So, it's the start of 2014 today, the moment when many gamers make their "Games of the Year" lists and post them for all to see. That's probably what I would be doing too, but as it turns out, for various reasons I didn't play any of the games that came out this past year. Instead I'm forced to settle with ranking all the games I did
play in 2013, starting from the very worst and working my way to the very top.
This is my first attempt at making such a list and I don't think it turned out particularly good (I couldn't think of much to say for a lot of these), so here's hoping next year's turns out better.
Also, for the sake of reference, if I were giving scores to these games, the bottom two would probably get close to a 5/10 while the top 4 would all get close to a perfect 10.
(NOTE: For some reason, the name of each game is showing up very small on the preview, even though I made it size 5. If it's like that in the published version, I'll see what I can do to fix it)
Vexx has great platforming controls and some really fun and challenging platforming segments, which could have made it a good game, but unfortunately itís held back by its many, many flaws. Combat isnĎt any fun, the puzzles (of which there are many) are all bad and dying undoes everything you did since the last door you went through (especially annoying in the long platforming sections, which are pretty much all of them, because most of them take place above an abyss where even one mistake can kill you and then you have to do it all over again). Itís also a very buggy game and has a bad camera.
21: Sonic Colors
Back when this game was released, everyone was praising it as the game that made Sonic good again, but if I had played it back then I would have said that Sonic still has a ways to go before it can be considered ďgoodĒ again. Sonicís movement has a lot of momentum and his jumps feel weird, which doesnĎt work well with all the platforming . There are a few good levels, but not enough to make up for the rest of the game.
20: The Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past
I did not have much fun with this game. Although the overworld is great, probably the best out of the four Zelda games Iíve played, the puzzles and combat arenít very interesting, and to top it off there is a frustrating lack of direction at times. For example, one time I wandered all over the world for two hours trying to find a way to get to the other side of a river before I gave up and looked it up online. It turns out youíre supposed to use the hookshot on a skull on the opposite side of the river, but the skull isnít even visible from your side of the river.
19: Devil May Cry
It has good combat but few interesting enemies and a bad camera system. Not much more to say about it.
18: Super Mario Bros. 2
Again, not much to say about the game. Itís just a fun little game with a good challenge and good gameplay.
17: Super Metroid
The game has a great atmosphere and I really enjoyed the exploration. Some platforming segments can be a bit frustrating, particularly the ones that require the beam whip and the wall jump, but once you improve your jumps theyíre not as bad. The game probably would have taken a better spot on this list if it wasnít for the backtracking. There are few things I like less in a game than being forced to backtrack and this game has too much of that for my liking.
16: Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (2nd playthrough)
And here we have yet another game that I donít have much to say about. Itís a fun game with only a few minor flaws (unskippable cutscenes and no vertical control over the camera), but unfortunately, after it was released a lot of games came out trying to ape its style, and as a result the game can sometimes feel like just another generic PS2-era platformer.
15: Paper Mario (2nd playthrough)
The game has a lot of charm, but the battle system could use some work.
14: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2nd playthrough)
This was my second Playthrough of Twilight Princess and this time around I managed to find even more things to like and to dislike: Itís way too easy, the motion controls start to get frustrating after a while and most of the second batch of dungeons are boring, but the overworld has tons of secrets I missed in my first playthrough, the combat has more to it that Iíd realized the first time around and the story is still my favorite in all the Zelda games IĎve played.
13: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Great puzzles, good combat and a good story.
12: Kingdom Hearts 2 (2nd playthrough)
The combat is great, the story is good and the Gummi Ship segments are really fun. Only problem is that the time spent in each world feels very short and the worlds themselves feel really small.
11: Megaman 9
It has great music, great gameplay, great level design and is an all-around fun game.
10: Chrono Trigger
A good story and good combat system, and it has the courtroom scene, one of my favorite moments from any videogame.
9: Final Fantasy X
The best part of the game is undoubtedly its setting: A world where, for the last thousand years, a giant, powerful monster named Sin appears every so often and destroys entire cities. Through the course of the game, you learn about Sinís origins and of how society has developed a new religion, new customs and new social order in response to its appearance. There are a few flaws, such as unskippable cutscenes, a few low points in the story and voice acting, and a whole lot of linearity, but everything else is good and even has some great moments.
8: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (2nd playthrough)
A great atmosphere and great exploration without all of Super Metroidís backtracking. The gameplay is also really good and the game works really well with the Wii Remote.
7: Pikmin 2
Biology, anthropology and weird creatures are all some of my interests and this game has all of them, so it was practically impossible that Pikmin 2 wouldnít end up taking a high spot on this list. Pretty much everything in the game is good; the only thing I donít like about is the lack of the 30 day timer. In the first game, I was getting very pressed for time towards the end, so I had to improve my strategies, learn to multitask and start taking more chances in order to get all 30 parts on time, and when I beat the final boss and got the last ship part on the final day, it was really satisfying. Without the timer, there isnít any real pressure on the player to beat the game or to get better at it.
6: Shadow of the Colossus
One of the most unique games of all time and often considered one of the defining games of the PS2 library and the PS2 generation in general and while it doesn't quite live up to the hype for me, it's still a fantastic game. Fighting the colossi can really get your heart pumping, and bringing down these giants using just your wits, your sword and your bow feel really satisfying. There were a couple colossi with which I had to look up a guide in order to beat them and the framerate can drop to the second lowest I've seen in any console game (first place being taken by Global Defense Force), but both of those do little to detract from the experience.
5: Super Mario Galaxy 2
The sequel to what is probably my favorite game of all time. While it doesn't quite match Galaxy 1's greatness, mostly because it's an all round more linear game, it's still a fantastic game. I just wish those green stars were more than just a boring easter egg hunt, then maybe I'd be willing to 100% the game.
4: God of War II
A great brawler with really great and challenging combat, and even some pretty clever puzzles.
3: Donkey Kong Country Returns
A fantastic 2D platformer. Every level offers something new and the design is fantastic throughout. If only the motion controls were absent and the d-pad on the Wii remote was better I'd say the game is near perfect.
2: Xenoblade Chronicles
I played this game for over 110 hours. That alone should tell you how much I liked it. It has a really fun battle system, a great setting, great story and great music.
Ico is a 3D puzzle/platformer, but that's not what it's about. What it's about is having the player form a bond with Yorda, a mysterious girl who follows you around as you try to get both of you out of a huge prison. Though Yorda doesn't talk, and your character only rarely talks, most of this is accomplished in the gameplay. All the interactions between the two, like holding Yorda's hand and running her around the place is endearing. Heck, even the simple acts of saving and loading the game manage to be adorable. It's a really fantastic and unique game and it's the best game I played in 2013 (and, in case you're wondering, the puzzles are also pretty good). read