Posted by : Dewey Riou III Monday, December 30, 2013



The gaming greatness started early in 2013 and consistently stayed strong until now. 

Sony and Microsoft have launched their new consoles, and Nintendo improved their library of software across their latest platforms, and Valve is hoping to make PC gaming more accessible than ever before with the upcoming Steambox which 300 testers now have in their home.

2014 is going to see the release of some heavy hitters like inFAMOUS: Second Son, Watch_Dogs, the Divsion, Titanfall, Destiny, and many, more. I absolutely cannot wait to see what will be in store for games next year, and I'm sure those reading this can agree!

So check out my awards below and get ready for some gaming in the New Year!




Best PlayStation 3/ Vita game









-The Nominees-

The Last of Us, Tearaway, Beyond Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time






And the winner is... The Last of Us!!



Naughty Dog took a post-apocalyptic setting for their 2013 hit and added in their excellent production values, character development skills, and satisfying gameplay to create a PS3 classic that was praised by critics and gamers. The Last of Us is one of the best looking games of the last generation, and shows the progress of Naughty Dog as a exclusive development team for Sony. The Last of Us is a true PS3 swan song and one that I hope will return again for the PS4 at some point in the future.

Runner-Up

-Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time-

Sly and the gang have been out of action for a while, but Thieves in Time returns them to their classic form from the PS2 Sly Cooper days. With the ability to play and save across the Vita and PS3, your adventures with Bentley, Murray, and Sly could be taken anywhere you wanted them to go!


Best Xbox 360 Game









-The Nominees-

State of Decay, Gears of War: Judgement, Brothers: A tale of two sons, Ascend: Hand of Kul






And the Winner is... State of Decay!!



Undead Labs made the Zombie game that I've always wanted to play. An open-world sandbox where supplies are limited, and the undead threat was high no matter where you hunkered down, the title was a true survivalist experience for zombie fans. With the release of the recent Breakdown DLC, this factor was further explored, which has made the game even better. All we need now is some co-op action!


Runner-UP

-Ascend: Hand of Kul-

Free to play titles are fairly new to Xbox 360, and Ascend is no different. While you have the ability to purchase better items to improve your giant warrior, it isn't pushed on you like other F2P games sometime do. The heart of the title is an Action-Rpg game with online capabilities, with the core experience available for free. If you really dig the game, then buy some coins to get new gear, but remember it's your choice to do so, meaning you should never feel like you have to use real money to have fun with a Free to play game. Ascend does just that.




Best Downloadable Game










-The Nominees-

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, State of Decay, The Walking Dead Season Two - Episode One, The Wolf Among Us - Episode One







And the winner is... Call of Juarez: Gunslinger!!



Despite being a download-only Western shooter, Gunslinger is probably the best in the Call of Juarez franchise, in my own opinion. The story is entertaining, the action is intense, and at the end of the day it's just a fun arcade style shooter to play!



Runner-UP

-Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon-

Blood Dragon initially seemed like a ridiculous April fools joke, but in the end it was a goofy and entertaining shooter made by the Far Cry 3 team. Playing as Rex Power Colt on an island of retro enemies and Blood Dragons made me feel like I was apart of an 80's action movie complete with hilarious one-liners and the ability to flip off cyborg soldiers and dispose of them with a crazy selection of weaponry. This may be weird to say, but I'm not sure whether I enjoyed this downloadable game or Far Cry 3 better!

Best "Bang for your Buck" Award








-The Nominees- 

Grand Theft Auto V, State of Decay, Gran Turismo 6, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn






And the Winner is... Grand Theft Auto V!!



The highest grossing game this year was also chock full of hours upon hours of gameplay, and this was before GTA Online even became available to play! Grand Theft Auto 5 has plenty to see and do, and now that the online portion is stable and getting new updates, you'll still have a valid reason to hold on to your PS3 or 360, although a PC version or Next-Gen release would be great!

Runner-UP

-State of Decay-

The main story in State of Decay takes around 20 hours to complete, but the simulation aspect can continue for much longer, resulting in more gameplay to behold. Even before the Breakdown DLC, I have put about 50 hours into the game and enjoyed every minute. State of Decay is a great value especially at the $20 asking price.


