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Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2016

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A couple weeks ago, I started my annual trek into the full release calendar for the new year. Thinking it would only take me, at most, half a week's work, factoring in life lol, I quickly realized that the games of 2016 were set on throwing my expectations out the window; just when I thought I had seen it all, I would find another master list that had even more games on it. Suffice it to say, there are an overwhelming amount of titles slated for 2016 (especially when you factor in all platforms), and while many will inevitably get delayed, at the onset, it's still impressive and exciting to have so much to look forward to. So after creating my own master list, I counted a total of 43 games! Way too many. Then began the arduous process of researching (many of them) and somehow narrowing it down to only 10. After finally locking in that last game, I was again surprised, this time to see that some of my delayed titles from last year (i.e. Final Fantasy XV) narrowly missed the mark this time around, and others I thought were shoe-ins—Horizon Zero Dawn especially—didn't make the cut for me at all. But the aspect that floored me the most was how many games I had never heard of prior to researching essentially stole the show. So after many hours of searching and much deliberation, here are the 10 games I am the most exited to play in 2016.

1. Mirror's Edge Catalyst

One of my top 10 favorite games of all time, the original Mirror's Edge stunned me when it came out way back in 2008. I loved the minimalist, Swedish level design, the clarity of the world; I immediately fell in love with the soundtrack, being an electronic music composer myself. Not only did it feature killer uptempo tracks but some memorable, more atmospheric ones too. But the main feature of Mirror's Edge that secured it a spot in my hall of fame was the freerunning in first person. Right from the start it felt unique, fluid, and exciting. It didn't matter to me whether Faith was running full bore or just accelerating, the feel of moving quickly up walls and sliding under barriers was always a rush. And unlike many gamers/critics, I actually enjoyed the gunplay. Based on her background and profession, it made sense Faith wouldn't be a pro with firearms, but I also didn't think the controls were unwieldy either. DICE's always amazing gun sound effects also helped.

Having initially rented it, I ended up beating Mirror's Edge in about a week and returning it. But I loved my experience with it so much I went out and bought it a short time later. There were many times it looked like a sequel would never happen but there were also small flickers of possibility. Even though it has taken almost 8 years for it to materialize, I'm still so stoked for Catalyst. The now open world, the improved fidelity, and refined mechanics all make for what is undoubtedly my number 1 most anticipated game of this year.

2. No Man's Sky

In the summer of 2014, I attended my first E3 ever. Working as a game tester for a large and very busy publisher at the time, I was only allotted one day to take everything in. Since I had so little time to work with, I mostly checked out the games I already knew about and those expected to launch in the near future. Little did I know the whole time what was going on with a little game called No Man's Sky. It wasn't until probably the next day when I was watching E3 footage from home that I started hearing about all the buzz surrounding it. But to be honest, I wasn't really blown away by it at first like so many others were. It wasn't until I started watching actual gameplay vids, not just trailers, that I realized this was totally up my alley: exploration on a scale perhaps unlike any game before, fun-looking space combat, and the chance to personalize near whole worlds were the aspects that converted me most. It may end up lacking in a few areas (story for one) but I'm hoping the prospect of being able to have near limitless freedom, in space, is more than enough to make up for a couple shortcomings.

3. Hellblade

I have played some of developer Ninja Theory's previous titles: a little DMC and beat Enslaved, which I've enjoyed the most so far. Ironically I guess, I have never played their very first game - Heavenly Sword. It doesn't mean I won't in the future, but with Hellblade peaking my interest more right now, it won't be for a while. ;) My experience with their next game has actually been somewhat similar to No Man's Sky—followed early development for a little while, then, when it seamed like it wound't be coming out for quite a long time, forgot about it for a long while. I didn't even have any plans to put it on my Top 10 list this year. Again, what changed everything for me was watching one of the latest gameplay vids. I was quickly struck by the very dark tone of both the story and some of the world design, something I love but you don't always see a lot in games. The combat looks pretty intense and I am intrigued by how it is set up to occur at unique camera angles. There's still a lot that Ninja Theory hasn't divulged about Hellblade, but I've definitely seen enough now to know I'm sold.

