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By 10 December 2013 | Categories: feature articles

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This year has been a terrific one for games, which a number of fantastic titles demanding players’ leisure time. It was a difficult process, but here, at last, our Top 5 for the year.

5. Tomb Raider

Rebirth of a legend

Poor Lara Croft. In times past, a fixation with the intrepid explorer’s assets seemed to blot out just what a compelling character she is. Thankfully though, Crystal Dynamics’ reboot of the series, which tells an origin story of how a younger Lara became who we know her to be, was one of this year’s true gems. Along with giving us a superbly well realised female protagonist who seemed to leap from the screen with both depth and grit, Tomb Raider was also a damn fine action adventure in its own right, offering a number of ‘did that just happen!’ moments.

4. Grand Theft Auto V

F-bombs and bullets

Grand Theft Auto V (review) is not in fact a documentary of life in Joburg in game form as you may have first thought, but rather, an immersive adventure into an open world that is just as, if not more, mad, bad, lewd and crude – and these are its good points. The game is unapologetically violent, with its cutting satire of society being sprayed as liberally as F-bombs and bullets. While tracking the lives of three very different criminals, players can also indulge in just as much (virtual) recreation as criminal activity. Not a tutorial for living here, but a game well worth your time.

3. DmC: Devil May Cry

Sliced, diced and sworn at

Quite literally kicking off the year was this gem from Ninja Theory, a stylish reboot of the Devil May Cry (review) franchise that had us gleefully lopping off the limbs of an assortment of demons. Dante also brought the right amount of attitude, swagger and a potty mouth that would make Dexter’s Debra Morgan blush. It only helped that the game boasted an interesting story and was a blast to play, offering fluid combat, an array of interesting weapons, levels dripping with atmosphere and engaging boss fights. Like many of Ninja Theory’s underrated titles, it most certainly was a standout for us.

2. Bioshock Infinite

Reach for the sky

Another title with its sights literally sky-high, Bioshock Infinite (review) freed players’ from the leaky underwater confines of its predecessors and instead sent them to the floating city of Columbia. To say its citizens have their heads in the clouds wouldn’t be an exaggeration. Unfortunately, it quickly becomes apparent that Columbia’s rulers have their head stuck somewhere entirely darker (and more icky). It’s when the  alternate 1950s façade of Stepford wives perfection dropped though, that Bioshock Infinite really started showing how a good (and stylish) a game it actually is. And what an absolute blast it was and still is to play.

1. The Last of Us

The First of Them

The Last of Us (review) was everything we wanted in an action-survival horror title, offering loads of suspense, compelling gameplay, a rich story and magnificently drawn and well acted characters. The game follows the plight of survivors Joel and Ellie after the human population has been ravaged and mutated by the cordycepts fungus. Stellar voice acting, a gripping, dramatic story, and more than a few moments that had us on the edge of our seats are some of the reasons why The Last of Us is a game we will not soon (if ever) forget. Well done, Naughty Dog, well done.

Top 3 of 2013: Readers’ choice

You had your say at our online poll - here is your selection for 2013.

1. FIFA 14

2. GTA V

3. Battlefield 4

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