Best Character









-The Nominees- 

Bigby (The Wolf Among Us), Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite), Trevor Phillips (GTA5), Rex Power Colt (Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon)






And the winner is... Trevor Phillips!!



Previous GTA games had you controlling characters with a few anger issues, but Trevor Phillips takes the cake, eats it and yells at you about it as he seeks out more. Each line he barks is full of great taste whether he's blaming Micheal about the past or insulting Nervous Ron for just being in his way. Throughout the entire experience of GTA 5, Trevor Phillips makes his presence known and felt to all.

Runner-UP

-Elizabeth-

A special woman with unique abilities, Elizabeth assists Booker as they both attempt to escape Columbia and matures over time as she is exposed to the truth. As the story of Infinite progressed, you could see how she dealt with and adapted to the violence they both had to experience as you sought to understand exactly what was going on. Without Elizabeth the game would have been great, but with her it became truly amazing.


Best Game I didn't play









-The Nominees- 

Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Beyond Two Souls, Super Mario 3D World, Diablo III






And the Winner is... Zelda: The Wind Waker HD!!



Even if you've played through the Gamecube version countless times, The Wind Waker HD on Wii U is supposed to be worth every penny it would cost to get the game and the Wii-U console. I hope down the line to pick up a Wii U, and The Wind Waker HD will be among the first of games to get for the system for sure!

Runner-UP

-Diablo III for consoles-

I got to play the demo of this when it was released for consoles, and I would like to grab the full version when I can. Diablo III on consoles was highly rated by fans and critics, and improved upon the PC version with more loot and accessible controls, making it the perfect way to way while relaxing on the couch.

Best New IP 


(The Last of Us by Naughty Dog)






A new game built with great experience from a top notch team. This is the apparently the secret recipe to making a fantastic New IP for gamers to play, and Naughty Dog did just that with the Last of Us. Everything about this title was very enjoyable, including the multiplayer which is still highly played online.


Greatest Gaming Moment this Year




"Launching of the Xbox One & PlayStation 4" (Sony and Microsoft)

Nintendo arrived first in 2012 with the Wii-U in terms of the start of the Next-generation of gaming consoles, and just last month Sony and Microsoft followed suit. Current sales have been strong for both platforms, and the games will continue to get better as the new year begins. I'm personally waiting to become more financially stable to pick one up, but I hope by the time that I do, it'll be fairly easy to walk into a store and get one!

AND NOW FOR THE GAME OF THE YEAR:








-The Nominees-

Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, The Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto V, Metro: Last Light











And The Winner is... Grand Theft Auto V!!!!



Rockstar Games takes around 5 years or so to develop a GTA title, and you can truly tell why with Grand Theft Auto 5. The production quality is top-notch to an almost ridiculous level, and the detail in the game is a marvel to be witnessed. This is the game you must play before upgrading to the new consoles and it's still crazy to think that this title was made on hardware from 2005.

From the multiple protagonists, the crazy missions, heists, San Andreas atmosphere, and online multiplayer, Grand Theft Auto V has it all with plenty to spare. We can only hope that the game will be released on PC and the new consoles so that more players can enjoy this fantastic game!

Runner-Up

-The Last of Us-

Guess I have to think of more great things to say about this game. Well, it's acting is at the bar of an Uncharted title with Troy Baker working overtime this year as he portrayed the Joker in Arkham Origins, Booker DeWitt in Bioshock Infinite, and the experienced survivor Joel in this wonderful title. The fact that he is able to become these three very different characters is quite the feat, and one that should help motion and voice actors get the respect they rightfully deserve. The relationship between Ellie and Joel is great as well, and they both have to look out for one another in the harsh aftermath of a brutal infection.





I hope everyone enjoyed this wonderful year of gaming full of both new exciting hardware and software as we begin to look towards 2014 for even more content. It's pretty crazy how far games have come in such a small amount of time, and there definitely so sign of any slowdown. Nothing stops this train! 





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