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Digital Spy's top ten games of 2013 so far

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Tomb Raider concept art - E3 2012

© Square Enix

'Tomb Raider'



As we come out of E3, an expo that gives us a peek at the year ahead, now's a good time to look back at the year's best releases so far.

It's been an eclectic mix, from anticipated blockbusters such as BioShock Infinite and Tomb Raider, atmosphere-drenched digital titles like Year Walk and a trio of must-have games on 3DS.

The Last of Us

Platform: PS3

What our review said: "With a hauntingly beautiful game world, stunning visuals and a wide variety of ways in which players can approach combat, The Last of Us is another exceptional game from the team at Naughty Dog.

"However, it's the studio's ability to make this past-pandemic world and its contrasting cast of characters feel so believable and credible that really makes The Last of Us stand out from its peers."


Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Platform: 3DS

What our review said: "Despite the many additions, New Leaf doesn't change the fact that Animal Crossing is a game where you have to find your own fun.

"But thanks to some welcome tweaks and neat 3DS-specific features, for those that want to slowly savour paying a mortgage, picking fruit and making friends with weird animals in short but sweet daily bursts, New Leaf is the best Animal Crossing yet."


DmC: Devil May Cry

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

What our review said: "DmC: Devil May Cry is a hugely entertaining game with a tight story and unbeatable action.

"Any fears that the new-look Dante can't fill his white-haired predecessor's boots are soon dispelled, although the incredibly deep combat system is the real star of the show."


Fire Emblem: Awakening

Platform: 3DS

What our review said: "For fans of the series, Awakening is still true to the roots laid out by past games, while seamlessly incorporating the new pairing mechanics for a fresh experience.

"Meanwhile, Awakening also makes a perfect entry point for new players, as its well-paced story gradually introduces new mechanics and allows for players to still discover new strategies long into its 50 or more hour-long campaign.

"Nintendo and Intelligent Systems have reawakened the Fire Emblem series in top form, merging its story and tactical combat as a masterful accomplishment for strategy RPGs."


Luigi's Mansion 2

Platform: 3DS

What our review said: "Practically every room in this expansive follow-up feels lovingly handcrafted and crammed full of things to tinker with, filled with playful animations and spoils to discover.

"...While the [3DS] has been blessed with multiple must-have Mario adventures, it's a delight to say there's now an essential one from his often overlooked sibling too."


Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Platform: PS3

What our review said: "It's a huge game with a combat system that's sure to go down well with role-playing and particularly Pokémon fans, providing enormous scope for experimentation and a decent challenge to boot.

However, it's the animation, environments, characters and music that will be most fondly remembered. Level-5 has crafted a wonderful game world in which enormous pleasure is gleaned from discovering every new town, village and island.

"Studio Ghibli, meanwhile, has helped to create a memorable and touching narrative that's sure to strike a chord with gamers both young and old."


Cart Life

Platform: PC

What our review said: "Cart Life likes to throw you into the deep end, and it can get overwhelming initially as you struggle to manage your valuable time.

"But the beauty is, when you screw up, you do feel terrible. The game does a fantastic job at evoking empathy for these characters.

"No matter how tough things get, though, you're meant to battle through them - just like life. And when you reach the end of a character's story, there's a unique sense of satisfaction that you've made it despite all of the hardship."



BioShock Infinite

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

What our review said: "Despite a few rather minor complaints here and there, nothing can take away from how wonderfully written and beautifully acted BioShock Infinite is. It's surely a new high for gaming storytelling and characterisation.

"While it was a risk to move away from the depths of Rapture and into the clouds of Columbia, Irrational Games has once again crafted a dazzling new world, which succeeds in taking the franchise to stunning new heights."


Year Walk

Platform: iOS

What our review said: "Set in a small Swedish town bordering the woods, Year Walk is easily one of the most unique adventure games to hit iOS in a long time.

"Since much of the action takes place while stumbling through the snowy woods at night, there is a tense and occasionally frightening atmosphere to the game.

"...Between its eerie atmosphere, creative puzzles and clever use of an oft-ignored area of folklore, Year Walk is a brilliant game that will stick with you long after the credits roll."



Tomb Raider

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

What our review said: "The gaming equivalent of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, the latest Tomb Raider is a gritty franchise reboot, exploring the origins of everybody's favourite female adventurer in a new environment.

"...With a well-written cast of characters, mightily impressive production techniques, sumptuous visuals, tight platforming and surprisingly enjoyable combat, Tomb Raider is most definitely a release to be treasured.


Honourary mentions: Rogue Legacy, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Antichamber, Guacamelee, Metal Gear Rising: Revengance, Gunpoint, Metro: Last Light, Monaco: What's Your is Mine, GRID 2, Ridiculous Fishing, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

What are your favourite games of the year so far? Add a comment to the space below!

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