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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'WorthPlaying's Top Games of 2013' - Consoles and PC

by Rainier on Dec. 31, 2013 @ 12:00 p.m. PST

So far, we've revealed the honorable mentions and the top handheld and downloadable titles, and now, we're rolling out the top console and PC offerings. Once that's out of the way, we'll start the countdown of the top 20 titles, including what WP considers to be the best game of 2013. Read more for the results!
PlayStation 4

4. Killzone: Shadow Fall (PS4)

If you're looking for something to showcase the power of the PS4, Killzone: Shadow Fall does the job very well. The graphics are beautiful and present something rarely seen in the previous generation of console shooters. If you're looking for a solid multiplayer experience, the shooting feels right, the progression system is good, and the constantly rotating objectives keep things fresh. The game should be in your launch library if you're invested in a stable, sci-fi multiplayer shooter.

3. Skylanders: Swap Force (PS4)

Skylanders: Swap Force is the best kid-friendly game available on the PS4. It's incredibly accessible, easy to play, full of content, and it's a well-crafted game. The only potential downside is that it could become a serious drain on a parent's wallet as their kids run into roadblocks that require specific toys to continue. If you don't mind dishing out a few extra dollars, or if your kids already have a healthy collection of Skylander toys, there's no better choice for a new PS4 owner looking for something for the younger crowd.

2. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (PS4)

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is one of the most solid entries in the LEGO franchise to date. It has a huge cast of characters, a fun world to explore, and tons of content. It offers a good experience, so it's possible to overlook the lack of major upgrades. Traveller's Tales has made yet another excellent game that is accessible to players of all ages. If you or your kids like LEGO titles, you'll certainly enjoy this trip into the Marvel universe.

1. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (PS4)

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is a great launch title for the PS4 and nice entry for the series. From the graphics to the sound, the presentation is top-notch, and the inclusion of an app makes it so there isn't a moment when you're not playing the game. The open world gives you plenty of things to do and see on both land and sea, from collection quests to naval battles and everything in between. The story is less dour, and even the present-day environments have been livened up. Most importantly, the game is purely fun because it runs with the pirate motif and highlights the more romanticized aspects. AC4 is worth picking up on any platform, but it's definitely worth checking out on the PS4.

Xbox One

4. Skylanders: Swap Force (XOne)

Skylanders: Swap Force is incredibly accessible, easy to play, full of content, and it's a well-crafted game. The only potential downside is that it could become a serious drain on a parent's wallet as their kids run into roadblocks that require specific toys to continue. If you don't mind dishing out a few extra dollars, or if your kids already have a healthy collection of Skylander toys, there's no better choice for a parent looking for something for the younger crowd.

3. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (XOne)

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is one of the most solid entries in the LEGO franchise to date. It has a huge cast of characters, a fun world to explore, and tons of content. It offers a good experience, so it's possible to overlook the lack of major upgrades. Traveller's Tales has made yet another excellent game that is accessible to players of all ages. If you or your kids like LEGO titles, you'll certainly enjoy this trip into the Marvel universe.

2. Dead Rising 3 (XOne)

Dead Rising 3 has a more open-world aspect than the previous iterations in the franchise. It looks good, and you can put together some crazy zombie-killing weapons as long as you have the components. The next-gen processing power makes the zombie horde feel almost overwhelming at times, since they're significantly more aggressive and numerous. There's a lot of gameplay here if you're a completionist, and if you're feeling particularly hardcore, you can replay the game in Nightmare mode, which imposes time limits and removes checkpoints.

1. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (XOne)

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is a great launch title for the Xbox One and nice entry for the series. From the graphics to the sound, the presentation is top-notch, and the inclusion of an app makes it so there isn't a moment when you're not playing the game. The open world gives you plenty of things to do and see on both land and sea, from collection quests to naval battles and everything in between. The story is less dour, and even the present-day environments have been livened up. Most importantly, the game is purely fun because it runs with the pirate motif and highlights the more romanticized aspects.

Wii U

5. The Wonderful 101 (WiiU)

The Wonderful 101 is a top-notch game from a top-notch developer. It's an easy game to learn but a tough game to master, and there's plenty to do, lots of mechanics to learn, and numerous boss fights to take on. If you're a Wii U owner, you owe it to yourself to try The Wonderful 101. Even if there were more games for the system, The Wonderful 101 would stand out among the crowd.

4. LEGO City Undercover (WiiU)

LEGO City Undercover marks what is hopefully the start of some good, exclusive games for Nintendo's latest system. It takes the traits of what made the Travellers' Tales LEGO games so well loved in the first place, such as the good-natured humor, and it does so without a license as a crutch. The story is good, but it is the multitude of activities that really makes this title shine and gives you plenty of reasons to explore every nook and cranny after Rex Fury is behind bars once again. The game remains fun for all gamers, making it another brilliant game that Wii U owners should have.

3. Pikmin 3 (WiiU)

Pikmin 3 improves on the mechanics of the previous games and includes a good amount of enjoyable content. It's a very easy game to pick up and play for any age group, and it's exactly the kind of sequel you'd expect from the Pikmin franchise. It's a good game that all Wii U owners should try.

