10 Best Video Games of 2013 (So Far)Angelo Dargenio |
When putting together this list of best video games released in 2013 so far, we had to set a couple ground rules. We couldn’t include DLC or ports because that would kind of be cheating. So great games like The Walking Dead 400 days, Final Fantasy V, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and more just didn’t make the cut due to technicalities. What we were left with was a list of superb games that specifically came out in 2013 only. These are our 10 best video games of 2013 so far on iOS, console, PC, and handheld.
Tomb Raider may have been the most hyped release of this year, and for good reason. We sat through two E3’s of non-playable trailers for this game, so by the time we finally got to take control of the younger Lara Croft we were foaming at the mouth. Tomb Raider was a mature, open world, mission based survival/action game, and it certainly gave a whole new spin to an old beloved franchise. It more than deserves to be on the best games of 2013 list for its strong female protagonist alone.
Where’s My Mickey is a simple yet incredibly addictive iOS game from Disney Mobile. The basic idea behind every level of this puzzle game is to collect stars. However, to do so you will have to dig lines through sand, tilt water into containers, blow wind across the stage, and basically screw around with the laws of physics. It doesn’t really have a lot to do with Mickey Mouse as much as it has to do with the interesting use of the iPhone Touch capabilities, but the classic animated Mickey charm doesn’t hurt.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is likely the most important fighting game release of 2013. Its sales number beat the Call of Duty franchise multiple months in a row, which is an achievement for any game. It was popular enough to be let into the EVO fighting game championships late even after they had let in eight other games. Who would have thought a DC Universe fighting game would have such a huge fanbase.
The Swapper is a dark 2D Metroidvania style platformer that has received near universal critical acclaim. The mechanics of the game are simple. You can clone yourself up to four times, and all these clones move exactly as you do unless blocked by something. You can swap into the bodies of any of these clones as long as you can see them. Thus, many of the puzzles in the game require you to sacrifice your many clones in order to move forward. It’s like a full game made out of those pits that you would throw Yoshi into after double jumping in Super Mario World.
iOS games aren’t exactly known for being scary, but Year Walk is scary and then some. This deeply unsettling game takes you on a walk through a world of Swedish folklore in order to win back your one true love. Unfortunately, worlds of Swedish folklore tend to shove incredibly creepy bleeding dolls hanging from nooses in trees at your face. There is something deeply unsettling about Year Walk, and it deserves to be on the Best Video Games of 2013 list simply because it evokes an emotional response in the player that few other iOS games can.
Antichamber was a tiny little indie game for the PC that deserves to be on the list of 2013’s top games many times over. Simply put, it’s a first person puzzle game, like Portal, that operates via non-euclidian geometry. You could enter rooms that are bigger on the inside than they are on the outside. You can move a stone in one room to find the whole layout of another room has changed. It will really make you think in ways you never thought a simple puzzle game could.
Zombies are all the rage right now, so The Last of Us decided to remix the genre with brain controlling fungus! The Last of Us isn’t just about shooting your way through a zombie infested wasteland. It’s about surviving, scavenging, and sneaking around. It emphasizes preparation for the apocalypse over action. The Last of Us serves as a striking commentary on humanity’s lack of morality at the same time.
In a generation bereft of good single-player JRPGs, Ni No Kuni comes along to show that this classic genre isn’t dead yet. Done by a combination of Level-5 (Professor Layton) and Studio Ghibli (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) this game feels like you are playing one of Miyazaki’s iconic animes. It’s an experience that even far outshines some of Ghibli’s theatrical projects. If you want to bring out the kid in yourself that loved games like Chrono Trigger, then this is the game for you.
Fire Emblem: Awakening is more than just a great tactical RPG, it may be the best Fire Emblem game… ever! It let you create your own playable character, it finally removed perma-death, and it had one of the most expansive class systems Fire Emblem has ever seen. It’s the premiere tactical RPG experience of this year and should be purchased by anyone who owns a 3DS.
Finally, you don’t get much better than BioShock Infinite, if only because of this games fantastic story. Sure, the shooting segments have some problems, but the narrative touches on philosophy, psychology, quantum physics, and more. The story of Booker Dewitt and Elizabeth makes you think about the nature of the universe and time while making you cringe at the inherit racism of an early 1900’s society. Heck, the game is worth it just for the old timey rag time remixes of popular songs that litter it’s soundtrack. BioShock Infinite is more than worthy of being the best game of 2013… so far.