4. Hyper Light Drifter

A carry over from last year's list, Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D action adventure in the vein of Zelda, at least with regards to level traversal. The game captured my imagination early on with one of its trailers. Alongside some instantly mesmerizing EM, it showcased vibrantly cool-colored landscapes blended with futuristic architecture. While the art style definitely feels throwback in certain ways, it also effortlessly breathes more modern vibes. But the trailer didn't show a ton of combat. Just a few days ago, I found a couple of really good gameplay videos that amply showed it off, and all I can say is, it's definitely refreshing when gamplay can actually match the awesomeness of a trailer, right! ;) Combat is a nice mix of quick sword and gunplay, with a decent variety of (guns at least) to choose from. One of the best features of the combat is the ability to deflect enemies' bullets with your sword, even right back at them. Yea, that's right..with your sword! How awesome is that!?

5. Draugen

This is one of the "new" games I first found out about while looking at a release calendar for this year. There isn't a ton of content out there about it but after reading the general synopsis alone, I knew Draugen would be something special. It's takes place in the 1920s in the deep fjords and mountains of Norway (sold after reading that part by itself), and follows an American foreigner who ends up in the region while searching for a missing friend, I believe. This leads to a dark and mysterious tale, full of suspense and horror (sold twice over). What's also especially cool about Draugen is the fact that it incorporates a lot of Scandinavian, Norse, and even Icelandic, mythology, folklore, and legends! Can't wait for this one to come out!

6. Headlander

I actually saw a little bit about this game somewhere online last year, but wasn't initially impressed. While researching this time around, I totally fell for this humorous, hip little game. Funny how that happens, huh. It's about this dude who is the last human survivor in an alternate version of our universe where control is in the hands of robots. The thing that's different about this otherwise pretty common scenario is that Mr. Survivor only has his head left. Yep. But he can land it onto different robot bodies to more conveniently move through environmental puzzles and ultimately escape (and maybe get his body back in the process?) Along with the zany premise, the art style of Head Lander is also somethin' else, featuring a double coat of 1970s sci-fi styling and atmosphere. Oh, and there are big, blue laser gun battles goin' on too. Way too cool.

7. Slain

Another found gem from my recent searching, Slain pretty much appeals mostly to one type of gamer—likes to wear a lot of black, very long, greasy hair, watches a lot of gruesome horror movies, and especially important, is a hardcore metal fan. lol Seriously though, while Slain will definitely draw in quite a few gamers who simply love to play stuff with a heavy dose of gore, it is definitely a love letter to all things heavy metal. The main character design, level design, and even the enemy design all scream particularly 80s metal themes. And of course the soundtrack is one long metal extravaganza. Otherwise, Slain also features puzzles and big bosses, all in the name of killing said overlords for reasons that can only be explained by...metal.

8. Mafia III

This one is a weird one for me. I had definiately heard the announcment late last year that Mafia III was coming in 2016, and had even heard quite a bit about the premise—an orphan, Vietnam vet in the late 60s returns to his home town of New Orleans, LA to find heaps of trouble and gets tied up with the "black" mafia. Sounds pretty out there for a Mafia game, doesn't it? Well, I really liked Mafia II, but hearing all that about III kinda turned me off from the start. Low and behold, the game is simply awesome, putting it tamely. I recently watched a pretty long gameplay video with developer commentary and was blown away. The world detail and art style are impressive and pretty spot on for the location (I've been there once). The combat allows for a lot of different styles of play, stealth included, and the main character is just bad-ass. Definitely a pleasant surprise.

