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Added by Loyal-T on 26 Jul 2013 05:49
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Top 10 Games of 2013

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People who added this item 58 Average listal rating (24 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Crysis 3 - PC Games
Honorable Mention

Crysis 3 wasn't the satisfying concluding chapter it needed to be. With that out of the way we can delve into what makes Crysis 3 both the best and worst game in Crytek's controversial franchise. Best and worst? Most definitely. Crysis 3 is the culmination of all the things that made Crysis and Crysis 2 such amazing games separately but total opposites comparatively. Crytek attempts to fuse the jungle setting of the first game with the urban environment of the second game, settling somewhere in-between the two with a beautifully realized world that is quite literally an "urban jungle." Crysis 3 looks like the first, plays like the second, and brings with it a slew of new gameplay elements.

Crysis 3 is fun. A lot of fun. If you play it patiently and take advantage of the Nanosuit's vast capabilities, the game offers plenty reward. Crysis 3 isn't as linear as the second and feels a lot more sandbox-y as a result. Crytek gets a lot of the exposition out of the way fairly quickly, sending you on your merry way to accomplish your tasks in whatever ways you deem appropriate. What suffers the most in Crysis 3 is the narrative. Crysis 2 had a distinct beginning, middle, and end presented with clear stakes & conflict. In short, Crysis 3 squanders all the story potential of the second game. Chapters feel more like action vignettes loosely held together by a clich├ęd story, and that's disconcerting. And shame on you Crytek for having a Crysis campaign clock in at a measly six hours.

A lot of what Crysis 3 does, it does really well. I don't remember the last time I played a shooter with gun combat this exhilarating, and the Nanosuit is still loads of fun. Crysis 3 is graphically impressive, though I suspect absolutely no one thought it wouldn't be. A good shooter on its own but Crysis 3 just can't fill the huge shoes left over by the previous game. It attempts to be bigger in every way except the ways that truly matter. Crysis 3 is solid fun for shooter fans but could have been so much more.
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People who added this item 61 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0
Rocksteady Games' Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City did what few licensed games are able to do: transcend their labels and appeal to gamers outside of their core audience. Rocksteady's Batman titles are going to be infinitely more enjoyable for fans of the Dark Knight, but they work wonderfully as quality standalone games as well. It goes to show that talented developers with a passion for the source material can create something truly impressive if given the chance.

WB Games Montreal have taken over development duties for Rocksteady which could potentially (and probably did) dissuade fans from instilling much confidence in Batman: Arkham Origins. It's safe to assume that admirers of Rocksteady's games are going to feel right at home with this one. Arkham Origins expounds on Arkham City in many notable ways. None of the changes and additions WB Games Montreal implemented hinder the experience as they were smart enough to leave Rocksteady's core design choices untouched. Nothing Arkham Origins does is too different or daring either which, depending on how much you enjoyed the two prior entries, is going to be a really good or really bad thing.

It needs to be said that Arkham Origins is easily the most complete entry in the series. Everything Rocksteady's games did, Arkham Origins does with the same panache and vigor. It's the biggest of the three games too; there's a lot of bang for your buck on offer here. The hand-to-hand combat is as exciting as ever, the expanded investigation scenarios are tons of fun, and the cavalcade of Batman villains that put in appearances are sure to have every DC Universe faithful frothing at the mouth. The formula Rocksteady laid the groundwork for is growing a bit long in the tooth by this point, but if WB Games is smart enough to cap the Arkham series off with this one it's certainly going out on a high note.
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People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Killzone: Shadow Fall - PlayStation 4
Microsoft has Halo and Sony has Killzone. While not as lucrative as Microsoft's megahit Halo series, Killzone has been successful enough to warrant four main entries, as well as two spin-offs on Sony's PSP and PS Vita platforms, respectively. As if enduring two entire gaming generations wasn't enough, Killzone: Shadow Fall has the dubious honor of being the first next-gen entry in the series and one of the very first games available for Sony's newly minted PlayStation 4 console.

Right off the bat it's apparent that this is a very different Killzone. Fans accustomed to the large-scale feel of the last two games are likely to question the direction Guerrilla Games went with Shadow Fall. Squad-based combat is tossed aside in favor of embracing the once-popular "lone wolf" archetype. Players will spend a good chunk of Shadow Fall's campaign by themselves, only occasionally receiving assistance from human allies. Going it alone is a welcome change of pace, and because of it Guerrilla can provide gamers a core story and set of events without having to support a cadre of unncesseasry characters and subplots. Shadow Fall's presentation & design philosophies are unexpectedly simplistic - especially compared to Killzone 2 and Killzone 3 - but engagingly so.

