2013’s best games, according to the people who make games

4 min read
91

GDC

Every year we see a swathe of “best of the year” video game lists, selected either by readers, or by people who play a lot of games and write about them for a living. GDC’s annual awards are a bit different, because they’re selected by people who make games. Here are the games game makers think are the best from the last year.

As is expected, it’s a significantly more diverse line-up of games than your usual “best of list,” though there’s a lot of love shown for many of the usual suspects; The Last of Us, GTA V, Tearaway and indie darlings Gone Home, Paper’s Please and the Stanley Parable.

Game of the Year

Gone Home (The Fullbright Company)
Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games)
The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog/Sony)
Super Mario 3D World (Nintendo EAD Tokyo/Nintendo)
Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix)

Honorable Mentions: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo), Papers, Please (Lucas Pope), The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe), Tearaway (Media Molecule/Sony).

Innovation Award

DEVICE 6 (Simogo)
Gone Home (The Fullbright Company)
Papers, Please (Lucas Pope)
Tearaway (Media Molecule/Sony)
The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe)

Honorable Mentions: Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons (Starbreeze/505 Games), Candy Box (Aniwey), Kerbal Space Program (Squad), The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog/Sony), Proteus (Ed Key/David Kanaga).

Best Debut

Blue Manchu (Card Hunter)
The Fullbright Company (Gone Home)
Galactic Cafe (The Stanley Parable)
Squad (Kerbal Space Program)
Undead Labs (State Of Decay)

Honorable Mentions: Facepalm Games (The Swapper), Frogmind Games (Badland), Grinding Gear Games (Path Of Exile), Suspicious Developments (Gunpoint), Warner Bros. Games Montreal (Batman: Arkham Origins).

Best Design

Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games)
The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog/Sony)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
Super Mario 3D World (Nintendo EAD Tokyo/Nintendo)
Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix)

Honorable Mentions: DOTA 2 (Valve) Pokemon X & Y (Game Freak/Nintendo), Rogue Legacy (Cellar Door Games), The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe), SteamWorld Dig (Image & Form), TowerFall (Matt Thorson/Miniboss/Alec Holowka).

Best Handheld/Mobile Game

DEVICE 6 (Simogo)
Fire Emblem: Awakening (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
Ridiculous Fishing (Vlambeer)
Tearaway (Media Molecule/Sony)

Honorable Mentions: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo), 868-HACK (Michael Brough), Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (Next Level Games/Nintendo), Plants Vs. Zombies 2 (PopCap/Electronic Arts), The Room Two (Fireproof Games), SteamWorld Dig (Image & Form).

Best Visual Art

BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games)
DmC (Ninja Theory/Capcom)
The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog/Sony)
Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch (Level 5/Namco Bandai)
Tearaway (Media Molecule/Sony)

Honorable Mentions: Don’t Starve (Klei Entertaintment), Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games), Papers, Please (Lucas Pope), Puppeteer (SCE Japan/Sony), Ryse: Son Of Rome (Crytek/Microsoft), Wonderful 101 (Platinum Games/Nintendo).

Best Narrative

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons (Starbreeze/505 Games)
Gone Home (The Fullbright Company)
The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog/Sony)
Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix)
The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe)

Honorable Mentions: Attack Of The Friday Monsters (Millennium Kitchen/Level 5), BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games), The Cave (DoubleFine Games), Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch (Level 5/Namco Bandai), Shadowrun Returns (Harebrained Schemes).

Best Audio

BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games)
Forza Motorsport 5 (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Games)
Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games)
Saints Row IV (Volition/Deep Silver)
Tearaway (Media Molecule/Sony)

Honorable Mentions: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo), Battlefield 4 (DICE/Electronic Arts), Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft), Gone Home (The Fullbright Company), Metro: Last Light (4A Games/Deep Silver).

Best Downloadable Game

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons (Starbreeze/505 Games)
Gone Home (The Fullbright Company)
Papers, Please (Lucas Pope)
Resogun (Housemarque/Sony)
The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe)

Honorable Mentions: Guacamelee (DrinkBox Studios), Gunpoint (Suspicious Developments), State Of Decay (Undead Labs), SteamWorld Dig (Image & Form), TowerFall (Matt Thorson/Miniboss/Alec Holowka), The Wolf Among Us (Telltale Games).

Best Technology

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games)
The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog/Sony)
Killzone: Shadow Fall (Guerrilla Games/Sony)
Tearaway (Media Molecule/Sony)

Honorable Mentions: Battlefield 4 (DICE/Electronic Arts), DOTA 2 (Valve), Forza Motorsport 5 (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Games), Metro: Last Light (4A Games/Deep Silver), Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix).

The 14th Annual GDC awards will take place on March 19 this year.

Last Updated: January 10, 2014

Check Also

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild wins again at the GDC Awards

In the most unsurprising news of the day, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has clea…