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Game of the Year Awards 2013

We pick out the best titles from the past twelve months

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Introduction  |  Gameplay Awards  |  Special Awards  |  Genre Awards  |  GOTY

Best Story
best story 2013 the last of us

"Probably the best part of the story in The Last of Us is the relationship between the two leads which evolves over time and becomes more heartfelt and personal, helping offset the often depressing mood of the game world. Not only that, both Ellie and Joel are great characters on their own and provide a unique perspective to every situation. It is just as enticing to see how Joel deals with his past as it is to learn more about Ellie and her personality." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions:

Gone Home, Bioshock Infinite, Ni No Kuni


Best Graphics (Art)
best graphics art 2013 Bioshock Infinite

"There is a very consistent art style that ties together the different regions of Columbia. Buildings hover on clouds as the sunlight sears into detailed facades. They drift on the air like they were bobbing on an invisible ocean. Huge monuments litter the sky and sun shafts penetrate through structures. The unique Sky-lines are Columbia’s rail system that link floating structures and provide avenues for supply." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions:

Rayman Legends, Guacamelee, Antichamber


Best Graphics (Technical)
best graphics tech 2013 Metro: Last Light

"Metro 2033 was one of the most visually impressive games around when it came out in 2010, and Last Light lives up to this legacy of cutting edge visuals. Interior areas look similar to 2033 with incredibly crisp and detailed textures, excellent lighting and particle effects and soft, smooth shadows. The biggest improvements have occurred above ground, where the previously drab landscape has been transformed by absolutely stunning lighting and weather effects. I was repeatedly blown away by how vivid and hauntingly beautiful the ruins of Moscow are in Metro Last Light, as clouds gather and disperse and rain drops land on your visor." - Tim Reid

Honorable Mentions:

Killzone: Shadow Fall, Crysis 3, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag


Best Music
best original music 2013 Bioshock Infinite

The soundtrack for BioShock Infinite features original compositions by Garry Schyman, who previously composed the BioShock and BioShock 2 orchestral scores. The game also contains licensed music from the time period of the game's setting, including some songs from the bluegrass and gospel genres. Some songs heard in Columbia are covers of modern hits. Booker and Elizabeth also hear the original version of the modern song through certain Tears.

Honorable Mentions:

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, The Last of Us, Contrast


Best Sound Design
best sound design 2013 Metro: Last Light

"Mutants can be heard calling to each other, roaring and scuttling around in all directions around you. Often you will hear the beasts long before you see them, creating a slowly growing sense of dread as you progress further into the levels. Sound is used cleverly throughout the game, with detailed weapon effects adding to the intensity of firefights and loud gusts of wind that give you chills as you venture onto the surface." - Tim Reid

Honorable Mentions:

The Last of Us, Battlefield 4, Grand Theft Auto V


Best Atmosphere
best atmosphere 2013 Metro: Last Light

"Music is relatively low key throughout the game, with moody pieces enhancing the superb atmosphere. Last Light is a compelling and engrossing experience that fans of post-apocalyptic settings and immersive first person games will relish from beginning to end." - Tim Reid

Honorable Mentions:

The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, Gone Home


Best Voice Acting
best voice acting 2013 The Last of Us

"The game sounds and looks quite phenomenal at times, and that should come as no surprise from the folks who pushed the PS3 to its limits with the Uncharted franchise. Audio design also gets a standing ovation – not just thanks to the voice acting, but rather the subtle yet well-crafted soundtrack and the haunting ambience of the game world created by distant sound effects." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions:

Beyond: Two Souls, Bioshock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto V


Most Memorable Character
best character 2013 GTA V Trevor

"Trevor has been living on the outskirts of the big city, running his own drug and guns business while behaving like a redneck. He’s probably legitimately crazy, with wild mood swings and a taste for violent behaviour. Whether you like him or not, however, this is one of the more complex characters that Rockstar Games have created. He’s seemingly insane in his actions, yet he often shows remorse and deeper understanding of why he is committing these acts. He’s dangerous and unpredictable, but self-aware and takes advantage of his own personality. Compared to the random wackiness and violent tendencies of others, for example the characters in Saints Row franchise, Trevor has a much deeper level of complexity." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions:

Elizabeth \ The Lutece Twins (Bioshock Infinite), Ellie \ Joel (Last of us), Edward \ Blackbeard (AC4 Black Flag)


Most Original Gameplay
most original gameplay 2013 Antichamber

"The first thing anybody notices about Antichamber is also the defining quality of the game: in Antichamber, space is weird. Really weird. Antichamber’s flagship quality is the fact that the environment is non-Euclidean. Insides might be bigger than outsides. A straight path might take longer than a detour. Travelling in one direction might get you right back to where you started, while running around in a circle might take you someplace new. It means that players finally have a chance to crawl into an M.C. Escher picture." - Evan Witt

Honorable Mentions:

Papers, Please, Surgeon Simulator 2013, The Stanley Parable


Best Singleplayer
best single player 2013 Grand Theft Auto V

"The vastness of the open world is as impressive as ever. You can partake in some standard past times, such as tennis, golf, darts, car and sea races and more. Some brand new additions include yoga, triathlons, hunting, and parachuting. More involving activities include taxi missions and underwater exploration. The mini-games vary in their level of engagement and perceived entertainment value, but chances are you’ll find something enjoyable to do during the downtime." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions:

The Last of Us, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, Metro: Last Light


Best Multiplayer
best multiplayer 2013 Battlefield 4

"Like every previous game in the series, it is an evolution of concepts. This time players are treated with a comprehensive class system with more gadgets and customisation options. Levolution is a new feature that causes large changes to maps based on player-triggered events. There is nothing quite like a multiplayer gunfight on the deck of an aircraft carrier while choppers fly overhead and the weather escalates." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions:

ArmA 3, Monaco, Call of Duty: Ghosts


Best Gameplay
best gameplay 2013 Grand Theft Auto V

"There is more to explore and do in GTA V than ever before. In addition to being able to easily replay story missions for better scores or try alternative heist plans, the amount of activities and mini-games is quite extensive. With stores, the game offers extensive amounts of customization for both your cars and characters. You can buy all sorts of hairstyles and beards, clothes, and weaponry. Guns can be extensively customized, in both function and look. Weapons also feel more satisfying, and there’s a big arsenal available to the players. Shooting mechanics have been improved and feel more responsive than before. The police are much more ruthless this time around and can provide a good challenge if you earn a high wanted level." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions:

Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Tomb Raider, Guacamelee


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