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

Status
Not open for further replies.
Mar 17, 2011
19,566
0
0
6 games only from me. Everything else that I played (including GTAV) were crap.

1. The Last of Us ; Incredible game. Powerful, emotional and despite not really having anything beyond generic in the gameplay stakes, it was a real joy to play.

The story is one of the best I've ever encountered in a game and the atmosphere and settings are expertly crafted.

One of the best games ever made.

2. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; One of the best action games ever made. It doesn't quite belong in the Ninja Gaiden style or the Devil May Cry/Bayonetta style of play and for that it stands out more. The Zandatsu system is stylish and fun, the focus on defensive play is a nice change with a godly parry system , and it just oozes class.

Incredible set pieces and the best soundtrack of 2013, this would be my GOTY were it not for The Last of Us. Rising is just pure action excellence.

3. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag ; Assassin's Creed has possibly never been better. I struggle to choose between Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed IV for best AC in the series but ACIV REALLY has a legitimate claim due to the huge focus on the pirate aspect. A ginormous world with stuff to do and find, it's THE most addictive world I've encountered in any game this generation.

A likeable main character compared to his grandson in AC3 and a fun cast of characters. The story might be a bit hit or miss but it has a lovely ending.

4. Bioshock Infinite ; Not as impressive as the original Bioshock which to me is a masterpiece but Infinite is an impressive game in its own right. The world crafted is stunning, gorgeous and incredibly atmospheric. One of the most likeable main casts in quite some time and a story that starts off intriguing and ends in such aplomb, Bioshock Infinite is in my top 5 games of the year.

5. Batman Arkham Origins ; While not as brilliant as Arkham City, Arkham Origins still delivers a great Batman experience in larger setting and a uniquely picked time of the year. All the standard Arkham gameplay mechanics are there, along with some new additions, plus a pretty spectacular cast pulling some new enemies in to the fold.

To me, the boss battles are more impressive that the prequels and the story delivers on some great twists and turns. In-fact, I also think the story in this game is the best in the Arkham games.

The biggest downside is the horrendous performance though which made me have to restart my console a few times. That aside, it's a thoroughly enjoyable title though could have done with some more content and a more livelier environment (reasons why are fair enough but not good enough).

6. DmC: Devil May Cry ; I was pleasantly surprised by this game. I championed the disaster that was this reboot since day one but really loved my experience with the title by the end. An interesting story, an inoffensive cast and some of the best levels/boss fights I've played in YEARS.

Ninja Theory really did well with this and while I wouldn't mind a sequel, I'd still like to see my preferred Devil May Cry canon return with Uncle Dante. Nevertheless, DmC was a very good action title. Not as intricate or as detailed as the previous titles but very serviceable in its own right.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
2
0


1. Beyond: Two Souls ; This is not a joke. It was the best game I played this year. I thought it told a thoughtful, humane story about a young woman. There was solid writing and some interesting human insight. The overall plot was consistent and interesting and the world the characters inhabited was intriguing. I think it was the culmination of what David Cage has been working on, and so if you liked Heavy Rain or Indigo Prophecy but found them flawed, this game was closer than ever to the execution he's been searching for. The performances by all the main actors are great. I played it with friends and everyone who watched it thought it was a pretty great and interesting game. I think that most people who are interested in human-focused stories and are willing to approach the game in a charitable manner will find something to enjoy here. I wrote a lot more about why the game worked for me in this post I followed up here and here (some very minor thematic spoilers, but I used discretion). If you didn't like the game and are interested in a different take on it, or if you haven't played it and think it might be interesting to you, I'd be happy to respond in PM. To me, this was a triumphant success. PS3

2. Guacamelee ; Guacamelee is a hilarious, beautiful Metroidvania game set in a sort of comical luchadore cartoon Mexico with an emphasis on deeper, more sophisticated combat more like a 2D brawler. It controls so well, it has a great amount of combat depth particularly if you play the challenge combat rooms near the end of the game. The unlockable abilities are not just your Metroidvania standards and also integrate well with the combat system. It's a joy to explore. It even integrates something similar to Ikaruga's polarity system. I'd go so far as to say that it's the best Metroidvania since Symphony of the Night. It's difficult to comment much on the game itself except to say that it plays so well, I'd recommend it to pretty much anyone. Really original visual themes, not the normal areas and dungeons you'd expect from any action-adventure exploration game. So fresh. Steam, Vita, ... PSN? $15

3. Gone Home ; GAF members said it best: I hope we don't start seeing more casual games and less skill-based games collecting GotY awards in the future. It just seems like people who vote for this game are trying to make a statement based on the "progressiveness" of the game. Shame I couldn't pick a game that actually had gameplay and a decent story for my GOTY list. It's a bad value at an hour and a half for 20 dollars. You didn't expect me to give it to a more deserving game on a Sony platform. It's pretty much mediocre as an adventure title. Most of the conversation I heard around this game was about how impressed people were with how ordinary it was.. It's hokey as hell. It was an also-ran take on the subject matter. As a game, it's not good, and I almost slept through it. The game has literally no replay value and the experience is really a one-off thing. It's pretentious bullshit. It's a shitty game. I see myself as a hipster of the GOTY vote. It's not a game at all. This vote means I would rather be told a story of a topic not covered in gaming than actual enjoy a great gaming experience. It's nothing special. You still need to do or say something interesting about the world and relationships if you want that subject to be literally all your story is about, and Gone Home did not do that. The story basically amounts to "look, lesbians!" It doesn't really say anything new or compelling about anything, and the gameplay aspect isn't exactly groundbreaking either, let alone well-executed (technical issues mentioned earlier). Quality of writing is closer to a 2 hour dawson creek special. It's a visual novel of a lifetime movie. How can a game that play on the minority platform be GOTY? Steam, $20

4. Surgeon Simulator 2013 ; It's a surgery game. Well, sort of. Would you call smashing someone's ribs out, throwing away their stomach and lungs, and haphazardly tossing their new heart in with their old one surgery? Would you call trying to perform a brain transplant in the back of an ambulance with no shocks that hits bumps surgery? The concept is hilarious, the surgeries are a real joy to play through and discover short-cuts and techniques. It's a classic arcade game. Time and score attack. Tons of achievements for doing creepy surgeries. You feel like a minor god when you successfully pull off a surgery with minimal bloodloss in a quick time. Oh wait, did I mention that you do these surgeries one-handed using the mouse and five keyboard buttons, each controlling one finger of the hand? The result is a sort of QWOP-like finger Twister. At first you feel like an incompetent flailing around, but when you master it, it's all the sweeter. It's not hard, it's just unfamiliar. The developers have updated the game with tons of new surgeries, all for free. Hidden surgeries include:
Transplanting a TF2 Heavy's Heart, which requires ubercharging. Surgery in a zero gravity space environment. Alien organ transplants, complete with truly unintuitive biology.
The game's strength is that it doesn't tell you what to do or how to do it, which gives it a splendid sense of discovery. Also great game to stream or have people watch, because it's so bizarre that it's immediately appealing. Steam, $10

5. Game and Wario ; Game and Wario doesn't quite work as a package. It's 12 WarioWare style games more in the scope of boss events from previous WarioWare games than individual WarioWare games. All of the games make major use of both the gamepad and the TV screen and so in this regard, it's probably an even better pack-in than Nintendoland. Most of the games are pretty forgettable, but I wanted to highlight a few that weren't: Robot has you building a robot. The game asks you to draw, for example, a circle with a one inch diameter on the GamePad. Too big, too small, or not an even circle and you will be MOCKED. Then maybe try drawing a 4 inch line. A 3 inch squiggly line. A 35 degree angle. It's so embarrassing, you will feel ashamed when you fail. Great fun and has a 2P head-to-head mode. Gamer has you playing WarioWare games on your GamePad. On the TV, you're 9-Volt, a kid in bed playing games past his bedtime. You hear footsteps! Mom is coming, quick, pretend to be asleep. But the more you pretend to be asleep, the more likely you'll fall asleep. So you have to balance playing the games, watching for Mom (or false alarms), and not flinching too often. Really fun. Fruit Thief is a multiplayer (up to 5 players) game that only requires the Gamepad and TV. The TV screen displays a single-screen level--either a city, a pool, or a museum. There are four fruit in the level. Dozens of characters walk around the screen. One of them is a thief. Your goal is to identify the thief based on who is nearby when the fruit are stolen. But the kicker is that one player has the gamepad and is selecting and controlling the thief. You want to act like the AI. No sudden or human movements. No brazen thefts--only steal when there are AI characters nearby to cover you. At the end of the theft, the players identify who they think did it. It feels wonderful to win, whether you're the thief or one of the spotters. Pictionary is a pictionary game. It supports four players, it's got a ton of word prompts, the interface is much better than any other digital pictionary game I've ever played. I highly recommend it. This year I got so much fun out of having friends over to play Game and Wario. Would I recommend the package a worthwhile on a single player basis? No, absolutely not. Most of the games aren't great and it's very low content if you just want to play beginning to end. But if you want to have a game party with friends, this was absolutely the best game this year for that. Wii U

6. Papers, Please ; I'm not sure I have much original insight to add here given how much the game was talked about and how well it's been acclaimed elsewhere, but it's a wonderful and totally novel little game. You are a passport worker for a totalitarian Soviet-esque eastern European regime. Every day you read the border crossing rules of the day and begin admitting the queue of people. You must carefully compare the documents they submit to the rules to ensure they are not defrauding the system. This is made complicated because you have a very small amount of screen space to do it. The game punishes you for making a wrong decision, but also punishes you if you don't work quickly enough. This generates enormous tension. Failure literally means the death of your (unexplored, off-screen) family members. I think the game has wonderful atmosphere punctuated by the deliberately off-tuned VHS graphical style and minimal martial Soviet-esque audio cues. The story is told through dialogue, and there are many different directions it can go with over 20 endings. You can unlock an endless mode for arcade style gameplay, or see it primarily as a game thats a vehicle for a story. You can ruin the illusion by printing out the rules for easy reference, but if you choose to actually try to play the game the way it wants to be played it's incredibly fulfilling in its own way. Very original. It's an insight on how banal things can be games and games can be banal. It's also great when you get a nailbiting decision--imagine admitting a husband only to have his wife show up next without the wrong documents. Do you condemn her to death, or take the heat and maybe not be able to afford to feed your own family? Steam, $10

7. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; This is easily the most cinematic game this year. It's directed by a film director and it shows. Lots of vistas, very inventive visual imagination. It's a very light puzzle adventure game with some basic platforming elements. It wisely has no real voice acting, falling back on sort of Scandanavian Simlish for the characters to express themselves. It has minimal text. The storytelling is very visual. It has all the elements of a very dark European fairytale. It is very emotional without using words or overly intense sound cues. The sentimentality people feel is earned. The control scheme is so novel, and just uses the analog sticks and the shoulder buttons--this has very important plot consequences and is surprisingly intuitive. It's exactly the right length, it's beautiful to look at (I took dozens of screenshots), and it tells a story that isn't told all that often in gaming in a simple, plain, and effective way. Steam, XBLA, PSN, $15

