The Best Videogames of 2013

  • Publish Date: December 30, 2013
  • Comments: ↓ 10 user comments

Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Xbox 360
90+ Games by Year
(2007 - 2013)
2013 Avg. Metascore 66.9
Xbox 360
vs. 2012 Avg. 69.5

The Xbox 360's final year in the spotlight was not a good one. Microsoft's aging console was the worst performer out of any game platform in 2013, with an average Metascore that was nearly 3 points lower than the previous year's average. In both years, the PS3 boasted a higher average Metascore.

Only three great (90+) games were released for the 360 in 2013, by far the lowest mark ever recorded for the console. (Of course, the PS3 was only slightly better—with four great games—in this transition year). Even worse, just three Xbox 360 exclusives (down from eight in 2012) managed to receive positive reviews (75+) this year, though the new Xbox One added three more in its first month on the market.

Much of this decline can be attributed to the fact that there were about a third fewer games released for the 360 this year compared to 2012—no doubt due to publishers gearing up for the Xbox One. Still, fewer than 39% of those 2013 releases received positive reviews from critics. That's the 360's lowest percentage of good games since 2010.

It's still way too early to read anything into the Xbox One's numbers; there were only 17 releases for the new console this year with at least seven reviews. The average Metascore for those games, though, was nearly identical to that for the 360's releases: a rather unimpressive 66.8.

Xbox 360Best Xbox 360 or Xbox One Exclusives, 2013
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Image bar Image bar Image bar Image bar Image bar
85 80 79 78 78
BattleBlock Theater
Forza Motorsport 5 XBONE
Gears of War: Judgment
Dead Rising 3 XBONE
Charlie Murder
Xbox 360Best-Reviewed Xbox 360 Games, 2013
  Game Publisher Metascore
1 Grand Theft Auto V
Xbox 360 Game of the Year
Rockstar Games 97
2BioShock Infinite2K Games93
3Rayman LegendsUbisoft90
4XCOM: Enemy Within2K Games89
5Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the ForceZEN Studios Ltd.88
6Rocksmith 2014 EditionUbisoft87
7Bit.Trip Presents...Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm AlienAksys Games87
8Pinball FX 2: Star Wars PinballMicrosoft87
9Diablo IIIBlizzard87
10NBA 2K142K Sports87
11Tomb RaiderSquare Enix86
12Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep2K Games86
13Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons505 Games86
14DmC: Devil May CryCapcom86
15Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagUbisoft86
16BattleBlock TheaterMicrosoft85
17Mass Effect 3: CitadelElectronic Arts84
18FIFA 14EA Sports84
19Magic: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014Microsoft83
20Skylanders Swap ForceActivision83
21Darkstalkers ResurrectionCapcom82
22Metal Gear Rising: RevengeanceKonami82
23The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1 - FaithTelltale Games82
24Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: BlacklistUbisoft82
25Saints Row IVDeep Silver81
... and the worst:
140Farming Simulator 2013Focus Home Interactive33
141The Walking Dead: Survival InstinctActivision32
142Fast & Furious: ShowdownActivision22
143Ride to Hell: RetributionDeep Silver19
144Double Dragon II: Wander of the DragonsCYBERFRONT KOREA 17
Xbox 360Best-Reviewed Xbox One Games, 2013
  Game Publisher Metascore
1 FIFA 14
Xbox One Game of the Year
EA Sports 88
2NBA 2K142K Sports87
3Forza Motorsport 5Microsoft80
4Dead Rising 3Microsoft78
5Call of Duty: GhostsActivision78
6Peggle 2Electronic Arts77
7Need for Speed: RivalsElectronic Arts75
... and the worst:
17Fighter WithinUbisoft25

Games are ranked by Metascore prior to rounding. Only games with 7 or more reviews are included in this and other rankings on this page.

PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4

90+ Games by Year
(2007 - 2013)
2013 Avg. Metascore 70.1
vs. 2012 Avg. 70.3
PlayStation 3

Like the Xbox 360, the PS3 saw a fewer number of games released in 2013 compared to the prior year, though the decline was not as dramatic for Sony's console. And, unlike Microsoft's console, there wasn't a decline in quality for the PS3 during its phase-out year. The console's average Metascore was nearly identical to that for the year before, and nearly 47% of PS3 releases scored positive reviews in 2013—well up from the previous year's 40.7% success rate. There were even two additional good PS3 exclusives this year: 8 in 2013 compared to just 6 in 2012.

The new PlayStation 4 console is, like the Xbox One, still so new that we can't draw many conclusions from the games released so far. Unlike the new Xbox, Sony's new console did manage to score one 90+ game (flower), though it was just a port of a prior PS3 release. The 20 games released so far for the PS4 (with at least seven reviews from critics) have averaged a score of 74.7, well above the early average for the Xbox One. Still, it has only been a little more than a month since the new consoles surfaced, and the year ahead should begin to reveal if there will be a major difference in game quality between the two platforms.

PS3Best PS3/PS4 Exclusives, 2013
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Image bar Image bar Image bar Image bar Image bar
95 84 81 80 80
The Last of Us
Resogun PS4
Gran Turismo 6
God of War: Ascension
PS3Best-Reviewed PlayStation 3 Games, 2013
  Game Publisher Metascore
1 Grand Theft Auto V
PS3 Game of the Year
Rockstar 97
2The Last of UsSony95
3BioShock Infinite2K Games94
4Rayman LegendsUbisoft91
5Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagUbisoft88
6Tomb RaiderSquare Enix87
7MLB 13: The ShowSony87
8Hotline MiamiDevolver Digital87
9Bit.Trip Presents...Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm AlienAksys Games86
10The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1 - FaithTelltale Games86
11Diablo IIIBlizzard86
12FIFA 14EA Sports86
13Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White WitchNamco Bandai85
14Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons505 Games85
15Rocksmith 2014 EditionUbisoft85
16DmC: Devil May CryCapcom85
17NBA 2K142K Sports84
18Guacamelee!DrinkBox Studios84
19Lone Survivor: The Director's CutCurve Studios84
20Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: BlacklistUbisoft84
21Skylanders Swap ForceActivision84
22Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of MystaraCapcom83
24Sonic & All-Stars Racing TransformedSega82
25GRID 2Codemasters82
... and the worst:
132Arcania: The Complete Tale Nordic Games 42
133Girl FightMajesco Games40
134Painkiller: Hell & Damnation Nordic Games 40
135Farming Simulator 2013Focus Home Interactive38
136The Walking Dead: Survival InstinctActivision34
PS3Best-Reviewed PlayStation 4 Games, 2013
  Game Publisher Metascore
1 flower
PS4 Game of the Year
Sony 91
2FIFA 14EA Sports87
3Battlefield 4Electronic Arts86
4NBA 2K142K Sports85
5Trine 2: Complete StoryFrozenbyte, Inc.85
7Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagUbisoft83
8LEGO Marvel Super HeroesWarner Bros. Interactive83
9Injustice: Gods Among Us - Ultimate EditionWarner Bros. Interactive82
10Need for Speed: RivalsElectronic Arts80
... and the worst:
20NBA Live 14Electronic Arts43

Wii U

Wii U
2013 Avg. Metascore 72.6
Nintendo Wii U
vs. 2012 Avg. 68.6

The Wii U's first full calendar year on the market was a mixed bag. As you can see by the figures to the right, the console's games got better in 2013. In fact, that 72.6 average Metascore trailed only the new PS4 among all platforms. An impressive 49% of Wii U releases received positive reviews from critics. And the Wii U's three 90+ releases in 2013 were three more than it had in 2012.

The problem is that there just weren't very many games released for the console. Just 53 scored games came out for the Wii U in all of 2013—or just 24 more than the PS4 released in a single month. (And only 36 of those Wii U releases were major enough to receive at least seven critic reviews). A handful of great Nintendo exclusives a year might not be enough to keep the Wii U afloat against the sheer volume of games that is surely headed to the other next-gen consoles.

