2013 Community Game of the Year - The Winner Is...


The results are finally in! Unfortunately, I haven't had time this year to do the banners and ribbons that I usually do. If I get some time later, I'll stealth edit them in (:ninja:), but for now you'll have to make due with text.

10. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

The Assassin's Creed series has never been unpopular here at Gamers with Jobs, but the last few entries to the series have tested fan loyalties by feeling more than a little rushed and incomplete. Not so this year's entry, Black Flag, which seems to have won over nearly everyone who played it with its smart pirate theme, beautiful vistas, and well-realized sailing.

9. Rogue Legacy

The first of our smaller budget indie games, Rogue Legacy actually ranks much higher on this list if you rank things solely by raw votes. This roguelike platformer will undoubtedly make another appearance on people's list next year when console gamers finally get their hands on it.

8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Additional Prize: Handheld Game of the Year

Since I've been doing the rankings, no handheld game has ranked in the community's top ten, but if any game would, it would be this sequel to the SNES classic A Link to the Past. Featuring innovative dungeon designs, crisp action, and a brilliant re-thinking of the series' signature item-based progression, A Link Between Worlds was a crowning achievement among a strong line-up for the Nintendo 3DS.

7. Saint's Row IV

Given this community's ravenous, pink-donged obsession with all things Saint's Row, I'm shocked (shocked!) to see Saint's Row IV managed to super hero its way into the top ten. Maybe it was the usual over-the-top gameplay that did it; or the emphasis on pure fun over a more straight-faced, serious experience; or maybe it was the unrivaled glee of entirely gratuitous nuclear strikes. Something did it, anyway.

6. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

No other game in this list was called out by posters as often as this one for the personal, emotional impact it had. It released earlier this year with little fanfare and without the usual pre-release hoopla we've come to expect, but its popularity grew by word of mouth and soon it was breaking hearts and bringing tears to gamers of all stripes. Perhaps it was this lack of fanfare that made it feel so much quieter, so much more personal, than other, bigger games that also aimed for the heart.

5. XCOM: Enemy Unknown/Enemy Within
Additional Prize: Classic Game of the Year

It's hard to say whether this game rose as high as it did because of people only now discovering the original release or because of the widely-praised expansion/re-release Enemy Within, but the triumphant XCOM reboot is not only our #5 pick but also our Classic Game of the Year. As with our previous Classic picks, Arkham Asylum and Saint's Row the Third, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see this one rank highly next year, as well.

4. Gone Home
Additional Prizes: Indie Game of the Year, PC Exclusive of the Year

As with our #6 entry, Brothers, Gone Home evoked strong emotions in its players from nostalgia to dread and back. It pushed the boundary of what many of us think of as a game and raised the bar for environmental depth and storytelling. As a console gamer, if there's any game I read about or talked about this year that made me want to build a gaming PC, it was Gone Home.

3. Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider isn't a franchise that has ever fallen completely out of favor with our community, but it's been a long time since it was beloved. But this year's reboot changed that with beautiful visuals, Uncharted-like gameplay, and a protagonist many were happy to cheer for. Many of you will be pleased to know that despite their announced plans to focus more on mobile and tablet games going forward, Square-Enix has made sure there's another Tomb Raider in the works.

2. The Last of Us
Additional Prizes: Console Exclusive of the Year, Most #1 Votes

Here's a fun fact: The Last of Us topped nearly three times as many lists as its nearest competition (and our Community Game of the Year). It appeared on 42 lists in total—the same as #3 pick, Tomb Raider—but more than half of those lists ranked it as the overall Game of the Year. It's impressive to see a console exclusive ranked so highly, but especially one that was exclusive to not only consoles in general but to a single platform specifically.

Community Game of the Year: Bioshock Infinite
Additional Prize: Most Votes Overall

Hotly anticipated and highly controversial, Bioshock Infinite was ranked on more lists than any other game but was also called out more than any other for dishonorable mention. Its story, themes, characters, and politics will be hotly debated for years to come, and it's our community's top pick of the year.

Special Mention

Because we allow people to vote for classic games as well as newer releases, with no limitations by platform or budget or genre, we end up with a huge list of games that people loved enough to rank in their ten best for the year. This year we had over 370 games that received at least one vote, but there were five of those games that jumped out at me because someone ranked each one their #1 pick of the year, but then they didn't appear on any other lists, this year or last.

