Looking back at the last year, I thought I'd collect a list of the best games I played (or reviewed) in 2013, in no particular order.
Yeah, the review was posted just after the new year, but I was playing it before the review posted (obviously). And yes, the game came out the year before, but I really played the game in 2013, since that's when I finally purchased it. Even so, the game is a fantastic single player experience if you enjoy stealth games. The whole game is just done right with regards to stealth, travel and playing it your way. The sheer amount of freedom and the options at your disposal make the game worthy of replaying. It may be short, but it is sweet.
Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds
Fun, beat-em-up gameplay, awesomely 16-bit sprites and fluid animation make this a fun game to watch and play. There's challenge, skill and stat upgrades, unlockable characters and multiplayer. What's not to like? It's a shame more people don't know about this title, since it is one of the best games I've played in 2013.
Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness
I had some reservations about playing this game. The original Disgaea is my favorite game, so I was unsure if the sequel would live up to the expectations I would have. While it did not replace the original as my favorite game, Disgaea D2 is a wonderful strategy RPG that had many improvements to the series. I'm not as hot on the plot, but the gameplay is top notch. Definitely a worthy successor to the series and a great game that I recommend to RPG fans.
Project X Zone (3DS)
True, there is no formal review of this great RPG on my site, but that's only because I had other ones to right when I was playing it. I will hopefully still have a review in the future, as the game is really fun. I love the combat, since it rewards you for timing, and they find a way to cram in all the character's signature moves into the combos. While I don't agree with every choice for who is included in the game and who isn't, the insane amount of characters, enemies and locations from each franchise is amazing. The story isn't great, as it is a flimsy excuse to gather all the characters, but I really enjoyed the game. Try the demo, and if you like the combat, check the full game out!
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies (3DS)
Finally, the Phoenix has come back! To 3...D...S! I love the PW series, but didn't enjoy Apollo Justice or Ace Attorney Investigations as much. I was excited to see the return of my favorite defense lawyer (sorry Perry Mason) to the courtroom, and it was worth the wait. The story is engaging, the characters memorable, and it still has the best 3D effects in any game I've played. No objections to this game!
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U/ 3DS)
Surprised? Probably not, if you ever listen to the XGR weekly podcasts. While still only an improved and expanded version of the Wii, it is very worthy of pouring many, many hours into (almost 300 and counting). It's a bit strange to do, but the cross-save feature works, and the cross play is great too. I wish the 3DS could connect to the Wii U game and both could play online, but alas, no dice. It's a fun multiplayer experience that has my friend come over every Tuesday so we can put some more time into it. Hopefully Monster Hunter 4 will come to the states, so we can keep it going!
So there you have it. Kind of surprising to me that I had three games for the 3DS, when I'm not that happy with the system in general (maybe if I had an XL...). There are a few that just didn't quite make the cut, so I'll list them below, in no particular order.
Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep (Borderlands 2 DLC)
Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2
Saints Row IV (rental review)