Welcome to the last portion of our journey, the final part of our list counting down the top 20 video games of 2013. This is gold tier although every game apart of this four part list has been a joy, hopefully you find some enjoyment from them. Keep in that there is no order here. Without further ado, lets begin.
Fire Emblem: Awakening 3DS
To start with, this game looks beautiful. This instalment brings some features from really old installments in the series as well as new features. The story at times can feel a little empty, but the rest of the game does not. Combat includes the ability to pair units together for greater strategic possibilities as well as building support between the two. When two units of the opposite sex spend enough time together they can get married and have a child, this child will travel from the future and can be recruited into your team. Parents pass down stats and abilities to their child which means that depending on your level of organization and commitment you can create a glorious team of super powerful future children!
Classic mode is difficult but it is most truly how to play Fire Emblem. In classic mode when a character dies they are gone forever. If that sounds intimidating for new players casual mode does exist (which means characters can not permanently die), but must be picked at the beginning of the game. This is a strategy game that requires you to pay attention to your surroundings and opponents, it is important to remember who is weak to what. Depending on how you play this game you may experience things very differently than a friend. If you want to grind and get more levels you can here. Enemies as well as people you spot pass show up on the map, downloadable maps exist for a cost and separate downloadable teams from older Fire Emblem can be summoned and challenged for no cost. Plus, when you beat these opponents they can join your team (Roy anyone?). This game has hours upon hours of gameplay and love throughout, it is a strategy game that can not be missed.
The Stanley Parable PC
This title surprised a lot of people. This first person adventure follows the individual named Stanley as he tries to discover why there is nobody in his work office. Your quest is followed by a narrator who guides Stanley however, he can be disregarded entirely if you choose. This will result in a number of different endings that certainly play out in surprising ways. The freedom in this game leads to discoveries about metal disorders and all around thought provoking concepts.
The Stanley Parable is so off the wall compared to most games that you’ll probably be scratching your head and then immediately play it again. It is short but has tons of repeat-ability and is pretty cheap. There are just over a dozen endings and some fun secrets to find that are not actually endings. It is difficult to say more without giving away the secrets for why this title is so thought provoking and necessary of your attention. If you like to see what games can do as art then please play this game.
Pokemon X and Y 3DS
Due to the similarities these two titles, they will be grouped together to fit into the list, although there are noticeable changes between the two titles. The sixth generation of Pokemon looks to intrigue new players as well as hook old players. They do that by adding onto the formula that has worked so well for years. This means that you get a starter Pokemon when you begin your adventure, but you also get one of the original three starters in the third city. Having players once again choose between Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur is really like reuniting with a childhood friend you haven’t seen for years.
The fixes and new additions truly add to the experience here. Saving now takes less than three seconds, mega evolutions add new strategic options, and Pokemon- Amie allows for trainers to feed, pet, and play games with their Pokemon. The Kalos region is truly one to be admired. Full of culture, post-game content, and all kinds of pokemon this region holds a certain beauty within it. The breeding in this generation has undergone some changes to be more efficient and finding shiny pokemon is easier that it has ever been (but is still pretty difficult). The 3DS allows you to trade and battle with friends or random people. After you beat the game you can go to the Friend Safari which holds pokemon of a certain type for each of the friends on your 3DS that also play pokemon. Depending on how you play, this game may literally keep you happy for hundreds of hours. It is arguably one of the best additions to the series.
Bioshock Invinite PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
This game holds a lot of controversy with critics but when you get down to it, this game is great. As the third entry in the series, Bioshock Infinite has quite the legacy to live up to. Luckily, every part of this title is excellent, the story, the music, the combat, all of it. The style and layout of Columbia, the city in the clouds, is vastly different from previous landscapes but that works as a great advantage here. The wide open settings make use of the Skyrail system as a means of transportation. The game gives the player enough options weapon wise so that the player can approach a combat situation whichever way they want but they won’t have enough of an inventory to have too many options. This also works to teach the player how to effectively change-up their style if a certain approach tactic isn’t working.
The voice acting of Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper brings life into this already exploding world. At first things may seem difficult to understand but the deep story line drags players in at one point or another. Even without playing the previous titles of the series, gamers have a lot to enjoy here. This game has a lot to say about religion and how people live but it is also extremely violent, the brutal piano that plays when you smash in someones head really emphasizes the fact you are doing something so harsh.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
This game is a downloadable game that is unconnected to the story of Far Cry 3 and can be played without the actual game (similar to Undead Nightmare). The game follows Rex Power Colt, a cyborg commando sent to a remote island to investigate an old friend Colonel Sloan. The game plays like Far Cry 3, if Far Cry 3 was full of lazers, neon lights, and cyborg action. Since you are a cyborg in this game you can breath underwater, run super fast, and survive falls from nearly any height. The game starts you out with a full inventory of weapons and gives you a sense of power that makes the game fun to play in whatever style you choose. Whether you are killing lazer breathing dragons with bows or sniping unsuspecting henchmen with explosive rounds, the fun is there for you to find.
Rex is voiced by Michael Beihn, who you may remember such movies as, The Terminator, Aliens, and The Abyss. The game includes a lot of one liners, quips, and call outs, such as, “just the tip” “No longer the head of the class” and “I hope I don’t have to collect any f*cking feathers.” If the game seems very tongue in cheek that is because it is. This game is fully aware of how ridiculous the entire concept is, and it runs with it. It actually does such a good job that the only real problem is that the entire game can be completed so quickly that you are left craving for more. But for those that do want to keep playing, the leaderboards keep track of your experience as you continue to murder blood dragon after blood dragon. To put it plainly, this game is fun. Very fun.
That ends our list of the top 20 video games of 2013. Now that it is finished is there something you think should have been on this list that didn’t make it? Was there anything that was on here you disagree with? Competition was tough this year but it was a fantastic year for video games overall. Thank you for reading and happy new year.
By Garrett Jutte