Road to Game of the Year 2013

Fresh Faces and New Experiences in 2013

Original and exciting experiences abound in 2013.

by

The Road to GameSpot's Game of the Year continues. Yesterday, we looked at the best sequels 2013 had to offer. Today, we're diving deep into the year's brand new, original games. Will any of these feature heavily in our nominees for Game of the Year? You'll find out on December 9 when we unveil our official nominee lists. But for now, refresh your memory about 2013's original games by reading the list below!

Often the most exciting game experiences are the ones that are fresh and unexpected. And while it may seem that original games are becoming increasingly rare as the games industry focuses more heavily on its major franchises, there are still plenty of notable new experiences to be had, and not just in the indie games space. Below is a selection of the best original game IPs to be released in 2013. Which of these will become nominees for GameSpot’s Game of the Year categories? And will one of these games make it all the way and be named our Game of the Year?

Beyond: Two Souls

Beyond: Two Souls so easily melds story and mechanics that you become enamored with this young woman and her extraordinary life.

GameSpot Editor Tom Mc Shea

Developer David Cage thinks that not enough games explore the breadth of human emotion, but for many, the two main feelings associated with a David Cage game are either love or hate. Beyond: Two Souls is no exception, with GameSpot firmly landing on the “love” side for this PlayStation 3 exclusive, for this game hit us right in the emotions. Beyond is moving and exciting, and we can all stand to be moved by our gaming experiences more often.

Check out our review for Beyond: Two Souls.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

It's a story that's told with heart, elegance, and a lightness of touch that make exploring the vast vistas of its fairy-tale world utterly bewitching.

GameSpot Editor Mark Walton

If there were an award for the game that has reduced the most GameSpot staff to tears in 2013, it would be given to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Very few games have the emotional impact that Brothers has, but this game isn’t only about reducing hardened, cynical video game journalists to big crybabies. Brothers also has an interesting control scheme that lets you control its titular two brothers at the same time. So it hurts your mind and your heart.

Check out our review for Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us is a singular adventure that looks the downfall of humanity in the eyes and doesn't blink.

GameSpot Editor Tom Mc Shea

If the PS3-exclusive The Last of Us has taught us anything, it’s that fungal infections are serious business, and maybe that odd rash that keeps popping up is something you should see a doctor about. The Last of Us also shows us that mature games with serious themes have a place in the mainstream of video games and that the biggest games don't have to be military shooters. And it's not just a strong single-player campaign, but a unique and tense multiplayer that helps elevate The Last of Us into one of the year's must-play games.

Check out our review for The Last of Us.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

If you're even vaguely interested in the Metal Gear series or intelligent hack-and-slash games, do not pass up a chance to play this exciting and addictive hybrid.

GameSpot Editor Peter Brown

In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, there’s no problem big or small that can’t be solved by sticking a sword in it. Subtlety is not in this game’s nature. Where the legendary series it was spawned from celebrated the stealthy and strategic, Revengeance is the polar opposite, with cyborg Raiden slicing, dicing, and heavy guitar rock riffing his way through the game's ridiculously over-the-top gameplay.

Check out our review of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Ni no Kuni

Ni no Kuni is a stupendous game because there's so much to do in it, and because all of it is just so good.

GameSpot Editor Kevin VanOrd

With its cast of charming characters, deep creature-based combat, and hundreds of beasties to catch and train, Ni no Kuni is the modern Pokemon game on consoles many have been wishing for. The game also features art and designs from famed Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, making Ni no Kuni one of the year’s most visually distinctive games.

Check out our review of Ni No Kuni.

State of Decay

State of Decay serves up a near-constant barrage of suspense and immersion that leaves even the briefest jaunts away from your home base tinged with the threat of death.

GameSpot Reviewer Leif Johnson

When the zombie apocalypse does come, millions will look back and say, “Man, we should have played more State of Decay to prepare us for this.” While zombie games are common nowadays, State of Decay amps up the atmosphere and pressure thanks to its permadeath and real-time elements, giving us all an open-world zombie survival game that feels harrowing and real.

Check out our review of State of Decay.

Wonderful 101

This is an ambitious, funny, and inventive game that's keen to impress.

