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Game of the Year 2013

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Decades have come and gone without an entry in the Zelda franchise reaching the heights of A Link Between Worlds. While such an accomplishment warms the heart of anyone who has dutifully stood by Link during his ups and down, it has little bearing on this prestigious award.

Just for a second, remove the nostalgic tingle of exploring a familiar version of Hyrule. Forget any sentimental attachment you may have for hookshots and bottled fairies. A Link Between Worlds is fantastic in its own right. It frees you of any tutorial shackles and sets you loose in a bustling world with only your own curiosity to guide you. Such unrestrained exploration is empowering. And when the many puzzles stumped us, it was all the more satisfying to figure out a solution using our own ingenuity.

You've seen our pick for game of the year--now tell us yours in our People's Choice poll!

Nintendo has finally realized the long-dormant potential of The Legend of Zelda, and created an incredible experience that will be admired for years to come.

Check out the Review

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Discussion

4225 comments
fire897
fire897

Gamespot made the right choice.

funktacious2
funktacious2

The Last of Us is one I haven't played yet, and I'm not really sure why I've waited. Maybe the hype got on my nerves, Naughty Dog hype to be more specific. I thought Uncharted 1 was fun, and that Uncharted 2 was amazing. And then Uncharted 3 was just great. So long story short, I don't think the franchise has enthralled me the way that it has for so many others. When I think of the Last of Us, I think great production quality, solid gameplay, and good story. So expect a great game when I actually play it, so the jury is still out on that one.


GTA V was a blast from the beginning, but as I got further and further along, the feeling I got from it was that there was a just a well crafted huge world, but why did there feel like there was so much emptiness in it. The game failed to capture the "wonder" that Vice City and San Andreas did for me, and it proved once again that bigger isn't always better. I loved how the environment looked, but it was the atmosphere that was lacking. I give the game props for moving in the right direction (away from GTAIV that is...), and crafting a fun approach to the story, and gameplay. However, this game will always lack that extra "something" that really has a lasting impression on you.


Fire Emblem Awaking was my biggest surprise this year. I love the Fire Emblem games so I was, of course, expecting a good game, but I was not expecting the love and attention the developers gave it. This game really felt like the "Fire Emblem" you always wanted. The story is fun, and kept me interested. The gameplay is very well balanced, features new and old are fine tuned, however, the greatest achievement is simply in the subtleties. From the attention given to making character models look cool, to the badass battle animations, and the banter between your allies, this game feels about as all around solid as it gets. And it to think I bought a 3DS for Pokémon!


Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is easily my most anticipated 2013 game that I have yet to play (maybe with ACIV being the only exception). Link to the Past is my favorite Zelda game by far. To me, it exemplifies what a game takes to be a timeless classic... meaning when I bought the game again on Gameboy advance it sucked me right back in its charming game world. It's those game where you know the story may not be engaging per say , but much like the case of Fire Emblem Awaking, you can be reminded how much an impact a game can have when it's quite simply just "fun". The game is just challenging enough to fell "right" and it had many fun options like exploring and looking for pieces of hearts or new items. Remember the first time you went in that secret waterfall, threw in your boomerang, and got the improved red boomerang? Yeah... that was awesome. I can't wait to play this game, so even before playing it, if it's anything like it's predecessor, I can see why it's game of the year.


Bioshock Infinite is my game of the year thus far. I've already typed enough so I'll keep it short and simple. This game had the most insane sense of atmosphere. The game world was so engaging, and had so much subtle touches that I've never played through a game so slow. I spent so much time just exploring every nook in cranny, listening to the recordings, and just trying to soak in as much of the game world as I could. Oh, and that story *goosebumps*, what a trip. The twist was so much fun to dive into that I feel like some players forgot how much of a blast the journey was. There are still very few games quite like Bioshock Infinite, which is the hurdle of the game industry. I don't just want a sense of good gameplay or story... I want an experience.

gangstabigbirdx
gangstabigbirdx

I would have went with The Last of Us, but Zelda is still a really good game. If Mario won I would have been fine too. Nintendo makes fine games. Although i really do think The Last of Us should have won (huge fan.)

WllDan7
WllDan7

I still have to get link between worlds. I did not play the game it is based off but luckily I got it last month for in November I have not played it yet but I will soon. Then after that I am getting this game. GTA 5 is probably my got. I loved last of us but gta 5 was just pure fun. But I know I am the only one who loves both games single players and multiplayer parts. So unlike some of you who are having meltdowns on this I will respect their choice.

