The year 2013 came and went in a flash, but despite what your top games of the past year are – here’s a collection of the top rated retail games on ThisisXbox.com for the whole of 2013. We reviewed around 110 titles all in all (not including DLC, Controllers, Headsets, Books) and maybe some of the best retail games going by our opinion might surprise you! You’ll have to let us know in the comments box below and do remember that this list does not include any Xbox LIVE Arcade titles.
As well as the title, below are brief snippets from Xbox One and Xbox 360 reviews – to read them further just click on any of the titled links and a new page will open. During this year we changed our review scoring from a standard 1 – 10, into a percentage based mark up to 100%. Scores have been converted to a percentage.
Tomb Raider – Scored 100%
Reviewed March 7th 2013 // Xbox 360
One of the key foundations for a video-game to make you enthralled by its excellence is to captivate you as a player. Tomb Raider not only captivates you by its riveting story and plot lines, but it emotionally charges you to have a need to succeed with Lara’s great overall plan. It’s not often that a game can come along and really make you feel involved in the outcome – and Tomb Raider goes all out to make sure you have the greatest experience following Lara Croft on her journey of survival. Elements of suspense, emotionally charged reactions and a fearful Lara who often seems to be in a situation that requires quick-thinking combined with brutality will make you sit on the edge of your seat.
Bioshock Infinite – Scored 100%
Reviewed April 4th 2013 // Xbox 360
Bioshock Infinite is an enchanting tale of prophecies, corrupt kingdoms, unlikely heroes, rebellious revolutions, and a yearning for freedom. But for all that the game has to offer in terms of story; it is Elizabeth that rises above all. Her tale of captivity and then new found freedom is truly heart-warming. The first moments after freeing her from captivity will put a smile on your face, as you watch her really enjoying life for the first time. You almost don’t want to pull her away from it to advance to the next part of the story. I’ve never seen a character made this way before, with no battle prowess whatsoever, yet not so timid that she’s completely useless.
Rayman Legends – Scored 95%
Reviewed August 26th 2013 // Xbox 360
Ubisoft are king of the platformers when it comes to capturing the presentation, artwork and design all wrapped up into a fun and inviting adventure as this. Reviews aren’t usually started on the basis of the visual and graphical quality of the game here on thisisxbox.com, but because Rayman Legends is one of the most striking and wonderfully aesthetic games portraying a platforming fantasy world, the hand drawn visuals, the 3D models, improvements to lighting in comparison to Origins, and completely amazing level design – it had to be done. Everything from the smallest plant to the fierce Dragons, the backdrop scenery and the whole magical realm that lies within the Rayman Legends universe is not only beautiful, but imagined in the greatest detail. It’s the Narnia of oil paintings.
Gears of War: Judgment – Scored 95%
Reviewed March 18th 2013 // Xbox 360
With a powerful story of justifying a young Kilo Squads actions where it’s a situation of obey orders and possibly die, or “trust your guts” – this just had me engrossed in the action as well as the decisions each character took on their journey to reach their conclusion. Judgment is by far the most action-packed Gears game to date and many of the Chapters featured a Horde style defend and attack mission to intensify the gameplay experience further – it’s full of surprises and laden with improvements to enable you to keep up and involved with all the action. With the additional challenges that change how you play the campaign through Declassify Missions – I sure hope that this is a sign of future things to come for the Gears of War franchise.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes – Scored 90%
Reviewed December 4th 2013 // Xbox 360
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is a great addition to the series and for me as a long term fan of the LEGO game series one of the best examples of their style of games. There is so much to do in this game from the story itself to play through to free playing the levels with new characters to just free roaming around the world exploring and gathering collectibles. The Marvel universe and all its many characters are recreated lovingly in this game with great respect and knowledge of the material whilst also keeping to the traditional attention to detail that the LEGO games are known for. I completely loved this game and can easily return to experience it all again.
Zoo Tycoon – Scored 90%
Reviewed November 30th 2013 // Xbox One
Zoo Tycoon is a game which let’s you release you imagination and quite literally build your dream Zoo. It’s a game you can play alone or invite (up to) four of your friends via Xbox LIVE to help you. Zoo Tycoon has its heart in the right place and Frontier Developments have worked hard to deliver a game that is entertaining as well as socially conscious in its efforts to demonstrate that running a Zoo isn’t just about displaying exotic animals for Joe Public to stare at whilst we (the player) make a quick pound or two. Frontier Developments have ensured that Zoo Tycoon does a stand up job of educating players about the animals in the game including their natural habitats and behavioural habits.
XCOM Enemy Within – Scored 90%
Reviewed November 22nd 2013 // Xbox 360
XCom Enemy Within is a massively deep game on multiple levels. As a turn based strategy game I have not played anything else that even comes close to the level of detail of gameplay that it contains. From the micro management of everything in the game to the combat and adapting tactics on the fly to meeting the challenge thrown at you both in the missions you take as well as the added pressure of having to keep the member countries of XCom all happy and calm or risk them leaving the program and taking their resources with them. Everything in XCom Enemy Within revolves around the choices you make as a player, from the missions you choose based on gathering a particular resource of extra soldiers, staff or money or lowering the panic levels in one nation having consequences for the nation whose mission you chose not to take.
NHL 14 – Scored 90%
Reviewed October 25th 2013 // Xbox 360
So to sum up, I will say that NHL 14 is not only remarkable, great fun, easily accessible, intuitive, and amazing value for money, but it’s also a sports title that should be held in high regard as a placeholder that all sports games should emulate. I would go as far as to say that NHL 14 is EA Sports’ best current title. NHL 15 should be one to really look out for once the title arrives on the next generation.
FIFA 14 – Scored 90%
Reviewed October 10th 2013 // Xbox 360
With FIFA 14, EA have provided what I’ve been hankering after for a long time. A game which doesn’t rely on gimmicks or Hollywood features, but instead stands on its own two feet by way of immersive, engaging and ultimately realistic game play. This year the gamer feels more in touch with the on pitch action than ever before and I’m sorry to say that Pro-Evo lovers have got at least one more year to wait before they’re back on top. Fifa, indisputably, is still on top. Long live the king.
Metro Last Light – Scored 90%
Reviewed May 13th 2013 // Xbox 360
Metro: Last Light is the direct sequel to Metro 2033, that was released in 2010 and is a dark and dismal tale of the continued survival of humans in the Moscow underground. As a story in its own right you can easily pick up the plot without confusion if you have never played the first game in the series. Within this new Metro outing you continue the adventure as Artyom, where your objective now as a soldier in this sequel is to save the world around you, delve deeper into the tunnels as you brave a deadly evil; and the threat of civil war with the survivors from the catastrophic events could even lead to the end of humanity itself in the aftermath!
So, that completes our top ten games of 2013! If you fancy going back another year you can check out our top ten games of 2012 right here.