They run the range from AAA to ultra indie. Maybe you played them and didn't like them, or maybe you had never even heard of them, but these might just be the hidden gems of today and the cult classics of tomorrow:

The complete vote totals are available here.

Here are the Official Rules of the 2013 Community GOTY Voting Thread. We'll do this FAQ-style.

  • What games are eligible for voting? Anything you played for the first time in 2013. So, your fourteenth trip through Mass Effect 2 (because you really, really wanted to import a blonde renegade FemShep adept into the next one) doesn't get to count, and if you just logged your 1000th hour in Left 4 Dead, then that doesn't get to count, either. But if this was the first year you cracked open a classic like System Shock 2 or Silent Hill 4, go ahead and stick it in your list if you loved it enough. Voting this year is open to any game on any platform from any year.
  • What if I didn't finish it yet? If you haven't finished a game but feel like you've played enough to know that you really love it no matter what happens in the end, go ahead and list it. Let's face it: some games are really stinking long, and you might not have been able to finish them yet but still know they're excellent.
  • Why are we doing it this way? Because we're old. This is a site packed to the brim with mature, adult gamers with jobs, family obligations, hobbies, and other things that take up our time. This is also a site packed to the brim with people who can't afford the new hotness as soon as it's released. We've all got piles, and we all play through them, but we don't often get a chance to say that we really love something even if it's old.
  • What if the top game ends up being from 2007 or something? It won't.
  • So how are votes counted? Games in the top spot on a list get ten votes, second place gets nine, et cetera, et cetera, with tenth place getting a single vote. Out of format lists (i.e., lists that aren't ranked and/or lists that go over ten) will get one vote for the first ten games mentioned.
  • Can I list a game multiple times so that it gets more votes? No. That's cheating.
  • When does voting open? When does it close? Voting is open as of right now, so go post your list! Voting will close at midnight-ish on the 31st of December. That'll give people time to wrap up some of those late November games and also to sample whatever they might find under the Christmas tree.
  • Are you going to do anything really neat and special with the results? I'm so glad you asked, because yes! Aside from the community's top ten list and the traditional top games for each platform, the results will be sifted through for some other results like:
    • Best-Loved Game of the Year and Most Loved Game of the Year - These are given to the games with the most #1 votes and most unranked votes, respectively.
    • Classic Game of the Year - Given to the game with the most votes that wasn't released in 2013.
    • Darksiders of the Year - Given to the game that's maybe good. Better ask just to be on the safe side.
    • And more! If I think of something! Or if you think of something! Or something!
  • What if I change my mind after I posted my list? Then pretty please be sure to put up a new post that lets me know you changed your list. It'll seriously mess with my thread-tracking if you don't.

Not list as of yet, but I wanted to get down some of the games that fit the billing as I know I'm going to forget a bunch.

Battlefield 4. I'm still lukewarm on this as it's incredibly similar to BF3.

Gone Home. This deserves a mention as it's incredibly interesting.

Ni No Kuni. I'm on record as not really liking this game as Level 5 games tend to bore the crap out of me, but you can't deny the charm and art/animation.

Front Office Football 7. This game is coming out Friday and while no one around here will give a crap, I love this game to no end and I haven't even played the latest version. I spend more time in FOF2007 than playing any other game on this list or last year's list. Unless the new version crashes and burns there's simply no way this won't be on my list.

OOTP14. Really like the way players develop and age now. Much more realistic and a better release than OOTP13.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. I waited for the PC release and I wasn't disappointed. One of the best kart racers ever.

Aliens: Colonial Marines. Just kidding.

SimCity. Easily the biggest letdown of the year for me. The game is just flat out broken in my mind until they allow larger cities. The first hour or two with a new city is fantastic, but it all falls apart after that.

Carmageddon. On my phone and still awesome!

Shadowrun Returns. I like what they've done here. Still waiting for user made campaigns to blow me away. Ign.com.

Diablo III. Does it count even though I played the PC version upon release? Maybe, but the console release provided a much more compelling game for me. On that note...

Path of Exile. Yes, I played the beta, but the 1.0 and real release deserves a nod. In fact, this might make it pretty high up on my top 10.

Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness and The Guided Fate Paradox. Haven't played enough of either. Just not enough time in my life as I keep flirting from game to game. My attention span is apparently down to one hour, max.

