By: Jess Castro
TOP 10 GAMES OF 2013
10) Hotline Miami — The indie gem from 2012 found its way to PSN this year, and I finally caught what I was missing; retro-themed carnage and mayhem fueled by an addictive arcade scoring mentality and a bizarrely compelling story.
9) DmC: Devil May Cry — Long time fans of Devil May Cry kicked, whined and cried at the rebooted dub-steppy Dante. I was skeptical myself, but DmC packed a bitchin’ punch with slick action lead by tight controls. A welcome surprise this year.
8) Tearaway — A truly remarkable experience and one of the most gorgeous titles on any system this year. The brilliant minds at Media Molecule have created a world that had me grinning every time I picked up my Vita while setting a standard of how Sony’s handheld should be utilized.
7) Lego City Undercover — I must be the biggest weirdo in the world since I liked this kiddie crime caper way more than the media juggernaut that is Grand Theft Auto V. I seriously could not put it down. Easily the finest Lego title to date combining all of the addictive nature of previous games with an outstanding open world to play in.
6) Tomb Raider — Poor Lara Croft. They really put her through the ringer. But after her most exciting, thrilling and brutal adventure ever, she’s done something that she hasn’t done since her inception 17 years ago; she made me want her to come back for more.
5) Pikmin 3 — Insanely addicting strategy and the most adorable critters return much to the dismay of my want and need for healthy amounts of sleep. This beautiful world of giant fruit and bugs continues to bring me into this date with great DLC for the co-op enabled Mission Mode.
4) BioShock Infinite — We waited patiently, and I’d like to think the wait paid off. So many jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring moments packed in this outstanding shooter went beyond my high expectations. Booker and Elizabeth‘s trek through Columbia is bound to be deemed a classic for years to come.
3) Super Mario 3D World — The Super Mario Bros. 2 roster is back in full force with super-fun co-op and a gigantic stash of worlds to conquer with each stage being as fresh as the next. I’ve heard the groans of “Oh, another Mario game?” muttered by peons before. You’re goddamn right another Mario game – I’d say the best one in years!
2) The Last of Us — This game is pretty damn mystical. With its fair share of zombie/infected apocalypse tropes that have been done many times before, it should be anything but original and compelling. But, somehow, it is one of this generation’s finest moments. The story, gameplay, controls, graphics and score were ever so amazing, it’s a masterpiece from beginning to (much debated) end.
1) The Wonderful 101 — Plenty of great games this year, but nothing rocked me to the core like Platinum Game’s latest offering. I’m an action junkie and this superhero-fueled title overflowing with intense battles, gigantic bosses, big laughs and massive originality was my drug of choice. The music, the characters, the thumb-blistering gameplay, the fist-shaking challenge — I was transformed to a kid and enjoying gaming for the first time. Seriously, The Wonderful 101 is the most overlooked gem of 2013!
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF 2013
Dead Space 3 — It looked fine and played fine. But really, the sequel to one of the most horrifying games of this generation had one of the most obnoxious sub-plots that wrecked the whole experience. (I have personally renamed this game Jealous Boyfriend… in Space.) Plus, the addition of duck and cover scenarios with armed troops felt very much out of place. Sadly, highly forgettable.
MOST ANTICIPATED GAMES OF 2014
3) 2014 E3 Announcements — Our new generation of console gaming is officially among us! I’m highly anticipating what Microsoft and Sony delivers beyond their launch and what Nintendo brings to pick up their steam after a rough 2013.
2) Bayonetta 2 — The original Bayonetta was action perfection and The Wonderful 101 was my Game of the Year. So it’s only natural that I’m highly anticipating this Wii U exclusive.
1) Titanfall — Lots of mech love I’m looking forward to and the tipping point to getting an Xbox One next year.
PlayStation Game of the Year: The Last of Us
Xbox Game of the Year: BioShock Infinite
Nintendo Game of the Year: The Wonderful 101
Downloadable Game of the Year: Hotline Miami
Portable Game of the Year: Tearaway
Best DLC: New Super Luigi U
Best Story: The Last of Us
Best Shooter: BioShock Infinite