8. Gunpoint ; Even if Gunpoint didn't have some of the smartest pulp writing this year, I think the gameplay would still earn it its spot here. It's a very old style of game, a self-contained puzzler taking place primarily on one screen levels. It reminds me a little of Spy vs Spy, Elevator Action, or Bonanza Bros, but it's better than those. You're a guy who enters buildings, rewires elevators, doors, and lightswitches to each other to get into locked areas, steals data or items, and escapes. Combat is minimal and relies on surprise. It has elements of a stealth game. The game wisely allows you to kill as many or as few opponents as you want, but there's tremendous satisfaction in solving a level without being detected, in record time. The story allows for a good deal of player choice, with two distinct ending paths and dozens of variations of the ending text. My one beef with the game is that just as it starts getting a little more sophisticated, puzzling, and bigger it ends. I'd love to play four or five more hours of this. Steam, $10

9. Bit.Trip Presents: Runner 2 ; It's big, it's bloated, there are probably too many levels, the load times are too long. But the core gameplay loop of being a weirdo rhythm running humorous platformer works very well. It feels great. You get into the moment and you're hooked. I wish the game wasn't so much easier than the original, because the payoff is so much better when there's a big knot of tension in your stomach and victory in the level brings catharsis. Really, really great arcade gameplay. Steam, XBLA, PSN, Wii U eShop, $15

10. BioShock Infinite ; A lot has been written about the obvious ways that the game failed. The second act lags, there's entirely too much shooting, the shooting is not particularly interesting, you don't interact much with the word, etc. I don't really discount any of that. But I have to say that I found the game very beautiful, I found parts of the writing to be very astute and insightful, I appreciate the efforts gone into establishing the political and cultural backdrop to Columbia, and in general I look back on the game as a very positive experience. The little moments add up to me. Why is the Barber-shop quarter singing God Only Knows, a song that wasn't written until like 50 years after this game is set? Booker remarking, as Columbia burns in front of the red flag of the rebellion "well it seems they've chosen a colour". The ending was the thing that sealed it for me. It's a wonderful ending not just to BioShock Infinite but to the entire BioShock series. It's the keystone. Any future project in the series will necessarily feel small and contained, so I hope they end it here. The ending makes you feel a unity running throughout the game and the series, a connectedness of all things. It's big, it evokes a sense of wonder, it was a real visual treat to walk through. I smiled my whole way through the ending. So that's worth a lot, even if there was some frustration on the way there. Steam, Xbox 360, PS3.

Honourable mentions can be discarded by the parser.
HM. Cook, Serve, Delicious - Cook, Serve, Delicious is a really fantastic game with a lot of heart. It's basically a time management game in that you're running a restaurant and you've got orders coming in. Some of them can be instantly completed, others need cooking or prep time. So you're jumping around from order to order and doing chores and trying to make sure your customers are satisfied. I think the core gameplay works because you get into a kind of satisfying zen rhythm where you've memorized the exact keystrokes required for a given recipe and you're typing at full speed and you know your path through the 8 queued up orders during rush hour. You really feel in the zone. It's also a very funny game and surprisingly content-filled. It takes a while to unlock anything and there were a few points where I felt like I needed to grind a little bit, but it's very robust. It's great to have another game I feel comfortable booting up for a quick 5 minute session. Steam, $10. Would have made my top 10 if the Steam release counted it as a 2013 game, but I guess it's technically a 2012 game by the voting rules.

HM. Super House of Dead Ninjas - Super House of Dead Ninjas is a quick, agile game set in a 450 floor castle. Each floor has a room or two and a hole allowing you to drop down another floor. You have 40 seconds to descend. You run out of time, you die. You get hit by an obstacle, you die. You get hit by an enemy, you die. You pick up powerups by killing enemies with a sword, projectile weapon, or full-screen magic spell. Every 150 floors you fight a boss that feels like an old-school Mega Man or Castlevania boss. The key to the game's appeal is the incredibly responsive control. You tear through enemies, wall-jump, narrowly avoid deaths, and work your way through. It's arcadey--a single session lasts maybe 5-10 minutes, but it's replayable many times for tons of unlocks and higher difficulties. It feels great. A narrator taunts you when you screw up. It's just an absolute joy to play, the perfect bite-sized game. Steam, $7 Counts as a 2012 release by voting rules.

HM. Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves - I bought this exclusively because it was developed by a French Canadian team. It's a really cool little game where you play as a lumberjack in the action-tower defence style (similar to Orcs Must Die, for example). Your wood cottage is being attacked by wolves and other creatures and you need to set traps around a forest map. If it comes down to it, you need to direct fight the enemies yourself with your axe or musket. The musket loading takes forever, which makes it period-appropriate and very well balanced. I haven't finished the game, but it seems like a short sweet story with lots of great mechanics and is easily one of the best examples of the genre I've ever seen. It's very pretty and it has a great sort of folksy voice, really feels like an authentic folk-tale. Very Quebecois. Steam, $15.

HM. The Cave - The Cave is a Lost Vikings style side-scrolling platformer puzzle adventure game with a cheeky narrator and lots of replayability. You choose 3 of 7 "heroes" and venture into a cave. The cave has several mandatory segments and each hero has their own segment, so each playthrough of the game will have a different level order and emphasis depending on who you pick. There are some problems--iffy jumping, weird camera if you play in local multiplayer, some sections far more interesting than others--but as a whole this was a fantastic local multiplayer experience for me. I really treasure games that let me play through a story with my partner or my closest friends. I think we did it in one 3-4 hour sitting. I have no idea if I'd recommend it as a single-player experience, but it's a really warm gaming memory of 2013 for me. Steam/XBLA/PSN/Wii U eShop, $15
 
1. Grand Theft Auto V ; The highest production values I've ever seen in a video game. Thoroughly kept me engaged throughout the entirety of my playthrough. Anxiously awaiting PC and DLC.

2. Bioshock Infinite ; Epic multiverse plot mixed with some amazingly fun powers - my kind of game. Also kudos for Elizabeth being the most useful AI partner in a game.

3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; My first Animal Crossing, and I was addicted to this thing for a solid 3 months. Glad it was handheld since I probably wouldn't have moved around as much if it wasn't.

4. Saints Row IV ; The GTA comparisons have to stop now, this series has grown into its own. This was the most fun super-powered hero game I've played since Infamous 2. Better than the Prototype games, almost as tight as Hulk Ultimate Destruction (yes the good Hulk game) on Xbox.

5. Pokemon Y ; The shortest Pokemon game I've ever played at 20hrs, but the production value increased drastically. I didn't find anything more compelling to do after beating the Elite Four. I was hoping for another adventure to open up, but nothing.

6. Path of Exile ; I never thought a F2P game could out-Diablo Diablo, but it happened. Quite a welcome change of pace to the old formula.

7. Battlefield 4 ; I came in late to the non-party in November, and after a few weeks of crashing it finally got patched to the point where I had little issues with it. Map selection far exceeds my enjoyment of BF3 and it's a solid MP shooter.

8. Assassin's Creed IV ; I haven't enjoyed an AC game since the first oddly enough. After AC2 when Ezio learns how to counter, the game became a one hit kill combat system which I hated. AC3 also started at a snail's pace so I was excited to get into the Naval combat almost immediately in this. Ubisoft's best entry in this franchise for sure.
 
Aug 4, 2011
5,375
1
0
There are some great picks on everyone's lists, I'm looking forward to catching up on the games I couldn't find the time to play from last year.


1. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; The epilogue in this got to me in such a way that I had trouble sleeping the night I had finished it. Sitting down for those couple hours and going on this beautiful journey is one of my favorite things this generation, let alone this year.


2. The Last of Us; One of the best paced games I’ve played since RE4 with it taking you from slow, tense stealth encounters to quick action encounters fighting off hordes of enemies. Great sense of progression as well, by the end of the game you have expanded so much in your tool/skill set that you really feel like you've come a long way from the game’s opening levels. Story was also incredible, without a doubt it deserves the praise it gets.


3. Grand Theft Auto V ; I missed the boat on the GTA III trilogy, the controls always got in the way of my enjoyment of the games. GTAIV fixed that but brought in a world that wasn't fun; it was a very drab and boring sandbox. V corrected both of those issues. Finally I'm able to understand the appeal of running around this big open world having a blast rather it be a heist, side/main mission or something dumb I decided to try just for the hell of it.


4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut ; Due to the game not agreeing with my desktop I never got too far into the original release so when the Wii U version dropped to $20 I figured I should give it another shot. From the great atmosphere and soundtrack to letting me play the 99% game without firing off a single bullet this game is fantastic all around and a wonderful return to form for Deus Ex.


5. BioShock Infinite ; Irrational created such a cool world to play in with in Infinite, the story kept me engaged right up until the post-credits scene. What a ride!


6. Skulls of the Shogun ; A strategy game that mixes fun dialogue with simple but deep mechanics. I loved every bit of it, even when I cocked up a level pretty bad I kept coming back for more.


7. Tearaway ; I don't think I've ever smiled as much as I have while playing this game. When it was all said and done I went and printed off some of the papercraft to fold up for my work desk, no game has ever had a better collectable than that.


8. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag ; While I’m still pretty early on in AC4 I’m enjoying it so much that I feel I need to put it on this list. This is the first time in a game where I turned off the majority of the UI just to be able to walk and take the world in stride. It’s just a fun game, in both its story and its gameplay. I’ll be disappointed when it’s all over to be sure.


9. Killer Instinct ; Traditional fighting games have always been too intimidating for me but KI’s great tutorials got me playing a fighting game online for the first time ever. Giving me a greater understanding of the actual mechanics of this genre was a feat unto itself and I applaud the game for it.


10. Shadowrun Returns ; Save issues aside this was a great, proper, return for Shadowrun. Looking forward to the game’s expansion!

x. Dead Space 3 ; While the game’s later chapters on the planet were pretty average, the spacewalking half of the game was some of my favorite levels in this series.

x. Crimson Dragon ; By all accounts this is not a great game but something kept bringing me back to replay levels to try and 100% them. I can’t say that about most games of the like.

x. Shin Megami Tensei IV ; A game I wished had come out either a couple months earlier or later in the year. A decent chunk of the way in I wasn’t able to keep up with such a time commitment and had to put the game aside. Looking forward to picking it up (and most likely starting again) this year and giving it the attention it deserves.

2012. Super Mario Bros. U ; Great to play a Mario game that follows Mario World instead of 1 or 3, I had a wonderful time playing it this year.
 
Oct 19, 2004
32,841
0
0
Los Angeles, CA

1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; I've been waiting for this kind of Zelda game for a long, long time. It feels like a game from an alternate history where Nintendo kept more of the original Zelda's freedom of exploration and creativity in progression in mind rather than solidifying the linear dungeon->item progression that came to be a key part of the Zelda formula with Link to the Past. So while it's supposedly a sequel to A Link to the Past, it feels more like a sequel to the original game itself: Legend of Zelda, the game that really hooked me and made me feel like games were something special. In other words: Nintendo split the timeline again! Ha ha ha ho ho ho. Beyond that, the dungeons were clever and interesting while still going down smoothly, and the wall-painting mechanic does a wonderful job of changing your perspective on the classic top-down dungeon, both literally as well as mentally for solving puzzles. This game might not be quite as flexible as the original game with allowing things like a "Swordless run" but I'll be eager to try some things like it on my next playthrough. If I had one complaint it would be that Hero Mode isn't unlocked at the start, but to say that I cared during my opening playthrough would be a lie. I was too busy soaking in the smooth gameplay, the amazing 3D effects, and amazing [URL="http://youtu.be/nvrVC9t33aM?t=2h37m19s]music[/URL].