Sony are kicking off the new console generation right; this latest Killzone title offers what are undoubtedly the best videogame graphics currently on the market. From top to bottom Shadow Fall looks and feels like a next-gen title. Gunfights are satisfyingly weighty and there's no shortage of impressive physics and destructibility on display. The lighting and texture quality is simply phenomenal. Shadow Fall is a uniformly excellent shooter that gives you exactly what you want. Good as it may be, it's still a launch title and that means it isn't as polished as it would have otherwise been. Shadow Fall's story isn't particularly strong either, but everything else about it is top quality stuff.
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People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Battlefield 4 - PC Games
DICE and EA seem perfectly content to battle the time-tested Call of Duty franchise for the crown of most successful military shooter. Outside of both franchises being military-themed action games, they share few similarities. Since the onset, Battlefield has been about long-distance fighting, vehicular combat, and expansive maps. Call of Duty, on the other hand, unequivocally champions its stranglehold over fast-paced, close quarters gameplay. That these two juggernauts endeavor to steal the competing franchise's fanbase is hilariously ironic: they both attract different audiences.

Let's get this out of the way here and now. Battlefield 4 isn't a huge departure from Battlefield 3 and that isn't a bad thing. Battlefield 3 was already such an addicting online experience that I don't mind playing what is essentially an amped up reiteration of it. DICE are second-to-none when it comes to delivering adrenaline-fueled multiplayer action and Battlefield 4 is the most grandiose display of their skills to date. Games can and will hit the 64 player limit, and hectic doesn't even begin to describe these matches. Walls are exploding left and right, buildings are crumbling, jets are flying overhead & laying waste to anything in their line of set, and handfuls of mobile infantry are shooting it out like there's no tomorrow. Everything that made Battlefield 3 so spectacular is back times a thousand, further refined and perfected. Battlefield 4 is easily one of the most enjoyable online FPS's you are going to play for a very long time.

Unfortunately for Battlefield 3, its single-player campaign wasn't met with the same praise. I found it fun if rather unremarkable, though the critical response it received was much less forgiving. Battlefield 4, however, is everything the previous game wasn't. The characters are likeable, the story is better, the action is markedly more exciting, and, barring the anti-climactic ending, it's a surprisingly satisfying six hours. While the meat & potatoes of this franchise has always been and will forever be its vast multiplayer component, DICE's attempts to improve its single-player offering weren't in vain.
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People who added this item 247 Average listal rating (117 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
BioShock Infinite - PC Games
Irrational Games are riding the waves of a career high few developers have enjoyed. Not only was the original BioShock the most critically acclaimed release of 2007, it sold exceedingly well and has quickly become a favorite amongst gamers. Irrational had no hand in developing BioShock 2 - a good game in its own right - choosing instead to focus on BioShock's real sequel, BioShock Infinite. And wouldn't you know it, it was being hailed as a Game of the Year contender before its release and, upon release, quickly became one of this generation's best reviewed titles.

BioShock Infinite is an overrated game but a mighty excellent one and there's no way I'm going to dispute that. Its action/RPG gameplay feels perfectly balanced, complemented by a beautifully written story with rich characterizations. BioShock has always been a franchise that prided itself on its involving narratives, and to that extent BioShock Infinite plays to its strengths. Irrational have one-upped themselves by delivering one of the most thought-provoking & mature videogame stories I've ever undertaken. It's suitably emotional, philosophically contemplative, and brimming with unbridled imagination. It works on so many levels, and as a writer myself I can't help but marvel at the immense creativity Irrational tapped into for BioShock Infinite's 10 hour campaign.

Folks have gone on and on about BioShock Infinite's immaculate storytelling but few seem as keen to discuss its action-heavy gameplay. The horror elements of the original game have been removed almost completely, opting instead to make this a balls-to-the-wall actionfest. With all the excitement going down around the player it's utterly surprising that the gameplay seems so rote and ordinary. Don't get me wrong, BioShock Infinite's nonstop action is handled adequately and at times is downright exhilarating, but for the most part it lacks the oomph of other shooters. It just never feels as satisfying as it should. Still, BioShock Infinite is engaging and fun enough to transcend most of its shortcomings.
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People who added this item 175 Average listal rating (80 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 0
Beyond: Two Souls - PlayStation 3
It can be argued that Quantic Dream aren't developing games as much as they're developing interactive films that require the use of a PlayStation 3 console. David Cage - Quantic Dream's oft-outspoken founder - likens himself to legendary film directors which, given your perspective on his company's work, is either refreshing or ill-advised. If you played Quantic Dream's previous game, Heavy Rain, then Beyond: Two Souls is exactly what you'd expect it to be.

Beyond is nothing if not ambitious. It jumps from drama, to action, to horror, to comedy, and right back around again at the drop of a hat. The story is told to us in non-linear fashion as we follow protagonist Jodie Holmes (actress Ellen Page) through her highly unusual life, a life she shares with an invisible entity named Aiden. Trying to summarize Beyond in just a few sentences is nearly impossible. You could argue - and it wouldn't be without merit - that the story is needlessly convoluted. Something this self-indulgent was bound to be. But it's expertly written, crafted, and acted to such an extent that I can't bring myself to fault it for it. Beyond: Two Souls was obviously a passion project and everyone involved in bringing Quantic Dream's vision to life gave it their all.

