MONG’s Game of the Year Winners

2013 was a huge year for video games.  One of the hardest things to do each year is decide which games are the best, and this year proved harder than years prior.  We decided rather than pick a game of the year for each genre, we would only decide based on console exclusives.  We had each member of the team submit a few nominations for each console and then picked top 3-4 most nominated to be the official nominees.  After that, every member picked their game of the year from each category.  So here are all of our winners with a description of why we thought they deserved the win!

Nominees: The Last of Us, Ni No Kuni, Beyond: Two Souls

“There was never a game that left me emotionally exhausted before I played The Last of Us. I have never stopped playing something out of discomfort and distress until this game. It’s established on a forbidding post-apocalyptic world that’s become all too overworked in games and movies. However, something about The Last of Us sets it apart from other stories and experiences set in this familiar trope. Its stroke of genius lies in the ability to invest the player’s emotions to the on-screen relationships with its narrative. The world created in this game and the characters that roam it are brought to life with an unrivaled script execution. The way beauty is embraced through the small things like the reclamation of nature keeps the player in check in this grim setting. There’s something to be seen in the ugly world this game is set in. See, The Last of Us isn’t just a landmark in gaming; this is also an accomplishment of storytelling in the entertainment medium.” -Chad

Nominees: Tearaway, Ys: Memories of Celceta, Dragon’s Crown

“Media Molecule managed to trigger the creative flair of gamers and at the same time won their hearts with Tearaway. Much like their debut title, LittleBigPlanet, Tearaway utilizes its platform’s capability and features to deliver a matchless, exclusive experience. There is demonstration of the game’s rein in its unique gameplay mechanics now that there is no restraint from the 2.5 dimensional mechanic LBP revolved around. The attention to detail with its papercraft-styled setting is nothing short of charming. The game acts as a testament to our young years of unlimited imagination and creativity. Tearaway taps into our heads and allows us to create our own unique papercraft world. It’s a special game that comes only once every year. Not only is it a good PS Vita title, it’s one of the best titles to come out 2013.” -Chad 

Nominees: Killzone Shadow Fall, Knack, Resogun

“Killzone: Shadow Fall is the prettiest game on the newest batch of consoles.  From the incredible mountainous terrain to the city landscapes – I have never seen a better looking game.  Shadow Fall switches up its gameplay from its predecessors by adding in a awesome flying mechanical sidekick called the OWL which makes battles much more interesting than your typical run-and-shoot first person shooter. On top of all of that the multiplayer is extremely fun as it does not limit itself to the conventional Call of Duty class and leveling system.  This game is a worthy successor to the popular Killzone franchise and should start a brand new set of games on the PlayStation 4.  You are doing yourself a disservice if you miss out on this epic sci-fi shooter.”-Courtney

Nominees: Gears of War: Judgment, State of Decay

“Gears of War: Judgment continues the awesome gameplay that the series has long been known for.  In this edition to the series, they have made it where each battle is different from the last, so you have to continually improvise in order to survive. This was awesome because it made sure that the combat never became boring.  The world is absolutely beautiful graphically, which shows off how far the Xbox 360’s graphics was able to stretch its legs at the end of its life cycle. Judgment is an awesome prequel to the Gears of War franchise and deserves the Xbox 360 Game of the Year.”  -Courtney 

Nominees: Dead Rising 3, Killer Instinct, Ryse: Son of Rome

“Dead Rising 3 deserves Game of the Year for Xbox One because of its high replay value, intense storyline and crisp graphics. Not only is the detail for each zombie amazing, but Dead Rising 3 also pushes the boundaries with the amount of zombies they can fit on the screen with no lag or cut off of visibility. On top of that, the storyline keeps you hooked and playing for hours on end. If that isn’t enough, the game provides its players with extensive side missions and collectibles throughout the already massive map to keep you coming back for more. Overall, Dead Rising 3 is a very well rounded game and a perfect start to the launch of the Xbox One.” -Kendrick