9. Eitr

Stumbled on this little game as well while researching upcoming releases, and it's definitely a pretty interesting mix. Kinda Souls-esque, with a Diablo-style loot system, but it definitely has a very cool art style that is unlike the aforementioned games. Something akin to Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, but I would say with a little more finesse. The story also sounds interesting, having you play as a Shield Maiden who is trying to discover her fate after Loki does, well what Loki does best—cause mischief of course.

10. Rain World

Last but certainly not least is Rain World. I also recently found out about this one and was captivated from the get-go. An unusual-looking slugcat (you heard me right) is trapped in a rain-soaked, industrial/post-apocalyptic-looking world, trying to get back to the rest of his family...interesting stuff, huh. The vibe and atmosphere are very palpable in this one and I especially love the level design. Plus, the stark, little slugcat is animated in crazy, realistic ways. You gotta see it to believe it.

Feast and Famine in the Virtual Wasteland

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2015 was a year in gaming marked by, among things, a strong blast of the post-apocalyptic. My favorite series of all time - Fallout - finally saw a sequel, though some doubted and scoffed at my early 2015 prediction (see last year’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Games post), and Mad Max smashed my senses, both with popcorn AND with controller in hand. Yet, for as strong an impression as these titles left on my mind, there remained a near bottomless pit where many other genres should have found root. Sure there were your FIFAs and Call of Dutys, and yes, your not-so-annual Witchers, but when I looked back on the year, heck, even looking at it mid-year, I couldn’t help but see a sheer drop-off in the amount of good games in 2015, compared to 2014. And while some may throw out the old “quality over quantity” card, to me, the 2nd full year of a new console/generation cycle just naturally warrants more games than the 1st. Regardless of expectations and despite a whole ½ of my most anticipated games getting delayed, there were still a few other titles that not only stuck around when the sandstorms came, they also flourished. Here now are my picks for the best and worst games of 2015.


Most Over-hyped: Evolve

Nominees: 1) Need for speed, 2) Rocket League (could warrant a whole separate post), 3) Star Wars: Battlefront, 4) Destiny (2 expansions)

Worst Bugs: Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume One

Nominees: 1) Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5, 2) Batman Arkham Knight’s PC version, 3) Ultra Street fighter 4 (PS4 port), 4) Raven’s Cry

Most Disgusting Business model: Pretty much all of Konami’s moves last year

Nominees: 1) Evolve’s insane amount of launch day mdlc and other core locked off content, 2) charging $50 for Transformers: Devastation when it only has 5 Autobots and not a single playable Decepticon, 3) stripping the entire campaign from COD: Black Ops III last-gen versions shortly before launch, 4) Destiny, enough said


Best Box Art: The Order: 1886

Nominees: 1) Until Dawn, 2) SW: Battlefront, 3) Xenoblade Chronicles X, 4) Bloodborne

Most Memorable Moment: Fallout 4’s opening cinematic

Nominees: 1) seeing The Order: 1886’s in game graphics for the first time, 2) defeating Father Gascoigne in Bloodborne after hours of dueling, 3) trying to survive a night storm for the first time in Mad Max, 4) all the laugh out loud moments in Tales from the Borderlands

Main Game I Wish I Could Have Played: SOMA

Nominees: 1) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, 2) Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, 3) Galak-Z, 4) Axiom Verge


5. Tales from the Borderlands (episodes 2-4)

I honestly didn't expect much from this episodic take on the series. For one, it felt like a huge cash cow, initially releasing at a time when Gearbox/2K were, in my humble opinion, greatly over-saturating the market with Borderlands products (amidst a flurry of Pre-Sequel content), and two, I really didn't think Telltale could translate the series' humor and especially its combat into a quasi point-n-click, choose your own adventure. But to my surprise, not only did they do it justice; they overall nailed it! (My wife) and I busted out laughing so many times, it could have easily rivaled the funny frequency in Borderlands 2. The combat was well-integrated and in some ways, the story-telling was even better than what good 'ol Gearbox n company cranked out in 2. Everything just fit together real nice-like.

