I try to make a lot of time
to play videogames. This year, I've played around 270 new games. That's new in 2013, as in, newly released this year, and doesn't include replays or retro titles. So as you can imagine, I had a lot
to sift through until I could come up with a true "top 10," and this is the result.
As a general rule I don't order my lists, but number one is in fact my "Game of the Year." Feel free to check out all of Destructoid's picks at large
10. Pokemon X and Y
What a lovely surprise this game was! I've already talked at length
about how X & Y
have rekindled my love for the franchise
like never before, but Game Freak really deserves a lot of credit with the increased social and online features.
I can't really pinpoint my favorite aspect of the game, but the mere fact that tons of my former Pokemon
friends from ages ago have come out of the woodwork to play X & Y
speaks volumes about it. That's what Pokemon
has always been about -- playing with friends -- and I can do that here more than ever before.
9. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
An HD remake of one of my favorite Zelda
games ever made? It would take a lot to screw this up, and thankfully, Nintendo handled the restoration with grace. It's pretty much the exact same game as before, but with a few welcome tweaks to my last favorite part of the story (the Triforce Shard Hunt), and best of all -- GamePad map support.
Truly, I can't go back to any other version of the game after seeing how convenient an off-screen map is. I replay Wind Waker ever year generally
, and now, the Wii U edition is my definitive version.
8. Tomb Raider
This is probably the most surprising title of the year for me. For many of these games, I had an idea of how they would go, but I fully expected to dislike Tomb Raider
based on the generic trailers and information we had before release. I went in thinking it would be a poor Uncharted
game, and it ended up being my second favorite Uncharted
The world is incredibly fun to play in, the visuals and gunplay are great, and I loved the brutality and ever present sense of danger. If this is the new Lara, I can't wait to see where she ends up.
7. Dead Rising 3 [review]
I'm a pretty big Dead Rising
fan, but the first two base games lacked a bit of universal appeal due to a strict save system and other limitations. Dead Rising 3
eschews that in favor of a more streamlined experience, and best of all, you can just switch to Nightmare Mode if you want that hardcore feel. It's a win-win.
For once, I actually felt like I had to survive in a zombie game, given the power of the Xbox One and the sheer number of zombies it could render on-screen. It was glorious, and I'm eagerly waiting more titles from other developers that take advantage of massive amounts of in-game models.
6. Dragon's Crown [review]
I was excited for this the moment the words "Vanillaware" and "dungeon crawler" were uttered in the same sentence. I'm a massive fan of the studio, and I feel like they never really get the credit that they deserve. But with Dragon's Crown
I feel like they really have crossed that plateau, and Atlus has done a great job at supporting the game post-launch.
It's still going strong with content, and considering the fact that it features deep combat
and an expansive multiplayer component, this is an easy recommendation for any action fan.
5. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
As a massive Metal Gear
supporter, I knew I was going to pick this up on day one. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed, due to the deep combat system and amazing replay value of Revengeance.
The first week of release I beat the game seven times, and loved every second of it. There's so much to unlock, so much to discover, and the cheese factor is glorious.
At this point, I'm almost as interested in this sub-series involving Raiden as I am in the core franchise -- specifically, I would really love to see a Revengeance 2
on the Xbox One and PS4.
When you say the word Metroidvania, you pretty much "have me at hello." Guacamelee
was an amazing showing for Drinkbox Studios, who perfectly captured the essence of the sub-genre, and mixed in their own signature charm to boot.
It helps that the game is filled with tons of funny references
, secrets, and sports a fully featured co-op mode. Cross-Buy for the PS3 and Vita is the icing on the cake, and I heartily recommend it to any platforming fan out there -- given the price, it's one of the easiest impulse buys of 2013.
3. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
"Wow," is probably the best way I can describe Ni No Kuni
. It's pretty much everything I could want out of a JRPG, and brought me back to an era where it's basically all I played. The elements of Pokemon
basically took it over the top for me, and I completed every single sidequest
and post game activity in the game.
I do own the DS version
, and although it's wonderful, I think the White Witch storyline that's exclusive to the PS3 game adds a ton to my enjoyment.
2. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
This game kind of came out of nowhere and I loved it. It was perfectly priced, perfectly paced, and the world was scaled just right. There's hardly a dull moment in Blood Dragon
's story, but the true enjoyment I got out of the game was wandering around the meticulously crafted wasteland and blasting the ever living crap out of everything -- oh yeah, and that's to a perfectly scored 80s/90s action movie soundtrack.
With a very simple level-up system, accessible hunting sidequests, and a base capture mechanic, it's so easy to just roam around in Blood Dragon
and have fun. I'd love to see more games just like this.
1. Super Mario 3D World [review]
As you could probably tell from my review, I adored Super Mario 3D World
. Initially, I pegged it as my second favorite 3D Mario
after Galaxy 2
, but after playing multiplayer with my friend, I've come to love it more and more. At first glance it looked like a mere continuation of 3D Land
in HD, but it's so much more than that.
Power-ups like the multiplying cherry and the cat suit change things up considerably, and allow for a certain amount of technical depth that I rarely feel from a Mario
game. Add in some solid level design and you have a winner -- a Game of the Year winner.