Forget 2013 blockbusters like Hunger Games, Man of Steel, The Hobbit, and Thor. Let’s talk real blockbusters: PC Games. Advances in processor speeds, storage, RAM and image resolution has put PC’s at the forefront of gaming culture in 2013. From indie releases to blockbuster franchises, we’ve selected five extraordinary games that stood out in 2013 — the remarkable design, concepts and adventures they offer has proven their indelible staying power with gamers long after they’ve put down their mouse and keyboard.
BioShock Infinite, Irrational Games
When Ken Levine and the rest of Irrational Games first released BioShock in 2007, they created a game so rich in story and setting that gamers playing it through to the end were left with a terrible paradox: They wanted more, but they also knew they had witnessed a perfect story. This year, Levine and company proved that lightning could strike twice with the series’ third installment, BioShock Infinite. By tackling issues of racism and fervent nationalism, introducing a curious twist on the original Bioshock morality system, and mixing that with adrenaline-pumped action, we’re confident that your hand firmly clamped on your Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse. From the moment you first lay eyes on the jaw-dropping vista of Columbia until you reach the game’s mind-blowing finale, BioShock Infinite is an experience you will never forget.
The Stanley Parable, Galactic Café
Whether it is curiosity or the need to explore, breaking away from standard narrative storytelling is something every experienced gamer knows about — a habit that The Stanley Parable exploits. As you take on the role of Stanley, a.k.a Employee #427, a lowly white-collar worker, navigating his way out of a corporate prison, you are accompanied by a pervasive narrator who tells you where to go and berates you when you venture off the beaten path. The Stanley Parable is a gaming experience that will have you pondering the nature of choice in games while you laugh out loud from its unique sense of humor.
Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics
It’s been five years since the last Lara Croft game, but Crystal Dynamic’s reboot of the beloved franchise has been worth the wait. Although it does take some of its cues from the Uncharted series, Tomb Raider is a terrific action-adventure game that’s filled with the wonders of exploring and the excitement of hidden treasures. Lara Croft’s new origin story is a gripping tale of her transformation — from a naive academic to confident survivor — filled with stunning set pieces rivaling any big-budget Hollywood blockbuster. If you really want to experience Tomb Raider’s spectacular story, pop this game up on your big screen TV with a gamepad for a truly cinematic experience.
Dota 2, Valve
Coming officially out of beta this year the competitive world of Dota 2 can be a bit daunting. It’s complicated, exhausting, and can intimidating to new players. But once you get a solid handle on the game’s complexities, there’s nothing quite as satisfying than the thrill of victory after taking down the other team’s buildings (Ancients). Every battle is different with endless strategies stemming from countless combinations of characters, equipment builds, and novel strategies. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself using every feature the Logitech G Rechargeable Gaming House G700s has to offer during your epically long Dota 2 binges. Any game with this sort of longevity simply has to be on the very short list of the year’s best games.
Gone Home, The Fullbright Company
Gone Home may not be the most visually gripping game of this year, but it’s a story so enthralling and touching that you’ll find it difficult to shake off. In this interactive story game, you play as Kaitlin Greenbriar, who has returned from a yearlong trip in Europe only to find her house empty. Using only the clues left around the house, it’s up to you to solve the mystery of her family’s disappearance. The game’s attention to period detail and tremendous voice acting paint an intimate and sometimes painfully honest picture of the Greenbriar family, particularly Kaitlin’s sister, Samantha. Gone Home is a deeply personal game that, although ironically devoid of any people, it is one hard to put down.
Totally agree with the list here? Or do you think your favorite game is missing? Share your Top PC Games of 2013 in the comments.