Gary Swaby’s Top 5 Games of 2013

by on December 25, 2013  

Merry Christmas to all gamers out there. Today is the day for food, drink and video games. With that being said, I decided today would be the day I release my personal top 5 games of 2013 list given that today is also my Birthday.

This was a difficult list to compile as there’s been a lot of gems this year. From the system seller Pikmin 3, to the flawless Battlefield 4, to the revolutionary exclusive Ryse: Son of Rome, and even the most standout racing game to release in years Gran Turismo 6. There was just so much to choose from. Thankfully, I managed to settle on just 5 games.

At some point this week we will be holding a podcast to discuss all of The Koalition editors top 5 lists, and we will then officially crown a game The Koalition’s GOTY. Look out for the podcast, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for updates.

For now, here I go:

5. Grand Theft Auto V

I thought long and hard on this one, I was inches away from putting Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn in this space. However, after thinking long and hard about it, Rockstar deserves much respect for topping themselves once again. Sure, GTA Online suffered rocky beginnings, and even after it reached stability it was pretty underwhelming. But there’s no denying that this GTAV as a complete package has provided me with hours of fun, both alone and with friends. That alone is worth including it on this list.

4. Bioshock Infinite

Before playing Bioshock Infinite, I’d never had any experience with the series. But as soon as I assumed control of Booker Dewit I instantly fell in love with the world. Kevin Levine and the team at Irrational Games have a gift for storytelling. Columbia feels like a living breathing world, and you can feel the bond between Booker and Elizabeth grow throughout the course of the game. This game also has an ending that will be remembered for generations to come.

I reviewed this game here.

3. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of The White Witch

Me and fellow RPG lover David Jagneaux have discussed this game many times on Turn Based, The RPG podcast this year. There has been a serious lack of console JRPG’s this generation, especially when compared to the PS2 era. So it was nice to experience a JRPG that not only upholds traditional merits, but also possesses enough originality to make it memorable.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is fun especially because it allows you to find and collect monsters called familiars (not Pokemon). The visuals are beautiful thanks to the work of Studio Ghibli, and there’s enouigh light hearted humour in there to make the game a pure stress reliever.

I reviewed this game here.

2. The Last of Us

There’s no doubt that this game will appear in many lists this year. Naughty Dog has done it again, delivering a highly engaging experience. This one is perhaps their most gripping game of them all. The journey that Joell and Ellie take through this game is full of intensity to the point you literally feel as drained as the characters by the end of the experience. Initially when playing The Last of Us I was trying to carry off the mentality that this really wasn’t anything special, and that I feel nothing for these characters. But eventually the circumstances got so deep that I quickly found myself empathizing with them. The game might not be for everyone, but when you think back to 2013, there’s no doubt you’ll remember this game.

1. Pokemon X & Y

Another outstanding RPG I played this year was none other than Pokemon Y on the 3DS. I haven’t played a Pokemon game in way over 10 years, nor have I kept up with the series. But I heard so many great things about this game that I went ahead and purchased a 3DS just to play it. Now keep in mind that there are hundreds of Pokemon that I have no clue about, but the gameplay of Pokemon is so addictive that I haven’t been able to put it down regardless of the fact I barely know a Slurpuff from a Volbeat. There’s nothing like going on an big adventure, capturing Pokemon, battling gym leaders, defeating Team Flare, and building the best Pokemon team.

It doesn’t stop there either, because you can trade with friends or randomers online as well as battle them. If you’ve never played a Pokemon game before, you may not understand it’s appeal. But as someone who’s last Pokemon game was Pokemon Red, I find Pokemon Y (and X) to be one of the easiest games to get absorbed in this year. That’s why it’s my number 1.

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