This has been another great year for gaming. There were plenty of great games released and now we have next-gen consoles. I've been slacking on my backlog and haven't had the chance to play many of the new games yet, but I look forward to catching up pretty soon. Here is a list of what I think are contenders for Game of the Year, and what I'm prioritizing in my backlog.
Favorite Game Released Before 2013, Played in 2013: Persona 4: Golden
I absolutely loved this game from start to finish. The characters and story made me stick around for as long as I did. Once it ended, it instantly made me miss Inaba and the characters I had encountered daily. I'm actually thinking about doing a second play-through so I can max out all of my social links.
5. The Stanley Parable
I've been enjoying this game, since it reminds me of my own menial job and the buttons that I also have to push daily. Living in a cube isn't fun for anyone, and running away from the cube is often a good thing. You can follow the story or decide to rebel and go in a different direction, but be warned that the narrator will not let you live down the decision that you freely made. I loved doing the opposite of what was required of me, because I just don't like being told what to do and apparently enjoy being reprimanded for doing so, as the narrator made me realize.
4. Gone Home
This game has been a hot topic with my coworkers and friends, and I regret that this is in my backlog. The story alone sounds like its the type of game I'll play in one sitting. It got my attention with the mysterious disappearances of relatives, collecting evidence to find out what happened, and that it's set in 1995.
3. Bioshock Infinite
I attempted to play Bioshock and Bioshock 2 this past summer and failed, but I'm thinking about trying again so I can play Infinite. You venture away from Rapture and enter the floating city of Columbia where you play as Booker DeWitt, who is charged with rescuing Elizabeth. The story is amazing, as it is with the other Bioshock games. If you've beaten the other two games, this is a great summation to the series. I suggest buying the season pass and playing the Burial at Sea DLC.
2. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
I haven't had the chance to play any of the other Assassin's Creed games as of yet. I know, I've been missing out on a great series. I am ashamed of not exploring this more, but that's why it's a priority on my list. I mean it's got pirates, fighting, and boats, and it's open world. I have to buy this and play the crap out of it.
1. The Last of Us
I looked forward to this game for a while, and glad it didn't disappoint me. It's equally frustrating and fun, but it makes you think about what you have to do to get the job done. I liked that Joel wasn't super human and that you really had to work on being stealthy. As horrible as this sounds, it was fun throwing bricks at people then putting them in a chokehold. Oh, and crazy dead people and strange creatures.
Honorable Mentions: Batman: Arkham Origins, Grand Theft Auto V, Papers, Please