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The Best & Worst Video Games of 2013

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It’s time for my Best & Worst of the year. This is my fourth such entry here at Toomanywires (2010-2011-2012).
In this, the Year of Luigi, I played far fewer games than in recent years. This was not due to a lack of selection, as there were some great games this year and I had more platforms than ever to enjoy them on. Time constraints were more of an issue, but the main cause of this relative shortage was the nature of the games I played and how I played them.
The first half of the year was dominated by a couple of huge titles in which I invested hundreds of hours. Instead of rushing through games as I have done in the past, I chose to dwell on favoured experiences. This meant that I played far fewer games than I'd have liked, but got far more enjoyment from those I did.
What the list below lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality. It is also quite a varied list, featuring AAA, indies, imports, more RPGs than usual and, for the first time in recent memory, no…

The End of a Generation - My Favourite Games of the 7th Gen: No. 1

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This is the final post in my series about the games and consoles of the seventh generation (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP and DS).
The Rules
20. DJ Hero 19. Wii Sports 18. Journey 17. No More Heroes 16. Dragon Age Origins 15. Grand Theft Auto V 14. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune 13. Grand Theft Auto IV 12. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 11. Mass Effect 3 10. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
9. Yakuza 4 8. Assassin's Creed II 7. Burnout Paradise (The Ultimate Box)
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 5. Shatter 4. Metal GearSolid 4 3. Red Dead Redemption 2. Mass Effect 2
1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
After two months, several thousand words and countless evenings spent staring at a blank screen, I have finally finished writing my Seventh Generation series. It is time to wash our hands of the last eight years and look forward to a new era of micro transactions and sentient game peripherals. Almost time, anyway. I'd appreciate it if you could maintain your nostalgia for the very recent pa…

The End of a Generation - Musings of a Gamer

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I'm writing a series of posts about the games and consoles of the seventh generation (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP and DS). It includes a Top 20 countdown, thoughts on the industry and lots more.

1. Just Missed Out
Selecting games for my 7th Gen Top Twenty was easier than I had expected. There was one game, however, which I really wanted to include but could not: Far Cry 3. It almost made an appearance at the expense of DJ Hero, but just missed out. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was the best FPS of the last gen but Far Cry 3 was undoubtedly the most fun. It did away with dark corridors and chaotic battlefields in favour of wide open, tropical playgrounds and reminded us that shooters don't have to be about grizzly men doing depressing things. The Rook Islands were begging to be explored and the silly attempts at narrative rarely got in the way of the fun.
Had I expanded my top twenty, there a few other titles that would have been guaranteed a look-in. I had initially wr…

The End of a Generation - My Favourite Games of the 7th Gen: No. 2

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I'm writing a series of posts about the games and consoles of the seventh generation (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP and DS). It includes a Top 20 countdown, thoughts on the industry and lots more. The Rules

20. DJ Hero 19. Wii Sports 18. Journey 17. No More Heroes 16. Dragon Age Origins 15. Grand Theft Auto V 14. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune 13. Grand Theft Auto IV 12. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 11. Mass Effect 3 10. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
9. Yakuza 4 8. Assassin's Creed II 7. Burnout Paradise (The Ultimate Box)
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 5. Shatter 4. Metal GearSolid 4 3. Red Dead Redemption
2. Mass Effect 2
I really wanted to like Mass Effect but it just didn't work out. Mass Effect 2 (2010) was a different story. I had my reservations - see Mass Effect - but I figured I should give it a go anyway, if only to make use of my neglected Xbox 360. That proved to be a wise decision indeed.
There was a focus to Mass Effect 2 that is missing from most games…

The End of a Generation - My Favourite Games of the 7th Gen: No. 3

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I'm writing a series of posts about the games and consoles of the seventh generation (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP and DS). It includes a Top 20 countdown, thoughts on the industry and lots more.
The Rules
20. DJ Hero 19. Wii Sports 18. Journey 17. No More Heroes 16. Dragon Age Origins 15. Grand Theft Auto V 14. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune 13. Grand Theft Auto IV 12. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 11. Mass Effect 3 10. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
9. Yakuza 4 8. Assassin's Creed II 7. Burnout Paradise (The Ultimate Box)
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 5. Shatter 4. Metal GearSolid 4

3. Red Dead Redemption
Some called it Grand Theft Horses. They said Red Dead Redemption (2010) would be little more than a GTA re-skin, a new way for Rockstar to flog its crime sandbox. Skyscrapers, semi-automatics and scantily clad ladies of the night would be replaced by cacti, lassoes and pleasant rocks. That's what they said, pretty much, but they were wrong. Red Dead Redemption is…

The End of a Generation - My Favourite Games of the 7th Gen: 5-4

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I'm writing a series of posts about the games and consoles of the seventh generation (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PSP and DS). It includes a Top 20 countdown, thoughts on the industry, silly pictures and lots more.
The Rules
20. DJ Hero 19. Wii Sports 18. Journey 17. No More Heroes 16. Dragon Age Origins 15. Grand Theft Auto V 14. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune 13. Grand Theft Auto IV 12. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 11. Mass Effect 3 10. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
9. Yakuza 4 8. Assassin's Creed II 7. Burnout Paradise (The Ultimate Box)
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
5. Shatter 4. Metal Gear Solid 4

On paper, there was nothing remarkable about Shatter (2009). It was another Breakout/Arkanoid clone, it came from a studio best known for rugby games and it didn't feature a single combat dog. However, Shatter was remarkable, thanks to a perfect combination of simplistic gameplay, high score chasing, interesting visual design and a spectacular soundtrack.
While the pre…

The End of a Generation: The 7th Gen Patched for Trophies

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