(This article takes into consideration those games that have release dates set for 2013; some may change or be delayed, but I picked the ones that should be in the Top 5 for the rest of 2013).

2013 has already shown the potential to be a great year for gaming. We’ve already experienced the releases of Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider but there are a whole host of games still waiting for release which will tempt any gamer’s pallet. Not all of the games listed are contenders for ‘Game of the Year’ but that doesn’t mean they aren’t exceptional games to watch out for and play. E3 is almost here, along with it showcasing the latest games on the floor to be expected in 2013/14. However, which are the 5 games that you should look forward to in 2013? I will explore the games I believe are the “day one” buys for 2013!

1) Grand Theft Auto V (Release date: 17th September 2013) (Platform: PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360)

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This is a title that was undoubtedly going to be on this list as soon as it was announced. One of the most anticipated games of 2013, Rockstar is back with the next installment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise. It was only a few days ago that we were given our first taste of the GTA V trailers featuring our main protagonist(s) for the games: Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. With an incredible story and gameplay in the wait, this is one of the games that everyone needs to experience on the first day of release  (no doubt that this will be the case). This is going to be the biggest Grand Theft Auto yet, quite literally, with the map size being the combination of both Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and Red Dead Redemption maps. I was never really a fan of Grand Theft Auto IV (probably because I never liked the character, Niko Bellic) but this game looks absolutely stunning and is definitely going to be one of the games fighting for the ‘Game of the Year’ award.  Rockstar is known for the quality of games that it produces and GTA V looks to be as big and may I dare say, even better. Mark your calendars and get the pre-order under way for this game.

2) Watch Dogs (Release date: 22nd November 2013) (Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and PC)

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Personally, this is the game that caught my attention the most this year. I can only presume that many people are very excited for this. It definitely has the potential to be a strong candidate for ‘Game of the Year’ as well. Ubisoft has Assassins Creed IV ready for release as well this year, but more attention is on its new tittle, Watch Dogs.  It was only a few months ago back at the Sony Conference where we first saw Watch Dogs in action. I was not only impressed by the details in graphics but especially in the gameplay. It showed the potential of this game and the incredible experience that it could deliver to us. One thing which will make Watch Dogs interesting is that it’s the only game on this list to feature on the next generation of consoles. We will be able to witness the true potential of the game and see what its capabilities are, whilst running next generation software. Ubisoft has a very good investment in this game, and with the potential that it has, Watch Dogs is one to look out for.

3) The Last of Us (Release date: June 14 2013) (Platform: PlayStation 3)

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The Last of Us is one of the two exclusive titles on this list. From developer Naughty Dogs (The Uncharted Series) The Last of Us is a third-person shooter which has been dubbed as an “action survival horror” game. It is an interesting concept and has caught the eye of PlayStation gamers since its announcement. In the game you take control of the protagonist Joel with your A.I ally Ellie supporting. This is similar to Bioshock Infinite’s Booker and Elizabeth combo, which I really enjoyed the most out of the game. Hopefully, The Last of Us is equally as good and doesn’t have poor A.I. The concept of the game sounds like a Hollywood mash-up of films, following ideas from I Am Legend and 28 Days Later. I am really interested by this game and the genre of the game will be interesting to see if it can reach out to a wider audience.  This is an exclusive,of course, so hopefully PlayStation 3 users enjoy the experience they get and it is definitely a game which should be looked into. Joining a range of PlayStation exclusives, hopefully this one is as great as others that have been before it.

4) Batman Arkham Origins (Release date: October 25th 2013) (Platform: PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita  and PC)

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We’ve played Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City which were both excellent games (both receiving ‘Game of the Year’ editions). We can now look forward to the third installment in the franchise in the form of Arkham Origins. The title was announced earlier in April and as a fan of the two previous games, I can only hope this delivers more of the same gaming experience.  I have my reservations about the game and I decided to place it on the list rather than Assassins Creed IV as it still has the potential to be a great game. The introduction of multiplayer in the game is worrying as I believe that these games should be made for the single player experience. Hopefully it doesn’t replicate the disappointment of  games like Tomb Raider and Bioshock 2 in the multiplayer department. Personally if they were to add any kind of multiplayer experience, it should be a  co-op mode, which could fit perfectly into a game like this. The other thing which has my reservations is the departure of Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Mark Hamill (The Joker), whose voice acting was incredible in the previous installments. Hopefully this doesn’t cause problems and suitable voice actors are found to replace them (much like what I hope with the Metal Gear Series following David Hayter’s departure). The question here is, will the game replicate the success of the previous installments and be a challenger for ‘Game of the Year’?

5) Pokemon X and Y (Release date October 2013) (Platform: Nintendo 3DS)

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The final game has to be on my list and is possibly one of the most dearest childhood memories for many individuals. This is one that everyone must try this year! Pokemon is back once again, featuring in the new versions X and Y. What makes it better is that this is the first time the main franchise will be released on the Nintendo 3DS. (Yes, 3D Pokemon are here!).  The sixth generation will add a hundred new Pokemon I assume, to an already incredible roster available. Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 were fine additions to the DS and an excellent way to send the franchise off from the system. Hopefully it will be  an even better game on the Nintendo 3DS. We’ve all been used to seeing our Pokemon come to life in 2D but after years of wait the 3D experience will be finally here. Pokemon won’t challenge for ‘Game of the Year’ but everyone who is a gamer has a place in their heart for the franchise and this is a game which any person must try.

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