I played too many games to mention this year. The ones that made the best impression were the ones I’ve already spoken of. There were many games that I played that didn’t release this year, so despite loving some of them, they won’t be on this list as they aren’t “current.” I also wasn’t playing any MMOs this year (at least not seriously) so there aren’t any of those on this list. Finally, these are mostly niche games, because I haven’t been buying mainstream games as they release, as much of the AAA titles on offer this year weren’t ones I was interested in, or couldn’t afford when they released. When I say “couldn’t afford” I really mean I’m a cheap ass gamer these days. So with all that said, on to the list (in no particular order):
The Last of Us:
This is one of the only two AAA titles I played this year, though it still wasn’t upon release. I picked up my copy of The Last of Us a few months later on sale. This was a game I couldn’t pass up, not only because I have loved nearly everything Naughty Dog has ever done, but also because it’s a survival horror game which is right up my alley. I only played through the game once, but the story was amazing and the game play equally fun. Multiplayer was more of the same, but was still enjoyable at times. I will probably go back and play this one again some day, as it really was a great experience.
Ni No Kuni: The Wrath of the White Witch:
I spent less time with this game than I would have liked, but still have strong feelings about it. I can’t say that I beat it or even got all of that far through the game, but what I did play was amazing and I will be revisiting it soon. Another AAA title that I got on sale, it was most definitely worth the $20 I paid. There are so many different systems from different JRPGs present here, that it feels like a mix of most of the RPGs I loved playing as a kid, on through my adulthood. I love all RPGs, but there is something to be said about the addictive nature of ones from Japan.
This is the only game I couldn’t wait to have this year. I bought it shortly after release for full price. Granted, it was less money than a boxed $60 game, but still, this needs to be notated. I have recently posted about this game so I won’t go into reasons why it’s on my top ten again, but if you are a fan of side-scrolling beat-em-ups with RPG elements, this game will suit you.
Path of Exile:
PoE is the true successor to Diablo II. I say this without having played Diablo III, but I know enough about it to make that statement. Everything about it screams “Diablo II with slightly different systems and holy fuck look at that skill tree!” This game has been playable for more than just this year, but was officially released in 2013, so it makes my list. One of the best 3/4 view action RPGs of the year.
One of the two Rogue-likes that made this list (FTL would have too if it would have been released this year), Rogue Legacy is an awesome 2-D platformer that redefines death. Death means you will get new powers and possibly new disabilities, all of which are random along with the levels. I have progress pretty far into the game, and I would recommend it to anyone that owns a PC, and a controller. Controls are weak without one, and that’s my only disappointment.
Sword of the Stars: The Pit:
This is my other Rogue-like pick, and it is vastly different from the aforementioned title, but still good in almost every way. Permadeath is definitely a pro and a con, in that it is great to have to take responsibility for your actions, but it really sucks to get further into the dungeon than ever, just to die and have to start over. Still, I have had much fun with the game and have written about it multiple times. Grinding recipes is about the only part of the game that is overly frustrating, because some characters simply cannot hack machines for the messages needed. All in all a must-play.
Terraria released this year on PS3 (though I believe other versions were last year?). I haven’t made much headway with the game, and it is disappointing that there isn’t a way to connect with people that aren’t on your friend’s list. Aside from that, I have had fun exploring and taking part in gameplay that is far from traditional. I have explained my lack of experience with sandbox games, and this was the game that opened the door for me. If you like Minecraft, I’m sure you’ll like Terraria. Just make sure you have friends with the game, as multiplayer makes it more fun.
Dragon Fantasy Book 2:
Dragon Fantasy Book 2 is the sequel to (you guessed it) Book 1. Where Book 1 was an 8-bit adventure reminiscent of Dragon Warrior, Book 2 mixes elements from the 16-bit era, with combat like Secret of Mana or Chrono Trigger, a Pokemon-like pet collection system, and other goodies that remind me of being a kid. In the “good ol days.” I haven’t finished it, but it is on my to-do list and it recommended for old school JRPG nuts. Looking forward to seeing the next iteration, that is supposed to support an engine using 32-bit graphics. FF7 clone here we come 🙂
The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 1:
This was a recent release, so this goes without commentary. If you scroll down, the dedicated post should still be on the main page. Must-have for those of you who were fans of the first season. I just wish it wasn’t so short, and hope that future episodes make up for this lack of length.
League of Legends: All Random All Mid:
In the MMO world, people will select expansions in their “best of” posts, and as League is the closest thing to a Massive game that I’m playing, I’m going to consider this an “expansion” for all intents and purposes. ARAM was released this year, and became a dedicated game mode, like Dominion and Twisted Treeline before it. ARAM most likely consumed more of my game time than any other game this year. I played my share of other modes in LoL, but I think ARAM took the cake for hours played. The game mode is my favorite way to just unwind, without the pressure of having to win, as there is no leaderboard. I love League, and will most likely keep it in my rotation for a long time to come.
I read a post over on The Cynic Dialogues about 2013 being the worst year in (PC) gaming, and I was about to argue against that fact (except the author has comments disabled), but after delving through my posts, trophy lists and memories, it was difficult for me to put together this list of ten. I am now more inclined to agree with them, despite knowing that if I had a slightly better computer I would have been playing some games that I can’t run now. Also, being rich would help to buy some of the games that I didn’t touch this year, so my list might be a little skewed from where it could be. Still, here’s hoping that 2014 blows us away. I hope to get a PS4 and a new computer next year, so maybe I’ll have more options available to me and next year’s list will be easier to pull off.
Lastly, if you are anal like me, you can verify release dates for any of the above listed games here. Just so you know I didn’t cheat ;P