Welcome to the top 20 video games of 2013! Before this begins it needs to be said that not everything that should have made this list did. Competition was tough this year, especially with the release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. If you feel strongly that something should have made it on this list feel free to comment down below, if we missed something great we would love to know. With that in mind, remember that this is not a bragging contest. A lot of great video games came out this year and we feel the need to share that with the world.
This list contains (according to some) the top 20 best games from 2013. Remasters, releases making it to new consoles, and collections are exempt from this list. Some games came out in different places in different years, with that in mind a game must have come out in the U.S. in 2013 to be eligible to make it onto this roster. This list is broken up into four different sections, bottom tier, bronze tier, silver tier, and gold tier. There is no order of importance in these tiers, they are all equally worthy. Hopefully you will find something here that intrigues you, every one of these games is excellent. Now, lets begin.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Climb aboard and prepare for one of the best pirate adventures video games has to offer. This is an Assassin’s Creed title but the assassin part feels much less important than previous titles, which is a good thing. The game throws you into the action as Edward Kenway, privateer-turned-pirate with a taste for riches.
The exploration is astounding. The map is huge and gives the player the option to take down forts, hunt for whales, search sunken ships and have an all around great time acting like a pirate. The game suffers from the occasional glitch but it usually is not enough to ruin any given experience. Outside of the animus you work at Abstergo Entertainment as a random employee. These moments are not a huge part of the game but they do add a strange meta feeling to the overall scope of what is going on in the Assassin’s Creed series. Multiplayer has a variety of modes but unfortunately does not have an option for online naval combat. If you enjoy the Assassin’s Creed series but don’t like the story as much as the exciting exploration and free roaming then this may be the Assassin’s Creed game for you. Even with a few problems this title is an adventure game that really puts you in the shoes of a pirate, from gaining resources for upgrading your ship, to finding under water booty, this title stands as one of the best pirate games period.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons PC, XBLA, PSN
This title comes as a downloadable adventure game that is really driven by the story, characters, and settings. The player controls both sons as they venture out into the world to find a cure for their dying father. This means that the player is controlling both characters with different analog sticks, this translates to multitasking to overcome puzzles and obstacles. The puzzles used are clever and fun. The reason the game is so short is because once a new mechanic is used for a puzzle it is dropped and the next puzzle is a whole new experience.
This game is only about three hours long but plays out more like a poem or novel than a movie. The touching narrative that bonds the family together is really tear jerking and may hit home for some people. A multiplayer mode would’ve been much appreciated but the challenge of many of the puzzles comes from trying to effectively control both brother simultaneously. Each new portion of the journey subtly elaborates on the characteristics of each brother and helps to distinguish the two as individuals.
Killer is Dead PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
The newest game to come from Suda 51 and Grasshopper Manufacture. The title is the dark opposite of the last release, Lollipop Chainsaw. It follows an executioner in the slight future named Mondo Zappa. The story is odd and might confuse some, however the cel-shaded artwork style always makes watching the story interesting. The game split into 13 main chapters but also has some side quests that are very similar to the main game and a few gigolo missions, yes that is correct, gigolo missions. Mondo is reminiscent of James Bond in the fact that they both love ladies and killing, but Mondo deals with some slightly freakier issues and often breaks the fourth wall.
The biggest focus of Killer is Dead is the combat. Mondo comes equipped with a sword and a cyborg arm that can change into a few things including a gun, a drill, and more. The game is set up so that the player who gets speed going and does well keeps going and keeps adding onto that power. Upgrades are available and certainly add to the game but the selection is fairly small. The game is serious about the difficulty, as the game progresses it actually gets harder. The difficulty does not come from having hordes of enemies but instead is due to the individual power of each enemy. Fans of action games will certainly find a home in the combat here as they utilize speed to sever their enemies in two.
Divekick PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, (Xbox One and PlayStation 4 port in the works)
Many competitive fighting games make use of an attack known as a dive kick, this attack comes from the air and almost always includes an increase in velocity. It has become such an abusable tactic in fighting games that a parody game was created where the only way to win was to land a dive kick. Actually, the game only has two buttons dive (jump) and kick (attack). If you land a divekick you automatically knock out your opponent and win the round, matches end when one player reaches five wins (or five successful dive kicks).
This title started out small, having only a two characters. It began at competitive fighting game tournaments and was met with great reception. The game is simple but elaborate. It is as if you boiled a fighting game down to its root mechanics and what you have is Divekick, a ridiculously powerful game that hinges on mind-games and out playing your opponent. The actual release comes with 13 characters that each have special differences to mix up combat. If you don’t understand most of the games jokes and characters that is because they are references to the fighting game community. That being said, this game has a lot of love in it and is a blast to play with almost anyone.
Gears of War: Judgement Xbox 360
This prequel is the first game in the series that does not follow Marcus Fenix and instead follows Lt. Damon Baird. The game follows the formula of the previous games but mixes it up in some interesting ways. It should be noted this game is best played with a friend.
The main game oddly enough plays a bit like a dungeon crawler, except as a shooter. The chapters are broken up into smaller sections and each section is like entering a new level of a dungeon. You check your ammunition and then take out waves of enemies, get to the next section and keep going. There is no loot so when it is safe you check for ammo and possibly new weapons. The sections change up gameplay while keeping you moving in one direction. One portion may give you mini turrets to strategically place around to help defend a location, another portion may send you through a maze with snipers attacking. The game constantly changes the feel of combat. To add to the experience, the beginning of each new section offers a an optional challenge with multiple levels of completion. These challenges differ and can add some wacky fun elements such as only being able to clear a room with a sword or a torque bow. The game is not doing anything groundbreaking but it does create a very fun co-op campaign to play through.
Thus ends part one (bottom tier) of the top 20 video games of 2013. Thank you for reading, keep in mind that three parts still remain. Will your favorites make the list? Feel free to comment and stay tuned for part two.
By Garrett Jutte