2. New Super Luigi U ; Boils down Mario to its pure essence, which is fast, precision platforming with a lot of creativity in each level. When combined with New Super Mario U, this is the best 2D platformer you can play. I enjoyed the hell out of it. I played a few levels every day to unwind and it was something I looked forward to each time. And completing the Superstar Road levels, especially Fire Bar Sprint, are some of the highlights of gaming this year. I'm ready for 2D Mario to take a break now, but this was one hell of a way to hit the intermission.


3. Papers, Please ; One of my favorite ways to describe a game is by using the Sid Meier quote: "A game is a series of interesting choices." Papers, Please is exactly that. The story is your story, the choices all yours, all incredibly compelling. It's a game that showcases that choice is the most critical element of this medium, and that it's incredibly powerful, leaving a lasting impression. Plus, my name is in this game somewhere, so that makes it super awesome. You better let me past the checkpoint! Sure, my passport may not be exactly up to standards, but we're cool here, right? You're a cool guy. Come on, let me through.


4. Super Mario 3D World ; EAD Tokyo does it again. There are ideas in here that could sustain entire games from other companies, and EAD Tokyo churns through them, throwing new ones at you with such intensity and regularity that it's astonishing. It's like the ultimate playground, one with new things to play on every time you're done with one, and it just keeps inviting you to do more, more, more. Each mechanic and idea is introduced so effortlessly, so smoothly, that it's just a joy from start to finish. The reintroduction of different character types with their own moves adds a wonderful wrinkle into the gameplay, causing you to change your approach, and getting every last drop of gameplay out of the levels. The pure design skill of Mario games is somewhat underappreciated these days, but speaking as a designer, making a game this good, this pure, and this polished isn't easy. EAD Tokyo just makes it look that way.


5. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies ; I love this series a great deal, and I was pretty concerned when I saw them moving to 3D models. Turns out my fears were unfounded, as they did a killer job with the transition. The characters have more life than ever, while still retaining the classic feel of the earlier games. I think more than perhaps any other game in the series, this game's cases are consistent. They're all Very Good, B+/A- affairs. It doesn't reach the heights of Trials and Tribulations, but it's a damn fine addition to the series. Athena is a great new addition to the crew, and even Apollo is more likable this time around. Blackquill is a decent addition to the prosecutor's roster as well, better than Franziska von Karma and Klavier, but not in the same stratosphere as Edgeworth and Godot. I do miss Maya and Gumshoe, but this game has more than enough fanservice for longtime fans. I hope they continue with the series. I know I'll be there for the next one if so.


6. Gone Home ; I never found this game to be scary, though I guess a lot of people did at the beginning. I just found it to be mysterious in all the right ways. As a 90s kid, the setting, music, and technology all felt like a fun nostalgia trip. Though the developers use the typical locked door format for pushing you through a pretty linear pathway, I appreciated that they didn't push the story down your throat in the same way. I missed quite a few things that I heard other people discussing afterward, but at the same time I didn't feel like I missed anything personally. There are a lot of fantastic little touches in this game that give life to the characters in a charming, affecting sort of manner that goes a long way on the developers' clearly limited budget. All in all, it's one of the best examples of the "found thoughts" form of storytelling in videogames. That said, I'm pretty tired of it... I have a problem with it because I don't communicate that way and I find it hard to find characters that do so realistic. With that in mind, the most effective parts were finding things that weren't "notes to the player" -- old letters between colleagues, stuff in filing cabinets, photos on the wall. When the game respected my intelligence, I respected the game more. Fortunately it rarely indulges in forcing the story on you in an unnatural way. The other thing I find hard to relate to? This type of storytelling generally requires HUGE environments. Whether it's Rapture or the mansion in Gone Home. We need something that will work in a more intimate setting. Maybe that's where they'll go next.


7. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; I put hundreds of hours into this game, so I feel I'd be remiss for not including it. The mayor abilities in this game hint at exactly what I've wanted from the start, which is a bit more control with town layout and more ways to customize your town and personalize it. This game always stuns me with how much there is to see and do on any given day. Even when I go in with the intent to merely "check in" on my town for a day, I end up spending at least 30 minutes thinking, "okay, lemme just do this, of now I better do that, hm, oh yeah, I forgot I wanted to do this, guess I'll do that now..."

It strikes me this is the exact kind of series that probably wouldn't exist if Nintendo was a third-party. Sure, nowadays they'll keep making it because it's been built up to be insanely popular. But I've played this series since the first game, when it was a weird, underappreciated port of a Japanese N64 game Animal Forest, and while Nintendo has since continued to improve and build upon the series, it's the kind of risky, unique game that can only be made with the protection of having your own platforms to build for and the mandate that not every project has to be a major success right away. Lastly, I want to say this has one of the nicest, most friendly online communities I've ever seen in a game.


8. The Wonderful 101 ; In my head, Hideki Kamiya and Goichi Suda are alternate dimension versions of each other. Games that are never perfect, but that have a raw verve that is impossible to ignore. Kamiya's passion has never been more on display than in The Wonderful 101, which is hard to describe. It's like a rollercoaster that starts at the top of the tallest hill and proceeds to do its huge drops, loops and corkscrews without ever having to do the slow uphill parts that standard physics requires of a rollercoaster. Oh, and this rollercoaster randomly flies off the tracks and onto other tracks around the theme park. It's wild and fun, and rides that fine line between reckless fun and outright danger. In a word, it's exhilarating and breathless and unapologetically FUN.


9. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; I've long thought about a game where each control stick controlled its own character simultaneously, and I was glad to see this experiment played out so successfully in this game. I also appreciated that this game was short, so that I could play it through in a single sitting, soaking in the gameplay and the story told through it in such an effective, tight package. As with most of my favorite games, it tells a story through gameplay that couldn't be done the same way in another medium. The beginning and ending cutscenes meant nothing to me, but the feeling of playing the game towards the end feels rather different from the beginning. It's empowering in completely different ways from the beginning to the end, and you feel the arc of the character played out in the controls themselves.


10. The Entertainment ; I haven't played anything of Kentucky Route Zero yet because it's not complete and for some reason I don't feel a pressing need to play it until the light is at the end of the tunnel. I didn't play The Walking Dead until the final episode was right around the corner for the same reason, and I think that immensely helped my appreciation of that game. I'm going to spoil the thing here so don't read on if you already plan to try it, but if you're looking for my take, here it is below:

The Entertainment is apparently a little side project that probably takes place in the same world as KRZ but merges two plays and plays them out at the same time. One play is the one you're "playing" -- a simple, silent play where you have really nothing to do but look around. Meanwhile, the other play happens right in front of you, with dialogue, music and motion. You're free to look around, but not to interfere. Your placement places you just in front of the audience, but still back from the "real" story action. In other words, you're in a world of your own, a silent observer of the story in front of you just like the audience is, but also with your own actions, feelings, and impulses. But you're confined to your chair, left to your thoughts as the story carries on without you. Sound familiar? Yes, it's the current gaming paradigm, where you're generally passive observer to the story that you're being told, all while your own story, your own performance, your own PLAY, goes on silently. This game exposes the separation between the two. And strangely enough, it is your interaction with your character's extremely limited interaction set that makes that clear. I've found myself thinking of it often, with some of my usual despair at games where your interaction is often meaningless to the narrative, which generally progresses in cutscenes without any of your input, such as in the game that will inevitably top GAF's collective list this year. But at the same time, The Entertainment, as with The Walking Dead last year, also shows how limited interactivity, when applied correctly, can achieve compelling results. Which is really games in a nutshell, isn't it?


---------------------------


HONORABLE MENTIONS

x. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag ; This is the first Assassin's Creed game that I've actually enjoyed playing. My wife loves this series to death, but I could never get into it until this one. I still don't like all the "modern-day" filler that Ubisoft tries to throw in there, but at least the rest of the game was fun. I haven't beaten the game yet, or else it might have ended up in my list, but considering I've sold my PS4 I don't see it happening anytime soon anyway. Still, count me impressed with Ubisoft polishing a series that I never though I'd have any interest in until it actually became fun.

x. Bioshock Infinite ; I love Columbia, I hate just about everything else.

x. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; This nearly made my list. I love this game, and this was my best experience with the series by far. The depth to the game is somewhat staggering, and I always find myself paralyzed by my options. My wife is a great help with this, as she understands the full depth of the mechanics and can help me make a decision based on what I want to do. It's the kind of game where if I was younger and had a lot more time than I currently do, I'd play it 50 times and try everything. Since I don't have that kind of time anymore, my wife acts as the proxy, as she's beaten the game 5 times, including her Lunatic run. Her enjoyment of the game improved mine as well.

x. The Last of Us ; Noteworthy for the presentation and the fact that it's the first Naughty Dog game this generation that I haven't thought was outright BAD months later. Unfortunately it looks like ND is going back to Uncharted, so it'll be some time before I care about what they do again. The characters and worldbuilding here are great, I just hope they do something with gameplay at some point during this next generation. The opening of The Last of Us promises so much more than what the game ends up delivering, until maybe the end. Unfortunately the player has to get through all that "in-between" stuff, the gameplay, that seems to be sitting in the back seat in the Naughty Dog car. The gameplay in The Last of Us ranges from passable to tedious, something that becomes more obvious on subsequent playthroughs. Resident Evil 4 came out many years ago and does laps around this game in every part of the gameplay department, and ultimately the gameplay shortcomings are why The Last of Us doesn't make my list. Maybe next gen we'll see ND approach gameplay with the same passion they have for presentation. I really hope so, because if they do we might play something special.

x. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD ; Still the worst of the 3D Zeldas and one of the lower ranking ones in the entire series for me. And yet... still so charming, so enjoyable to take in. with this revision, Nintendo really reduced the pain points from the original, making the game much more pleasing to complete even if the overall game is still fairly lacking. It still has the slow intro, and the dungeons range from passable to bad or missing completely. But the fast sailing, the Miiverse bottles, and the improved Pictobox made everything around that so much more enjoyable. I actually completed the Nintendo Gallery in this game, something I couldn't bear to do in the GCN version (even after I sank a LOT of hours into it).

x. Pikmin 3 ; So close to getting on my list. I really do love this series, but since I wasn't able to play the multiplayer with anyone like I was with Pikmin 2, I felt a giant hole in my soul :( Maybe someday.

x. Rogue Legacy ; It was fun while it lasted, but it doesn't seem to be balanced all that well. It sort of turns into a weird... farming game which I wasn't expecting, and didn't particularly enjoy.


