The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS – 2013)
The new Zelda game on the 3ds is easily my favorite game on the system. As I read up on the new game before it came out my heart sank. I was thinking to myself, what are they doing to you??!! Renting the weapons you normally find in dungeons? Having a stamina bar for all the weapons instead of collecting individual bombs, arrows, etc. Then I played it. I have not played a hand held game that much since Zelda Link's Awakening. This game is great! Anyone who is a fan of Zelda games period needs to pick this one up yesterday!
Puppeteer (PS3 – 2013)
This one isn't as well known, but it quickly found a place in my heart. The quest to defeat the Moon Bear King with his magical scissors is one of the most creative and imaginative platforming games to come out in a very long time. Including the Super Mario Bros. games. Sure Mario is great but, Puppeteer just has so many cool ideas and a great presentation that also breaks the 4th wall, something that I believe more developers should do with games like this one.
New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U – 2012)
My wife and I still haven't finished this game but, what can I say. It's Mario. Rarely does a first party Nintendo game disappoint. The only reason Super Mario 3d World isn't on this list instead of this one is because I still haven't played 3d world. I own it, along with 2 other Wii U titles that still haven't been opened in my massive backlog of games. That being said, the intuitive controls with the Wii U game pad along with the up to 5 player co-op makes this game highly addictive. We have to pace ourselves so we don't beat the game in one night.
Rayman Origins (PS3 – 2012)
Much like New Super Mario Brothers Wii U this is a co-op platformer. The visual style is a cool hand drawn background that looks amazing. Trying to find everything in a stage is even more addictive in this game than in Mario. Not only does this game have great platforming, but it also has cool side scrolling shooter levels.
League of Legends (PC – 2009)
If this was a list of what game I played most in 2013, this would be on the top of the list by far. This is the game where I will play on lunch breaks, or if I just have nothing to do. I'll sit down at my computer and play a round. With more than 100 different champions to choose from this MOBA is one of the best and most popular out there. In a given week I probably put in between 5 and 10 games. Best of all this game is 100% free. Players do not have to spend a single dime on the game if they do not want to.
The Last of Us (PS3 – 2013)
Survival horror will never be the same again. Once players finish this game the word clicker will have a whole other meaning. This game gave me more scares than any Resident Evil game ever did. You even needed to look out for non infected humans as they were more dangerous than infected as they were actually smart and unpredictable. This game truly gave players an emotional roller coaster with Joel and Ellie becoming more and more like father and daughter the closer to the end of the game players got. Players got so attached to Ellie that when you saw her experience joy, or sadness you couldn't help but be empathetic towards her. This is the first game that has done this to me in a very long time.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PS3 – 2013)
Pokemon for the PS3 is probably the best way to describe this game. Some of the themes are very childish and Oliver himself is a child but one with a big heart who believes that he can fix the world just by trying. His mother dies and has he cries over his stuffed doll, it comes to life and tells him that there is an alternate world where Oliver's mother might still be alive. So Oliver goes on a quest to rescue his mother's double in this alternate dimension. This game is for sure one of the best RPG experiences of last generation and is a must play for anyone who enjoys old Japanese style RPGs.
Psychonauts (2005, 2012)
I finally got a chance to put more than 10 minutes in on this game this year. For classic platforming on last last generation (PS2, original Xbox, or my preference, PC) Double Fine studios was at its best when making this game. Making you go in each stage several times to find all the memory fragments and emotional baggage to clear out of people's heads. The concept was very original and extremely fun. Tim Schafer and crew where on top of their game when they built this one.
Resogun (PS4 – 2013)
Had to have something from this generation on this list. Resogun is by far the game I've spent the most time on with my PS4. Not only is it visually stunning, but the game is so addicting that it will have you going through each stage every time on every difficulty trying to rescue every last human on each stage. As frustratingly difficult as it is fun to play this is a must have if you picked up a PS4.
Okami HD (PS3 – 2012)
Okami was from the PS2 era originally and was upgraded to HD status during the PS3 era. The PS2 version was stunning on that hardware the game looked like it was painted, and as the sun goddess, you could paint the world. Need a bridge where there once was one? Paint it in! Need to cut a tree down? Paint a sword slash across it! This Zelda clone was one of the best at what it was, and certainly one of the best looking. When I found out they were working on an HD release, I simply had to have it. I finally got a chance to play it with my massive back log of games it is more fun and more incredibly looking than the original by far. This is the standard at which all HD remakes need to be held at!
Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii – 2012)
Xenoblade Chronicles is such an intriguing game that when I first learned of it, Monolith soft had already made an English port for Europe but had said they made no plans to release it in the US. The reviews it was getting was fantastic, I simply had to have it. So I modded my Wii to play oversees games and spent a lot of money importing the game. Wouldn't you know it about 2 months after the game arrived, they announced an American release in GameStop only. So I stopped playing. It came out state side and immediately went into my backlog of games. Huge mistake. Aside from a small annoyance of some of the voice acting during fighting, this game is near perfect in my eyes. The battle system is complex enough to keep you interested, and the story is really unique. If you are looking for a good RPG pick this one up, it's getting very hard to find and if you can find it for less than $60 grab it right away.
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC – 2013)
The continuation of the Terran/Zerg/Protoss conflict is one that I wait with baited breath. The Starcraft series has been one of my favorite series ever since the first game came out. The story is top notch, the balance between the 3 factions is great. The matching system on battle.net was improved over Wings of Liberty. Blizzard has done a fantastic job of upgrading its behemoth of an IP in Starcraft.
Chrono Cross (PS one – 2000, 2011)
One of the best games that came out of the PlayStation One era. Chrono Cross is a sequel to Chrono Trigger on the SNES. I've played through Chrono Cross several times, however, I keep going back to it with its multiple paths you can take. Picking the path determines the sub story and which characters you pick up as play progresses. In order to get all of the characters, one must play through the game a minimum of three times, and get every character they can during their play through. If they miss one they need to go back and get them during a play through. It's a game I have no problem going through over and over again.
Knack (PS4 – 2013)
My wife would be angry if I didn't at least mention Knack. The game was fun and satisfying, but the poor jumping mechanic and the cut sceanes every couple of minutes took the player out of the game too often for me to make it a game of the year. However it was still a very fun game and should be played if you have a PS4. The story was fun if for the most part predictable.