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EGM’s Best of 2013: Part One: #25 ~ #21

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Posted on December 25, 2013 AT 12:00pm

Introduction

The time has come once again, as the staff at EGM sat down and fought it out over which of this year’s released we’d put into our list of the top 25 games of 2013. There were a lot of choices, a lot of mixed emotions, and a lot of arguments. However, a list we created—and here are the first five entries. One thing is certain: it was an exciting year for games, one that provided ups, downs, joy, tears, and a wide variety of experiences.

Actually, two things are certain: that, and that some of you will hate us for where we’ve ranked your favorite games. It’s nothing personal, we swear.

EGM’s Top Five Games for 2013: Part Five

#25: Antichamber

Publisher: Alexander Bruce
Developer: Alexander Bruce
Platforms: PC

EGM’s Take

Antichamber’s great victory lies in making basic navigation its most confounding puzzle. Nothing is more pleasantly disorienting than realizing the fundamental rules that apply in life are worthless, that a door might not lead to the same place twice, that a hallway might fold in on itself like a wormhole. In eschewing Euclid for Escher, one-man dev team Alexander Bruce has delivered an example of gaming at its most liberated, proving that there’s a wealth of experiences to be had once the medium moves completely beyond the constraints of what’s possible in the reality.

#24: Dragon’s Crown

Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Vanillaware
Platforms: PS3, PS Vita

EGM’s Take

Vanillaware president and lead artist George Kamitani’s bra-busting character designs caused major waves on Twitter and online forums back in April, but when the game finally released in August, we all discovered something else: It was incredibly fun to pummel goblins and orcs as the kickass Amazon and Sorceress. Dragon’s Crown channeled the classic four-player arcade mayhem of games like Golden Axe while modernizing the experience just enough to make it work for modern audiences. This was like a twisted D&D Monstrous Compendium come to life, and the striking visuals were welcome in an era of strapping military men and saucer-eyed anime girls.

#23: Shin Megami Tensei IV

Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Atlus
Platforms: 3DS

EGM’s Take

When Atlus announced that the next major chapter of their Shin Megami Tensei saga would be developed on Nintendo’s latest portable, there was some concern if the system could handle the franchise and its trademark ambitions. When we finally got our hands on Shin Megami Tensei IV, we found a stylish and sinister dungeon-crawling adventure that felt like a console-level experience in the palm of our hands. Shin Megami Tensei IV proved why it’s silly to count Japanese RPGs out—and why Atlus has become the masters of keeping the genre feeling fresh and exciting.

#22: Metro: Last Light

Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: 4A Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

EGM’s Take

Metro: Last Light blends a rich narrative and unique atmosphere with familiar FPS gameplay, successfully immersing players in the foreboding tunnels of the post-apocalyptic Moscow Metro. Exploring these haunted Russian subway corridors imparts a legitimate sense of dread, while superb lighting and sound effects convey a constant sense of danger and provide far deeper chills than so-called “horror” games just littered with jump scares. The most important element in Last Light, though, may be the stress on basic survival while taking on overwhelming odds, which gives a rare sense of accomplishment as players progress through the enthralling story.

#21: Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Platforms: 3DS

EGM’s Take

The Animal Crossing series has actually changed very little since its inception, but what changes have been made are well thought out and positive. The latest iteration allows the player to be the mayor of his or her town, exercising direct control over the way it grows and evolves. Mayors can even set certain rules to suit individual playstyles, such as the “Night Owl” ordinance, which keeps stores and other businesses open later. Player interaction has been increased as well, allowing for several levels of multiplayer, such as visiting friends’ towns and competing with strangers in minigames. With the sheer quantity of ever-changing content, this game begs to be played every day.


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