Europa Universalis IV. Haven't played enough yet, but Paradox seems to have another hit on their hands. Trading makes no sense to me, however. Help?

Spelunky. Holy crap is this game good. Especially good on Vita. No joke.

Aaaand there we have a list compiled from thinking and Wikipedia. Now, what have I forgotten?

Don't care for Bioshock Infinite. Sure is pretty though and some of the best audio design I've ever heard. GTAV may or may not ever get played by me. Saints Row IV is definitely gonna happen, but likely next year.

And I've got a 3DS coming for Christmas. I'm not so sure many 3DS games will make my list, but the definitely will next year.

1. Final Fantasy XIV Is this objectively the best game that came out this year? Not at all. Is this the game that's occupied most of my time and brainspace? Absolutely. I've never played this style of MMO before so all the criticisms about this game being too similar to WoW and other games fly over my head, even the "MMO standard" stuff is new to me. Add to that lovely graphics, an excellent soundtrack, lots of Final Fantasy nostalgia and so many hours of happy questing. And the crafting system!

2. Papers, Please Glory to Arztotzka. I wasn't expecting a game to both accurately capture the feel of being trapped inside a police state *and* have addictive gameplay, and yet there is Papers Please.

3. Ni no Kuni Studio Ghibli visuals married to JRPG gameplay is one of those things that I've always wanted but didn't really expect to happen. It did happen, and it was great. Sure, the gameplay was nothing groundbreaking and could get a bit grindy in spots. This didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of a gorgeous and engaging game.

4. Gone Home What it lacks in gameplay it makes up for in its spot-on depiction of everyday life in the 90s. This game tackles a lot of subjects that video games normally don't touch and wraps it all up in a nice coming of age story. I'd love to see more games like this.

5. Super Mario 3D World Of all the games on this list, this is possibly the most flat-out fun from a gameplay perspective. The two Super Mario Galaxy games are, in my opinion, some of the greatest games of all time. This game from the same team doesn't quite match up to those heights but it comes decently close, with a few very welcome additions, particularly true multiplayer. There are many unique and imaginative levels to explore -- like the best Mario games, this one takes a basic framework and runs with it, trying out all sorts of interesting ideas.

6. Bioshock Infinite I love this game more for what it tries to be than what it actually is. The story and setting are so surreal and out of the ordinary that I can't help but love it. Yet the pedestrian shooting gameplay does not excite, and the plot holes and a few strange story decisions detract from the overall experience. The ending and some of the best setpieces from this game aren't something I'll soon forget though.

7. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMix I'm not going to lie, I barely started this game, and it might not even technically qualify for the list, since it's just an HD remake of a game I've played a couple of times already. That's too bad because Kindgom Hearts is one of my favorite games of all time and it looks excellent in HD. I suffered through playing this game in Japanese to get the Final Mix content a couple of years ago, so now I'm very glad that I can play the definitive Kingdom Hearts in my native language.

8. Animal Crossing New Leaf Other new shinies and Final Fantasy XIV led to me leaving my town to abandonment and weeds. Still, the couple of months I was playing this regularly made this game more than worth it. Easily the best Animal Crossing yet, this comes with tons of quality of life improvements and mountains of new collectibles, including the very welcome addition of pants/skirts and shoes. Not to mention Capp'n's singing.

9. Lego Marvel Super Heroes You get to play as any of a very large number of Marvel characters, the cutscenes are cute and funny, smashing things for Lego bits never gets old. Excelsior!

10. Don't Starve This game has a lot of flaws, but also a lot of charm. The concept and art style are very solid. This game deserves a player who is more patient than me, since I kept rushing things too fast and getting killed by spiders or hounds.

Sadly, I didn't get around to some of the games I had planned, mostly due to Final Fantasy XIV -- the likes of Wind Waker HD and Rogue Legacy remain unplayed, else they might be on this list.

  • Binding of Isaac Thanks to boogle for getting me hooked on this. Yes, I'm totally paying attention to this planning meeting and not playing a charming roguelike about child abuse.
  • Kerbal Space Program My childhood dreams of building insane rockets that blow up on the launchpad are finally realized, without having to waste billions of dollars.
  • Batman: Arkham City (PC) On a technicality, since I played the 360 version last year. Still an awesome game, though I finally realized I loved Arkham Asylum more, of the two.