GameSpot Editor Martin Gaston

Amid all the hoopla of the recent PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launches, it’s easy to forget that the next generation of consoles actually kicked off last year with the launch of the Wii U. Perhaps it's the lack of compelling games that has led many to dismiss the Wii U, but great games are slowly coming out for Nintendo’s new console. Wonderful 101 is one such game, a hyperactive blend of Pikmin-like gameplay and crazy superheroes that is one of the standout games for Nintendo's home console.

Check out our review of Wonderful 101.

Tearaway

The immediate pull of Tearaway is the quality and charm of the visuals, sucking you in to what is a traditional 3D platformer at heart.

GameSpot Reviewer John Robertson

From the same studio that brought you the whimsical and charming Little Big Planet platforming series comes Tearaway, a whimsical and charming platformer for the PlayStation Vita. Not that the two share too many similarities apart from whimsy. Tearaway presents a unique world where you’re controlling an envelope traversing though a paper landscape. And unlike Little Big Planet, which let you customise worlds, Tearway focuses on letting you decide and create the look of the game's various characters.

Check out our review of Tearaway.

What original games caught your eye in 2013? Do you think a new IP has a chance against this year's sequels when it comes to GameSpot's Game of the Year deliberations? Sound off in the comments below! And join us tomorrow for part three of our Road to Game of the Year series, where we'll look at the top indie games of 2013.

Discussion

303 comments
rIVAL_sWORD84
rIVAL_sWORD84

i vote for all the games, cant decide which to choose

sandplasma
sandplasma

Beyond 2 souls and last of us are ridiculously similar.  I thought they were the same game for the longest..mostly due to the fact that the girls look exactly the same.

RobGrizz
RobGrizz

Revengeance should be with the sequels/reboots/spin-offs.


Not fresh

chyng85
chyng85

PS3 exclusives are there~ 

MarchingOrd3rZ
MarchingOrd3rZ

Beyond: Two Souls for GOTY. The amount of innovation alone graphically is amazing. Add an incredible story with deep, interesting characters and you have a complete game. 

conorhat
conorhat

Oh look, a bunch of games I never want to play!

smokeless_0225
smokeless_0225

From the list above....the award HAS to go to The Last of Us. However I'd vote it GotY if it were up to me. The single player campaign on that game topped any campaign I have ever played. Before TLOU my favorite game was FF7 for the PS1, lol.


The game has a decent multiplayer (nothing to run home about) but the best single player out there. Definitely worth playing if you haven't given it a shot imo.

BH14
BH14

2013 has been the best year for gaming on the PS3. There were so many great games on the PS3 like Bioshock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto V, Tomb Raider and The Last of Us. My vote for the best game of the year is The Last of Us.

EPaul
EPaul

Nice to see Ni No Kuni get some love, playing it right now and it's amazing. Should win RPGOTY hands down

Hackboski
Hackboski

from that list ... Ni No Kuni for me ...

wexorian
wexorian

i'm still curious how msgs is fresh face ....

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

I hope they don't go for a proper generic borefest of a game with no story.

It will give developers less of an incentive to actually make a good story. It will show them we don't care and that is the exact opposite of what this generation should be about.

Screw graphics, screw multiplayer, I want a story/adventure that hits so hard that I don't want it to end. Bioshock Infinite, Witcher 1 and 2, Final Fantasy (if you are into that style), Deus Ex, GTA, Half Life. 

All great at what they do, all have a variety of styles and gameplay but all great at telling a story, all great at plunging you into a world to the point where you never want to leave it again.

That should be the only option at this point. COD or BF may be fun to play multiplayer but they aren't GOTY worthy.

biokrysty
biokrysty

great games pretty bad some are exclusive :((


DanZillaUK
DanZillaUK

If all the games mentioned are put up to vote, I'd like to see The Last of Us get the top spot. it had everything. looked great, played great, sounded great but we all know it won't beat things such as CoD that have earned a monstrous fan base over the years. For quality in ALL categories worth judging a game however, in my opinion it beats out anything put out not just in 2013, but for perhaps the last 5 years.

superguy17
superguy17

And BioShock infinite isn't on this list?

zillaman101
zillaman101

These all look to be great games. I think MGR Revengeance just because it's a Hideo Kojima game, and Beyond Two Souls. Beyond was one of the most intriguing games I've ever played.

warriors30
warriors30

I can't believe State of Decay is on that list. Awesome. As rough around the edges as it was (speaking of the 360 version), SOD was probably the best zombie survival game for a pretty long time and my most played XBLA title of the year. 


