Game Front Staff’s 2013 Game of the Year

Mitchell Saltzman – Video Producer
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  1. Bioshock Infinite
  2. Super Mario 3D World
  3. The Last of Us
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. Rogue Legacy

Yeah I know, “boooo, Mitch’s choices are all so mainstream — except Rogue Legacy — boooo.” You know what, though? These honestly were the games that I had the most fun with in 2013. Rogue Legacy came out of nowhere and surprised the hell out of me as I became sucked into its randomly generated levels, knowing full well that I’d surely die, but also knowing that with each death I became stronger and stronger. GTA5 is just so technically impressive and so jam packed with content that it’s hard not to fall in love with it, and this is coming from a person who has never finished a Grand Theft Auto game in his life. The Last of Us is groundbreaking in its presentation and provides some of the most intense gameplay moments of the year. Super Mario 3D World is pure distilled joy in disc form, providing those rare Wii-U owners with the best Mario game since Super Mario Galaxy.

And finally we come to Bioshock Infinite, which I understand may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but when it comes to me and the things that I value in a video game, Bioshock Infinite hit all of the targets. Constantly exciting and dynamic combat, a story that lingered in my mind long after it was done, and a fascinating world that is as beautiful as it is violent and ugly, all add up to my personal game of the year 2013.

James Heaney – Video Producer
Check out Game Front on YouTube | Follow on Twitter

  1. The Last of Us
  2. Grand Theft Auto V
  3. Saints Row IV
  4. Killzone Shadowfall
  5. Dead Rising 3

Several times this year I have happened upon strangers, and through conversation we find we share a life event that instantly connects us as if we have known each other for years. It is not an earthquake, a hometown, or Burning Man, it was The Last of us. It is not difficult for me to choose it as my number one game from 2013.

The Last of Us was one of the more moving stories I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. The excitement had me at the edge of my seat, and the scares often lifted my ass right off my chair. These were not the moments that earned it game of the year in my eyes. No, it was the emotion it drew from me in the very first scene through the final moments of the characters’ journey. I can easily count the times I have cried while playing a video game on one hand, and two of these moments were during The Last of Us. I am not alone, I have heard this same confession from my new found friends. These friends and I share a bond that people I have known my whole life will never understand.

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


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.


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.


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


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).


On January 4, 2014 at 11:26 am

Nobody at Gamefront played Rayman Legends then?


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.

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!


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.


On January 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm

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