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CalmDownTom’s GOTY Awards 2013

Ok, enough messing around. Here’s the final CDT Top 10 Games of the Year, as chosen by the CDT writing team. It’s a collaborative effort, and in this, the last article of 2013, we give you a list we all worked hard on!

10. Ni No Kuni
A welcome return by Studio 5 to the realm of sprawling jrpgs, but with added Ghibli HD loveliness. (Tom Freeman and Ross Aitken).

9. Hotline Miami Vita
Now I have to confess to not having played an awful lot of new games this year so my next entries are going to cheat ever so slightly. Hotline Miami makes the list due to it’s release on the Vita. But here’s the thing, it’s better than the PC version. Why you may ask? Surely the master race is a better platform! Well I have to say I prefer the Vita thumbstick controls. They feel more intuitive than the mouse and keys. They are by no means easier of course but they feel more natural and for me the intuitive nature of controls and the whole nature of input and feedback is something I value greatly. The controls on the PC felt…off. The Vita feels right. Add to that the up close and personal nature of playing on handheld with bonus of probably already playing with headphones, it’s a match made in heaven. (Alan MacMillan)

8. Metro: Last Light
4A games did a great job answering all of those questions left over from the first game but at the same time managed to add in more mystery to the game before answering it all. You play as Artyom, again, and meet with old and new faces, weapons and betrayal. I never knew so much could go on in a Metro system especially when the world is in turmoil. As much as I loved both Metro games and would recommend them, I am glad they wrapped the series up with such a satisfying conclusion. (Daniel Taylor).

7. Persona 4 Golden
This is my best game of 2013 (and my favourite game of all time). Every part of this game is almost perfect, from the characters to the dungeons. This has the best parts of other JRPG’s, but without the mindless and boring grind. I still find it funny turning down a characters request to go dungeon crawling because I have to finsh my homework! I can already hear people shouting that this is just a port of a PS2 from 2008, but its much more than that. They added a ton of new content including a new ending, more social links, and even a quiz show. If you have a Vita this is a must buy. (David Carr)

6. Payday 2
Usually I get a good multiplayer game and by the time I’m done with the single player campaign, everyone else has moved on to the next game and I don’t get the full multiplayer experience. When PayDay 2 surfaced this year a few friends were posting about the fun they were having on it and I decided to jump in and see what the fuss was about. I then played it almost every night for at least a month! Planning the perfect heist with your friends and then not at all sticking to the plan as things go tits up around you, weighing up the risk/reward factor, not leaving your downed friend behind even when you could be away with your loot, and then celebrating the success or arguing over the failures in the lobby afterwards. Before Payday 2 came along, I hadn’t had as much fun in a multiplayer game since Goldeneye on the N64. (Ben MacKinnon)

5. Rogue Legacy
nitially I wasn’t too keen on the difficulty spikes that Rogue Legacy has to offer, but there was some little magic spark in the game that kept me persevering until I completed it 100%. The smoothness of the gameplay, the pacing of the game, the silliness of the traits and the awesome soundtrack… it all comes together to make a magical experience! (Malcolm Armstrong).

4. Tomb Raider
Another game that divided critics, Tomb Raider received good reviews followed by a bit of a backlash. It’s grimy, bloody heroine went through hell, and the death animations for Lara were like something you would see in an exploitation movie. The survival element that was showcased early in the development also turned out to be a bit of a red herring, with hunting and patching up your wounds never really becoming a major part of the game.

Still, Tomb Raider turned out to be an excellent adventure game with metroid-vania progression and a brilliantly designed hub level structure. While murdering thousands of enemies caused a bit of a disassociation between narrative and gameplay, the actual combat was loose and fun. The real star of the game was the island itself though. In many ways games haven’t moved far from their heritage of fire, snow and sewer levels, but the environment in Tomb Radier is convincing, bleak and absolutely beautiful. (Tom Welsh)

3. Bioshock Infinite
Despite the cookie cutter combat and the sub-par special powers, Irrational Games managed to build a visually Immersive World with an ending which made me, for the first time in a long while, think about what it all meant when I got away from the computer screen.(Brian McDonald)

2. GTA V
It’s a bit of a cheap inclusion, I know, but it was a brilliant game. GTAV had a good length to it, interesting diversity in it’s missions and characters, and massively improved gameplay, story and graphics over any similar game I’ve played this year. Well worth the long wait from GTA IV, wouldn’t you agree? (Martin “Hutch The Clutch” Hutchison).

1. The Last of Us
As breath taking as the acting and direction on show are, it wouldn’t have had as much impact if the world they crafted wasn’t so vivid. Collapsed civilizations and overgrown urban areas seem to be a-dime-a-dozen these days, but here everything seems more deliberate and personal. The buildings you traverse feel like they were once lived in. The spores themselves are eerie and can be seen sprouting from dead bodies and running up the lengths of walls to branch out over ceilings. They stoke that primal human fear of control loss and parasitic intrusion. All these elements are weaved intricately to form a very convincing world.

What we have here is probably the best example of an interactive movie ever made. All the lessons from film study are used expertly during this game to create a masterful show. (Gary “Ealiom” McCartney).

That’s us done for 2013 folks! Whether you’re a contributor, editor or just a visitor, thanks to all of you! Have a great new year, game hard and often, and we’ll see you all on the other side!

Published inTop 10