2013 was a year of great games that enjoyed resounding success both with audiences and in terms of sales. But what about all those great titles that, for one reason or another, have gone unnoticed? We didn’t want all that talent to be forgotten, so we’ve made a list of 10 great games from the past year. We’ve included a good variety of genres, so if you haven’t tried any yet, one of them is sure to be worth a try.
The Stanley Parable (PC)
Let’s start with an indie offering, as 2013 has been a particularly good year for indie games. The most talked about surprise has been side-project The Stanley Parable, which started out as a mod for Half-Life 2.
In the game, we accompany good old Stanley in an interesting walk through his office. The approach may seem boring, but it’s a difficult story to explain. I suggest playing it to see for yourself. We liked it so much at Softonic that we even tried our hand at a remake.
If the thieving genre isn’t new, then neither is the “rogue” game (where you explore a space that’s generated randomly, playing a hero who has to fight their enemies while improving their skills). Rogue Legacy, however, adds another twist, thanks to its original features including the fact that each new hero is a descendant of the former and inherits his skills and bungling characteristics.
This, along with charming graphics and super controls, makes it a “rogue” game that comes highly recommended and one that doesn’t need to be jealous of big budget offerings in the slightest.
This game has a small budget with big ideas. It’s got all the typical gameplay you’d expect – stealth, infiltration and theft – but it’s got a strong personality and some very fresh ideas to add to the genre.
The Swapper (PC)
If you love good science fiction like Blade Runner, Alien, or most recently, Gravity, then you’ll love The Swapper. It may not be as mainstream as the Mass Effect series, but it does offer good ideas, some hilarious puzzles and a story where cloning plays a key role.
Best of all, The Swapper, despite its apparent initial complexity, actually has controls that are extremely easily to master, as well as graphics that will leave you speechless, especially since they’re all made out of clay!
Ridiculous Fishing – A Tale of Redemption (iPhone, Android)
Yes, just as the title implies, it’s a fishing game. What makes it original? You’ll find it has a story that grabs you, as well as well balanced challenges that will leave you glued to the small screen of your phone or tablet for hours, without having to disturb your friends to ask them for candy.
Rayman Legends (PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PS Vita)
Not everything good this year that’s gone unnoticed is indie. To prove it, we’re proposing the big-budget game Rayman Legends. It’s true that nearly everyone knows about Rayman, but lately, Ubisoft hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves for the brilliant games it creates based on this character. It was the same with Rayman Origins in 2011, as well as this year’s Rayman Legends, a sequel that – and this is saying a lot – improves upon the previous installment.
We think that Rayman Legends is one of the most interesting mainstream games of 2013 for its unique imagination and unbeatable playability, and there’s no excuse not to try it because it’s been released for almost every platform imaginable.
Injustice: Gods Among Us (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
The fighting genre may no longer be as popular as it was in the 90s with Street Fighter and Co., but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some great titles. The star this year has been Injustice: Gods Among Us, a game that had good sales that were, unfortunately, nowhere near as spectacular as they should have been given its quality.
Whether you’re a fan of the characters in DC Comics or not, Injustice is a really fun game that could teach a thing or two to some well-established series. We noticed that the people behind Injustice are the same ones behind last year’s Mortal Kombat, which we also really enjoyed.
X Rebirth (PC, Mac)
The X series has been with us almost 15 years, and while all of the installments have maintained a certain level of quality, the most recent one is particularly good. It’s true that X Rebirth hasn’t convinced everyone, but we loved it for its concept of open space and variety when it comes to choosing ways to play. People say that “it doesn’t seem to fit into the X series“, but does that really matter when it’s such a good game?
Football Manager 2014 (PC)
It’s been accused of being too technical and “serious”, but no one can deny that Football Manager is a franchise that improves with each installment. Don’t get too bogged down in the huge amount of options you have. If you enjoy fixtures and tactics, along with press conferences and the transfer market– basically, if you live and breathe football–give FM a chance this year. Being on the bench ruling the roost can be as much or more fun than wearing the boots and playing on the wing in the umpteenth version of FIFA.
Surgeon Simulator 2013 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
We finish our selection of the best (and most unknown) games of the year with another professional simulation game. There are games that turn you into a farmer or a mayor, but if there’s been one highlight of 2013, in addition to FM 2014, it’s the game that lets you walk in the shoes of a surgeon. Do you remember the board game “Operation”?Surgeon Simulator 2013 is like a realistic digital version of the classic board game, letting you experience really complicated life or death situations. Luckily, clumsiness and inexperience won’t endanger any real lives.
Broaden your gaming horizons
Even though not of these games made it to the top spot in terms of sale, they’re definitely worth looking at if you want something fun and different. It might not be easy to ignore the marketing push for some of the most popular games, but give these games a try–there might be a new gamer inside of you that even you don’t know about!
Have you tried any of the games we’ve suggested? Which ones?