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

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MillionVolts

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Oct 26, 2011
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1. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; In the end I just had to go with the game that gave me the mist playtime this year. I picked up FE:A on release day and didn't put it down for good until October when Pokémon X/Y came out. While I wouldn't say it's the "best" FE game, it's certainly the most addicting. The sheer amount of content and fun gameplay combined with what's probably the best UI I've seen in a strategy game kept me playing for a long time. It's also got a great soundtrack and mostly enjoyable characters.

2. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Cyborgs are already cool by default for me, so a game that's all about cyborgs doing ridiculously cool shit, and by Platinum Games, no less... no freaking way I could resist. Actually, I didn't enjoy this game much at first but once I got better at it and everything "clicked," it was a blast (the camera is still rather bad, though). The boss fights are amazing (god why isn't there a boss rush mode) and, of course, that fucking soundtrack.

3. Super Mario 3D World ;

4. Pokémon X/Y ; While these entries have their share of fllaws (the framerate, the difficulty, the characters), there's a lot of good things to say about them as well. GameFreak really put in work taking all the monsters from past generations and bringing them to life in 3D in addition to all the new ones. They also streamlined a process that I, in the past, found tedious and stupid and actually made it fun (breeding). In terms of new content, X/Y might just be the biggest leap forward the series has ever had.

5. The Swapper ; Very good visuals and atmosphere. Fun puzzles that, while I found a bit on the easy side, I still felt a sense of accomplishment when I completed them. If this game doesn't get many votes here, I think it's going to be a lot of peoples' LTTP vote next year.

6. Spelunky ; Fun and addicting game where you must learn through experience. I've never played anything like it.

7. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon ;

8. Rayman Legends ; It's too easy and never quite reached the heights of Origins for me, but Legends is still packed with fun and creative level design and the visuals and soundtrack are great. The challenges are pretty addicting, too.

9. Guacamelee! ;
 

jackb2424

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Jan 14, 2011
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1. The Last of Us; I have played a lot of games and there are those that stand out from the other. TLOU, to me is the best game this gen. It did almost everything right. The gameplay was so brutal and real. Running full speed at an enemy with a bat with scissors taped to it and hearing the impact never got old. Never did I feel Joel was invincible but I did feel that he would do anything to survive. I was in awe of the graphics and minute details throughout the game. The voice acting was on another level. Troy Baker killed it. The story was one the best I had ever experienced. I was captivated from beginning to end. Theres so much to say that has already been said about the greatness that is TLOU. An absolutely fantastic game that everyone should try. Bravo to Naughty Dog.

2. God of War: Ascension; Killing mythical gods never, ever gets old.

3. Beyond Two Souls; Pleasantly surprised by this game. Much better than Heavy Rain which i already thought was good. Holy shit at the graphics in this game too.

4. Resogun;
5. Injustice;
6. GTA 5;
7. Ni No Kuni;
 

GPsych

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Oct 17, 2007
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1. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; I've been a huge Fire Emblem since the GBA entries, and this game did not disappoint. Although I put the story at 2nd compared to Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn (I view those two games as one mega Fire Emblem game), it is still a fun tale. This is actually quite the achievement as I generally immediately dislike games that rely upon
time travel
as a narrative device. In this case, Awakening actually did an excellent job with it and it did not seem too horrible.

Gameplay wise, this game easily stacks with the best Fire Emblems. If I had the endurance for it, I literally would have played for 90 hours straight to get to the end. As there is no way my body could handle such a taxing endeavor, I had to settle for finishing it in about 10 days. Still, that's like 9 hours a day which shows how much I loved it. It's truly an amazing experience for those who are enjoy turn-based strategy games.

2. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; This game was way better than I anticipated. My first Animal Crossing was for the DS and I was honestly disappointed. I found the game boring and did not really care for any of the characters or the town. New Leaf completely changed my mind about this series and I've played it for over 100 hours and still have a ton of stuff to do.

3. Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; If I was forced to pick a favorite game of my entire gaming lifespan, it would be A Link to the Past. As a result, I was really looking forward to ALBW. Although basically impossible to live up to my expectations due to the pedigree of ALTTP, ALBW is still an incredible game. The dungeons are well-designed and the open world from the very beginning without much in the way of a tutorial rocks.

4. Civilization 5: Brave New World ; This was honestly my most played game this year. I'm up to like 280 hours on it and it's still an amazingly fun experience every time I play a new game. The changes to culture and trade routes finally complete the experience and it now surpasses Civ IV. The only reason why this isn't #1 is that it's ultimately still just an expansion.

5. XCOM: Enemy Within ; XCOM: Enemy Unknown was completely awesome last year, and the expansion just makes it better (Classic Ironman FTW). It basically fixed all the niggling tiny problems that I had with the original game and provides a huge amount of new depth to the original. I'll be playing this one for years.
 

pje122

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Jan 26, 2007
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1. The Last of Us - What a swan song. Impeccible game design, environments, acting, writing, and an emotionally-gripping story
2. Tomb Raider - CD created a world that I loved being in and exploring
3. Bioshock Infinite - I enjoyed the premise and how it made me keep wanted to find out what happens next to these characters
 

Piano

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1. Super Mario 3D World
2. Papers, Please ; I bought Papers, Please on a whim after a friend told me there was nothing else like it and...he was right. I got so serious about my job as a border official in the eastern bloc that I printed a cheat sheet and began memorizing capitals and official seals. Never did I think a video game could give me a choice between being a ruthless bureaucrat or an empathetic friend-to-all in such a powerful way - and then be structured such that I could go back and try both to see what happens. Never did I think a video game could make me care so much about pushing papers. I've never played anything like Papers, Please.
3. Rayman Legends
4. Bioshock Infinite
5. Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World
6. The Stanley Parable
7. Surgeon Simulator 2013

2012. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
 

HylianScribe

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Aug 13, 2006
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Full disclosure: Work at GameTrailers and had input on GT GOTY

1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; More than even Mario, I initially had a very negative reaction when this game was announced. I had no need of a sequel to ALttP, I said. I only wanted another 2D Zelda game that tapped into the essence of what made ALttP and LA so amazing. Hands-on at early events only increased my concern. I couldn't have been more wrong. This game was so good. The ability to do dungeons in wider variety of orders provided me a freedom I hadn't seen in roughly 20 years from this series. Amazing music, very addicting collectible quest, and a bold attempt to stray from the "find item in a dungeon and use it to solve every puzzle" mentality. Room for a lot of improvement, too, which makes me very hopeful for Wii U Zelda.*

2. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Platinum is still unmatched when it comes to character action games. Combat is amazing and loved the parry system since it put such an emphasis on defensive abilities and not just offensive. Bosses were amazing and the story was perfectly ridiculous. That soundtrack was so good, too. I loved thinking I was good and moved on to a harder difficulty only to see how wrong I was. Enjoyed having to get better and made tackling Hard and Revengeance difficulties all the more rewarding.

3. Super Mario 3D World ; I hated on this game quite a bit early on. Looked super derivative, and I thought it was a lazy effort to convert Super Mario 3D Land into a console experience. I was expecting a leap in quality like Super Mario Galaxy. I was wrong. While it was not the giant leap I was hoping for, it managed to so so many new and different things within the existing template. I should have known better seeing as how I thought Galaxy 2 was bette than Galaxy. Give Nintendo a chance to perfect an existing template and they knock it out of the park. Wish the half-way point in the game when the challenge picks up is where the game actually started, though. Love the platforming as usual, and the new power-ups were great.

4. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch ; Ok, so I love Studio Ghibli. This game is not Miyazaki's work (the man hates video games and modern technology in general), but it's still an amazing feat. I admit the party member AI is botched (wish the Tales team could have had some more input on that since Tales party member AI is so good), but I loved everything else about the game. People who say they beat the game on Normal with starter Mite familiar are full of it, too. This was the old school RPG in HD I've been waiting for, so if you don't like that style then you probably were turned off by this game.

5. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn ; I've spent so much time with this game that it has to be on this list. It's not just my sheer astonishment at the drastic turnaround of this game, either. Sure it borrows heavily from other MMOs, but whatever. Sometimes we need innovation, and sometimes we just want a better iteration of what we already like. Plus, it has that Final Fantasy feel that some people like me need to get immersed in the world. I know people complain about lack of content, but I still have crap to do from the 2.1 patch that will easily last me into February. New features keep improving the experience, too (thank you right click -> blacklist). Though people who join farming groups via Party Recruiter who don't know the fights are pissing me off lately. I want my Vortex ring. GAF FC chat is also fun.

6. Pokémon X/Y ; Best Pokémon game I've played. Like Fire Emblem Awakening, streamlined a lot of the tedious stuff that was a hassle to deal with in the past. I like the EXP share, though some people thought it made the game too easy. Better implementation of online functionality and lots of fun side quests.

7. Fire Emblem Awakening ; Finally streamlined almost all of the tedium of the older games to make it a much faster paces experience. Also made it way more accessible for newcomers who couldn't handle perma-death (aka real Fire Emblem). Loved the expansion of the support system and further development of the marriage mechanic. Great music, too. Just wish the maps would have had more geographical diversity with traps, obstacles, and more diverse topography. Example: pitfalls on certain squares, rolling boulders, or destructible objects found in the console iterations.

8. Tales of Xillia ; Though not quite as good of a battle system as Graces, everything else about this game was way better. Not better than Vesperia, though close. Liked the more expansive zones that felt less like corridors, though they were still too bland. Felt like they took some small steps into new territory that hopefully pay off in Xillia 2 and the upcoming Zestiria.

9. BioShock Infinite ; I loved the ending, despite after it's been torn apart with closer analysis. I don't really enjoy first-person shooters, but I seem to like these games. Love the detail put into Columbia and had a blast traveling through that world. Seemed like I was only using a handful of Vigors, but had fun with them regardless.

10. The Last of Us ; Best story and character animation I've seen in a game, though I wish this would have been more of an interactive film at times. I appreciate the mechanics contributing to the "survival" factor, but they frustrated me more than I would have liked. Wish you could have gotten through the whole game using "stealth" and avoid any open fighting. Amazing soundtrack and visuals, too.

*As good as it ALBW in going in new directions, Nintendo could have done more. Game was too easy (puzzles and enemies). Hero Mode should have been available from the start and should have had the option to toggle it at any point (like TWW HD). Or at least, make the normal difficulty a bit more challenging. Need to impose harsher conditions for losing rented items, or figure out a better mechanism for obtaining items outside of dungeons. Perhaps hide them in the overworld or have mini-dungeons to get them. Make more challenging puzzles, too.
 

