1- Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Probably the most impactful emotional experience and reaction I’ve had with a video game ever. The game is extremely well put together, and is very immersive and beautiful. As you control both characters at the same time, this leads to some fun puzzle solving and is critical in conveying thematic story lessons as well. Being about 6 hours long, I highly recommend this one to anyone; grab it on steam if you can.
2- Rogue Legacy
20 goto 10. This game kept me up till wee hours of the morning with “just one more level” Very tight iterative progression and controls. Just a great dungeon diver all around.
3- Something Wicked (World of Warcraft)
World of Warcraft is probably my most played game this year. My monk has been a roller coaster ride between the tiers this expansion, but peters out towards the end. MoP built on lessons learned, so it’s taken about a year to feel like more of the same. Raiding has been impressive all expansion.
4- Zelda: Link Between Worlds
I was expecting it to be “Link to the Past” HD, but I was pretty surprised at how wrong I was. It’s still some Zelda ass Zelda, but they made some pretty good deviations from the formula to make this game stand out. Being able to choose which tools you want to take on your adventure from the beginning rather than unlocking them linearly was pretty great. The story is also pretty twisty, which is something I like.
5- The Last of Us
I came to this party late, and heard a lot about it. I mean it’s a Naughty Dog game, so going in I knew that there were going to be great set pieces and the gameplay would be engaging. The character development between the protagonists is phenomenal, and I think that Joel is the best character of 2013. He has his flaws, but his heart is in the right place. Just picking nits, but Ellie swears worse than a sailor, and you end up killing more humans than zombies than I would like for a “zombie appocalypse” shooter. Mad props though, that even I was careful with my supplies, crafting and scrounging, I never quite felt safe or over prepared for the enemies in the game, which augmented the story and the atmosphere.
6- Bioshock Infinite
The whole universe is weird, and you need to keep playing it just so you can figure out what the hell is going on. The art design is fantastic, and playful. You feel like you are in a very familiar place, even when there are rifts opening in space and time all around you. All the characters play their part well, which is what the game is all about. Songbird though...
7- Ni No Kuni
I haven't played a JRPG in forever, and this is the kind of experience I remember it being. A little Final Fantasy, a little pokemon, and cute as hell. Very punny, and just the right amount of grind. The whole broken hearted people theme was a fun minigame.
8- The Swapper
Gritty and gross, this game’s main mechanic explores some strange morality in terms of “what is a soul?” The puzzles are excellent, and it’s just fun to make lots and lots of clones of yourself to shoot yourself into space.
Another good revival of an older genre, the metroidvania. Just really silly, and the combo system was great to pile drive people into oblivion.
10- Papers Please
It’s a game? I mean, it conveys a really powerful message, but for some reason I play a shift about an hour a day stamping passports. I haven’t finished it yet, so I’m hoping it has some good payoff.
Super Mario 3D World
Card HunterThe Stanley Parable