The VGU awards have been going for a couple of weeks now but the big one is finally upon us: Game of the Year. 2013 brought a ton of AAA gaming experiences to the table and saw great releases from major companies and tons of innovation. Here are VGU’s nominees for the Game of the Year.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us

Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic action/adventure game has been at the forefront of gaming news since it was first unveiled and it did not disappoint when it was released in June of this year. The game combined great action/adventure gameplay with some survival horror elements, a strong plot, interesting characters, and great graphics to make a truly memorable experience.

The tale of Joel and Ellie as they cross the ruins of the United States to find the Fireflies created a great backdrop for some serious drama and in-depth character development that is rarely in video games. The PlayStation 3-exclusive title received massive praise from fans and critics alike and has been one of 2013′s most talked about titles.

Grand Theft Auto V

GTA V

The Grand Theft Auto series has been known for allowing players to do some crazy stuff but Grand Theft Auto V thrived more so on its ability to juggle three main characters and keep the plot interesting. GTA V let players take control of three very different criminals in Trevor, Michael, and Franklin, making the game a lot of fun to play through.

The phenomenal character interactions and plot were just the tip of the iceberg however, as the game’s world featured tons of diversions and mini-games from tennis to the stock market. You could do just about anything you wanted to the do in Grand Theft Auto V and that is what made the game so unique. The game shattered tons of sales records and will go down in history as one of the biggest successes in recent history.

BioShock Infinite

BioShock

Irrational’s return to the BioShock franchise took players out of the underwater city of Rapture and into the skies with the floating city of Columbia. The new setting, new characters, and intriguing plot made Infinite a contender for this award right off the bat. Players take control of Booker DeWitt, a man with a debt who needs to rescue a girl named Elizabeth from Columbia to wipe away the debt.

The story takes tons of twists and turns that begin to make your head dizzy and just when you think you have it all figured out, the game gives you another twist to wrap your head around. The phenomenal setting, the action-packed gameplay, and the great story all make BioShock Infinite a formidable contender for Game of the Year.

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Lara Croft’s return to gaming came in the form of a reboot from Crystal Dynamics that retold the story of how she became an adventurer. Lara becomes stranded on an island with some friends and needs to overcome her fear and anxiety to rescue them from the evil that lies within the island.

The third-person action/adventure gameplay was spot on as the game’s fast-paced action kept you moving throughout and kept the story moving along at a nice pace. You can see Lara’s transformation from the beginning of the game to the end of the game and that is one of the most intriguing parts of the story. This strong return for Lara means a bright future for the Tomb Raider franchise.

Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario 3D World

Nintendo’s Wii U console has been on the industry back burner for a little while as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One geared up to be released. However, Nintendo decided to make sure that it wasn’t completely forgotten by releasing one of the best Mario titles for the Wii U this year. Super Mario 3D World is an extension of the mechanics from the phenomenal 3DS game Super Mario 3D Land and it delivers one of the best Mario experiences to date.

The great level design, multiplayer, and 3D gameplay mechanics make Super Mario 3D World one of the best titles in the Mario series and a potential game changer for Nintendo’s struggling console. Nintendo really needed this game to do well and it has been universally praised, which bodes well for the company and, of course, Mario’s future in 3D platforming games.

 

Those are VGU’s nominees for the Game of the Year for 2013. Now, it’s your turn to have a say. Vote in the reader poll below for your favorite and we’ll release our winner and the results of that poll on Friday. 

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