MW_Jimmy

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Mar 7, 2011
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Just checked the spreadsheet and two of my choices are not on there. How do I make sure they are added. They are:

- Mount Your Friends
- Super Amazing Wagon Adventure Turbo

I've checked and both came to Steam this year.
 

anotherVegan

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Oct 19, 2011
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1. Pokemon X and Y ; Yes, the story was pretty weak and the main game's story was pretty easy, especially compared to Black 2 and White 2's challenge mode. But it made competitive and social play so much easier, allowing for a whole new level of accessibility to the upper echelon of Pokemon play. I've poured so much time into this game, and enjoyed every minute.

2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; This is a very touching tribute and sequel to one of the best games of all time. Leave it to Nintendo to touch our nostalgia button and completely knock it out of the park.

3. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; Hands down the best turn based strategy game I have played. Every move counts. Mess up even once and say goodbye to your favorite unit. Couple this with a great story and you've got yourself an amazing package.

4. Shin Megami Tensei IV ; This is Pokemon gone demonic. You run about recruiting demons and fuse them together to make more awesome demons. And its fantastic. And hellishly difficult. And it has a great story.

5. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; Collect all the things! Just don't get stung by a bee. Animal Crossing continues to be the most addictive non-game out there.

6. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon ; This game is very fun, light hearted, and great all around.

7. The Wonderful 101 ; Viewtiful Joe plus Pikmin plus Devil May Cry equals this gem.

I don't have too much after that, unfortunately. But the 3DS is pretty much set up to be the best console of the forever due to this year's lineup.
 
Mar 10, 2005
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My list in video form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIgrayR__qE

I encourage you to watch the video and read the list because I'll try to expound on my reasoning here.

1. Super Mario 3D World ; I had to think long and hard about number one, since any of the games in the top five could have made it for me. Ultimately, it came down to what game I had the most pure fun playing and Mario 3D World topped that list. It was only in recent years that my feelings on Mario games really crystallized and I understood that I prefer them as tightly designed levels more than anything else and Mario 3D World delivers on what I want. From a game design standpoint, it's hard to understate how crazy it is to see developers create an amazing new idea to base a level around and then ditch that idea forever to maybe use again once in another stage. In a world where massive freighters like Assassin's Creed can't even do much variety in their missions between games, a developer just saying "Alright, we made this, now let's make something new" between stages earns my respect.
2. Gone Home ; I kind of fear doing a Gone Home writeup because I am sure there are the usual lot that want to bitch about how the game is overpraised, if they even think it's a game at all. I kind of don't care, though. Gone Home is one of the best experiences this year for me because I felt that we're finally moving forward in how we treat games. Here is a game that doesn't try to compromise what it wants to be because they're worried about how people will react or whether it will sell. They wanted to tell a small story with no world-ending stakes and tell it entirely through missives and, honestly, some of the best voice acting I have heard in video games period. I'm not saying Gone Home changed the world or that it's the best video game ever created, but it pushed boundaries that needed to be pushed and we should be proud that it can exist in an industry that would have dismissed a game like it not even three years ago.
3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; ALBW is sort of like mainlining Zelda in to your veins by just giving you what you need and telling you to go forth. I am of two minds on this change: on one hand, it cuts out any unnecessary filler and leaves the player to their own devices. On the other hand, not all of that filler was bad and it leaves out some of the fat around the bone that I like to have. To put it another way, I loved this game a lot, but I don't think I want every Zelda game to copy its formula. The core idea of this game changed a lot and I want them to keep changing core ideas to keep feeling fresh.
4. The Wonderful 101 ; This game is like a piece of coal at first. You only find the true value of it after enough time and pressure, something most gamers are not willing to put in. You can be good at the game and still not see why it's so special. Wonderful 101 is not Bayonetta with smaller characters, but takes a lot of what you think about action games and flips its on its head. It betrays your expectations of stun locks and dodging and makes a game that focuses on dealing as much damage in window while still watching for subtle tells but not just backing away when your window is closed. If you're trying to play Wonderful 101 like any other action game, you missed what Wonderful 101 was about.
5. The Last of Us ; This is a game that topped most lists, and will likely win GAF's overall Game of the Year. The Last of Us succeeds in a lot of areas but the place I think it excelled the most was atmosphere. If you played this game with listen mode on, you did yourself a great disservice, because the tension of the first playthrough is made all the more oppressive when you don't know what's coming around the corner. Your survival is dependent on how well you can stay prepared for your surroundings. I felt actually upset playing The Last of Us at times and that's why it's so high on my list. I think the story relies too hard on zombie story tropes and the actual gameplay felt tedious to me by the end of the game, but this doesn't erase everything The Last of Us did amazingly.
6. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Considering the hand they were dealt with regard to time, Rising is probably one of the best things to come out of Platinum period. It is pure offense and battles are hectic back-and-forths that depend on your level of skill. Unfortunately, the lack of time they had to work on the game occasionally rears its ugly head and there's a lot of stuff here I can't find acceptable in action games in 2013. The levels are too long at the beginning and it's hard to get to parts you just want to play again or practice. The stealth sections are at-odds with the rest of the game. The final few stages are either badly designed or reused from earlier in the game. All that aside, Rising was incredibly fun and I hope Platinum has all the time in the world to make Rising 2 even better.
7. Saints Row IV ; A big theme of this year has been streamlining games and Saints Row IV is definitely streamlined. It cuts a lot of the fat from Saints Row the Third out and makes probably the most fun open world to traverse in video games period. It is the sequel to Crackdown that you never got but always wanted. My only real complaint is still a big one, though: the mission design just wasn't as fun as Saints Row the Third. There's no "basejumping in to an apartment as Power plays" moment in the game, even though they certainly tried to recreate it. To some extent, maybe all the powers that should be freeing to game design ended up hamstringing their ability to really raise the bar on mission design. It's hard to design something really cool when you can already do anything. Saints Row the Third and Saints Row IV together make my favorite open world game of the generation but separately are just two really great games.
8. Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies ; In thinking about what I like about Ace Attorney 5 over 4, I keep coming back to personality. Even though it feels like all of that stuff should have been robbed from the series when it went 3D, the models actually improved that aspect of the game. Ace Attorney 5 has some missteps (wasn't really feeling that second case at all) but I ran to put it on my list after I finished it.
9. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; When we talk about games as visions, Brothers should come up first on that list. I will freely admit that maybe enjoyment of this game hinges on being a specific kind of person who has their own younger or older brother and wants their video games to say something. It hit those right notes for me. Brothers is a story told by someone who wants to tell a story and isn't trying to be overbearing about it. Brothers is a story about death and how hard we try to struggle against the inevitable and is worth trying to see that telling a simple story with a theme doesn't need to have five hours of cutscenes with vocap and hollywood writers to be effective.
10. Bioshock Infinite ; Bioshock Infinite was once at the top of my list and, maybe unfairly, has slowly slid down up until the moment I started writing down my thoughts on the game. I like a lot of it and thought it was incredible when I first played it, but there were games I played this year (nine of them, in fact) that I also felt were incredible without compromising what they could be for what sells better. I understand that the Bioshock Infinite that would have been a better experience for me would have been a game that would be, at best, ignored by most people and disliked at wost. I don't really care, because the game we got feels like it squandered the potential of the really good writing and the really incredible world by feeling afraid to strike out too far with it. I loved, and still love, the game quite a bit, but I don't think it's everything it could have been because of fear.
x. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; Fire Emblem just barely missed my list this year because there were ultimately a few problems I had with changes made to the game. While it made it more accessible for people, and probably a better experience for a lot of fans, I really liked having to portion out limited pools of experience for my army and prioritizing who I think would have the best growth. The loss of this made the game fundamentally different and less good for me. That said, it's still amazing and still one of the best games of the year, just a little disappointing.
x. Tomb Raider ; Yeah, don't care that it's not "old Tomb Raider." I had fun playing this. It could have been better, it could have been more, but what was there was still really good and I want a sequel that adds more meat around the bone. Also I think Definitive Edition's face looks dumb.
2012. Spelunky ; If it was eligible for me this year (I don't consider ports as new games in most instances and never played it on XBLA), Spelunky would be in my top five. It is incredible, video game drugs in their purest form. All this would mean nothing if it were not expertly designed. Spelunky is also a return to the halcyon days of discussing a video game and mastering it through the social zeitgeist on the school playground. Every day my friends and I shared our Spelunky stories and one of us would always discover something new. Spelunky is a game that absolutely belongs in your collection.

This doesn't follow the format but I hope it doesn't trash my ballot.

Most disappointing games (in no particular order):
- Assassin's Creed IV: Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike AC4, not really. I think it's a welcome improvement from the sewers that AC3 dragged the series down in to, but I think people have a blind spot for where the game is seriously fucking up. The main story mission design is among the worst in the series and it should absolutely be called out. If you critical path through the game, it is tedious and boring and the story itself isn't even very good by series standards. I think AC4 has strong virtues, but did not "save" the series like some like to claim.
- Tales of Xillia: It's sort of unforgivable how much worse this game is than Vesperia despite how long ago that game was released. The characters were worse, the world (gameplay-wise and story-wise) was worse, the graphics somehow were worse. The game felt like it ended right when the story was getting going, but it was by no means short, just really tedious up until then. The reused cities and overworld were embarrassing for the developers and they shouldn't have shipped a game this incomplete and asked people to pay $60 for it.
 

KingSnake

The Birthday Skeleton
Jan 9, 2013
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1. Pikmin 3 ; it was very tough for me to pick no. 1. I have several games that are almost equal in quality for me. It could have been any of the first 5 actually.I choose Pikmin 3 in the end because it has a perfect gameplay. It combines a very interesting story with great challenges. It perfectly combines strategy, times management and adrenaline. It has the best rendered fruits and the perfect killing machines, the cute little slaves found on that planet. It's a survival horror, a story of hunger, war and slavery with cute characters and in an idyllic post apocalyptic landscape. And the Bingo battle (the versus local multiplayer) is the ultimate battle. Who needs mechs when you have pikmnins?
2. Super Mario 3d World ; pure platformer. Great design. It's not Galaxy, but it doesn't try that. Tight desing, beautiful game, a lot of new ideas and pure multiplayer joy.
3. Europa Universalis IV ; initially this game was not on my list. Then I realised that I played it more than the other games combined (except for Pikmin 3). So it must be something about it. It's challenging, it well done. Every patch improve it even more. I learned it by getting my ass kicked and and enjoy it so much.
4. Lego City Undercover ; best story in a game I played this year, great humour, twisted plot and epic ending. Plus open world lego. It could have been my GOTY if it would have been more polished
5. Wonderful 101 ; action, adrenaline, old school. Learning to play a game the hard way. So much content, combos, finding out you actually know shit when you thought you mastered it. This game reminds me of why I started this hobby.
6. Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag ; it has flaws, it's far from perfect, it has a crappy story and badly organised missions, but the atmosphere, the sea, the ships, the pirates make me enjoy it a lot. It revived for me the spirit of Ezio. Running through Havanna is equally as fun as jumping on the roofs of Florence or in the Vatican for me.
7. Rayman Legends ; second best platformer this year and great co-op mode using Murfy.

