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Published on July 31st, 2013 | by octaneblue

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Bench Topic: Our Favorite Games of 2013 (So Far)

Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U

2013 has hosted plenty of big releases so far this year, and there are plenty more on the horizon. We’ve narrowed down our favorites below, as well as a runner-up!

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
octaneblueJon’s top pick: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U, 3DS)
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the Wii U is chock-full of content that Monster Hunter Tri and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd before it were lacking. This includes new monsters, weapons, armors, and the return of G-Rank. So the replay value here is huge. The GamePad works extremely well with the game, and it’s a nice fit on the console overall. New content being added every week in the form of free DLC quests is a big plus as well, so there’s always going to be something to do in the game for quite a while.

Runner-up: Injustice: Gods Among Us (Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3)
From the makers of Mortal Kombat, Injustice is a thoroughly engaging fighting game with a huge cast of DC superheroes and villains, fun gameplay, and a fantastic story mode. The plot of the story mode resembles that of an animated feature or movie, and I was interested throughout its duration. Injustice also features plenty of modes and unlockables, so this one has plenty of replay value too.

Mighty Switch Force! 2
Duke Duke’s top pick: Mighty Switch Force! 2 (3DS eShop)
For 2013, I’d have to say that Mighty Switch Force! 2 is my favorite game thus far. It captures the cartoonish and simple feel of the first game, while incorporating the new fire and Infinity Dousing Apparatus (water hose) very nicely with the elements of its predecessor. Trying to beat the par times, as well as my own records, are always enjoyable, and the difficulty is more balanced. One of the biggest highlights for the game is the soundtrack. There’s not a single piece of music that I don’t enjoy, and it all comes together in a well designed package.

Runner-up: Sonic the Hedgehog (Mobile)
I’d like to give mention to the remastered Sonic the Hedgehog that was released for both Android and iOS devices. It is without a doubt the definitive port of the classic. For a mobile game, the control is near perfect, the additions gives the game a fresh of breath air, and there are many secrets for players to find that’ll reference other games of the original Sonic the Hedgehog trilogy.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
RustyRusty’s top pick: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PS3)
With sooooo many good games that have been released this first half of the year alone it was really hard to pick a favourite. However, after much thinking and consideration I’ve finally come up with one that I think is above the rest. My favourite so far for 2013 would have to be Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. This game comprises many of the elements that I find essential within any game, especially one of JRPG status. The music soundtrack is amazing, and really helps to set the scene for wherever you may be in the world. The battle sequences are smooth and flow really well, not to mention that you can get some pretty awesome combos going on. It’s also amazing that you get to befriend little creatures called “familiars” and level them up, morph them into more powerful creatures and have a massive number of them all. Combine all these aspects with a great well told and played out story, and you have yourself a game that will entertain and amaze you.

Runner-up: Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
An honourable mention would go to Fire Emblem: Awakening. The game is amazing. The story, character development, music, movie scenes as well as the ability to download more characters from previous games and maps makes for one awesome game. I like that you can create your own character (within limits of course) and use that character throughout the game is quite different and unique to the Fire Emblem franchise, and it works superbly well here. Anyone picking up this game will not be disappointed either.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf
James James’s pick: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)
With a lot of games that I love, there is still only a limited amount of replay factor. With Animal Crossing: New Leaf, I don’t see it ever getting old! The only problem is that it has almost consumed my life.

Runner-up: Dead Island: Riptide (PS3, 360, PC)
This was an incredibly fun online cooperative experience that lasted a very long time! It’s one thing to slay zombies alone, but it’s way more entertaining having friends watch your back…and occasionally kill you on purpose.

Fire-Emblem-Awakening
Jesus
Jesus’s pick: Fire Emblem: Awakening
A captivating story with numerous unique and fun characters that you choose keep throughout the game. As my first Fire Emblem game, it gave a fantastic introduction to look forward to the new games.

Runner-up: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
A great sequel to GameCube’s Luigi’s Mansion that twists new elements to create a nostalgic while still new experience.

Now what we want to know is what YOUR favorite game of 2013 is so far. Is it a game that we picked? Is it a game not on the list? What was your runner-up? Let us know in the comments section! We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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About the Author

In addition to contributing to The Gamer's Bench, I also upload video game-related videos regularly on YouTube, as well as stream games on my Twitch TV channel.



  • Brittany’s Pick: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)
    I play it every day for a few hours… minimum. Having an Animal Crossing title on a handheld system is a major advantage compared to my prior Animal Crossing experience – City Folk for the Wii. The online component is also a lot of fun, minus the random disconnects. The StreetPass functionality is also a plus, and I think Nintendo made a good move sending SpotPasses so that North American and European players that don’t get many StreetPasses still have some happy homes in their showcases!

    Runner up: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)
    Even though I didn’t play the original title for the GameCube, I enjoyed this sequel a lot! I think Nintendo was smart to use five different mansions as opposed to one huge one like in the predecessor. The online is also a lot of fun – however, getting disconnected is really annoying and a bit discouraging.

  • So far, most of the games I’ve gotten this year have been 3DS games. Two of them happen to be my favorite games of 2013!

    My top pick: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)

    I downloaded AC:NL the day after it was released. At the time, I just wanted a new 3DS game to play here and there. And like James said above, little did I know it would take over my life! There is an infinite amount of things to do in the game. It’s my first Animal Crossing and it has made me want to try out the ones before it. I love this game.

    My runner-up: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)

    If I didn’t download Animal Crossing, this game would most definitely be my top pick. I remember playing it the night it was released and 5 hours went by just like that. I tended to get lost in the game. I enjoyed it so much. One of the best 3DS games ever!

    Honorable mentions: Super Mario World (Wii U VC), EarthBound (Wii U VC), The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (3DS VC)

  • DaemonDD

    I’ll be a bit unoriginal here:

    My pick: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

    Ultimate allowed for me to have a fresh Monster Hunter experience during the most of 2013. It still shows lots of nice variety. Getting to finally play this game with my friends, it’s definately the most fun I’ve had with this year’s batch of games.

    Runner up: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

    As much as I feel a bit nautious about the whole “Year of Luigi” thing, Luigi has proven that there still can be breathed fresh life in the Mario-franchise. Luigi’s game allows for the variety and personality that Mario’s Wii U launch title did not dare. I enjoyed the game for it’s animations, puzzles and on-and-off challenges. I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

  • FoxeyeValkyrie

    I would have to say my favorite game of 2013 would be Kamen Rider: Battride War for the PS3. Though it is a Japan only release, I greatly enjoy things Tokusatsu and this game did well in my eyes. It was done in the style of such games as Dynasty Warriors, with the option of music from the TV shows the characters are from.

    For Runner Up it would be Waframe. Though it is still on its way, the customizations of your character, known as a frame, along with weapons means there is a good chance you won’t be like the others you play with. They are still improving on it, such as creating lore and a story for the game, and it coming to the PS4 later on while it is on PC only as of right now.

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