In the past we've included a category in our normal Games of the Year voting for the best platform of the year. But simply voting on such a topic doesn't seem to do it justice. So this year we decided to bring you feature where we rate each platform (sans the two new ones) and tell you exactly why they receive out coveted POTYs (platform of the year) award. If you want to check out the first part of our Platform of the Year here and our News of the Year feature here and here.
Xbox 360PC/Linux/MaciOS/Android3DSPS VitaWii UPlatform of the Year - PS3
Sony’s PS+ Instant Game Collection has proven to be a boon for the console as it entered its twilight years. In this year alone, those who paid the $50 subscription got free copies of Battlefield 3, Sleeping Dogs, Demon’s Souls, Spec Ops: The Line, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Hotline Miami and, more recently, Dragon’s Dogma and Borderlands 2. So popular was Sony’s free game mandate that Microsoft tried to emulate it, though their selection has yet to be as lauded as their competitor.
Xbox 360PlayStation 3PC/Mac/LinuxiOS/AndroidPS VitaWii UPlatform of the Year - 3DS
Being out of the house a lot tends to mean that I have a lot of time to play games, but not consoles. Sure, they had decent enough years (this Grand Theft Auto made a mild splash, I hear), but I had my 3DS with me all year, and it was nothing but excessively good games on that thing. People sometimes feel a little weird about giving “best of year” awards to handheld games, but for the amount of excellent work in stellar franchises on the system this year, it was hard to find anything else that kept me as interested- even when I was IN my apartment, Animal Crossing destroyed my time, Luigi’s Mansion had surprisingly fun multiplayer, and Pokemon stole many hours from me whenever given the chance. Should anyone ask, I feel safe saying that this was the year where the 3DS passed from “good successor the DS” to “must-own handheld.” An extra late-year addition of the Miiverse gave it additional value, and I actually find it hard to consider a year that might be better than this for the 3DS.
Xbox 360PC/Mac/LinuxWii UPlatform of the Year - PlayStation 3
This year, the PlayStation 3 had the best seventh year of any console to date. It saw what I think is at least the best first party game of this generation - The Last of Us. It also produced new entries into the Sly Cooper and Ratchet and Clank series, and it added Beyond: Two Souls towards the end. That is two very ambitious new IPs, and two quality additions to old, beloved franchises. The Wii U also had a surprisingly good end to the year. The PC continues to be an uber-expensive port box that occasionally gets a good ultra low budget indie game and the Xbox 360 also lacked a quality exclusive.
Xbox 360PC/Mac/LinuxiOS/Android3DSPS VitaWii UPlatform of the Year - PlayStation 3
In a year that had new consoles in it, it was the PlayStation 3 that had the best year of all. Not only did it get almost every game from my Top 5 list of 2013, but the PlayStation Plus service made the PlayStation 3 an even better value offering great free games each month. The biggest surprise this year had to the be the 3DS which seemed like each time there was a lull in software Nintendo pushed out another critically acclaimed high selling game. In a lot of ways the 3DS out performed the smart phone market which didn't seem to have quite the same impact on software in 2013. On the opposite end of the spectrum was the Xbox 360 which lacked any killer software and began to feel abandoned right after the Xbox One announcement.
Xbox 360PS VitaWii UPC/Mac/LinuxPlayStation 33DS
Well, that does it for the POTYs. The 3DS nudged out the PS3 and PC for best platform of 2013. Tell us which platform you thought won in the comments below.
Jonathan is the host of the DarkCast, DarkCast Interviews, and Gamers Read. He loves books, video games, and superheroes. If he had to pick favorites, they would be Welcome to the Monkey House, Mass Effect, and Superman respectively.