2013 was a great year for fun video games. Bioshock Infinite. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Tomb Raider. The Stanley Parable. The Last of Us. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (though technically it shouldn't count because it STILL is not in open beta).
Yeah. I haven't played any of these games.
Why? One, the newest system I own is a Wii, which I rarely use, and I own a Mac instead of a PC, so my gaming options are somewhat limited. Two, I have a bad habit of watching a Let's Play of the game, thus ruining my own desire to play it once I know the entire story.
But, I still got some video games in, and the following were my favorite games I played in 2013:
5. Don't Starve
Released on April 23, 2013, I have YouTuber YOGCAST Sips to thank for introducing me to this game. The point of the game is to survive for as long as possible in the wilderness. Sure, there are some other goals to accomplish, but the main task is to survive using the items found in the world around you to build tools and machines.
This is easier said than done.
The protagonists of the game seem to always be hungry, low on health and increasingly insane. Dog things attack you every few days just to make things tougher. Your protagonist will die in this game. And when he or she does, your game is erased and you have to start over.
OK, so maybe this doesn't sound super fun. And – sometimes – it wasn't. But I did enjoy seeing how long my character could last and figuring out new things I could bid. It can be stressful at times, though, which ultimately is why this game ranked no higher than No. 5.
4. Kingdom Rush
It was released July 28, 2011, as a free flash browser game. So, yeah, it's kind of an older game.
But I love a good tower defense game, and this was my favorite I played in 2013. The graphics are well done, the gameplay is fantastic and addicting and it has great replay value as it gives you a variety of ways to take down the enemy.
It was released Sept. 25, 2012, but I had let my WoW subscription lapse at that time and didn't try the new expansion until 2013.
Being late to WoW, and having started with the Burning Crusade expansion pack (the one right before Mists of Pandaria), I still haven't leveled a character enough to enjoy most of the new content with Pandaria, but I enjoyed leveling a pandaren a bit and some of the other changes made with Pandaria. I do love WoW, though, even if I am distracted much too easily (must focus on low-level PvP gear; ooh, pet battles!; hey, let's make a new alt!) to actually ever advance the storyline much.
But, as always with WoW, eventually it became "Ahhh! This is too much of a time suck! Run away! Run away!" and I let my subscription lapse again. The newest expansion will be Warlords of Draenor. But I might be done with WoW. We'll see. I've said that before.
This expansion was released June 19, 2012. And, yes, I know that a newer expansion, Brave New World, came out this year. But I bought Gods & Kings during a ridiculous Steam sale and didn't want to spend the extra $30 on Brave New World. And by the time the new expansion went on sale, I finally stopped playing Civ and didn't need a reason to go back.
Why? Because I have a problem when it comes to Civilization games. And that problem is "just one more turn." I have never played a more addicting game than those in the Civilization series. I even wrote about it in August. I seem to really enjoy conquering the world. It's probably a good thing I'm not a general. I had a ridiculously good time playing this game for a few months this year before moving on to other games. So, stop tempting me with your Brave New World sales, Steam. Please?
It was released Sept. 14, 2012, so – again – I was a little late to the show when I started playing this in the fall. It's also, by far, the least visually stunning of the games on this list. But it also is the most fun.
It's more engaging than Don't Starve and Kingdom Rush and it's not quite as time consuming and all-engrossing as WoW and Civilization V. Like Don't Starve, if your ship is destroyed on the way to its base, your game file is erased and you have to start over. Unlike, Don't Starve it's not nearly as stressful as there is an end in sight since each game is just seven levels.
It's fairly simple, very enjoyable and each game takes just about two to three hours. Each level and the prizes within are randomly generated so every game is like a completely new game. And, best of all, it usually can be bought for super cheap. Like $5 cheap. Which makes FTL: Faster Than Light, a game from 2012, my 2013 game of the year.
• Joe Grace is the editor of Going for Gusto. He loves to receive game recommendations. You can write them in the comments. Please support Going for Gusto by liking the Facebook page at Facebook.com/GoingForGusto.
PREVIOUS POST: YouTube and 2013: The year of the fox, Harlem Shake and a doozy of a wrecking ball
SUBSCRIBE: Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. Spam free, and you can opt out at any time.