Justin’s Game Of The Year 2013
It’s that time of the year, where everyone compiles lists of the game they loved the most during the year. I’m compiling a list of the top games I’ve played this year. However, in the podcast we’ll be covering more categories than just GOTY. So, these are without a doubt the best of the best, and the games who gave me the best experiences this year.
#5 – The Swapper
Publisher: Facepalm Games
Developer: Facepalm Games
Released: May 2013
This game was pretty unique in the terms of how they use the puzzle aspect of the game. You can essentially clone yourself, and then swap yourself with your clones to get into certain areas, step on switches, and just progress in general. I have never seen something like that done in a game before, and it just worked out so damn well, and also made the game difficult, but not the point where it was frustrating, and just not fun to play.
The game also has a really cool art-style with instead of having 3D models it instead uses handcrafted art assets and clay which forms the various game levels. This game just does lots of new, and exciting things and pulls everything off right, and makes for one of the best puzzle/platformers that I have ever played.
#4 – Grand Theft Auto V
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar North
Released: September 2013
I’m aware some people will have this game higher up on their lists, but I just feel like we had some better entries this year over-all. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the game, I enjoyed it a lot. The story was pretty neat seeing the three main characters interact, and the missions were really well done, and I felt like a-lot of issues i had with GTAIV were missing in terms of the missions, and I just preferred the feel, pace, and characters in this game much more.
The multiplayer is also a blast with friends, and most of my time spent with the game is just mucking about in the Free-Roam and seeing what kind of havoc we can cause. Of course, the multiplayer was a little rough on launch but things have gotten better, even though we’re still missing those Heists we were promised. Still though, there’s nothing like cramming a bunch of your buds into vehicles and out-running the police, and other players in this gloriously crafted world.
#3 – BioShock Infinite
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Irrational Games
Released: March 2013
Sure, the game’s combat may have been a tad-iffy but for me the story was the main selling point for me, and was one of the more interesting games in the BioShock series. Booker Dewitt, and Elizabeth made for some really good characters and their dynamic together was really well done. This entry just felt a little more “timey-wimey” than other entries due to the alternate dimensions, and tears in the world.
Not only was Elizabeth an interesting character, but she was by no means a weak character like most females are made to be in games. She was strong, and could hold her own in most situations and would help me out of some pretty sticky situations by tossing me coins, and health. Her tears were also incredibly useful while being swarmed by enemies. Not a terrific game by any means, but it’s still a solid experience.
#2 – Tomb Raider
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Released: March 2013
I actually expected this game to be a bomb, and just not be a good game in the slightest (I’ve never enjoyed any kind of reboot) and was glad my initial expectations were wrong, and that I was blown away. This game was so damn good, and was originally going to be my Game Of The Year, but sadly something overthrew this game in the past couple of weeks.
We get an awesome origin story for Lara Craft, and this game ends up being really “gritty” and dark. The game also looks extremely beautiful, the combat feels fluid, and flawless and the characters/story are just written so perfectly that I couldn’t help but get captivated with the game, and finish it in about two days playing nearly non-stop. It’s also one of the only games that I’ve purposely went through the collect all the collectibles as they didn’t feel like a chore to collect like most titles nowadays.
This was an awesome way to bring Lara Croft back, and I really hope we can see a sequel. However, the game is re-launching on the PS4 and Xbox One in January, so if you missed out on the game on the last-gen then you owe it to yourself to dive in and play this excellent game.
#1 – The Last Of Us
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Naughty Dog
Released: June 2013
My god, this game. I may have only picked up my PS3 & The Last Of Us this past Sunday but I finished the game yesterday and just couldn’t put it down, and only did to eat, shower, and sleep. This game had me hooked from the get-go, but was also the most emotional videogame I have ever played, and it made me emotional on numerous occasions. Nothing I’ve played this year even comes close to how I felt playing this game, and how my overall experience was. This was one of the only moments in gaming where I didn’t want the experience to end, I wanted to keep going, I wanted more (even after 12 hours). And, I don’t mean this in a bad way. I wanted more of Joel & Ellie’s amazing dynamic together, and I wanted to see more of their adventures.
Plus, the game has some of the best character development/growth I’ve ever seen in a character. From the start Joel is a hard-ass, and doesn’t really like having Ellie around, and towards the later parts of the game we start seeing Joel warm up to her, and eventually start caring more about her, and pretty much become his surrogate daughter. That dynamic is what got me interested in their story, their relationship, and proved to make some very emotional moments in the game just in general.
It’s an experience that every gamer needs to have before they die. I can safely say that The Last Of Us may just be the best video-game I have ever played. I can say that with confidence. It has the best writing, best characters, and damn the game looks bloody gorgeous. It even captures some really great ‘survival-horror’ elements in there as well with the action. Seriously, just go play this damn game.