Join members of El33tonline as we release our lists of the very Best Games of 2013, including our own personal lists and round-ups of the best games on each platform.
Here is Tom’s personal list of the top five games of 2013.
2013 has been a great year for gaming and I’ve been lucky enough to play through some of the biggest titles during this period on a variety of platforms. I’m a big fan of adventure games and RPGs so I was a bit disappointed that there weren’t more major releases in these categories during the past year. I would’ve loved to have included a Dark Souls, Mass Effect or The Witcher title on my Top 5 Games of the Year list but unfortunately 2013 has been a dry year for massive RPG series like these.
I still need to play some of the big releases of the year such as Beyond: Two Souls, Tomb Raider and Grand Theft Auto V so bear that in mind when you peruse the list below:
5.) Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies
The five Ace Attorney games on the DS gave me dozens of hours of enjoyment so when Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies was confirmed to be coming to the West it quickly became one of my most anticipated games of the year. While it exceeded my expectations in some areas and let me down in others, I can wholeheartedly recommend it to fans of the series and anyone looking for a very quirky and intriguing adventure game for the 3DS.
Some of the game’s highlights include a colourful assortment of new characters who blend in perfectly with the series’ established cast. The game’s cut-scenes created by anime studio Bones also add a lot to the Ace Attorney experience we’ve come to know and love, and Dual Destinies’ 3D visuals impart new life to the game’s characters by making their animations much more intricate and fluid.
4.) Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Ni no Kuni is exactly the kind of RPG I want to play on my PlayStation 3 – beautiful, engaging and deep. There haven’t been too many JRPGs to write home about over the past few years but Ni no Kuni reminded me why this genre is cherished by so many gamers around the world. Level-5 worked in collaboration with the famous Japanese film company Studio Ghibli to create this game, so if you’re a fan of movies such as Spirited Away and Porco Rosso then you’ll undoubtedly derive extra enjoyment from this affecting tale of a young boy who enters a magical world on a quest to save his mother.
Ni no Kuni is also infused with a wonderful sense of humour, partly owing to Oliver’s hilarious sidekick Drippy, and the game’s gorgeous cel-shaded visuals are a sight to behold and go a long way to set it apart from other PS3 RPGs.
UK developer Media Molecule scored a major hit with the LittleBigPlanet series and the studio’s new IP, Tearaway, cements its place as one of the most innovative developers around. There hasn’t really been a game before Tearaway which felt like the perfect fit for PS Vita but Media Molecule has somehow managed to craft an experience that uses every feature of the handheld without anything feeling forced or tacked on.
Not only is Tearaway’s gameplay fresh, exciting and ingenious, but the game’s papercraft-inspired visuals are pure poetry in motion and create an environment for players to explore which feels completely unique.
In my opinion the best part of the game is that it encourages players to embrace their own creativity by designing in-game objects, brushing up their in-game photography skills, and recreating the world of Tearaway in their own homes by working with papercraft patterns based on a wide variety of in-game objects.
2.) Rayman Legends
If you thought Rayman Origins was good then just wait until you check out Rayman Legends! The game once again runs at 60 frames per second at 1080p and Ubisoft has made a few improvements to the UbiArt Framework engine to ensure that Rayman Legends is arguably the best-looking 2D platformer around.
The game also features a staggering amount of content (including remade Rayman Origins levels) which will keep you busy for a very long time, and once you’ve freed every Teensie you can always compete on online leaderboards or try to get the best times or scores in the Daily and Weekly Challenges which are constantly being updated.
Rayman’s skills haven’t changed much from Rayman Origins but you’ll be surprised how fresh the gameplay feels at times as Ubisoft incorporates stealth and puzzle elements to spice up the type of experience we’ve come to expect from a 2D Rayman game.
1.) The Last of Us
We’ve grown accustomed to Naughty Dog working on one series per console generation so when news broke that the developer had formed a second team to create a brand new IP for PS3 there was naturally plenty of interest surrounding this mysterious new project. This initiative would lead to The Last of Us – a post-apocalyptic tale of survival created by two of Naughty Dog’s most talented employees who had already tasted success with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann.
The Last of Us has all the hallmarks of a Game of the Year winner – a gripping story, memorable characters and cinematic presentation achieved through some excellent directing and voice acting, along with some of the best visuals yet seen on the PS3.
For me, The Last of Us is a glowing testament to how much effort Naughty Dog puts into its games and the craftsmanship that the studio prides itself on. So many games these days feel like cut and paste jobs, but even the smallest detail in The Last of Us (such as the photos dotted around one of the abandoned offices in the game) is something wholly unique.
Would any of Tom’s top five games make it into your personal top five? Have you played all of the games in the list?