4. Bloodborne

Bloodborne blew me away by its unique and mesmerizing art style and creature design more than anything else. It was enough for me to keep slogging through attempt after attempt (after attempt) at moving past the same areas but dying increasingly-frustratingly each time. In fact, though I am no 'Souls' Veteran by any stretch of the imagination, I had read prior to Bloodborne's release that it would be a little easier than the others in the series. I honestly feel the game is wayy and I do mean wayyyy harder than it needs to be. It was the only reason it didn't make the number 3 spot on my Top 5 of the year.

3. The Order: 1886

Yea, everybody knows the game is pretty short for a $60 price tag considering the amount of cut scenes in it, and yea there are a fair amount of QTEs in there as well, but honestly, all I can say is, if you wrote it off entirely by jumping on that bandwagon, you are definitely missing out. I got The Order for $40 with a gift card at launch (truthfully, more what it was worth brand new) and have overall, really enjoyed what I've played so far. (And no, I don't just mean the first chapter. I'm towards the end of the story; some other games came out (esp. Bloodborne) that I wanted to get into instead for a while). But seriously, I'd give The Order the prize for best technical graphics featured in a game last year, easily; the combat is fun, and it has an interesting, mysterious story. What's not to love!?!

2. Mad Max

This was on my tracked list for a while after it was first announced. Then, after the lengthy delay to late 2015, it kinda fell off the radar for me (also partly because some of the early preview vids just didn't grab me). But I ended up Red Boxing it a month after launch, and pretty much instantly fell in love, big time..I knew it was a must buy. Ended up getting it as a Christmas gift from the wife a few months later and have logged over 50 hours in it so far. What do I love the most about it you may ask? Probably the fact the Avalanche (the dev) really fleshed out the world (gorgeous and gritty at the same time) and especially the gameplay with a TON of RPG elements. In fact, I would really term the game an RPG overall. Oh, and the car combat is in-your-face awesome/never gets old. I liked this game so much in the end, in fact, that it barely took 2nd place to my GOTY. Great job Avalanche!


#1. Fallout 4

"Know Your Limits"

F4 (as I often call it) is a very interesting beast for me. Coming into this game, I couldn't help but compare it to my all time favorite, not just in the series, but any game ever - Fallout 3 (and to a slightly lesser extent, New Vegas). At the same time, I knew, especially after starting to actually play F4, that making that comparison wasn't totally..shall we say..practical. I mean, F4 looks quite a bit better than 3, it has quite a few gameplay features that 3 doesn't have, and it's a lot, LOT bigger, at the very least clocked gameplay hours-wise (400 vs. 100). But I think that this size factor may actually be the main reason why, so far, I'm not liking F4 as much as I thought I would. Why? I think it's simply too big for its own good. I mean, I've actually put in over 100 hours so far, but am only half way through the main story, and moreover, have only explored 1/8th of the map. And this is coming from a gamer that LOVES to explore, more than anything else. What I'm saying here is that overall I've enjoyed what I've played of it so far but for a while now, it's been feeling like something is missing, like there's more to it that's better than what I've seen. And THAT'S how I feel the size of the map and the amount of content is actually hurting the game.

So you might be wondering at this point why I would open the comments section of my GOTY with some negative criticism, or any criticism at all. But the fact of the matter is that it's these critiques that largely led F4 to be my GOTY in the end. The reason being that even though there are a number of things I don't like about it, it still has a ton of great features; it's still a phenomenal game. And for me to be able to say that in spite of its shortcomings, I think it's better than any other game I played last year is obviously your go-to for go-ty. ;)

Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2015

1. Fallout 4

Oh how the wait is killing me and I know I'm definitely not alone! I really expected Bethesda to drop a world exclusive teaser at The Video Game Awards last December (considering they premiered Skyrim at the formerly VGX a few years earlier). Despite that disappointment, my gut still tells me Fallout 4 will be coming out in 2015. They've been working on it for a bare minimum of 2.5 years already; it's been over 4 years since New Vegas, and over 6 since Fallout 3! My prediction now - Bethesda will tease it around April, the big unveiling will be at E3, and it'll finally come out of the vault in October. Fingers crossed.

