With the year coming to a close, we count down the absolute best games of 2013. This year had rebootquels (it's a word if we say it is), an odd emphasis on survival, deeply emotional storylines, zombies (because videogames), and all the insane car thefts and crashing you can possibly handle. So hold on to your controllers 'cause here's the best and brightest of 2013!
10. Need for Speed: Rivals
Drifting over the double yellow lines from law to lawlessness, you can play as a cop chasing down speed demons or release your inner lead foot by trying your best against the competition in illegal street races. An open world full of challenges, white-knuckled racing, and social bragging rights had us starting our engines daily.
9. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
Blizzard serves up another heaping helping of strategy action with the second part of the "Star Craft II" trilogy. This time the story focuses on the exploits of one Sarah Kerrigan, former Terran Ghost operative turned Zerg Queen, and her campaign for galactic domination. Apart from the gripping story, "HotS" retained the excellent online battles of wits and might from the previous game in the series.
8. Tomb Raider
Part prequel, part reboot, "Tomb Raider" showed off a younger, less-experienced Lara Croft on what can only be described as a pretty miserable day. Stuck on an island inhabited by raving lunatics, survival depends on Lara hunting the hunters, solving mysteries, and becoming the badass adventuring heroine we all know and love.
7. DmC: Devil May Cry
We won't mince words here: Nu-Dante was the most controversial subject for classic "Devil May Cry" fans. Fortunately, many hearts were won over because at his core, Dante proved to be a slick, wise-crackin', demon-slaying blur of swords and bullets and we loved every minute.
6. Dead Rising 3
"Dead Rising" has always been about one thing: finding the most absurd household item and swiftly bashing it into a zombies' skull. The third game in the series has sprawling, infested streets littered with just about anything that can (and will) be used as a tool of destruction. Better yet, you can combine a steamroller and motorcycle into the embodiment of insanity and crush the legion of dead!
5. Metro: Last Light
Hauntingly atmospheric, the follow up to "Metro 2033" takes you to post-apocalyptic Russia, where humans have been driven underground. As the character Artyom, you must step lightly because despite the horrors above, the real monsters are buried with you inside the walls and tunnels. The heavy storyline, panicked shooting, and looming threats kept us on edge for weeks.
4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Chalk this one up to nostalgia, but "Between Worlds" gets a spot for classic "Zelda" gameplay, bright, cheery graphics, and hours of dungeon-diving fun. The twist this go around involved the parallel realm of Lorule, which ever-heroic Link must find a way to save from evil.
3. Grand Theft Auto V
The latest installment of Rockstar's hugely popular series is almost criminal, given how much is packed into it one simple game package. With dozens of hours of entertainment, "GTA V" will steal away most, if not all, of your waking hours with heists, mini-games, and collectibles. Pretty much anything you could feasibly want to do in a game about autos and thefts is well represented. Add in the delightfully chaotic "Grand Theft Auto Online," and you have a classic.
2. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Last year's patriotic romp through New England during Revolutionary times left some fans limping. But on the horizon was a literal boatload of fresh, pirate-y gameplay. "Black Flag" puts you in the troubled boots of Edward Kenway as he struggles between a pirate's life and a life of purpose during the tidal threat of Templars and the ever watchful Assassins. Hours of open water, epic naval battles, and a fun, fresh theme grants "Assassin's Creed IV" our number two spot.
1. The Last of Us
Take one part zombie apocalypse, a dash of character development, broil it with emotion, and serve on a bed of Holy F*** and you might get a taste of what Naughty Dog has served up with "The Last of Us." Charged with a story that equally chokes and embraces, you'll trace the steps in the yearlong journey of main characters Joel and Ellie as they learn about themselves and find life among a dead land. "Last of Us" features brutal firefights, gorgeous graphics, and one hell of a memorable story. If there's one game you should play this year, it's this.