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My Top Ten-Ish Games Of 2013

05 Jan Posted by in Features | 1 comment
My Top Ten-Ish Games Of 2013

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5. Pikmin 3

Now here’s a game I’d been waiting for what feels like forever. Every E3 I would tune into Nintendo’s conference in the hope that that year would be the one they finally debuted a third entry in what I consider one of the company’s most unusual and delightful franchises. It wouldn’t be until E3 of 2012 that I would finally get my wish with our first real look at Pikmin 3 in action and despite the long wait, delays and constantly rising expectations, Miyamoto definitely delivered the best in the series yet and if this is how it all ends I couldn’t be happier.

Pikmin 3 may be the best adventure yet for the franchise finding the perfect balance of exploration and time management. Much like previous games in the series your goal remains to collect items using the help of up to one hundred little Pikmin solving puzzles, battling wildlife and most importantly of all surviving. While the gameplay may be familiar new additions like the rock and flying Pikmin bring with them fresh new puzzle potential and add yet another subtle layer of strategy when it comes to battles while the ability to control three characters at once allows the player to multitask and work far more efficiently. Enemies too are as creative and as freaky as ever with natural looking environments that truly stun in HD.

It’s not just the main story that shines though with a series of challenges available that will have you coming back to better your scores and truly testing your ability to manage Pikmin in certain situations. An excellent two player Bingo mode and what may well be the most fantastic bunch of DLC this year round off what will probably be remembered as the Wii U’s first AAA release and the best Pikmin to date.


4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

I do enjoy the Zelda series, I really do, but as of late the green tunic wearing elf has felt like he needed a fresh new adventure - one that didn’t follow the same rules set before it. A Link Between Worlds is most definitely that game.

Whereas past Zelda games have been known to take you by the hand for way too long, A Link Between Worlds cuts out the lengthy introduction, gives you your sword and shield and sends you on your way. Every major weapon is available for rental right from the get-go meaning you can choose what to carry and tackle a dungeon in any order you wish. It’s a refreshing change-up for the series and one it really needed.

What could have easily been a lazy attempt at appealing to a fanboy’s nostalgia for the series turns out to be a fantastic follow-up to one of the best Zelda adventures.


3. The Last of Us

Oh joy another post apocalyptic setting with crazy zombie-like infected hunting you and the last remaining survivors down. Those were my initial thoughts when first seeing The Last of Us. Surely the genre had run dry? Well leave it to Naughty Dog to prove me wrong delivering what may well be the best and most absorbing story of recent times.

Yes Bioshock Infinite was the talk of the office once the end credits had rolled, but The Last of Us had a story that hit you much harder and much more personally. You cared about these characters; you cared about what would happen to them and what they might do to survive. While Bioshock Infinite left you with questions and theories, The Last of Us simply left you alone and recounting the horrific events you had just witnessed. Of course all this is elevated thanks to some fantastic voice acting of our lead characters Ellie and Joel, an unlikely pairing whose relationship you really do believe in. While I’ve watched a lot of movies in 2013 it’s the story in The Last of Us that remains fresh in my mind.

Whereas other zombie games would have you backed up with a whole arsenal of weaponry, The Last of Us is one of the few games where it genuinely felt like you were desperately searching for any sort of weapon be it bricks, bottles, the odd pistol or gathering the ingredients for a rare Molotov cocktail. Every battle was gritty and gripping – the executions necessarily brutal. It’s this refreshing system that allowed you pick between simply avoiding conflict and getting creative with it – something you rarely feel in a game.


2. Rayman Legends

Rayman’s latest could have easily been in my top games of 2012 had it met its original release date, but several delays later and a loss of exclusivity on the Wii U, we finally got it and boy did it live up to expectations.


While the visuals are even more stunning and the platforming is as solid as ever with a wealth of ideas that would give even Nintendo a run for their money, it’s the implementation of the Wii U Gamepad that truly takes the game from clever to genius. With one player using the touch screen to manipulate the environment, team work and communication have never been so much fun nor chaotic. While we’ve seen few games make great use of the Gamepad this year, Rayman Legends is a prime example of how an existing franchise can implement the system’s capabilities in a fun and inspiring way.

Did I even mention the unbelievable amount of content this game has? Extra characters, time trials, forty redone stages from the original Origins, online leaderboards and the extremely addictive Kung Foot round of what is a truly legendary platformer.


1. Super Mario 3D World

My number one game of the year has been many things over the past couple of weeks and it wasn’t until a couple of days ago that I finally nailed it down. Sure The Last of Us had a fantastic story, Rayman Legends had that gorgeous art style and the latest Zelda served as a more than worthy successor to one of the greatest SNES games of all time – but when all was said and done I personally felt none of them could compete in terms of the fun they offered when compared with Nintendo’s own Super Mario 3D World.

Super Mario 3D World is all about the fun so much so that it manages to cram more ideas and creativity into its eight or so hour adventure than I’ve seen in any other game out there this year or the previous year for that matter. To even begin to talk about some of the ingenious level of level design in this game without going on and on for pages would be a challenge in itself – the musically timed Beep Block Skyway, the Mario Kart influenced stage, the new cat suit, trains, trapezes, ghost houses, aqua dinosaur, cherry power up, the constant surprises, even the four player is a genuine laugh and perhaps the only time I’ve been glad to see more people joining me on a platformer. This is before even mentioning the outstanding, colourful visuals and another memorable orchestrated soundtrack offering a perfect mix of jazzy tunes, heartfelt melodies and remixed classics.

Anyone who’s played either of the Galaxy games will understand when I say Super Mario 3D World is one of those rare experiences where you’re having so much fun, it just takes you back to how you felt that first time you grabbed a star in Super Mario 64, or leaped on Yoshi’s back in Super Mario World – and just like those games and the two Galaxies after it I’m sure we’ll still be talking about 3D World for years to come.

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  • Dan

    There aren’t even any tennis games mentioned in the feature?

    Windjammers is close I guess…