2. The Order: 1886

When it was first announced, The Order had me quickly intrigued and excited: steampunk setting, accurate recreation of Victorian era London, Tesla-inspired weaponry, and the possibility of ties to Jack the Ripper. My interest remained high only until Gamespot fairly recently started reporting on how the game could mostly be comprised of QTEs. While that had me worried for a bit, the more recent pure gameplay trailer put most of those concerns to rest. Can't wait to hunt me some werewolves and twirl that fancy mustache.

3. Star Wars Battlefront

Star Wars. DICE. Enough said.

4. Hyper Light Drifter

The main teaser for this stylish indie title features my favorite song for a trailer from last year. While I do like some of the 80s/90s retro-inspired indie games, I am very picky about them; there's too many that feel like they're a lot more style over substance. Hopefully, HLD will be gameplay and story-wise as impactful as that awesome trailer song.

5. No Man's Sky

6. Final Fantasy XV

Anyone who knows me knows that I have never been a Final Fantasy fan. I've only tried playing one of the numerous releases over the years (think it was XII) and quit very early on. Turned-based strategy games - OK, I can play that. But I just can't get into turned-based RPGs. But with XVs combat being real-time/action-focused, the world containing more futuristic elements, and the darker-looking story, I am surprisingly looking forward to this. :D

7. Bloodborne

8. Hellraid

9. Until Dawn

I’m a little on the fence about this one, mainly due to possible sketchy controls, but otherwise, I’m very intrigued. The horror theme coupled with countless ways of shaping the story along the way, and permadeath all sound great. It kind of scares me Until Dawn is in the top 10. ;)

10. Enter the Gungeon

A slick-looking shooter set in a more traditional fantasy underworld?! Sold!

What are You Waiting for?!! The Best Games of 2014

Throughout last year, I frequently heard or read about lots of gamers wanting to wait to purchase a next gen system till 2015, or even later. This occurred even around the holidays when of course the best deals were available. As I was putting my annual end of the year awards together for 2014, I kept thinking about this - why were so many people wanting to wait, and more significantly, did they really need to? While financial reasons are understandable, a lot of these gamers had the money...they just felt there "weren't enough really good games out for the new systems" to warrant a purchase. Well, in my case, I did wait to buy (a PS4) till March of 2014, but I definitely wouldn't have waited any longer. Why? Because for me, 2014 had more than enough beautiful, exciting, and innovative next gen games to warrant picking up a new console, even enough by the middle of the year. Keeping in mind it is mostly based on games I personally played, and in a few cases, ones I watched and/or read a lot about, here's my list of the worst, and especially the best games that 2014 had to offer.

Let's get the less than stellar ones out of the way first ;)...

Dubious Honors

Worst Box Art


  1. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
  2. Nascar '14
  3. Stronghold Crusaders II

Winner: Nascar '14

This one's the most painful to look at because he's standing in the middle of the track with no one in the stands, no CARS anywhere in sight, and he even looks like he doesn't want to be in the shot. Ouch.

Most Overlooked


  1. Lords of the Fallen
  2. Bound By Flame
  3. Murdered: Soul Suspect

Winner: Murdered: Soul Suspect

Most Over-hyped

  1. Destiny
  2. Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeros
  3. The Elder Scrolls Online

Winner: Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeros

I almost gave this to Destiny, but after thinking about the price point aspects of Ground Zeros, it was a no-brainer. Charging $30 for about 2 hours of gameplay - even if there's some replayability - is in my book not only the epitome of cash-grabbing, but also of colossal over-hype.