Woot, I'd been waiting for this thread to pop up!!! I've already started by making a list of all the games I finished in 2013, so that's a start, I guess. Pretty sure I know who'll be my number one, but the rest is still a bit up in the air.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

You've spent all year playing Dark Souls, posting about Dark Souls, comparing every other game out there to Dark Souls, and now it's time to rank all those other games you played for Community Game of the Year!

Guilty as charged!

1. Kerbal Space Program. For the love of God, Kerbal Space Program. I've put 75 hours into it and it's not even in full release yet.

2. Sniper Elite V2. I'm not a huge FPS person, and not everyone agrees with my love for this game, but I do love the feel and the stealth/shooter hybrid nature. Plus I'm a sucker for WW2 games.

3. XCom the remake. True to the spirit, if not the design, of the original. Kept me coming back for more, masochist that I must be.

I'm not honestly sure that I have more games I'd care to nominate. I'll come back and edit later if there are.

ccesarano wrote:


Voting closes on Dec. 31st, so time travel to whichever September you meant and post your list by then.

If I can stop making characters and actually play Dragon's Dogma, and work up the interest to get back to Deus Ex within the next three weeks, I'll hopefully have some kind of list.

I'm going to have to wait until the last of December, which stinks because for some reason I love making GotY lists complete with paragraphs and ranking. However, considering I'm having a surprising amount of fun with Dead Space 3, I think it would be safe to wait until the end of the year to rate my preferences.

That, and I have to figure out which was more disappointing: Aliens: Colonial Marines or Batman: Arkham Origins.

I'm working on my top 10 now as I do a big blog thing about it and am also making a video piece to go with it but once I have the list locked down, I'll drop it in. This year is a brutal list for me to narrow down to just 10. It was a real good year for games. I'm going to have a lot of honourable mentions.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
ccesarano wrote:


Voting closes on Dec. 31st, so time travel to whichever September you meant and post your list by then.

I don't know what you're talking about.

Though if I'm honest with myself, there's no way I'll have finished Saint's Row 3 in time to play Saint's Row 4 and beat it in time to vote. I'll probably have my picks up next week (because it is also doubtful I'll get something for Christmas that'll make the list, or that I'll beat in time).

There are no games only Dark Souls.

(I'll make a serious list later on)

Oh, just remembered what will likely top my list:

Final Warrior Quest

This is awesome! Thanks for organizing and executing ClockworkHouse.

I'm going to wait until the end of the month before posting my list, as I'm still hoping to play XCOM: Enemy Within and weigh in on the Wasteland 2 beta... My suspicion is that my number one spot is going to go to Kentucky Route Zero.

oilypenguin wrote:

Tagged so that I remember to actually do this.

Same. Got to dig through backloggery and see what I actually played before I can make a list.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

Thanks for organizing and executing ClockworkHouse.

Poor Clocky.

  • The Walking Dead The very first game I played this year: I started playing on Jan. 1 and binged through all of it in 2 days. One of the best gaming narratives I have had the pleasure of experiencing. It got pretty damn dusty in my apartment at times.
  • The Last of Us A really fantastic story in a beautifully realized world. Great characters, fun gameplay, gorgeous environments, and the best use of giraffes in any game ever. Also produced a lot of apartment dust.
  • Gone Home This game came out of nowhere for me, and it was a very pleasant surprise. Some of the best environmental storytelling I've ever seen. Seriously guys, why is my apartment so dusty. I should probably vacuum in here or something.
  • Saints Row IV Big stupid fun. The Crackdown sequel that Crackdown 2 should have been. Stan Bush! Roddy Piper! Jane Austen!
  • BioShock Infinite It had some problems, but it was still a fun game set in a really interesting world. I especially enjoyed the anacrhonistic music.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening I bought it for the turn-based tactical gameplay, but ended up spending most of my time trying to breed the perfect team of time-travelling superkids. Either way I still had a lot of fun.
  • Civilization V Tried it for the first time this year, and oh wow it's 3am how did this happen ok just one more turn then I need to stop.
  • Shadowrun Returns Old-school RPG goodness.
  • Mark of the Ninja I like sneaking around and stabbing guys. This was a pretty good sneaking-around-and-stabbing-guys game.
  • Pokemon X/Y I've never been able to wrap my head around all the breeding/trading metagame stuff, but I like catching the pokemans.

