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PixlBit's 2013 Games of the Year

Our staff's best games of 2013!

Number 1

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

by Nick DiMola

When Nintendo announced a sequel to the beloved SNES classic, A Link to the Past, they sent the internet reeling – after all, it’s not too often that you see a direct sequel to a game released over two decades ago. Unquestionably, the news was well-received, but long-time fans were only cautiously optimistic for the final product. Nintendo had an uphill battle to not only produce something new and fresh, but match the quality and nostalgia people harbor for the original; a monumental task indeed.

To say that Eiji Aonuma and company succeeded would be an understatement – they nailed it. After a year packed with high profile releases, A Link Between Worlds snuck in at the very end and took the gaming community by storm. Fast-paced, dynamic, and inventive, A Link Between Worlds is an overdue retooling of the long-standing Zelda series. Gone are the lengthy opening dramatics, forced-order progression, and the tight coupling of dungeon to gear. Without the shackles of most Zelda tropes, a beautifully smooth-flowing experience resulted. Furthermore, the introduction of the ability to cling to walls as a painting has quite literally opened up a new dimension for dungeon design, puzzles, and enemy encounters.

Whether you’re plowing through the many right-sized dungeons or simply exploring the overworld, you’re almost guaranteed to be having a great time. Unlike most Zelda games after Ocarina of Time, there’s no minutia to slow down the experience and no padding to extend the game’s length.

In an era when most gamers would say that Nintendo takes no risks, A Link Between Worlds showcases that there may be hope yet. If you have a 3DS at your disposal, there’s almost no question that you’ll fall in love with one of the best Zelda games in years and PixlBit’s Game of the Year for 2013.

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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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