With 2013 coming to a close, I figured what better way to end it than by taking a look back and listing my favorite games of the last year. Now this will be a quickie, as I'll just speak a little bit about each game.
I also wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has kept up with my little attempt at a video game based Blog for the last few months. Last month happened to be my highest traffic month, so I really appreciate everyone stopping by and putting up with my retro reviews and retrospectives. Means a lot!
Without further adieu, here's my own personal 2014 top ten list. It may surprise you.
I debated even putting this on the list, because it is still in development. But it's been a form of addiction for me ever since the early release came out. Take Terraria and add in a slew of planets, quests, and critters and you've got yourself absolute brilliance. I've seriously lost sleep on this game so far, and the more it progresses, the better I see it coming.
9) GRAND THEFT AUTO V
Grand Theft Auto 5 was definitely a test of this console's generation. How much could possibly be done in a game? Well GTA V pushed it to the limits with the massive world, and the seemingly endless number of side quests. While the game was great, I felt it lacked in the story development department. I didn't "feel" for the characters as much as I had in the past GTA games. Needless to say, I haven't had that much fun searching for UFO parts in a long time.
Oh...and a MAJOR reason this game is on my top ten list. Trevor.
8) GONE HOME
It's funny how lately I've been enjoying Indie games more than mainstream published games. I guess it's because they are taking everything under their wing themselves and working their arses off in order to put out a product that means the most to them. That's what I got out of GONE HOME. This game was like a blast from the past, reminding me of the old school MYST games. The utter eeriness that exudes from this game was enough to freak me out late at night. There's nothing quite like an intense mystery.
7) BATTLEFIELD 4
In all honesty, this was the ONLY reason I purchased a PS4, so I could play 64 man battles on a console. Sure, I could have bought it for the PC, but my PC just isn't up to snuff lately. Despite it's glitchy as hell release ( and even know I'm still occasionally plagued by the CE error on the PS4, and lag spikes ), this game defines FPS. I'm not going to get into the whole COD / BF debate. I played COD like it was my job a few years ago, but now, I'm a BF kind of guy. Vehicles do it for me. And all out massive map warfare is the way to go.
Now if you'll excuse me. I need to go get my KD ratio up.
Ever since the first game, I have been a sucker for anything BIOSHOCK related. Now Infinite definitely took a sharp left turn from the previous games, going for the sky launching, hook reeling antics, but it reeled me in straight from the start. Sure the story may be far fetched, and a little bizarre (especially by the end), but the time I spent messing with my abilities and zooming through the air surrounded by beautifully designed scenery made this game one of my favorites of the year.
Not to mention, this game gets my vote for soundtrack of the year. That epic version of Cyndi Lauper's GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN was in my head for weeks lol.
5) LAST OF US
This was a toss up between the #6 and #5 spot, but ultimately it squeaked past Bioshock Infinite for me. I had a lot of high expectations for this game, and while I thought it was great, it wasn't as "superb" as some people made it out to be. The game play was a bit boring and repetitive at times, and challenge was virtually non existent. However the environment, the story and by God that phenomenal acting coming out of a video game made this game a winner this year. The only time I felt close to having this much emotion based on a game was during Telltales Walking Dead.
And who can resist a game with an Ellen Page look alike?
4) SUPER MARIO 3D WORLD
Just when I thought my Wii U was dead, here comes Mario to save the day. This is by far one of the best Mario games to date, and it's funny when you think about it since the formula hasn't changed much. But that's what makes these games so good. Nintendo doesn't need to do much to ensure a Mario game is a success. Keep it simple. Keep it safe. Even the 3D aspects of this game are so perfectly done, that it's almost impossible for me to complain about it. Because I hate 3D. But this acts as a perfect cross between Mario 64 and the side scrolling glory days. Nintendo knows how to make a winner. Which is one of the reasons why I wish they'll drop off the console market and just focus on games. I hate to see Nintendo lose money on consoles. They should pull a Sega. But then again, that's my opinion.
Regardless, Nintendo. I will always love you.
3) POKEMON X/Y
There's only one game out there that could feed my OCD, and that's Pokemon. You would think that every time this game comes out, it would just be the same crap over and over again and I would just get bored of it. But I don't. And with the release of Pokemon X / Y, I realize now that these games will just keep getting better and better.
It's not even the fact that there are another 100+ pokemon to capture, it's all the additional elements added to the universe. I've spent hours just wonder trading with random people around the world. And now, for some bizarre reason, I'm obsessed with filling my pokedex. I've even started numerically organizing all my Pokemon.
Someone save me. Pokemon fever has me again.
2) FIRE EMBLEM : AWAKENING
Take one of the best RPG stories of all time, and combine it with tactical strategy elements and there's nothing that comes close. Seriously though. Story. Music. Game play. It scores high marks across the board. And are you surprised really? Fire Emblem has always been a phenomenal series, and they keep getting better. I wouldn't be surprised if I pump at least 100 hours into this game and I can already tell that this is going to be one of those games I have to come back to (after I complete the rest of my stack of un-played games).
Plus, look at that epic cover art.
1) THE LEGEND OF ZELDA : A LINK BETWEEN WORLDS
I couldn't think of a game more deserving than my own personal #1 spot than A Link Between Worlds. Only Nintendo is capable of practically copying a game from 20 years ago, splashing some new paint on it, and adding a few new game mechanics and create a masterpiece. This game brought me back to the past. As you can tell by this blog, I'm on a retro fix, and the fact that A Link Between Worlds gave me the opportunity to feel like I was playing a game from the 90's is superb.
I'm in love with every Zelda game that comes out, and it's one of the few reasons I keep purchasing Nintendo consoles. But this game blew away my expectations. It brought back so many fond memories of my gaming past, and brought a tear to my eye. Okay, maybe it didn't take me that far. Or did it?
Congratulations Zelda. You did it again.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my own personal top ten list. Feel free to post your own, as I'd love to hear what you thought. Who knows, maybe I missed out on a few! Thank you again for the phenomenal 2013, and here's to an even better 2014 in gaming.
Happy New Years, everyone!