Game Front Staff’s 2013 Game of the Year

2013 has been an odd year in the world of video games.

As we’ve talked about on our podcast and in editorial, there have been a lot of games that just didn’t live up to their billing. Nowhere was this more apparent than when we started talking about our Game of the Year.

When we all got together to try and select Game Front’s Game of the year for 2013, it turned out that there was very little consensus. Everyone liked something different. It quickly became apparent that selecting a clear-cut winner wasn’t going to happen. We were going to have to do something a bit different this year.

Accordingly, we are happy to present the following list. Each Game Front staffer who participated offers up their top 5 games of 2013, with a little bit about why. We hope you enjoy the list, and we’d love to hear what your top 5 games were. Just drop yours in the comments!


Ron Whitaker – Senior Editor
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  1. Metro: Last Light
  2. Saints Row IV
  3. Tomb Raider
  4. Payday 2
  5. Outlast

Picking a GOTY winner this year was difficult, mostly because there was no title stood head and shoulders above the rest. However, the one game that was closest to that for me was Metro: Last Light. Not only was it fun, it was memorable, which is more than I can say for most of the games I played this year. Returning to the subway tunnels below Moscow reminded me that Metro’s world isn’t one of hopeful optimism. Not, those tunnels are a place for grim survivors, those who cling to life because that’s what you should do. The sense of hopelessness and inevitability that was embodied in Metro: Last Light made it my choice for the best of 2013.

As to the rest, Saints Row 4 was an admirable successor to SR3, and its use of licensed music was genius. Tomb Raider reinvigorated a series that was badly in need of it, and also humanized Lara Croft along the way. Payday 2 takes all the fun that is 4-player co-op heists and turns it up to 11, although I’m still on the fence about the recent addition of hand grenades. Finally, Outlast is a terrifying take on the Amnesia formula of the powerless protagonist that actually manages to do it better than the games that seem to have inspired it.

2013 might not have been the best year ever in video games, but these five games were the highlights for me.

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12 Comments on Game Front Staff’s 2013 Game of the Year

Chirpy

On January 4, 2014 at 4:06 am

I’m a bit surprised Bioshock Infinite didn’t receive more love. At least nobody went for the ridiculous Beyond: Two Souls.

GazH

On January 4, 2014 at 4:38 am

Was it a requirement to vote in Tomb Raider? Did someone get paid at all? I’m just spotting it everywhere, even in places where it doesn’t belong, such as Mitchell Saltzman’s choices. He’s talking about his number 5 choice of Rogue Legacy and yet Tomb Raider is on the list in its place. Hmm…

Mitchell Saltzman

On January 4, 2014 at 9:56 am

@GazH: Miscommunication. When we first drafted these lists, we had a top 5 AAA and top 5 indies. Then we realized that they shouldn’t be separated and I included Rogue Legacy instead of Tomb Raider, but the first list was what got posted. Fixing it now.

SupremeAllah

On January 4, 2014 at 10:01 am

It isn’t my place to tell other people what their top five should be.

Though I am saddened that Wonderful 101 and on a lesser note, Metal Gear Rising: Revengance weren’t on anyone’s lists.

Phil Hornshaw

On January 4, 2014 at 10:05 am

@GazH

Should also note that, at least for me, the order of my list isn’t a ranking. I actually struggled to nail down my Top 5 for this year quite a bit, and I’m pretty sure a lot of other people did as well.

Also, because I guess I have to say it (SIGH): No, no one was paid. We just enjoyed Tomb Raider (in a year of many not-very-good triple-A titles).

Ed

On January 4, 2014 at 11:26 am

Nobody at Gamefront played Rayman Legends then?

Deadspace

On January 4, 2014 at 4:30 pm

@Chirpy Bio Shock had some great story telling and voice acting but the core gameplay was extremely average and generic that’s probably why it didn’t get more love.

Ron Whitaker

On January 4, 2014 at 4:52 pm

@Chirpy – If you’re wondering why we didn’t give more love to Bioshock Infinite, I’d suggest listening to our podcast where we discussed the lack of a clear-cut GOTY for 2013.

http://www.gamefront.com/game-front-podcast-11-does-2013-even-have-a-goty/

Personally, I felt like Infinite got a lot more love than it deserved.

As to the Tomb Raider error, that one is on me. Sorry, Mitch!

SweetPea

On January 5, 2014 at 6:13 am

It’s surprising that so many people think Tomb Raider was one of the best games this year. For me, it was a disappointment.

People constantly say how Lara was humanized. Well, not really. She’s supposed to be a young, inexperienced girl, still at the beginning of her career. But the gameplay doesn’t support that at all. Halfway through the game I found myself doing nothing but constantly blasting thousands of these islanders to pieces with a shotgun and an explosive bow. When I think of Tomb Raider, I want platforming and puzzles, with a little action, not 90%. That’s what Lara’s good at. She’s not a one-man-army.

And I’m surprised that Phil Hornshaw doesn’t seem to mind this, even though he likes to complain about The Last Of Us’ enormous body count, and how it turned the game “from a series of tense sneak-sessions into a slog through yet another group of idiot “hunters.”” (which I agree with, btw.)

Red Menace

On January 5, 2014 at 8:08 pm

I like the way you guys did this. A good read.

Sir Hawk

On January 6, 2014 at 4:29 am

@Gazh and Phil Hornshaw

completely agree that Tomb Raider was simple fantastic and fun to play all the way through… surprising it didnt feature in other game sites GOTY lists. Fantastic to see Gamefronts honest opinions.

Michael

On January 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm

WOW did everyone forget about Dead space 3 and the puppeteer.