1, 2, and 3). Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Legend of Zelda: LBW, and Super Mario 3D World.
I'm lumping these three together because they exemplify what makes Nintendo so special, at least to me: they simply make fun games that always leave me satisfied upon completion.
4). The Last of Us.
I HATED this game, for the first few hours and then, out of nowhere, it sucked me in and provided one of the most intensely gratifying gaming experiences that I've had in a long time!
For me GTAV was definitely at the top, it lived up to my expectations and then some, you can easily spend hours just doing sidequests and activities alone. The gameplay is improved and refined, switcihng between all three characters feels seemless and the sheer variety of missions keeps things from becoming stale, planning and executing the heist missions is some of the most fun i've ever had in a game. It's no slouch in the story department either, all three characters are intesting and compelling in their own right and the plot takes some surprising turns(like the "interrogation" with Mr. K). Rockstar has set up a truly impressive benchmark not just for the series, but for video games period that will be very hard to top(though if any game can match up to it, Watchdogs looks like it'll be the one).
Coming in at a very close second is the new Tomb Raider, it was my very first exposure to the series and I couldn't have asked for a better introduction. I can't remember the last time I cared about a protagonist the way I did about Lara, she's a fantastically written character that slowly develops in a realistic way, going from frightened to angry to sad and so on. The gameplay is truly spectacular, with some of the most exciting set pieces in a video game i've ever seen, exploring and finding treasure has never been so much fun, this is the first game in a long time where I actually wanted to get all the optional stuff so I could get 100% on everything, all this combined with the breathtaking visuals make this game an experience I won't forget.
In third place is Mass Effect 3(it would've been lower if not for the director cut DLC) it delivers on everything the first two entries did well and more, with exciting new gameplay features and a highly compelling storyline.
Some honorable mentions: COD: Ghosts, Crysis 3, Dead Space 3, Metro: Last Light, Splinter Cell: Blacklist
That leaves us with other systems, and the two games I've been into the most are MLB 13: The Show, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Zelda gets my vote as game of 2013.
2. Pikmin 3
3. Zelda Link Between Worlds
4. New Super Luigi
5. Fire Emblem
All, in all a great year in gaming. People can talk about Nintendo struggling, fine, but their quality control has not struggled. That is a sign of more great things to come. They are at the top of their game, and I am enjoying the heck out of it.
That leaves us with other systems, and the two games I've been into the most are MLB 13: The Show, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Zelda gets my vote as game of 2013.[/QUOTE]
You know, I would have voted for the new Zelda until I got my grubby mitts on the new Mario! I had my initial reservations (to me, it seemed like a step back), but I was wrong.
So, my three way tie for GOTY goes like this:
Last of Us, Mario 3D World, and LBW.
Gears of war judgement
AC 4 black flag-my game of the year. Incredible and fun gaming experience.
Some of those games may have been released last year, not sure.
PS 3 is my system of the year by far.
1. The Last of Us (PS3) - One of the only games in recent memory that exceeded its massive hype. Naughty Dog proving themselves as one of the greatest studios in the world. One of my favorite games of all time.
2. Tomb Raider (PS3/360) - Cystal Dynamics manages to out-Uncharted... well, Uncharted. A perfect action game - fun, great third person shooting, and a beautiful world to traverse. One of the most deserving modern games of the VGC's coveted A+ score.
3. Far Cry 3 (PS3/360) - Came out in Dec 2012, but it still counts! "Like Skyrim With Guns" was the tagline, but interestingly I had far more fun with this game than Skyrim. Like TLoU and Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3 felt like a next gen game on current gen hardware.
4. Bioshock Infinite (PS3/360) - I felt like the gameplay itself (specifically the gunplay) was a little uninspiring, BI had one of the best video game stories ever. The original Bioshock is still the best in the series, but Bioshock Infinite's ending is still mind-blowing, even months later.
5. Dragon's Crown (PS3/Vita) - A game so good, I bought it twice! I've put more hours into DC than any other game this year. Gorgeous 2D art, fluid combat, deep customization. This is basically my dream game. So sad the Critic didn't enjoy it more.
6. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS) - Like the PS3, the 3DS has also had a banner year. And the spiritual sequel to the greatest video game of all-time is the system's new crowning jewel. Brilliant.
7. Ni No Kuni (PS3) - A game for those who love JRPGs. Lengthy, but fun. And one of the most beautifully animated video games... ever.
8. Bit Trip Presents: Runner 2 (PSN, XBLA, Wii U) - A rhythm platformer that outdoes the original in every possible way. Difficult, addicting and perfect.
9. DuckTales HD (PSN, XBLA, Wii U) - Other than frequent interruptions from cutscenes that overstay their welcome, I don't understand how this game isn't universally loved. Same watershed platforming as the NES original, gorgeous hand-drawn sprites from WayForward and original Disney animators, greatly improved boss fights and longer levels... what's not to love? Oh, and now that the game's been patched, those scenes can be skipped in the menu.
10. Puppeteer (PS3) - A beautiful, Tim Burton-esque world and beautiful animation, it's a crime that this game isn't more popular than it is. Creative 2D gameplay that puts Little Big Planet to shame, this is some of the most fun you'll ever have in a platformer. Just don't lose your head.
Honorable mentions: God of War: Ascension (PS3), Tearaway (Vita), Tales of Xillia (PS3), Luigi's Mansion 2 (3DS), Dead Space 3 (PS3/360), and Fire Emblem Awakening (3DS)
Unfortunately, I didn't play a lot of games this year, and I only completed a few of
the games I did play (Metal Gear Solid 2, Silent Hill: Homecoming and Hotline: Miami
being the only games I played start-to-finish). The only games released this year that
I played were:
1. Hotline: Miami (kinda cheating here, as the game came out on PC at the end of 2012,
but it wasn't released on PSN until June of this year)
2. Last of Us, The (2 hours)
3. Metal Gear Rising: Revengence (3 hours)
4. Divekick (7-8 hours)
5. Dragon's Crown (4-5 hours)
Of those, the top 3 would have made my Game of the Year list. Dragon's Crown is beautiful
and seemed to have a great deal of potential replay value (with 6 characters to try and
endless customization), but I could already feel the tedium from grinding seeping in and
battles were simply too chaotic for their own good once you got a full party. Divekick has
a simple and brilliant premise (a fighting game with no joystick and two buttons), plays like a
crazy combination of Street Fighter 2 and Joust and is probably a blast at parties; however,
there just doesn't seem to be enough depth to support the game over the long haul and the
humor and purposefully shoddy art get old pretty quickly.
While I loved what I played of The Last of Us and MSR: Revengence, I simply haven't played
them long enough to comment on them (although Revengence is in the mail). Hotline: Miami is
about as intense and hypnotic as a video game gets, though. You will die hundreds of times
(everything is a one-hit kill) as you refine and tweak your plan for getting through each level,
every time getting a little bit further. Suddenly, you put all your knowledge and experience
together and you break through to the next level, your heart pounding like a jackhammer.
Add a woozy, neon-soaked visual style taken from Drive and Miami Vice and an awesome
soundtrack filled with a mix of club beats and new-wave keyboards, and you have a game
that I played the entirety of in two sessions. Best of all, you can buy it for cheap on either
PC or PS3/Vita - it's currently $2.49 on Amazon for the PS3.
Edit: I should note that this list would be considerably different had I been able to purchase
either a Wii U or a 3DS this year, as many of the games I was most looking forward to only
came out for those systems. I also have a gaming-worthy computer for the first time ever,
so a whole new supply of games is now at my fingertips. I also want to give a mention to
Spec Ops: The Line, another game I completed but somehow forgot about because it came
out in 2012. I don't play a lot of shooters, and I've been told by people who do that the
gameplay is somewhat pedestrian; however, the combination of the increasingly brutal story
(and how your characters change, both physically and mentally, because of it), the astonishing setting a destroyed Dubai and the soundtrack (especially the use of ambient music within the
environment itself) made this game very much worth playing.