bravely Default; I've never really been able to get into classic fantasy RPGs. I love Persona, I love some of the Final Fantasy series,
I prefer XIII to IX, so sue me.
but I never felt like the fantasy setting was for me. Bravely Default's WONDERFUL game design has changed that. Grinding, travel, battle systems: it's all been tweaked in a way that has taken almost everything I dislike about long RPGs and made them purely fun again, whilst keeping the classic feel. Gotta buy this Day One, USGAF.

4. Grand Theft Auto V; I 100%ed this game, and loved it all. Expansive, funny, and so incredibly in-depth. However I do start to feel that to keep going, GTA needs to mix it up with the next installment. I think this one was good as it is, but I'd really like to see GTA take on some other characters. Make GTAVI's protagonist female, and give women a bigger role in the game, and I'd find it a lot more interesting. As a guy, I can't explain why I feel that way about GTA, I just think it might be the shot in the arm the game needs. I just think GTA is so good at its offensive humor, but its portrayals of women can be quite weak, cliche and unfunny. Make fun of some new groups of people in a brutal yet intelligent way, and it'll sit better with me. South Park does a good job of this, I feel.

5. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies; Ace Attorney will always have a place in my heart. All I can say about this one is it probably would have been higher up this list, but my lofty expectations along with a few new characters who I kinda disliked disappointed me a little.
MAYA AND GUMSHOE FOR AA6 PLS

6. Fire Emblem Awakening;
Matchmaker and Waifu Simulator 2013
. Super fun strategy RPG with character designs from the guy who did No More Heroes' character art. Wonderful.

7. Animal Crossing: New Leaf; I hated Animal Crossing before this year. Probably something to do with having a girlfriend to play it with, but New Leaf sucked me in for the most time I've put into a game this year
(except maybe League of Legends)
. Infinitely charming, shame most of my villagers sucked.

8. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F;
I liked the bit where you could watch Miku sleep.
Best series of rhythm games ever finally comes to the West.

9. Tearaway; I wish I could interact with all games like this. Well, not exactly, but feeling like you can reach in and touch the world is lovely. Also it's BEAUTIFUL.

10. The Stanley Parable; I kinda lump this in with Gone Home and Papers Please in the trifecta of '2013 Indie Games Which Play With The Concepts Of Narrative'. Simply put, I enjoyed this one the most, so it wins my final spot. Also helps when a game makes me laugh. Still think GH and PP are very important games though.

x. Gone Home (see 10.)
x. Papers Please (see 10.)
x. Remember Me; Underrated, beautiful art design, but unfortunately a lot of weaknesses. However, Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect were also weak on a first installment, and look at their sequels. Therefore, this is winner of the 'BEST GAME - HYPOTHETICAL SEQUEL' award.
Shame it won't get one.
x. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon; Probably the only FPS I enjoyed this year.
x. Bioshock Infinite; I don't think a game has ever fallen so much in my estimations after I've played it when I had a chance to think about it. ADORED it whilst I was playing it, but think about it too much and it unravels. I like the themes, but they could have been dealt with much better, and certainly not in an FPS. It's weird, because at one point this was my Game of the Year, and I still feel it deserves a place higher, but hmm.

2012. [3DS] Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward; Finished it in January 2013, still thinking about it in December. Enough said.

I AM VERY BITTER THAT SMTIV COULDN'T BE ON THIS LIST.
 