These are the games I bothered to comment on, I enjoyed a lot more, but I don't necessarily feel the need of bringing them into this top.
 

Decado

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Apr 4, 2007
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I almost feel silly making a list given how many games I've yet to play from 2013.

1. Shadow Warrior ; most fun I've had playing a FPS in ages. Dev should make a Duke Nukem game.
2. Guacamelee!
3. Rogue Legacy
4. Path of Exile
5. God of War: Ascension ; hopefully next gen will refresh the series.
6. DmC
7. Dust: An Elysian Tail

2012: Max Payne 3 ; best shooting of last gen
 
Feb 25, 2013
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1. The Last of Us ; remarkable game throughout - from gameplay to story to graphics - everything is top notch

2. Tearaway ; haven't completed it yet, but I'm having a tremendous amount of fun playing it - makes excellent use of the vita's features

3. Killzone: Shadow Fall ; had a great time going through the sp campaign and the game looked gorgeous

4. Guacamelee! ; played it on the vita and enjoyed everything about it

5. Resogun ; like sshd this game is a blast to play

6. God of War: Ascension ; not as good as previous games in the series, but still a solid experience

7. Tomb Raider ; went into it with lowered expectations and had fun playing through the game (just wish there were actual tombs to explore) - very pretty on pc

8. Beyond: Two Souls ; better gameplay than heavy rain, but the story wasn't as intriguing to me

9. Dust: An Elysian Tail ; don't particularly like the artstyle, but the gameplay is solid

10. Puppeteer ; artstyle and presentation is fantastic
Came out 2012, dude.
 
Feb 9, 2011
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1. Grand Theft Auto 5 ; Easily the most fun I've had with a game all year. The size of the world and things to were mind blowing. I enjoyed the missions more than any other GTA game.

2. The Last of Us ; Probably the best atmosphere in a game I've played ever.

3. Rayman Legends ; The platforming is some of the best I've seen and the characters and humor are great.

4. Bioshock Infinite ; Loved the story and I thought the game play was very good. Didnt expect the ending at all.

5. Tomb Raider ; Really enjoyed the setting. Playing with the bow was really fun.

6. Lego Marvel Superheroes ; My sleeper hit of the year. Very good combat and tons of characters. Recommend to any fan of comics and superheroes.

7.Dead Rising 3 ; The amount of characters on screen at one time blew me away. The weapon crafting system kept the combat fresh.

8.God of War Ascension ; I thought this was one of the better games in the series. Loved the combat and the graphics were amazing.

9.Forza 5 ; The best racing game I've played. The controls are great and it looks good too.

10. Fire Emblem Awakening ; My first game in the series. Its addicting and I really liked the story.
 
Commentary only half filled out at this point. Time got away from me, but I wanted to make sure I got my votes in. Also, I hope to come back and add images and such. At any rate - here is the list:

1. Assassin's Cred 4: Black Flag ; I would have called you crazy if you told me that I would have placed an Assassin's Creed game *anywhere* in my top ten for this year, let alone at the top spot. But here we are. Using only grim determination to see AC3 through to the end - Black Flag came in and dominated my game playing time like few other titles have. I cannot state how much I had written off the AC series after the last entry - to the point that the only reason I actually ended up playing AC4 is because it was part of Amazon's Buy 2 Get 1 free promo for the PS4 launch.

The cynical part of my brain says that part of my enjoyment with this entry is partly due to it being on new hardware, but honestly? This would have been near the top regardless. It all but throws out the over arching narrative, which had gotten far too stuffy for it's own good, and does so with a delicious 4th wall breaking wink. It brings the only two things from AC3 worth saving - the ship combat, and the fluid tree navigation. It looks drop dead gorgeous. It is simply *fun* to play, so much so that it's the first title in the series since AC2 that I've just wanted another excuse to play around in the world - to the point that shortly before writing this up, I finished taking down the last Legendary Ship and 100% completed the single player campaign.

Add in a surprisingly solid multiplayer experience, (Seriously! When did the MP in AC games get to be so much fun?) and as weird as it feels to say, there is no way I can in good consciousness give any other game the top spot this year.

2. The Stanley Parable ; If AC4 had some fun winks and nods at breaking the fourth wall, the Stanley Parable goes all the way and knocks the damn thing down. I admit, I am a sucker for this conceit in any form of media - but to see it so skillfully deployed here, I was besides myself with glee. Expertly skewering both game design conventions, and the gamers who play right into them - the Stanley Parable serves as a scathing critique on gaming as a hobby, and also as one of the shining beacons for why this medium is so unique in being able to tell individual stories of purpose and importance. The fact that it is so wickedly funny is only the icing on the cake. (Bonus points for making a demo that is entirely separate from the main game, but serves as a lovely introduction/compliment to it.)


3. Gone Home ; "Nostalgia. It's delicate...but potent. In Greek, nostalgia literally means the pain from an old wound. It's a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. This device... isn't a space ship. It's a time machine. It goes backwards, forwards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called the Wheel. It's called the Gone Home. It lets us travel the way a child travels. Around and around and back home again... to a place where we know we are loved." http://youtu.be/FWndzU0afO4

Ok - that may be overselling it a bit. Still, I don't believe I've ever played a game that evoked those twinges in my heart quite like exploring the Greenbriar's house did. Perfectly evoking not just the time period of the 90's, but of that "first love". The kind you find in high school when it seems like there could never ever be anyone else for you but the person you are with right then and there.

Still, I feel like saying that Gone Home is simply a game about nostalgia is selling it short. The kind of care put into the secondary characters, like the Father's and Mother's side story is a joy to discover - hell even the great grandfather's story has more depth than most game's stories. The Fullbright Company took the well worn mechanic of FPS games and made one of the most interesting and unique games of the year. If that doesn't deserve some of the highest accolades of the year, I don't know what does.

4. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; So much has been made of "that" scene that I worry the it's started to overshadow just how great a game this is, outside of "that" moment.

5. BioShock Infinite ; God Only Knows as sung by barbershop quartet. 'Nuff said.

6. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger ; The best arcade shooter I've played in years with some lovely narrative tricks. Present it all in a *just* cell shaded enough engine and you've got something special.

7. Saint's Row IV ; It never quite met the highs of SR3, but there are few games this year that I had as just as much consistent fun with as this one. Also the only other game on this list beyond AC4 that I completed 100% because it was just that much fun to play.

8. The Swapper ; Coming soon?
9. Gunpoint ; Coming Soon?
10. Anitchamber ; Coming Soon?

x. The Last of Us ; Look there are hundreds, if not thousands, of posts before mine commenting on how amazing this game is. And I agree. It will stand as one of the high water marks of this burgeoning medium for years to come. But I found it... lacking. Totally one of the top games I would recommend to any and all, but personally something about the universal appeal kept pushing this title further and further down the list for me. It wants to be a movie with the high fidelity of it's performances, and the effort put into the cinematography - and it succeeds with flying colors. The Last of Us showed me I would be a terrible person to depend on the survival of the human race for - but it also showed me that just aping what's come before isn't as exciting to me. A technical marvel, an emotional story, and totally something I'd say deserves almost any alcolade thrown and it. And yet...

x. Guacamelee ; I've nothing but fond memories of this game and if it hadn't been such a strong year for so many indie titles it would have easily found a spot in the top ten for it's lucha libre take on the Metroidvania format.

2012. Dishonored ; All I have to say about this one is - how the hell did I miss this last year? What an amazing game!
 

SolidusDave

Member
Apr 14, 2009
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1. The Last of Us ; Simply an amazing experience, also really liked the deeper gameplay compared to most TPS.
2. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch ; You notice the standard Level 5 RPG formula, but the game is just so beautiful and the story actually gets interesting after some "twists".
3. Killzone: Shadow Fall ; Surprisingly meaty and varied, great looking campaign that was more in line with KZ1, really enjoyed that even though I missed the war-craziness of KZ2/3 - also, alien-Nazi-communist-terrorists that are kinda the good guys actually.
4. Grand Theft Auto V ; Amazing sandbox game, now GTA San Andreas was finally dethroned.
5. God of War: Ascension ; It was a great playing&looking GoW title, but the story and prequel-ness made it feel like an addon.
6. Beyond: Two Souls ; The acting and presentation was superior over Heavy Rain, but I did not like how they simplified the gameplay/controls and almost fully ditched those rare adventure-like level types of Heavy Rain, now Beyond felt really shallow and your actions of no consequence.
7. Resogun ; Great little arcade game, I liked Stardust HD more though.
2012. Hitman: Absolution ; Not as good as the old games, but at least I got to play another Hitman game.



edit: oh shit, did really I play almost only PS3/4 exclusives this year? Weird. At least, half are new IPs...

btw if I only listed a game in my honorable mention category last year, is it still forbidden to use that game for the 2012 category this year? I only finished most of it this year...
 

AHA-Lambda

Member
Jul 19, 2011
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1. The Stanley Parable; easily the most intelligent, subversive and witty game I have ever played, whilst being a commentary on games design in general. I recommend this in particular to any aspiring game designer.

2. Gone Home; a great experiment in video game narrative, even if a little convenient and at time manipulative, but I just can't heavily criticise one of the few games were I admit I cried while playing it.

3. Papers Please; a surprisingly complex game, with dynamic moral choices. The saving your family concept is very thin and is more of scorecard than anything tangible but it's impressive to see how a game like this can reflect on the players actions. Will you let this person with the sob story in? What is she is a terrorist? If I do help them I may not be able to feed or shelter my family. And this is from a game were all you do is process visa entry forms.

4. Batman Arkham Origins; I think people were far too harsh on this game, and I believe it will be looked back on fondly in the way Bioshock 2 now is. It may be familiar to Arkham City but so what, it's only the second game in the series to follow that template. Considering this comes from another developer they done a surprisingly good job, challenging combat, an open world filled with things to do, a pretty engaging story with a great look at both Batman and Joker's early days and some great performances, especially from Troy Baker.

5. Bioshock Infinite; Hmm, this is a funny one. it's not a good FPS, we all know this. But I do admit to being a very story driven player, and I loved the story in this. The mystery of what was going on kept me playing even after the gameplay started to bore me. But the ending is mindblowing, albeit a little bit of an info dump and will leave you floored in both good ways and bad as your pick apart all of the stuff that has came before it. Some content may have be relegated too much to the optional audiologs. But I have to applaud the creativity on show here, even if I do admit it's only the story, coupled with a shocking ending, that truly makes this game.

6. Gunpoint; I don't know what it is about this game but it's so fun! It's too short, very easy but I just couldn't pull myself away from it! Coupled with great writing and a neat ending sequence (ludonarrative dissonance 4th wall breaking? Genius!)

