Game of the Year 2013

Eddie Makuch's Top 10 Games For 2013

2013 was a great year for games.

by

2013 was a year unlike any other for me. It was a year of diversification, as I played more games of varying genres and for more platforms than I can ever recall. Whereas in years past, I would generally gravitate toward one platform or genre above all others, in 2013, I branched out, tried new things, and had a blast. As a result, whittling the list down to 10 was a serious challenge.

I marveled at blockbusters like Battlefield 4 and Grand Theft Auto V, spending countless hours online with my buddies in the large-scale military shooter and wreaking havoc and destruction with my pals Michael, Franklin, and Trevor in Rockstar's acclaimed open-world game. I am a sucker for big-budget, large-scale entertainment across all mediums, and these two games lived up to (nearly) every ounce of expectation I had going in.

Gears of War: Judgment, from People Can Fly and Epic Games, was also a major highlight for me this year. I was enamored with the way its story played out through flashbacks, providing a glimpse into the franchise I know so well, but in a different and unique way. And its multiplayer component shook things up enough to make the experience feel fresh while retaining the core features that drew me to the series in the first place.

2013 was also the year that a video game finally made me cry. You guessed it, it was Naughty Dog's acclaimed PlayStation 3 action game The Last of Us that brought the waterworks forth from my eyes like water out of a faucet. (OK, that's an exaggeration.) The crying came after the end of the prologue chapter. If you've played the game, you know. It was an excellent (and painful) narrative device that kept me hooked for the duration of the campaign.

Continuing the narrative theme, Crystal Dynamics blew me away with its Tomb Raider reboot. It told a convincing and compelling origin story, tracing Lara's trajectory from an untested academic to a battle-hardened adventurer. I wanted more from the multiplayer mode, but that wasn't enough to bring the experience down for me.

But it wasn't all about big-budget blockbuster games for me this year. I was charmed by the stunning art and unique control mechanics of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. This tale of loss and redemption from Starbreeze Studios and Swedish director Josef Fares was unlike anything I've played before. And my faith in zombie games was restored after playing State of Decay, which emphasizes intelligent decision making through its permadeath feature.

On the portable side, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon stole my heart and entranced me with its puzzles and comically spooky atmosphere. It didn't hurt, either, that the game's hilarious animations kept a smile on my face throughout. It's too bad the Year of Luigi is coming to an end, but I'm sure we'll see Mario's younger brother again.

Since I am a glutton for punishment, Derek Yu's new version of Spelunky satisfied my need for frustration this year to great effect. If learning through failure is the best way to grow as a person, Spelunky should be taught in classrooms. This game is hard.

2013 also marked my modest return to PC gaming, fueled by Valve's free-to-play strategy game Dota 2. This game makes you think; it requires you to plan out your moves and execute without fault. And further, its free-to-play economy is balanced and fair, providing what should be an example for others going forward.

Eddie Makuch's Top 10

Discussion

14 comments
cboye18
cboye18

Eddie is THE troll of the year.


Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Just for those of you trolling here, the upcoming "Year in Review" section may just have Eddie's top-ten developments in the gaming industry. ;)

hystavito
hystavito

State of Decay, ahhh, I followed it very closely until launch and little while after as well.  I played it a little on 360 and it just wasn't what I and a lot of others expected.  Sure it's tougher than average due to things like the permadeath, but ultimately it felt like just another action game, with a little simple resource management and building thrown in.  That stuff was just so, contextual, so narrow in scope, and it really didn't give any sense of being survival.


I admit it, the game is very successful.  However, I think for a lot of the people that were interested in it, it succeeded for the wrong reasons, so to speak.  In terms of mass appeal, it did a great job of riding the line between hardcore/survival/realistic and typical action arcade-ish gamey stuff.  But, I think it stayed well on the arcade-gamey side and that is actually why people like it, not because of the other stuff which is often how it was described before release.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

Eddies top 10 Troll Bait articles! Lets see the list! 

Ah well. Maybe a christmas present?

burn_cooper
burn_cooper

love eddie's choices, agree with most of them! 

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

Eddie, news. Chop chop!

No, but seriously, none of you guys picked EA The Extraterrestrial Video Game Company. For shame.

Edit: Oh, no wait, you did.... For shame!

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

Unlike the GOTY lists I don't see any flame wars to be started.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

That's funny I was honestly just thinking an hour or 2 ago that I wish there were some actual editorials on GameSpot and I come back from break and here are like 10 articles. 

tomservo51
tomservo51

What about Eddie's top 10 news posts.