Feb 9, 2006
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0
1. Super Mario 3D World ; A masterclass in gameplay design. I thought it would be a massive step back from the Galaxy games after its E3 debut, but boy was I wrong. The levels are short but impeccably designed. It's filled with charm, wonderful power-ups and the endgame is tough, yet rewarding. The multiplayer is excellent fun as well. All in all it's further proof that Tokyo EAD can seemingly do no wrong and are arguably the most talented studio in gaming right now.
2. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Even though its short development time means it's a little rough around the edges, it also delivers the most fun combat system of the year for me. Instead of the stylish combo focus of games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, MGR is all about parrying, evading and slicing. It does all those things wonderfully well and with enemies that are really out for your blood on higher difficulties it results in an incredibly fun action game with some of the best boss fights of this entire generation. In the first 15 minutes alone, you'll jump from missile to missile, run down a building under fire and slice a Metal Gear in half. That's more than most games muster in their entirety. So good that even Yathzee put it in his top five.
3. The Last of Us ; Described by many as the game this entire generation has been building towards, it's by far the best of the big AAA games. Whereas GTA is still stuck in dated mission design and archaic controls, Naughty Dog delivered some of the most mature storytelling ever in games, with compelling characters, excellent voice acting and dialogue, a really fleshed out world and one of the best endings gaming ever gave us. Comparisons with Uncharted are moot: it's a remarkably restrained game with no big set-pieces, gameplay systems that value stealth over shooting and a beautiful, subtle soundtrack that is the exact opposite of Hollywood bombast. Its excellent dynamic gameplay systems that allow for tense cat and mouse games with the AI and on the fly improvisation when things go tits up deserve as much credit as its production values and storytelling,
4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; A great Mario game and a great Zelda game in one year. We've truly been blessed. It's a fast-paced gem of a game that gives the player more freedom, doesn't waste its world with filler and bloat (Ubisoft, take note), makes excellent use of 3D and has one of the best soundtracks of the year. Like the best Nintendo games, it's filled with charm and wonder and another gilt edged addition to the 3DS library.
5. The Wonderful 101 ; This game could be higher if I had a few more months as it's a game I'm still mastering. It's the least accessible game in my list, but also the deepest. It's one of those rare games that demands investment and it arguably doesn't do the best job of explaining how deep the rabbit hole goes and boy does it go deep. You only have to look at Saur's excellent breakdowns to see that this has one of the best combat systems ever. It's all there: combos, juggles, cancels, counters and epic boss fights, but in most games you fight the crowd. In this game you are the crowd. It's the most novel and daring game of this list and shows that Kamiya and Platinum are the best thing that have happened to this industry when it comes to quality action games that all have a style of their own, without sacrificing depth and going for the lowest common denominator.
6. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; This year's Journey. A downloadble game that tells everything it needs to tell in the few hours it lasts and doesn't waste time by including filler and bloat. Brothers serves up a world full of wonder, a true adventure that builds towards an emotional climax. It's a pure game as well, as you are constantly interacting with the world, something I much prefer to Telltale's way of telling stories. Sure, it's not the most challenging game in the world, but it doesn't need to be. Everything you do makes perfect sense in the context of the story it tells and the world it takes place in. A magical, powerful little game.
7. Volgarr The Viking ; Miss rock hard action platformers like Super Ghouls and Ghosts? This is the game for you. It wears its inspirations on its sleeve, but that is no bad thing at all. Incredibly tight level design, filled with enemies and hazards that will kill you in an instant if you are not careful. The game is never unfair though, it just punishes mistakes without mercy. Controls work great, there are lots of secrets to discover and if you think gaming has gone too soft, you probably haven't played this.
8. Device 6 ; Like Platinum and Nintendo, Simogo made more than one great game this year. Which is particularly impressive when you realise it's a two man team. Year Walk is superb as well, but I found Device 6 the better of the two. Whereas iOS is flooded with crap and more endless runners than you can shake a stick at, here's a game that does things differently. Instead of grinding or flooding you with microtransaction requests, you just pay (little) for an original, surreal and smart little game where you litterally interact with the text. You follow it, swiping and rotating your device to reach the next smart puzzle or to go back and find clues you might have missed. Like some other games on this list, it builds towards a perfect ending and the song Anna will stay in your head for a long time. Not to be missed.
9. Rayman Legends ; Like Origins before it, it's an excellent 2D platformer with some of the best visuals and music of the year. It's a more varied package too, with smart implementation of the touch screen (I played the Wii U version), online challenges, music levels and what might be the best local 4 player multiplayer mode of the year in Kung Foot. Some people will tell you that Origins is more challenging, but the online challenges and invasion levels make up for that. It's by far the best of Ubisoft's bigger titles this year and it's a good thing they are using this great engine for other titles.
10. Guacamelee ; Metroidvania that might not reach the highs of the games its inspired by, but is still a very fun game with excellent art and music, surprisngly challenging platforming and a combat system that is far from shallow. Good stuff.
 

Wok

Member
Dec 28, 2011
10,424
0
545
France
I think 3 additional games should be eligible:
  • Tetrobot and Co.: the game was released in 2013.
  • SpyParty: the beta was closed prior to 2013 and was made public in 2013.
  • Scrolls: the game is in beta, but it can be purchased since 2013.
 

Wok

Member
Dec 28, 2011
10,424
0
545
France
1. Dota 2 ; If one had to evaluate the quality of a game based on its capacity to restrain its playerbase, Dota 2 would have to be of the highest quality. Due to its important number of heroes, the game manages to show both a high variety of situations and a certain depth of gameplay. I have never spent so much time with a single game, and I have never spent so much money in a free game before.
2. Spelunky ; Spelunky succeeds where most rogue-like games fail: the game randomly creates a set of tile-based levels with a wide range of ennemies, and it is the interaction between the actors of this dedadly biome which results in challenging situations. The game is really based on skills. A masterpiece.
3. Rayman Legends ; A recreative delight for the fingers and the eyes. Contrary to punishing platformers, Rayman Legends constantly rewards the player, thanks to an incredible art direction, be it for the graphics and for the music. The game is hardly difficult, yet compelling to finish.
4. Gone Home ; Gone Home is what is left from Bioshock if you remove the dull fighting scenes, from Amnesia if you remove the monster. Gone Home is what Dear Esther would have been, had the player been authorized to interact with its environment. A masterpiece of great narrative power.
5. Antichamber ; What is amazing in the real world is the intrinsinc underlying logic which allows us to grasp a better understanding of its functioning. With Antichamber, the world obeys different rules, but these rules still follow a certain logic, and thanks to your cognitive power, you can try to figure them out, which is both very surprising and very rewarding.
6. Tetrobot and Co. ; The perfect puzzle game: no time constraint, simple gameplay (use your mouse), a smart level design, and a forgiving game since you can rewind your actions.
7. The Swapper ; Every puzzle is different, you will never encounter a puzzle which reminds you of one which you had already solved. The game inherited this good game design from Braid.
8. Gunpoint ; A game about freedom: freedom to hack your environment to solve each situation in your own way. What a brilliand idea!
9. The Stanley Parable ; A meta-game about life and games. What is design? What is freedom?
10. Cook, Serve, Delicious ; Enjoy the rush hour and the sounds of food being prepared and served. The game is so polished it is really delightful to play!
2012. The Sea Will Claim Everything ; A game which will make you reflect upon yourself... and maybe even cry. Such a powerful narration!
 

