Entertainment Buddha’s Top 10 Games of 2013 List

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2013 has been a great year for gaming, not just because of the launch of the next-gen consoles either. A multitude of fantastic games were released this year from a plethora of developers, making 2013 one of the best pure gaming experience years in quite some time. It’s a year where at least five games could have been named Game of the Year, and we’ve given out more perfect review scores than ever before. Life as a gamer has been good.

It’s no easy task to whittle down 2013’s game lineup into the ten best offerings overall, but we’ve managed to do so to the best of our abilities. The top five games will probably be near the same positions on your own list, or the lists of other websites, but the games that placed 6-10 may, or may not have been in your list at all. Head on down below to see which ten games Entertainment Buddha found to be tops in 2013.

Happy gaming and here’s to a great 2014 for gamers!

 

10. Saints Row 4

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Volition managed to take its Saints Row franchise to new levels of absurdity in Saints Row 4. The inclusion of aliens and super powers really amplified the ridiculousness that this series has become known for, and made for a highly entertaining experience. Flying through the city or scaling skyscrapers made Saints Row 4’s already addictive gameplay that much more so, and it helped to firmly set the franchise apart from the slightly more serious Grand Theft Auto franchise. If you enjoy silliness at its purest form Saints Row 4 will surely keep you entertained for hours on end.

Original Review

Score – 9/10 Buddhas

 

9. Dead Space 3

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Isaac ditched his solitude in Dead Space 3 thanks to the inclusion of Carver and a whole new co-op campaign mode. Some long time fans took umbrage with the fundamental gameplay change to the Dead Space franchise, but DS3 still managed to provide an action packed third-person shoot ‘em up that also featured a compelling story to further flesh out the odd world of the Dead Space franchise. The game looked and sounded marvelous, and although it may not have been as scary as the other two entries, it is still a top-notch game from one of the best franchises to appear during the 360/PS3 era.

Original Review

Score – 9/10 Buddhas

 

8. Injustice: Gods Among Us

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Even if you don’t like fighting games there’s a great chance you could still enjoy Injustice: Gods Among Us thanks to its expertly crafted single player campaign that features one of the best DC Comics tales this side of the multiverse. The story featured in this game redefined what it means to have a campaign in a fighting game. Nether Realm made progress with fighting game storytelling with its Mortal Kombat 9, but Ed Boon and team perfected it in Injustice.

This game also features tight fighting controls and many more modes to keep you coming back for more, so its replay value is high. If you want to see a solid DC Comics movie and get a great fighting game too, then Injustice is the ticket to your fantasy.

Original Review

Score 9/10 Buddhas

 

7. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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Nintendo’s Wii U console is struggling, but its 3DS mobile unit is thriving thanks in part to games like Animal Crossing: New Leaf. This charming life simulator features the same style of gameplay as the Gamecube version, but in a mobile package. This makes tending to your mayoral duties a cinch, allowing AC:NL to have near limitless replayability options. There’s just something soothing, and quite gratifying about running a town full of furries, while completing mundane tasks. No other game can make you worry about weeds and horticulture upkeep like AC:NL, and its simple nature allows this game to be enjoyed by gamers of all ages and desires. Your 3DS will be a much better destination with this little title in tow.

Original Review

Score 9/10 Buddhas

 

6. Peggle 2

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PopCap’s latest Peggle game for the Xbox One simply grabs ahold of you and doesn’t let go until the final Extreme Fever celebration. The sheer joy of watching the Masters react to your accomplishments is enough of a reason to play this game. The simple, yet strategic gameplay is easy to pick up and play, but difficult to master. Peggle 2 embodies the “One more turn” spirit of playing video games thanks to its addictive nature and catchy tunes. Any game that can make classical music sound exciting, and actually get you moving to its beats is well worth your time.

For the price this game packs in hours of fun, and for those of you that are perfectionists, its challenges will keep you busy for many months to come. Peggle 2 just may be the must own Xbox One title at the moment, it’s that much fun.

Original Review

Score 9.8/10 Buddhas

 

5. Tomb Raider

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Crystal Dynamic dusted off Lara Croft and gave her the revival she’s deserved with its Tomb Raider reboot. She’s no longer a big bobbed piece of eye candy for male gamers to gawk at, which is a great thing. The new Lara is also a fancy looking video game babe, but she doesn’t feel like a caricature anymore. This reboot helped to redefine the Tomb Raider franchise, and its femme fatale in a fantastic way. The semi-open world setting made exploration a blast, and the solid gameplay never caused any frustrating moments. In a sense this Tomb Raider was an action movie that could also be played, so it managed to mix great gameplay with narrative, to provide an enthralling cinematic experience that gamers will not soon forget.