Wii UBest Wii U Exclusives, 2013
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Image bar Image bar Image bar Image bar Image bar
94 90 87 80 78
Super Mario 3D World
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
Pikmin 3
LEGO City Undercover
The Wonderful 101
Wii UBest-Reviewed Wii U Games, 2013
  Game Publisher Metascore
1 Super Mario 3D World
Wii U Game of the Year
Nintendo 94
2Rayman LegendsUbisoft91
3The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HDNintendo90
4Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's CutSquare Enix88
5Pikmin 3Nintendo87
6Need for Speed: Most Wanted UElectronic Arts86
7EdgeTwo Tribes84
8Mutant Mudds DeluxeRenegade Kid84
9Bit.Trip Presents...Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm AlienGaijin Games84
10Star Wars PinballZen Studios83
11Monster Hunter 3 UltimateCapcom82
12LEGO City UndercoverNintendo80
13Resident Evil: RevelationsCapcom80
14The Wonderful 101Nintendo78
15LEGO Batman 2: DC Super HeroesWarner Bros. Interactive77
16Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of MystaraCapcom77
17New Super Luigi UNintendo77
18Toki Tori 2Two Tribes76
19DuckTales RemasteredCapcom76
20Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's PartyKnapNok Games76
... and the worst:
32Sonic: Lost WorldSega63
33Game & WarioNintendo61
34Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter GamesNintendo56
35Disney PlanesDisney Interactive Studios51
36Pokemon Rumble UNintendo49

More games ...

Continue to the next page for this year's top PC game releases, as well as the highest-scoring handheld titles (for Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita).

Comments (10)

  • Metabolic  

    Why wasn't Dragon's Crown included in the PS3 best games of 2013 list? It received a meta score of 82!

  • BattleJoe97  

    So yeah I got my Top 10 Games of 2013 finally up.

  • WadeMcG  

    @ conditionals: The 3DS definitely had more games that deserved at least 80% in 2013, but it also had a more copious amount of third party (some of which were official license job) turds dragging the grade down.

  • umOHum  

    I expected State of Decay to be on the list.

  • conditionals  

    In contrast to this article, this was actually my favourite year of games. Tomb Raider, Last of Us, Ace Attorney 5, Pokemon X, Saints Row IV, Beyond: Two Souls... they were all games I really enjoyed. Also, given how general perception of games seems to change after the initial wave of reviews, I think it's fair to say that Last of Us was the clear winner over GTAV for GOTY. I enjoyed GTAV, but nobody is really talking about it as much as Last of Us now. Finally... Vita had a better year than 3DS? Eh?

  • Patman1234  

    It was a good year on PS3, not as good as last year but obviously there was GTA V and PS3 had The Last of Us as well. The only exclusive from Xbox 360/PS3 to get over 90 or above. Also, I'm tired of the GTA haters, being different for the sake of being different doesn't count. Grow up. I'm looking at you Soapert...

  • Soapert  

    GTA V deserved an 80 at best. So much mediocre crammed into one ugly, uninspired package.

  • AnonJ  

    Fez definitely doesn't deserve such a high score

  • DanJ  

    I really don't think this year has been bad at all. I do however think reviewers are getting harder on games, as they should. So reaching that 90+ is getting much harder. Theirs loads of games between 75-89 score ranged that I loved far more than the big budget 90+ games. They just don't get as much hype. Games like Rogue Legacy, Papers, Please, PoE, Outlast, Tales of Xillia. All these games I would put in my top ten over some of the "best" of 2013 on this list.

  • TheQuietGamer  

    I didn't think it was that bad of a year for gaming. Sure there were only a handful of games that scored a 90 or above average on here, but I found many great gaming experiences in titles that didn't score that high. Whether or not the next gen consoles flopped or not in their big premiers this year I can't say, but I found more than enough great games on this console generation that made 2013 a much better year of gaming for me than probably both 2011 and 2012 did. Of course the my personal favorite year of gaming is still 2010. 2014 is going to have to do a lot for me to forget that year.

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