Most Frustrating/Disappointing

  1. The Crew
  2. Prey 2
  3. The Evil Within

Winner: Prey 2

Yes, Prey 2 didn't actually come out last year and that's in part why it won this category. The main reason - I was super stoked for it, and after multiple delays, starting over, and years of waiting, it gets canceled altogether. Moving on.....

Most Epic Fail

  1. NHL '15
  2. Assassin's Creed: Unity
  3. Driveclub

Winner: NHL '15

Special Achievements

Best Achievement Art Style

  1. Thief
  2. Sherlock Holmes: Crime and Punishments
  3. Titanfall

Winner: Titanfall

Best Box Art

  1. Far Cry 4
  2. Lords of the Fallen
  3. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4 version)

Winner: Lords of the Fallen

Best Trailer

  1. The Division
  2. Magicka 2
  3. Dead Island 2

Winner: The Division

Most Memorable Moment

  1. Seeing Shangri la for the 1st time - Far Cry 4
  2. The havoc launcher explosion and aftermath scene - Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  3. The 1st encounter with the Xenomorph - Alien: Isolation

Winner: Far Cry 4

Main Game I Wish I had played

  1. Lords of the Fallen
  2. Sunset Overdrive
  3. Starwhal: Just the Tip

Winner: Sunset Overdrive

Design Awards and GOTY

Best Graphics - Technical

  1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  2. Watch Dogs
  3. Infamous: Second Son

Winner: Infamous: Second Son

AW clearly had the better cut scenes, but as far as in game graphics and cinematics, to me, nothing beat Delsin and shiny virtual Seattle.

Best Graphics - Artistic

  1. Sunset Overdrive
  2. Far Cry 4
  3. Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign-

Winner: Sunset Overdrive

This was actually the 2nd hardest category for me to decide on. It was mainly between SO and Far Cry 4 (2 words: Shangri la). But while certain areas of Far Cry 4 exhibited truly stand-out artistic flair, and Guilty Gear consistently looked great but did very little new, Sunset had it goin on all throughout the game - the varied colors, text-filled explosions, and the super stylish HUD, are but a few examples.

Best Level/World Design

  1. Alien: Isolation
  2. The Crew
  3. Far Cry 4

Winner: Alien: Isolation

This one was also hard as Far Cry 4, again, was/is an absolute pleasure to explore and has tons of great side activities. But the picture perfect re-creation of so much iconic architecture from the movie, coupled with the awesome retro hardware aesthetic, made Isolation the clear winner.

Best Sound Design

  1. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  2. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  3. Alien: Isolation

Winner: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

It's no so much about the sound of the guns firing; just listen to the spatial and impact qualities of the shots. So perfect.

Best Music

  1. Far Cry 4
  2. Alien: Isolation
  3. Destiny

Winner: Destiny

Best Voice Acting

  1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  2. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  3. Alien Isolation

Winner: Alien Isolation

Isolation won for me really because of one person - Andrea Deck. Her performance of Amanda Ripley couldn't have felt more real and in the moment. She even got the genuinely scared breathing/nervousness down (difficult indeed). Major props.

Most Humorous

  1. Goat Simulator
  2. Super T.I.M.E. Force
  3. Sunset Overdrive

Winner: Goat Simulator

Best Characters

  1. Watch Dogs
  2. Dragon Age: Inquisition
  3. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Winner: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Best Story

  1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  2. Watch Dogs
  3. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Winner: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Best Gameplay

  1. Alien: Isloation
  2. Far Cry 4
  3. Watch Dogs

Winner: Watch Dogs

And the granddaddy of them all...