Original Review

Score 9.8/10 Buddhas

 

4. BioShock Infinite

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No other game in 2013 packed more “WTF” into its ending than Ken Levine’s BioShock Infinite. The last 20-minutes of this game kept gamer’s heads spinning for days after experiencing it. People began studying multiverse theory and how it relates to the BioShock universe, and all sorts of great debates about what exactly took place in Infinite sprung up all over the Interwebs.

Booker and Elizabeth are one of the few video game partners that actually work well with each other, and don’t require any babysitting tactics to be successful. Their relationship helped to play into the shocking gut punch of an ending, and their thread continues to be woven with Infinite’s DLC packs.

Anytime a game, a book, a movie, or a TV show can make people research what they just experienced, usually means its special, and BioShock Infinite definitely leads the way in this category in 2013 for video games.

Original Review

Score 10/10 Buddhas

 

3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

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Nintendo continued to kill it with the 3DS thanks to the late November release of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. This love letter to the SNES’s A Link to the Past epitomizes what made the Zelda franchise so popular in the first place. Its top down grid-like map system evokes feelings of nostalgia unlike many of the newer Zelda games for the Wii and Wii U, and its intuitive gameplay will keep you busy for more hours than you have to spend.

The feelings of accomplishment in this game never end thanks to the great exploration tactics and multiple hidden secrets to uncover. The new non-linear mission structure and rentable quest items helped to set ALBW apart from its predecessors, but there’s no denying the sheer amount of classic Zelda charm that this game offers to both new and old fans.

There’s definitely no better game to be playing on the Nintendo 3DS right now.

Original Review

Score 10/10 Buddhas

 

2. The Last of Us

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Naughty Dog sent the PS3 off in style with The Last of Us while also showing the world that video games can pack emotional narratives that will rock you to the core. Booker and Elizabeth are a memorable duo from 2013, but Joel and Ellie easily steal the show for the best, and most unlikely gaming partners of all-time.

The visuals are amazing and the gameplay is just OK, but where TLoU truly shines is with its cast. The level of detail that went into capturing the performances of Joel and Ellie really helped to bring a lifelike quality to their performances. Watching the two form a bond when at first Joel wanted nothing to do with Ellie is touching to say the least, and by the end Joel is willing to do anything to keep Ellie safe. So much so that you may have had a bad feeling in your mouth once the credits started to roll.

Bridging the gap between cinema and gameplay is at the forefront of game design, especially now that the new consoles have been released. Many gamers wholeheartedly believe that video games are art pieces just like movies, TV, and books, so games like The Last of Us help to push that argument into the forefront of pop culture. If you want to feel a connection to a game’s characters unlike you’ve ever felt before then you should definitely give The Last of Us a spin.

Original Review

Score 10/10 Buddhas

 

1. Grand Theft Auto 5

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GTA 5 suffered a bit when its free multiplayer mode shipped, but outside of that snafu this game is easily one of the best in the franchise, and offered some of the best writing in video game storytelling this year. What really set this game above the competition is its colorful cast of characters, and the fact that it made $1 billion in just a few days with limited platform availability. The cash earnings really don’t play into its ranking, but it is an impressive feat, and one that reinforces just how popular the GTA franchise is.

Franklin, Michael, and Trevor each offered a unique take on the game, and the ability to switch between them helped to make Los Santos and its surrounding areas feel even more authentic and real. The dialogue featured in this game sounds like it came from a Tarantino flick, and its main plot is actually entertaining and full of twists and turns. The Big 3 are the most memorable characters, but even the secondary role players managed to steal the show every now and then with great dialogue and action heavy moments.

The single player campaign can easily last upwards of 50+ hours depending on how thorough you like to be, and the multiplayer offers the same sized world and experiences that the single player campaign does, so GTA 5 is loaded with replayability. If you love crime dramas with a dark comedic tone, then GTA 5 is just what the video game doctor ordered.

Original Review

Score 10/10 Buddhas

 

Final Thoughts

It’s been a great year for gamers, and things will only get better now that the next-gen consoles have arrived. There’s way more than ten fantastic games that have come out in 2013, but the ones listed above easily stand out from the pack. Feel free to check out our Staff picks for Game of the Year to see how the rest of the team rated their favorite games of 2013. You can also leave your own list of the best games by using the comment section below.

Happy gaming New Year, here’s to looking forward to what 2014 has to offer!

 

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