Best of 2013
From the moody and mysterious to the sublimely depressing to the hilarious and endearing, there were a lot of games this year that tickled our minds as much they drove our fingers through dextrous gauntlets.
Represented are everything from surprisingly moving AAA releases to poignant pixel art pieces to sprawling JRPGs to, well, whatever exactly The Stanley Parable is.
Here are the nominees for 2013 Story of the Year:
- The Last of Us
- Grand Theft Auto V
- The Wolf Among Us
- Papers, Please
- BioShock Infinite
- Gone Home
- Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
- The Stanley Parable HD
- Fire Emblem: Awakening
- Kentucky Route Zero
And the winner is …
The self-described “Dystopian Document Thriller” Papers, Please was a surprise this year, capturing many of our hearts. Just the self-ascribed “Dystopian Document Thriller” is cool in a sort of aloof way. It also reminds me of The Ghost Writer. Massachusetts is dystopic, right?
You play as an immigration inspector on the border of a communist state, deciding who gets in, who gets turned away, and who gets arrested.At its basic level, Papers, Please elevates bureaucratic document scanning to a surprising bit of fun.
Beneath that, though, is a surprisingly affective exploration of empathy and how politicized, regimented systems can drain it completely as you reduce the charming pixelated visages in front of you to the sum of their documents. As much as you’d like to help out the downtrodden — believe that it is indeed just a typo on some man’s passport and that it’s not a forgery — you can’t run the risk of getting yourself canned when you need to put food on the table for your family.
For our community poll, you all voted for The Last of Us as the best story for 2013. That was followed by BioShock Infinite, and The Stanley Parable HD.