Marcus' Top Ten Games of 2013
10.) Ni No Kuni
For the capturing the essence of the Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki movies and having a moderately balanced combat system. I'm a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki's animated films, so when news of Ni No Kuni: The Wrath of the White Witch reached my ears, I was all for it and as excited as one would expect a fan to be. The game really fits in with the films, despite being a video game. Combat takes some time to get used to all the quirks and more advanced manevuers. Once I figured out how to properly face my foes in combat, it was all smooth sailing from there. I would personally support more titles like this to come from Level-5 and Studio Ghibli in the future.
9.) Remember Me
For being different, the awesome memory remixes, and the ability to make my own combos. As unappreciated as this game was, I found a love for it underneath the flaws it possessed. Memory remixing segments reminded me heavily of the film Minority Report with the ability to rewind and fast forward through memories. Dontnod's art direction gave Neo-Paris the cyberpunk feel that meshed well with the story they invented. I really enjoyed the combo lab, where I got to mix and match Pressens to create new combos. These allowed me to head into battle with a different mindset each time. Definitely one of the hidden gems of this year.
8.) Metal Gear Rising
For being a hardcore hack and slash crazy adventure and for its truly epic music. When Raiden came back into focus during the events of MGS4, jaws hit the floor and for good reason. He wasn't some naked solider doing cartwheels anymore. Instead, he became a cybernetic ninja who tore though anyone or anything in his way. I wanted a taste of that power, and I got it some years later with Metal Gear Rising. The ability to slice through foes at will was empowering, bordering on the line of intoxicating. The enemies weren't afraid to put players at the "Game Over" screen, either--especially the bosses. My blood got pumped so quickly when I heard the music for boss fights. It also took some actual skill to beat the game.
7.) DmC: Devil May Cry
For introducing a crazy new world within the DMC universe and the fluid combat. Limbo wasn't at all what I expected, yet that's probably why I'm so enthralled by it still. Inanimate objects turn against Dante, and the landscape is constantly changing. When I wasn't fighting against the environment itself, I was slaughtering hordes of demonic forces. I haven't played a DMC game with this much fun involving the combat since Devil May Cry 3. I went out my way to become better at pulling off insane combos utilizing all weapons. I really hope a sequel dashes its way into development. Oh, and yes, I did like this Dante just as much as the old one.
6.) Tomb Raider
For changing my mind about a series I wasn't impressed with and tense combat scenarios. Tomb Raider was never a franchise I found appealing, even with the ones that tried to change the format around. So when this reboot was announced, I had no interest in it until a friend of mine insisted that I watch one of the gameplay trailers. After watching said trailer, I was convinced Lara Croft's fresh start was a fresh start for me as well. The action always had this feeling of desperation lurking underneath. Sure, Lara may have been a "terminator" in the way she disposed of her hunters, but combat was always tense. Add in some really memorable moments, a great platforming feel and you have yourself a new and improved Tomb Raider.
5.) Bioshock Infinite
For having a major twist on par with the original and being all around enjoyable. When I say my mind exploded at the end of Bioshock Infinite, I think I felt pieces of my brain slipping out of my ears. Quantum Entanglement plays a huge role in the story, leading many to drop their jaws with shock at what is being said towards the end. Having one of the best stories of 2013, I can say with full confidence I probably won't experience that level of a screwball twist anytime soon. Combat flows well, and Colombia is a place teeming with racism, technological advances and segregation. Irrational Games made a good call with the game's title. The word "Infinite" is completely appropriate.
4.) Batman: Arkham Origins
For the precise combat and cinematic boss fights. After Rocksteady spawned two stellar titles, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, The Caped Crusader's next venture was left in the hands of Warner Bros. Games Montreal, which left many worried about this prequel. All this worrying was soon put to rest as the Warner Bros. studio had no trouble capturing the atmosphere and tight controls of previous installments. Combat is still as responsive and brutal as ever, a multitude of side missions await young Bruce Wayne, and the boss encounters are the best of all three games. Even if the WB Montreal studio stays around to develop more titles, I can say I'm thoroughly looking forward for more.
3.) Grand Theft Auto 5
For having a huge world to explore and frantic online multiplayer. To begin, GTAV had a much better storyline than its predecessor GTAIV. Franklin struggling to make it in the world surrounded by Michael, who struggles to deal with his life and past mistakes. Let's not forget Trevor, the psycho entrepreneur that accompanies Michael and Franklin. The world of Los Santos is vast and wide, full of random encounters, side missions, and hectic moments. The online is no different and could be even crazier than the single player. Every time I play GTAOnline with a group of my friends, it's a nonstop ride full of laughs and teamwork. Grand Theft Auto 5 renewed my faith in the series, and I can't wait to see what comes next.
2.) The Last of Us
For being emotionally gripping from the first few minutes to the bittersweet ending. The story was gripping when Joel and Elle had their many conversations. It was heartpounding to sneak past Clickers and the infected through dimly lit rooms where one mistake costs you your life. Intense gun and fist fights which portrayed the bruality one would face in a post-apcopltic world. Naughty Dog crafted a well oiled emotional roller coaster ride, and almost everyone recognized its worth. A true PS3 masterpiece.
1.) A Link Between Worlds
For its refreshing use of old and new elements and being captivating. The worlds of Hyrule and Lorule are teeming with hidden secrets to be found, which is perfect for exploration. Transforming Link into a magical painting yields some unexpected results, and the game is just challenging enough to stump players to finally deliver the "aha" moment. Hands down one of the top three Zelda titles in my book.