Road to Game of the Year 2013

Fresh Faces and New Experiences in 2013

Original and exciting experiences abound in 2013.

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

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
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

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
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

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

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
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
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.