Console Monster Awards 2013

The year 2013 has followed the previous year in being generally a bit of a disappointing one, contrary to some stunning titles releasing over the past twelve months. In 2013 we’ve seen more studios laying to rest, and amongst their graves, small shoots of growing independent developers have sprouted, bringing with them some unique and exciting titles, some of which we will see in 2014.

2013 finally saw the release of what the gaming industry has been longing at least two years for – new hardware. Two new consoles from Microsoft and Sony saw their debuts at the end of the year, which meant there was a long dry stagnant release schedule that lasted all the way up until November.

To make that dry spell seem more palatable we had the release of GTA V, which made a very welcome starter to the next-generation main meal. Before that though we did have some delicious games release early in the year, from the return of BioShock Infinite, the reboot of Tomb Raider and the PlayStation exclusive – The Last of Us. All were absolute crackers!

So in this closing of the year 2013 the staff here at Console Monster have reflected back on the games that have released throughout the year to bring you our2013 Console Monster Awards. So let’s get started by awarding our most favourite genre of all – Best Shooter.

Best Shooter of 2013

Battlefield 3 managed to last right up until EA released its replacement with Battlefield 4. Providing a number of downloadable content packs kept Battlefield 3 fresh and new for its community of fans for a good year after its release. Some could say this approach tarnished the impact of Battlefield 4’s release, which went head-to-head with its rival Call of Duty: Ghosts. The game was rumoured to have been rushed out the gates to release before its rival, and as a result has impacted the stability of the game on all of its platforms. With that said, Battlefield 4 still manages to make a great first-person shooter that will only keep on giving…until the next one rolls around.

We gave Battlefield4-80%Read our Battlefield 4 review

Best Racer of 2013

It would only be fitting if thelaunch of Microsoft’s next-generation console hada new racer to go along with it. Forza 5 joined a number of other exclusive titles for the Xbox One’s launch, it also featured in its own Day-One bundle too. Forza 5 picks up where Forza 4 on the Xbox 360 left off, bringing a library of crafted cars and tracks (all but limited) in their new shiny next-generation livery. Releasing before Sony’s alternative racer – Gran Turismo 6 – and alongside other racing rival Need for Speed: Rivals, Forza 5 manages to stay true to its roots in providing a true racing experience that has been greatly enhanced with the addition of its new AI Drivatar system.

We’re still enjoyingForza 5, so much so we’ve yet to even review it! – So erm,View our Forza 5 overview

Best Action Adventure of 2013

2013 saw a number of action adventure titles that could have all been crowned as our favourite game of the year, but one outshone the rest, in both its build up and what it actually delivered to us all. GTA V gave everything that gamer’s wanted from Rockstars latest instalment of the award-winning franchise and they delivered it in spades! Three characters, each with their own stores and experiences to tell, made GTA V an enjoyable experience through until the game’s conclusion. The enjoyment didn’t stop there either, with the addition of its many side missions and its online mode – GTA Online.

We gave Grand Theft Auto V– 98%Read our Grand Theft Auto V Review

Best Roll Playing Game of 2013

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was one of the best games we have played in years. From the moving story and characters to the amazing visual style and game design, there is little to complain about the game. It is a staple JRPG that everyone should try, even if you have stayed away from the genre in the past. And for those who remember the JRPG golden era, prepare yourself for something special that undoubtedly ranks among the best the genre has to offer.

We gave Ni no Kuni-98%Read our Ni no Kuni Review

Best Sports Game of 2013

No surprise then for what game wins our Sports game of 2013. EA’s annual release of the football/soccer franchise, FIFA 14, is the best football game to date. While the subtle gameplay changes may be off-putting to gamers who aren’t willing to splash out, there are enough additions and improvements to justify a purchase at full price. A next-generation lick of paint has appeared on Microsoft’s and Sony’s new consoles, yet we believe much bigger and better things will be coming in the game’s next instalment, no doubt next year.

