Best of 2013
2013 saw the launch of two new consoles. Well, three if you want to get technical and count the Ouya, which… Moving on. The new machinery rekindled old rivalries, divided households, and pit brothers against one another in an epic struggle to determine whether Knack is better than Ryse: Son of Rome.
As joyous as the renewal of this bitter feud as been, sometimes it’s nice to come together, break some bread, and meet on common ground to discuss multiplatform games. As long as nobody brings up any exclusive DLC or inequalities in resolution or framerate, I think everything will be fine. We can pretty much all agree on two things:The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct was a load of crap and the following list of non-exclusive titles are totally awesome.
Saints Row IV
Saints Row IVis, from start to finish, a pleasure. It’s a pure pleasure to play. I was cynical, given my feeling let down byThe Third, but Volition has worked hard to address almost everything wrong with its last outing, and provide something that delivers over and above expectations.
What I love most aboutIVis how it puts the player first — absolutely every new feature and ability gifted to the player seems designed purely to make the game more convenient to enjoy, and more fun to play.
Read the fullSaints Row IVreview.
Guacamelee!offers up a sugar skull-covered playground to delight in and devour with mucho gusto. It’s a game I’ll be playing and replaying again for some time to come.
Read the full Guacamelee!review.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Blood Dragonis well made, and thoroughly entertaining to lovers of the eighties, but in many ways, it becomes a victim of its own success — the core ideas are so fun, so lavishly crafted, one aches to see them in a game equal to their quality.Blood Dragonis a good little game, and I highly recommend checking it out, with the caveat that it’s one of those games that does a few things well enough to inadvertentlyhighlight its own flaws.
As critical as I may be, however, I’d rather haveBlood Dragonexist as it does than not exist at all. A game this delightfully stupid can only make the world a better place, and I sincerely hope this isn’t the last we see of Rex Colt.
Read the fullFar Cry 3: Blood Dragonreview.
Metro Last Light
Metro: Last Lightis a disappointment in several respects. That simply has to be said. Its design painstakingly addresses criticisms ofMetro 2033to such an overzealous degree that it actually undoes many of the things2033was praised for.
However — and it’s a big however —Last Lightis also a fine game on its own, and if we’re to judge it without the shadow of2033looming overhead, we can say it’s a game packed withstructurallysound combat, arewardingly fluid narrative, and an atmosphere that runs the gamut from intriguing to chilling.
As a default experience,Metro: Last Lightis a good game that forgets whyMetro 2033was a great one.
Dragon’s Crownis quite literally a crowning achievement in the beat ’em up genre. Utilizing some of the best design concepts of the past 20 years, Vanillaware succeeds in creating a captivating world that you just can’t help but experience over and over.
While it may not win over the hardiest of brawler haters, if you’ve even had an inkling of joy hacking and slashing at any time in your gaming career, you should probably be playingDragon’s Crown.
Read the full Dragon’s Crownreview.
In an industry full of games that seem to struggle with satisfying conclusions — an areaBioShockitself famously failed in —Infiniteis one of those rare games with a perfect beginning, an engaging middle, and a perfect end.
As a game,BioShock Infinitehas its successes and its falterings consistent with any suitably complex piece of interactive entertainment. As a story, as an exercise in drawing the player into a believable and relevant world, as proof of exactly what a videogame can mean to a person …
Well, I already said it.BioShock Infiniteis damn near perfect.
Read the full BioShock Infinitereview.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Open-world game design works best when the player feels as though something fun is just around any corner. In this respect,Black Flagis the bestAssassin’s Creedyet. Strong environment design props up the well-worn, on-foot gameplay and the slightly more persistent enemy AI can present a decent threat to the incautious, but no real ground is broken on land.
Sea voyages are the brilliant contribution to the formula, with a range of variety and challenge strong enough to remain compelling through the game’s lengthy campaign and beyond, while the remainder is a more polished, streamlined experience than ever before.
Read the fullAssassin’s Creed IV: Black Flagreview.
Tomb Raidercould so easily have gone wrong, and its opening gambit looks like it’s heading down a most erroneous path. It starts off with some ambushing QTEs and absolutely pummels Lara Croft into the dirt to such a degree, you’d almost suspect the developers were getting off on it. This first impression is an awkward obfuscation, however, one that soon erodes to reveal a savvy, thoughtful, and above all, immensely enjoyable game.
In fact, I’m happy to go on record as saying this is the bestTomb Raidergame I’ve played. Tightly produced, competent in both its puzzling and its combat, this is one reboot that manages to be unequivocally superior to itspredecessors.
Lara Croft has at last scaled the mountain of relevance once again, and the view’s pretty good from up there.
Read the full Tomb Raiderreview.
Rayman Legendsis occasionally flustering, and sometimes seems to demand more than a conventional controller is capable of. The surprisingly slapdash jury-rigging of Wii U features on other systems is glaring in its inelegance, too. However, we’re still left with an impressively designed platformer that proves itself a worthy followup toRayman Origins, making a few notable omissions, but adding some excellent new ideas of its own.
Charming, funny, and only sometimes exasperating,Rayman Legendsis the kind of game that makes this industry a better place for its existence.
Read the fullRayman Legendsreview.
Grand Theft Auto V
There’s no doubt this is Rockstar’s biggest production yet. As well as taking place in an utterly massive open world, the storyline is at its most ambitious, and attempts to make the experience as fluid and sleek as ever are highly evident. Though aspects of the game remain old fashioned and more could have been done to switch things up, the end result of still a game of spectacular scope and density of content.
And while the narrative is as morally reprehensible as ever, the underlying intelligence backing up the wanton immaturity manages to keepGTA Vtreading the line of acceptable. There will be much pontificating on the morality of the game, and what its story says, but inGTA V, I see a game that knows its own reputation, owns it, and makes fun of itself in a nonetheless celebratory fashion.
Read the fullGrand Theft Auto Vreview.
Congrats to all the nominees! We’ll be announcing the official winner on Monday, December 24.
Here’s all the other nominee categories we’ve revealed so far:
- Nominees for Destructoid’s 2013 Game of the Year
- Destructoid’s game of the year 2013 community choice poll
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 portable game
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 PC exclusive
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 console exclusive
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 multiplatform
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 visuals
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 story
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 platformers
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 shooters
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 role-playing game
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 action game
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 fighting game
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 strategy game
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 adventure game
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 racing game
- Nominees for Dtoid’s best of 2013 competitive multiplayer
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 co-op multiplayer
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 character
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 soundtrack
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 add-on DLC
- Nominees for Destructoid’s best of 2013 original concept
In the mean time we wantyouto tell us which game this year was the best multiplatform title.