Gamers! Welcome to sunny ol’ (and blazingly hot!) July! This means the first six months of 2013 have come to a close and we’re now ready for the next six months of the year.
For us here at Heavy, 2013 has been pretty healthy in the quality content department for video games. We’ve seen the return of one of the best first person shooters ever created, a fighting game starring the best heroes/villains of DC Comics, two major survival games based on the world of zombies, a crossover strategy-RPG etc. We’ve had the pleasure of playing most of these games (and more), so we think its quite appropriate to list all the best ones we’ve played thus far.
There’s more heavy hitters coming out in the next half of 2013. But this list is all about the first half of the year’s best video games.
10. State of Decay
Xbox Live Arcade is littered with several awesome games that seek to innovate and entertain. One of the brightest spots for the online gaming service this year is the surprise hit, State of Decay. The zombie genre is kinda stale at the moment for video games, but games like this one keep the entire genre from being buried. Not only do you have to content with the undead, you’re tasked with exploring an open world that’s full of things to do. There’s fort construction, loot to discover, a crazy amount of weapons and a great multiplayer meta game. Gamers are paying attention to this one, as evidenced by its massive digital sales. Hunker down and blast some zombies in this 2013 downloadable classic.
9. Project X Zone
When we first laid eyes on the fanboy pleasing trailers for this game, we wanted it badly. After watching gamers in Japan get it early and play it immensely, we grew jealous. Our feelings were hurt at the prospect of not seeing this game getting ported to the US. Namco Bandai listed to the passionate pleas from American gamers who wanted to support this portable hit on their shores. Namco Bandai listened and finally ported Project X Zone over the summer. The strategy RPG mechanics are made even stronger thanks to the fighting game-based battles and recognizable cast member. Project X Zone is a Japanese gaming fan’s dream title. We’re glad the American dream was realized for this 3DS crossover hit.
8. DmC: Devil May Cry
Fans of the old Devil May Cry games cried foul at the radical change that the reboot was sporting. Dante’s redesign didn’t get the warmest reception from longtime followers of the demon hunter, either. In our opinion, the finished product ended up erasing any doubts about the game suffering because of its new look. DmC: Devil May Cry retained the addictive hack ‘n slash/guns ‘n more guns elements of the past games and presented them in a fresh new presentation. The new Dante rubbed some folks the wrong way, but we warmed up to such a cold dude. His crazy moveset and the game’s graphical tricks when you ventured into Limbo gave us hope that things could get even better for a second DmC.
7. Fire Emblem: Awakening
We’re surprised at how much better the Nintendo 3DS games library is getting. There seems to be more focused effort from Nintendo and their development/publishing partners to make stronger 3DS games (that’s starting to happen for the Wii U, thankfully). One of the most addictive time wasters we were engrossed by was Fire Emblem: Awakening. The strategy series happens to be one of Nintendo’s best IP’s, so imagine how glad we were when the series returned for a 3DS debut. The same amazing tactical gameplay, risk/reward system for your entire army and the wonderfully animated cutscenes gave this strategy/RPG release everythign it needed to excel. Chrom just happens to be one of our favorite characters for 2013.
6. Metro: Last Light
So we can all agree that the FPS franchise is bloated at this point. We know which FPS series is the king of the hill, but we get tired of playing the first-person shooters that stay the (boring) course. We’re bigger fans of FPS’s that are immersive and different in their approach to storytelling. Since you know that about us, you all shouldn’t be surprised that we fell in love with Metro: Last Light. We felt every harrowing moment during our trip through the dark and dank tunnels of Russia, which is something we can’t say for a lot of soulless shooters. We grew invested in Artyom’s trials and tribulations as he looked to right the wrongs he committed in the first game. The game’s many glitches hurt the finished product, but it didn’t hurt our major appreciation for the game.
CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW HERE!
5. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
PlatinumGames is one of the more underrated developers in gaming today. If you’re a fan of high octane action games (that tend to have some head scratching plots…), then you’ll love all of the developers titles. Hideo Kojima was all but ready to drop the ax on this game when his team was developing it, but him passing it off to PlatinumGames saved it from the digital trash bin. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance took on a new look once it got a new dev team behind it, which we liked. The incredible fight scenes, cinematic boss fights and cool cutting system. The shoddy camera and over complicated parry system brought this game’s quality down a notch. However, we ignored all that because we were having too much fun cutting up cyborgs!
4. Injustice: Gods Among Us
DC Comics hall of heroes and villains is massive. With such an amazing roster o pick and choose from, the makers of Mortal Kombat managed to put together a dope fighting game for the comic book juggernaut. The story mode was amazing, thanks to the great war that went down between everyone’s favorite DC heroes. This has to be one of the first games that made Superman a legitimate, likable badass (for once!). Injustice: Gods Among Us played pretty similarly to the last MK game, but it freshened itself up with environmental interaction and awesome super moves. The roster is getting even more packed, which means we have more of a reason to pick up this game again and again.
CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW HERE!
3. Tomb Raider
Lara Croft’s fall from grace was readily apparent to gamers everywhere. Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal knew it all too well. So we were overjoyed when the first couple of trailers were shown for the reboot of Tomb Raider. Young Lara croft was seen exploring a huge island and getting assaulted by the harsh elements of the island she was trapped on. When we finally took control of the young tomb hunter, everything felt new and exciting again. We cringed at all those death moments that Lara had to endure, but we made sure to soldier on and get off that cursed island. Lara Croft’s return to the top of the gaming mountain was due in part to this reboot.
CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW HERE!
2. Bioshock Infinite
Bioshock Infinite lived up to the hype! Irrational Games/2K Australia took gamers out of the oceanic depths of Rapture and flew us out onto the floating city of Columbia. The change of scenery was readily apparent as we did battle in the skies with a crazed religious cult leader and his followers. The first-person gunplay stayed fun throughout our partnership with the mysterious Elizabeth, plus the use of Vigors gave us some extra powers to master. We know several of you out there that played this game would take some time, stop and just take in teh amazing scenery of this game. The ending threw us for a loop that we’re still feeling even after beating the game. Bioshock Infinite is an incredible game that’s a joy to experience.
1. The Last of Us
And the best game we’ve played in 2013 (so far) has to be the PS3 exclsuive, The Last of Us. The first 20 minutes of the game hit us harder than the entire campaign of other games we’ve played. Thank God the rest of this Naughty Dog epic stayed great throughout the entire story. We were immersed in the stealthy moments that transpired whenever we came across some Clickers, plus we stayed interested in the dynamic between Joel and Ellie. This game is so good that it might end up being the best game of 2013 once the year fully comes to an end. Do yourself a favor if you haven’t already – play The Last of Us all the way through. Your heartstrings will be tugged. BET ON IT!