Favorites and Tops and Bests Oh My

by stavrosthewonderchicken
Games and Gaming, News

The votes are in, the dust has settled, the payola and freebies have been distributed, the whistleblowers have been silenced, and it’s time to look at the Best Of 2013. Not the best games, exactly, but the Best Roundups of Best Games. Because being relentlessly meta is what we’re all about here at LevelsOfDetail. Or maybe we’re not, and I just want you to think that we are. Which I have messed up by telling you so. OR HAVE I.

Look, let’s begin again, before I get off on another tangent. Without more ado, then: here are some of the most interesting, attractive, amusing, insightful, excessive or obviously bullshit lists of the Best Games of 2013, gathered together in one place for your perusing pleasure.


Coming in at number 15 is Wired’s 10 Best Videogams of 2013. It continues to amaze that a magazine so interested (at least back in the day) in design could have such a hideous, hard-to-use website, and their insistence on using the Clunkiest Gallery Implementation Ever in this and many of their other, similarly listicle-y articles means they just barely make this list, and they’re cruising for a brisk spanking right on the bum.


Next comes Greg Miller of Giant Bomb’s Top 10 Games of 2013, if only because his nomination of Peggle 2 as the #8 game of the year, with the explanation ‘You don’t like Peggle? Go fuck yourself’ is soooo edgy and stereotype-defyingly masculine that you’ve got to be impressed. I mean, come on, just look at that possibly-ironic arched eyebrow in the photo. Rroowwwr! Also, I don’t like Peggle.


Number 13 with a bullet is Forbes Magazine’s Best Video Games of 2013, because what the hell Forbes Magazine reviews videogames? I? Wha? The… How? I look forward to the Christian Science Monitor’s 5-part investigative series on the top buttplugs for the money.


Kill Screen Daily recently launched a disappointingly half-baked redesign that kinda puts the boots to the understated elegance of their old layout. The writing’s still pretty good, though, so even though it makes me cranky every damn time I see the new front page of their site, they come in at number 12 with The Best of 2013 / Part 2 / Part 3 and their Year-end Roundup. I am compelled to admit at this juncture that there are an enormous number of things that make me cranky.


USGamer is a relatively recent addition to the fray, and it doesn’t quite feel like it has found its feet yet. Aping the execrable (if entertaining) Buzzfeed with its Instant Reaction Buttons (including Socratic Discourse Enablers like ‘Dead Horse,’ ‘Do Not Want,’ and ‘Meh’) knocks it right out of the top 10, so: number 11 is 2013 in Review.




Metacritic is made by robots. Shiny plastic robots with guts made of molybdenum. Not the sexy kind of robots, but the scary, spidery, arms-whipping-around-dangerously kind of robots. Their robotic data-crunching makes Metacritic’s Best Games of 2013 number 10.


Ben ‘Nickname’ Croshaw’s adherence to a schtick is admirable and seemingly eternal. But talking funny fast in an amusing accent is something I’d do too if I hadn’t spent decades cruelly eradicating the last vestiges of my northern Canadian twang. For his frequent references to poop and testicles, Zero Punctuation’s Top 5 comes in at number 9.


Gamasutra may not be pretty or thin or rich or sexy or well-shaven above or below the neck, but they are dependable and they get the job done, damn it. For that stolid reliability, their Best of 2013 comes in at number 8.


Why does linking to Kotaku make me feel dirty? I dunno. But it does. So dirty, number 7, so dirty.


Eurogamer just doesn’t seem very Euro. Are these Brits, trying in their beer-battered tweedy way to assume a sexy, rakish, tobacco-stained, delightfully trashy eurotude? I mean, that blue is attractive, sure, but I’m not sure I can approve. Still, even though the words ‘euro’ and ‘gamer’ should never be joined in linguistic matrimony, holy or otherwise, Eurogamer’s Game of the Year and Readers’ Top 50 Games are well worth your precious time.




This Ars piece is up to Ars Technica’s usual high standards: The 20 Best and Three Most Disappointing Games of 2013. I refuse to answer to allegations that I’m only including it so I could say ‘ars piece.’ Heh.


AVClub birthed the Gameological site a year or two back, then unceremoniously reabsorbed it back into its digital womb a few months ago. The upside to this is not having to type Gameological any more — because that’s just hard work, man — and the downside is, I suppose, that now we’ve all got the idea that the AVClub has a womb stuck in our heads. Not that there’s anything intrinsically wrong about having a womb, of course, but still. Two AVClub pieces get the LOD nod: Our Favorite Games of 2013 Parts One and Two.


PC Gamer is red and black. It is more Britishy than Europonomous. It is like a comfortable pair of shoes made of words and pictures, which you wouldn’t think would be comfortable or useful or anything other than annoying. But you’d be wrong, friend. Slip your feet into PCGamer and go for a gamey walk: Game of the Year Awards, Game of the Year, Game of the Year Personal Choices.


RockPaperShotgun is also Britishoid, a trend that is beginning to worry me, frankly, and their crazy mixed-up what-the-fuck-is-advent-anyway calendar conceit for their yearly best of lists is kinda twee and mildly irritating (but less twee and mildly irritating than the rapidly-becoming-tiresome premise of this very article), but they focus on PC games, which is good, and they tend to write amusingly, which is good, and they generally stay away from commentary about television, which is good. It’s all, as they say, good. So go and try to figure out what this calendar thing is all about.


Polygon bothers some people with the splashy bigboned way it has been designed and put together. I sympathize, but me, I think it’s splendid. I respect that they’re trying to push deliberate aesthetics in the video game journalism world as much as good writing. Sometimes it’s all a bit busy and Just Too Much, but when you’ve got something as pretty as the recently-published 2013 Game Of The Year launch page, you’ve just got to stand back and give ’em a wee golf clap before diving in. Sure, parallax is sooooo 2013, but for the moment: bravo, I say.

So there we have it, friends and neighbours. The List of The Best of the Best of Lists of Best Games, in one handy, pocket-sized page. Provided you have big enough pockets, I guess.

Have you got a Best of List that belongs with the other Best of Best Ofs? Let us know!


stavros thewonderchicken has written 125 FGEC articles.

Founder and Chief Ornithological Officer of Wonderchicken Industries™. I run LevelsOfDetail, Gamefilter and MefightClub (the mothership), and do not-gaming internet things at and I love you all.

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