The Best Video Games of 2013

video games 2013

With Christmas in the air and the dawn of 2014 rapidly approaching, we thought it would be fun to reflect on what 2013 had to offer in the world of our favorite past-time, video games. In a year clouded with console wars and dog physics, I’ll admit at first when looking at this year’s offering of video games, it was hard for many of our contributors to come up with a comprehensive top 15. A lot of the games were either ‘just another sequel’, overhyped, or just plain lame. After some time of inward reflection and studying the list of games, the spirit of the holidays must have forced itself upon me as I had a change of heart and perhaps unpopular epiphany. What if this year was a great year for games?

After many furious debates and careful consideration the Videogame BANG! crew in collaboration with Nerd Reactor and some of our other friends in the gaming community came up with a system to rank the year’s top games in a nifty Top 15 format. We asked our crack team of bloggers, YouTubers, streamers, Podcasters, and geeks to make their own personal top ten list, then using the scientifically proven ‘Mario Kart’ scoring system created this power ranking of 2013 titles.

15. NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 ps4

Rounding out the bottom of our rankings of what 2013 had to offer is NBA 2k14. 2k Sports has been dominating the virtual NBA world for years, and NBA 2k14 easily trounced EA’s NBA Live 2014 in every almost every aspect imaginable. Graphics, game play, commentating, and multiplayer to name a few. Most of my hours on this game have been on the Xbox One where I have become completely addicted to the My Career mode. Included are cut scenes, dialogue options, and a solid leveling system. You start in the rookie showcase and based on your performance you will get drafted into an NBA team. NBA 2k14 is exactly what you would expect from a 2k sports basketball game, done to a very high level. Well deserving of the number 15 spot.

14. Fire Emblem Awakening


From Jada Griffin:

Fire Emblem Awakening is one of this year’s best turn-based strategy games. It is often forgotten about in daily game talk, but if you mention it to any fan of the series or the genre, they will always have a story to tell. Fire Emblem is the best at mixing lovable characters with a strong narrative, where to the most hardcore of Fire Emblem fans refuse to let someone die because of the permadeath factor in the series. This new addition in the series added tons of additional content via DLC for the first time along with the ability to battle others via streetpass (no need to wait on the person). Awakening is by far one the best Fire Emblem games to date due to its improved cinematics, improved pacing of the story, and relentless difficulty for perfectionists.”

13. DMC: Devil May Cry


From John “Spartan: Nguyen:

“There are many hardcore fans who hated the reboot due to Dante looking different, but I think DMC was able to keep with the tone of Dante being a cocky badass. Sure, he may seem more immature, but he is younger, and he still got some cool moves up his sleeves. The world makes sense, and fighting the demons are fun thanks to combos and fast-paced action.”

12. Call of Duty: Ghosts


Number 12 on the list is from perhaps the most polarizing game franchise in the games industry today, Call of Duty: Ghosts. The gaming world has shifted its opinion on this series over the years, from FPS sweetheart, to over hyped juggernaut. A Call of Duty game would normally rank much higher in a list like this, but in the year 2013, the franchise suffered some controversy for its literal copy and paste storyline. Also, the internet really flamed the series for its lack of innovation and creativity (the dog). Regardless of your opinion, the numbers don’t lie and Call of Duty: Ghosts is still wildly popular, and considered a “console seller”. Critically EA’s Battlefield 4 may have won the battle, but somehow Ghosts still won the war by being the most played game online for the Xbox One, PS4 and Xbox 360 in November. Kudos to Infinity Ward, and here is to hoping next year Call of Duty will raise the bar and reclaim the top spot.

11. Dead Rising 3


Just shy of the top 15 games of 2013 is the Xbox One exclusive, Dead rising 3. Appropriately, Dead Rising 3 is the highest ranked next-gen- console exclusive title on the list. Unanimously when the VGB team reviewed both next-gen systems and most of the launch titles, the diverse panel all agreed the DR3 was the game that most left us wanting to play more. While far from a perfect game, it lives up to its previous installments and is a hell of a lot of fun.

10. Beyond: Two Souls

beyond two souls

From John “Spartan: Nguyen:

“What I admire about Quantic Dream is that the team is okay with giving us a different gaming experience than the usual FPS and/or 3rd-person action/adventure games. With Beyond: Two Souls, we get to dive into the mind of Jodie and her invisible friend, Aiden. The game is very linear in terms of plot points, but it’s an enjoyable game that makes you feel like you are a part of that world, whether it’s helping Jodie fend of FBI agents or helping a homeless mom deliver a baby.”

