Best game 2013: 10th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards nominees
It's been a great year for gaming and it is about to get even better for gamers with the imminent November launch of both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. With so many games launched this year, including GTA V which broke seven world records, it was no easy task whittling them down to just five.
After numerous discussions and deliberations, we give you the five best games of the last 12 months that made the cut in the Best Game category.
Beyond: Two Souls
Beyond: Two Souls was released in October exclusively for Playstation 3. And it definitely split the pack. Gamers and critics alike had strong views on whether it was top drawer or bottom of the pile stuff. It may divide opinion, but we think it is utterly brilliant, and a genuinely engaging emotional thrill ride that represents a new level for in-game acting and storytelling.
READ: Beyond: Two Souls review
Quantic Dream went all out, hiring Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe to take up lead roles in the title. With them on board, the French company created an invested, emotive story, delivering it with a true A-list finesse. This game dares to go where games haven't gone before and we applaud it for that.
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 was announced in November last year, making it the oldest title in this year's shortlist. But it's stood the test of time and is an undeniably superb first person shooter, one that we'd pick over any other released in the months that followed.
The game does more than just fix the issues of its predecessor, it went far beyond anything the series has imagined before, and elevated the whole idea of open world shooter to new heights.
READ: Far Cry 3 review
This game exceeded our expectations and instead of being overshadowed by the likes of Halo and Call of Duty, it rewards you with an engaging story, absolutely gorgeous graphics and gameplay that has been more than polished and improved from the previous efforts in every way. It's a very worthy contender in this category.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V was released in September to an eager audience. It's grossed $1billion in the three days - the fastest ever. But just because it sold a lot doesn't give it an immediate sticker of approval, this is a game that earned its place in this year's shortlist, because it's such a great game.
Rockstar North has squeezed every last ounce of graphical juice out of the can and the three character setup - a key point of difference compared to older titles - is a triumph, thanks to brilliant writing and acting. GTA V is a wild ride of a game and it will charm you, amuse you, in some cases possibly offend you, but you won't be able to stay away - it will have you digging away for a long time to come.
It is, without a doubt, the best GTA to date; a technical marvel that pushes the boundaries of what is possible on the current-gen consoles. The PS3 and Xbox 360's swan song, if you will.
The Last Of Us
The Last Of Us, the second Sony Playstation 3 exclusive in the shortlist, goes to show just how strong a year 2013 has been for Sony ahead of its PS4 announcement.
It's a game that's not without flaws, but it's pretty close to perfection. With everything this game gets right, it sets one high bar for the next-gen to better. It's testament to the PS3's capabilities and Naughty Dog, the game's developer, has worked magic here to create a game that looks incredible.
READ: The Last Of Us review
The storyline had us hooked almost immediately, the multiplayer is truly enjoyable and the graphics are just stunning. The Last Of Us really is a modern classic and a game you must own. High praise for a highly deserved title.
Real Racing 3
Real Racing 3 might look like the "odd one out" in the category, because it's an app. No console required. Free to download for iPhone, iPad and Android it presents a significant leap in the world of smartphone and tablet gaming and it is closer to an Xbox 360 or PS3 title than we have seen. Not only in graphics, but also in gameplay. We're utterly hooked - and that's why it's made the cut.
READ: Real Racing 3 review
We didn't spend a penny when we reviewed it and it is the best game we have on our iPad. There is a tremendous amount to get stuck into and different types of races in each league, plus even the lowest end of the vehicle scale races are exciting. Real Racing 3 ticks all the boxes, it's graphically stunning and with a non-intrusive freemium payment system, it is the perfect display of just how exciting smartphones and tablets can be.
Voting for your favourite
Voting in the 10th annual Pocket-lint Awards is now open. You can let us know which one of these great devices should win the Best Game 2013 award and give us your verdict about all the other tech across the 12 select categories. To vote, all you have to do is visit pocket-lint.com/awards.
Winners will be announced at the exclusive event in London on 28 November in association with O2 and Hotwire. For now, keep an eye on the Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2013 hub for all the latest on how the voting works, who the elite judges are and the complete 10th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards shortlist.