Game of the Year 2013

Martin Gaston's Top 10 Games For 2013

Dota? I hardly knew her!

by

I have always been a PC gamer, really. There's a bit of faffing about, but at the end of the day, I just find a PC the most enjoyable way to play games. That has certainly affected the way I play console games, too: mostly at a desk, hooked up to a big monitor. But I'd also argue that the freedom the PC brings to development and distribution--and I certainly applaud Sony's and Microsoft's ongoing efforts to realise a similar culture on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One--ensures that my computer is regularly home to the most creative, imaginative, and ultimately impressive games. With 2013's game library, and Valve's SteamOS efforts on the horizon, I honestly think now is the perfect time for everyone to make sure they've got a half-decent gaming PC in their house.

Maybe it sounds funny, but my personal game of the year for 2013 was always going to be Dota 2, a game I started playing back in 2012. My time invested in the game now hovers around 500 hours. Valve's strategy game has become a daily fixture of my life, and it's probably the only game in the world that I simply couldn't live without. There's probably some level of a psychologically crippling addiction in that, to be fair. But games like Papers, Please and Path of Exile are also perfect examples of engaging and exhilarating experiences. I'd encourage anybody to check them out.

Dota 2 is my game of the year then, and that's mostly by virtue of the fact that it was "released" in 2013. But if we're being honest, it was my game of 2012, and will probably be my game of 2014. Such a thing would have been unthinkable to me a generation ago, as I was unwrapping my first Xbox 360, but the sheer number of ways we can consume and experience games now is genuinely amazing. The tear-jerking moments of The Last of Us were utterly captivating, and the breadth of Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto V was enough to make everyone forget about next-generation consoles for a few weeks back in September. When I combine wonderful experiences like that with other emerging genres--downloadable, mobile, free-to-play, indie, and other pigeonholing terms--I realise that gaming is as versatile and incredible as it was when I first received a copy of Sonic the Hedgehog as a child.

But the biggest surprise for me this year was the 3DS, a workhorse of a handheld which housed the most consistently impressive lineup of games in 2013. The cream of the crop was undoubtedly Link's invigorating and challenging return in A Link Between Worlds, but I had so many other great moments with the machine: planning out time-travelling family trees in Fire Emblem: Awakening, filling out a new Pokedex in Pokemon Y, and running around for days on end in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, to name a few. The 3DS really became an essential piece of kit this year.

Martin Gaston's Top 10

Discussion

24 comments
chyng85
chyng85

Totally agree with you Martin~ 

Zloth2
Zloth2

Release year is starting to get murky for PC, isn't it?  Thanks to all the big sales and nice mods, I find myself playing games released a year or two ago pretty often now.  The days were I play most games within a month or two of release are long gone.

KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

i want real news flooding my screen, not opinions of some hipster, wannabe gamer, "professional journalists" telling us what games they like. if i wanted to read crap like that, id just go to kotaku more often

divinejester
divinejester

Im sorry this dude has a Nintendo bias. He clearly likes rpg style games as evidence by Pokemon and Fire Emblem, and even Animal Crossing and Zelda, but no Ni No Kuni? No rpg from a non nintendo system, despite there being some notable titles.

Superzone
Superzone

The 3DS was so good this year.

shreddyz
shreddyz

e-cookie to the twentieth comment!

olwags
olwags

Great list. I just got a 3DS and am really excited to catch up on the solid games that came out this year. I never thought I'd get one until all of the awesome work done for it by Nintendo in 2013.

jacquelineferre
jacquelineferre

So glad to see Pokemon, Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem in one list!

stan_hg
stan_hg

@Zloth2 I play even older PC games now-a-days. 3-4 years old at avarage

martingaston
martingaston moderator

@KimCheeWarriorX that is one of the only times i have ever been described as a hipster! In real life I look far too untrendy. 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@KimCheeWarriorX 

Then you really are in the wrong webpage and website.

Gone are the days of bulletin-type sites, dude - they sink quickly nowadays for lack of Internet traffic.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@KimCheeWarriorX Yeah, it is pretty odd to see this pop up in the News section.  Still, it's simple enough to skip if you aren't interested.

martingaston
martingaston moderator

@divinejester I'm sorry, I didn't actually get a chance to play Ni No Kuni so I couldn't exactly put it on my personal list for the year. It does look wonderful though.