As we approach the end of the year, we must obey the ancient video game law of coming up with our GOTY awards or risk spending an eternity in gamer hell (which I'm pretty sure is just a room with only a Virtualboy and a CD-i in it). However, whereas other people will tell you dirty lies like that The Last of Us had the best story this year, or that The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was the best portable game, I am here to dump a bucket on TRUTH over all of you. You see, none of those games deserve to win. There is only one GOTY this year, and it should win in every single category.
That's why I'm here, the only objectively objective award awarder on the internet. So let's get started with the first award!
Spoilers for Super Mario 3D World. Yes, seriously. I'm putting a spoiler warning up for a Mario game. I have my reasons. Long story short, if you have not yet beaten the final boss FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY HAVEN'T YOU BEATEN THIS BRILLIANT GAME YET?! Do you actively hate having fun or what!? But other than that, please do skip past "Best New Character". Trust me. __________________________________________________________________________________
- Best Platformer There were a lot of great platformers this year. Rayman Legends is a very notable one, and even New Super Luigi U might deserve a shot at the title. However, there was another game this year that simply ran away with this award. Not only that, it put on a catsuit and played with the award like a ragdoll.
And that game is Super Mario 3D World!
I can't remember the last time I had such fun with a game. The level design is spot on, there are a ton of cool mechanics to play with and Mario's cat suit arguably adds more to the platforming genre than it has any right to. Moreover; multiplayer in a 3D platformer! Surely, no other game this year was able to compete.
- Best FPS Okay, so you're going to have to help me out with this one, because I wouldn't know a good shooter if it slapped me in the face and then teabagged me.
Anyway, I think people liked Bioshock Infinite this year. That was a good one, right? Does The Last of Us count as a shooter? Because I guess then it might have a shot as well.
...Actually, you know what? Fuck it. I've got a much better idea.
You know what this is?
This is a Fire Flower. You know what it does? It lets Mario, or Peach, or whoever, shoot fireballs from their hands. That's right, shoot fireballs. Not only that, the Mario gang can also pick up Boomerangs to throw at enemies and they can even wear cannons on their heads to really put the hurt on all the baddies coming their way.
There can be only one conclusion. The best FPS of the year is none other than Super Mario 3D World.
"But surely", you say, "3D World's shooting mechanics aren't in first person?"
Now look here, if you're going to split hairs you can go bugger off and make your own damn GOTY list. Super Mario 3D World is the best FPS of the year and that's all I have to say about that.
- Best Racing game There were many great racing games around this year. At least I think there were? Yeah, probably. But look at the top right corner of this screen and tell me what you see:
That's right, Super Mario 3D World has a timer in every level. Do you know what that means? It means you could totally speedrun this game if you wanted to. In other words, the game gives you a special incentive to race through every level. Hell, it even added a character to the roster whose defining ability is being able to run faster than the others! And what about the level where you're running across a track from Mario Kart? It even has the right music! And surely you must have noticed Bowser's sweet ride in the screenshot above?
Truly, there was no racier racing game than 3D World in 2013. As such, it would be nothing short of completely and utterly unfair not to reward it with the Best Racing Game of the Year Award.
Congratulations Super Mario 3D World, you deserved it.
- Best Fighting game Before handing out the next award, we have to take a look at the essence, the very core, of the genre. What makes a fighting game a fighting game? Is it the quick combos and the super moves? Is it the mind games you play with your dreaded opponents? Or is it simply killing your enemies stone dead by whatever means necessary?
Clearly, it must be the latter. Otherwise, why do spam tactics exist? Riddle me that, Batman!
So the question must be, which game allowed you to kill your enemies stone dead by whatever means necessary more or better than any other game? Let's see now; jumping on people's heads, scratching them to death with your claws, throwing shit at them, swiping at them with your tail, attacking them with your galaxy-enhanced spins, multiplying yourself and doing all of the above with twice the power, the list is virtually endless.
