Game of the Year 2013

Shaun McInnis' Top 10 Games For 2013

Correcting past mistakes.

by

I realize that choosing Spelunky as my overall game of the year has a slightly self-indulgent quality to it. But you know what? I'm OK with that. I know that the Vita version of this wonderful, befuddling, brutal platformer is technically a port of last year's Xbox 360 game, hence why it's not eligible for our official awards. (These personal lists are more relaxed about such technicalities.) But I never could get into Spelunky when it came out on Xbox 360. I was too scared, too much of a baby. And all that changed thanks to this year's Vita version.

It was Tokyo Game Show 2013, and three of my fellow GameSpot editors had just downloaded Spelunky on their Vitas in preparation for the long train ride to the convention center. They needed a fourth to get a full co-op game going. This, they told me, was true co-op. Everyone has their own screen. Everyone can go wherever they want within a level, unbound to the match host. It made the Xbox 360 shared-screen co-op look like a proof of concept in comparison. Scared as I was, I gave in and downloaded it.

This turned out to be quite the watershed moment, in retrospect. Co-op Spelunky, as it exists on the Vita, is a thing of inviting beauty. It was so much sloppy fun that I didn't even care how little progress we were making. We were dying constantly, but having an absolute blast. Co-op on the 360 was an interesting idea, but being tethered to the party leader was so restricting. This was liberating. This was pure madness, and I loved every moment of it.

It was enough to make me realize that I could be terrible at Spelunky and still have a good time. And so, I began to learn. I pushed myself from the caverns to the jungle and beyond. Familiarizing myself with each new world's treacherous pitfalls was difficult, but immensely rewarding. Spelunky is the sort of game where you always feel like you're progressing, learning some dark new secret, and that sensation is enough to overcome the constant death. Because in this game, death is not failure. It's a small step forward.

I never could get into Spelunky when it came out on Xbox 360. I was too scared, too much of a baby. All that changed thanks to this year's Vita version.

When I finally beat Spelunky's final boss, I was ecstatic. And yet, having used shortcuts, I knew I could do better. After a few more days of trying, I did it. I beat Olmec on a single run, and it was one of the most triumphant gaming achievements in my life. Here I was, someone who hates difficult games and will quite often play on easy mode when I'm just in it for the story, watching the credits roll on one of the most vicious platformers I've ever seen.

That was months ago, and I'm still learning. I'm still trying to beat the secret hidden world. Seemingly every run reveals some little detail or tactic I wasn't aware of before. And that's before you get into the new Daily Challenge mode, which gives you even more incentive to come back and try to rack up as much cash as you can within a single run. It's the type of game that consumes your thoughts even when you're not playing it. Yes, it's difficult. Yes, it will break you. But when it does, you will come back a better, stronger person. Also, you can let a dog lick your face, and that's pretty cool.

So, that's Spelunky. You'll notice that I also included nine games on this list that are not Spelunky. Assassin's Creed? Hey, that game was pretty good. Ahh, and Zelda. Loved Zelda. Seeing DmC on here might surprise you, but boy did I have a wonderful time with it. And Rogue Legacy. Rogue Legacy! What a great harmony between roguelike permadeath and role-playing game leveling. So clever. So fun.

Oh, you want to see the whole thing? Well, here you go!

Shaun McInnis's Top 10

Discussion

51 comments
Daan Van Belle
Daan Van Belle

Why AC so high? It still filled with annoying bugs like the previous games. Like Ubisoft is too lasy to do something about it. AC is waaaaayyy overrated.

Tuhtom Duncan
Tuhtom Duncan

#Bioshock #Infinite was more 11 so they could not groupie it with these games.

Kellar El-arebie
Kellar El-arebie

its 8 so ? its great but not amazing and that IS THE OPINION of the person that played it

Kenny Loh
Kenny Loh

don't complains, because it rated by the random site like gamespot lol

Kenny Loh
Kenny Loh

it rated by gamespot, so we know the results lol

penpusher
penpusher

It always amazes me how people get their knickers into a twist over a bunch of NUMBERS!


There's a whole article here, and infact each review has an entire article with it, and all you people concentrate on is which number the game got? Sense this makes not.

Lee Bailey
Lee Bailey

It always amazes me how people get their knickers into a twist over a bunch of NUMBERS!

Oussama Jaballah
Oussama Jaballah

The legend of zelda 9 The last of us 8 I don't want to live on this planet anymore -_-

Reggy Ridwan
Reggy Ridwan

What the heck Guamecale is better than DMC you gotta be kidding me

Brandon Buhl
Brandon Buhl

no xbox games biased Joking we all no xbox had no games

Tobias Krupp
Tobias Krupp

Look at all those XBox exclusives! Look at them!

Eulices Nicot
Eulices Nicot

That TLoU score will live on history forever hahaha

Kieran Fargher
Kieran Fargher

What does it take to get a 10 at gamespot? Surely the last of us is better than DMC or black flag?

Nuha Jubail
Nuha Jubail

The Last of Us is only great? What??

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

Nice to see Brothers getting some love. That game is incredible. Its a truly unforgettable experience.

Restivus
Restivus

Another member joins the "I could be terrible at Spelunky and still have a good time" club!

heartindarkness
heartindarkness

it is funny how shaun sorta lks like the guy in spelunky :D

heartindarkness
heartindarkness

@shaunmc@heartindarknesslol now that you mention it you do look like him too but with less mustache :D but i meant the one you play with (don't know the name nvr played the game )