LTTP WARNING

2012. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Hooooooooly shit this game is exactly what I've been looking for. I decided to play this game due to the love it got on GAF in last year's GOTY thread, and I wasn't disappointed. I never played the original, but that didn't stop me from lovin th hell out of this game. I love turn-based strategy games and sci-fi, and this fit the bill perfectly. The game gives you just enough info to leave the scary dice-rolls in the back of your mind as you make decisions that could end up disastrous at any turn. I'm a turtler by nature, but this game got me out of my shell. I loved being aggressive and tactical and taking a quick strike before the enemy knew what hit 'em. The narrative is also surprisingly compelling considering how spartan it really is overall. Truly a gem and one I returned to all year.

Now all I need is for Alpha Centauri to get a sequel, but since EA owns the IP it's never gonna happen, and if it did I would be afraid of what they'd do to it. Which leads me to...


AVOID AT ALL COSTS

Badge of Shame: Electronic Arts, for SimCity. What a travesty. As somebody who posted threads on GAF in the interim, wondering why we were going a decade without a SimCity game, I was overjoyed to hear about the new entry. What we ended up getting was a slap in the face to every SimCity fan, followed by repeated kicks to the nuts. RIP, SimCity. It wasn't supposed to be this way.
 
Jun 22, 2013
2,100
0
0
1. Brothers: A tale of two sons ; Manages to tell a story without having to imitate other media forms. Brothers is an emotional and endearing game, one that hit the feels spot more than most games this generation. The puzzles design is unique, and the soundtrack is enchanting. Truly memorable.

2. Persona 4: Golden ; Everyone who has played Persona 4 knows why it's so good. The characters, the story, the social sim elements, the charming presentation, the choices and possibilities are all there. It's the best JRPG game I have played since Persona 3, and it beats it in any category. To be honest, I would have easily put it at number one if Brothers wasn't around.

3. Super mario 3d world ; Nintendo still make the best Platformers, and while 3d world isn't as good as Galaxy or galaxy 2, it's a damn fine game to play. It's pure entertaining gameplay, and it's one of the best games of the year.

4. Guacamelee ; Original, takes cues from Super metroid, and filled to brimming with a shit ton of games references and easter eggs. The combat is fun, the dialog is funny, the level design is great. It's a must play for fans of 2d exploring games.

5. Rayman Legends ; Oozing charm, whimsical and extremely fun, Legends is one of my favourite 2d platformers this generation.

6. Grand theft auto 5 ; Guns, Trevor, and rock N' roll.

7. Tearaway ; Haven't finished it, but it deserves a mention because it's such a special game. It allows so much creativity, and the whole theme of the game is super awesome. Kudos for Media molecule for their incredible talent.

8. Puppeteer ; Fresh and unique, Puppeteer is a very imaginative game that any fan of the genre needs to at least try.

9. Antichamber ; This is a game that will mess with your brain, but there is something haunting about the level design and the simplistic colors, there is no puzzle game like it. It can be a bit cold at times, and some of the puzzles can give you a fair dose of "where the fuck am I". It's quite an experience though, and it feels rewarding to finish it.

10. The Cave ; A fun and dark adventure game from Double fine. The game has some great dialog, and important messages, I say it's worth trying if you dig Point and click adventure games, or even if you just happen to like humor in games.

x. Super Hexagon ; I find this game quite hypnotizing, and I somehow can't stop playing it on my phone when I have a few minutes to pass. It's brutally difficult and very rewarding. Most people will give up after a few tries, but if you persevere, you can find an incredibly addictive and enoyable game.

x. Batman: Arkham origins ; A great game, but not nearly as good as its predecessors. Worth playing for sure.

x. Fez ; Lovely game. The puzzles design is very very good, and the atmosphere is quite captivating. Really liked it.

x. Ni no kuni: Wrath of the white witch ; Beautiful and cute game, the characters are really charming but the combat wasn't working great, and the fact you need to grind makes it a little bit irritating. Still any fan of JRPGs and Ghibli films should try it out.

x. Papers please ; Original, funny and dark, the game is quite the experience. It gets old pretty fast though.

x. The stanley parable ; A very amusing game, but sometimes it can be too much.

x. Bioshock infinite ; Even if it's not nearly as good as the first two bioshocks are, it's still a good game. The production values and soundtrack are pretty damn impressive and the story has its wtf moments.
 
Jan 8, 2007
701
0
0
Usually read these threads and neglect to vote. Then come results time I'm disappointed that a favourite game barely missed recognition. Quick summary:

1. Bravely Default ; I've been waiting for a FF9 sequel for more than a decade. Lovely art, a fantastic soundtrack, an innovative JRPG combat system - even the second half of the game couldn't stop be ploughing 70+ hours into this utterly captivating title. Proof that some secret sauce still remains at Square Enix.

2. The Last of Us ; Undoubtedly all the points have been beaten like a dead horse at this point. Fantastic environments, a gripping plot, solid gameplay. A mature title in content, rather than rating alone </insert pot shots at dude-bro shooters here>.

3. DmC ; I played the superior PC version so the technical deficiencies of the console game mean nothing to me (although I understand the woes of those that had to endure them). A fair analysis would be to say the game does no one thing perfectly but everything to a very high standard uncommonly found in the genre/games in general. The biggest budget underrated title of the year.

4. Tomb Raider ; Combining the best moments of Uncharted with a Metroidvania upgrade system, this genuinely surprised me as someone who was originally sceptical of the reboot and never a big TR fan. Definitely looking forward to the inevitable sequel.

5. Bioshock Infinite ; At the start of the year this was probably my most anticipated title. Admittedly failed to live up to that. Despite the flack it receives on GAF the realisation of the world itself captivated me from beginning to end.

6. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; Great story, characterisation and accessibility. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

7. Metal Gear Rising ; Fantastic combat by the kings of the genre. Would have been much higher on my list if not for the recycling of environments in the DLC and short campaign that under-stayed its welcome.

8. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; Simple mechanics fully explored over a short but sweet adventure.

9. Luigi's Mansion 2 ; Mini mansions have their pros and cons, sometimes mission length felt excessive for a handheld title (especially with the inability to save anywhere) but the sheer quantity of environmental creativity had me grinning throughout.

10. Batman: Arkham Origins ; More of the same at this point (albeit with more bugs) but free flow combat is still a blast.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
2
0
I've read through a few votes for Super Luigi U in the thread and I'm sort of surprised, because I had what I felt was a very negative experience with the game. To me the speed had a massive negative impact on the level design and made the whole game feel pretty un-challenging and flimsy (including the Superstar Road levels, which I found way less challenging or interesting that most of Nintendo's post-game level content).

timetokill said:
x. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD ; Still the worst of the 3D Zeldas and one of the lower ranking ones in the entire series for me. And yet... still so charming, so enjoyable to take in. with this revision, Nintendo really reduced the pain points from the original, making the game much more pleasing to complete even if the overall game is still fairly lacking. It still has the slow intro, and the dungeons range from passable to bad or missing completely. But the fast sailing, the Miiverse bottles, and the improved Pictobox made everything around that so much more enjoyable. I actually completed the Nintendo Gallery in this game, something I couldn't bear to do in the GCN version (even after I sank a LOT of hours into it).
I had never finished the GCN version, only played the first third or so, but I also 100% completed Wind Waker HD. I still found there were a ton of really annoying slow UI things that bog the game down and make it feel way more of a chore than it should, but looking at what it was like BEFORE the optimizations made for Wind Waker HD, god I'm glad they changed what they did.
 
Jun 7, 2004
427
0
1,230
36
Belgium
1. Fire Emblem Awakening ; I was a fan of the first GBA game but I couldn't really get into any of the games coming after that. Until this one. While the story and villain might not be that interesting, the gameplay mechanics are the best in the series by far. It helps that the characters are pretty interesting; I really should do another playthrough with a different team. Great soundtrack as well. Not sure if I&#8217;m ready to call this the best Fire Emblem ever (you always remember your first, in my case the GBA Fire Emblem) but it has to be up there as one of the best.

2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; It took me a while to warm up to this Zelda, at first it felt overly familiar; dungeons felt too similar to LttP to be interesting. But some of the dungeons later in the game are really good and had that Zelda magic. The renting/buying items thing was a non-factor for me in the end; the game&#8217;s pretty easy and you find rupees everywhere. Rovio&#8217;s an interesting character though&#8230; and I really liked the ending. It&#8217;s probably not going to happen any time soon but I&#8217;d love another Zelda game like this.

3. Pokémon X/Y ; It's weird for me that my top 3 of 2013 are all are games on portables since I generally prefer playing games on a console. Anyway - over the years I've bought several Pokémon games but I always got bored of them after 10 or 20 hours. This one was different, I just couldn't put this down. Loved the new France-inspired region. Great music. I like a fair number of the new Pokémon, and all my old favourites are in this as well; at several points in the game I had to think long and hard which ones of my favs would stay with me. Additionally, I really liked the online options and spent a great deal on Wonder Trade. I've put 90 hours in this so far making it my most played game this year. However, technically, there's still much, much room for improvement, I'm usually not one to get annoyed by framedrops and slowdown but it was really noticeable here. Still, best Pokémon ever.

4. Bioshock Infinite ; The original Bioshock is on my "Game of the Generation" shortlist, so I was looking forward to this one. I thought it was a very enjoyable game with a story I quite liked. It has a great atmosphere and Columbia was beautiful, I loved exploring it... when the game allowed me to at least. I think my main problem with it was that it felt very restrictive and linear, I wish the game let me explore more and didn't throw enemies at me so often. Still, I enjoyed it a lot.

5. Civilization V: Brave New World ; With this expansion it finally feels like Civ V is complete. The new cultural stuff is very interesting and quite expansive, and there&#8217;s a lot of little extras that really tighten up the gameplay. Some great new civs as well. As an expansion it adds a lot more than Gods and Kings did IMO. And I&#8217;ll get a lot of flack for saying this, but for me this is now the best Civilization game.

6. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; The main Metal Gear Solid series hasn't interested me since the first game, but I wanted to play this because it's "from the makers of Bayonetta"! While I didn't enjoy it as much as Bayonetta, I loved slicing shit up, the enemy variety kept things interesting for me. Yeah it's a pretty short game but it didn't bother me that much, the sometimes too-long cutscenes did though (like with a a lot of Japanese games lately...). Otherwise I have no complaints, it's a really fun game. It really deserves a sequel.

7. Papers, please ; I admit I haven&#8217;t been playing this a lot, but I consider it already worthy to be on this list. It&#8217;s such a unique game with a great (oppressive) atmosphere and interesting moral situations. I can&#8217;t say the gameplay itself is very interesting; if truly feels like work, and after a while it gets quite stressful as you have to remember (or look up) all sorts of rules and regulations. The game isn&#8217;t completely without humour though - that old guy with the fake passports, oh man.

8. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; I&#8217;ve only had this for a few days, but I&#8217;m hooked. Which is weird, because I played the Gamecube and DS games and got bored of them pretty fast, dismissing the whole Animal Crossing thing as a boring non-game. This time there&#8217;s plenty of stuff to do, and while there&#8217;s still some &#8220;grinding&#8221; (doing the same things over and over again to get bells), it&#8217;s far more enjoyable and engaging than I thought. (And yes, 4th 3DS game on my list, this really was year of the 3DS for me)

9. Guacamelee! ; While I thought last year&#8217;s Dust: An Elysian Tail is the better Metroidvania game, this definitely deserves a mention on this list. Great atmosphere, great music, lots of humour, interesting gameplay (though the combat isn&#8217;t that deep and I thought some of the platforming sections were damn annoying).

