2013 Game of the Year Picks

2013 is officially over, and that means it’s time for every video-game media outlet to choose their Game of the Year. We at GCV decided that since we all have such differing tastes in games, we would all just choose our own individual games of the year. So, read further to find out what each of us thinks is the best game of 2013.


John – “Rayman: Legends”

PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PS Vita, PC


While I loved “Grand Theft Auto V,” and adore “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag,” I really feel that Rayman has come in and stolen the show this year. Rarely do we see a platformer that is so well-crafted, beautifully scored and just entertaining in so many ways that despite the frustration that one might feel on it’s extremely difficult time challenges, it draws the player back for more.

In a generation of hyper-realistic games, free-roaming crime sprees and adventures that cross continents, it’s nice to have a game that reminds us of our roots in such a way that it becomes fresh and exciting. Gamers don’t need controversial storylines or shocking gore, we just need a fun game. Well played, Rayman. Well played.



Parker – “Grand Theft Auto V”

Xbox 360, PlayStation 3


While I hate to be the one who makes the obvious choice, “GTA V” is really the game I spent the most time playing this year. Not many games come along with a well-written story, stunning graphics, solid gameplay and seemingly endless in-game activities, but this game is one that’s got it all.

On it’s face, “GTA V” looks like a adolescent boy’s dream game: murder, sex, drugs, foul language, fast cars and boats and planes, but if you look a little deeper it’s actually a spot-on satire of modern-american culture. And it’s also absolutely an adolescent boy’s dream game (which is why there are ratings on game boxes, parents).

Stepping into the world of Los Santos and Blaine County offered an experience few other games this year could, and that’s why “GTA V” is my game of the year.



Jesus – “Fire Emblem: Awakening”

3DS


I took a look back on the momentous year in the gaming world to find my game of the year, and the one I found was on my handheld console. “Fire Emblem: Awakening” has taken the most out of my year from me with its tactical-RPG gameplay and cell-shaded animation. I found myself playing it everywhere from my commutes to my down times and even during some of our GCV conference calls.

The story is a good one as well dealing with a war between nations and building your army of “Sheperds,” plus all the available DLC adds so much playtime to it. Normally a long-standing franchise like this is hard to get into for new comers, especially considering that previous games had it so if your characters die, they stay dead, but “Awakening” added a casual mode for the newbies.

No one ever said game of the year had to go to a console game, and that’s why “Fire Emblem: Awakening” is mine.



Michael – “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds”

3DS


Despite being a huge fan of the Zelda franchise, I must admit that I’ve never been a huge fan for the top-down handheld games. My last handheld console purchase was the big brick that was the original Nintendo DS nearly a decade ago. I still feared buyer’s remorse bringing home my special edition gold 3DS XL until I actually got to playing.

“A Link Between Worlds” delivered a playing experience that I initially thought couldn’t be had on a handheld. Visually, I was delighted by the completely updated graphics and smoothness of play. I didn’t think much of anything new could be brought to a simple top-down game. I actually experienced that feeling of missing out on what handheld games could offer over the years.

“A Link Between Worlds” is my game of 2013 because it was able to break my TV-console-only mindset.