2. Rayman Legends (WiiU)

Rayman Legends is one of this year's hidden gems. Originally intended to be a Wii U exclusive, it was delayed and ported to every system under the sun. Like its predecessor, Rayman Legends is a multiplayer platformer heavily inspired by both the original Rayman games and the New Super Mario Bros. series. What makes Legends stand out is the sheer quality and effort put into its level design. It is full of creative, clever and fun levels. It doesn't matter if you're battling a giant dragon or playing a half-platforming/half-rhythm level to a mariachi version of "Eye of the Tiger" — there's always something new and something enjoyable in Rayman's latest adventure. Legends also contains most of the levels from the original Rayman: Origins, making this some of the best value for your money.

1. Super Mario 3D World (WiiU)

Odds are good that if you're reading this and you're a Wii U owner, you already own Super Mario 3D World. It's the defining game for the system and easily one of the best Mario titles in years. Based on the basic concept behind Super Mario 3D Land, it expands and evolves it into entirely new directions. There are new power-ups, new gimmicks, and plenty of top-notch level design. It also brings multiplayer to the 3-D Mario games for the first time. Super Mario 3D World is Nintendo's platforming mascot at his absolute finest. Packed with content and an absolute dream to play, it provides perhaps the single best reason to own a Wii U.

PC

5. Rocksmith 2014 Edition (PC)

At its core, Rocksmith is a franchise that is very much geared toward weaning players off plastic guitars and on to ones made of wood and metal. Rocksmith 2014 is an excellent evolution on that set of ideals. The game restructuring makes it easier to play while retaining its sense of guidance and learning. The multiplayer has seen a little love, but the big new feature has to be Session mode in its ability to let players be at the forefront of a respectably cohesive band that follows your lead. It supports the ability to import songs from the original game, so you should pick up Rocksmith 2014 and leave the original game behind. It's easily worth the price thanks to its new features, and new players will find it to be a far better entry point.

4. TIE - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PC)/StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC)

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is everything FF 14 should have been in the first place, and then some. While not revolutionary, it is evolutionary, bringing a well-written world setting, moderately paced combat, a solid soundtrack, and plenty of tweaked crib notes from its competition. It's one of the few games to offer a solid experience on both PS3 and PC, even as it brings both together on the same servers. The continent of Eorzea is back, and fans of Azeroth and Tyria would be pleased to check it out.

Fans of Zerg forces take note, as StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm proves that they can take center stage just as well as the Terran forces. While the additions to the multiplayer are more low-key than what is added in the single-player portion, the new Zerg campaign is an incredibly complementary addition to the overall StarCraft II package. Not only does it help the novice Zerg wrangler learn his forces, but the missions are also presented in a way that feels fresh. Realistically, if you own Wings of Liberty and enjoyed it, you should pick up Heart of the Swarm — not because it is more of the same, but because it's not.

3. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (PC)

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is a nice entry for the series. From the graphics to the sound, the presentation is top-notch, and the inclusion of an app makes it so there isn't a moment when you're not playing the game. The open world gives you plenty of things to do and see on both land and sea, from collection quests to naval battles and everything in between. The story is less dour, and even the present-day environments have been livened up. Most importantly, the game is purely fun because it runs with the pirate motif and highlights the more romanticized aspects.

2. Metro: Last Light (PC)

Metro: Last Light is proudly steeped in the best traditions of other storied FPS giants while still evoking the kind of philosophical underpinnings from the Metal Gear Solid and BioShock series. Last Light's ravaged underworld also feels amazingly alive, as if it's a place to be experienced rather than simply played through like any other shooter. It's both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness in rewarding careful exploration over blazing speed. At the same time, this is the world that Artyom lives in, a place that kills the careless without remorse. Perhaps by forcing players to think like one of the last members of humanity, Last Light's war-weary world is still trying to make its point heard.

1. BioShock Infinite (PC)

When BioShock Infinite is on, there is no other game like it. The story line is clever, and the gameplay veers between some of the most exciting you'll ever play and being workmanlike and tedious. This is a rare example of a good game that disappoints because it could have been even more. Despite that, it's completely worth playing and an overall well-made product.

PlayStation 3

5. TIE - BandFuse: Rock Legends (PS3)/Rayman Legends (PS3)

This brings us to the obvious question: Rocksmith or Bandfuse? Rocksmith is a solid game and does a great job of teaching you how to play it, but that knowledge doesn't transfer outside of that particular franchise. Though Bandfuse has a higher learning curve because of its tablature note format, it prepares you to play the game and the stand-alone instrument. Bandfuse is easily the most successful approach to learning how to play a guitar, but it's also damn fun for guitarists of all skill levels.