Yuterald

Member
Jan 12, 2011
4,315
0
0
Yuterald's list makin me sad again for not getting a WiiU this year. Judging by the similarities in our lists, I guess maybe I should give Zeno Clash 2 and Crimson Dragon a shot also :p
Hah, yeah, the Wii U really did it for me this year. It's got my favorite Platinum game of the bunch, one of the best Mario games I've played since Galaxy, and a really great Pikmin title all within a few months from each other. I didn't even get to talk about NES Remix or a few other notable games I played on the system either.

If Zeno Clash II sounds interesting, I highly, highly suggest starting with the first one. You'll have a much better appreciation/understanding of what's going on in the second game, and it's a really short game too. Crimson Dragon was an interesting game for me, but it's the kind of game I wouldn't normally suggest to most people. I don't want to lead people on and say it's a great game/must play or anything like that, because it's really not in a lot of respects. There was just something about that game that no other game provided for me this year. Just really subtle stuff, like its atmosphere and the (glorious) soundtrack that really resonated with me.
 

alr1ght

bish gets all the credit :)
Sep 25, 2005
55,616
1
1,440
1. The Last of Us ; Hugh Jackman and Ellen Page adventure through post-apocalyptic USA fighting themselves, friends, enemies, and the mushroom men. Production quality is top notch, as to be expected.

2. The Swapper ; Oozing with atmosphere. I think it broke my brain a few times.

3. Bioshock Infinite ; The world they created sucked me right into the game. Visuals, voice acting, and music all shine over the ho-hum gameplay.

4. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; The usual Platinum Games craziness mixed with Metal Gear. A match made in heaven.

5. Guacamelee! ; Just a joy to play. I'm a sucker for Metroidvanias and this did not disappoint. Excellent style and surprisingly deep brawler combat.

6. Grand Theft Auto 5 ; I usually get bored with GTA games about 75% through the game, but this kept my attention with the improved gameplay and excellently written characters.

7. Spelunky; I don't know what it is, but this game keeps pulling me back in. Must have put 15+ hours into it already and still not close to being done with it.

8. Resogun ; Voxels! I like to watch stuff blow up and this scratches that itch. Just look at it.

9. Gone Home ; Quite an experience. Atmosphere (music!) and attention to detail (mid-90's references galore) is top notch.

10. BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien ; Like the first, but not as rage inducing.



x. The Bridge ; If M.C. Escher designed a puzzle game. Absolutely gorgeous.
 

zero shift

Banned
Nov 17, 2012
6,172
0
0
The problem with me as I've played mostly older games this year. If I was going to list my top 5 or hell even 10 only 2 games from this year would make the cut. But since its just by this year, I have to bide by the rules.

1.Shin Megami Tensei IV ; Incredibly overlooked. I mean its well known to 3DS fans, however it rarely is on top 5 or even top 10 lists for the system. To put it quite simply the game truly is a continuation of the series and lives up being the follow up of the classic SMTIII: Nocturne. The game is filled with depth, style, and content.

2. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; The game that took everyone by surprised. From what I understand the game doesn't really do much new but more so just perfects the elements of turn based strategy it makes it standout so much. Outside of a rough learning curve this game is near perfect.

3. Aces Wild ; Astroboy Omega Factor meets Bangai-O. This indie game is very enjoyable and very unique. Its shocking to as of why it isn't mentioned more even though it isn't on Steam.

4. Metro Last Light ; Many say that this game fixed a lot of problems with the previous title. I disagree, to me it was the same old Metro. That for the most part is a good thing. The game's weaknesses are also its strengths. Yes it sucks running around killing monsters trying to survive as you have only a dozen bullets to your name, but that's what makes Metro well Metro. Unfortunately there are some negatives of the series that are still here, most notably poor level design in some areas that has me wondering where I should go. There is also that stupid moral system that makes it near impossible to receive the good ending.

5. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; Nintendo actually did it. They brought Zelda back to its roots. Non-linear, overhead, and little fluff of a storyline to get in the way. A very enjoyable experience. It would have likely been higher on the list if I had not just played A Link to the Past for the first time (at least for a long enough duration to beat it) this summer. It kind of stopped the game from feeling as "fresh".

2012. Skullgirls ; I got this during the Steam release. One of the best fighting games of all-time. Only rivaled by Guilty Gear XX IMO. So fun, addicting, and deep. It makes me so glad that the game has a community (while small) that is so active and consistent.
 

Net_Wrecker

Member
Jul 16, 2009
32,837
0
0
I'm really glad this lasts until the 18th because I'm almost finished with Call of Juarez: Gunslinger right now, and I can't not find a spot for this little gem on my list. Underrated as hell.
 

FYC

Banned
Jul 30, 2012
4,315
0
0
I'm really glad this lasts until the 18th because I'm almost finished with Call of Juarez: Gunslinger right now, and I can't not find a spot for this little gem on my list. Underrated as hell.
Game fuckin' rules dude. Make sure you try arcade mode.
 

Net_Wrecker

Member
Jul 16, 2009
32,837
0
0
Game fuckin' rules dude. Make sure you try arcade mode.
Oh I'll get there. It's so fun.

I told you about Gunslinger, right? I got 3 stars in the arcade mode with all the classes, good times.
Yeah you and a bunch of people in the thread were praising the game when it came out and I just never got around to it. Headshots feel amazing and the storytelling is more interesting than the vast majority of games with a narrative focus. This game is gonna push Bioshock out of my top 5.
 

ViewtifulJC

Banned
Oct 14, 2010
66,828
0
0
Beaumont, TX
www.neogaf.com
I think its the big comic booky bright red blood spurt that make them so great, but whatever it is, it just never, ever gets old. Its a game with a very defined focus, which is slick fast-paced Western shooting, and it does it well.
 
Jun 9, 2011
16,646
0
0
www.neogaf.com
Keep hearing good things about Gunslinger, I'm gonna have to try it at some point.

I think though the only thing I'm remotely likely to get to before the 18th is Metro Last Light.

If Zeno Clash II sounds interesting, I highly, highly suggest starting with the first one. You'll have a much better appreciation/understanding of what's going on in the second game, and it's a really short game too. Crimson Dragon was an interesting game for me, but it's the kind of game I wouldn't normally suggest to most people. I don't want to lead people on and say it's a great game/must play or anything like that, because it's really not in a lot of respects. There was just something about that game that no other game provided for me this year. Just really subtle stuff, like its atmosphere and the (glorious) soundtrack that really resonated with me.
I dunno, ZC sounds weird, I'll check out the first one. Amongst my many gaming shames is that I haven't really played any Panzer Dragoon games, so that'll probably work in my favor for CD :p
 

CSX

Member
Jan 16, 2011
6,225
0
610
So what are the rules for games you beat in 2014 but before the voting deadline? Cuz I just got 3D World and man its good enough to be on my list lol
 

mrpookles

Member
Aug 4, 2013
712
0
0
Melbourne, Australia
Spent the least amount of time playing games last year than I had for years and barely beat anything. I'm hoping to change that a bit this year, but I can't put a 'quality' top 10 together for last year's list.

1. Grand Theft Auto V ; Took a while to get going, but this ended up being my favourite GTA and one of the best games of this generation. Trevor was both deplorable and magnificent.

2. Bioshock Infinite ; Uneven gameplay couldn't deter what was an awesome world and a gripping story. Dat ending.

3. The Last of Us ; I wasn't as affected by this as much as others were, but it was an excellent achievement. More, please.

4. Assassin's Creed 4 ; Big fan of the series, but my expectations weren't high after the average AC3. Pleasantly surprised and the game I was most addicted to this year.

5. Tomb Raider ; Never been a TR fan and held off playing this for ages, but I loved it. Didn't have as much puzzle-solving as I would have thought, but the brutal action was first rate.

6. Gears of War: Judgment ; My go-to co-op series. This felt like a campaign-long Horde mode, which was awesome.

7. NBA 2K14 ; I hated the feature-light PS4/XB1 version and ended up trading it in, but the previous gen version is arguably the best in the series. All of the sports nut fluff that I love (and is missing from current gen versions) is still there and the gameplay is the tightest it's been. I anticipate another 200+ hours spent on this.

8. Battlefield 4 ; The campaign is average again, but the multiplayer is brilliant. I've had issues with sound cutting out on the PC version, but have largely avoided the other issues I've been reading out. No doubt my online gaming staple for the next 18 months.

9. Civilization V: Brave New World ; An excellent expansion to my favourite time sink. I sort of have to limit myself to the amount of time I spend on this series, as I get a little obsessed, but this was just what I needed to jump back in.