10. DmC Devil May Cry ; I&#8217;m not emotionally attached to the DMC series like some of you guys seem to be (but then I only ever played the first game), so I really didn&#8217;t mind the &#8220;new&#8221; Dante and certain story elements. I like the gameplay on the whole, there was enough weapon and enemy variation, and I somehow didn&#8217;t suck at this as much as I usually do with these types of games. Some of the level design was pretty awful though, and it wasn&#8217;t exactly subtle with its political commentary. Still, on the whole I enjoyed it, and I wouldn&#8217;t mind seeing a sequel.

xx. The Typing of the Dead: Overkill ; I enjoyed this more than HotD: Overkill. Seriously. Such fun. Only barely didn't make my top 10.
xx. Grand Theft Auto V ; While I enjoyed certain aspects of it (the heists, Trevor, flying over the map and admiring the beauty of the world), in the end it felt as the same old PS2 GTA games but just bigger and with a fancier coat of paint. I hope in the next GTA they shake things up a little. Also, I could do without the overplayed cynical &#8220;humour&#8221;.
xx. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon ; being shorter than Far Cry 3, it solved a lot of issues I had with that game. Loved the humour and 80s vibe in this as well. One of my favourite soundtracks this year.
xx. Injustice: Gods Among Us ; Still prefer Mortal Kombat, but this has a pretty good story mode as well and some good characters.
xx. Spartacus Legends ; I actually enjoyed this game -_- What can I say, I&#8217;m a sucker for ultra-violence and gladiator games. I realise the game is awful but I kind of liked it.

2012. Forza Horizon ; One of the best racing games of the X360/PS3 gen. The Rally expansion is pretty good too (if a little short).
 
Aug 3, 2009
19,285
0
0
Moga Village
1. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate ; The best game in the series with tons of content and great online mode, I could not have asked for more, I still play MH3U even to this day!
2. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ;
3. Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan ;
4. Pikmin 3 ;
5. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies ;
6. Fire Emblem Awakening ;
7. Pokémon X and Y ;
8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ;
9. Shin Megami Tensei IV ;
 
Oct 17, 2012
23,406
1
0
1. The Last of Us ; There really isn't much left to say about The Last of Us that hasn't been said already. A gut wrenching, emotional, and challenging journey that left me with a different notion of what games can achieve with story telling, cinematics, dialogue, and gameplay to reinforce story. Never have I been so fully invested in the characters and story of a game as I have The Last of Us, and all the while this fantastic tale was wrapped up in beautifully realized post-apocaliptic American environments, intense and challenging gameplay, and contextual moments that put this game on a whole different level. It truly is a masterpiece and, I imagine, will remain in my top games for quite some time.

2. Metro: Last Light ; I was really taken aback by Metro: Last Light when I played it near launch earlier this year. I bought and played Metro 2033 to completion, but it never really clicked. However, Metro: Last Light brought refined gameplay, a more coherent story, and some truly incredible sequences and environments to the table that really hit the mark for me. If I had to chose one word to describe Metro, it would be 'atmosphere'. Whether it be the damp, dark, worn down tunnels of the Russian metro or the radioactive and wild surface, this game just exudes style and gives the player a fantastic sense of place. Other highlights would be some fantastic shooting mechanics and some of the best first person animation I've seen in a game, really planting you in the world and making Artyom's movements feel believable. This is the most I've enjoyed a single player FPS game in a long time, and I truly wish it received more recognition.

3. Bioshock Infinite ; Though I ultimately came away a bit disappointed in Bioshock: Infinite, there is no way this game could miss my GoTY list this year. Perhaps the most beautiful game of the year, I was constantly amazed at the environmental art in this game. Irrational are masters at crafting worlds that take you away and suspend your disbelief, and Columbia is no different. The city in the sky lent itself to some fantastic stories, both main and side, and was certainly the most important character of the game. Booker and Elizabeth's relationship added an interesting dynamic to the adventure and the twist at the end was definitely fun. The game was bogged down by bullet sponge enemies, weak/unvaried gameplay and prolonged/repeated encounters, but these are minor complaints in what is overall a great single player campaign.

4. Grand Theft Auto V ; You know, I don't think I actually finished GTA V, yet that has little bearing on my enjoyment of the game. When you are able to put 30+ hours of pure enjoyment into a game and not have to worry about whether or not you are doing correctly, the developers have done something right. Switching between characters, exploring the huge and varied world of Los Antos, and causing havoc in only a way GTA can provide was enough for me and I really enjoyed my time with the game. Gameplay mechanics are much tighter this time around, and overall it just a damn fun game to play.

5. NBA 2K14 ; I don't usually play sports games, but damn NBA 2K14 really stuck it's hooks into me this year. Playing on Xbox One, I haven't been this hooked on a game in a long time. Though I hate the micro transaction implementation and horrible UI, the on the court play is just so damn good. The player animation is out of this world, graphical fidelity across the board is fantastic, and playing the game of basketball just feels better than ever here. I'm anxiously awaiting for my Xbox One to arrive here at school so I can continue my conquest of the NBA as my undefeated Utah Jazz! (if only)

2012. Journey ; I have a feeling that I won't experience something quite like Journey for a long, long time. Though not a word was said, a whole range of emotions was felt and I truly, truly love this game. From starting off alone, confused, yet in awe of the sheer beauty of the desert landscape to the bitter, heart aching ending I felt a deep connection with the journey my character on screen was taking. I also felt a similar connection to a complete stranger who guided me along the way, saved my from danger and showed me things I would not have otherwise found. Those multiplayer experiences are truly exceptional in design and few and far between in today's gaming world, so I will always remember them. The beautiful music, the visuals, the emotional ride, the intuitive multiplayer, the whole package provides some of the best 2 hours of gaming I could imagine and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to play it this year.

========================

And that's it for my list this year. Time, a new life halfway across the country, and not owning certain systems has unfortunately limited my exposure to a lot of games getting run in GoTY conversations, but these were the ones I enjoyed the most this year.

Happy 2014 GAF! This is going to be one hell of a year.
 
Oct 19, 2004
32,841
0
0
Los Angeles, CA
I've read through a few votes for Super Luigi U in the thread and I'm sort of surprised, because I had what I felt was a very negative experience with the game. To me the speed had a massive negative impact on the level design and made the whole game feel pretty un-challenging and flimsy (including the Superstar Road levels, which I found way less challenging or interesting that most of Nintendo's post-game level content).
It just hit me the right way. I always play Mario in a semi-speedrun fashion, and Super Luigi U really gave into that impulse for me. I found the challenge hit a nice sweet spot for me... I didn't find it particularly difficult, per se (although I died plenty on the Fire Bar Sprint) but there was plenty of difficulty to be had by doing stunt runs and things. I just found it to be a very expressive platformer in terms of things you could do with it. It also let you play as Mario in the levels, and then the game becomes pretty different because he's far less mobile.


I had never finished the GCN version, only played the first third or so, but I also 100% completed Wind Waker HD. I still found there were a ton of really annoying slow UI things that bog the game down and make it feel way more of a chore than it should, but looking at what it was like BEFORE the optimizations made for Wind Waker HD, god I'm glad they changed what they did.
Yeah, Wind Waker is the only Zelda I never went back to (well, that and Skyward Sword, but that one is due for another playthrough for me this year). HD fixed the vast majority of the stuff I was dreading about going back. It's still not perfect but it's about as polished up as I could reasonably ask for without adding in the missing content.
 
Aug 22, 2011
4,443
0
0
I wasn't going to originally vote this year for a variety of reasons (getting games on sale, working on backlog) but what the hell.

1. Dota 2 ; The whole reason I was considering not voting and the single reason why my list is so short. For people bemoaning the lack of emphasis on solid, complex, balanced, challenging and enjoyable gameplay well here is your answer. It's a multiplayer game with zero story, free to play and an emphasis on competitiveness rivaled only by actual sports.

2. Civilization V: Brave New World ; Finally, Civilization V is as addictive as IV. With the new and much needed trade routes, revamped diplomacy mechanics through a World Congress and the updated policy tress, Firaxis have struck their "one more turn" itch with this one. Biggest issue is with their Paradox style DLC which I refuse to buy thus I don't have access to a handful of civilizations and wonders. An excellent expansion while representing the worst pay schemes of the generation.

3. Antichamber ; The only non-sequel/unique IP in this list. It's good with an emphasis on unorthodox puzzles in a non-Euclidean space capable of existing only in a computer game. It felt a little incomplete, however, with a few dead-end rooms which, by the nature of the game, I spent far too much time trying to solve only to later discover there was no puzzle there. Still, there's enough interesting and unique elements to well make up for the quirks and blemishes of the design. Strip Portal of all the fancy dressing and writing and you'll have an idea of what's in store with Antichamber.
 
Nov 4, 2013
124
0
0
Glad I got my GAF membership in time to include my votes!





1. GTAV ; I never got into a GTA game before this. I am still wowed by how much there is to do. I loved the dialog, the characters, the setting. It was fantastic and the ultimate culmination of Rockstar's sandbox worlds.

2. Pikmin 3 ; Not only featuring a beautiful single-player campaign, but the best co-operative gameplay I've ever played. You need real teamwork to get platinum, and it's oh-so-satisfying. Even the DLC levels are fantastic (and very modestly priced). Pikmin 3 is the best of the Pikmin trilogy.

3. Super Mario 3D World ; This game was a charm to play and I'm still playing it. Even though it didn't make my jaw drop, it's the only game this year I know I'll be playing for a long time. In many ways, 3D World topped both the Galaxies.

4. Steampunk Dig ; Yes, an eshop game made my list. I didn't know what I was getting into, but this is a gem among gems. Tight controls, great RPG mechanics, graphics, and extremely creative. Every time I climbed back to the surface, I passed by the areas I had previously dug, remembering each moment. This is the creme of the crop for the eshop.

5. Luigi's Mansion : Dark Moon ; What a beautiful, charming game. I was one of the few here who really liked the bite-sized mission structure, and I enjoyed this game until the end. Fantastic graphics, sound, and satisfying puzzles and combat.

6. The Last of Us ; I don't think I can say anything that hasn't been said, but this game was an amazing experience. Great 3rd person shooting/stealth mechanics and controls, and definitely the best characters and story in a game I've ever played. Did I mention it was absolutely beautiful - like amazing beautiful - like walking through a painting? Every locale had the true feeling of being lived in. Haunting, beautiful, and memorable.

7. Wonderful 101 ; Fast paced action, beautiful graphics, epic as all hell. Reminds me what 'playing' a game really means. A unique action brawler that always left a smile on my face.


8. Bioshock Infinite ; Actually only beat this game last week. I wasn't huge on the story, but my god was it refreshing to play a fantasy FPS again, one that didn't take place during a World War. The combat was the true winner in this game. It was responsive, unique, and satisfying. The first time I jumped on the skyrail my eyes widened and I shouted 'woooooh!' in my empty apartment. Great experience.

9. Rayman Legends ; Gorgeous graphics, music, tight controls, 5-players, murphy on the WiiU touchpad, Soccer mode - this game is a multiplayer platformer's delight. I played the majority of this game with my girlfriend who is terrible at games, and it was a blast through-out.