7. Rayman Legends; More of the same as Origins, but if you don't play those music levels and don't have a big grin on your face by the end, you're dead inside. Beats mario any day for me.

8. Call of Juarez Gunslinger; my dark horse of 2013, only picked it up recently after hearing people say "forget those other CoJ games this is one is actually good" It's as if you took Red Dead Redemption's shooting mechanics and made them into a FPS. Incredibly satisfying to shoot people in this game, plain and simple joy.

9. Rogue Legacy; You'll come for the shallow lineage/heritage gimmick, but stay for the challening metroidvania. Not a typical roguelike (as you are always continually progressing even in death) but that's not a negative in my book. Does get a bit grindy, certainly at the start, and it may at times be a roulette of trying to get a desirable class for a certain run, but it's a tough game that comes with big boss fights that are some of the most enjoyable to slay since I've played Demon's Souls and Dark Souls.

10. Saints Row IV; it's just daft fun really innit? Playing along to Aerosmith, Haddaway and You've Got The Touch were just incredible moments for me, as was the 50's tv show town and taking the piss out of Bioware's romance options. The gameplay is servicable but I found this instalment to come into its own as opposed to Saints Row 3 seemingly taking the less subtle and satisfying route equivalent of screaming "look at me, look at me!"

2012. Dark Souls; The "sequel" to one of the most ingeniously designed games ever seen this generation? I'll take that.
 

enanogrande

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Nov 1, 2013
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1. The Last of Us ; I was going to write some long, thought out post on why this is my Game of the Year. I was going to talk about the mind-blowing attention to detail and how every space feels lived in, how the acting allowed me to connect with the characters and the world, how this game just oozes atmosphere, how the gameplay (much to the disbelief of many) is great... but after reading pages and pages of other peoples GOTY lists, I don't think I need to write anything. It would seem everyone knows. So I'll just say this:

I've always thought the best way to judge something isn't by what you feel or think in the moment, but by what it leaves you with for the time to come. And months after I played The Last of Us, I still can't find a game I love as much as this one. It's not the game I spent the most time on. It's probably not even the one I had most fun with - few would describe TLOU as a 'fun' experience. But it put together the whole package in a way no other has.

Its a bit unfortunate that, as happens with so many things online, the praise and fans reach a level where other people are turned off on the game - such a thing is evident going through this forum, and even this very thread. There has certainly been a level of reverence afforded to TLOU which make the fandom seem cultish, to a point. I hope ultimately though that every one has a chance to play this game because it is truly one of the best I've ever played.



2. Pokemon X/Y ; Pokemon gonna Pokemon (and better than ever). It's been a long time since I played a Pokemon game (Ruby/Sapphire), and that probably colors my opinion of it, but what has surely been a long evolution through many games seems almost like a revolution to me. The streamlining of the UI + Exp. Share, the second starter, the online trading... I love it. Funny how that works out, my most played game is also the one I have the least to say about...



3. Papers, Please ; This is what games are made for. Most people that say games can't be Art cite their interactivity as their downfall - giving agency to the player is akin to removing creative control from the author, and therefore destroying their message. Those people are missing the point.

From a purely mechanical standpoint, Papers, Please is surprisingly fun and addictive. I'm sure it's on many lists for those reasons alone.

But it's what it does for the story - and how effectively it transports you into a foreign situation - that pushes this game over the top. Much has been made over the years about silent protagonists, and how they're supposed to make it easier for you to place themselves in their shoes. While there is merit to this argument, In most cases the attempt only goes half way there; while Link may not actually speak in the game, he does interact with characters and make decisions the player has no choice in (tell character x about past events, agree to quest, etc.).

Papers, Please isn't like that. Along with the fact that it's a first-person experience, the refreshing lack of dialogue really makes it possible to be the protagonist, instead of just playing like them. All interactions are elegantly managed through a couple of mechanics - allow entrance into Arstotzka or not - really driving home the point that this is you doing these things, not Igor Checkpointsova. Every choice you make has a meaningful consequence, not only on your family but on the people passing through the checkpoint. Its the closest many will get to being a small cog in a huge, authoritarian bureaucracy.

Granted, this requires a bit of imagination from the part of the players. The way the story is told is refreshingly hands off in this age of developers spoon feeding everything, so each person can choose to inhabit the character or just simply enjoy the gameplay. But there is just something so powerful about experiencing certain things from as direct a POV as possible. We can read about these things as much a we want, but there's nothing like living it to really drive things home, and that's something that can only be done in games. So, to this I say: what better way to convey a message than that? What better way to make Art than that? To me, there is no other. That's why I will forever hold Papers, Please as one of the best games of 2013 - as one that, within the confines of games, truly explored the possibilities of the medium.



4. Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; Almost the polar opposite to Papers, Please, ALBW doesn't try to prove a point or deliver a moving experience. It does what Nintendo has done for years: give us a kickass Zelda game whose mechanics have been refined to the point of near perfection. Small details such as sword swings and button clicks being 1:1 make this one of the best feeling Zelda games to date, and at the same time the various attempts to change things up can only mean good things for the franchise. As a Zelda game however, I can't say I loved it as much as many here. The dungeons were a bit too simple for that, and while the renting system is an interesting way to shake up the formula, the ease at which you can get rupees in this game make it so that heading to Ravio's to rent/buy weapons is a minor annoyance at most, if you even die that many times.

Still though, I'm a sucker for Zelda games, and even with its flaws this is one of the best games of the year for me. I know this sounds more like a critique than praise, and the writeup doesn't jive with the spot it has in my list - but it's just a testament to the beauty of the Zelda formula that even a game as flawed (in my eyes) as this one can be so much better than so many others that came out this year.



5. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; I'm a big fan of SRPG's: Valkyria Chronicles is on my all time Top 10, and FF Tactics is hanging around there too. Furthermore, I’m a big Advance Wars fan. So it will come off as quite surprising that I had never played a Fire Emblem game before I picked this one up a week ago. Thank God I did. I'm taking my time through this game, actually playing through two saves at once (first time on hard/classic then playing levels again on normal/casual), so the fact that I'm probably not even half way through really stops me from putting it any higher on my list (what with not having the whole picture and all), but I've had so much fun with this that I had to find a place for this here.



6. Puppeteer ; What a charming game. Count me among those thrilled at the recent(ish) revival of the platformer, probably my favorite genre of all time. This game was really the whole package for me - more than decent platforming wrapped in some great presentation. I loved the puppet show/play angle they went for, and the voice acting and characterization made the game much funnier than I expected. Add to that some quite fun platforming and you've got the makings of a very great game. Good to see Japan Studio coming back into the spotlight.



7. GTA V ; Good ol' GTA, bigger and better. I'll be honest, this one threw me for a loop. I spent more than 50 hours to pass the story mode; I loved the game world and all the possibilities it has. I would get off a random mission, steal a bike and just spend hours going around the backwoods, taking in all that Rockstar had made. I just imagined what was coming up, what uses they would give to this giant game world... and then I finished the game, and couldn't help but feel thoroughly disappointed.

This is what they used this world for? After so many possibilities, so much potential not just for story (never a strong point in GTA) but for amazing gameplay, this is all you did? I was a bit disappointed in the lack of heists, sure, but when a campaign uses up such a small amount of the total content you put in a game, and the post-game content is so poor (more and more collectibles, notwithstanding how cool they are), I can't help but feel there was so much wasted potential here.

I'll be thrilled if Rockstar releases GTAIV style DLC that utilizes the game world to its full potential; I'm more than happy to revisit Los Santos once a year for the remainder of the new gen, even if it means keeping my PS3 hooked up all that time. I think that in and of itself is testament enough to how much I loved this game world, and for sheer craftsmanship alone Rockstar deserve a spot in my top 10. But I feel this game could have been so much more. In a way, Rockstar is a victim of their own success here - only because they made so much did I notice they did so little with it.



8. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag ; The game that brought me back. After playing every game in the series, I thought I was done after III. Even after trailers came out, previews were written, and reviews were published, I paid no attention at all to this game. But then, out of the blue, this game exploded. I couldn't go online without hearing a podcaster rave about looting treasure or a poster on NeoGAF singing the praises on shanties (pun intended). Boy, am I glad I finally bit the bullet. While the core gameplay remains unchanged, the change of setting and the addition of the pirate elements somehow conspired to make this not only one of the best Assassin’s Creed games, but also one of the best of the year.



9. Bioshock Infinite ; Ok, I'll just say it right off the bat: I didn't enjoy playing this game. Though I'm on record as saying FPS' aren't my cup of tea (I couch co-op'ed this one, taking turns until I just couldn't stand the monotony of massive waves of enemies any more), I do think the gameplay is generally mediocre regardless of my preferences. But the more I though about this the more I realized what this game had achieved, and the more I noticed that it deserves a spot on this list. I didn't enjoy the story all that much, but Columbia is such a well realized and fleshed out world (probably my favorite in years) that Irrational deserves a mention for that alone. This is a bit like recognizing a movie for it's wonderful cinematography and panning it for everything else - while I didn't love the total package, I respect the craftsmanship involved in its creation.



10. Ridiculous Fishing ; Don't judge me XD. [Progress: 1,687 feet in the Maelstrom, Daddy Issues resolved... BUT WHERE IS THAT DAMN MIMIC FISH]

Honorable Mentions

X. Tomb Raider ; As a fan of old-school Tomb Raider, I should be disappointed. But taken for its merits, this is a great thrill ride that takes the Uncharted formula and tries to spice it up with some extra elements. It mostly fails in this aspect (the scavenging/hunting mechanic is woefully underused to the point that apart from in the tutorial it is unnecessary, the Metroidvania aspect is half-baked, the QTEs were horrible and I was personally disappointed in the over the top goriness), but it gets the basics right and I'm optimistic the sequel can expand on this one's shortcomings. If they can do that and mix in a bit more emphasis on puzzles and exploration for the next one, then Lara Croft has a bright future ahead. In the end, I had a lot of fun in with this game, and wrestled between putting this and Bioshock on the final list - I just think Bioshock is a better made game than this one.

X. Rain ; Beautiful aesthetic, great premise... just not enough gameplay ideas. I'm happy we have digital distribution, as it's the only way smaller titles like this can keep existing nowadays, but this was slightly disappointing. Ultimately, it's only here as a testament to the renewed faith this (and much more so Pupeteer) gave me for Japan Studio returning to their quirky, creative best.

