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G4 Canada's 2013 Game of the Year Awards: Best of the Best

Jan 31, 2014

By Daniel Barron, John Powell, Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada

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Last week, we celebrated the achievements of each individual console. This week, there are no limits or confines as we announce the awards in all of the mainstream categories. Congratulations to all!

Game of the Year

Game of the Year Awards 2013John Powell: Juggling four storylines and its immense scope, nothing in my mind comes close to surpassing what RockStar accomplished with Grand Theft Auto V this year. The amount of work and imagination that went into this one title truly boggles the mind. With so many ways to play, so many things to do and great variety of missions, side quests; GTA V was the total package. The gameplay freedom on display was truly magnificent from start to finish. The re-imagining of Tomb Raider hit all the right notes and took the series to a brilliant new starting point.
Gold – Grand Theft Auto V
Silver - Tomb Raider
Bronze – Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Daniel Barron: After seemingly coasting for a few years, the Assassin's Creed series came back with a vengeance in Black Flag. The story was more concise, the combat felt a little tighter, and everything involving pirates was just awesome. The game was packed with stuff to do, and it simply never got boring. A masterpiece on the open waters.
Gold – Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Silver - Fire Emblem: Awakening
Bronze – The Last of Us

Game of the Year Awards 2013Alex Cattani: 2013 proved to be a consistent year throughout. My Game of the Year pick didn't come easy. As I narrowed down my favorites, I settled on The Last of Us vs. BioShock: Infinite. I adored the story, writing and characters in both, but only the gameplay in one. Running through wave after wave of baddies in Columbia eventually grew tiresome. The gameplay in The Last of Us actually allowed me to have options when it came to progressing through the story, whereas Infinite felt like an tedious shooting gallery most of the time. With that said, both titles are remarkable achievements for gaming and are sure to be remembered for years to come.
Gold – The Last of Us
Silver- BioShock: Infinite
Bronze – Grand Theft Auto V

Best Shooter

John Powell: Infinite was heads and shoulders above the rest. Not only did it have fantastic action like the other releases in the series but everything from the sights, sounds were astonishing. If I had to complain about something, it would be that the storyline wore out its welcome.
Gold – BioShock Infinite
Silver - Call of Duty: Ghosts
Bronze – Gears of War: Judgment

Game of the Year Awards 2013Daniel Barron: One of the deepest shooters to come out in years, even if it didn't seem like it at first blush. Though it only included five levels, the fight to the top of the worldwide leaderboards was the real draw to get people back and playing over and over again. Rock-solid controls and superb particle effects made this the must-have shooter for 2013.
Gold – Resogun
Silver - Bioshock Infinite
Bronze – Far Cry: Blood Dragon

Alex Cattani:
Gold – Battlefield 4
Silver- BioShock: Infinite
Bronze – Metro: Last Light

Best Racing Game

John Powell:
Gold – Forza Motorsport 5
Silver - Gran Turismo 6
Bronze – Need for Speed Rivals

Game of the Year Awards 2013Alex Cattani: Grid 2 successfully blurred the lines between arcade racing and a simulation-focused experience. The end result was an accessible racer with decent depth. Now, if only it had a cockpit view…
Gold – Grid 2
Silver- Forza Motorsport 5
Bronze – Need for Speed: Rivals

Best Action/Adventure Game

John Powell:
Gold – Grand Theft Auto 5
Silver - Tomb Raider
Bronze – Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Daniel Barron: Black Flag had it all - stealth, naval combat, heart-pounding chases, and full-on shootouts. This was the very definition of the word "adventure."
Gold – Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Silver - The Last of Us
Bronze – The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Alex Cattani: Dante in the new Devil May Cry may look different and spew and uncomfortable amount of cringe worthy lines. But when it comes to demon slaying time, he's at the top of his class. I remember pulling off outrageous eighty hit combos in the game and having my hands pulse afterwards. If hacking and slashing isn't your cup of tea, Assassin's Creed 4 is a great alternative for a more relaxed action experience.
Gold – DmC: Devil May Cry
Silver- Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
Bronze – Tomb Raider