10. Call of Duty: Ghosts ; Really enjoyed the campaign (as I always do), but the online is vying for "worst in the series" along with MW3 (at least post-Modern Warfare). I've become more of a Treyarch fan these days.

2012. Dishonored ; Didn't grab me when I played it on release, but wow, what a game. Still need to start that 2nd playthrough and get stuck into the DLC.
 

FYC

Banned
Jul 30, 2012
4,315
0
0
I went back and edited my list a smidge. I just remembered I still haven't even touched the multiplayer in W101! @_@ I'll have to correct that before the deadline and update my list.

Also might have to add Injustice as an honorable mention. It's rough in some areas, but I'm in love with it.

By the way, good work on the lists, everyone. I'm really enjoying reading all of them. Props to Cheese and timetokill for all their hard work.
 

Cheesemeister

Member
Feb 14, 2005
10,973
1
0
Kyoto, Japan
The comment rule is new right? If so hopefully everyone who voted with no comment before the change has their votes counted.
It's been a rule since at least last year. People who don't have any comments on the same line as the titles as of the deadline will not have their ballots counted.
 

SPE

Member
Mar 30, 2007
6,607
1
0
1. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; Nothing else came close last year. Clocked over 90 hours in it and loved every second.

2. The Last Of Us ; My stock in ND was low after Uncharted 3, but their B Team knocked it out of the park and produced a genuinely incredible videogame.

3. Pikmin 3 ; Just for co-op Mission Mode, which ever since the game's release has been the go-to game my 5yo son and I play together at weekend.

4. Earth Defence Force 2017 Portable ; Even if it had just been an exact port of the original, I'd have re-bought it. But the inclusion of Pale Wing effectively meant you got double the game, and online co-op was amazing. Special mention as it being the only game to break my Fire Emblem addiction. Shame the online community all but died after a couple of weeks.

5. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon ; A sequel I'd been wanting for years and yet never thought would ever get made. The Mario Strikers games showed Next Level Games could make games that were as good as first party NCL ones, and Dark Moon cemented that. A truly lovely game, with a noteworthy performance by Charles Martinet.

6. Gran Turismo 6 ; The series is still plagued by a number of design issues, but the actual driving experience is god like. At times, looks like a next gen game.

7. Mario 3D World ; I much prefer NSMB or proper 3D Mario game to the 3D Land/World series, but there is denying the love that has gone into the latest entry. Mostly playing it in multiplayer, and my youngest son is obsessed with the game and goes mental when he watches us play it.

8. Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien ; The first Runner was my GOTY whenever it was that it came out on the Wii. Got the sequel on WiiU and was disappointed in it, and didn't like using the Gamepad for it. Barely played past the start of the second world. Bought it again a couple of weeks ago on Vita and everything clicked. Lovely way to end 2013 and start 2014. Along with Luigi's Mansion, Charles Martinet shows that he is an incredible voice actor.

9. Pokemon Y ; My first ever Pokemon! Now I finally understand a couple of decades worth of memes.

10. Hotline Miami ; Brutal. Responsive. Additive. Perfect on the Vita.

x. Resogun ; Still the only real reason to own a PS4.
 

Zornack

Member
Jun 15, 2013
4,413
0
355
www.neogaf.com
1. The Last of Us ; Not the best gameplay of the year but the story, the acting and the world Naughty Dog created puts The Last of Us above anything else released this year for me.
2. Papers, Please
3. Volgarr the Viking
4. Dive Kick ; Dive Kick is the most fun I've ever had with a fighting game, which I guess says a lot about how fun I find fighting games.
5. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; I either hate Zelda or love Zelda this one was pretty damn good. I really should play ALTTP one of these days.
6. Zeno Clash 2 ; The Zeno Clash universe manages to be weird and crazy without coming off as trying too hard. The twist and turns the plot takes come straight out of left field while feeling completely believable and the game's unique melee combat never gets dull.
7. Antichamber
8. The Stanley Parable
9. Year Walk
10. Bioshock Infinite
 

Slixshot

Banned
Jun 21, 2013
6,355
1
0
1. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; Nothing else came close last year. Clocked over 90 hours in it and loved every second.

2. The Last Of Us ; My stock in ND was low after Uncharted 3, but their B Team knocked it out of the park and produced a genuinely incredible videogame.

3. Pikmin 3 ; Just for co-op Mission Mode, which ever since the game's release has been the go-to game my 5yo son and I play together at weekend.

4. Earth Defence Force 2017 Portable ; Even if it had just been an exact port of the original, I'd have re-bought it. But the inclusion of Pale Wing effectively meant you got double the game, and online co-op was amazing. Special mention as it being the only game to break my Fire Emblem addiction. Shame the online community all but died after a couple of weeks.

5. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon ; A sequel I'd been wanting for years and yet never thought would ever get made. The Mario Strikers games showed Next Level Games could make games that were as good as first party NCL ones, and Dark Moon cemented that. A truly lovely game, with a noteworthy performance by Charles Martinet.