Venom_Raptor
Venom_Raptor

What a load of s***, this game doesn't even come close to the likes of The Last of Us, Bioshock: Infinite or GTA V.

silvo16
silvo16

Welll deserved. The last of us deserved it too. GTA V NOT AT ALL.

delta5931
delta5931

I'm fairly certain now, that GameSpot is run by a bunch idiots sitting around a table, soiling themselves everytime a Zelda game gets released... And from what my friend told me, a bad Zelda game at that.

Foxxkp
Foxxkp

Beyond: Two Souls???

chyng85
chyng85

I read the game review 2nd time~

Seerix
Seerix

Next year, if possible, please bring back the special achievement awards (the original ones, not the last year's fiasco). They're fun, I'm sure lot of people like to read them and also compare results with previous years (i.e. best technical/artistic graphics, story, music, design, use of license etc.).

Thanks.

forcefactor13
forcefactor13

Wonderful year for games. I remember when Red Dead Redemption came out, it was pretty obvious that it would win. Compare that to this year, when with each new great game that comes out, you think, "Oh, THIS one will win GOTY." And in the end, Gamespot picked one kinda out of the blue for everyone - another top-notch game (I'm assuming; I haven't played it) that nobody paid much attention to because there were just so many top-notch games. Yay for 2013!

TheKokopelli
TheKokopelli

Wow, Zelda.  Last time I played that, I was around 10 or 12.

Gurzociurlo
Gurzociurlo

I wanted Bioshock Infinite to win... I love the Zelda series, but seriously, how can I buy the GotY edition of Bioshock if it doesn't win any GotY award?

souther_hill
souther_hill

I have nothing against Zelda, but they chose this game simply because choosing either GTAV or TLOU would make them too generic. What's more, it would pour more oil on an already universal war.

3D3
3D3

Gamespot always being the hipster. lol

Nzilla
Nzilla

ahhh, the game of the year comments.  where haters come to hate and fanboys love to fawn.  seriously, have these people played even a third of these games they don't like?  because just about every single one of them is awesome.  way to express love for the hobby you supposedly enjoy, with searing unfounded criticism...  i weep for humanity.

guicouto
guicouto

I feel that discussing if Zelda, or GTA, or TLOU, is the game of the year, is quite pointless. Gamespot chose one of this just because it is their place as a videogame media. But actually, its impossible to compare such different games, that aim different public. People should stop being so critical and enjoy games.

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

Makes you wonder if Gamespot is getting kickback from Nintendo.


Pong for GOTY 2014?

kingtrax
kingtrax

Zelda winning is fine, great.  It deserves it.  BUT where was Fire Emblem Awakening in the nomination field Gamespot?  You nominate Two Sisters and Home Alone but not Fire Emblem??  GS stop smoking the crack.

jer_1
jer_1

It's a pick alright. Not my pick but well done...

Willie_Dynamite
Willie_Dynamite

Wow what a refreshing pick!  Given the direction the industry has been going in I'm surprised GTA or TLOU didn't just win by default.  With masterpiece games like Mario 3D World and Rayman Legends not selling as well as they should be, my thinking here well validated.  A true GOTY doesn't always have to be gritty with realistic violence.  Hopefully the industry will move in a direction focusing more on creativity and gameplay rather than centering games around bloody shock value.


That being said I have a question for Sony.  When are we finally going to see another Crash Bandicoot?

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Venom_Raptor 

The only 2 things that A Link Between Worlds doesn't "come close to the likes of" is the graphics (although art style is great) and story, thankfully gaming is far more than that and A Link Between Worlds absolutely excels at everything else it does, which is why GameSpot gave it GOTY while many other sites nominated it, it nearly won GameTrailers's GOTY.

gangstabigbirdx
gangstabigbirdx

@Venom_Raptor Why do you have to complain? I would have picked The Last of Us, but it's their opinion. Chill out, it's just one reward.... -_- 

WllDan7
WllDan7

@Venom_Raptor it takes more than pixels to make a game great even though the games you mentioned are great. Sometimes it just goes down to peoples opinion. And you can still pick your own game of the year. So stop losing it and respect the winner.

ABXInferno
ABXInferno

@delta5931 I'm completely certain that your brain is run by a bunch of idiotic micro-organisms who automatically calls an M-rated game "good" and thinks an E-rated game as "kiddy". Oh, and what if your friend told you to jump off a cliff, would you listen?

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@delta5931 

"It's a terrible game, I've been told because everything I hear is absolute fact." 


Last I checked, Skyward Sword got a 7.5 from GameSpot, totally sounds like "soiling themselves everytime a Zelda game gets released." seriously, the idiotic statements the community comes up with.