Best Role-Playing Game

Game of the Year Awards 2013John Powell:
Gold – Pokemon X & Y
Silver - Fire Emblem: Awakening
Bronze – Ni No Kuni

Daniel Barron: In a year full of superb 3DS titles, Awakening stood above all else with its mix of excellent characters, deep strategy, and compelling story. It's everything an RPG could love and a whole lot more.
Gold – Fire Emblem: Awakening
Silver - Shin Megami Tensei IV

Alex Cattani: Once you get going, Soul Sacrifice is hard to put down. It's relentlessly challenging no doubt, but will not have you quitting in a fit of rage. Instead, you will be left wanting to rethink your strategy and have another shot.
Gold – Soul Sacrifice
Silver- Ni No Kuni
Bronze – Dragon's Crown.

Best Puzzle Game

John Powell: Not enough can be said about A Tale of Two Sons. As I stated in my review, it takes real creativity to take things we are all familiar with and transform them into something new and different. Two Sons is an innovative experience that really pushes the boundaries of imagination and technology.
Gold – Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons
Silver - Device 6
Bronze – Scribblenauts: Unmasked

Daniel Barron: Vastly overlooked, Minis on the Move offered a lot of good stuff in a small package. It shook up the Minis formula somewhat, without completely forgetting about its roots.
Gold – Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move
Silver - Battleblock Theatre
Bronze – Scribblenauts: Unmasked

Game of the Year Awards 2013Best Platformer

John Powell: Mario cannot be touched here and yes, I put Two Sons in two categories simply because it is both a platformer and a puzzle game which deserves praise and recognition in both genres. So there. J
Gold – Super Mario 3D World
Silver - Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons
Bronze – Rayman Legends

Daniel Barron: Was there ever any doubt? Even at their worst, Mario games are usually a lot of fun. The fact that 3D World is a superb game even by Mario standards proves all comers never had a hope of touching it.
Gold – Super Mario 3D World
Silver - Rayman Legends
Bronze – Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

Alex Cattani: Mario's a legend when it comes to platforming.  Many will step up, but few will be able to hold a candle to this mustached man.
Gold – Super Mario 3D World
Silver- Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Bronze – Puppeteer

Best Story

Game of the Year Awards 2013John Powell: RockStar successfully kept four balls in the air and although jumping back was a little distracting at times, each story and its fine details really brought the character(s) and the importance of the overall plot home to us, the players. GTA V is not only excellent from a developer's point of view but a storyteller's as well.
Gold – Grand Theft Auto 5
Silver - BioShock Infinite
Bronze – Device 6

Daniel Barron: We've seen apocalyptic stories dozens - probably hundreds - of times before, but the fact that we went through so much with Joel and Ellie was what really made this game so special. Naughty Dog didn't hold back in any way, and it was for this reason that the game was so different - in a good way - from so many other cliché games.
Gold – The Last of Us
Silver - Rain
Bronze – Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Alex Cattani: Once again, The Last of Us gets my vote. What really sealed the deal for me was the bravery Naughty Dog displayed in writing the conclusion of the game. It was unexpected but fit gracefully. If a mind- blowing ending is what you're looking for, turn you attention to BioShock: Infinite. I'm still not totally sure if I know what happened at the end of Booker Dewitt's Journey. But I know I liked it.
Gold – The Last of Us
Silver- BioShock Infinite
Bronze – Tomb Raider

Game of the Year Awards 2013Most Underrated Game

John Powell:
Gold – Tomb Raider
Silver - LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Bronze – Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons

Daniel Barron: Oh-so-many people played New Leaf in 2013 - and they probably played dozens or hundreds of hours - but it wasn't necessarily something that people constantly talked about. It's not a game that has a lot of "watercooler" moments, but the fact that I reached over 100 hours playing it since its release earlier in 2013 proves it deserves a special honour.
Gold – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Silver - Resogun
Bronze – Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Alex Cattani: The Puppeteer underperformed in terms of sales, but that doesn't mean it was a poor game. Its lighthearted story was a great contrast to the violent scenarios seen in other games this year. It's a shame it was swept under the rug, as many gamers didn't have it on their radars.
Gold – Puppeteer
Silver- Resogun
Bronze – Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons

Best Kids Game

Game of the Year Awards 2013John Powell: Lego does it again improving the DC Heroes formula creating the ultimate Lego title which narrowly beat out Disney Infinity which brought all of our favourite characters to life and also allowed kids to let their imaginations free.
Gold – LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Silver - Disney Infinity
Bronze – Pokemon X-Y

Alex Cattani: If Disney Infinity existed when I was ten, I don't think I'd be able to handle the excitement. Borrowing heavily from the Sky Landers series, Disney Infinity makes the formula even better by adding Iconic characters and settings.
Gold – Disney Infinity
Silver - Puppeteer
Bronze – Pokémon X-Y

Best New Character

Game of the Year Awards 2013John Powell: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know Laura Croft is a familiar face but the way she was portrayed in the re-imagined Tomb Raider was a Laura Croft we have never seen before. Loved playing conflicted family man Michael De Santa in GTA V and the mystique surrounding BioShock's Elizabeth was totally captivating.
Gold – Michael De Santa (GTA V)
Silver - Elizabeth (BioShock Infinite)
Bronze – Laura Croft (Tomb Raider)

Daniel Barron: Naughty Dog truly managed to make Ellie a relatable character, despite the fact that she was possibly humanity's saviour, and grew up in a world overrun with zombie-like creatures. Whether she was humming a metal tune, talking about her favourite comics, or looking in awe at giraffes, it was a pleasure playing through The Last of Us with her as one of the main characters.
Gold – Ellie (The Last of Us)
Silver - Rex "Power" Fury (Far Cry: Blood Dragon)
Bronze – Edward Kenway (Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag)

Alex Cattani: At first, Trevor was a little too insane for me. In short, he made Vaas from Farcry 3 look like Mario. But as I progressed through GTA 5, I found myself looking forward to the next time I encountered him. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that hiding behind that physcopathic shell of his is a sensitive man who may just need a hug.
Gold – Trevor (Grand Theft Auto 5)
Silver – Edward Kenway (Assassin's Creed 4)
Bronze – Ellie (The Last of Us)

Best Multiplayer

Game of the Year Awards 2013John Powell: Once it was off and running, GTA V's multiplayer scored high marks for being such a guilty pleasure. If you ignore Infestation mode, Ghosts scored high marks as did Dota 2.
Gold – Grand Theft Auto V
Silver - Call of Duty: Ghosts
Bronze – Dota 2

Daniel Barron: Just like the single player campaign, Naughty Dog went its own route with the multiplayer in The Last of Us, and the final product was something that was just as well-designed and addictive as anything released in the last several years. Teamwork and strategy trumped Rambo-like heroics, and the game was so much better for it.
Gold – The Last of Us
Silver - Killzone: Shadow Fall
Bronze – Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Worst Game of 2013

John Powell: My Worst list this year is chock full of titles that just don't work. Dark stole badly from every stealth game imaginable and even then still couldn't get anything to work properly. WWE 2K13 was a clustercrap of a wrestling game that decided to throw all of the familiar wrestling game rules right out the window. Imagine a wrestling game where ongoing damage is not calculated properly. Imagine a wrestling game where working your way up to your finishing move is considered passé. Imagine a wrestling game where the hit detection is horrendous, your foes will gain finishing moves without laying a finger on you, where the commentary is buggy, the referee continually gets in your way, where you have to meet ludicrous match goals which in turn increases your chances of losing said bout, where in order to progress in the campaign mode you have to edit the opposing characters strengths and weaknesses just to have a fighting chance. NBA Live 14? Busted. Busted. Busted.

Gold – Dark
Silver - NBA Live 14
Bronze – WWE 2K13

Game of the Year Awards 2013Alex Cattani: 2013 was a fantastic year, but that doesn't mean that we were spared from having to slog through some real flops. Hands down the winner (or loser) of the year is Aliens: Colonial Marines. From laughably bad A.I. to muddy graphics to one of the worst endings in recent memory…. Aliens: Colonial Marines is the perfect blueprint for what not to do when developing a game.
Gold – Aliens: Colonial Marines
Silver- Ride to Hell: Retribution
Bronze – The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see