9. Batman: Arkham Origins


From John “Spartan: Nguyen:

Batman: Arkham Origins lands at the number 9 spot. The game doesn’t bring a lot of new things to the table, but what it has is the same core gameplay that many fans enjoy. The familiar modes return, so you get to feel like Batman whether you’re being a fighter, a predator, or detective. The new voices for Batman and Joker do a good job, so those worried about Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy not being in this one should feel somewhat at east.”

8. Pokemon XY


From Chris del Castillo:

“The Pokemon game that many fans have been waiting for many years doesn’t disappoint. Everything is bigger and better, making it the best Pokemon game yet. From grand adventures to trading Pokemons online, it’s the ultimate Pokemon experience.”

7. The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds


From Chris del Castillo:

“The nostalgia factor hits heard for fans of A Link to the Past. The series was in trouble of getting stale, but The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds easily shows that there’s a lot of innovation to be had. The game is easily one of the best games for the Nintendo 3DS and has everything you’d want from a Zelda game.”

6. Battlefield 4


From John “Spartan: Nguyen:

Battlefield 4 is the favorite FPS shooter among the team, and it looks amazing with the Frostbite 3 engine. The campaign mode can use a lot of work, but the heart of the game is in the online multiplayer mode. From destruction and utter chaos, you’ll be able to do a lot, like destroying houses with a tank, sniping pilots in helicopters, running people over with a jetski, and more.”

5. Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag Edward

From John “Spartan: Nguyen:

“The Assassin’s Creed series has been releasing a new game every year, so it can be pretty tough to spice things up. With Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Ubisoft has taken the game to the sea. Some fans might not be happy with an Assassin game featuring a pirate, but for those who enjoy the pirate’s life, this game has it all. You’ll get to sail the seas in your very own ship as you board and loot ships, meet infamous pirates like Blackbeard and Hornigold, and visit beautiful island locations.”

4. Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider screenshot

From John “Spartan: Nguyen:

“Crystal Dynamics has rebooted the Tomb Raider franchise with a more dramatic tale of a younger Lara Croft. The game has improved on many things including cinematic experience, action, graphics, story and puzzles. The game rivals the likes of Uncharted.”

3. BioShock Infinite


From John “Spartan” Nguyen

“Even though BioShock Infinite’s gameplay changed dramatically from the trailers that we’ve seen, it was still an exiting experience as we get to use two different weapons at the same time while killing the brainwashed inhabitants of the dystopian city, Columbia. The game’s just a lot of fun to play as it features an interesting story and a girl who can change the fabric of time, and you get to use guns and special powers like shooting electricity, and move around the city on rails like a playground.”

2. The Last of Us

the last of us hiding from hunters

From John “Spartan” Nguyen:

“If there’s one thing Naughty Dog is good at, it’s the art of cinematic action gameplay. You really feel like you’re playing a movie with their games, and The Last of Us is no different. The team created a brutal game that shows you how immoral people can be, and it also created one of the best survival-horror action games out there. From clickers to hunters, the game will keep you on the edge of your seat.”

1. GTA V


In at number one is Grand Theft Auto V. I’m pretty sure 98% of ‘best games of 2013’ lists on the web will either feature GTAV or The Last of Us on top. Truthfully they are both bad ass games with layers of depth and innovations. I was one of the people on the panel who gave the nod to GTAV, and I did so with careful consideration and good reason. Grand Theft Auto this year transcended videogame culture. Despite the inevitable glitches in a game this size and a shaky Grand Theft Auto Online launch, Rockstar handled the successes and failures of GTAV like champs. Grand Theft Auto is beyond discussion for Game of the Year and will be in discussions for Best game of all-time. For many who bought next-gen consoles, it turned our PS3s and Xbox 360s into dedicated GTAV machines. My congratulations and thanks to everyone who had a hand in creating this game.

And here are the honorable mentions:

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Super Mario World 3D, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, The Wolf Among Us, Dead Space 3, The Stanley Parable and Papers, Please.

Also, check out the Videogame BANG! podcast about the top games of the year.

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