We gaveFIFA 14-90%Read our FIFA 14 Review

Best Multiplayer Game of 2014

GTA Online was a much anticipated mode in the game, and Rockstar new this. Treating it like a whole separate release, GTA V’s online features unlocked to the masses just after the game’s release date. With much anticipation this also was met with crashing servers and a very frustrated community of fans all eager to get their taste of the GTA Online experience – no doubt because we all had just completed the main story and wanted that little bit more from the game.

Once working and stable, GTA Online provided as much fun as the main campaign did. With races and deathmatches (to name just a few) occurring around the city of Los Santos, fans were spoilt for choice when they booted up the online mode of the game, and with Rockstar delivering regular GTA Online content and modes, fans will have more than enough to play with, should they have to wait many years until the next one rolls around!

We gaveGrand Theft Auto V– 98%Read our Grand Theft Auto V Review

Best Downloadable Game of 2013

Hotline Miami caught gamers a little off-guard when it released onto PC in October 2012 and later on PlayStation in June 2013. It is a worthy addition to any gamer’s catalogue, especially for Vita owners. It’s fun, interesting and achieves a lot more than it has any right to given its low production costs. It serves as one of the fundamental examples of how to create an indie game and have it compete with the best out there and Dennaton Games should be commended. Hotline Miami is a fantastic slice of 80’s joy, greed and bloodshed.

We gaveHotline Miami– 90% –Read our Hotline Miami Review

Our Surprise of 2013

Reboots don’t always end up better than their previous attempts, however the reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise surprised many, us included. This reboot was gritty and brutal, casting Lara in a new, grittier light and you will see Lara in a different perspective than we originally know her by. Tomb Raider feels similar to the Uncharted series, and has really made a welcome return to consoles. With a British composer and a young British actress Square-Enix and Crystal Dynamics have made one excellent adventure for both new and old fans of the series to enjoy. Tomb Raider is a beautiful experience and will keep your heart pumping with excitement.

We gaveTomb Raider– 98% –Read our Tomb Raider Review

Our Disappointment of 2013

BEYOND: Two Souls is as interesting as it is mundane, as well told as it is messy and as innovative as it is counterproductive. Many of its ideas, concepts and ambitions were incredible and rarely seen in gaming, however just as many are the complete opposite. The ambitious attempt at a new type of experience marred by a messy narrative, poor controls and some massively unnecessary tangents means Quantic Dream’s latest wins our disappointment of 2013 award.

We gaveBEYOND: Two Souls– 65% –Read our BEYOND: Two Souls Review

Console Monster’s Game of 2013

GTA V was a no brainer selection for most of us this year. We all wanted so much out of this new release and Rockstar did no fail to deliver what every fan wanted from this award-winning franchise. From its great soundtrack, each of its three character’s stories, to its brilliant voice acting, GTA V was, and still is, the ultimate sandbox game that continues to give its fans an enjoyable experience, whether that is on or offline. Jumping in GTA V’s online world increases this game’s appeal even more, and as a result makes this game our Game of 2013.

We gaveGrand Theft Auto V– 98%Read our Grand Theft Auto V Review

Happy New Year – See you in 2014!

So these are our games of 2013. We hope you have enjoyed our look back at our pick of the games from the past twelve months. We would also like to hear your comments too, so please do leave us those below. Do you agree to our votes? What is your game of the year? Let us know, we’d love to hear and discuss them.

With Microsoft’s and Sony’s next-generation consoles now with us, 2014 is looking out to be an exciting year for us gamers. So with a glass of your favourite tipple raised, we here at Console Monster would like to wish all our readers, followers, family and friends a happy and healthy New Year.

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Anthony Barker

Anthony is the designer, developer and owner of Console Monster. In his spare time, Anthony is a keen gamer who enjoys playing mostly First-Person Shooters and Racing games. When he is not developing games or tweaking this site, Anthony likes to be on the slopes snowboarding or hurtling down off-road tracks on his mountain bike.

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