Game of the Year

  1. Watch Dogs
  2. Dragon Age: Inquisition
  3. Alien: Isolation
  4. Far Cry 4
  5. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Winner: Watch Dogs

Super high end graphics do not make a video game. I know some people wrote Watch Dogs off because the final product didn't "appear" like the fancy E3 sizzle from a couple years ago, but they're all seriously missing out. The game is chock full of innovation in so many other areas, especially where it counts most - gameplay. Where other titles with a hacking mechanic assign it to a side activity, Watch Dogs lets you hack almost everything and everywhere in the game. Plus, the story's quite compelling, and most of the online modes are very unique, especially the CTOS mobile challenge. That one will knock your socks off.

Jinx? The Worst and Best of 2013

The number 13. Long considered a harbinger of bad luck for athletes, astronauts, hotel occupants, and especially sexually-charged teens camping near lakes, its wingspan of terror definitely seams formidable. But could 13's cold touch also affect the release of video games?

At the end of every year since 2010, I have posted my annual best games of the year awards (along with a few dubious accolades). But this time around, I struggled to find that spark, that excitement that's usually there for me during "awards season." Last year, to me, was overall a very disappointing year in the history of video games. Maybe it was just bad luck to release a game in a year ending in 13; perhaps it had more to do marketing "over hype" of key titles; or in the end, it could also be chalked up to console fatigue. Regardless of the reasons, there were games I thought I was going to love - especially Aliens: Colonial Marines - that turned out to be not even playable. Others I was excited to try and wholly expected to be great - namely Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us - had stories that were so surprisingly and painfully slow that it took them half their length to get even somewhat interesting. And I have yet to return to finish them. Finally, though it inevitably happens every year, the delays and cancellations of 2013 were among the most disappointing of recent memory. Prey 2, of special note, was my 2nd most anticipated game of the year (1st in 2012), and then the bomb was dropped towards the end of the year that the publisher needed to start over with a new developer, and the release date floated away into the who know's region of space and time!

Luckily, there were a few bright spots that were able to poke through the shroud of gloom. So here is my ultra trimmed and pruned list of the best, and worst games of 2013. (Note: Awards are based only on played console titles (my PC needs upgrading). Additionally, I didn't pick up a next gen system till February of this year. So out of fairness, I have not included next gen games here).

Dubious Honors

1. Worst Box Art - Bioshock Infinite.

While there were certainly other covers that were more poorly designed technically speaking, Infinite still easily wins this award as its box art blatantly catered to the gaming masses and severely lacked distinctive Bioshock-esque or even Infinite-based (uh, hello...where's Elizabeth?) themes.

2. Most Over hyped - Aliens: Colonial Marines

3. Most Frustrating - Beyond: Two Souls

4. Most Epic Fail - Aliens: Colonial Marines

Special Achievements

1. Best Graphics - Technical - Remember Me / Artistic - Bioshock Infinite

2. Best Sound Design - Dead Space 3

3. Best Music - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

4. Best Voice Acting - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

5. Best Gameplay - Dead Space 3

6. Best New IP - Remember Me

7. Most Overlooked - Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

8. Best Box Art - Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

9. Best Achievement Art Style - Bioshock Infinite

10. Most Memorable Moment - The amazing and perfect ending of Dead Space 3


1. Game of the Year - Dead Space 3

Runners-up (in order of preference): Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Metro: Last Light, and Saints Row IV

2. Main Game I Wish I had Played - Lost Planet 3

Top 10 Most Wanted Games of 2014

After recently finishing my annual best and worst games of the previous year post, it's time to declare my personal most wanted games of the current year. Yes 2014 is a few months in, but with a lot of next gen titles being delayed, and some (big) games slated for this year only recently getting an announcement, I felt it necessary to wait a little before locking in my selections. But the outlook is clearer now, so here's my top 10 list for 2014:

1. Alien: Isolation

2. Watch Dogs

3. Murdered: Soul Suspect

4. Thief

5. The Crew

6. Infamous: Second Son

7. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

8. Super T.I.M.E. Force

9. Dragon Age: Inquisition

10. Far Cry 4

What are your most wanted games this year? Has your list changed with any recent announcements (Batman: Arkham Knight)? Comments welcome.

