Top Video Game Picks of 2013 

Great video games never get old

Forget the clever cliches and silly superlatives that try to link the winter season with games. This is the guide to some of the best games of 2013 and ones that may bring hardcore gamers a little post-holiday joy and sleepless hours as they move through the dark, cold months glued to a PC or console.

Now, of course, it needs to be said that 2013 saw the release of two new consoles--the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. If you want to put your mitts on one of those, and can find them at retailers (and can afford the hefty price tags), that might not leave much room for games. But if you are looking to pick up one or two, then here are a few suggestions. The games presented here are in no particular order.

If you do decide to invest the $499 to buy the newest in the next-gen consoles, then you might want to look at a title like Ryse: Son of Rome or Forza 5. Both titles showcase the technological advancements of the new system, both feature stunning graphics and have the challenge that gamers are craving. The television commercials that have been airing are just the tip of the visual iceberg.

The Killzone series has long been a staple on the PlayStation, and Killzone: Shadow Fall showcases the new DualShock 4 controller, as well as giving gamers a visual treat. The PS4 clocks in at $100 less than the Xbox One and might be a viable option for the gamer who wants to enter the next-gen zone but check out the features on either before picking one over the other. And there is a PlayStation counterpart to the Microsoft Forza titles--yep, what would a next-gen console be without a Gran Turismo title? GT 6 rolls out for the PS3, but don't be surprised if the graphics are boosted a bit and a PS4 version is also released.

Other Titles to Look For:

Battlefield 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC, 360 and PS3): Unless you have been living under a rock, if you have seen the TV ads for Battlefield 4, chances are you have been left with your jaw hanging open as a soft "woah!" has escaped your lips.

Call of Duty: Ghosts (PS4, Xbox One): With more than $1 billion in retail sales on the first day, CoD: Ghosts certainly has the buzz, and the developer on this title--Infinity Ward--has the pedigree to deliver the goods gamers want. The gameplay is outstanding, the emotional content is in place, and there is always the multiplayer to really extend the life of the title.

Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One): OK, this is a zombie game--and zombies are always popular--but what sets Dead Rising 3 apart is the weapon and character customization. Beware of load times, and the violence hits a new high with this one.

Tired of the run-and-gun titles? How about some sports to brighten up the snow season?

Madden NFL 25 (360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4): A new mode powers this graphically pleasing offering and gives the Madden series some more pizzazz.

MLB 13: The Show (PS3, Vita): New attention to detail, a new mode and sterling graphic elements are certain to please the most discerning of baseball fans.

Want to put on the cape and tights and play superhero? Then maybe Batman: Arkham Origins is up your alley. This Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U title is a prequel to the other two Arkham titles, featuring a younger Batman, and has a few problems--but you certainly can't complain about the graphics and the chance to battle some of Gotham's legendary villains.

Pikmin 3 (Wii U) offers wonderful graphics. OK, it's been 10 years since a Pikmin title, but this may well be an update that offers what players have been waiting for. Pikmin are small explorers searching for food on a planet that is similar to Earth (maybe it is Earth and maybe it isn't). This is a captivating and fun title.

Assassin's Creed might not be everyone's cup of covert mayhem, but Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3) features some stellar graphic elements and is a rich period piece that continues to march the series down through history.

Of course, there are games for just about everyone, from a Scribblenauts title to a 3DS Zelda game, from LEGO to more zombies and a new Grand Theft Auto, not to mention its clones. And the sports fans might take to the next iterations of NCAA football, the 2K basketball franchise, soccer and NHL games. This list barely scratches the surface.

The year was a decent one, although the hubbub over the release of the new consoles may have eclipsed releases of some game franchises. Re-releases and bundled games, like the complete Elder Scrolls V, will also cater to the fantasy fan while laying the groundwork for one of 2014's more anticipated massively multiplayer games, Elder Scrolls Online.

And you can bet that developers will be pushing out all sorts of new titles in 2014 to take advantage of the graphic capabilities of the next-gen consoles.

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