It may be best known as the year the PS4 and Xbox One went head to head for the hearts and wallets of console gamers. But 2013 was also a pretty good year for the games themselves. Here are our 10 favorites.
Irrational Games/2K Games
1. BioShock Infinite —
In Elizabeth, "Bioshock Infinite" provided a companion character who made players truly care about what happened to her.
2. Tomb Raider —
Lara Croft was revitalized and her origins explored in the rebooted "Tomb Raider." Gamers learned to grow into her moves and abilities just as Lara did -- a calculated risk by developers that paid off.
From Square Enix
3. Need for Speed Rivals —
Street-racing outlaw or risk-taking police officer? "Need for Speed Rivals" let you play both sides with high-performance cars and online friends from around the world.
From Ghost Games/Electronic Arts
4. Saints Row IV —
Want some shooter action but nothing too serious? How about nothing even vaguely serious? "Saints Row IV" pokes fun at everything from the presidency to game shows. Completely tongue in cheek, but full of amazing action.
From Volition/Deep Silver
5. Super Mario 3D World —
Mario's turned into a raccoon, so why not a cat? Mario, Luigi, and their pals returned for "Super Mario 3D World." The foes are familiar, but the 3D landscape makes for fun new exploration and new powers liven things up as you rescue fairies (not the Princess).
6. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag —
It's a pirate's life in the fourth installment in this wildly popular franchise. Set in the 18th-century West Indies, the game invites players to set sail for adventure and interact with famous pirates like Blackbeard while contending with warring British and Spanish ships and other privateers.
7. Animal Crossing: New Leaf —
As mayor of a small town full of animal characters, "Animal Crossing: New Leaf," for Nintendo's 3DS will soak up huge chunks of time as you plant, build, collect and shop your way to municipal glory. Every day in the game is like a day in your real life -- something different is always going on.
8. Splinter Cell Blacklist —
The master of stealth, Sam Fisher, returns in a mix of high-powered action and shadowy secret missions in "Splinter Cell Blacklist." Spanning the globe, gamers can develop their own style of play, making each run-through unique.
9. Skylanders SWAP Force —
How can the merging of action figures and video games get better? Let players mix and match powers. "Skylanders SWAP Force" introduced new characters that gamers could use to create whatever power combos they could imagine.
10. Injustice: Gods Among Us —
Probably the best fighting game of the year, "Injustice: Gods Among Us" layered an exciting story from DC Comics over "Mortal Kombat"-like moves to create a wonderfully enjoyable title. Despite no fatalities, the new super moves are awesome.