Just like Heavy Rain did three years ago, Beyond is bound to stir up debates about whether or not it's even a videogame. Quick time events are in abundance and non-QTE segments require you to do little more than maneuver the environment and press specified buttons when you're indicated to do so. But Beyond is never boring. It never feels like you're simply watching events unfold, and that's because the game does a tremendous job of making the player an active participant instead of a passive observer. Constantly allowing the player to interact with the world even when they're not controlling Jodie goes a long way towards keeping players active and immersed in the experience. Beyond: Two Souls is going to end up polarizing gamers more than Heavy Rain already has, but don't let its niche appeal deter you. Love it or hate it, Beyond has the brass to spit in the face of conformity and forge its own path.
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If one thing can be said of Splinter Cell developer/publisher Ubisoft, it's that they aren't afraid to reinvent their franchises. The Splinter Cell titles were the go-to games for anyone able to appreciate hardcore stealth gameplay. Splinter Cell actually made you feel like a supremely skilled (not to mention supremely bad-ass) superspy. It really was the first game of its kind and continued to set the bar for stealth/espionage games through most of the sixth console generation.

2006's Splinter Cell: Double Agent began incorporating action elements into the mix but retained a lot of the popular attributes of its predecessors. 2010's Splinter Cell: Conviction made it abundantly clear that Ubisoft were wanting to take the games in a new direction. Players were no longer penalized for engaging enemies and stealth was, for the most part, entirely optional. The latest entry in the series, Blacklist, reincorporates a lot of what made these games so memorable to begin with and cuts a good amount of what made Conviction such a disappointing departure for most.

Blacklist feels like the game Ubisoft should have followed up Double Agent with. It offers a lot of content including a lengthy single-player campaign, a handful of co-op missions, side missions, and a full-fledged online component. There's an awesome upgrade system in place that allows players to purchase and augment their equipment, modify their weapons, adjust the capabilities of Sam's stealth suit, and any other number of tweaks you can imagine. Blacklist also lets players choose how to approach most of the game's missions. Some require razor-sharp precision & absolute stealth, but Ubisoft have made Blacklist hugely adaptable. Blacklist is a triumphant return to form and the best Splinter Cell title since Chaos Theory.
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People who added this item 70 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Metro: Last Light - PC Games
First-person shooters are on the obvious decline, but if there had been more like 4A Games' richly atmospheric Metro 2033 maybe consumer disinterest wouldn't have set in so soon. Metro 2033 wasn't a game I liked right off the bat. The first time I played it I couldn't have made it more than 30 minutes in before I decided it wasn't for me. Rife with boredom one summer afternoon I decided to reinstall it and give it another shot. I couldn't stop playing. It was such an absorbing journey. Both fun and frustrating in equal measure. It was something wholly different and unique. It's a shame games of this ilk aren't as well received as their bigger budgeted brethren.

Metro: Last Light isn't a huge departure from the 2010 game's winning formula. The gameplay is an amalgam of genres, most noticeably survival-horror and first-person shooter. Making a welcomed return from the previous game are the RPG-like "hub worlds" where the player can partake in NPC conversations, watch shows, buy weapons, and explore neutral areas of the metro. After spending hours surviving the hellish monstrosities beneath and above ground, sidetracking to one these hubs - watching children & families play, masses of people eating & drinking, and the remnants of society trying to retain some form of normalcy - is profound.

And then there are the graphical capabilities of 4A's in-house engine. Last Light's visuals are one of its biggest selling points and those with a capable enough PC shouldn't find it too difficult to see why. Graphics aren't all this one has to offer, though. While an unmistakably similar experience to 2033, Last Light is a similar experience in all the right ways. The gun combat is a lot more satisfying this go round, the engine's stealth capabilities have been bumped up, the levels are more intuitively designed, the story more memorable and better written, and the list goes on. Like its predecessor, Metro: Last Light is a great game that deserves more attention than it's likely to receive.
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People who added this item 467 Average listal rating (230 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
The Last of Us - PlayStation 3
Developer Naughty Dog isn't exactly known for making visceral and violent material. Their critically-acclaimed Uncharted franchise is decidedly lighthearted, offering epic adventure and humor in place of morally bankrupt protagonists and haunting gore. Despite powering The Last of Us with the same engine the Uncharted series has been saddled with for three entries now, these two games couldn't be more different. The Last of Us isn't a set piece-driven action game but rather a deliberately paced, character-driven tale of survival and endurance.