I wasn't trying to vote twice, I swear it!

Missed last year, so I'm not gonna miss it this year since I must represent for Dark Souls.

1. Dark Souls - No questions asked. I bought it on Jan 2, 2013 and I told myself I've play a few mins before getting dinner. I got dinner 3 hours late that night. I put in 103 hours into the game by early-February which is an unheard of amount of time in so few days for me. This game captured my attention like nothing else this gen, and probably since the original XCOM.

2. Rogue Legacy - About the only roguelike I've managed to enjoy, and the wife liked watching me play, which is odd because it's a visually repetitive retro sidescroller. I think this is my one and only 2013 game that made the list.

3. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Loved it enough to Platinum it, which basically meant beating it 3 times.

4. Thomas Was Alone - Just brilliant in its simplicity and execution

5. Borderlands 2
6. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker - Great game despite the sailing. Could have been so much better.
7. Demon's Souls
8. Dust: An Elysian Tale
9. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
10. Torchlight II

Honorable Mentions:
Infamous 2
The Walking Dead

Games I haven't put in enough time to decide:
Reus - Got lost in the summer gifting shuffle thanks to Rogue Legacy.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Just got into it and it is my current pile game. Enjoying it, but it's not clicking the way the original did. This may get put on my 2014 list since I started it so late this year
Grid 1/2 - Just got a chance to play both and each are somewhat different. I don't think I'd put them on a top list, though.

Dishonorable mentions (games I played for the first time and did not like):
System Shock 2 (I may give this one another shake)
ICO - The poorly executed menus set the tone for a critical eye on all the other spots that were empty or unpolished, so it all came across as poorly realized.
Secret of the Magic Crystals - Couldn't get past 5 minutes before shutting it off.
McPixel - Badly done Wario Ware knock-off.
Rayman Legends - Tried a demo and a 1-hour trial via PS+. Got 30 mins into the trial and quit. After forcing myself to keep going to see if it got better and still not making it to the point I told myself I go to before passing judgement.

EDIT: Should have read the first paragraph about Dark Souls in the OP and upped the Dark Souls in my Dark Souls posting. Dark Souls.

Gravey wrote:
TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

Thanks for organizing and executing ClockworkHouse.

Poor Clocky.

But at least I was organized before I went.

Stele wrote:
oilypenguin wrote:

Tagged so that I remember to actually do this.

Same. Got to dig through backloggery and see what I actually played before I can make a list.

That's what the Favorites are for!

1. The Last of Us (2013 PS3)- A wonderful blend of stealth, action, and story from the folks at Naughty Dog. It starts a bit slow but things really get rolling after Pittsburgh. Without dropping into spoiler territory, ”winter” is some of the best gaming to be had in any year.

2. Europa Universalis 4 (2013 PC)- I've already racked up almost 100 hours on this mid-August strategy release. Almost any country is playable over a four hundred year span with most major countries having their own unique set of national ideas to unlock and many countries having their own sets of unique events and/or mission goals. Anyone who is a fan of strategy games should at least give this a look.

3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds(2013 3DS)- Someone at Nintendo finally remembered how to make a great Zelda game again. No overly long tutorials. No annoying helpful companion. A glorious return to the exploration, combat, and light puzzle solving gameplay that I love without all of the filler that I don’t.

4. Civ V: Brave New World Expansion (2013 PC)- This expansion layered even more goodness on top of the already great Gods and Kings version of Civ V. I liked Civ V when it was first released. I loved Civ V after Gods and Kings. I think Civ V may be the best turn based strategy game EVER after Brave New World. This expansion caused me to drop another 80 hours into the title.

5. Far Cry 3 (2012 PC)- This just missed my list for last year as I started it the last week of Dec., but didn't finish until late January. Mechanically and technically, this was one of the best open world games that I've ever played. It would probably be higher on this list but the characters were unlikable and the story was forgettable.

6. Super Mario 3D World (2013 Wii-U)- The team behind the amazing Galaxy series is back with this new Mario title which in my opinion is the first “Must Have” title for the Wii U. Beautiful visuals, creative worlds, new power-ups, and multiple playable characters are featured in this wonderful Mario game.