10. Zelda : ALBW ; After basically feeling ho-hum on Zelda's for the better half of a decade, A Link Between World's brought me back in. I loved the way they handled the open-ended design and Link turning to paintings. This isn't the game-changing-Ocarina-of-time-drop-your-pants-and-worship-the-designers amazing, but it was very, very good. Tight controls and a fantastic soundtrack to boot.
 
Jul 19, 2011
5,144
0
0
New York
1. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Quick, arcade-like action that never seemed to get boring, providing ridiculous amount of replayablity. A game that doesn't take itself seriously and knows exactly what it is.

2. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate ; More Monster Hunter, but with new additions to the formula that make it even more enjoyable.

3. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers ; Although technically old, I felt like this game almost perfected the RPG formula with none of the bullshit or grinding. A fantastic atmosphere, interesting story, really neat characters, and a battle system that demands thoughtful gameplay but remains flexible. Probably my biggest surprise of the year.

4. Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan ; Another fantasic JRPG that introduced me to the first person dungeon crawler variety. This game is something else. Before this one I've never played an RPG that really has you think about what you are doing, no matter what you are fighting. Creating a team synergy that works was incredibly satisfying and I honestly got pretty connected to my team.

5. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix ; Kingdom Hearts is one of my favorite games, so being able to play the previously only JPN only version with added stuff was amazing.

6. Rune Factory 4 ; This game came out of nowhere and was the first Harvest Moon-like game I've played since Back to Nature. It was charming, relaxing, and above all else, so goddamn addicting.

7. Tearaway ; It felt like I was playing Banjo Kazooie as a kid. What a charming and beautiful game.

8. Remember Me ; This game may not have the best gameplay ever, but the atmosphere and world that was created felt and looked phenomenal. I played it right before the Last of Us and if anything it helped me figure out what I like in my games.

9. The Last of Us ; I don't have to really explain this one, everyone knows this game is something else. Fantastic AAA game that does so many things right. Great story too.

10. Soul Sacrifice ; I love the hunting genre, and Soul Sacrifice did a pretty good job at shaking the formula up and not just copying Monster Hunter. It did tons of things right and differentiated itself in some awesome ways.
 
Jun 9, 2011
16,646
0
0
www.neogaf.com
Hell has flown

Pigs have frozen over

Riposte has an indie at number 3

Seriously though, I need to try Volgarr. Also, more proof I need to stop being cheap and buy Divinity: Dragon Commander.

I also just wanna say before the thread closes that I'm real happy to see so many votes for SMTIV and Tearaway :p
 
1. The Swapper ; One of the few sci-fi games to capture the kind of cognitive estrangement that is typically only found in novels and few select films. It's a thought provoking game whose puzzles rival the heights of both Portal games, while seamlessly melding gameplay with its existential dilemma. It's challenging, perfectly paced, and incredibly atmospheric. I can't recommend it enough.

2. Path of Exile ; I've never been a huge ARPG fan, but POE hooked me for at least over 100 hours throughout this year. I love the amount of build variety, and the fact that it doesn't hold your hand when building your character. Seeing the amount of crazy builds that people come up with is almost as fun as playing the game itself. I'm really excited to see how this game evolves in the future.

3. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Someone described this game best in the PC thread, saying that Metal Gear Rising is the kind of game that you could pick at and point out all it's flaws and undercooked features, but while playing it you're almost convinced that it's the best game ever. The combat is excellent, the story is fucking absurd but lovable, and the soundtrack is amazing. And goddamn if that final boss has got to be up there with my list of all time favorites.

4. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag ; I've always had a soft spot for the AC franchise, but AC3 almost killed all of my interest in it. AC4 focuses on being fun right away, and despite some repetitive mission design, it's a dumb fun adventure that captures the pirate fantasy quite well.

5. Fire Emblem Awakening ; I love turn based strategy, and FE has always been a series that does a good job of melding character attachment with its punishing mechanics. Awakening takes that even further with strong characterization and support mechanics that make this one of the best in the series.

6. Europa Universalis IV ; After playing a ton of Civ over the summer, I felt I was ready for the big leagues. EU4 is surprisingly clear and simple with its early game goals, and managing all my international relationships in my conquest for total domination is a ton of fun.

7. The Last of Us ; About as good as you can get with a linear AAA cutscene heavy game. The Last of Us succeeds with strong performances, an interesting and tense combat system, and smart storytelling. While I developed issues with the game's combat and rote puzzle design, the final few acts made up for all of it.

8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; Probably the tightest and best playing Zelda game in years. ALBW keeps things simple by getting to the action early on and having a world that actually feels worthwhile to explore. The addition of Ravio was smart, and I hope some of the new ideas here make it to other Zelda games.

9. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; A strong melding of a simple gameplay mechanic with storytelling. Brothers feels exactly like a title envisioned by a single person, and yet it uses the games medium as a strength rather than forcing it to conform to other standards. While it falls a bit short of truly great intuitive puzzle design, Brothers is a succinct and poignant experience that I won't soon forget.

10. Splinter Cell: Blacklist ; I'll be honest, after Conviction and the poor marketing prior to release, I kinda wanted Conviction to fail. Upon playing it, I was delighted by its surprisingly good stealth gameplay, fast traversal, and multitude of options to manipulate enemies. The story is a total bummer, and the lack of Ironside is upsetting, but after getting over those few things and taking the game for what it was, I couldn't help but be won over. Also, the coop is some of the most fun I've had in a coop mode in quite a while.

X. Volgarr the Viking
X. Bioshock Infinite
X. Gone Home
X. Metro Last Light
X. Civ V: Brave New World
X. The Stanley Parable
X. Papers, Please
 
Nov 15, 2011
2,296
0
0
To start of I've only played five new games this year. I enjoyed them all and think they deserve a spot on a GOTY list, otherwise I wouldn't have included them.


1. The Last of Us ; I wasn't as taken by the ending as many others were. It is still my favorite game of the year though. And the multiplayer mode is the best I've played this generation.

2. Grand Theft Auto V ; For me it was always between this and The Last of Us, TLoU was better but this is still a very good game. The most alive open world I've experienced skyrocketed this to a great hight.

3. Brothers: A tale of two sons ; A great little gem. As with The Last of Us I didn't get emotional effect out of this game the way I was supposed to. But it was in it's landscape design through and through inspired by Swedish folklore which I really enjoyed. A nice little gem.

4. Deadpool ; This generations The Punisher. Not the best game mechanically speaking, but it captured the Marvel Universe and its protagonist perfectly. And that is all I really look for, if it can deliver I will enjoy it immensely. And boy did it deliver.

5. Tomb Raider ; There was just way to much stuff that bothered me with this title, but I can not deny that I had a lot of fun with it at the same time.
 
As always, I have the voting part down below as specified in the original post. Let me know if changes prevent the next part from happening.

TEN
Lightning 11 6: Galaxy
Will there ever be a time when a soccer game requiring a 2ND intergalactic final to save the world gets so annoying that its core of Pokemon, Final Fantasy X, and Captain Tsubasa ever stops being enjoyable? I have not found that point yet. Collecting the team that serves me the best is just as rewarding as picking the "best" team, which differentiates this from so many role-playing games. And, hey, its budget will never flag, so it's always enjoyably boisterious aesthetically.
NINE
The Last Of Us
"Before God we should plead guilty of all sins, even of those which we do not know, as we do in the Lord's Prayer. But before the confessor we should confess those sins alone which we know and feel in our hearts." - Martin Luther
EIGHT
The Night Of The Rabbit
In a year with Ace Attorney/Turnabout Trial, this topped it. How? (Well, Capcom did well, but not superbly. But, forward.) The rough pencils and inks are surprisingly effective, as is the music, the best Daedalic's done. The story is stereotypically European. However, the gameplay is marvelous. Like my beloved Lovedelic, they aren't a linear set of locked doors or a pinball machine of cascading puzzle solutions carrying me to the end. There are a bunch of places with a bunch of things I'm not certain I'm able to do, and I have to figure out which I can act on now. It's like, you know, a graphic ADVENTURE. Unlike children's games, The Night Of The Rabbit rewards me for experimenting and exploring and applying both lateral (during puzzles) and focused (in managing which puzzles to do when) thinking. I got a fun workout from this charming game.
SEVEN
Spirit Watch
This is a game I thought was going to be a graphic adventure, and it wasn't. I thought it would have super-complex gameplay when it turned out to be a role-playing game. It's basically Ninokuni. It doesn't feature trusted Level-5 hands. Instead, this goes full-Chulip. Cross the street at the crosswalks or fight tough monsters like bad boys do! Combine items and possibly get punished! Focus on managing teams rather than grinding single spirits or, unlike Pokemon, you'll lose! It's peculiar that this is a children's franchise.
SIX
Pikmin 3
I stopped playing video games this year. I had never done so previously. This wasn’t 2006, where my favorite art form chased me back into the gaming past to neglect dispiriting console launches. I was ultimately rewarded there with a broader and deeper appreciation for what games could do. This was not last year, the 1st time I couldn’t support video games’ future full-throated. This year, I realized that the vortex of economic and organizational woes plaguing gaming had finally left me with more time than interest. I felt the need to “be informed,” clicking through websites out of habit or hope, but I boxed up my devices for 8 months. Why bother appreciating the form when the industry didn’t reciprocate? When I resolved things (see soundtracks of the year topic), Pikmin was there to play. It's still twee, weird, complex, and unique, and efforts to beat it this year at its own game came to naught. Nintendo, please do more of this sort of innovation.
FIVE
Animal Forest: Jump Out
This used to be Pikmin's contrast. It was 1st a brilliantly idea well-executed in an offline world, and then it became pleasant, pointless wandering. It was still fun, but it made me feel guilty for playing it. Now, the series is revamped as the ambitious, content-packed, consumer-focused thing it used to be. Every Nintendo touch charms; it doesn't grate. Old faces are once again welcome. My home is once again beautiful. I like being home.
FOUR
Mario And Luigi R.P.G. 4
I wish the game had stopped yammering, yes, but I didn't let that distract me from what's here. Let me make them explicit: challenging battles, cute environmental puzzles, super-silly dialogue, a nicely transposed 3-d style (yes, I'M writing that), and the series' best soundtrack by miles. Since this is Mario And Luigi, I'll put it that way: this is a series about timing and maximizing enjoyment. If you're distracted by the rhythms, you'll like it less. If you learn how to thrive at the plentiful greatness on hand, you'll adore it.
THREE
Final Fantasy XIV
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6Plp-6TF5U This makes me a bit sad. It's some of the best work Square-Enix has ever done. This game has always been interesting, but never good. The relaunch didn't make it XI and it didn't make it World Of Warcraft, but it did make it special. There's a shocking amount of work put into this that rarely curdles into self-reference or wastefulness, and the tone it sets makes it worthwhile time spent when present. Wada, be gone!
TWO
Luigi Mansion 2
I trusted Next-Level Games, but this was handing them the keys to my house. How much could I trust them with my beloved Nintendo graphic adventure? I couldn't, exactly. They remodeled. 1 adventure house became multiple action-adventure locales. However, they changed things based on my specifications. Luigi and company are goofily charming, the ghosts are spooky and fun, the aesthetics are as good as the 3DS can expect right now, and exploration has the sort of Nintendo attention-to-detail that takes way too much time and energy for most to reach. You'd barely know it switched hands and, hooray, the series is back and selling!
ONE
The God And Fate Revolution Paradox
This is just Z.H.P./Absolute Hero Modeling Project in traditional Japanese tactics/dungeon-crawling attire. Ought it not be worse? Well, it's not funny, just weird, and it's not postmodern, as much as the stereotypes make me wish it was sometimes. The conceit is less original, certainly. Yet the 2nd time around allowed Nippon Ichi to make changes. The dungeons have personality, but the design perfectly balanced your systems and the difficulty. No neglect there. Your equipment differentiates more among your...harem(?) and yet there's tons of time for customization. The game tells a straightforward story that's actually packed with tons of bizarre moments. I see no loss. So, nothing's lost, just changed, and when you have 3 or 4 complex game systems interlocking in a way that would make 1990s PC developers faint, you have a tremendous game. Nippon Ichi, you've finally been crowned.