6. Gran Turismo 6 ; The series is still plagued by a number of design issues, but the actual driving experience is god like. At times, looks like a next gen game.

7. Mario 3D World ; I much prefer NSMB or proper 3D Mario game to the 3D Land/World series, but there is denying the love that has gone into the latest entry. Mostly playing it in multiplayer, and my youngest son is obsessed with the game and goes mental when he watches us play it.

8. Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien ; The first Runner was my GOTY whenever it was that it came out on the Wii. Got the sequel on WiiU and was disappointed in it, and didn't like using the Gamepad for it. Barely played past the start of the second world. Bought it again a couple of weeks ago on Vita and everything clicked. Lovely way to end 2013 and start 2014. Along with Luigi's Mansion, Charles Martinet shows that he is an incredible voice actor.

9. Pokemon Y ; My first ever Pokemon! Now I finally understand a couple of decades worth of memes.

10. Resogun ; Still the only real reason to own a PS4.
where is 101...?
 

branny

Member
Aug 8, 2008
2,646
0
0


1. The Wonderful 101 ; I was excited for TW101, but I was in no way prepared for how amazing it would actually be. It's unlike anything I've ever played before, yet it's built upon a solid, familiar foundation. It never becomes predictable, continuously changing up what the player is doing from one moment to the next in all sorts of ways. I feel privileged to be part of its target audience and sad that others will miss out--TW101 is one of those rare games that comes along every now and then to remind me why I got into this hobby in the first place. It's an incredibly unique action game that's a complete and total blast to play from start to finish, with heart and personality to spare!



2. METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE ; MGR is easiest to describe as a character action hybrid of Mega Man Zero (scoring system, play efficiency) and NINJA GAIDEN II (dismemberment, battlefield management). Revengeance delivers a steady stream of new and interesting content over the course of its short but sweet campaign. Combat feels uniquely kinetic, and cutting never grows tiresome. Though I wouldn't be opposed to more weaponry, levels, enemy types, and camera refinement, MGR gives me exactly what I want: plenty of worthwhile ways to have fun. Its scoring system, properly-crafted difficulty modes, and VR missions, in addition to Raiden's utilitarian arsenal, will keep me coming back for more. If this game were as fleshed out as TW101, it would've been at the very top of my list simply because of how satisfying it feels to play.



3. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate ; MH is an incredibly deliberate, focused experience that not all will appreciate. It's a time-consuming investment. You don't just beat a short campaign, see credits, and move on. You hunt and hunt and hunt some more. Regardless, MH3U is Tri on steroids--it's just so much MH goodness crammed into a single game. I can't choose between the Wii U and 3DS versions as they both have their ups and downs. They form a pretty compelling package when taken together, though.



4. Super Mario 3D World ; SM3DW is easily one of my favorite Mario games. It's an incredibly fun, polished production from start to finish (and beyond). Local MP is a blast. Though 3D Land has its share of detractors, it's one of the only 3D Mario games I actually adore. I generally prefer 2D Mario due to its structure, so 3D Land's merging of both styles really clicked with me. I was super excited for SM3DW because of this, and I'm more than thrilled that it has exceeded my wildest expectations. It's endlessly creative, gorgeous, content-rich, and has amazing music. I love being able to play as different characters just like in SMB2, too. SM3DW just makes me smile.



5. Killer Instinct ; 2013's KI is everything a reboot should be. It captures the spirit of the original games, updates them for a modern audience, and makes sure everything is about the fun. I was never the biggest fan of KI, but I still appreciated it like I do with nearly every other fighting game I encounter. It was bizarre, flashy, unique, and totally worth trying at least once. Seventeen years later, we finally have a new KI, and--surprise!--it's actually really good! It's built upon sturdy core mechanics that make fighting fast, fluid, accessible, and fair. If you're doing poorly, it's hard to blame the game. Sadly, KI in its current state is also a tad unfinished. More content, please!



6. Dragon's Crown ; Dragon's Crown hits all the right notes for me, especially as a big fan of Capcom's old D&D brawlers. Finally, a Vanillaware product I can get behind! The old D&D games are some of my favorite brawlers ever--I consider them among the best of their kind alongside others like Guardian Heroes, Denjin Makai II, Battle Circuit, and The King of Dragons. What better a company than Vanillaware to resurrect that dying genre? Kamitani did work on Tower of Doom, after all... Dragon's Crown feels like a next-gen upgrade of those old favorites, wrapped in a much deeper RPG package. The game has its flaws, but there's more than enough to love about it.



7. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen ; I was obsessed with Dragon's Dogma since the very first time I saw footage of it--I'd even clocked well over a hundred hours with both versions of the demo prior to release. When I played the final version, it (thankfully) surpassed my every expectation. It was nowhere near perfect, obviously, but I was beyond content with it. Dark Arisen is DD's 'GotY' re-release that features a brand new area meant for experienced players in addition to some old DLC packs and other miscellaneous improvements. The superb handling of Bitterblack Isle and its host of addictive new content is the reason why DD has managed to make its way into my GotY list once again despite being a re-release.



8. Injustice: Gods Among Us ; I'm surprised to find this game so much more fun than MK9. Injustice isn't perfect, but its refreshing roster and interesting mechanics go a long way. The game's actually a pretty novel effort in the realm of fighters. Stage interaction and transitions could've been implemented better, but they're still nice to have. What I like most is its simplicity--many attacks and combo strings have universal inputs, and they're all relatively easy to pull off. I also adore the way meter burning is handled--I hope other fighting games take notice! If you found the demo clunky like I did, you'll be happy to hear that Injustice eventually clicks once you spend a bit of time getting used to it.



9. Etrian Odyssey IV ; Minor bugs aside, EO4 is a deeper, more accessible EO. Its music, an eclectic blend of melodic and atmospheric compositions, is also at a series high. EO1 was a breath of fresh air--utilizing the unique capabilities of the Nintendo DS, it successfully modernized a bygone era's dungeon-crawling formula for a whole new audience. But, like many first efforts, EO1 wasn't perfect: it was rough around the edges, and I took issue with some of the class balancing. Every EO since has steadily worked toward realizing what the original tried to accomplish. Though a bit easier, EO4 is the strongest effort yet, going a step beyond EO3's notable overhaul. I only have enough stamina for one EO game this year (especially after also making my way through SMTIV), so I will just have to live without knowing where Untold would've placed on my list.



10. Dead Rising 3 ; DR3 is the best in the series yet--it's less clunky, surprisingly expansive, and just a lot more fun to play. The original Dead Rising was a great Xbox 360 launch game: I feel like it showed off the power of the console with its insane (for the time) zombie count, and it had its own unique identity to set it apart for the new generation. I haven't played much of DR2 or Off the Record, but I don't think I need to. DR3 is fun on its own and, despite its less colorful setting, manages to wow me on a technical level just like DR1 did so many years ago with its zombie density, lighting effects, scale, and loading-free zones. That its creative weapons are a blast to use is just icing on the cake.




x. Shin Megami Tensei IV ; SMT4 is equal parts old and new, bearing many familiarities for series fans while also incorporating several modern touches with portability in mind. The game is, by and large, a remixed hodgepodge of components from previous Atlus titles (which isn't necessarily bad, though I was expecting much better dungeons coming off of Nocturne and finer-tuned mechanics). The story paths can be a bit crazy, but at least there is a way to go neutral. Favorite improvements: saving anywhere, visible equipment, and the revamped progression structure. DLC support is iffy considering what's being sold right now. I'm in love with the title theme. SMT4 makes my list for its atmosphere, self-guided exploration, and often complicated moral choices.



x. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; ALBW is a solid 2D Zelda that elegantly fuses old and new elements. 2D Zelda is really the only kind of Zelda I like, so I'm very thankful ALBW exists despite my harboring of no real nostalgia for ALTTP. This is Zelda without handholding, something that's been missing from the series for a very long time and something I very much appreciated going through the game myself. Unfortunately, I was right to be skeptical of the renting system. I fear dungeon complexity was held back with such an open-ended foundation, and the joy of getting new tools is totally sapped by this structure. Rupees as a reward is as lame as it sounds, but I genuinely feel like ALBW is still worth placing on my list as an honorable mention.



x. Chaos Code ; If you've played a bunch of fighting games, you'll feel right at home with CC. The game lifts ideas from many places, injects a few of its own, mixes them all together, and creates something pretty fun to play. CC's diverse cast feels familiar yet exotic at the same time, with many characters feeling like hybrids from a host of other fighters, and strong core system mechanics keep things fast and fun. The game's stages and music are also unexpectedly enjoyable. I'm not fond of a few things here and there, but CC is worth every penny on PSN.




2012. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed ; I am kicking myself for missing out on this when it released--it would've been damn near the top on my 2012 list! You can tell a lot of heart went into its creation: not only is the SEGA fan service off the charts, its actual mechanics and track design put games like Mario Kart to shame. It does everything I've been wanting from a kart racer for years now: sufficiently speedy, relatively balanced roster, mostly fair items, interesting tracks, good AI, and nice music. I was initially skeptical of all the praise I heard, especially after not really clicking with the demo, but I am so happy to be wrong. Racing Transformed is my favorite "car" game since Burnout 3: Takedown.



(Favorite Soundtracks of 2013)
(GotY 2012 List)
(GotY 2011 List)
 

Rogue_Ledr

Banned
Jan 25, 2010
7,081
0
0
1) The Last of Us: No game this year left a bigger and more lasting impression on me than this.