Best of 2012 - Genre Awards and GOTY

Best Action/Adventure

1.Sleeping Dogs 2.Deadlight3.Dishonored4.Hitman: Absolution

Winner -Dishonored

Best Shooter

1. Syndicate2.Max Payne 33.Spec Ops: The Line4.Halo 45.Far Cry 3

Winner -Far Cry 3

Best RPG

1. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2. Mass Effect 3 3.Dragon's Dogma 4.Darksiders 2 5.Borderlands 2

Winner -Borderlands 2

Game of the Year

1.Mass Effect 3 2.Spec Ops: The Line 3.Borderlands 2 4.Dishonored 5.Far Cry 3

Winner -Dishonored

Main Game I Wish I Had Played/More of

1.Trials: Evolution 2.The Walking Dead 3.Dragon's Dogma 4.Sleeping Dogs 5.Mark of the Ninja

Winner -Dragon's Dogma

Best of 2012 - Dubious Honors

Lamest Box Art

1.BinaryDomain2. Blades of Time3.One Million Taps4.Winehead5.Avatar Fart!!

Winner -Winehead

Most Loathable Character

1.The Ilusive Man - Mass Effect 32.Handsome Jack - Borderlands 23.Lord Regent - Dishonored4.Dexter - Hitman: Absolution 5.Wade - Hitman: Absolution

Winner -Wade

Most Frustrating

1.Max Payne 3 2. Darksiders 23.Resident Evil 64.Assassin's Creed III5.Hitman: Absolution

Winner -Assassin's Creed III

Most Disappointing (epic fail)

1.The Darkness 22.Resident Evil: ORC3.Assassin's Creed III

Winner -Assassin's Creed III

Special Achievements (Part 2)

Most Improved Sequel

1. Mass Effect 32. Borderlands 2 3. Halo 4 4. Far Cry 3

Winner - Far Cry 3

Most Overlooked

1. Neverdead 2. The Darkness II 3. Syndicate 4. Spec Ops: The Line 5. Deadlight

Winner - Neverdead

Best Original Game Mechanic

1. Self-dismemberment combat - Neverdead 2.2D-3D environment switching - Fez 3. Pawns - Dragon's Dogma 4. Blink - Dishonored 5. Contracts - Hitman: Absolution

Winner - Dragon's Dogma

Best Co-op

1.Syndicate 2.Borderlands 2 3. Resident Evil 6 4.Halo 4

Winner -Borderlands 2

Best Competitive Multiplayer

1.Twisted Metal2.Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City3.Max Payne 3 4.Spec Ops: The Line

Winner -Max Payne 3

Best Arsenal

1. Darksiders 22.Borderlands 2 3.Dishonored 4.Hitman: Absolution 5.Far Cry 3

Winner -Dishonored

Best Trailer/Commercial (for 2012 releases)

1. Resident Evil: ORC 2.Darsiders 2 3.Borderlands 2 4.Assassin's Creed III 5.Hitman: Absolution

Winner-Borderlands 2

Best Box Art

1. The Darkness 22.Sleeping Dogs3.Darksiders 24.Assassin's Creed III5.Far Cry 3

Winner -Assassin's Creed III

Best Achievement Art Style

1.Syndicate2.Deadlight 3.Borderlands 24.Dishonored5.Hitman: Absolution

Winner -Hitman: Absolution

Funniest Game

1.Neverdead2.Twisted Metal 3.Borderlands 24.Hitman: Absolution5.Far Cry 3

Winner -Borderlands 2

Most Memorable Moment

1.Leaving Admiral Anderson & young boy behind - beginning of Mass Effect 3 2.The Ending - Spec Ops: The Line 3.2nd Betrayal - Dishonored4.Character Easter eggs - Hitman: Absolution5.Opening set piece - Far Cry 3

Winner -Spec Ops: The Line

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