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Best of 2013: Gamasutra's Top Games of the Year
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Best of 2013: Gamasutra's Top Games of the Year

December 23, 2013 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 5 Next

Papers, Please by Lucas Pope 

"Sometimes, through a laudable balance of scripted events and minute-to-minute decisions, players find themselves squeezed between irreconcileable goods, and it's enlightening: It illuminates the puzzles of authority, complicity, nationalism and the self in relation to others that we are so rarely asked to critically consider." -- Leigh Alexander 

"It's almost as if you're playing a game whose rules are being iterated right in front of your face. I loved how plainly Papers, Please tells you every day: 'Ok, you learned the rules and you've got the hang of it. Now try to adjust to this and see if your family gets fed tonight.' The game is bleak, the implied social commentary gives you pause. But there's also something classically "game-y" about it. That's a great combination." -- Kris Graft 

Pokemon X & Y by Game Freak 

"Pokemon X & Y was this huge leap forward that I had in my head for the decade or so, and it once again ignited the part of my brain that had laid dormant for so long, filled with effectivity charts, move lists and general pocket monster tactics. Gone are the seriously outdated visuals and multiplayer capabilities -- in their place stands a glorious 3D Pokemon world, filled to the brim with places to visit and sights to see, and streamlined online components, wrapping up the most social Pokemon title to date." -- Mike Rose 

Ridiculous Fishing by Vlambeer 

"It's not a small thing, for a game to become part of one's long-term lexicon. But to feel that I genuinely like and believe in the real people behind this particular one -- that I wish for their continued success, because they represent some of the best of the game industry -- makes my relationship to Ridiculous Fishing just a little bit more meaningful. It's a great game, but it stands for something, too, whether it was meant to or not." -- Leigh Alexander 

Rogue Legacy by Cellar Door Games 

"Too few games use the transitive experience of death as anything other than punishment. Rogue Legacy employs death as a tool for player agency, and for that reason alone I think it’s a game worth playing, especially for anyone who makes them for a living. The fact that it’s a charming, deceptively difficult roguelike platformer in a randomly-generated castle with a goofy art style is just icing on the cake." -- Alex Wawro 

Saints Row IV by Volition 

"Saints Row IV, in many ways, stands as a culmination of this roiling pot of ideas, folding the free-wheeling experimentation of its predecessor in with space opera RPGs, gnostic cinema, 1950s television, The West Wing and -- yes -- an earnest parable about the magic of Christmas. It is everything that Grand Theft Auto V, in its desire to play the genre straight, is seemingly afraid to be: subversive, messy, and free-spirited." -- Kris Ligman 

Shadowrun Returns by Harebrained Schemes 

"It’s not easy to tell a cogent, captivating story in a world where dragons troll forums and cyber-augmented street toughs regularly get into skirmishes with supernatural bug spirits, yet Harebrained Schemes managed to make a game chock-full of text that perfectly captures the endearingly cheesy tone of trashy '90s cyberpunk novels." -- Alex Wawro 

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