Great list overall.

ADO300
ADO300

i played all of these games, and i freaking loved them all! 2013 was a great gaming year indeed!

obsequies
obsequies

so all the new games are on the playstation...And all the hits are multiplat sequals

Zombie8814
Zombie8814

No Tomb Raider??? That was the best game I played this year. Last of Us is the only game that belongs on this list. 


A Tale of Two Brothers? Puh-lease. That wasn't even a game, it was a demo.

santinegrete
santinegrete

Ok GS, just don't do the bracket thing. Have some criteria back.

santinegrete
santinegrete

My GoTY are some games that could be called retrograd, but they have their merits: Tales of Xillia and Metro Last Light. I'm waiting to play The Last of Us because Naughty Dog games are so streamlined that I find them simple and underwhelming. It's still the case with this last one?

dominer
dominer

Why the fuck is Beyond Two Souls featured in this?

mr_nee
mr_nee

- "xbox has better games"

Me: where??? 

joesguy
joesguy

What, all of them? Well I'm sorry that Barbie: Horse Princess didn't make the list.....

Boogy32
Boogy32

@biokrysty Yes! Exclusives.... God I hate exclusives. If we get to vote, I seriously don't know what to vote for in this category. I haven't played any of those games! And the only ones that I want to play are exclusives, and I don't have a Playstation 3, and neither will I buy one.

buddy1991
buddy1991

The last of us is the best game I've played since the shadow.of the collosus. I would love to see it win. It really deserves it.

bdiddytampa
bdiddytampa

@superguy17 It isn't a new IP....  it's on the sequels list...

obsequies
obsequies

@chad28_69 metal gear rising is. Thats like saying portal isn't a new franchise..its just name man. If it was called half-life-portal   would that make it any more different? No of course not..its a stupid name

buddy1991
buddy1991

Underwhelming? What games do you like? Anyways, the last of us is I credible. Play it.

monicker
monicker

I hated Uncharted 1 and 3, but loved Uncharted 2. The Last of Us was fantastic and the best thing Naughty Dog has put out.

corteztheg
corteztheg

yeah technically its a david cage spiritual successor making it technically a sequel (technically) to indigo prophecy or farenheit

stephenage
stephenage

@corteztheg This list has three Japanese games and two low budget downloadable titles...

biokrysty
biokrysty

you are right , and I won't buy either a ps3 just for few exclusive games

lazarius12
lazarius12

We wouldn't have games like Tearaway if we didn't have exclusives. Just like Azraelnone says above, companies need to design a game around a system once in a while to utilize all it has to offer. And if I may bring the Wii U into just one more conversation this holiday...Nintendo's system could benefit from having companies make something unique and exclusive that uses the GamePad in interesting ways.

Azraelnone
Azraelnone

@Boogy32 @biokrysty I prefer exclusives.  Allows studios to play to a system's strengths, and in my experience, a lot of truly great games have been exclusives.  (Halo and Fable on XBOX (Well, and PC I suppose but hey it's MS), B:TS, KH, Uncharted, and The Last of Us on Playstation, just to mention a few) 

Zombie8814
Zombie8814

The new Tomb Raider came out in 2013.

corteztheg
corteztheg

wow i really need to start eating in the morning again

Boogy32
Boogy32

@Azraelnone But couldn't any of those titles have been made for the other platforms? I think I heard something about how Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite, drew heavily on the resources (from a technical standpoint), yet they managed to release that game on both consoles and the PC. They should at the very least, be able to release it on the PC, given that the gaming PC in general has more powerful specs.

It just really rubs me the wrong way, when our very culture tells us that everyone are equals, yet in the gaming industry, only members of club Microsoft gets to play Halo. Well I payed for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 ultimate edition, yet I still don't qualify for the elitist club Microsoft?

Alright, so I guess someone would label me a member of the infamous "PC master race", yet I don't care that the PC has more powerful hardware. All I care about is playing games. All games! But I don't want to pay the equivalent of 400$, in my own country's currency, in order to also pay for the few games that I would actually like to play. Why can't I just buy them for my gaming PC?