Rayman Legends is one of this year's hidden gems. Originally intended to be a Wii U exclusive, it was delayed and ported to every system under the sun. Like its predecessor, Rayman Legends is a multiplayer platformer heavily inspired by both the original Rayman games and the New Super Mario Bros. series. What makes Legends stand out is the sheer quality and effort put into its level design. It is full of creative, clever and fun levels. It doesn't matter if you're battling a giant dragon or playing a half-platforming/half-rhythm level to a mariachi version of "Eye of the Tiger" — there's always something new and something enjoyable in Rayman's latest adventure. Legends also contains most of the levels from the original Rayman: Origins, making this some of the best value for your money.

4. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (PS3)

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is a nice entry for the series. From the graphics to the sound, the presentation is top-notch, and the inclusion of an app makes it so there isn't a moment when you're not playing the game. The open world gives you plenty of things to do and see on both land and sea, from collection quests to naval battles and everything in between. The story is less dour, and even the present-day environments have been livened up. Most importantly, the game is purely fun because it runs with the pirate motif and highlights the more romanticized aspects.

3. Grand Theft Auto V (PS3)

From a gameplay perspective, Grand Theft Auto V may be the best GTA yet. It stands head and shoulders above GTA 4 and offers one of the most impressive video game worlds. It isn't a game for everyone due to some brutal and psychopathic characters, even by GTA standards, but the game is so well-crafted that it's possible for almost anyone to find something to do, even if it's just playing tennis and golf all day. There's so much to do in the game that it's almost overwhelming. Rockstar put tons of time and effort into polishing its winning formula. It isn't a dramatic change for the series, but it's a more polished, and very enjoyable, addition to the franchise.

2. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3)

At the end of the day, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance's greatest accomplishment is that that it assures the world that Platinum's bag of tricks is deeper than anyone thought. This game provides a fresh take on the stylish/character action genre, and it comes off as a high-tier entry in the Metal Gear series. People new to both concepts will find a nice, forgiving yet deep action game that doesn't have too much series baggage. Fans of one or the other would do well to broaden their horizons and give this one a chance. Finally, if you're a fan of both, you will be in heaven as you cut all that you see to shreds.

1. The Last of Us (PS3)

The Last of Us is a must-play title for any PS3 owner who's not squeamish about violence and depressing subject matter. It has flaws, but they don't detract from the overall experience, and at worst, the game could use a little more interaction. Naughty Dog has crafted an engrossing and interesting tale, and I can think of no higher praise for the game than that they could remove every shooting sequence, and it might be better for it. The characters are likeable, the story is interesting, and it's an engrossing experience from beginning to end.

Xbox 360

5. TIE - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (X360)/DuckTales Remastered (X360)

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is a nice entry for the series. From the graphics to the sound, the presentation is top-notch, and the inclusion of an app makes it so there isn't a moment when you're not playing the game. The open world gives you plenty of things to do and see on both land and sea, from collection quests to naval battles and everything in between. The story is less dour, and even the present-day environments have been livened up. Most importantly, the game is purely fun because it runs with the pirate motif and highlights the more romanticized aspects.

In the end, DuckTales Remastered is a great modern take on the now-classic NES game. It embraces its roots while incorporating some modern gameplay mechanics. The changes make it easier for modern audiences while maintaining a difficulty level craved by older fans. The presentation is top-notch, and the inclusion of some of the original voices helps fans revel in nostalgia. It isn't perfect, as evidenced by the frequency of cut scenes and omission of the original title, but when you consider what's here, it's clear that WayForward loved the original title and let that love shine through in this updated version. It's definitely worth picking up for all platforming fans.

4. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (X360)

At the end of the day, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance's greatest accomplishment is that that it assures the world that Platinum's bag of tricks is deeper than anyone thought. This game provides a fresh take on the stylish/character action genre, and it comes off as a high-tier entry in the Metal Gear series. People new to both concepts will find a nice, forgiving yet deep action game that doesn't have too much series baggage. Fans of one or the other would do well to broaden their horizons and give this one a chance. Finally, if you're a fan of both, you will be in heaven as you cut all that you see to shreds.

3. BioShock Infinite (X360)

When BioShock Infinite is on, there is no other game like it. The story line is clever, and the gameplay veers between some of the most exciting you'll ever play and being workmanlike and tedious. This is a rare example of a good game that disappoints because it could have been even more. Despite that, it's completely worth playing and an overall well-made product.

2. Tomb Raider (X360)

Tomb Raider is a reboot that's mostly done right. The lack of the franchise's trademark puzzles is unfortunate, but everything else captures the feel of the original games with a more modern twist. There could be more tombs and less fighting, but none of that detracts from the well-crafted experience. By and large, it's worthwhile for anyone looking for a solid adventure game.

1. Grand Theft Auto V (X360)

From a gameplay perspective, Grand Theft Auto V may be the best GTA yet. It stands head and shoulders above GTA 4 and offers one of the most impressive video game worlds. It isn't a game for everyone due to some brutal and psychopathic characters, even by GTA standards, but the game is so well-crafted that it's possible for almost anyone to find something to do, even if it's just playing tennis and golf all day. There's so much to do in the game that it's almost overwhelming. Rockstar put tons of time and effort into polishing its winning formula. It isn't a dramatic change for the series, but it's a more polished, and very enjoyable, addition to the franchise.

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