Three cheers for democracy! We'll be revealing our ow, individual, personal shouts for the best games of the year thus far enext week, along with a few other roundtable pieces reflecting on 2013: Part One, but today we thought we'd put our heads together to come up with a fair and reasoned list to determine a top ten of sorts using an intricate voting system that ensured every nomination was counted and ranked fairly.
So here it is, the Dealspwn Top Ten Games of 2013 So Far. Everyone's top shout was different, and the top of the table was excruciatingly close. Anyway, enough babbling, check it out for yourselves, and let us know if we missed anything!
10. State of Decay
What we said: We've over-used the phrase "rough diamond" in years past, but now we have a new definition of the term. State Of Decay delivers one of the most authentic, compelling and enjoyable zombie experiences of recent years, and all for an eminently affordable budget price. Indeed, you'll completely forget that we're all supposed to be bored of zombies by now. Outstanding.
9. Battleblock Theatre
What we say: The Behemoth are back with a typically technically brilliant title. They've nailed the SHMUP and beat 'em up genres wwith Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers, and BattleBlock Theater is a fantastic run at old-school platform. Brimming with personality, and tremendous fun whether in solo or co-op modes, Battleblock is fantastically bonkers and ludicrously enjoyable.
What we said: Metro: Last Light is both a game that surpasses and yet falls short of its predecessor. More technically competent in a number of areas, the chilling, tense atmosphere of Glukhovsky's world has been fantastically realised yet again, and there's so much to love in a world so impressively detailed and evocatively bleak.
What we said: As a Metal Gear game, it fits into the outlandish story perfectly, but as a brawler, it stands head and shoulders above its peers. Although not completely perfect, its moment-to-moment action that refuses let you go for a second ensures that Revengeance is yet another reason why we love Platinum Games. A stunning slice of over-the-top action insanity.
What we said: 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.
What we said: One of the best JRPGs of the last decade, Ni No Kuni is in many ways a love letter to a genre slowly fading away into obscurity. Brimming with imaginative aesthetics, and packing a hefty emotional punch or two in spite of its rather clichéd story, Level-5 and Studio Ghibli have worked wonders to whisk us away to another world. An utter triumph in roleplaying escapism in a game that manages to stand on the shoulders of the genre's best to deliver a modern classic.
What we said: Animal Crossing: New Leaf is an utter delight, but then you knew that already. For all of the little tweaks and new treats, the core experience remains the same. But stepping into the role of mayor connects you better than ever before to this joyous world of camaraderie and generous spirit. New Leaf is a game that lets you fashion an identity in whatever manner you choose, and then share it with the world. It's the best game in the series so far.
What we said: Bioshock Infinite's final moment is one that will leave the player anywhere between gobsmacked and muted, but regardless of how the game ends, its journey is a thoroughly engrossing rollercoaster ride in a crumbling, thought-provoking paradise with one of the finest AI companions ever created. Irrational strike gold yet again.
What we said: Well paced, superbly written, and boasting some of the best visual and audio work of this generation, Naughty Dog have once again produced a fine game. This is linear blockbuster gaming at its best, and it dazzles the senses. even if the form disappoints the mind a little given the genre.
1. Tomb Raider
What we said: Boasting a dynamic platforming playground that reveals itself slowly but surely, the entire Tomb Raider experience is built around the (re)birthing of an icon in terms of action-adventuring. Deliciously tight mechanics, combined with a fine balance between scripted setpieces and player-driven action deliver an immaculately paced piece that grabs hold and never let's go. It might not prove transcendental, but it points towards a future of great promise for the franchise. Simply outstanding.