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Feature: Pure Xbox Best of 2013

Posted by Dave Letcavage

A year's worth of games spanning generations

With the minutes left in 2013 rapidly fading away, we figured what better time for us to cram in the obligatory feature highlighting our favorite games of the year. Over the course of the past twelve months the Xbox brand has no doubt had its share of ups and downs, but all-in-all it was a solid year of gaming that was a shade better than expected from the end of a console generation, and the beginning of a new one. Tomb Raider returned in stunning fashion, bigger and better than ever before. The long-awaited Grand Theft Auto V hit the scene with some of the best reviews of the year, pushing the limitations of the dated Xbox 360 hardware to the max. Then you had Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Dead Rising 3, Forza 5 and bunches of other top-quality efforts to make sure 2013 would be a hard year to forget. And if there was ever a drought between these blockbuster releases, there was more than enough high-quality downloadable fare to entertain gamers of all tastes.

For this feature we've decided that we'd give each member of the Pure Xbox staff the opportunity to highlight their favorite games of the year, individually, providing a more in-depth look at what makes us tick as gamers. Keep in mind, we aren't necessarily stating that we think these are the best games released, but simply that they're the experiences we most enjoyed.

As usual, once you've sifted through the article and of course decided that our choice of games is deplorable, we'd love to hear all about your equally tasteless gaming indulgences in the comments down below.

So let's get started, shall we?


Ken Barnes

2013 was quite the year. A new format to play with, and some absolutely booming titles for the Xbox 360 meant that there was little free time that wasn't filled. Grand Theft Auto V doesn't make my list, which will undoubtedly come as a surprise given the amount of awards the game has picked up. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy it - I really did - it just didn't grab me quite as much as the five that fill up my top list. The slew of Xbox One titles that I've worked through (and am still working through) made this one of the most enjoyable gaming years in recent memory, for me.

Top 5 Retail Games
1. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (XONE)
2. Rayman Legends (X360)
3. Tomb Raider (X360)
4. FIFA 14 (XONE)
5. Dead Rising 3 (XONE)

Top 5 Downloadable Games
1. Battleblock Theater (X360)
2. Peggle 2 (XONE)
3. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (X360)
4. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (X360)
5. Motocross Madness (X360)

Worst Game Played This Year:
Fighter Within (XONE)

Random Recommendation:
Ryse: Son of Rome (XONE)

Most Wanted of 2014
1. Titanfall (XONE)
2. Sunset Overdrive (XONE)
3. The Crew (XONE)


Dave Letcavage

Out of all the stellar games to release for the Xbox 360 this year, nothing gripped me quite like Grand Theft Auto V. Rayman Legends came darn close, but it just couldn't top the feeling that came with discovering everything there was to see in Los Santos and beyond. A game that really surprised me was DmC: Devil May Cry, which offered some of the smoothest hack-and-slash action I've ever got my hands on. As far as downloadable titles go, Runner 2 and DuckTales: Remastered were true gems that I expect to be playing for years to come. All in all, it was a fantastic year to be a gamer.

Top 5 Retail Games
1. Grand Theft Auto V (X360)
2. Rayman Legends (X360)
3. DmC: Devil May Cry (X360)
4. Batman: Arkham Origins (X360)
5. Injustice: Gods Among Us (X360)

Top 5 Downloadable Games
1. BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (X360)
2. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (X360)
3. DuckTales: Remastered (X360)
4. Castle of Illusion (X360)
5. Cloudberry Kingdom (X360)

Worst Game Played This Year:
Hot Wheels: World's Best Driver (X360)

Random Recommendation:
Charlie Murder

Most Anticipated of 2014
1. Strider
2. Titanfall
3. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2


Anthony Bacchus

For me, 2013 was a much more satisfying year for gaming than 2012. More than ever, the emphasis on indie game development was in full swing in early February during Sony's PS4 reveal and throughout the year. With gems like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and State of Decay bringing forth some amazing experiences, I'm looking forward to seeing where the indie community is going in 2014. Of course, 2013 was also all about bringing AAA blockbuster games like Grand Theft Auto V and Tomb Raider, but it was BioShock Infinite that hit home the most for me. The mind-bending story surrounding Booker and Elizabeth won't easily be forgotten, and its ability to engross you into the world of Columbia hasn't really been done this well since…well, the first BioShock. The first time I picked off an enemy in the head while gliding along on my Skyhook or successfully tricking a Handyman into my Devil's Kiss trap are definite combat highlights. BioShock Infinite is the complete package that marry's thrilling, open-ended combat with a thought-provoking narrative almost perfectly. That is why it's my pick for 2013's Game of the Year.

Top 5 Retail Games
1. BioShock Infinite (X360)
2. Grand Theft Auto V (X360)
3. Tomb Raider (X360)
4. Dead Space 3 (X360)
5. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist (X360)

Top 5 Downloadable Games
1. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (X360)
2. State of Decay (X360)
3. BIT.TRIP Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (X360)
4. SoulCalibur II HD Online (X360)
5. Terraria - Xbox 360 Edition (X360)

Worst Game Played This Year:
Girl Fight (X360)

Random Recommendation:
Remember Me (X360)

Most Anticipated of 2014
1. Titanfall (XONE)
2. South Park: The Stick of Truth (X360)
3. Watch_Dogs (XONE)


Josephine Johnson

This year’s physical releases weren’t the best for me, with last year’s Far Cry 3 and Xcom still featuring heavily in my daily gaming, it was only Bioshock Infinite that offered an experience compelling enough to draw me away. Terraria devoured large chunks of my time, coinciding nicely with a week’s holiday to allow full immersion and Diablo 3 offered an experience so compelling, I had to get up an hour earlier each day to play before work. Being the massive Battlefield fan that I am, the fourth instalment on Xbox one takes the crown for me this year, a hugely rewarding FPS which improves on every aspect of the previous titles - fantastic.