2012. Fez ; I don't think I have to say much about this one, right?

Notes: I don't have a Wii U or a Vita, so Super Mario World and Tearaway are both out of the question, though I suspect they'd both feature in my list otherwise. Also haven't gotten around to Brothers, Ni No Kuni or Guacamelee yet, but from what I've heard they're also sure to find their places up there once I'm back home in the new year. Finally, both Rouge Legacy and Spelunky seem like games that would cause me to obsessively dedicate hours of my life to them, so obviously I've steered as clear of them as I possibly can.
I think everyone should point out important games they haven't played, if only to give other people a better idea of how they came to their choices
 

Miletius

Member
Oct 1, 2010
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1. Papers, Please; What can I say, I guess I’m a gaming hipster for having this game top my list. But I’ll give you a few reasons anyways why I think this game deserves Game of the Year. Firstly, it’s a perfect example of embracing it’s nature and not letting it get in the way. The game itself is simple enough at first while still being engaging. It adds layers later on while allowing the player to create his or her own narrative. Are you a the money grubbing type who will starve his family in order to save? Are you the caring sort, who will overlook some documentation errors for the unfortunate? You choose -- not the game.

Second, it’s fun while also being informed and somewhat topical. It’s the game that we talked about at dinner. It’s the only game my girlfriend played on her own this year. It’s the only game my sister played at all, probably in the last 4 or 5 years. It’s the game I recommended to all my buddies, even the ones that aren’t into games. Hell, it’s the game my sister recommended to her friends, many of whom never even played a game in their life. This type of boundary transcending game only comes every once in a while. And it only comes when the game is smart and engaging to more than just the core gamer.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s damned fun. Every person I know has a different layout for the desk, but it works for them. Checking passports and documents is exciting and exhilarating. That by itself is a feat. You challenge yourself to beat your best record -- to make fewer mistakes, or to get to that important applicant. It makes being a bureaucrat fun in a way I’ve never seen before. For all that, I’ll say “Glory to Arstotzka” and declare Papers, Please to be my game of the year.

2. Spelunky ; Charming in every sense of the word, Spelunky hides it’s difficulty under a family friendly coat of paint. But it’s by far my most played game this year. Between solo sessions when I only have a few extra minutes to lengthy co-op sessions with friends I can’t recommend this game highly enough. Hopefully I’ll make it out of the caves someday. That's a joke!

3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; I’ll admit to having almost given up on handheld Zelda games after I struggled to play through Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. A Link Between Worlds, however, is a return to the best days of the franchise. Fresh, inspired dungeons and a mechanic that is more reminiscent of open world games drew me back, and hasn’t let go of me yet. I just wish it wasn’t so short -- hero mode is almost over now and I’m left wanting more.

4. X-Com: Enemy Within ; Follow up to last year’s GOTY for me, Enemy Within makes good on the promise of the classic expansion pack -- expand on the ideas from the original game while adding on a good deal of satisfying complexity and new story hooks. While not perfect (EXALT needs to be a great deal harder), I’m happy with the results and am hoping that we get another expansion back before we get a new game.

5. Path of Exile; Path of Exile is a slow burner for me. At the height of Diablo 3 disappointment it came to remind me of the hooks that D2 placed in my brain long ago. And while I didn’t hate D3 by any means, I spent more time with PoE than D3 by a country mile. While I still stick by the criticism that the rewarding skill tree should also be complemented by a better system of spells, I think the game has come a long way since beta and will only get better with time. Let’s not also forget that PoE is an example of F2P done right -- it’s got the right attitude, offering only cosmetic upgrades for varying fees.

6. Super Mario 3D World ; The game that convinced me to buy a WiiU was Super Mario 3D World, and I’m glad that my intuition proved to be right. The game has great Platforming, tons of charm, and feels right with more than one player on the screen. The game exudes Joy in the same way the Galaxy series does -- the joy of transforming into a Cat or swallowing Cherries and multiples on screen brought a smile to my face much like blasting off to a new planetoid did in Galaxy 1 and 2. While not as mind-blowing as the Galaxy series it precedes it is the perfect game for the holiday season.

7.Shadowrun Returns; No other game on the list screams potential as much as Shadowrun Returns. Potential because it heralded the new age of kick-started CRPGs. Potential because of it’s modular nature, encouraging amatuer scenario designers to get in and create their own adventures. Potential because long after the initial release the small team is still working on fixes, communicating with backers and partners, and delivering on promises -- recently adding SRR DRM free to GoG’s catalog. But the game isn’t on my list for it’s potential alone. It also delivers a solid story, with memorable, customizable characters and a 90’s cyberpunk mentality that’s all but forgotten nowadays.

8. Rouge Legacy; Wow, I can’t believe this one is so far down. Rouge Legacy came out right as I was moving, and it made those first few weeks bearable. Simple enough to pick up and play, at anytime, you’ve also got a complex upgrade system as well as a challenging metroid-type platformer layered all on top of it. And NG+, oh boy. The game just kept on giving.

9. Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm; The best game on this list that I only watch, not play. Joking, joking. In all seriousness, though, SCII was a joy to play but what gave it longevity for me was the ability to watch. I’ve never been much of an esports guy, but putting the game up on my big screen while I worked, only to come back to the game at night and try what the pros were doing gave the game a ton more punch. I finally understand what DOTA and League Fans were talking about.

10. Grand Theft Auto V ; To think I almost skipped this game waiting for a more technically acceptable version. An 11th hour purchase, I have to say that despite the ugly, chunky frame rate the game was great. And while on a personal level I have a weaker connection to LA than NYC, I still enjoyed driving around Los Santos immensely. I just wish that the online multiplayer had been more together, because if it was, I’d likely still be playing it with friends.

x. Bioshock Infinite ; A lesson in world building done right. Walking around the city, feeling the breeze on your shoulders at the beach, listening to the music wafting your direction, stopping to hear the barbershop quartet are the best moments in Infinite. It made you believe that you were actually there, in that castle in the sky. In between, you had decent combat segments with memorable powers, and a story, which while seemingly predictable still managed to throw you with a bunch of loops. And while it never made it to the heights of it’s predecessors I’d still take a visit to Columbia over just about any other city this side of game-dom. I’d probably get lynched though.

x. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons; I wanted to give this game at least an honorable mention because it most reminded me of The Walking Dead, which I gave a nod to last year. Brothers is beautiful, way more than most games on an indie budget and, I dare say, probably more than most AAA games out there today. The interaction between you and the world is simple, but effective. Watching Older Brother fail at the harp while the Younger Brother does well, all give the game some charm and depth. It’s the small things that keep you engaged here, all the way to the end of the journey. A modern day fable.

x. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag; This will be short. While I didn’t hate AC3, I thought that it was definitely the low point of the series. ACIV:BF, however, does away with most of the tropes that made the series tiresome to me, and replaces it with fun. Sailing the high seas? Check. Swashbuckling and treasure-hunting? Check. And the multi-player? So Good, even if is the same one since AC:B.

x. Injustice: Gods Among Us; I don’t play many fighting games. Nor do I really like the DC characters over any other particular brand. I still found this game to be tremendously enjoyable, if a bit short lived.

2012. New Super Mario Brothers Wii U ; Super Mario 3D World was the game that sold me on a Wii U. But NSMBWU should have last year. There’s just something more precise about 2D platforming that I’ve always cared for over it’s 3D counterparts. Take a 2D platformer with bonafide legendary status level design, add in 4 player co-op, Throw in a metric ton of levels, and you’ve got hours on hours of fun with friends. I’m glad to have picked this up, even a year later, it would have made my top 5 list.
 

Ryuukan

Member
Apr 21, 2006
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1. Fire Emblem Awakening ; I've only played two other FE games, but this one is miles beyond them. Great story and lovable characters. Bringing the waifu concept to a serious SRPG worked so well, I hope we see another this gen. My waifu was Tharja in this game.

2. Shin Megami Tensei IV ; I logged over 100 hours of SMT3 and even though this was portable, it was still a lengthy experience. I do wish it had 3D battles, but thats not really much of a knock against the overall package.

3. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate ; This was the reason I bought a WiiU. Had some great online sessions with fellow animegaf people.

4. Dragon’s Crown ; Huge fan of the D&D arcade games and this gave me all that feel and way more. The post-release support from vanillaware was amazing.

5. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch ; I preordered this from Amazon and had the super op Griffy wrecking shit the entire game. The battle system could've been better.

6. Pokemon Y ; 3D pokemon > 2D pokemon. The international release really enhanced the social features to me.

7. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn ; This was a great JRPG, not as an MMO. I basically ignored people other than using them for mandatory dungeon runs. I recommend buying and finishing the story within a month to avoid monthly fees and disgusting endgame MMO grinding.

8. Senran Kagura Burst ; This coming to the west was another sign of the golden age of gaming we are in. I have never really used the 3D setting in a game for more than a few seconds before this one. The breasts in 3D really are captivating and justify the system's feature. Ikaruga was my waifu in this game.

9. Rune Factory 4 ; This is one of the most smoothly animated 2D games I've played. Forte was my waifu in this game.

10. Project X Zone ; Seeing all these characters together in one game was very nostalgic. The battles can drag on at times though.

x. Tales of Xillia ; Fun, but not as good as Graces f.
 

Ace001

Member
Aug 22, 2013
326
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0
Adelaide, Australia
1. The last of us; my favourite single player game of all time. Amazing acting, characters, story, graphics, setting. Game play. I also loves the MP

2. GTAV;

3. Tomb raider;

4. Brothers;

5. Journey;

6. Bioshock infinite;

7. Tearaway

LTTP. Sleeping dogs; this would have been number 2 on my list had it been released in 2013... I'm pretty sure it was released late 2012. I found the shooting, fighting way better than gtaV
 

cian

Neo Member
Dec 13, 2013
18
0
0
Montreal
1. The Last Of Us; not only my game of the year, but possibly game of this generation. Despite my continuous lack of enthusiasm for Uncharted, I really think Naughty Dog turned it around with this one. Great character development, consistent between cutscenes and gameplay, limited combat that really made you dread encounters instead of look forward to them and dat ending that had be depressed for two days afterward. Not saying that it was perfect but the flaws were minor.

2. Bioshock Infinite; despite how much everyone wants to tell me that the game is just pretending to be clever and the combat is dull and so on I still greatly enjoyed this game. I like that it took such a different direction for the series while still maintaining call backs and I enjoyed the combat, at least when you got to hop onto rails and start flying around. I wish that they hadn't squeezed so much of the multi-verse stuff right into the ending though, it started to feel a little rushed and the amount of violence could be a little overwhelming sometimes but I still really liked this one.

3. Assassin's Creed 4; I was not expecting this at all. I was getting really sick of this series and honestly, if it wasn't for such a drought of good Christmas games this year, I probably wouldn't have gone near it, especially considering there was going to be a focus on sailing and that was something I didn't care for at all in AC3. I did get it though and it was great. It really evokes the spirit The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker which is one of my all time favourites and it was a decent change for the series. Still could have done without so many collectibles and unappealing stuff on the side (namely the ship strategy game) and there's still a huge amount of ludonarrative dissonance (not sure why some random pirate is such an elite fighter and assassin) but still definitely a bit of fun.

