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Top Ten Now and Then: Best Video Games of 2013

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10. Crysis 3– The single player isn’t much to look at. It follows the series’ confusing storyline and terribly  bad endings, but the multiplayer was absolutely spectacular and the similar feelings of popular games such as Halo or Battlefield come to mind.  Learning how to maintain the suit’s power levels is a major strategy when it comes to getting the jump on your opponents.

9. Madden 25– As far as annual games go, they’ve always had trouble getting those high-end scores.  This year’s Madden game is said to be “the best to date” in the franchise with new features that consist of a more in-depth Manager mode.  The new gaming engine really shows off the game’s mechanics like the players’ signature moves and celebrations after touchdowns.  The online is the same as it has always been, lagging at first and then eventually fixes up the servers.  The only flaw in the game is that it seems outdated by other popular football franchises.

8. Saints Row IV– Saints Row may not be perfect, but it will at least be remembered as one of the most obscene titles.  Widely called GTA’s “Poor man’s game,” this year’s game has proven the title to be a stand-alone series.  With its complete disregard for physics and what is normally considered “real,” the game allows your imagination to run wild.

7. Devil May Cry- Our white-haired, anti-hero (turned orphan) got a reboot from the successful series in the early 2000’s. The dramatic hairstyle and color change turned off many dedicated DMC players, but the gameplay quickly turned them back around.  Dante, the main character of the game, is an arrogant Nephilim (the child or a demon father and angel mother).  He uses Rebellion, Arbiter, and Eryx, the weapons given to him by his parents, to destroy any obstacle that is set in front of him   Also Ebony and Ivory and a little bit of humor help him kill more than just demons; they help him kill those dead air moments.

6. Dead Space 3– This game continues with its third installment, making it a trilogy.  It features the familiar third person gameplay as well as bringing the new dimension of a co-op type of gameplay.  Players could now play with each other instead of spectating.  Dead Space 3 doesn’t want to take sides in the debate over what constitutes a true survival horror game. It would rather leave the choice up to you. Building on the strengths of the franchise with clever new ideas that let you mold the experience to your liking. It hits a dull periods in its story and struggles at times when it steps away from the core combat, but Dead Space 3 is a thrilling and worthwhile sequel.

5. Tomb Raider– Lara Croft’s reboot dropped earlier this year. Getting almost all perfect scores from anyone who played it, this game couldn’t have done any better. The game features Lara before she gets into her raiding life and instantly drags you into the story with the crash of Croft’s plane.  The fluent motion in the game along with the new lighting system adds a whole new level of realism to the series, which was always one of its biggest complaints as a franchise.  The game also incorporates a stealth system in which sounds and even breathing could mean the difference between life or death. In fact, the game almost plays as a movie. It flows in and out of cutscenes, and there are no loading screens so it always keeps you in the heat of battle. 

4. Total War: Rome II-Rome II does not disappoint. This monumental game is a technical achievement that will only get better with time. Though bugs are usually expected from any gigantic game such as this, they will be ironed out along with new added factions or units. The graphics are astonishingly good, and the animations bring unparalleled realism to the battlefield. The only fallback on the game is that it isn’t friendly to new gamers.

3. BioShock Infinite–  The year has been a year of spectacular trilogies and reboots, and with Infinite being the third in its series, it only adds another example to that statement. The mechanics have a new feel, bringing a foreign feeling to both new and returning BioShock players.  Though developers have always had problems with providing an entertaining feel with First-Person-Shooters, BioShock Infinite as a whole definitely stands out.

2. Grand Theft Auto V– The controversial series that reached $1 Billion in the first three days would be expected to be number one in our list of top tens, but it’s not.  The gameplay as always associated with GTA has done everything but disappoint. The graphics back up the “I can do anything I want” game style and realism of this year’s game.  The game has a movie feel and you are almost obligated to continue to play the story mode to unlock new features in the game.  This year’s game includes animals, of which you can take care of and use them in any way you see fit.  The game ends (Not a spoiler) in a number of ways depending on the decisions you make throughout your story, and sometimes these decisions don’t always end in happy ways, but GTA fans already know that nothing is happy in the world of Los Santos.

1. The Last of Us-Naughty Dog has proven itself again as one of the most accomplished development teams in the world. With The Last of Us they have given us a consistent and interesting world that is supported by practically all of its game mechanics. From the rich complex combat system to the sublime sound design; this game immerses the player in one of the most visceral plots in this generation. Maybe the AI could have been better, but, overall, this game proves how far the craftsmanship of making video games has come. The game features the world in a pandemic zombie-like apocalypse; the game can only be described as the Breaking Bad of apocalypse video games.

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Top Ten Now and Then: Best Video Games of 2013