No Divekick, Injustice or Killer Instinct is going to match that. As such, they are clearly unworthy of the title of Best Fighting Game of the Year.
It rightfully belongs to one game, and one game alone. Super Mario 3D World.
- And until you can find me another 2013 game in which you could grow huge and stomp the shit out of everyone, that's the way it's going to be.
- Best Action-adventure Action!
- Adorable, ADORABLE, action.
- And deceptively military-based adventure at that.
Put them both together, and you simply cannot deny that Super Mario 3D World wins! You CAN.NOT.
- Best JRPG As we all know, JRPGs are about one thing, and one thing only; dressing up your characters. Leveling up, you say? Intriguing plots in large open worlds? Don't be ridiculous. As Square-Enix is quickly showing the gaming world, the quality of a JRPG is measured by its dressing-up features. The more eccentric and unpractical the better!
However, even though it looked like Final Fantasy XIII-3 had the JRPG category in the bag for 2013, it didn't come out in the West this year. Tough luck, Barbie Lightning! Even if it had though, there was one game this year that managed to trump even Final Fantasy in its dressing-upability.
Because while Lightning may have had her moogle suit, the Mario crew was already taking dressing up to the next level. They famously dressed up as cats, they could wear Goomba hats, Boomerang bros were among their targets and even Tanooki weren't safe from being turned into a costume. Let's see Lightning match that! (she can't)
But more than that, Mario's costumes all had something that Lighting's severely lacked: functionality. Now I'm sure that her outfits do something in her latest games, but I refuse to believe you would even notice it with all that hammering on the "Auto Battle" button you're going to be doing. In contrast, Mario's cat suit alone let you climb up any wall and do bad-ass lunge attacks and dive kicks. Indeed, Mario's cat-suit is quite possibly one of the best pieces of clothing to dress up your characters with.
Thus, Super Mario 3D World is objectively the best JRPG of the year. You can't fight me on this.
- Best WRPG Did any good WRPGs even come out this year?! No? But that won't do at all, we gotta have a winner at least!
Hold on, I think I got it.
For lack of any worthy entries, I'm going to have to give this to Super Mario 3D World by default. Congrats!
- Best Strategy Game And the winner is XCOM: Enemy Within!
In what may very well be one of the best expansion packs ever released, XCOM Enemy Within shows tha-
The winner isStarcraft II: Heart of the Swarm! Starcraft II may very well already be one of the best strategy games of all time; the fight between the Protoss, Terrans and the Zerg has captured many a gamer's imagination, and has led to a multitude of sleepless nights. So when a huge expansion comes around, you can bet your butt that we will sit up and take notic-
The winner is Fire Emblem: Awakening! 2013 was a great year for the Nintendo 3DS, and perhaps nowhere was that fact as evident as with the latest installment in the Fire Emblem series. With a story that transcends time itself and the addition of many new gameplay mechanics, it truly showed what turn-based strategy could be. Moreover, its characters were hard not to fall in love wi-
The winner is Super Mario 3D World, just because.
- Best Sports game Ah, and here we are at what must surely be the single most boring category in every edition of the video game awards. Because come on, who the hell cares whether FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer was the best soccer game of the year? Or did you want to go the route of American Football and give it to Madden onehundredandeleventyseven-2? Fuck no.
Fortunately, this year there was a game that can make even a shitty category like sports worthwhile. It is a game in which you can play sports like a sporty...sportsman. Person. Whichever. Anyway, you wanna throw baseballs at people? You can! You'd rather take your best aim with exploding soccer balls? Sure deal! Or are you well enough in touch with your feminine side that you'd rather simply stick to gymnastics? Well, sorry, but I don't think we ca-OF COURSE WE HAVE THAT.
It has the MOST sports. All of them. All of the sports. How could I ever live with myself if I did not award it the victory?! I couldn't. Super Mario 3D World is by far the Best Sports Game of the Year. Sports.
