I originally just wanted to put this in one of those gaming forums that I frequent from time to time that did a Top 10 Games of 2013 for the people on the site. But after some thought taken into whether I should post this for the hell of it, I thought I might break all of my fans’ curiosity and just show you what I thought of what 2013 had to offer in video games that I consider to be extraordinary for your time and money.
10. Killzone Mercenary (Vita)
If you ever told me that a Killzone game would be on my top 10 of any list, I would never believe you till the day I die. I got this game out of a whim from my parents who got it for me for Christmas even though I didn’t really care to have it. Once I started it up and played for about 5 hours, I realized that not only was this the best Killzone I’ve ever played but it also proves to me that handheld like the Vita have so much potential to being able to play shooters with great ease and comfort as in consoles or even PCs.
9. Dragon’s Crown (PS3)
I’ve never played any other game by Vanillaware, so I didn’t really understand what I was going to get with Dragon’s Crown other than a cool 2D dungeon crawler similar to something like Castle Crashers. While I found the game to be way too easy if you just go through the dungeons for side missions to level up even more, the game was a definite blast to go through thanks to it’s nice responsive combat. The art style is no less than gorgeous to look at, definitely the type of art that we don’t see very often in games in the HD generation.
8. Rising Storm (PC)
I know this may seem like a cop-out considering it’s just an expansion but the guys in Tripwire really outdone themselves with this great WWII shooter. Adding a lot of strategic elements that were missing in Red Orchestra 2 in some ways such as the Japanese ability to plant grenade mines and the U.S Army having the Flamethrower to clear out a bunker. If it wasn’t for the glitches and bugs that the series is notoriously known for, this game would’ve been so much higher.
7. Dead or Alive 5+ (Vita)
Probably the first fighting game I ever bought in 8 years, well actually Persona 4 Arena was one I bought last year, but in terms of a game that is strictly a fighting game in the similar vein of say Virtual Fighter. Definitely the first Dead or Alive game I ever bought and boy was this the right game for me begin immersing myself into the series. What makes this game extraordinarily impressive is how smooth the game ran in a handheld device of all things and the amount of new features they added to the Vita port that wasn’t in the original game. And those DLCs man…
6. Fire Emblem Awakening (3DS)
Strategy RPGs are sadly a rarity these days. But when they come out, they’re usually a great winner to us who are huge Strategy nerds and Fire Emblem Awakening did just that this year. Even with its stunningly hokey difficulty curve that comes across as punishingly unfair in the high difficulty to being absolutely easy on normal, it was nonetheless a fun way of fucking around with the systems to each of the characters from their relationship status to their job classes. Plus, more RPGs need to have more marriage mechanics to them for more expansive role-playing possibilities.
5. Ys: Memories of Celceta (Vita)
Due to the amount of praise this Ys game got as a great starter for beginners, I was obligated to try this one out so that my Vita can have more playtime along with Killzone. They weren’t kidding when they said the combat was extremely fast and responsive because its huge amounts of fun to run around in the open world to go through many character options to level up their skills and equipment. So many great options that sadly can’t be said for the story, but the story itself is at least serviceable to go through and the characters certainly make up for this fact.
4. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Studio Ghibli and Level 5 have now proved themselves to be a match made in heaven thanks to the wonderful collaborative effort they made into making Ni No Kuni. The story, while nothing truly remarkable to garner upon, brings a lot of nostalgic aura on how people like me have grown up with some of Ghibli’s classic movies. Combat might not be everyone’s cup of tea but once it starts to evolve and you have more systems to explore, it starts to make the combat way more fun than before. It’s a big plus that the world of Ni No Kuni manages to capture what a lot of JRPGs were like back in the 90s where you could just go out and explore whatever part of the world you wished to explore.
3. Shin Megami Tensei 4 (3DS)
Though the story of SMT4 cannot compare to the likes of other game in the series, not counting the Persona games since they’re on another playing field, it still had many of the things that made SMT a fantastic series and improved upon them by streamlining the tedium that brought them down in some ways. No more random skills put into your demon when you fuse them and thank god for no game over when the main character dies. It’s just unfortunate that the game had to be put into a handheld when it could’ve had more depth have it been in a console.
2. Tales of Xillia (PS3)
I started off the Tales series with Graces f and while that game had fantastic gameplay and a great sub-system of weapon upgrading and food management, the story just couldn’t pull itself off from being anything but generic that cannot be helped from its poor English translated dialogue despite having a cast of colorful memorable characters. Tales of Xillia manages to improve on those problems I had with Graces f with providing a somewhat interesting story with characters that are even more funnier and likable than before. The combat and systems that make it for what it is are even more faster and satisfying than what you would expect from the series and I cannot wait for what the sequel brings for us.
1. The Last of Us (PS3)
Naughty Dog has, once again, managed to pull off a wondrous classic for the ages of gamers that have been wanting for them to work on something new that wasn’t the Uncharted series. Though the thought of them making a “Zombie” game might’ve raised some red flags as it seemed like Naughty Dog was trying to bank in on the Zombie craze that has since become somewhat of a one trick pony after a couple of years. However, once we knew about how they were going to handle the story and characters from previews, all of those worries and skeptical thoughts soon brushed off the door. Now that we got to play what they were building up on as this emotional tale from beginning to end, we couldn’t have asked for more. The gun-play might be a bit frustrating for some who are more used to first-person shooters but it adds a lot more strategy to how you need to pay attention to your surroundings before you shoot at that position. It also makes the game a huge challenge thanks to the incredible enemy AI that goes up there with FEAR in terms of AI mechanics. I can’t really do any justice to how amazing the story is as many people who have the same sentiments as I do. All I can say is, play this game and see if it produces the same kind of magic as we all did that entrusts us that video games will be a staple to cultural history for generations to come.