austinTOP2013

Better late than never right? 2013 is over but here is your chance to read about my personal picks for best 10 games of the year in an ordered list.

2013 was a weird year for gaming. We saw the continued increase of smaller, cheaper games from independent development as well as the launch of new hardware from both Sony and Microsoft. I played a ton of games and it was as difficult as always to condense the list to just my favorite ten, but here is what I came up with.

Honorable Mentions: Towerfall, Spin The Bottle: Bumpie’s Party and The Wolf Among Us Ep 1.

10. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (PS4)

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Black Flag is the best Pirate game I have ever played. I had lost interest in the Assassin’s Creed franchise after playing parts of AC3, and Black Flag turned me around. The open world sea exploration and ship combat had me sailing around looking to plunder whatever I could find. The hunting and crafting elements that were brought over from Far Cry 3 added an RPG like depth, and gave me even more reasons to explore. Black Flag has me excited for another Assassin’s Creed game, which I didn’t think was possible.

Favorite Moment: Sailing around the tropical oceans singing along with my crew as I look for ships to sink and treasure to plunder.

9. Rogue Legacy (PC)

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A Rouge-like game with light persistence and progression layered throughout make Rogue Legacy more than just another dungeon crawler. The boss fights and different areas of the level are challenging, but with the level up systems even when I died I felt like I was making progress. The tight controls for platforming and combat had me always blaming myself for my failures and not the game.

Favorite Moment: Learning the different bizarre genetic modifiers and progressing my linage to become unstoppable.

8. The Legend of Zelda a Link Between Worlds (3DS)

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This is the first Zelda game since Wind Waker that I have actually been excited to play. The writing is light and comical, and the art style pairs wonderfully with the 3D capabilities of the system. Nintendo has shown with a Link Between Worlds that stereoscopic 3d can be meaningful and make puzzles and make a more immersive experience.

Favorite Moment: Searching for the different entry points to travel to and from Lorule.

7. Pokemon Y (3DS)

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The Pokemon formula is pretty standardized, and there are so many new creatures introduced that I lost track after the first 151. The way that Pokemon X/Y streamlined a lot of the tedious micromanagement of leveling and breeding pokemon got me back into the series in a crazy way. I ended up sinking 60 hours into the game in the first week, and still was wanting to play more. If you haven’t played a Pokemon since the days of Game Boy, now is the perfect time to jump back in.

Favorite Moment: Playing next to a friend comparing Pokemon we had caught and saying: “Have you seen this dumb looking one? Its a KEY RING!”

6. Resogun (PS4)

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Resogun is more than just a re-imagining of the classic shooter, Defender. It uses the retro ideas with a modern design. Resogun did leaderboards right and had me excited to compete with my friends to see who could get the furthest without dying, chaining up large multipliers and racking up the most points. The varying in enemy and boss stages dependent on

Favorite Moment: Successfully boosting through a long chain of enemies and watching their bits of voxels (volumetric pixels) litter the screen.

5. Bioshock Infinite (360)

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So many amazing moments within Infinite’s story. While it might start to fall apart the more you pick at it the first play through had my mind going crazy. I love the world that was created and where the game left off, and replaying the story shows the attention to detail.

Favorite Moment: Watching the demise of Elizabeth’s protector and the realization of where the player had been transported to.

4. The Stanley Parable (PC)

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The Stanley Parable is brilliantly written and narrated. I had a blast pushing the game in directions trying to break it, only to find that what I was doing had been anticipated and encouraged as an alternate path. I played the game on my own several times and still haven’t seen everything, and it’s one of those great games that is easy to share with friends and family who don’t regularly play games.

Favorite Moment: The Broom Closet Ending.

3. Dead Rising 3 (XB1)

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The Previous entries of the Dead Rising series are great, but Dead Rising 3 raises the bar when it comes to absurdity and number of zombies on screen. The game features hundreds of weapon blueprints scattered around the world giving a purpose to random collectables. The goofy sense of charm through campy dialogue and strange wearable outfits has been perfected. I am looking forward to playing the remaining DLC and chopping my way through giant crowds of the undead.

Favorite MomentLearning the significance of Diego’s love interest, and playing the final portions with a familiar face.

2. The Last of Us (PS3)

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The Last of Us has a strong story which wouldn’t have been as meaningful if told through any other medium. The beautifully animated characters were able to convey emotion that is rarely ever seen in video games. The story paired perfectly with the brutal nature of the combat. The creepy new take on zombies, and the cut throat nature of survivors makes the world of The Last of Us one I was glad to visit but would never want to live in myself. This game alone is worth having a PlayStation 3.

Favorite Moment:  Getting out of an intense combat scenario, catching my breath and seeing a family of giraffes traveling through the ruins of a city.

1. Rayman Legends (360)

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Rayman Legends is a pure game. The platforming is challenging yet fair because I never fight with the controls and it is quick to let me try again. The art style is complexly layered and beautifully colored. While Legends was originally developed for Wii U only, it coming to other platforms was the greatest thing that happened to it. I enjoy playing platformers by myself, so I can die a ton of times or sprint through areas without having to worry about another player. Playing the Wii U version solo was slow and boring on the stages that required touch control, but the 360 and PS3 versions circumvented this by adding the touch to a button. Platforming and controlling the touch inputs is very intense and added a layer of challenge that the Wii U version was lacking. In addition to the ton of levels and challenges in the core game, Ubisoft added a bulk of Rayman Origins redesigned in the Legends engine for even more content.

Favorite Moment: When the kazoo starts playing during Mariachi Madness.