The Last of Us was advertised as a post-apocalyptic "zombie game," though I'm hesitant to call it such. The mutations you'll be facing off against aren't reanimated corpses, they're human carriers of a highly contagious fungus that quite literally takes control of their minds and bodies. The Last of Us deftly combines survival-horror, stealth, and third-person shooter gameplay cohesively and organically. You're even able to scour locations for loot in order to upgrade abilities, weapons, and craft a variety of useful items. The Last of Us's gameplay is derivative of several different genres, but Naughty Dog manages to marry them together in a way truly their own.

A strong sense of hopelessness and desperation permeates the entirety of the title's 15-hour campaign. Those 15 hours are unnervingly grim, offering nary a reprieve from the constant onslaught of in-your-face violence and horrific imagery. The Last of Us is unsurprisingly top-notch graphically as well. These are some of the best graphics the current-gen consoles have to offer and easily the best looking PlayStation 3 exclusive available. The Last of Us is a positively exhausting experience. It's unflinching, brutal, poignant, and beautifully daring.
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People who added this item 181 Average listal rating (93 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Tomb Raider - PC Games
It's hard to believe that after three console generations the Tomb Raider franchise is still showing signs of life. The original game debuted on the Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and PC waaaay back in the early autumn months of 1996. It was an immediate critical and financial success that went on to spawn countless sequels, two feature film adaptations, and opened the doors for future female videogame protagonists. Unfortunately for the series' future, quality control was non-existent. After a string of dire entries the Tomb Raider brand disappeared until 2011's E3 show where Square Enix unveiled an origin story/reboot that looked oh-so-promising.

Was it ever. Tomb Raider 2013 is everything it needed to be. It's ferociously graphic & harrowing, it's well-written, indelibly acted, brimming with awesome action sequences and gunfights, a wealth of content and secrets to discover, and jaw-dropping visuals. The DirectX 11-enhanced PC version of Tomb Raider is a real looker, easily toppling the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions with little effort.

Trading in the tongue-in-cheek approach of its predecessors for a realistic & gritty feel proves to be the shot of adrenaline this waning franchise has been needing for a decade now. Series purists will likely find fault with Lara's initially timid demeanor and subsequently de-sexualized physicality, but this isn't the silly Tomb Raider of yesteryear: it's a dark, violent, exciting, and tragic re-imagining of videogaming's most recognizable heroine.
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People who added this item 270 Average listal rating (154 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
Grand Theft Auto V - PlayStation 3
Did you really expect anything else? Grand Theft Auto continues to be one of the most recognized - and most reviled - videogame success stories ever. Here is a series that allows players to embody the absolute epitome of human contempt. Splatter pedestrians at high speeds in souped up cars (that you've probably stolen), execute police officers at your leisure, rob banks, screw hookers, tangle with local mob bosses, torture, beat, butcher, maim, and loot: that's Grand Theft Auto. It's a wonder a game like this got made at all. It's an even bigger mystery how it has amassed a global following so huge as to propel the franchise's most recent entry (i.e. this one) to $1 billion in sales in only three days.

Grand Theft Auto is so popular because it goes against everything videogames have always been. You're not saving the world, you're destroying it. Rockstar creates an expansive open-world for you to run amok in and it's up to you, the player, to cause as much chaos & anarchy as you'd like. People love to root for the bad guy, and what's better than rooting for the bad guy? Being the bad guy. GTA V is everything you love (or hate) about this franchise at the precipice of perfection. There isn't a single thing Rockstar does here that they don't nail. There isn't a single dull mission, a single joke that isn't funny, or a single character that isn't wonderfully eccentric. GTA V is one big heaping helping of awesome. It's funny, it's disgusting, it's action-packed, engagingly dramatic, impeccably acted, bizarrely over-the-top, and it's everything I could have wanted in a Grand Theft Auto game. Ever.

There's so much to do, see, and explore it's nearly anxiety-inducing. The main story missions easily exceed the 30 hour mark, and there's so much post-game content to uncover players are more than getting their $60 worth. If you've stuck with the series over the years as it's evolved and grown you'll be happy to see Grand Theft Auto V continue the series' tradition of moving forward and upping the quality ante with each entry. GTA V is, if nothing else, a bullet-riddled and blood-soaked love letter to the franchise. It takes everything great about past GTA's, re-works them, reintegrates them, and refreshes them with the same respect and adoration any one of its legions of fans would have. Grand Theft Auto V is, at the time of writing, the irrefutable end-all be-all of the series. I can't possibly imagine how Rockstar are going to top a game so jaw-droppingly close to perfect as this, but I can't wait to see them try.
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I've chosen my personal top 10 favorite games of 2013 and have compiled summaries for each game as to why I feel they are this year's best. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, so feel free to tell me what games you think should have been included or which choices you don't particularly agree with. But please keep it clean, no flaming. Otherwise, enjoy.

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