- Best Story I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who once said that "brevity is the soul of wit". And if he wasn't, fuck it, he may as well have. Still counts.
The point is this; if brevity is the soul of wit, then obviously the brevityiest game must obviously be the wittiest. That's just grade school logic right there, no way around it. And it was without a shadow of a doubt Super Mario 3D World that had the briefest plot this year. Bowser kidnaps fairies. That's it. We get no context, no motivation, no nothing. In fact, let me show you all of Super Mario 3D World's dialogue.
Can you feel all the brevity coming through your computer screen RIGHT ONTO YOUR FACE?! Don't answer that, off course you can. And what's more, along with that brevity comes just a total SHOWER of wit. Don't lie to me, you're completely covered in wit right now and you damn well know it.
I think I've said enough. Super Mario 3D World clearly has the best story of the year. Now go clean yourself up. Wit stains horribly.
- Best Multiplayer (co-op) Co-op games are always a lot of fun, especially if it's on-the-couch-style. Nintendo for many years now has been absolutely killing it in this field. From the multiplayer in New Super Mario Bros., to Donkey Kong Country, to Kirby's Epic Yarn and Return to Dreamland. But 2013 was the year in which co-op really shined. The latest Mario game gave us the possibility of playing four player co-op in a 3D game, with each character having their own little ability no less.
Super Mario 3D World particularly encourages players to work together. Getting all of the green stars and the stamps in each level requires a keen eye and a little platforming prowess, which your friends are sure to be able to help you with. Each friend can even use his or her character to compensate the weakness of your own. In the end, you can carry each other across dangerous chasms, earn a crown for helping your friend defeat a bunch of bad guys or collect some coins, and you can wait for your partner at the end of the level so you can have the satisfaction of reaching the goal together.
Can't get more cooperative than that! So Super Mario 3D World wins!
- Best Multiplayer (competitive) Alternatively, you can toss your buddy in a pit, steal his crown and screw him out of reaching the flag pole with you. Can't get more competitive than that!
Super Mario 3D World wins....again!
- Best Music Now, you know what, I think I'm just going to let this entry speak for itself.
Please Mister Music, will you play? (<- cookie for the reference)
- bbain take note.
Enough said, it's Super Mario 3D World.
- Best New Character Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...Meowser.
No contest. I don't even care anymore about any suggestion you wish to make. BOWSER IS A GODDAMN TIGER. Super Mario 3D World wins.
- Best Boss fight Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...Meows-
Wait. Didn't we already do this? I think we have. You see, Meowser isn't just the best new(ish) character, you also get to fight him! Obviously, right? Anyway, if you didn't think that a Mario could deliver an epic final boss, you are sorely mistaken. Being chased up a building by five of those guys makes for an intense experience that is only rivaled by...
And now, we've arrived at the winners for each individual console. Which of the above games will take the prize for best game of the system, and possibly the best Game of the Year? The suspense is killing me!
So let's start, off course, with the WiiU.
- Best Wii/U game The winner is...
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD!
Hold up. That can't be right. I mean, Wind Waker HD was a great game and all, but best WiiU game of the year? I kinda expected some other game here.
Just wait here for a second, I'm going to go talk to the jury, see what's up.
...Okay, so me and the jury had a little "heart-to-heart", and it turns out that the actual winner of Best WiiU Game of the Year is none other than Super Mario 3D World! Congratulations!
Apparently every single member of the jury meant to say Mario from the start, but simply misspelled it. They're all dyslectic, you see? Easy mistake.
- Best Xbox 360/One exclusive HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
No but seriously, nobody cares.
Oh, and it's stillSuper Mario 3D World.
- Best Playstation 3/4 exclusive
....I got nothing.This is harder than it looks, alright?!
- Best PC exclusive I want you to play along with a little experiment of mine. Put your right hand fingers on your keyboard's arrow keys, and the left ones on two neighboring buttons of your choice. I prefer Z and X, but just do whatever. Now, close your eyes and pretend you're playing Super Mario 3D World.
