Oh it was a damn fine year for strategy. Relic returned with a long-awaited sequel to one of the best RTS titles of all time, Firaxis unleashed MechsCOM, Nintendo finally released one of their astounding first-party "launch" titles, and the 3DS got its best game yet.
"Company of Heroes 2 is a big, sprawling beast of a game, but it doesn't really evolve significantly from its predecessor until you take the game online. As such, it's not a game that will redefine the RTS genre, but rather one that'll keep the COH community happy for another half-decade with its impressive depth and robust challenges. Make no mistake though, it's very, very good."
"Desktop Dungeons is magnificent and terrifying; expertly mixing the most compelling parts of RPGs, roguelikes, puzzlers and browser games into a monstrously moreish and ferociously challenging package. I can't help but recommend this satisfying thief of time, but I'm so very sorry, dear reader. I may have just ruined your life, and chances are I won't be able to sleep tonight knowing that. Then again, I'll just be playing Desktop Dungeons anyway."
"Fire Emblem Awakening is an absolute masterpiece, whether you're a series veteran or rank newcomer. As one of the finest Strategy RPGs available on any handheld format, not to mention the best game on the 3DS thus far, you owe it to yourself to plumb its tactical and emotional depths. Do not, for any reason, miss this triumphant saga of love and death."
"An incredibly elegant game when it comes to both the game design and the mechanisms that power it, Monaco is a glorious gem of a game that manages to capture both the sophisticated strategy of planning the perfect heist along with the frantic, delirious fun of the crime caper. A unique co-op marvel in the right hands."
"Pikmin 3 is superb, compelling, deep and more than a little stressful. If you own a Wii U, you should probably be playing this on it."
"Fast and strategic, deep and accessible, Skulls Of The Shogun successfully trims the fat from the turn-based strategy scene. If you've been looking for a way into the genre, go scoff down some skulls."
"Enemy Within is an improvement on an already outstanding game. It takes familiar systems, builds on top of them and challenges us in new ways, once again wearing our fingernails down to the bone and frazzling our nerves by making us second-guess each and every decision we make on and off the battlefield. It's bigger, deeper, and more challenging than ever before, forcing players to rethinktheir approaches, and expanding massively on replayability once more. Prepare to lose weeks to this game...AGAIN!"
Best Strategy Game 2013 | Fire Emblem: Awakening
Fire Emblem Awakening is magnificent. In a year when the 3DS has finally found its feet with any number of fantastic exclusives, Intelligent Systems have delivered its undeniable killer app: a gloriously deep strategy RPG that's perfect for stolen minutes on the train or long nights spent bathing in the glow of your dual screens. Infinitely complex high-level tactical planning goes hand in hand with a compelling storyline that unfolds over the course of sixty hours, and an unforgettable cast of characters who bring personality to what is sometimes a sterile and clinical genre.
There's still no better game on the 3DS, which is frankly astounding when you consider the riotously awesome year that Nintendo's handheld has enjoyed. But that's no indictment of the games we've seen, not at all. That's simply an indication of how utterly unmissable, how fundamentally essential a game Fire Emblem: Awakening is.
But we want to know what you think! What's your shout for Best Strategy Game 2013? Let us know below!