1. The Guided Fate Paradox ; I wub u, Nippon Ichi
2. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon ; I love being surprised
3. Final Fantasy XIV ; It's the most Final Fantasy's mattered in awhile
4. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team ; Dreamy Luigi is just so gosh darn pleasant
5. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; I forgive past slothfulness
6. Pikmin 3 ; Nintendo took me back in after I stopped playing video games
7. Youkai Watch ; Screw you, Pokemon, for being dumb
8. The Night Of The Rabbit ; It's the most physical-feeling digital story I've experienced this year
9. The Last Of Us ; God help me, I picked a Naughty Dog game, and not even in the last slot
10. Inazuma Eleven Go 3 Galaxy: Big Bang/Supernova ; The core is there and always will be
X. Queue Throwloop/Tokyo Crash Mobs; Mitchell's final game
 
Mar 29, 2013
821
0
340
1. Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut ; For all its terrible graphics and performance the story and characters were excellent. Might be 2nd only to Nier as my GOTG.

2. Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX ; Specifically for Kingdom Hearts Final Mix HD. I loved KH when it was new, (one of my top favorite PS2 games) and this version is even better. Glad we finally get the final mix version in the US.

3. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Great character action game. Wish it added more to the MGS canon and disappointed there was no cameo from Snake but whatever, gameplay was excellent. Platinum are action game gods. Best soundtrack of the year too.

4. Dust: An Elysian Tail (PC) ; Absolutely fantastic except for the character portraits. Best action/metroidvania platformer I've played in a long time. Excellent gameplay, the story was surprisingly good and the environment art was gorgeous. Great OST too.

5. Tales of Xillia ; Great RPG with a better story and combat system than NNK.

6. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch ; Not as good as I'd hoped but still pretty great. I loved having a game with a proper miniaturized overworld again. My biggest complaint is the battle system-- either go full action or full turn-based. FFXII is the only game to get a hybrid system right.

7. Valdis Story: Abyssal City ; Another great metroidvania action/platformer. I didn't like it as well as Dust but it was a close second. Great gameplay, level design and soundtrack.

8. The Last of Us ; Good game, a solid 4 out 5, but it didn't resonate with me the way it seemed to with everyone else. As a Naughty Dog production I was pretty disappointed with how much worse it looked and played compared to Uncharted. The amazingly detailed graphics were marred by terrible aliasing and a low framerate and I found the gameplay to be slow and clunky where Uncharted was tight, fast and a joy to play. I also liked Uncharted's stories and characters better as well, preferring tired pulp adventure cliches to tired Walking Dead cliches.

9. Grand Theft Auto V ; Lots of fun but still disappointing in the areas that I consider define the series-- the story, writing, charterers and social/political satire. Most of the humor felt forced and uninspired, story was a mess and the characters weren't very interesting. The map was huge and incredibly detailed but it was empty and almost completely devoid of content making exploration utterly pointless. The same can be said for all GTA games but this is the first time I really felt it. This is a big reason I'm not a fan of open world anymore, the maps are either empty and pointless or packed full of equally pointless garbage (Skyrim, AssCreed, etc). GTA IV is still my favorite of the series with Vice City being the most fun.

10. Resident Evil: Revelations HD ; A better RE game than 5 or 6 I suppose, but still not that good a horror experience due to the same mistakes as 5 and 6. It gave you an AI partner to watch your back through the entire game which just isn't as as scary as being all alone surrounded by horrible things that hate you. It was also nowhere near as fun as 6. I still liked it a lot though.

X. Papers, Please ; Way more engaging than a paperwork simulator has any business being.

X. Guacamelee! ; Lots of fun with great art but not as good as Dust or Valdis Story.

X. Rayman Legends ; Great platformer with excellent controls and stunning artwork. I didn't enjoy it as much as Origins though.

X. Anarchy Reigns ; Mostly fun but short and insubstantial, not as good as other Platinum titles but still worth playing. I HATED the soundtrack.

X. Puppeteer ; A good platformer drug down by a terrible excess of story. All the cutscenes drug on 4x longer than they should have. People think MGS4 needed an editor... this game needed a lawnmower. A 2-D platformer does not need to be bogged down by interminable boring cutscenes, especially when the story is so light and insubstantial as this.

2012 LTTP: Under Defeat HD: Deluxe Ed. ; A great shmup, or at least it is if you turn on dual stick aiming.

Other categories, top 2:

Best gameplay: Metal Gear Rising, Dust
Best Soundtrack: Metal Gear Rising, Valdis Story
Best art direction: Dragon's Crown, Ni No Kuni
Best level design: Dust, Valdis Story
Best Add-On/DLC: Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen (Dragon's Dogma was also my 2012 GotY and I consider it the best WRPG of the generation by far.)

Most FUN: MG Rising, Dust
Biggest disappointment: Killer is Dead, Bioshock Infinite
Worst game / Game I hated the most: Tomb Raider, DmC

Game that left so little lasting impression that I keep forgetting it exists: Beyond: Two Souls

Games I really wanted to play but was unable to due to not owning the systems they are on:
Ys: Memories of Celceta
Shin Megami Tensei IV
The Wonderful 101
Super Mario 3D World
Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Resogun
Soul Sacrifice
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Sonic Lost World
Tearaway
Knack
 
Thanks for the comments, all.



Don't think a complete list exists. As for TW101, there's always the "2013" vote next year.



Thanks. I kept forgetting.
There was a year (2011, I think) where I legitimately tried to play every game of note before I made my GOTY list.

It was so tiring that I stopped playing video games for three months.
 
Oct 11, 2006
9,482
0
1,025
1; The Last of Us;No game in 2013 came close to the perfection of The Last of Us. Hollywood level voice acting and script, near perfect pacing, and a story that was so good it over looked some of the sloppy game mechanics. Its one of those games you can't wait to finish, and yet you never want it to end



2; Brothers
3; Tomb Raider
4; Bioshock Infinite
5; GTA V
6; Mario 3D World
7; Killer Instinct
8; Metro Last Light
9; Injustice Gods Among Us
10; DMC



2012 LTTP game-Sleeping Dogs
 
Jun 22, 2013
4,638
1
0
1. The Last of Us Tied as one of my favourite games of the generation. The gameplay is absolutely polished, gritty, dynamic and absorbing, with great atmosphere, an excellent combat system and a real sense of both tension, serenity and violence in the scenario's offered. The level design also really allows for some dynamic, creative and diverse approaches.

Then there's the sublime characters, narrative, voice acting, and overall pacing. This is not like most video games, the development in both character arch and narrative is mature, emotionally engaging and absolutely realistically realised. There's a sense of confidence and maturity about the whole thing that is refreshing and truly immersive. From the riveting and powerful opening act, right through to the lingering poignant end, this game is truly special.

---

2. Grand Theft Auto V After being somewhat disappointed with the last game in the franchise, I was somewhat apprehensive about this new release. However, my scepticism was unwarranted, because what an amazing, robust, enthralling and captivating game this was.

What really makes the difference is in the quality of the characters, all unique, quirky, and relatable, coupled with the vastly improved missions and degree of diversity among them. The richness of the world, locations, mission types, landscapes, scenery and aesthetic all come together to make this one of the most entertaining GTA games yet.

My only negative is that I wish there were better side missions, and more of them, and more heist missions too, which to me were the high points in the game.

---

3. Assasin's Creed 4: Black Flag Another game I was highly skeptical about but ended up greatly enjoying. The main protagonist is a huge improvement over the one in the previous instalment of the game, and the entire word is much more appealing and gameplay rich.

The Caribbean is a beautiful setting, with lush, vibrant, rich visuals and spectacles galore. There's so much to do and see in this game, and whilst some of it is slightly monotonous, there's enough variety in side mission and main mission types to keep things engaging.

---

4. Gran Turismo 6 Whilst the franchise still has its kinks and issues, this one really is one of the most feature rich and addictive racing games I have played, with a tonne of variety and a brilliant progression system that I've found highly rewarding.

The key to the experience is using a good wheel set up, playing in manual, and playing with all UI options, aids and assists off (minus ABS). Literally nothing on the screen, no driving line, no UI displays, playing in cockpit view, set view FOV to narrow, and losing yourself in absolute racing immersion.

The beautifully realised and accurately replicated tracks, the humongous amount of them, the massive roster of vehicles, night day transitions that are dripping with atmosphere and completely change the dynamic of a race, weather, karting, Nascar, rallying, X2014, Goodwood challenges, Coffee Break challenges, license tests and mission races that genuinely help you to improve your driving or learn tracks, constant seasonal updates, hell even racing on the moon!

And then there's the additional little trinkets like the Vision GT feature. Stunning new concept cars from a massive range of manufacturers, to be released over time, with viewable concept art, videos et all. A car enthusiast and designers delight!

---

Going to add a few more later if I have time lol.
Nib, just a quick heads up:
[*]Comments on games must begin on the same line as the game title itself, following a semicolon (;). Do not use hyphens, periods, or any other delimiter between titles and comments.
Hope you see this and edit before the voting closes!
 
Sep 14, 2010
21,439
1
540
1. Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag ; What may be the biggest surprise of the year is also my top game of the year. After the disappointing part 3 and disjointed Liberation, Black Flag is a breath of fresh (sea)air. Yes at its core the game is still Assassins Creed, but the series has never felt so open or exciting before. You’ve always played by the rules of the creed and been kept on a tight leash, ACIV drops all that lets your sail the seven seas and tackle the game as you wish.

2. Grand Theft Auto V
3. The Last of Us
4. Tomb Raider
5. Metro: Last Light
6. Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds
7. Bioschock Infinite
 
Dec 7, 2008
16,816
0
0
Netherlands
Almost forgot about this.

1. Metal Gear Rising Revengeance ; Rules Of Nature!
2. Spelunky ; Addicting...addictive?
3. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed ; Better than Mario Kart.
4. Skullgirls ; Not bad for a cursed game. :p
5. Volgarr ; Tough but fair
6. Papers, Please ; One of a kind
7. Metro Last Light ; Very atmospheric slightly more linear than the first game, but more polished
8. Shadow Warrior ; Surprisingly fun reboot
9. Gone Home
10. Brothers - A Tale Of Two Sons
 
Nov 17, 2013
46
0
0
1. The Last of Us ; An extremely well done game, superb technically, interesting gameplay, unique take on the premise, fantastic dialog and characters.

2. Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen ; One of the best games of the generation imo. Interesting and varied world to explore, amazing combat that is probably the best of any actionRPG ever and among the best of any action game too. Great new IP with tons of amazing ideas that can be fine tuned and expanded on. I can't wait for a sequel.
 
Nov 12, 2010
16,653
0
0
Oh, this voting ends tonight? May as well do my last minute list :p. Great year for games no doubt, it's up there with 2007 and 2011 for me. Here I go, and I figured I would only bother to do a top five or six:

1. The Last of Us ; Naughty's Dog magnum opus, surpassing Uncharted 2 and the original Jak and Daxter for me. The game has among some of the most tense close quarters combat encounters I've ever played in part due to your very limited supplies and resources given, the ending and the message it conveyed stuck with me for a few days afterwards which is something very few games do to me, and to almost no surprise it looks fantastic graphically. Not half-bad supporting cast of character alongside Joel and Ellie either (Bill, for example was a decent character), and this game had an awesome soundtrack from Gustavo Santaolalla as well with Home being one of my favorite tracks from it.

2. Grand Theft Auto V ; The first full GTA I completed aside from the IV episodes a few years back, and I loved it. Wacky, somewhat relate-able, and even some likable characters (Michael) even if they are far, so far from being perfect or from being heroes or having good intents. The game looks amazing considering the scope of the world of Los Santos and surrounding areas and also considering the hardware it is running on, and some of the missions were really memorable, like the first heist of the game as well as a certain mission later on I won't name. The game fell apart a bit towards the end I felt, where it just didn't feel there was a cohesive plot anymore but the first 15 hours or so were fantastic and my personal favorite portion of the game.

3. Fire Emblem Awakening ; One of the best SRPGs I have played in years and my first FE, and one of my top games on the 3DS without question. Nice art style, addicting combat if you are into turn based strategy and battles that involve various tactical decisions and where one bad move can impact the outcome and the direction of said battle heavily, and lastly a story that keeps you want to keep playing and not put it down. Great game.

4. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; Of all the games on my list, this is the one I most likely put the most time into at around 50 - 60 hours from just this summer alone. Certainly the strongest Animal Crossing title to date with having more control over your town as Mayor than ever before. A lot of character customization too, especially compared to past AC games in the series. Online functionality was enjoyable too.

5. Bioshock Infinite ; This game disappointed me a bit, hence it's probably my least favorite of all the games in the Bioshock series, but I still enjoyed it enough to put it on my list at number five. If for nothing else other than having an awesome soundtrack (Tears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World and Will the Circle be Unbroken? Hell yes!). The combat I felt wasn't half bad either, although not as good or fluid as Bioshock 2. Columbia was also a beautiful, but tragic and bloody world/setting to be immersed and travel around in plus Elizabeth's AI was something to behold. Collecting all the audio tapes like in past Bioshock games was cool as it gave you a neat backstory of the founding of Columbia and important characters to the plot like Zachary Hale Comstock.

6. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX ; I was originally only going to make a top five, but I figured I should put this one on there as I beat it late last year and had my fill of fun from it. One of the best HD collections I've played to date and the effort put into it definitely shows (Sora and Riku's improved facial models), not to mention the first Kingdom Hearts has aged really well in numerous aspects (combat, characters, story that doesn't get too out of hand or crazy, etc.). Some really good and challenging boss fights can he had in KH1 too.

2012: Journey ; This game was short, really short in fact as I beat it in one sitting but I enjoyed it. Very Ico-esque in terms of atmosphere and presentation in some of the areas I found, which happens to be one of my favorite PS2 games.

(Took me like 45 minutes to write up, but worth it!)
 
Jun 25, 2013
1,718
4
350


1. The Wonderful 101 ; This game is one of the best games I have played, not just this year, but of all time. Everything from gameplay to music is top notch.



2. Fire Emblem Awakening ; I never thought that this would be one of my GOTY. Buying just for the $30 promotion, I really enjoyed this game. I have gotten up to a 3rd playthrough and it is still a charming game.



3. Super Mario 3D World ; Another surprise for me. Very good platforming, and the coop is very fun too. Everytime I play it, it screams fun (well except for Champion's Road).
 
Aug 6, 2006
3,457
0
0
Europe
1. The Wonderful 101 ; I figured that I can't really complain about the final results without at least voting for the game that kept me busy for three months straight and prevented me from playing much else. Actually, it still does.
On a random and pretty irrelevant note, I'm also kinda glad that someone remembers what the Desperado actually is. Looking at you, Capcom.

 
Well, I guess my time to catch up on 2013 games has ended.

1. Tearaway ; So much creativity, so much heart. It uses so many functions of the Vita yet none feels tacked on. Instead, it feels like the Vita was made to allow this game to exist. Such a memorable ride, one that I treasure dearly.
2. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; It had been a while since I played a SRPG; felt so good to return to the genre with this game. The battles were a lot of fun, and even though I was always looking forward to the next one...the stuff to do in between them was great too.
3. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; Not only the game took me around some great locations, it had to do that in the end. Another shining example of an experience only a videogame can provide you.
4. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies ; This series is probably my favorite videogaming "confort food". And how good it feels to have a new PW game to savour. So cozy.
5. Gone Home ; Impressive all the different emotions it made me go in the short time it lasted.
6. The Cave ; Good looking world, great characters with fun stories, good puzzles. A great ride overall.
7. Stick it to the Man ; Psychonauts and The Cave had a baby and it is pretty awesome.
8. Luigi's Mansion 2 ; Nice take on the adventure genre. Great looking game, full of details. Clearly a craft of love.
9. Remember Me ; I thoroughly enjoyed my time on Neo Paris. The fighting system was also fun, but what I really liked was visiting that place.
10. Guacamelee! ; Jump, uppercut, punch...and land. Olé!
x. Thomas Was Alone ; Nice puzzles, great presentation.
x. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse ; Lovely. A great port of a game I enjoyed oh so many years ago.
2012. Sleeping Dogs ; Driving around the city as it rains.
 
Jul 29, 2010
15,423
2
610
www.neogaf.com
I amended my list to add five more games and TW101 came in at number 6. Amazing game but I just couldn't get into the zoomed out camera like you guys. Felt detached from the action a lot of the time. Had to give it a mention though; future action games are going to need a hell of a lot of content and variety to compare favorably to it. Also, dat presentation. It's an outstanding game, just didn't totally click with me. I can't argue with anyone who places it higher.
 
Aug 10, 2010
41,156
0
0
1. Dota 2 ; Really feels like cheating for this. Probably my favorite game of the last 10 years at this point. Has no signs of giving up it's hold on me. I learn something new about it every time I play. I can constantly identify how I need to improve, and boy do I need to improve.

2. Super Mario 3D World ; If Dota 2 hadn't been "released" this year, this would easily be number 1. Mario always gonna Mario and be just pure video game bliss.

3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; I almost didn't play this. Boy am I glad I did. Really reignited a love for 2d Zeldas that I had sort of forgotten I had.

4. Papers, Please ; As someone who used to live in eastern Europe and has been through plenty of very similar checkpoints when I was younger, boy did this hit a lot of buttons in just the right ways. The larger "game" of it was still pretty fun surprisingly, when you think a paperwork game would suck pretty hard, but a lot of the themes and little stories just really captured my imagination.

5. Volgarr the Viking ; I still haven't really memorized some of the later levels, but this still deserves a place really high up here. They went and tried to make a game someone would have played 20 years ago and they nailed it. Really tough, but always fair it was a joy to play it.

6. Gone Home ; I'm not going to drone on about it. I really enjoyed it. I don't expect everyone to, but I did.

7. Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe ; This took over at least two weekends. It is what turned me on to Adult Swim as a publisher. I will buy everything they release right away no questions asked. I don't know who they have working there but they're a genius who can identify a good game a mile away.

8. Antichamber ; Practically Portal on acid. Really stretched my brain in some goofy directions. Always managed to surprise me. At the end of the day it was simply a big maze, but the most fun maze I've ever been through.

9. BioShock Infinite ; I didn't understand a lot of the backlash about the story. Everyone called it generic and done a million times in plenty of silly sci fi shows. Well okay. It was super well done though. I still enjoyed it!

10. Risk of Rain ; Caught me by surprise as well. A harder 2d Binding of Issac. Really fun in multiplayer but kind of a pain to set up.

x. Gunpoint ; It was a lot of fun. Sadly it was super short and never very hard. I also think it has limited replay and I guess I was looking for 'oh man what if I did THIS instead' and I just didn't get that.

x. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger ; If I had played more of it (sadly only got an hour or two in) it might be up there, so here it is here.

x. HarmoKnight ; I just wanted to put this somewhere on the list as I hadn't heard anything about it and yet it still blew me away with how fun it was.

x. The Stanley Parable ; I played the mod before so I think that lessen'd the impact here.

x. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; I have a feeling if it was anything other than Metal Gear it wouldn't be here. But I'm a sucker for the insanity.

x. New Super Luigi U ; I loved it. Super fun. Just no room on the list.

2012. Xenoblade Chronicles ; Finally got around to it.
 
Dec 20, 2012
423
0
0
1. The Wonderful 101 ; I knew going in I was going to love this, but I was still surprised at just how much it worked for me. Pure gaming bliss that never takes the player for an idiot (at times to its own detriment, it's true). For all its obvious flaws -- controls most certainly NOT being one of them -- it's a truly amazing game that I'd rank higher than anything I've played in years.
2. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate ;
3. Fire Emblem: Awakening ;
4. Pokemon X/Y ;
5. Shin Megami Tensei IV ;
6. Super Mario 3D World ;
7. Pikmin 3 ;
8. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
9. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ;
10. NES Remix ;

x. Steamworld Dig
x. Spelunky
x. Papers Please
x. Guacamelee!
x. Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon
 

Papercuts

fired zero bullets in the orphanage.
Sep 1, 2007
30,407
0
1,015
Pennsylvania
www.neogaf.com
Not surprising but damn, this thread blew up in the last day. Glad to see a lot of W101 reps!

And great lists everyone. Finding lists I want to read much more frequently compared to previous years, and added a couple games like Blacklist and Volgarr on my soon to play list.
 
Mar 1, 2013
5,819
0
0
East Coast
1. The Last of Us ; It is rare a game will hold my attention and get me to binge through it. Worst is, after I binged I wanted to come back for more.
2. Fire Emblem Awakening ; I wish there were more than 4 save slots.
3. Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan ; While I haven't technically beat it I have played the ever living fuck out of it. My first foray into the series and it wont be my last.
4. Bioshock Infinite ; Played and beat the game before reading anything about it and glad I did. The only downside is I felt no reason/need to replay it.
5. Tales of Xillia ; Its a Tales game, there isn't much more to say than that.
6. Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen ; Got the game from PS+ and I felt a little bad not getting it on release. I look forward to their next game.
7. Skullgirls ; I am terrible at all fighting games, but I can't stay away from them. Glad this finally came to PC.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.