7. Infamous 2 (2011 PS3)- This is actually a two year old release that I received for my birthday from my wife in '11. Unfortunately, I also received Skyrim around the same time, and this game got "piled" until later. I finally got to it this summer and was pleased to find that it was just as good as the original. If you were a plus member and picked this up for free last year but it has been stuck on your pile, take the time and give it a shot.

8. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (2013 PC)- I'm a sucker for westerns. I actually played through Gun twice. (first on Xbox, then on 360) I was probably one of the few to play much multiplayer in the original Call of Juarez. I also loved the team based modes in Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. This smaller $15 dollar release provides the best single player campaign in the series. The earlier games had campaign sections that seemed padded for length, while it felt like every part of this 6 hour campaign added to the overall story.

9. Hitman: Absolution (2012 PC)- Another December 2012 release that I didn't get to until February 2013. There were a lot of complaints about the game's new structure limiting your freedom and "becoming a shooter", but I thought these complaints were overblown. There were still many large and rewarding assassination missions like those in Blood Money. The difference is they replaced nonplayable interstitial story bits with short, linear, playable missions that often involved you on the run without a traditional target objective. Instead, your objective in these short missions was simply evasion and escape. They did greatly improve the combat if you wanted to go that route, but I found it much more rewarding to play this like Blood Money and to retry missions until I achieved a Silent Assassin across all targets.

10. Diablo 3 (2013 360)- This is last year's release remixed for the consoles. In exchange for muddier visuals you gain direct control of your heroes with a wonderful implementation of a gamepad control scheme. You also gain built-in voice chat and the ability for couch coop making it easier than ever to play with both local and distant friends. The biggest change may be the loot system and the removal of the auction house. Drops seem more tailored to your character class, and the power curve has been adjusted to remove any artificial need to buy your gear to continue.

Knowing my tastes in games, the following games from this year might have made the list had I had the opportunity to play them:

Saints Row 4- Waiting for price drop.
Beyond Two Souls- Waiting for price drop.
GTA V- Waiting for PS4 or PC release.
Lego Marvel- Christmas present for my kids
Rayman Legends- Christmas present for my kids

I probably won't get around to making my list for a little while, but as is often the case, I offer you a pictoral sneak preview:


I did far less gaming this year than in any other year in recent history. Partly because it felt like there was just less to play (the lead up to new consoles and all that), but just as much because I’ve just been busy with other things. As such, I don’t a strong attachment to as many games as I usually do, but there are definitely a few things that have stood out for me this year.

Also, I’m cheating and including DLC/expansions to games I played last year, because they were just that much better experiences than some of the other things that were new this year.


The Ranked List

1. Forza 5 The Forza series turned me from someone who didn’t care about cars and only liked arcade racers to a guy who buys ridiculously expensive steering wheel peripherals in order to drive strange old cars most people haven’t heard of in circles for hours on end. Forza 5 is definitely light on content as a tradeoff for making the Xbox One launch, but I’m more than happy to forgive that for the sheer joy that it is to drive these cars in a game that really feels like it earns the distinction of being “next gen.”

2. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons This game was fun and charming in a way that would have probably earned a spot on this list anyway, but it did something sort of amazing to me. Entertainment rarely elicits a strong emotional reaction from me, but this game did. Don’t read the spoiler below if you haven’t played it; just go play it. Really. Play it.


While all three of my older brothers are still alive, two of them have been ripped from my life in ways that were, well, quite formative to the person I am. As such, there might as well have been a prompt on the screen for the last 15 minutes of this game that said “pull the right trigger to sob like a child.” This game tore me to pieces like nothing I can remember in years.

3. Assassin’s Creed 4 AC3 was a disappointing mess punctuated by fun moments running through trees and engaging in naval combat, and I almost called it quits on the series right there — despite earlier games in the series (AC2: Brotherhood, particularly) being some of my favorite games of the decade. AC4, however, is everything an AC game should be, despite the fact that it no longer features a button that makes people appear from the bushes to murder whoever you are looking at.

4. Mass Effect 3 DLC (Leviathan, Citadel) The Mass Effect trilogy is my personal game of the generation. I f*cking love it. So, while I certainly didn’t play ME3 for the first time this year, I did replay it and experience the various bits of DLC they released over the last year for the first time this summer. While Omega was largely forgettable, Leviathan and Citadel were amazing, and Citadel in particular was a wonderful way to bid farewell to the games I’ve loved so much over the past decade.

