GOTY

2013 has been a great year for gaming. From some excellent sequels and entries in long running franchises to some bold makeovers of long-dormant titles (DmC, Tomb Raider), some truly impressive standalone titles, and new IPs across multiple genres, 2013 has had something for everyone. Gaming on three different platforms (iOS, PC, PS3), I played plenty of games this year, and having to choose just five among them was a tough task. However, I did have some favorites on each platform, and the list below contains a few of them.

There might be certain titles here which you are bound to find on just about everyone’s GOTY list, but that just speaks volumes about the game’s wide appeal and near-perfect quality. Read on to find out my top five games of the year.

#5 Device 6 – iOS 

It doesn’t happen too often that a mobile game makes to my GOTY list, but if there’s one developer who could construct a masterpiece to claw its way into the list, it’s Simogo. The Swedish developer duo has delivered some of the most creative, iconic and memorable gameplay experiences on the iOS platform. Continuing their tradition of delivering something innovative with every new title, Simogo released Device 6, a text based adventure game that tells the tale of Anna, a woman trapped on a mysterious island. The game features a lot of text interspersed with images, audio clips, hidden clues, and on screen information that constantly shifts its shape to reflect the in-game events. It’s a brilliant example of what the mobile devices are capable of, delivering some ingenious gameplay elements, excellent puzzles, and a thought provoking narrative culminating in an unforgettable finale. It is Simogo’s best on the iOS and one of the best ever on the platform.
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#4 Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – PC 

Following Assassin’s Creed II, the series felt like it was constantly treading familiar territory to avoid any missteps. Even though Assassin’s Creed III was a step ahead for the franchise in terms of the visuals and presenting a new protagonist in a new era, it still had many flaws, including a highly inconsistent story and tons of bugs. AC IV, however, is a triumph. It looks beautiful, has a likable pirate protagonist, and tells a story that makes sense. It also provides excellent, exploration heavy, open-world gameplay elements, including a highly refined naval warfare system. But more than anything else, it is a whole lot of fun.
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#3 Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – PC 

It had been a while since I had played a game that was as emotional, evocative, and lovingly crafted as the indie adventure title Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (the last such game was Journey on the PS3). Brothers charts the journey of two siblings who set out to find a cure for their dying father and bring back the ‘Water of Life’. It’s a simple premise, but it sets the stage for some memorable encounters with fascinating creatures and some truly beautiful environments. It is equal parts platforming and puzzle solving with the occasional enemy encounter. Controlling both brothers at once using the analog sticks on the controller takes some time getting used to, but once the control scheme becomes familiar, Brothers will pull you into its mesmerizingly fantastic world and keep you glued to the very end.
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#2 The Last of Us – PS3 

There’s probably not much of an explanation needed as to why The Last of Us made it into my GOTY List. Naughty Dog has solidified its position as one of the best developers of the current generation, and after three iterations of the hugely successful Uncharted series, the developer delivers an engaging post-apocalyptic tale rife with tension and driven by an excellent narrative. Joel and Ellie make for an unlikely pair of protagonists, one world-weary and the other never having known what a normal life feels like, and as a result, their tale of bonding and survival feels deeply personal and relatable. The game combines riveting, resource-scrounging, stealth-based gameplay with a well-told story, making for one of the best experiences of 2013. It is rounded off by a brilliant, part-cooperative and part-competitive multiplayer mode that emphasises the same survival aspects as the main campaign.
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#1 Grand Theft Auto V – PS3

Rockstar’s latest installment in their flagship open-world franchise is flat-out amazing. It offers a huge number of gameplay enhancements and additions over its predecessors and combines some of the best gameplay elements from many of its previous titles. It presents a devilishly clever storyline infused with wit and dark humour that takes on the various issues plaguing contemporary America, as told through the eyes of three completely unique and immensely likeable protagonists. It feels and plays really well, pushing the current-gen consoles to their very limit to deliver some truly spectacular visuals and features an excellent soundtrack. There’s no other game which could possibly occupy spot number one for me other than the near-perfect GTA V.
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