Master_Of_Fools
Master_Of_Fools

@delta5931 A Link Between Worlds is the best Zelda game since Windwaker on the Gamecube. Better then Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, am I missing any? don't think so...Anyway Zelda is my favorite franchise in gaming it was an amazing game and it is amazing that Gamespot of all places gave Nintendo a win. 

zebesxhunter
zebesxhunter

@delta5931 Your friend is extremely wrong. A Link Between Worlds is truly amazing. A masterpiece. My favorite Zelda game and one of my favorite games of all time. Unless you don't like challenging games, then I could understand why someone wouldn't like the game.

chyng85
chyng85

@Seerix Yeah totally agree~ By the way I love reading "Best game no one play" and "Worst game everyone play" section, it's really interesting~!

Welverin
Welverin

@souther_hillI haven't played GTA5, but aLBW is easily on par with tLoU, and right now I'd give aLBW the edge, but then I have played it more recently.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@souther_hill 
I have a theory, maybe GameSpot chose this game because the editor's genuinely believed that it was their "Game of the Year?" 


Or is that too hard too believe? Does everything now have to be about hits and causing flame wars? 

TheZeroPercent
TheZeroPercent

@guicouto 

--they chose it to create 'heated' reactions(troll)

--which creates MORE trolls

--which increases the 'site hits'

--which increases how much they can charge for their advertisement spots


--or in other words

--dey trollin to pay dey baby mamas and such 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@kingtrax 

You just have been reminded that you are not the one making the decisions. ;)

cpay
cpay

@Willie_Dynamite People don't like the Last of Us just because of its realism and violence. People like it because of its emotional depth, atmosphere and story which far surpasses anything like Zelda or Mario. Zelda and Mario are like comfort foods- they are awesome and enjoyable on the surface but don't have much depth. Playing The Last of Us is entirely different. It makes us question our beliefs, think about our world and hold our loved ones just a bit closer. Zelda and Mario are toys. The Last of Us is art. 

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@chyng85

I remembered the "Best game no one played" and that's a great one to have since it shows the community some hidden gems out there, something I'm always willing to support.

TheKokopelli
TheKokopelli

@btroofI think I'll pass,  This is something I would give my 10-year old or to one of my nieces and nephew.


abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@TheZeroPercent

I love how it's considered trolling just because it's a Nintendo title that got GOTY, you idiots will ALWAYS come up with the most ridiculous reasons to criticize and invalidate Nintendo. 

Zero-regret
Zero-regret

@cpay @Willie_Dynamite If you have played any of the Zelda games after the first rwo you should realize how great the story is in each of them in fact the Zelda series has three parallel times that occur based on the ending of Ocarina of Time is that not story. The most touching story I saw in a game was In Skyward Sword the point of the game is not to save the world but to find the girl you love through out the whole game Link is looking for Zelda and saves the world just so he can get to her and in Windwaker Link starts his journey to save his sister who had been abducted. Don't get me wrong The Last of Us is a great game but other games have touching storys as well.

Master_Of_Fools
Master_Of_Fools

@cpay @Willie_Dynamite Zelda has depth...Not a crap ton but it lasts you 40+ hours on the home console Zelda's that's longer then TLOU. Now if 40+ hours isn't depth I don't know what is.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Master_Of_Fools

I love how the "M" rating is taking so literally, to the point that people would actually use it to validate themselves, yet the "E" rating gets interpreted, when that rating should be the one taken literally. I've found WAY more "E" and "T" rated games to be more "mature" than most "M" rated games, it's why I want the ESRB rating to be like the PEGI system, where it's just numbers, not terms. 

VincentLAURiA
VincentLAURiA

What exactly is wrong with the majority of games on a system being rated E? It's E for "Everyone," after all; shouldn't that be a good sign rather than the majority of games being rated M or something? It's not a MAXIMUM age limit...

TheKokopelli
TheKokopelli

@JoostinOnline @TheKokopelli @btroof  Yeah, and people have told me the Twilight series is a literary revolution for the vampire/werewolf genre.


Sorry, but Link looks like a child; it's on a platform geared towards younger audience; the overwhelming majority of the games for said platform are rated E or E10.How can I think anything but a child’s game with this?This reminds me of the people trying to convince me to pick up the Pokeman games.

JoostinOnline
JoostinOnline

@TheKokopelli@btroofIf you think that Zelda games are just for kids, then you really don't know what you're talking about.  I suggest picking up Twilight Princess.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@souther_hill

I know you said you don't mind, but your opinion is shared with way too many others on this site.