5. Bioshock Infinite While it lacked the newness and novelty of the original Bioshock, it was still a brilliant and fun game, and easily earned it’s place on this list.

6. Rogue Legacy So between this and FTL, I guess I should probably stop saying I don’t like Rogue-likes, eh?

7. Gone Home If I hadn’t played Brothers about a month before this, I’d probably be saying something about how remarkable it was that this game got an emotional rise out of me. Certainly nothing as powerful as Brothers, but this game was touching and engaging and well worth your time and money if you haven’t tried it yet.

8. Tomb Raider Similar to the Uncharted series, I wish this game had a bit more exploration, puzzles, and world traversal and a bit less combat, but it was still an absolute delight to play. Definitely left me looking forward to the next game in the series, but here’s hoping for a few colors that aren’t brown and grey next time around.

9. GTA5 So, here’s the thing: I only played maybe the first third of the single player game here. It was fun, sure, and the character switching heist thing was a great gimmick, but oddly it couldn’t hold my attention when another game came along two weeks later and pulled me away. That other game? GTA Online. They built a really great world to play around it, but it just was a lot more interesting to play around in it with friends.

10. Forza Horizon Rally Expansion I think this expansion actually came out in late December, but I didn’t get around to playing it until the summer anyway. Whatever. I love Forza, I loved Forza Horizon, I love rally driving, and thus even though I wish there had been more content to it, I loved the hell out of this expansion.


Honorable Mentions

Mark of the Ninja I missed this last year when it came out on XBLA, but caught it on the Steam sale this summer. People were right — this game was awesome!

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Fun! Especially fun if you are a child of the 80s! Just not quite amazing enough to rank.

Devil May Cry Character action/brawler games are a genre I used to really like, but in recent years they’ve kind of lost me. While this didn’t fully rekindle the flame, it was a really fun dalliance, and it reminded me of how much I once really, really liked them.

Borderlands 2 I played a lot of Borderlands 2 earlier in the year. Sadly, none of the DLC packs really amazed me, so I couldn’t quite find a way to put it on the list.

Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Bullsh*t “booster pack” style progression system aside, ME3’s multiplayer was my favorite multiplayer experience last year, and it remained my favorite multiplayer experience this year. When all was said and done, I think they doubled or maybe even tripled the amount of content in the mode via a series of free DLC throughout 2012 and 2013, vastly expanding on the already brilliantly fun gameplay mechanics and variety. This would probably be like number 3 or 4 on my list, but I figured cheating ME3 into my list once was already probably pushing it a bit.


Games I Meant To Play, But Haven’t Yet and that quite likely would make this list if I had got around to them.

Last of Us Naughty Dog are brilliant, and I believe the hype on this one — but somehow I just didn’t get around to it. Soon!

Stanley Parable I played the demo, and it was great! I’ll get to this soon as well, I think, but for now it lives in the realm of possibility.

Saints Row 4 I’ve been a staunch fan of this series from the beginning — even before the pile of silliness that was Saints Row 3, it got what was fun about open world games when GTA seemed to forget. I expect I’ll enjoy number 4 as well whenever I get around to it, but it’s hard to say when that will be.

State of Decay I played the demo of this on the 360, and it seemed very cool, but I decided to wait for the PC version so it could be a bit prettier. Then I got sucked into other games. Soon!

Zelda: A Link Between Worlds I don’t own a 3DS, but I’m digging the hype on this one. I’ll probably borrow or buy one of my friend’s extras and play this on my next long plane ride.

Mario 3D World Also digging the hype here, but I just can’t bring myself to buy a Wii U. There was a time where a machine that existed solely to play Nintendo games was enough for me (N64! Gamecube!) but their record as a developer in more recent years no longer earns that respect. So, this will have to wait until a friend brings it over, or maybe until that Xenogears looking game comes out… I’m a big sucker for Xenogears.

  • Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons - In 33 or so years of gaming, I had never been asked to control two independent characters using one controller and I really enjoy novelty. That the game is short and not terribly challenging are actually positives for me. The fact that it is quite beautiful is enough to push it into the top three. The ending is what clinches the number one spot - I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't played, but for me it showed that video games can make an emotional impact in a way that is not possible with other media.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds - My first ever Zelda game and I am entirely entranced. If I had to pick any aspect above others, it is the music and sound design, which is about the best I have ever encountered.
  • Gone Home - It kept me guessing and I thought they dealt with the adolescent themes really well.
  • BioShock Infinite - The early game was game of the year material, but it didn't quite live up to it's potential.
  • Tomb Raider (the reboot)
  • Guacamelee (PSVita)
  • Gunpoint
  • Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure - it's not a great game and the company is out to wring every dollar they can from us, but, I have had a lot of fun playing this with my 5 yo son and the looks of delight every time he gets a new character or upgrades their weapons is worth the price.
  • Candy Box 2 - in the realm of browser-based time wasters, this was surprisingly enjoyable.
  • Rogue Legacy - this is probably a better game than I give it credit for, but I suck at it.

I was very spoilt and got both a PS Vita and 3DS XL this year and I'd love to be able to give an award to the Vita. Guacamelee is the only thing I've played on Vita that makes it in my top ten, maybe since I'm only 1 hr into P4G. Otherwise, everything else on the list above would have been better on Vita...

EDIT: Adjusted list formatting.

Question for Clocky: Because I love to watch people suffer, would you mind including links to previous years in the OP's of these threads? I always like looking back on previous years not only to reflect on my previous choices, but everyone else's. I'm currently browsing 2012 right now, in fact.

It could also help any newbies to the forum to see how the system has worked out in the past.

Papa & Yo - They tackled the subject matter in a way that really just clicked for me, I don't think this game did much in terms of sales and success but I can foresee myself imposing it on people during sales.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs A worthy spiritual successor to Amnesia that managed to stir up it's own unique style of horror, while not the sort of experience everyone can enjoy it's an experience worth having.

1. Gone Home - Simply amazing.
2. Thomas Was Alone - The story has surprising depth for a puzzle platformer starring a bunch of rectangles. Really good soundtrack.
3. Dota 2 - The amount of time I’ve spent this year either playing or watching this game is staggering. Once you get over the initial hump of learning how the game works, the gameplay depth is incredible. First game that made me think e-sports could be an actual thing and not just something nerds think is a thing.
4. Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine - Insanely fun class-based multiplayer “stealth” heist game.
5. Bioshock 2 - I remember this game getting so much sh*t when it came out but, having played all three of them this year (I’m not including Bioshock 1 in my rankings because I played a majority of it years ago), it’s easily the best of the Bioshock games. It’s the best story, the environments are great and, the thing that really sets it apart from the other two, the combat is actually fun.
6. Bioshock Infinite - I think I liked this much more than the majority of people here so it’s kind of surprising that I have it's this low but everything above it is just so incredible.
7. Rogue Legacy - I’m terrible at this game. Seriously, I’m real bad. Haven’t even beaten the first boss. But, it’s still a good game. The scaling in the cost of upgrades feels off which can make it harder to progress. It feels like they designed the upgrade tree for a F2P microtransaction model.
8. Tomb Raider - Oh god, why are there QTE’s? The rest of the game was so good but, holy sh*t, the QTE’s were sooooooo bad. I don’t need to see the animation of Lara getting impaled by jagged rocks 15 times. Just let me move on.
9. Gunpoint - I thought this was kind of overhyped. The gameplay was fun but the story was paper thin and the levels were really straight-forward.
10. To the Moon - This game got redeemed by having a pretty satisfying story ending. It was basically just “click mouse for story: the game” and even that was pretty clunky. It didn’t help that people kept mentioning it in relation to Gone Home.

Honorable Mention:
Two games that I need to spend more time with but what I’ve played of them is really good: Don’t Starve and Kerbal Space Program (which gets the award for best video game trailer ever)
Game I haven’t finished yet but what I’ve played is really good even though I kind of hate the combat: The Last of Us
Game everybody seemed to hate that I liked even though some of the puzzles weren’t very good: The Cave
Game that I thought had an interesting gameplay mechanic but I didn’t really like the story and it was crazy overhyped (*cough* Brad Shoemaker *cough*): Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

ccesarano wrote:

Question for Clocky: Because I love to watch people suffer, would you mind including links to previous years in the OP's of these threads? I always like looking back on previous years not only to reflect on my previous choices, but everyone else's. I'm currently browsing 2012 right now, in fact.

It could also help any newbies to the forum to see how the system has worked out in the past.

Using the tags made it really easy to find the threads. First time I've done that.