Nominees: Super Mario 3D World, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Pikmin 3

“There is no question that the Wii U is losing the good fight this year—yet for all of the troubles populating the system, quality games are not on the list. Nintendo, along with a handful of third party developers, consistently gave the Wii U top-notch releases through the year in the hopes of boosting sales. It should be no surprise to anyone that the best of these silent killers is Super Mario 3D World. Garnering high critical claim across the board, Super Mario 3D World is one of the best Mario platformers and party games of the generation. Heavily inspired by the rich Mario history (while making new history of its own), 3D World truly pulled out all the stops whether it is in the gameplay, the graphics, or the beautifully orchestrated music. Super Mario 3D World is easily the best game on the Wii U and arguably the most fun you will have all year.” -Lou

Nominees: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Pokemon X/Y, Fire Emblem: Awakening

“Though this year has been the Year of Luigi, the plumber in green had to share the limelight with the 3DS. With the most powerful lineup of all the consoles, the 3DS saw hit after hit after hit, making the choice for 3DS Game of the Year a difficult one. As the dust settled, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds takes home the trophy. Carefully tiptoeing between innovative ways to traverse landscapes and nostalgia of (Super Nintendo sweet-heart) Link to the Past, Link Between Worlds is quickly becoming one of the top games in the already strong Zelda franchise.” -Lou

Nominees: Gone Home, Stanley Parable, DOTA 2

“Shooter after shooter, it is hard to not get in a gaming rut where all new software tends to blur together—that is, except for Gone Home. Gone Home by The Fullbright Company led players through a slice-of-life from the 90’s. Traversing rooms of glow-in-the-dark stars, grunge tapes, and secret hideouts, Gone Home takes you through an experience like no other. Though by no means perfect, Gone Home holds the title of best PC Game of the Year because of the effective storytelling, the divisive story, and the pristine script and voice acting.” -Lou

Nominees: BioShock Infinite, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Grand Theft Auto V

“Few games garner the attention of almost every gamer around the world.  This year there were only a handful, and BioShock Infinite is one of those.  Whether it was being praised as one of the best games on the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 generation of consoles, or being dismissed as ‘not a true BioShock game’, it was discussed, argued about, and dissected by the likes of gamers and media members alike.  BioShock Infinite has one of the most interesting and engaging stories I have ever played.  The storytelling is done masterfully by Ken Levine and his team.  They find ways to make you care about what is happening in the world around you while also giving you a history lesson by leaving audio diaries called Voxophones lying around for you to find.  And it doesn’t hurt that the main characters are beautifully voiced by Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper.  BioShock Infinite is a work of art, a thought provoking storybook, and one of the best video games of the past generation.” -Courtney

Nominees: The Last of Us, BioShock Infinite, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

“When deciding what the Game of the Year is, a lot of elements come into play and compromises to be met. While I undoubtedly had the most fun playing Super Mario 3D World with friends and family and the story that engaged me the most was found in BioShock Infinite, my choice ultimately comes down to what furthers the medium the most. The Last of Us stands tall on this subject, boasting some of the most beautiful graphics seen to date, paired with literally the best voice acting in video games. This game has the draw of a AAA movie—powerful characters, engaging environments, beautiful cut scenes, and prevailing talking points for months to come. While this may not be my favorite game of the year, it is the best argument that games can be art.” -Lou

“The Last of Us is our Game of the Year for so many reasons.  The most important reason is that it sports the absolute perfect mix of storytelling and gameplay.  The game is flat out fun to play, all the while telling one of the most heart wrenching, emotional roller coaster rides of a story we have ever seen in a video game.  Games this year like BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us have changed the way storytelling is looked at in video games.  I hope that developers look at Naughty Dog and The Last of Us for inspiration on how to tell a good story while not sacrificing gameplay to do so.  If they do, and we continue to get games as good as this in the years to come, gamers are sure to be in for a treat.” -Courtney

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