4. Papers, Please; okay yes, usual "you wouldn't think a game about paperwork could be so exciting" post. To be honest, the gameplay isn't that thrilling by itself but it matches the actual plot so well that it works and it's still a challenge. This is a game where you can control what happens by how you do your job and not by some sort of multi-choice dialogue that tells you which option is the "good" or "evil" and that's what games need when it comes to morality systems. The atmosphere of totalitarianism is brilliantly pulled off considering how limited it is too, right from the brilliant eastern-European sounding theme song when you start up.
 

GalacticMouse

Member
May 31, 2013
2,556
2
0
nonlineargaming.com


1. The Last of Us ; In addition to the fact that I'm a sucker for third-person action games in general, I loved the characters and story here. I also thought the game did a good job bringing in elements from all kinds of games (crafting, shooting, stealth, human enemies, zombie enemies, etc etc). My only real complaint with the game was that the friendly AI sometimes broke my immersion. Overall, definitely my GOTY and up there in my games of the generation.



2. Assassin's Creed IV ; What a great open world. I'm not someone that gets lost in open world games very often, but I spent a lot of time roaming islands and gathering collectibles while playing AC4 this year. This entry in the series addressed so many of my issues with the prior games (especially AC3). They definitely worked to streamline the free-running controls this time around...I don't think I accidentally ran up a pole or tree one time in more than 25 hours of playtime. Oh yeah, and the graphics are absolutely beautiful on the PS4.



3. Tomb Raider ; More third-person action games, see? I was let down by the story and the supporting characters, but the gameplay is super tight and I had a lot of fun with it. I don't always beat games quickly (i.e. within a couple weeks of buying them), but Tomb Raider had me hooked pretty quickly. Absolutely loved the Bow & Arrow in the game too...the developers did some interesting things with it!



4. Tearaway ; Super charming game. Absolutely love the atmosphere...Media Molecule did a great job of marrying the music to each location. It's not the most challenging game and it could certainly longer, which is why it's not higher on my list, but it's definitely a great experience worth having and it's really only the second game to make a great case for all of the Vita's features (LBP Vita being the first).



5. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon ; I purchased a 3DS again (sold my first one last year) to play this and I couldn't be happier. I have a lot of fond memories of the first game, but this one goes so far above and beyond that one. There's been so many times in recent years where I feel like Nintendo is just cashing in on their Mario games (NSMB series, mostly), so it's great to see them put Luigi in a starring role and add a ton of charm to his character. There's also a fair amount of challenge in trying to find all the hidden items or going for speed runs. It's one of the many games that makes me wish Nintendo would adopt an achievements/trophies system like its competitors!



6. Splinter Cell Blacklist ; There are some things I would've changed about this game, like the over-used "24"-style terrorist plot. Overall, though, I had a great time with it...even spent some time doing the side-mission challenges, which I don't often do. I typically try to stealth through the missions, but I like that, in most cases, it's not a requirement. If I found myself getting frustrated looking for the "stealth" route, I could just fight my way through a room full of guards and move to the next level. I really appreciated that approach to the game design.



7. Super Mario 3D World ; I got this game (and my Wii U) for Christmas, so I'm only as far as World 6 right now, but I totally get why people love it so much. It's really fun, it provides a decent challenge when you get into collecting every star, stamp, and flagpole, and the new cat-suite and double-cherry power-ups are awesome. I also really like the map-based approach to 3D Mario games as opposed to the hub-world, free-roam approach. Yoshi would've been a nice addition though...



8. Pokemon Y ; I felt like a kid again playing this. It's not often that I sink 20+ hours into one game in a week, but Pokemon Y got its hooks in good. Going from town to town getting badges and grinding out my Pokemon's stats in the paths between towns brought me right back to Pokemon Yellow on my Game Boy Color years ago.



9. Rayman Legends ; I bought this one on Vita, which probably got me playing it more than I otherwise would've. The challenge ramps up nicely. I went from 100%-ing the first world without much effort to wanting to throw my Vita across the room in some of the later worlds. Graphics are as gorgeous as I expected after playing Origins and the game's music, level design, and characters are just as awesome.



10. Guacamelee! ; I keep forgetting that this game is 2013, but it's a great platformer. The art style combined with the Mexican theme is really unique and cleverly done. I also love all the internet memes that pop up throughout the game. It's nice to play something challenging as well. The boss fights are no walk in the park and there are some spots in the games that'll challenge your old-school muscle as you try to wall jump, upper-cut, dash, and switch between the living and dead worlds all at the same time!



2012. Forza Horizon ; I don't play my 360 a whole lot but I was looking for a racing game to play while I was nursing a broken ankle in the spring and I picked up Forza Horizon on sale for ~$20. What a fun game! I love the more casual approach to the franchise rather than the very sim-focused approach you see in the other games. I had always avoided the series because I'm not a huge sim-racer fan, but I'm glad I took a chance on Horizon!
 

Tizoc

Member
Jun 23, 2010
81,146
8
850
32
Oman
Guys I think your list should not have the games bolded, the OP does state to follow the fromat 'exactly'.
 

Magus00

Member
Aug 26, 2007
52
4
870
Port St. Lucie Florida
1. The Last of Us ; Beautiful environments, great systems, compelling story. Grit. What more could you want?
2. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen ; Dark Souls and Skyrim had a child!
3. Terraria Vita ; Emergent gameplay in the palm of my hand.
4. Soul Sacrifice ; Monster Hunter with spells.
5. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (3DS) ; Killing monsters and wearing their corpse.
6. Dragon's Crown ; Animated bewbs n dragons.
 

Mona

Banned
Nov 19, 2013
332
0
0
1. Rayman Legends ; My pick for GOTY, not only does it have quality game content and a breathtaking artistic sense (no clue how they managed to top origins in this area), what elevates it above the rest is that on every platform its on it maintains a level of technical quality and polish that the others on this list cannot reach. No framerate drops, no texture poppins or filtering issues, no bogged down controls or game flow, no aliasing/staircasing/flickering, and still comes in at far above the modern console standard at 1080p/60fps (except for the VITA). So not only do i think the game could potentially win for its content alone, the fact that its the same technically flawless game on every platform its one that isn't being bogged down by the problems modern games are facing i think is something very much worth praising it for. basically, i think this is a good case for just making a great game that also performs flawlessly as opposed to trying to be so ambitious that you bring the console to its knees and your game ends up suffering greatly for it because theres cracks everywhere.

2. Brothers a Tale of Two Sons ; A surprise game for me, its mechanically simple, but its filled with tons of beauty, wonder, and adventure. almost feels like the video game equivalent of a classic fairy tale. simply put, its the best fantastical experience of the year.

3. The Stanley Parable ; Another surprise this year for me, its hard to describe. Its sharp and witty and plays with the idea of choice in videogames and puts its own spin on it. its the best Valve game not made by Valve.

4. Ni No Kuni ; phenomenal art style, with good characters and environments. its a jrpg that fumbles in its combat, but manages to be memorable as a great adventure overall

5. Tomb Raider

6. Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon; i didn't very much care for Far Cry 3, and im not a fan of open world games in general, but Blood Dragon changed things in a certain way to resonate with me, i cant quite put my finger on why that is, but its was quite enjoyable for me.

7. The Last of Us

8. Metro Last Light

9. Guacamelee! ; A surprise game for me, me and metroidvania style exploration in games have always butted heads, so i didn't think i would like this, but for some reason it just clicked with me

10. DmC

x. A Wolf Among Us ; i wasn't sure that this would live up to the Walking Dead games that came before it from telltale, but i was pleasantly surprised, and already TWAU is seeming better to me then the 2nd season of TWD game, quite the interesting dark take on the fairytale kingdom.

x. Puppeteer ; bought it mostly because we don't get to many big first party offerings for platformers anymore (i really need to get myself a Wii U), and i wanted to support this kind of thinking, i have a feeling our contributions meant very little given the sales of the game though, its a very style of substance game, but its a charming little platformer that is pretty unique in the theater aspect, with a few quality ideas of its own like the scissors.
 

Ash_Killem

Banned
Oct 26, 2013
75
0
0
1. The Last of Us ; Another masterpiece from one of the best developer's in the industry. The game play was solid complimented by a story which was amazing beginning to end. The Last of Us has amazing voice acting and writing that is better than that in most movies I've seen recently. I found it's portrayal of violence to be realistic not only in a graphical or game play sense but also as it relates on a human level. I always try to play the hero, the good guy in games but getting through the last of us I found that killing was a necessity in a world where violence and the greed of resource management was key to survival

2. Bioshock Infinite ; An extremely well built game world and addictive game play combined with compelling characters, story and music made Infinite my personal GOTY and one of my favourite games of all time, however, could not be beat out by all the depth that TLOU brought and thus slips to second in overall consideration.

3. A Link Between Worlds ; This game felt like a true Zelda Adventure. It was a switch from beloved "real" 3D perspective to the classic top down approach but didn't miss a step.

4. Battlefield 4 ; campaign and bugs aside, still probably the best FPS of the year with great map design and tons of customization. As a console game having it on the PS4 is a huge and welcome upgrade. It may still be considered a work in progress but still one of the best MP FPS experiences out there.

5. Assassin's Creed 4 ; I lost quite a bit of faith in the franchise after the last few instalments, especially AC3. AC4 however delivers a great assassin's experience with cutting a lot of fat that weighed down the series in the past. The side quests are actually fun again and playing with a character I actually care about again doesn't hurt either.

6. Pokemon X/Y ; I loved the original Pokemon, red, blue, yellow but lost track of the series and when trying to revisit with diamond and white found them to be a bit obtuse for my liking, the pokemon were a bit out there in terms of concept. X/Y brought my adoration of the series back with an upgraded graphical approach and pokemon more reminiscent of Gen I.

7. Resogun ; an awesome arcade shooter that I was not expecting to be so addictive. Simple and to the point Game play is at the core of this PSN title.

8. GTAV ; worth a mention. more of the same and extremely over rated but you have to admire Rockstar for their ambition. The story was much better this time around and the 3 character approach mixed with the usual GTA satire made this game, at the least, a must play for any gamer.

9. Injustice Gods Among Us ; A solid fighting game that is complimented by an awesome story mode than will make you want to play more than once. I can't wait to see what Netherrealm has up their sleeve next.

10. Wind Waker HD ; A great re-visit to an old favourite that fixed my biggest gripe about the original, all the damn slow sailing!

x Dragon's Crown ; a great rpg beat em'up that proves the PS Vita is worth owning.

LTTP ; Black Ops 2 ; there are a few games that may have been better in 2012, however in hindsight BO2 brought an awesome MP experience introducing and emphasizing competitive play by offering shout casting and league play. The Pick 10 system was also an actual innovation over previous instalments.
 

