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Total Gaming Network's Most Enjoyable Games of 2013

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  • Total Gaming Network's Most Enjoyable Games of 2013

    You have already seen the games and industry related issues I felt were the "Biggest Disappointments of 2013." Now, it's time to share the list of games that I feel were the most enjoyable to me in 2013.

    Now, we usually had some sort of a "top 10" list around here, be it in written format in 2011 or video format (2012) from previous years. This year, I decided to give an unsorted list of the games I most enjoyed. Yes, there are more than ten games here. This is simply because I felt that while 2013 was a great year of really enjoyable titles, there really wasn't one game that stood out amongst the rest. Thus, making a list that culminated in a "#1 game of 2013" seemed like a really stupid idea to do.

    With that said, here are the games I enjoyed playing the most in 2013. The only order you'll find here is alphabetical.

    Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
    Despite the rather lengthy list of shortcomings in Assassin's Creed III, it still ended up being one of my favorite games of 2012. Assassin's Creed IV not only capitalizes on the strengths of its predecessors, but it also addresses a lot of the complaints gamers had as well. The tutorial stuff is quite minimal, especially compared to the hours of tutorial nonsense that last year's release included. Sure, it's still an Assassin's Creed game, but it's the best one out there so far. Plus, you are a pirate! That alone is quite awesome. Set sail for fun! (I'm so sorry. (No, I'm not.))

    BioShock Infinite
    I absolutely love BioShock Infinite, which is amazing given how bored I felt in the first BioShock and how I never finished BioShock 2 after a bug prevented story progress. Infinite had an amazing setting, music, voice work, and even gameplay to keep me interested from beginning to end. Irrational also managed to somehow make an entire game based on a glorified escort mission, but not once did it ever feel like a chore or annoyance. This is, perhaps, due largely to how great and likable a character Elizabeth is. And wow, that ending! My jaw is still on the floor.

    Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
    This one is a late entry. I only decided to play it near the end of December, and I'm rather glad I did. It's short, sweet, and quite touching. Puzzles are solved and adventures are had between two siblings all without a single word of English uttered between the two. Brothers is a great example of interactive storytelling that other developers should take note of. As two characters are controlled with two analog sticks (older brother on the left stick, younger on the right stick), I never really came to terms with the controls when the on screen characters switched sides with respect to the stick designations. A very minor complaint for a short but touching experience.

    Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
    Blood Dragon is what happens when someone takes the already fantastic Far Cry 3 gameplay with its open world "do anything" mentality, and decides to go completely nuts with the story and setting. Blood Dragon is just pure 80's cheese and I loved it. For God's sake, they got The Terminator's Kyle Reese himself, Michael Biehn, to be the voice of main protagonist Sgt. Rex "Power" Colt. It has the flash, the feel, and the humor to back up the gameplay you already know and love.

    Grand Theft Auto V
    Hold the phone! How can this game be both on the "Most Enjoyable List" and the "Biggest Disappointment" list? The answer is simple. While Grand Theft Auto Online may be one of 2013's biggest disappointments, the single player component of Grand Theft Auto V is still immensely enjoyable. I already gave my lengthy list of complaints about the single player in my review, but I still pulled hours of fun from that world and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

    Injustice: Gods Among Us
    Here is another late entry to the list, having only started to play it in late December. Injustice combines some of your favorite heroes and villains of the DC Universe into one really enjoyable fighting game. Sure, the multiplayer is where the bulk of players will immediately gravitate to, but nobody should pass up the incredibly well done story mode. Yes, the story mode in a fighting game can be good and Injustice is proof of this.

    Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
    Revengeance already received some high praise from me earlier this year, so it should be no surprise to anyone that it's made my list of most enjoyable titles of 2013. It's not a typical Metal Gear title but that's alright! The game is a lot more friendly to those that just want to pick up and play for a few minutes without wading through detailed story segments or overly complicated scenarios. It's fast paced, full of flash, and you get to chop objects and foes into tiny pieces with your weapons. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll eventually see a sequel released.

    Metro: Last Light
    Metro: Last Light was a feast for the eyes and ears. It wouldn't be unusual to get caught up watching and listening to the civilians go about their lives in those underground tunnels. Above them a dangerous wasteland will keep you on your toes. While the game may be a linear affair, the rest of the package is enough to warrant more than just a simple glance. It's a great deal of fun and this is one first-person shooter you will want to take your time with as you become absorbed in the environment.

    Saints Row IV
    The city in Saints Row IV feels like a bit of a cop out since it's the exact same one from the third game. However, the changes to gameplay, the amusing story, and the ability to play through the entire thing with a co-op pal made up for it in spades. Fly around the city as you use your super powers to kick virtual alien ass. Not to mention that this is a better Crackdown title than Crackdown 2 was.

    Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army
    I quite enjoyed Sniper Elite V2 in 2012. In 2013, the team rolled out a stand alone game that featured, well, Nazi zombies. You and up to three of your buddies could team up to take down Hitler's minions from Hell. It features the same moderately realistic ballistic model from V2 only this time you will put it to use taking out a variety of undead and demonic enemies before they get too close. The co-op was just the icing on the cake and felt a lot like Left 4 Dead if Left 4 Dead took place during World War II and included more realistic weapon ballistics.

    The Stanley Parable
    The Stanley Parable is kind of like the anti-game game. It features an omniscient narrator that has a humorous, sarcastic, or condescending remark to anything you, Stanley, do in the game. With multiple paths and stories to experience, some less obvious than others, the game actually includes a tremendous amount of replay value. The Stanley Parable began as one of my favorite modifications for Half-Life 2 and is now one of my favorite full titles of 2013. It's great to pick up at any point just to experience a new chapter in Stanley's life every time you play.

    Tomb Raider
    Tomb Raider is a franchise reboot done right. Visually, it's beautiful and includes a great story and gameplay to back it all up. If there was one shortcoming of the game, it would be that the tombs were far too short for my liking. Here's hoping that a sequel is in the works that addresses this minor complaint because I was left wanting more while still being content with the experience that Tomb Raider had to offer.

    There were a few titles from 2013 that, while I enjoyed immensely, simply didn't make the cut for one reason or another. For instance, I also really enjoyed the first episodes of The Walking Dead: Season 2 and The Wolf Among Us. Unfortunately, the bulk of these games won't be out until some time in 2014. Chances are you'll see those pop up again in 12 months. I am also really enjoying my time spent with Starbound. The problem with that game is that it's still considered an "Early Access" release on Steam and I was trying to avoid those games as they aren't technically out yet in a "final" release form.

    To be even more brutally honest, I also found a lot of fun in games like Battlefield 4 despite ending up on my list of "Biggest Disappointments of 2013." Even with the frustrations that game has given me (from crashes, to lockups, to terrible netcode, to just complete BS and extreme oversights from DICE), I still find myself playing it on a fairly regular basis.

    Other games that made other sites' "top 10" were also not included if I did not play them. Games like The Last of Us or The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds were not played by me, so I cannot fairly say if they were enjoyable or not.

    You now know what some of my most enjoyable games were of 2013. The only question remaining is: What were your most enjoyable games of 2013?