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Happy Gamesgiving! The Top 10 Games to be Thankful for in 2013

Thanksgiving Video Games Super Mario 3D World A Link Between Worlds Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Fire Emblem: Awakening Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Pokemon Rocksmith 2014

Thanks to a group of Europeans stealing land from Native Americans once upon a time, people in the land of the free have a holiday where we give thanks for being able to consume very large amounts of food. This holiday is, of course, Thanksgiving.

But as gamers, we have certain other reasons to be thankful. Whether a bad game got an overhaul and became good, a game was localized that we weren’t expecting to be, or a game is just sooooooooo good, there are plenty of games we can be thankful for. So let’s take a moment and give our thanks for 10 games that came out of 2013.

Note: This list is in no particular order. They’re still numbered, though, because SHUT UP AND JUST GO WITH IT.



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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Did you ever play Final Fantasy XIV when it was first released? Remember the disappointment? The anger? The murderous thoughts flowing through your mind? That wasn’t just me, was it…? Whether it was or not, there’s no question that many gamers were disappointed, and for many different reasons.

So then Square Enix goes and listens to the angry letters and just sorta “rebirths” the game, breathing new life into it to create what is essentially the “A Realm Reborn” version. And guess what – the game is good now! So good, in fact, that I must give Squeenix my thanks. 14 of my thanks.



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Fire Emblem: Awakening

A fact you may not be aware of, Fire Emblem: Awakening was almost the very last entry into the series. Prior to that game, sales were spiraling downward with each new entry. But all that changed when this 3DS title became a massive success in both Japan and the U.S. One could say Awakening was a big “awakening” for the franchise.

…Okay, that was bad…

But of course, the level of success this game was met with was met with for good reason – it kicks ass. If you think about it, this game kinda pulled a Final Fantasy, as it was almost the final game until it became more successful than expected. Though in Fire Emblem’s case, there were other entries before it, but that’s beside the point. And while we should all be thankful for this game being so good, I’m sure Nintendo themselves are very thankful for it saving their beloved franchise.



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Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Ever watched a Studio Ghibli film? You’ve sure been missing out if you haven’t. In fact, as a gamer who has been a big Ghibli fan since the days of Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, I’ve wanted to play a game made by the studio, in the same style as something they’d make, for a very long time.

With Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, that dream finally became a reality. Obviously, Studio Ghibli didn’t create the game themselves, as Level-5 played a big part in its development, but still. It’s by no means a perfect game, but just the way it looks and feels gives me that Ghibli level of joy. And for that, I am truly thankful.



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Sure, EarthBound actually came out for the SNES back in the 90s, but have you seen the price it goes for these days? You certainly can’t give anyone $100 and expect to walk away with the game, I’ll tell you that much. Well, maybe if they were old people selling it at a garage sale without doing any research, in which case BUY IT, BUY IT, BUY IT!

Other than owning a legitimate copy, your only real option was always to, y’know, break the law. But in 2013, it finally happened. After gamers everywhere begged Nintendo for a re-release, whether through the Virtual Console on the Wii, Wii U, or 3DS, or just some collection thingy, the Big N finally gave it to us through the Wii U eShop. Thank you Nintendo. Now I can finally stop breaking the law. And for around $10, that ain’t bad.



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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies

Remember the sequel to Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth? I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t, seeing how Capcom refused to translate the game into English. And because of that, many gamers were wondering whether the 5th entry into the core series would suffer the same fate or not. Especially with Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney taking so freaking long.

But alas, it happened. We were stuck with a digital-only release, keeping us English-speaking peoples from having a choice in the matter, but it happened. And not only was the game given a release that would allow to play it, but it ended up being a fantastic game in its own Wright right. Seriously, Capcom, I owe you one. Actually, I owe you about $30 plus tax. Which I paid. So I guess we’re even. Thanks anyway, though.



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Pokémon X/Y

Pokémon was born way back in 1996. And ever since the first entries, whether you knew them as Pokémon Red and Green or Pokémon Red and Blue, the style of the following generations has largely remained the same, while receiving updates to accommodate the advancements in technology. And while the 5th generation, which included Pokémon Black and White, followed by Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, received a certain level of 3-dimensional upgrades, it wasn’t until the following generation that the series made its true transition into 3D.

As far as 3-dimensional transitions go, Pokémon X and Y was seamless. The series was transformed while not taking away all we (the fans) had come to love from the series. It was time for an upgrade, and Game Freak, Inc. not only pulled it off brilliantly, but ended up creating quite possibly the greatest Pokémon generation to date. Thanks, guys, for making something so awesome.



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Tomb Raider

There are times in a franchise’s life when its parents/guardians must make the decision to either keep it running the course it’s on or give it a reboot. And once Tomb Raider received its new guardians in the form of Crystal Dynamics, it seemed it was time for the latter option. And while some franchise reboots are…questionable (did you know Sonic ’06 was intended to be one?), others manage to pull it off fairly well.