Alessandro

Member
Jan 19, 2010
1,206
0
560
Btw Cheesemeister, may I ask how does the counting work? I've once attended a course in computational linguistic and I've always wondered how this thing works.

Like, how many hapax legomenon are we talking about, uh?
 

BattleMonkey

Member
Mar 5, 2009
32,281
1
0
1. Last of Us ; Just all around experience, characters were fantastic and you truly cared about them.
2. Metal Gear Rising Revengeance ; Easy to play, hard to master, just a slick and all around fun action title. Amazing soundtrack.
3. Farcry 3 BLOOD DRAGON ; FPS have gotten boring, but this brought the fun.
4. Tearaway ; So creative and unique, really is a system seller for a Vita
4. Battlefield 4 ; Had many issues, but playing on PC I've felt it's mostly fixed and really it's just much better game than 3.
 

Cheesemeister

Member
Feb 14, 2005
10,973
1
0
Kyoto, Japan
Btw Cheesemeister, may I ask how does the counting work? I've once attended a course in computational linguistic and I've always wondered how this thing works.

Like, how many hapax legomenon are we talking about, uh?
I wrote a program in C# to download all the pages in a thread, read the pages' source, and tally up the results. I usually run it a number of times over the course of voting to check for new bugs due to any changes in the way GAF pages are formatted, or people making strange posts.
 

hitmon

Member
Jul 29, 2007
2,718
0
550
1. Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS) ; My game of 2013. The game was the complete package. Loved the music, gameplay, characters, and story. This is one of the few games that has lived up to my high expectations. The game brought back supports and even had kids. The only 3DS game where I spent money on DLC. Over 100 hours played in 2013.

2. Animal Crossing New Leaf (3DS); This game. I never got into the series before this one and I can't believe I've played this game more than Fire Emblem.

3. Grand Theft Auto V (PS3) ; I had a lot of fun and it had the greatest character of 2013 aka Trevor. Loved the heists, too bad there weren't enough.

4. Tomb Raider (PC) ; I enjoyed the experience and it was visually appealing. The gameplay wasn't too bad either.

5. Marvel Heroes (PC) ; Thought it was ok when it released, but started playing again in December and found the game more enjoyable. It definitely scratches that ARPG loot hunting itch and its free-to-play with Marvel characters.

x. Soul Sacrifice (PSV) ; Fun co-op game and great presentation. My Vita game of 2013.

x. Pokémon X (3DS) ; Maybe its nostalgia, but I enjoyed having the original Pokemon starters and watching them evolve.

x. Assassin's Creed 4 (PS4) ; It brought back the best part of 3, the sea battles!

x. DOTA 2 (PC) ; Don't know what I'm doing most of the time, but I've enjoyed playing it from time to time.

x. Etrian Odyssey IV (3DS) ; My first game in the series and not far into it, but one of the few games I've played that give a feeling like you are exploring uncharted lands. Filling out a map while exploring is a unique experience.
 
Apr 3, 2012
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1. Shin Megami Tensei IV ; Possibly my most-anticipated game of the year that lived up to all expectations. This game bridges so many things about past and present/future SMT so elegantly. The use of 3D dungeons, finally freed from a grid-oriented layout, and the amazing spritework in classic first person view worked together in ideal balance to build atmosphere and story, and I continue to be impressed by the way the OST compositions work motifs from the series' history into something completely new. As good as the gameplay was, this entry's effort at a more narrative experience for the mainline MegaTen series was just as successful and represents my favorite RPG story of the year that I continue to dig into on successive replays, with much to discover within optional dialogue, sidequests, alternate paths, and as always the philosophically intelligent approach of the series to its various mythological sources.

2. Pikmin 3 ; A massive achievement of game design so carefully and thoughtfully constructed that it has the illusion of being effortless as you play. The minor pressure of collecting fruit is the perfect replacement for a fixed time clock, since it's up to the player to spend days stockpiling fruit alone or just surviving while solving other challenges. Multi-tasking among teams felt extremely viable and just plain good, compared to Pikmin 2 where I always felt I was taking a huge risk with the second squad. Between excellent design and the high precision of the Gamepad + Wiimote control scheme this game had an overall feeling of unimpeded flow from one new challenge or "aha moment" to the next that tended to accidentally turn my play sessions into multi-hour marathons.

3. The Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds ; Energy and momentum are the defining factors in this new approach to Zelda. I replayed Oracle of Ages just before this game came out and I got very weary of the between-dungeon slog of required, ordered tasks in that game. With the single tweak of the item-rental system and the subsequent openness of the map, I rediscovered a feeling of lively freedom zooming between exploration, sidequests, and dungeons that almost reminded me of experiencing Zelda for the first time, before I got wise to the typical meta-structure of the games. I found it fun just to traverse this game world that wasted none of the player's time, engagement, or enjoyment.

4. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; A true love letter to the entire series that also innovates it significantly. I'm so happy that many newer to the series have gotten into Fire Emblem because of this title. I agree with the preference of other posters for no random battles and emphasizing tactical rather than exp-based difficulty, but this minor issue doesn't diminish my appreciation for such a deep yet accessible and wonderfully presented strategy RPG.

5. Animal Crossing New Leaf ; Must be ranked simply because a lot of small changes work together to make this my most-ever played AC. I'm still visiting almost-daily since the NA June launch with every intention of making it to a year, while with all other AC's I have tapered off to the villager-guilt phase after about 3-4 months. This game encourages so much self-directed and community-oriented engagement like never before in the series, with my only big issue this many hours in being the randomness of obtaining town projects.

6. Super Mario 3D World ; This is the hardest one of my top ten to boil down my thoughts on, simply because the variety of content and gameplay is so vast and perfected that I'm sure there's an extensive essay on game design to be written about practically every level. Nintendo easily dispelled any of the initial "3DS port" criticism from this title's reveal and delivered a classic on par with the Galaxy games and even more fun in co-op than the New SMB series.

7. Soul Sacrifice ; Stylish writing and presentation (though I find it unfortunate the dark Arthurian aspect of the story was elided in the localization) make this my top 'hunting' game even with MH3:U also out this year. The offerings system is really something new for the genre and very tactically interesting, heightening the risk and tension of drawn-out battles in a much bigger way than "I ran out of potions." I appreciated the extremely focused experience, including the arena-style levels and the way story is literally layered into the battles. Excellent post-release support should be commended as well.

8. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; A ridiculously fun experience with no lows that I can recall. Truly impressive given the origins of this title and the low turnaround Platinum had to pull this off with.

9. Atelier Meruru Plus ; In a way almost similar to AC the Atelier series is always enjoyable and uplifting no matter what my mood or current gaming taste might be. With 3 entries out this year, it was hard to pick one, but the 'Plus' version of Meruru beat out the extremely close in quality Totori for added content. While I enjoyed Atelier Ayesha's somber atmosphere and will likely soon revisit it, I didn't care for the lack of a quest diary and the overall feeling of being unsure what I could do next that arose more often than in the Arland games. Meruru Plus is the kind of game that creates a fun and rewarding feedback loop of managing varied priorities while constantly presenting new uses for your time and resources.

10. Ni No Kuni ; I could possibly rank this higher but the reality is I haven't played it enough to feel I can rank it fairly despite being a huge Ghibli fan (Wizard Edition reporting in, making this even more shameful). I love the graphics, OST, and storytelling of what I have played, but on rare occasion there is a game for which I want everything about the experience to be really 'perfect,' and this was one of them. Having had some bad times personally for stretches of the year I always found a way to put off fully diving into Ni No Kuni until everything was just right to play it, but it is now my main gaming priority for the rest of January.

x. Tearaway ; Very close to my top 10 except that having just completed it I don't feel like I've digested it compared to games I've had months with. So many things that feel gimmicky in other games, from player-created elements to tilt and touch controls come together under the almost synesthetic influence of an excellent OST to create a heartwarming and moving experience.

x. Attack of the Friday Monsters ; I love VN and adventure games and I have messed around in the Boku no Natsuyasumi series with limited Japanese yet great admiration, so it was a delight to finally get to play something comparable by Ayabe in English. Strong writing with a sense of matter-of-fact, Ghibli-esque psychology for the child characters realistically mixes in equal measures of innocence and precociousness as the story ranges from tokusatsu fantasies to fleeting glimpses of the mystifying complexities of the adult world.

x. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen ; I loved Dragon's Dogma and played the original to death throughout 2012, so this almost didn't register with me as a 2013 release until I saw other posters' entries, but I absolutely have to support and represent this incredible ARPG. I look forward to a strong next-gen future for this franchise.

x. Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory ; The NEPth place award for a game that always makes me smile. I got into this series with the improvements introduced in mk2, but this game best delivers on the series' mission of game culture-meets-moe overload. It's not the most consistent technically but I enjoy Victory's variety of events, side activities, references (including a huge stable of developer-themed DLC characters), and the fact that CFW Trick is not in it.

Many other possible also-rans but I want to cut myself off, this is tough!
 

Liljagare

Member
May 8, 2013
1,538
98
455
Sweden
1. Dragons Dogma ; It just blew my mind away, totally didn't see that coming, the battles, the story, the quirky pawns, just love it to death and beyond..
2. GTA IV ; Trevor is my new favourite character of any game, ever.


Only two I had time to really play through.. :)
 

Master_Funk

Member
Aug 4, 2012
1,051
0
0
1. The Last of Us ; The best developer in the industry creates another masterpiece. Zombies are not scary anymore, but TLOU interpretation made them absolutely terrifying to see. Also best characters and story I have ever seen in a game.

2. Brother: A Tale of two sons ; Beautifully crafted game ,executed so well. Just an awesome ending sequence too.

3. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; Awesome turn based strategy with great characters that you actually care about, and funny writing (props to 8-4 on the translation)

4. The Legend of Zelda: A link between Worlds ; My first zelda game, and from all the responses I've seen, its the best in years, so a good time to jump in. The wall mechanic is interesting and the world is full of fun things to do.

5. Bioshock Infinite ; Not a fan of FPS at all, and this one isn't particularly great in the shooting department either. What makes this game is the unbelievable world and the interesting characters you meet. The story is a typical comic book style story, which I was a fan of.

6. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Just an awesome, fun and insane game. A great parody on the Metal gear style storytelling and a fun combat system too.

7. Grand Theft Auto V ; First GTA I've ever finished. Its's probably top 3 in terms of my favourite GTA's (below SA and VC)

8. Tomb Raider ; Good reboot. Fun to play. Didn't care for the story

9. Rayman Legends ; Best 2D platformer on the market. Varied and interesting locations with so much charm

10. Guacamelee ; Metroidvania with a very interesting aesthetic. Love the wrestling motif and the gameplay is smooth too.

2012. Spelunky(Vita) ; Would be my number 2 game of the games I've played this year. So addictive and so much depth. The definition of 'one more time'
 

klee123

Member
Dec 18, 2005
6,664
0
1,135
1. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn ; Absolutely amazing as an MMO and a FF title and a massive improvement over 1.0 which I also bought, but loathed. The game which redeemed Square-Enix in my eyes.

2. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen ; Despite the original being released in 2012, The expansion dungeon was such an enjoyable experience for me that it's my second most played game this year and also my second favorite game of 2013.

3. The Last of Us ; Best writing and characters in a game ever. The game itself was also incredibly fun and well thought out. An amazing achievement by Naughty Dog and looking forward to the dlc.

4. Tales of Xillia ; Personally love the tales series, so for me this is no brainer. The dual protagonist system was an interesting move and characters wise, the gang in Xillia is definitely one of my favorites, since there was no one I hated. The game does reek of some laziness with the recycled material, but it didn't stop it from being ranked 4 on my GOTY list. Can't wait for the sequel this year.

5. Earth Defence Force 2017 Portable ; Just straight up fun, especially when tackling the inferno missions with 3 others online. My most played game this year on Vita.

6. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Platinum games absolutely nailed the feel of playing as Raiden. Story is straight up stupid, but with amazing gameplay and the crazy boss fights, who needs it really?

7. Dragon's Crown ; As a fan of beat em ups, this was definitely a no brainer. Beautiful graphics and great old school gameplay. One of my favorite games from Vanillaware.

8. Hotline Miami ; A fantastic game just oozing with style. The music in particular is my soundtrack of the year.

9. Bioshock Infinite ; Really enjoyed the fantastic story and setting. Just moving around using the skyhook for the first time was a breathtaking experience.

10. Saints Row 4 ; Just straight up dumb fun. Loved the fact that the devs just didn't care anymore and went completely crazy with the story.
 

neos

Member
Jul 15, 2009
1,134
0
0
1. The Last of Us; still thinking about what happened in this game nowaday
2. Ni No Kuni:Wrath Of The White Witch; the rpg i was expecting, beautiful world and OST
3. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance; the last epic battle alone was worth the game
4. Tomb Raider; right way to reboot the serie
5. Guacamelee!; simple mechanics well put togheter for a good fun
6. God of War: Ascension;a very good game, if only for a second would've i know why i was slauthering everything this would have been on an higher place. I always call this game in when i want to give an example of why graphics are not everything.
7. Resogun; had the chance to play this for a couple of hours.Firts 30 minutes were like "meh", but in the moment i started to figure out how the mechanics works, i couldn't stop playing. Awesomely crafted shooter with a lot of style.
 

sono

Member
Jan 20, 2013
3,610
19
440
1. Ni no Kuni : Wrath of the White Witch; charming, engrossing, beautiful and with a good sound track
2. Remember Me ; original concept, gameplay and setting
3. Killzone: Mercenary ; my current favorite vita title, the kz experience in your hand
4. Persona 4 Golden (EU) ; another absorbing jrpg and portable!
5. Guacamelee! ; beautiful and full of character, fun to play
6. Soul Sacrifice ; original and aborbing
7. Resogun ; Housemarque amazing PS4 launch shooter
8. Contrast ; absorbing, original and beautiful
9. Dust 514 ; it gets better each time I play it
10. Crazy Market; its crazy
2012. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward ; left a lasting impression
 

Carlisle

Member
Oct 26, 2006
5,714
0
950
Pennsylvania, USA
1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; A perfect blend of nostalgic callbacks to the past masterpiece, A Link to the Past, and new innovations that keep not only the world of ALttP fresh, but the entire Zelda franchise as well. Beautiful music, beautiful art and graphics, unique yet familiar gameplay. It's a love letter to Zelda's past and the promise of a bright future.

2. The Last of Us ; The pinnacle of story-telling in the video game medium. Wonderful characters, outstanding dialogue and voice acting, and to top it off fresh, fun, and varied gameplay throughout. If ALttP wasn't my favorite game of all time and ALBW didn't strike that nostalgic chord, this would have got #1 easily.

3. Super Mario 3D World ; Proof that Nintendo's first parties still know how to think outside the box and surprise us with their decades-old IPs. I'm hard pressed to find another game series that's run as long as Mario and still manages to surprise and entertain us like this. Amazing, fun, fresh gameplay that's sharply intuitive yet challenging. Outstanding musical score and perhaps the best artwork that's ever graced the medium. The best 3D Mario to date and an absolute joy to play from start to finish. I loved how it supports offscreen play, yet still has optional TV-Gamepad sections that show off some of the gamepad's unique features. You can do those when you're able, but it doesn't force you to stop playing to do them if you don't have access to your TV at the time. It's a brilliant way to make the most of the Wii U gamepad and I hope future games incorporate these ideas.

4. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Fast-paced ridiculous over-the-top action, matched only by the hilariously ridiculous dialogue. It's a high-octane thrill ride on the outside and a precision-tight reflexive strategy game on the inside. You have to act as fast as you think, and it drives your mind and reflexes wild in a wonderful way. Pure entertainment from start to finish, with incredible visuals and an adrenaline-enducing soundtrack.

5. The Wonderful 101 ; What I loved about TW101 is similar to what I loved in MGRR. There's a lot of wonderful flashy action, but deep down there's a smart game to learn and master. And it rewards you for taking the time to do it. It's got a steep learning curve, but it's a totally new experience that entertains all the way through.

6. Tearaway ; Absolutely beautiful, creative, and charming. Tearaway brilliantly incorporates many of the Vita's hardware features in ways that only immerse you further into the tiny little world you hold in your hands. It's a wonderful showcase of blending new inputs into fun and challenging game design, and so much charming fun.

7. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn ; The most fun I've ever had playing an online RPG. Some of the quests are a bit slow sometimes, but there's always something to do--and the game rewards you for doing them. The most beautiful MMO there is, with fun and varied action-fast battles and no shortage of ways to build your character up however you see fit. Not to mention a surprisingly engaging storyline and wonderful music.

8. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD ; Absolutely gorgeous and brilliant remake of one of my favorite games. It was very well done, though it's new features left a little bit more to be desired. I still felt this was one of the better games I played all year. Even if the new feature list was a little short, what Nintendo delivered was a top-notch complete product that was even more fun to play than it was years ago.

9. God of War: Ascension ; What I loved about Ascension was the changes. God of War has had a tried and true formula for 5 games now, and while this one kept a lot of the familiar around for veterans, they really sought to update things. From simple changes such as fonts and UI to more robust ones like adding an online mode, I felt that this is a great game to bridge the gap between what GoW used to be and what it will be in the new generation. As always, the gameplay is tight and varied, the voice acting is spot on, and the art and graphics are easily the best in the series.

10. Grand Theft Auto V ; I'm not typically a fan of GTA games because I can never maintain focus long enough to do a mission. I always end up veering off course and going on killing rampages until the cops take me out. But with GTAV, Rockstar as really gone to great lengths to change up the formula and make the game more fun and varied. GTA Online is brilliant and an absolute blast to play with friends. And the new characters, story, and fresh gameplay elements really lend a lot to the new world and make coming back to it far more rewarding than previous games in the series.

x. Tomb Raider ; This was a wonderful result for a risky reboot of a beloved and storied franchise. The developers did a great job building real tension and fear for Lara. They showed that she's a real person that came from a real place--which is something we haven't seen in the previous, more cartoony-entries in the franchise. It was a great direction to take the series after 8 or so games of the same basic look and premise. I look forward to future games in this new rebooted Tomb Raider line.

2012. Sleeping Dogs ; The only open world sandbox game I've ever been able to finish and blew through it nonstop in 2013. It has a brilliant way of keeping you on track and focused on your mission. It deters you from taking detours and going on fun rampages and forgetting your responsibilities in the game. You're encouraged to not kill innocents and drive properly in a way that isn't too punishing if you slip off a bit. Maintaining focus is my main issue with sandboxes and why I've never been able to finish one. But Sleeping Dogs' brilliant game design, fun and varied missions, wonderful characters, excellent story and narrative was the perfect combination to keep me coming back for more. Amazing game through and through.
 

sono

Member
Jan 20, 2013
3,610
19
440
Is Crazy Market PS Vita eligible - it does not appear on your list but as far as I can tell it is released this year to that platform so should be on there. I put it last in my of those I had played this year above and its a lot of mindless fun..
 

JasoNsider

Member
Jun 7, 2004
2,942
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1. Wonderful 101 ; By far the most exciting, original and charismatic title of the year. This is creative design from every pore and designed to be played and re-played for years. What's more, the characters and story really are endearing and by the end you will feel like part of the family.
2. The Last of Us ;
3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ;
4. Super Mario 3D World ;
5. Pikmin 3 ;
6. Antichamber ;
7. Gone Home ;

I wish I had more time to write descriptions, but there it is!
 

Palehorse

Member
Jun 29, 2011
562
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Victoria, BC
1. The Last of Us ; I loved this game throughout, but it just kept getting better and better. Great writing, voice acting, visuals. The gameplay was perfect, hard at times, fun always. And dat music...shut the front door.
2. Assassin's Creed 4 ; Wow! I get to play Sea Dogs again! Only without a fleet and with no trading and you can't hire your own crew of specialists. That's okay, the land stuff was way better than Sea Dogs and the sailing was top notch fun. And the Shanties. And the storms. Hnnnnnggg.
3. Tomb Raider ; This game came late for me, I have been playing it over the last few days and I gotta say: I'm entertained. Fun combat, story is not too shabby, controls are tight. I have no complaints.
4. Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds ; I almost forgot this one! One of my best memories of early gaming is a Link to the Past, so this had a special place in my heart. So glad to play this.
5. Grand Theft Auto V ; I enjoyed a GTA again! I got over IV being so cruddy and learned to love driving and shooting all over. I haven't finished it and maybe I never will, but at least I can see that of the games that came out this year, this was #5.
6. Fire Emblem Awakening ; My first real foray into the FE universe. It felt like it was full of tropes from earlier games that seemed iffy for a newcomer (much as a newcomer to Zelda games would get annoyed by the constant handholding in later games) But I liked the actual gameplay so much that it made 6th. You know you're having fun when you restart the same battle for the umpteenth time without hesitation.
7. Luigi's Mansion ; I played, I liked, I finished. Hard to knock a game that I finish, they're kinda rare.
8. Steamworld Dig ; I blasted through this game in a few sittings and while it was kinda shallow with repetitive gameplay, somehow it still worked for me. Another finish.
9. State of Decay ; This is here just through ambition. The gameplay was kinda janky and I had a hard time enjoying the quests BUT the number of systems in play was admirable and I want to see more of what this studio puts out with more experience.
10. Ni No Kuni ; Well...this game had promise, enough to get it to 10th. I liked the art style, I liked the story, even the weird character monsters were fun...I just got lost when the battles started feeling more random and less like I had control over what was going on. Also I had to start grinding...so 10.
 
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