The best games of the first half of 2013
The first half of this year has been unusually packed with good releases. Whether you own a PS3, 360 or 3DS you’re likely spending more time on gaming now than you usually did during Q1 and Q2.
There have been notable new releases in the Dead Space, Devil May Cry, Crysis, and Metal Gear franchises along with a brand new fighting series with Injustice: Gods Among Us. Those games serve their purpose for their particular audience well enough but miss out on being included in the very best games of the first half of 2013.
With May over, the first half of the year is about to come to an end. We’ve decided to base our picks for best games of the first half of this year up until the time of this post so no The Last of Us, State of Decay or Animal Crossing: New Leaf folks.
Here are our picks for best games of 2013 so far.
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Adding a casual mode that turns off perma-death for characters was one of the best decisions Intelligent Systems made with this game. While purists won’t use it, this feature has helped many people power through a great game that they otherwise might not play due to intimidation. The game is selling better than most Fire Emblems too, so this casual mode appears to have added some fans.
The game has a good, albeit predictable story but where it shines is it’s turn based battling. There is so much content included on the game cartridge, 25 story missions plus dozens of side quests. Add to this a steady flow of DLC maps and you’ve got a game that will take you 100+ hours to complete. It helps that the characters are some of the most charming, engaging characters you can grow attached to in gaming right now.
Expectations for this game were through the roof and for the most part appear to have been met. Booker DeWitt’s adventure in Columbia with Elizabeth captured pretty much everyone with a 360/PS3/PC during late March. The story was pretty epic but the universe created to house this narrative is the most impressive thing about the game. It also has one of the best endings of any game in the last year or so.
They said it couldn’t be done. The attitude towards the Tomb Raider franchise had shifted to where most people didn’t think it could be rebooted properly. Square Enix proved everyone wrong by delivering a fantastic adventure that focused on a younger Lara Croft. Gone are the days where Lara seems invincible to everything that isn’t a bottomless pit, this new Lara is less over-sexual and far more realistic. The game focuses a lot on the pain she endures during her evolution as regular woman to badass adventurer.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Mario’s brother stands out in this instant classic 3DS title. The game sports unique puzzles and 5 different mansions, 4 more than the original GameCube game. Each mansion adds new tricks and changes the environment. Boss battles are great and inventive for the most part, with mansion number two’s boss being the low point. Next Level Games did an amazing job with animation in the game with Luigi cowering in fear at every turn, performing an impressive animation to express his fear.
The game has significantly more content than it’s predecessor with the story lasting up to 15 hours. Each second of the story oozes charm, be in the professor’s stage select hub or on a mission to catch a paranormal pup. It helps that the game features a surprisingly great 4 player mode that lets players team up online or locally to clear mansion floors of ghosts in the ScareScrapper.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Despite being an upgraded port of an old Wii game, this 3DS/Wii U title is probably the most engrossing game in 2013 so far. I’ve personally spent countless hours (I think I’m over 50) online or offline. The series is an acquired taste but once you get the hang of it you won’t stop playing.
Capcom improved the visuals for this re-release (though text is still WAY too small) and added new monsters and quests. They also improved the online setup for the Wii U version, giving the console a much needed addictive online game. You could spend hundreds of hours hunting every monster with or without friends in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and never regret a second of it. Well, you will regret those long painful walks of shame back to a Monster after getting KO’d and taken back to your base camp.
Those are our picks for the best games of 2013 so far. The second half of 2013 is packed with big releases like Wind Waker HD, The Last of Us (in just a few weeks), Beyond: Two Souls, Pokemon X/Y, A Link to the Past 2, Batman Arkham Origins and more. Not to mention that we may have new entries in the Mario 3D series as well as Mario Kart 8 this year too. You can’t count out Sony or Microsoft’s PS4/Xbox One launch line ups either, they may deliver some hits in games like Knack, InFamous: Second Son, Forza 5, and others
Everyone’s opinion is sure to vary so let us know what your favorite games of 2013 have been so far in the comments section below!