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PixlBit's 2013 Games of the Year

Our staff's best games of 2013!

Number 4

Super Mario 3D World

by Chris Yarger

To be perfectly honest, if you were to have asked me about Super Mario 3D World about three months ago, I would’ve said I couldn’t care less. But after actually playing the game – both solo and cooperatively – I definitely think it’s earned its way onto the list.

When I originally heard of the concept, I pictured a multiplayer version of Super Mario 64 with co-op thrown in. When trying it out for the first time, the preliminary loading screen came and went, the first level loaded, and then I was immediately slapped with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia that took me back to playing the NES. As my wife and I played for hours, I found myself falling back in love with the Mario games that I had been ignoring lately.

The levels and worlds all feel extremely varied, yet similar in their layout. More often than not, you start a level, find an immediate power-up, continue to the checkpoint, find another power-up, and then charge to the finish. This typical Mario pattern never feels monotonous due to every level being incredibly well-crafted and unique. Every level is completely different, each with its own unique set of secrets for you to discover through the usage of various power-ups. Even the battles with Bowser and other various bosses feel so familiar, so right, and yet oddly new all at the same time.

Super Mario 3D World feels like it was developed solely for nostalgia but still ropes in new players. This is a game I can play with my kids and feel the same passion my father did when he played the NES Mario titles with me as a child. This is going to be one of the few titles I’ll be able to go back to over time and take on the role of my father and play with my own children.

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Comments

TheMart22

01/15/2014 at 02:37 PM

It's interesting to see two Wii U exclusives on your list given the year the console has had overall. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come for the system as a whole. I'm not sure if i'll ever purchase a Wii U but i'm sure we'll see better sales this year. More competition is only ever a good thing for consumers.

Anyway, funnily enough and beside the point, I have played zero of your top 5 and I still thought it was a great year for new games.

transmet2033

01/15/2014 at 02:56 PM

Well, A Link Between Worlds was one of the best games that I played this year.  I devoured it over the course of a week.  I probably could have done it in a day but whenever I set my 3DS down for a minute my brother snatched it up.

The one other game that totally surprised me this year was Tearaway.  It was the best 3D platforming experience I have had since Super Mario Galaxy 2.(I haven't gotten around to playing 3D Land or World yet.) 

mothman

01/15/2014 at 03:02 PM

I like that 3 of the games on the list are Nintendo games.

It's interesting but not surprising. This community has a lot of gamers with no brand loyalty. We play games, not favourites.

As I've already said out of the new or newish consoles out there the Wii U is the only one that has any games I give a rat's rectum about.

Maybe if I ever have some spare cash again I'll get one.

Michael117

01/15/2014 at 03:14 PM

Pretty spicy list, I like it.

C.S.3590SquadLeader

01/15/2014 at 04:00 PM

Pretty cool list. I haven't played any of them yet, but I've already read a lot of good things. At the very least I'll snag a copy of A Link Between Worlds when I have the opportunity.

KnightDriver

01/15/2014 at 04:18 PM

So can't wait to play Pikmin 3.

daftman

01/15/2014 at 05:13 PM

Nice list! BioShock Infinite was my Game of the Year but I haven't played any of those others yet. Hoping to get all of them though. A Link Between Worlds sounds like a great choice. My 3DS was used almost constantly all year long and that will probably be a similar story this year.

The Last Ninja

01/15/2014 at 06:29 PM

It's great to see Zelda get some love after so many games in the series have been pushed aside due to "been there done that" syndrome. ALBW is the only game on your list that I've played, and it's incredible! The hype is true, people, so please get this game because Zelda needs more love!

Super Step Contributing Writer

01/15/2014 at 07:15 PM

Last of Us has been on almost every favorites list I've seen, but none of them actually taught me something by prompting a Wikipedia search for "cordyceps."

According to their "in popular culture" section of that article, those Pokemon crabs, Paras and Parasect, had a form of cordyceps on their backs. The source they used is bulbapedia.

And Nick's appraisal of Link Between Worlds and complaints against most modern 3D Zeldas read very similar to EgoRaptor (Aaron Hanson, Game Grump)'s appraisal of Link to the Past and complaints against most modern 3D Zeldas.

I guess I just got used to the 3D Zeldas, growing up with them, and don't mind them as much. 

jgusw

01/15/2014 at 07:54 PM

Nice.  I played A Link Between Worlds and Bioshock Infinite.  They are great games.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

01/15/2014 at 08:27 PM

dammit I haven't played any of these.  But I will soon, I promise. 

Justin Matkowski Staff Alumnus

01/15/2014 at 09:47 PM

This is a damn fine list! 2013 has been a great year all around, and I love that the awesome Nintendo titles of this year are getting some love! You can't get more disparate gaming experiences in terms of tone than The Last of Us and A Link Between Worlds, but they both sure as hell deserve their spots on this list.

asrealasitgets

01/15/2014 at 11:43 PM

Now this is a real award show! F U Polygon and giving Gone Home GOY? Cool

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