In Tomb Raider’s case, we got a reboot that was actually a pretty fantastic game. No more was protagonist Lara Croft known as just some badass chick with some, uh, noticeable features; she was actually a deep, compelling character that the player could feel for (assuming they have emotions) in “Tomb Raider Reborn.” The game still has its flaws, but I still found the game to be quite a bit better than the original. Thank you for making a successful reboot, Mr. and Mrs. Dynamics. I appreciate that.



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Rocksmith 2014

Before you call me a cheater for throwing a 2014 game into a 2013 list, hear me out! Rocksmith 2014 was most definitely released this year; in October, in fact. The name of this game/educational tool/jam session? seems to fall in line with all those sports games that have the following year tacked onto the current year’s game title.

But that’s not what’s important here. What IS important is the fact that Rocksmith 2014 is just plain awesome. It’s essentially the same thing as Rocksmith, but turned up to 11 (see what I did there?). Seriously, never have I had such an easy time attempting to learn guitar while also having a similar level of fun as when I play Guitar Hero or Rock Band. What Rocksmith helps me accomplish, Rocksmith 2014 does better. And for that, I am grateful.



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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Many a Zelda fan who was alive in the 90s will tell you that if they had to choose a favorite, they would choose A Link to the Past. Some will likely go with Ocarina of Time, but there’s no denying that A Link to the Past was a compelling game for a lot of people. So it’s exciting to see a sequel that takes place in the same world(s) (unlike the Oracle games and Link’s Awakening) and plays so similarly. And you know what? It might just be as good, too.

Nintendo always has a knack for introducing new mechanics into a game, basing the game around that mechanic, and ending up with something truly magical. The whole Link drawing thing is actually really cool and adds an interesting level of challenge. There’s a lot more I could say about this game, but I’ll refrain from drawing out why I’m so thankful for this game. Just my saying it’s a sequel to A Link to the Past should be reason enough.



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Super Mario 3D World

Back at E3, when Super Mario 3D World was first announced, many gamers were a bit disappointed by the way it looked. Unimpressed, a lot of people were asking Nintendo to just give us another Galaxy instead. But then more trailers were released, and people began giving their opinions a 180. And now that the game is out, we now know just how freaking fantastic this game is.

Not only is Super Mario 3D World a really, really, really fun game for solo players, but when you play it with family and friends, the level of fun rises tenfold. Seriously, the sheer level of enjoyment I get from playing this game reminds me of why I got a Wii U in the first place. This game is bliss, Nintendo, and I am truly thankful for that.


Do you agree with any of the games in this list? What games are you thankful for this year?


I haven't done much gaming this year but I would definitely say The Last of Us is on my list.

This is quite a list. I need to try them all. And agree with Tyler that the Last of Us need some love too.


I would say we should be thankful for Nintendo releasing those bundles haha.

While I believe Bioshock Infinite should be on here, I am happy to see Tomb RaiderFire Emblem and Zelda


I wish I had Super Mario 3D World and a Wii-U to play with the family.

Awesome list Jordan! I miss reading these from you and glad you made your return on time for this. I agree with your list as these games are fantastic and thankful these game developers created the games for us.

I would also like to add Bioshock Infinite and Last of Us to the list not just because of the game. I am thankul to enjoy these stories from both of these games and how they can connect the gamer's emotion to them. I really had a wonderful time enjoying Infinite's mind blowing storyline filled with twists and turns. As for Last of Us, I'm looking forward to that and also much thankful for Naughty Dog developing one of the best games this year.

How is Last of Us not on this list...?

I probably don't have a top ten 2013 figured out yet, but I'd say Ni No Kuni, Pokemon X/Y, Shin Megami Tensei IV, Disgaea D2, The Guided Fate Paradox, and Knights of the Old Republic (iPad). Haven't even opened all of those yet, but know I'll love them all by the end. Lol

How is Last of Us not on this list...?

If gaming had a church, I'd likely be tied to a post and set on fire or have attack dogs released to my location, but I didn't like The Last Us, didn't like Dishonored or GTA V. Lol

The Last of Us was weird. The first day of long gaming, I loved it. By the second day, I had completely lost interest in the entire story.

I definitely agree with 3D World. I mean, yearly Mario releases are a given so it's not that I'm thankful for the game itself, but I'm thankful to Nintendo for putting lot of time, work, and dedication into it, and incorporating elements from Mario's past and merging those with new elements to make an amazing experience.

Objection! I see a bias of RPGs lol.


Also hoping to get Tomb Raider BF today along with Far Cry 3 and if I'm lucky Battlefield 4 and Tales of Xilia.

Yeah but the fact that Earthbound beat it, which is literally just a port, bothers me. Haha, not like and HD remake.

Keep in mind that this is not a GotY list by any means. This is a list of games I'm thankful for, and each entry has a different reason for me being thankful (like EarthBound costing a billion dollars and finally getting a cheaper means of owning it legally). My GotY list will likely be very different.





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