2013 is a fairly strong year for gaming. We had the best year for variation of titles I can remember, amazing innovation in known genres and bending of the definition of what a game actually can be. The talent working as Actors and Actresses in the industry was truly amazing in 2013 also.
Ultimately 2013 will be remembered as the year the as of of now 'next-gen' consoles were released; the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. But I will be remembering it as the year gaming grew a level, stepped its game up and when I stood back I saw amazing experiences and stories you just couldn't find in any other way.
So here is my Top 5 games for that year, 2013.
5: Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics)
The year started out great with this reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise. Less silicone breasts and more a relatable character now. Lara Croft here was young and out on her first ever adventure. "I hate tombs" she points out at one stage. Lara is a hurt woman, not powerful and in control as she had been previously and honestly as much as I like Superman, weakness is an attraction and a more connectable trait in a character.
Combat is fun and fast, story is gripping and Camilla Luddington delivers a fantastic performance as Lara.
4: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Nintendo)
I don't know if you know this about me but I really like Zelda games, even more so the top down style ones you now only find on Nintendo's hand-helds. At first I couldn't tell if this somewhat remake/sequel of 'A Link to the past' was giving all this joy simply based on nostalgia. After beating the amazing last dungeon and reflecting though, I released that yes nostalgia was a factor yet this Zelda game does so much new on top of the classic Zelda material.
Attack the majority of the dungeons at your choice and leisure, no more happening to find that right weapon in the dungeon thanks to the weapon renting system. I felt like I had been let of this tight leash by Nintendo just a little bit, with more choice than I had been given before. That's not all though, the mechanic to sink into walls is actually quite clever and although I don't look for a great story in a Zelda title, the one here wasn't as predicable as it seemed.
Ultimately though this is some of the most fun I had in 2013 and in a Zelda title ever.
3: Persona 4 Golden (Atlus)
If you live in the America of Japan you would be saying this is a 2012 release, which is true. But it wasn't released in EU side of thing until 2013 and as such in 2013 Persona 4 Golden sucked allot of my time and dragged me head first into this world I love.
Although originally released on the PS2 I never played it until this re-make/release for the PS VIta and damn do I wonder why I missed it now. This social sim/RPG/murder mystery/Sci-Fi Anime in one package sure is hard to explain to anyone and even harder to sell them on. In reality though it is just one of the most engrossing character pieces I've played. Cool character's that drag you through this noir esq murder plot and put you right through the emotion scale from 'laugh out loud funny' to 'I'll just quiver my front lip now because I'm in public.'
2: Gone Home (The Fullybright Company)
'Absolutely not what I though this was going to be'
That's all I could describe Gone Home as. It's an experience like none I've ever had and to say more would defiantly spoil it. I have seen websites online describe it and by just explaining the premise kinda spoiled it.
My experience with Gone Home started the moment opened up Steam one morning and saw the new releases for the day. I did my play through that afternoon and was left shocked, emotionally shook and... well you will see, because your going to play it now.
1: The Last of Us (Naughty Dog)
The Last of Us is one of the best games ever made, period. It's just a masterclass on all different kinds of levels. I think Empire magazine said this is one of the best movies of 2013 that wasn't even a movie and it's true. Naughty Dog have crafted an engrossing and beautiful world with interesting characters that all feel real, relatable and not cliche; brought to you by two of this years best actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson as Joel and Ellie.
Neil Druckman deserves his thanks also for his writing but instead of listing of the entire team at Naughty Dog that worked on The Last of Us i'll leave that for when you finish it.
In tears after the prologue and maybe angered after the finale, The Last of Us stays with you long after you put the controller down and that's why it's my game of the year 2013.