What can be said about gaming in 2013 that hasn't already been said? The year will go down as one of the best in recent history for its many unique and diverse top-notch experiences. That said, it's finally time to bring an end to this Game of the Year feature.
But enough exposition - you've already read through 12 of our own personal lists thus far anyhow. So what has the GP staff selected as its top 10 games of 2013? And more importantly, which game won the coveted Game of the Year title? Read on to find out!
10. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
I hate to sound sensational when describing things, but Brothers is an astounding experience on many levels. Using dual analog sticks to control both brothers feels oddly strange and natural at the same time, and the gameplay mechanics and puzzles formed around that very scheme work brilliantly. But more than anything, Brothers cuts deep to the heart with its story and narrative, the likes of which are enhanced and brought to the next level through the use of cinematic imagery and fantastical locales and characters. Short and sweet yet powerful at the same time, Brothers is a game that undeniably leaves its mark on you by the end and should not be missed .
- Jason Clement, Editor-in-Chief
9. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
After a rocky relaunch, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has come out like Iron Man, granting it a huge amount of celebrity status and adoration, having addressed nearly every issue people had with the original title. Not only that, but quickfixes continue to address issues as they arise, and the massive content patch in 2.1 brought in even more new content, showing that Square-Enix has no intention of slowing down.
- Marshall Henderson, Editor
8. Super Mario 3D World
Say what you will about the Big N, but they still know how to make fantastic games. That much is ever-so-apparent after playing the platforming masterpiece that is Super Mario 3D World, especially when playing with others. Taking some of the best elements from many a Mario game (Hotel Mario doesn't count) and adding new features to make it feel fresh and new, this Wii U title is not only a must-have for any owner of the console, but is arguably one title that makes the Wii U a must-have itself.
- Jordan Haygood, Community Manager
7. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
No other game this year has given me even close to the same feeling of adventure that Ni No Kuni has. With a lovely cast of characters, more gameplay than you can shake a stick at, and a story that just oozes happiness and comfort, I can't see why anybody would hate it.
- Jared, Features Editor
6. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Few games give you the level of freedom, choice and consequence that AC IV brings to the table. Throwing players into the shoes of a pirate-turned-assassin, AC IV is a massive step over every previous iteration and thrills with excellent naval combat. Coupled with fantastic presentation and a few multiplayer modes, AC IV is destined to devour your time.
- Harrison Lee, Editor
In a year where the 3DS basically dominated the Vita in sheer volume and overall quality of original game content, it's fascinating to see how Tearaway stumbled its way upon the Vita and was by far the most imaginative and creative title on handhelds in 2013. Utilizing every unorthodox feature on the system in surprisingly seamless ways and presenting an insanely captivating visual style, Tearaway brought a real, childish wonderment and a personalized adventure that knew not to overstay its welcome in sharp contrast to many other games nowadays.
- Barrel, Moderator
4. Gone Home
What is there to say about Gone Home that hasn't already been said? It's important, emotional, and at no point do you have to perform a headshot on zombies, racially ambiguous enemies, or Nazis. Because of its point and click-ish gameplay, some have even suggested it isn't even a game - as if that somehow demolishes its worth. Gone Home is a series of simple stories of one family that you discover by rifling through their stuff. And somehow it manages to provide engaging narratives through these simple mechanics.
Without ever coming face to face with anyone else, you begin to care about what this fictional family has been through in "your" absence. Perhaps me being an older sibling to a sister had something to do with it, but the story really resonated with me. It wasn't something I had ever expected to see coming out of the video game medium and I only hope we can see more like it in the future.
- Marcus Estrada, Managing Editor
3. Fire Emblem: Awakening
Amazing to think that just a short while ago, the Fire Emblem series was in trouble in both Japan and in the West. With dwindling sales and a few relatively poorly received entries made Fire Emblem: Awakening the games that would truly make or break the series. Intelligent Systems went all out with this 3DS release, and their effort shows through. With a fantastic art style and soundtrack, an engaging (if a bit outrageous) plot, and mechanics that welcome the newcomers as well as please series veterans, it's safe to say that the Fire Emblem series will be around for years to come.
- Gaiages, Community Manager
2. The Last of Us
The Last of Us somehow manages to take a story that affects the entire fate of the world and focus it on the relationship between two very real people. While the game puts you in these harrowing and emotionally torturous positions, it is able to keep the human element intact - all the while forcing you to do extremely inhuman things. However, what makes this game truly interesting are the small moments of quiet in between the bloodshed. Moments where Ellie is reading from a joke book several decades past their prime, finding comic books she likes among the wreckage of towns you visit, the moments Joel places his hand on her shoulder when they are hiding from something. All these small moments add to the value of the characters and it makes you want to go through the nightmare of these monsters just so you can experience them all over again.
- Dominic Dimanche, Contributing Writer
And GP's Game of the Year for 2013 is...
1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
A Link Between Worlds can best be summarized as a game inspired by the past, but with no intentions to remain there. The newly constructed dungeons are completely unique, providing some of the most thought provoking puzzles of the entire franchise. Link is no longer constricted to a singular progression, something that was once propelled by convenient discoveries in preceding dungeons. New, fully orchestrated arrangements of familiar songs represent a precedent-setting achievement for Nintendo as they set the bar for soundtracks for all of their future titles.
While this Zelda title may have initially began with humble origins as an idea for a remake of A Link To The Past, the game blossomed into something much more complex. A Link Between Worlds combines the franchise's past victories with new innovations that will likely have you rearranging your â€œBest Legend of Zelda Gamesâ€ list.
- John Kidman, Contributing Writer
Are you surprised with the outcome of the list? Let us know what you think!