Individual Game of the Year ListsOftentimes when compiling a top 10 or top 5, the popular choice overshadows many personal favorites. And while Game Rant's top 10 does reflect our writers' favorite games of the year, here is a chance to find out which games were our individual favorites. These are games that resonated with each writer on a personal level, and that we feel are must-plays. Without further ado, here are our individual choices for Game of the Year.
Hannah Shaw-Williams - The Stanley ParableA lot of great games came out this year, but The Stanley Parable was the only one that had me raving to friends about how they should drop everything and play it immediately. Hilarious, charming, and constantly surprising, The Stanley Parable puts the nature of gaming under a microscope and gets stuck in your mind for a long time afterwards. Honorable Mention: BioShock Infinite and The Walking Dead: All That Remains.
Ben Kendrick - Beyond: Two SoulsCertainly not the most traditional "game" experience on the market, Beyond: Two Souls (much like its predecessor Heavy Rain) was easily the most rewarding video game of 2013 for me. It's not for everyone, and is held back by a few awkward mechanics, but I never tired of learning more about Jodie and Aiden as well as shaping the unfolding narrative through subtle (not to mention substantial) decisions. Honorable Mention: The Last of Us, Tomb Raider
Patrick Dane - BioShock InfiniteTo some, BioShock Infinite may not be the best game of the year, but in many ways it is literally 'Game of the Year'. 2013 was the year a generation ended and BioShock Infinite encapsulates the end of that generation perfectly. With narrative FPSs arguably the most popular genre of the last gen, BioShock Infinite felt like the inevitable bookend we were leading too. While arguments will be made about the game not having the most touching story or the most nuanced combat this year, BioShock Infinite possibly struck the best balance between the two and that is more than enough for serious consideration. While to many, the first BioShock marked the pathway for the last generation, BioShock Infinite very much felt like it finished that particular chapter in gaming. Honorable Mention: The Stanley Parable, Assassin's Creed 4
Samuel Riley - Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures"I'm gonna take you back to the past, to play a licensed game that kicks ass." Yes, the Angry Video Game Nerd — that same beer swilling, curse creating, retro gaming sensation finally received his due in 2013. Developed as an ode to the side-scrolling greats of yesteryear, AVGN Adventures packed in enough fun, farce, and playful frustration to be worthy of its Internet namesake. Tough and unforgiving at times, though never entirely unfair, Adventures channeled the spirit of the series, and its celebration of awful games without ever becoming one of them. With well-adjudged platforming mechanics and a series of cleverly designed levels this licensed title made success feel special and failure look fun. Few games can lay claim to that. Honorable Mention: Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto V
Denny Connolly - Super Mario 3D WorldAfter letting my Wii U gather dust for the majority of its first year in my living room, I was just as surprised as anyone to find myself enjoying Super Mario 3D World more than anything Sony or Microsoft’s consoles had to offer in 2013. The same room co-op and mix of classic and contemporary Mario magic managed to single-handedly restore my faith in the mostly dormant Nintendo console. 3D World has enough replay value to keep me chasing down green stars and hidden stamps well past the New Year. Honorable Mention: Tomb Raider, The Last of Us
Riley Little - Pokemon X and YGoing into 2013, there wasn't a lack of blockbuster games to be excited for, but Nintendo instantly gained my attention the moment it announced that Pokemon X and Y would be coming to the 3DS later that year. While it's far from the best game that made its debut in 2013, there were few games that held my attention as long as the latest Pocket Monster title did. With the planned release of three additional event Pokemon, and the ability to transfer monsters over from past games coming into affect, there's still plenty to look forward to in Pokemon X and Y in 2014. Honorable Mention: Grand Theft Auto V, BioShock Infinite
Andrew Dyce - Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
After a disappointing time with Assassin's Creed 3, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag righted nearly every one of its predecessor's wrongs. With dozens of hours of Sid Meier's Pirates! under my belt leading me to joke that Black Flag would be an evolution, it turned out I was right. Hunting down shanties and terrorizing the open sea is an experience I won't soon forget. Honorable Mention: Lost Planet 3, Gone Home