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Krehstorrs top five games of 2013

This year, 2013, looks like it’s going to be massive year for video games. Hundreds of promising games, both big and small, are set to be released; new market trends are ready to emerge; and new consoles are going to be popping up all over the place. It’ll be busy, but if there’s one thing that’ll always remain most important in this industry, it’s the games. To that end, Krehstorrs is launching the following top five list for the best games released this year. Opinions are going to change over time, so TG will update and amend this list as newer and better games make our office squeal with nerdy joy. There’re only a couple conditions for games to be included on this list. Here are Krehstorrs top five games of 2013 as of August 2013.
1. The Last of Us
Taking place in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity has either been turned to monsters or savages, it’s a bleak, depressing story of survival. There are no good guys or bad guys in its infected city streets, just people who are forced to exhibit their best and worst qualities just to get by. They kill. They steal. They die. And it’s great. It’s an anti-fun game in many ways, but its pervading sense of anxious horror fits exactly as it should in this world. When combined, the gameplay, atmosphere and writing of The Last of Us make it a wonderful swan song for the PlayStation 3. It isn’t perfect — the multiplayer is serviceable but tacked-on, and sometimes controlling protagonist Joel feels more annoying than tense — but The Last of Us is one of the better examples of a big-budget game that puts its warchest to good use and has plenty of soul.

2. Saints Row IV

Saints Row IV is interactive comedy. It’s the most excessive and purely enjoyable power fantasy out there, but it’s also one of the smartest and most sharply written parodies of other, less self-aware power fantasies at the same time. Let’s put it this way: this is a game where beating up an evil toilet with a lightsaber alongside the cast of They Live while dressed as an anthropomorphic tomcat is maybe the 30th most ridiculous thing you can do.
It’s comically absurd, but knowingly so, because developer Volition realizes that video games are places where you can make the absolutely impossible so very possible. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also one of the smoothest superhero games to come along in some time, or that its cast of characters is eminently likable, or that it’s simply one of the funniest titles we’ve ever played either.

3. BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite is good at being a game. The gorgeous yet twisted floating city of Columbia houses a more-than-competent first-person shooter, one that manages to significantly tighten up the combat from past BioShock games. That combat’s brutality is equally disorienting. Infinite succeeds at having its cake and eating it too.
TG can’t spoil, but suffice it to say that BioShock Infinite’s top-shelf writing elevates it beyond just being “a great FPS.” It’s a wake-up call to big-budget shooters, and an affirmation that interactive brawn and brains can still work in harmony.

4. Skulls of the Shogun

The turn-based strategy game Skulls of the Shogun is deep yet accessible, challenging yet enticing and fun yet…well, it’s really fun.

5. Dragon’s Crown

Dragon’s Crown is a love letter to a forgotten kind of game. Vanillaware’s latest adventure is a mixture of 2D beat-em-up and Western RPG that is heavily indebted the old school Dungeons and Dragons brawlers that used to populate arcades in the mid ’90s. It was originally envisioned as a Sega Dreamcast game, and it shows.
Although it ventures into the more embarrassing aspects of old-school RPG imagery from time to time, Dragon’s Crown is earnest, fun and well worth a spot in your PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita library.
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