2) Bioshock Infinite: Though this game came pretty damn close. The story and setting were the best of the year. Only the rather rehashed (but still damn good) gameplay held it back.

3) Super Mario 3D World: Nintendo EAD does it again. What more can be said? These guys can do no wrong.

4) Grand Theft Auto V: I know many will think this should be higher on my list. However, I didn't think this entry was as impressive and that big of an advancement as some others do. Still a terrific game and one of the year's best. Just not THE best.

5) Battlefield 4: Still the most thrilling MP experience out there. The only reason it isn't higher on the list is because of the issues with the MP, the bugs and glitches and the fact it had one of the worst SP campaigns of the year.

6) Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag: After the lame Ezio Trilogy thing and the lackluster Assassin's Creed 3, I was amazed how sensational this entry was. Possibly the best one yet. Still, the core gameplay needs to be pushed further.

7) Killzone: Shadow Fall: I enjoyed this entry in the series a lot more than I thought I would. Definitely not the best game in the series. However, I really liked the fact that they tried something new and innovative.

8) Dishonored: More of a dark horse candidate. Still, it managed to make a really nice impression on me. Really excited to see what is in store for a sequel.

9) Payday 2: The Heist: Not the most innovative or superlative game released this year. It was largely more of the same. However, it was that "more" was fantastic!

10) Batman: Arkham Origins: No it wasn't as good as the previous games and was largely just a compilation of old ideas and even storylines, but there was still enough greatness left in this game to earn it a spot. Even if much of that greatness stemmed from standing on the shoulders of the previous games.
 

Butane123

Member
Nov 27, 2007
1,035
0
0
This is going to be a very 3DS centric list since I got the most out of the system this year. Didn't play too many games that came out this year anyway.

1. Pokemon Y ; I've played every main Pokemon game released, and they usually fall into the lower numbers of my lists. For me, Pokemon Y feels like the largest leap in the series since Ruby and Sapphire. The 3D models on the Pokemon look wonderful and beyond anything I thought they would. There are a lot of framerate problems in the battles, but it never really distracted me too much from everything. Overall the variety of Pokemon you can get in the story portion, and the new breeding mechanics that allow you to make teams for battling with your friends make this the best Pokemon game I've played in a long time.

2. Grand Theft Auto V ; GTA IV was my first GTA game... and I thought it was one of the most boring games I have played after the newness worn off of it. Unlike that one, GTA V held my interest for the whole story, and then plus some. The amount of detail in San Andreas is insane to the point where it seems like every location, building, and room was built entirely from scratch with very little reused. I enjoyed the missions, and just screwing around in the world was fun. Never got to try GTA Online. Didn't feel like getting around all the tutorials once I was actually able to log on.

3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; Just finished this one tonight. Good game. The nostalgia factor hit me hard, especially with the music. While there was no glaring flaws with the game, I was rather disappointed with the difficulty. It was way too easy. I never felt like I was at any risk of dying or failure in any of the dungeons or bosses. If the hero mode would of been an option from the beginning, and there was some actual difficulty, I could see this game being my GOTY.

4. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; Any game that can get me hooked on visiting an island at a certain time of day just to do a menial task for several hours, then it probably deserves a mention.

5. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; First Fire Emblem. Loved it.

6. Kingdom Rush Frontiers ; Fun little IOS tower defense game I've been hooked on.

7. Saints Row IV ; Fun, but buggy.... and I don't mean the intentional ones. No one fucks with Biz Markie.

8. Call of Duty: Ghosts ; Guess I'll give it some points. Not the greatest game ever...
 

Mitark

Member
Jun 13, 2010
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1. The Last of Us ; Beautiful music ,enjoyable character and Awesome story.
2. Killzone Shadow Fall ; the Multiplayer is really awesome, and i enjoyed the Single Player.
3. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch ; A beautiful and fun RPG.
4. Soul Sacrifice ; Fun Multiplayer and awesome story presentation with wonderful music.
5. Resogun ; very fun launch title.
6. Killzone: Mercenary ; Fun single player, great multiplayer.
 

Dance Inferno

Unconfirmed Member
Dec 30, 2008
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www.neogaf.com
Quick question - Is Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX eligible for the GOTY list? Or is that considered an HD version of an old game? It does collect three games which weren't all available on the same system...
 

Jucksalbe

Banned
Oct 31, 2007
10,662
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Quick question - Is Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX eligible for the GOTY list? Or is that considered an HD version of an old game? It does collect three games which weren't all available on the same system...
Yes, it is. Quote the second post of the thread to see a list of eligible games.
 

Roarer

Member
May 9, 2006
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Gothenburg, Sweden
1. Gone Home ;
2. The Last of Us ;
3. Papers, Please ;
4. Grand Theft Auto V ;
5. Gunpoint ;
6. Year Walk ;
7. The Stanley Parable ;
8. Bioshock Infinite ;
9. Proteus ;
10. Candy Box ;
2012. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition ;
 
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