Top 5 Retail Games
1. Battlefield 4
2. Bioshock Infinite
3. Diablo 3
4. Dead Rising 3
5. Rayman Legends

Top 5 Downloadable Games
1. Terraria
2. Peggle 2
3. Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon
4. DuckTales Remastered
5. The Cave

Worst Game I Played This Year:
Farming Simulator

Random Recommendation:
Penny Arcade Rain-slick 4

Most Wanted of 2014
1. Tom Clancy’s The Division
2. Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare
3. Watch_Dogs


Mike Zatorski

For me, 2013 was a mediocre year to be a gamer. While fantastic games like Assassin’s Creed IV and Grand Theft Auto V were released, everything else made me feel there was more to be desired, but as such, with the transition over to a new generation these are the typical expectations for game releases. I found myself consuming a lot of time with NHL 14 and Diablo III. I also thought Splinter Cell did a top notch job to bring the series back to its original roots. Being an old school gamer, I also thought the remastered version of DuckTales was done perfectly. A freebie that caught my attention was Ascend: Hand of Kul, an open world MMO type of game that held me over for quite some time, and as with Kinect Sports, I could never get enough, in which the Gems did me justice. The one game that surprised me was Defiance, which was the first console MMO I ever played and I thought how the gameplay was done really well. For the Walking Dead fans, I can’t reiterate how much to stay away from Survival Instinct. The idea was sound, but the result was catastrophic. I’m looking very forward to see what the new generation can bring to the table.

Your Top 5 Retail Games
1. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
2. Splinter Cell Blacklist
3. NHL 14
4. Diablo III
5. GTA V

Your Top 5 Downloadable Games
1. DuckTales: Remastered
2. Ascend: Hand of Kul
3. Kinect Sports Gems
4. N/A
5. N/A

Worst Game You Played This Year:
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

Random Recommendation:
Defiance

Most Wanted of 2014
1. The Crew
2. The Division
3. Watch_Dogs


Greg Giddens

The hype for the next generation of consoles overshadowed the release of some terrific titles over the last 12 months. Grand Theft Auto V, however, was able to match new console excitement splendidly, largely thanks to Grand Theft Auto Online - once it was stable enough to play that is. But, although recalling them may be a bit of a struggle, we saw a re-imagined Tomb Raider, another excellent Rayman platformer, a particularly terrible Aliens shooter, A Blizzard game hit consoles for the first time in 15 years, and enough Minecraft patches and skin DLC to keep us happy and busy whilst we eagerly awaiting the Xbox One. Indeed it was quite a year.

Top 5 Retail Games
1. Grand Theft Auto V
2. Dead Rising 3
3. Tomb Raider
4. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist
5. Dead Space 3

Top 5 Downloadable Games
1. Peggle 2
2. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
3. DuckTales: Remastered
4. Cloudberry Kingdom
5. State of Decay

Worst Game You Played This Year:
Aliens: Colonial Marines

Random Recommendation:
Resident Evil Revelations

Most Wanted of 2014
1. Watch Dogs
2. Titanfall
3. Destiny


There you have it, folks, those are our favorite games of 2013. We'd like to wish everyone a fun, safe New Years, and we can't wait for you to be a part of all that we have planned for Pure Xbox in 2014. Best wishes to all, and we'll see ya next year!

Oh yeah, and don't forget to post your favorite Xbox games of the year in the comments!

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User Comments (6)

BadWolf09

#1

BadWolf09 said:

Nice article- loved the variety in your lists. I don't have my list completely worked out yet but I would have to include GTA V, Runner 2 and DMC. Thanks for a great year of content!

TasukiStaff

#2

Tasuki said:

Hmmm lets see mine would probably go like this

1. Grand Theft Auto V
2. Bioshock Infinite
3. Tomb Raider
4. Diablo III
5. Injustice Gods Among Us

As for Download

1. Walking Dead Season 2
2. Ducktales Remastered

Of course those are the only two download games I can think of right now.

Happy New Year to everyone at Pure Xbox!!!!

Gamer83

#3

Gamer83 said:

Top 5 for Xbox consoles only since this is an Xbox website:
1. Grand Theft Auto V
2. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
3. Bioshock: Infinite
4. Tomb Raider
5. Injustice: Gods Among Us

lippe_flamarion

#4

lippe_flamarion said:

Nice lists! My top Xbox would be:

1. Just Dance 2014 - c'mon, it has a Dançando routine! aaaaah Ivetuda ;D
2. Dead Rising 3
3. Bioshock Infinite
4. Assassins IV
5. Tomb Raider

MegaKillScreenStaff

#5

MegaKillScreen said:

So much love for GTA V! I really should give it a go but I have never got on well with that style of game. I replayed Bioshock Infinite this weekend and I'm now regretting leaving it off the number one spot. The pacing is just perfect (apart from the overly long fight near the end) and the music is just outstanding. Then again, I will play 200 plus hours of BF4 this year so it wins on value for money if nothing else!

Vincent294

#6

Vincent294 said:

Quite a bit of good stuff on the Xbox 360 this year. If you also have a 3DS, you're in for even more fun. It was a great year on my opinion.

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