2013 Best


I look back at previous years trying to determine if 2013 was a good year for games. It was, but I’m not convinced it will go down as one of the best. Still, the final year before two new consoles was filled with examples of what developers can do when they have time to get used to the hardware and put their best foot forward.

10. Grand Theft Auto V

It’s so rare that a game represents a specific part in the console life cycle. What better swan song could this generation have? I felt an excitement I hadn’t felt about an open-world game since Grand Theft Auto III, the PS2 classic that started it all. You could write a novel the size of the game’s script about all the things they do right, but my experience is best summed up when I was driving through the mountains at night. I get in a chopper and fly away. I see my car, parked. I see the road I drove up on. I glance ahead and see Los Angeles (er, Santos) at night. The lights of the city quietly await my murderous rage, or my relaxed exploring. I hadn’t decided yet. READ MORE


10. Layton Brothers Mystery Room

A surprise, and an interesting way to begin my list. This game came out of nowhere, releasing on the App Store in June. The game follows Lucy Baker, a novice investigator, and Alfendi Layton, a seasoned investigator and son of the famed Professor Hershel Layton, as they solve various cases in a number of locked room mysteries. While the game was relatively short and extremely linear, it was nice to see a different side of the Layton family solving a different kind of puzzle. Hopefully we see more of this type of Layton puzzle game in the future. READ MORE


We wrap up our system-specific awards with the latest wave of systems. What were the year’s best releases on the Wii U, and which PS4 and Xbox One launch games stood out? READ MORE


2013 was a good year for my unplugged gaming, but it could have been amazing. Unfortunately, Kickstarter delays are a fact of life. Of the dozen or so projects I backed scheduled for this year, at least four were delayed beyond my deadline for this column, and two more are currently on-schedule but sadly also due to arrive on the wrong side of my cut-off date. Those five or six games and could have made a strong impact on my list.  Instead they will join the various projects already scheduled for 2014 in what could be a crazy year-end process in twelve months’ time.

And then of course there were all of the new games I played this year that had nothing to do with Kickstarter. It can be tricky to balance supporting independent designers and publishers while still making contributions to the bottom line of my FLGS, but both goals are their own reward. After all, without the store I would have far fewer opportunities to play anything, Kickstarted or not. With that, here are the ten new games I enjoyed playing the most this year. READ MORE


This year, we decided to do something special: allow staff to choose award categories of their own to join our end-of-year festivities. Today, we crown the year’s best add-on, best licensed title and best fighting game.