Find out what game is our 2013 Game of the Year and the nine runner-ups that came close.
This is an exciting year for us here at SmashPad since this is our first time naming an official Game of the Year in the eight years that I’ve been a part of this staff and site as it evolved. You may recall prior years where we’ve done a “The Year in Screenshots” feature at the year’s end that was a less judgmental version of the GOTY feature that was a fun feature to do, but we decided to take the next step this year and do something bigger to end the year.
By the time you read this, you’ve seen seven Top 10 lists, or Top 4 for Alex, that gave you an idea of what each staff member enjoyed the most this year. The way we determined our Game of the Year was by scoring each of the games and adding them up to see what topped the list, so you can go back and do the math yourself or just scroll down to see the nine runner-ups and our Game of the Year. I’ve recorded a special video for each game on the list, minus two that I could not record footage, where I play a bit of each to show you why they made the list.
Going behind the scenes a bit, there were a total of 41 titles that were picked by at least one member of the staff that includes games on the brand new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One all the way back to the Dreamcast. Yes, a Dreamcast title came out this year and Fil enjoyed it enough to put it on his list, so that was definitely one of our more interesting choices.
Our Game of the Year was the only game to top two Top 10 lists with the rest getting individual #1 nods. Going by platform, the PS3 led the way with 24 total games amongst everybody’s lists with the PC coming in at second with 14 games and Xbox 360 in third with 13 titles. In terms of exclusives, 3DS tops that list with six exclusives, PS3 comes in second with five of them, and the Wii U and Xbox One are third with three exclusives each.
Without further ado, please look below to see our Top 10 Games of 2013 and watch the videos to see why they made it.
10. Pikmin 3 – Wii U
9. Dragon’s Crown – PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
T-7. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – PlayStation 3
T-7. Fire Emblem: Awakening – Nintendo 3DS
It’s no surprise that a new Fire Emblem game was released this year and it happened to be an excellent entry in this venerable strategy RPG series, but Intelligent Systems did an exceptionally good job with Awakening to make it one of the best entries yet. Added to the core greatness is a new Persona-esque story mechanic where fighting alongside companions more often opens up new personal bits of story between the two of you that was a neat bonus to encourage more teamwork during battles. For newcomers, there are some nice options for easier difficulties and the ability to turn off the permanent death of party members, though we’d still suggest keeping that on for the best experience.
6. Grand Theft Auto V – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
T-4. BioShock Infinite – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
T-4. Beyond: Two Souls – PlayStation 3
3. The Last of Us – PlayStation 3
2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds – Nintendo 3DS
As fans wondered whether Nintendo could figure out how to change up the Zelda formula to breath some new life into the series, A Link Between Worlds shows up and just knocks it out of the park. This sequel to the beloved A Link to the Past throws out some of the series’ most tired ideas in favor of some fresh ideas that really change how you play the game without making it not a Zelda game. Specifically, they now offer you the chance to amass a full arsenal of weapons right away, which lets you tackle the dungeons in any order you like while experimenting with different weapon combos to give you more ways to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Add in the ability to merge into a wall to give you a completely new way to get around along with fast travel and Nintendo has proven that they have the ability to fix the series’ problems to offer new experiences that still have the classic Zelda elements that players want.
1. Super Mario 3D World – Wii U
That’s it. That’s the list. Super Mario 3D World is SmashPad’s 2013 Game of the Year and it’s a very worthy winner being highly-ranked amongst our staff’s lists. That is it for us in 2013, though I get the irony of writing that about an article coming out in 2014, but we do have a decent lead time for our Game of the Year articles. We will see you guys back in a few days with some new content as we look to start off 2014 with a bang to keep this momentum going. I hope everybody enjoyed their holidays with their families and their consoles. Thanks for stopping by.
Curious about how our editors scored things? Check out their Top 10 Games below!