Congratulations! You just played the best PC game of the year.
- Best Handheld game Come on, I don't have to explain this to you, do I? You've seen the WiiU, haven't you? And you have noticed the GamePad.
It has a screen on it, and you hold it in your hands. Ergo, it is a handheld. Also I just used the word "ergo" which means I won the argument just now. I'm pretty sure that's how discussion works.
So now that we have irrefutably established that the WiiU GamePad is a handheld console, what game would deserve that title of the Best Handheld Game of the Year? The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds? Tearaway? Shin Megami Tensei IV?
Oh who am I kidding, you already know that it's Super Mario 3D World.
And here we finally have it. The Game of the Year, the game of games, the one game to rule them all, 2013 incarnate. Which of the diverse titles above will achieve this great honor and go down in history forever (because that is how history works)? Will it be Super Mario 3D World? Or maybe Super Mario 3D World? Or perhaps we'll see a stellar come-from-behind victory for Super Mario 3D World? Or will fan-favorite Super Mario 3D World claim the prize? Place your bets now!
And the winner, of the 2013 Game of the Year awards...
SUPER MARIO 3D WORLD!
In what must be one of the biggest surprises of the year, the latest Mario adventure, which had already snagged the trophy for every single other category, even somehow those it had no reason being in, wins the most prestigious award of the entire year: a star shaped ball of yarn!
Have fun with it, you guys! But do be careful.
I SAID BE CAREFU-
Oh well, I guess you can always come back next year to try your hand at becoming the Game of the Year 2014. Your odds are looking great!
About ShadeOfLight One of us since 7:43 AM on 07.16.2010
On the wings of death, by the hands of doom;
By the darkest light from the darkest moon;
On the wings of life, by the hands of hope;
By the brightest light from the brightest sun.
And vice versa.
I'm a Dutch law student who loves to play the vidya. I'm a Nintendo-fanboy at heart, but I don't feel that I'm blinded by that, at least not very often. I am also currently on the Cblog Recaps team for Thursdays, so if for some voyeuristic reason you want to know more about me, check out my weekly Shadeisms.
I'm obsessed with the Monolith Soft RPGs Xenoblade Chronicles and the Baten Kaitos series. I will not pass up the opportunity to mention them, ever, and I consider myself Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean's biggest fan. Finally, as is to be expected I'm super excited for the new WiiU "Xeno-" game!
The Wii is one of my favorite systems of all time, and my favorite games on this system include, but are most certainly not limited to;
Xenoblade Chronicles (see also: Baten Kaitos - Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean for GC)
Zelda: Twilight Princess / Skyward Sword
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Muramasa - The Demon Blade
Wario Land: Shake it!
and Metroid Prime Trilogy.
I love my WiiU as well, and even though the library still needs expanding, I had tons of fun with:
New Super Mario Bros. U
Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
Super Mario 3D World
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Mario Kart 8
Super Smash Bros. WiiU
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
And on the Nintendo front, let's not forget the 3DS I've had since early 2014! Like, say:
Super Smash Bros. 3DS
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Fire Emblem Awakening
Super Mario 3D Land
Shin Megami Tensei IV
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright
Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies
Code of Princess
Apart from Nintendo, I'm a huge indie game enthousiast. Give me a game like Trine, VVVVVV, Sequence or Recettear, and you've made me a happy camper for sure. You can keep your shooters to yourself.
Favorite indie game round-up:
Trine (+ Trine 2)
Super Meat Boy
The Binding of Isaac
Dungeons of Dredmor
Thomas Was Alone
Mark of the Ninja
Cthulhu Saves the World
Recettear - An Item Shop's Tale
To The Moon
Orcs Must Die! 2
The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom
and many, many more!
Besides gaming itself, I like reading up on gaming-related news on my favorite website in the whole wide world: Destructoid. I love all the people here, and I'm glad that I get to be a part of this. Wouldn't know what to do without you!