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Game of the Year 2013

3DS Game of the Year 2013 Winner

Which game reigns supreme for the 3DS this year?

The Legend of Zelda has seen plenty of interpretations, but at the core of each game (more often than not) is a young hero struggling to break the cycle of the past. With each Zelda game comes familiarity--that's part of the charm--but rarely does Nintendo opt to play with the series' formula as readily and gleefully as it has with A Link Between Worlds.

This handheld adventure weaves together the best elements of the series--exploration, puzzles, and beautiful, considered combat--with such flair and panache that you'll be thinking of Hyrule's nooks and crannies long after you shut the lid on the 3DS. Its core feature, the ability for Link to turn into a painting and traverse the walls, throws open a whole new perspective that makes you look at Hyrule in a new way. The dungeons pay homage to predecessor A Link to the Past, but each carefully constructed corridor is a bountiful, fresh experience for newcomers and veterans alike. You could define it as a sequel, but that wouldn't do it justice: A Link Between Worlds is so much more than that.

It's the most imaginative title in the series for a good long while, and a game so quintessentially Nintendo that it reminds us why we love them so much. Whereas Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword felt burdened by the series' lofty and weighty history, A Link Between Worlds feels revitalized, spurred on, and freed by it. If only all games could ripple with as much excitement and imagination as this one.

Discussion

243 comments
ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

Zelda beat GTA that was not expected. But I'm almost willing to buy a 3DS to play it so it probably deserved it.

Atermi
Atermi

Yay! A true winner! Pokemon was good too, and SMT4 with both EOs were also great. But Zelda stands one head above them.

squal132
squal132

Beat it last night and man is it good!

Zevvion
Zevvion

No surprise here. That game is amazing.

chyng85
chyng85

Proud for 3DS owner~

rey2
rey2

I've dedicated a couple of weeks playing Fire Emblem: Awakening a way back.  Definitely worth it.  I'd pick Zelda: ALBW, Pokemon X and Y a close second.  Yet to play Bravely Default which did not make the 3DS games nominations cut-off.  

eelektrik
eelektrik

Fire Emblem Awakening and A Link Between Worlds are two of the best games on the 3DS, and Pokemon X/Y sounds pretty great but I haven't played it. Still, regardless of which game won GOTY I think we can all agree that the 3DS has had a great year.

Fallensting
Fallensting

All you guys talking about Awakening I thought were talking about Link's Awakening instead of Fire Emblem. People seem to have forgotten that game...

Twin-Blade
Twin-Blade

Knew Zelda would win, and deservedly so. I enjoyed Awakening, but it really was a fairly standard strategy game without a lot of depth with a waifu simulator, the latter aspect being the thing I see most talked about, Yeah, Tharja is cool and all, but I wouldn't call it GotY material.

Notelessinferno
Notelessinferno

I love me some Zelda, and the puzzles were a lot better then those in Skyward Sword, but Awakening was a fresher and overall a way more immersive experience for me. It's sad to see that Bravely Default wasen't on here, only because it came out a week ago here in EU, GS haven't even reviewed it yet. Bravely Default is everything that made Final Fantasy 1 to 6 great, and I just love the FF9 refrences in the game. The soundtrack is possibly the best I have ever heard in any 3ds game to date. But Nevertheless i personally got more from both FE:A and Bravely DF so Zelda was a third place for me personally. 

Sanligo
Sanligo

Looks like the 3DS had the best titles of all platforms this year. Maybe I should think about getting one...

ruythalacker
ruythalacker

In my opinion 3DS had the best games this year.

AceJakk
AceJakk

I've almost finished A Link Between Worlds and it is a strong title, but I would have given this to Fire Emblem.

uglypinkmoose
uglypinkmoose

not surprised but the 3DS had one of the best nominee lists 

Lambchopzin
Lambchopzin

Really could have made a case for all of the games on this list, my choice would have been Fire Emblem but it's hard to argue against, in my opinion, the best modern Zelda game.

Stebsis
Stebsis

Shame that Bravely Default isn't here, definitely my GOTY, IMO the best Final Fantasy game to come out in almost a decade :D

TacticaI
TacticaI

Is there going to be no user GOTY voting?

Ultra_Taco
Ultra_Taco

Luigi's mansion got in the nominations for GOTY? Maybe it isn't deserving of a 6.5 after all.

DoomSky
DoomSky

Fire Emblem was fantastic but I'm still playing Advance Wars: Dark Conflict. My 3DS library wont be right till I have a sequel of that! 

redskins26rocs
redskins26rocs

Well deserved from what I have seen, too bad I dont have a 3ds :(

It had a great year


wowwow27
wowwow27

I so happy!  the wall mechanic, and renting was not terrible at all, i was a little worried.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Replace Luigi's Mansion with Rune Factory 3, and you'd have my top 5 3DS picks for 2013.  Not sure what order I would rank them, though.

Michael Nguyen
Michael Nguyen

dude you are wrong Zelda is like every other zelda game out there. its repetition over and over but not Fire Emblem they added a lot of new elements to it

JSusie
JSusie

3DS had a really good year

PinkSpider79
PinkSpider79

How on earth did luiji's mansion 2 get 6 out of 10

pulamata
pulamata

thats bulls, played zelda and aint the best 3ds game, it was just good game to me but fire emblem awakening was awesome!!

Slim_Lyrics
Slim_Lyrics

It's Pokemon for me. Got yhe Loz 3dsxl at target on black friday. I can't stop playing Pokemon Y and haven't even touched the copy of LoZ that came with the system.

Chris Jarvina
Chris Jarvina

Awakening does not deserve GOTY. While it may have been better than the last two DS entries, it's horrible compared to almost every other game in the franchise. ALBW, however, is in my opinion the best zelda in over a decade, possibly since the Oracle games.

FaustXII
FaustXII

"theres never a day that I don't wake up, that I, that I don't think about it." *sociopathic unfeeling sigh*

Chris Jarvina
Chris Jarvina

You're just mad because someone nicked your door

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

@SanligoNow is the best time to do it; NIntendo is really taking advantage of the popularity of the 3ds and are creating plenty of bundles. I myself bought the lugis mansion one from best for only 150 bucks.

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert moderator

@Stebsis Bravely Default missed the cutoff point (end of November) for UK/US release. Based on everything we're hearing about it, there's a good chance it'll show up in next year's awards. :)

SR71halo
SR71halo

@Ultra_Taco It was always deserving of more than a 6.5, even the review doesn't match the score.  They must have realized that Carolyn's review was a complete joke and nominated it in spite of her score.  I don't think it deserved to win overall, but it's nice to see it nominated and get some recognition around here.

rtircoklled
rtircoklled

@PinkSpider79 ikr it deserved a better score

wowwow27
wowwow27

@pulamata portables are generally a younger audience,  fire emblem is good, but it coulda been on the wii u.

AceJakk
AceJakk

@wowwow27@pulamataFire Emblem Awakening on the Wii U would make me finally purchase a Wii U.  I just haven't had the necessary push to get one yet.