2013 was a good year. Not the best, not a fantastic year. Just good.
“2013 was a fantastic year for gaming.”
This will be a fairly common way many Best Of lists will begin. I don’t doubt that some will even proclaim 2013 as the best year in gaming. On the surface, there are many reasons to support this argument: two consoles launch, a third got its killer app, a handheld surged forward in sales, indies continued to rise, and the dawn of new IPs began.
But here’s the thing. 2013 was not the best year for gaming. It was merely a good year, not a great one.
The “best year for gaming argument” is entirely silly. It comes up on a yearly basis, only to be repeated the following year. 2011 was the “best year” because we saw games like Skyrim and Uncharted 3 impress us. 2012 was the best year because we saw Nintendo enter the HD era, Halo returned, and The Walking Dead stole our hearts. 2014 will the best year because such and such and so and so. 2015 will be the best because…
I think you get the point.
As for whether or not 2013 was fantastic, well, about that…
There was the Alien: Colonial Marines controversy, dealing with always-on consoles, the closure of a once beloved studio in LucasArts, the continued trend of micro-transactions in games, the boggled mess of a launch(es) that was SimCity and Battlefield 4, a complete lack of any mind-blowing launch game for the PS4 or Xbox One, and most recently has seen YouTubers lose their source of income due to silly copyright claims.
All of that happened in the world of gaming in 2013, plus many other no good very bad things.
Look, if you like video games, this was a good year. A total of three consoles launched: the Ouya, PS4, and Xbox One. Each brought with them pretty nifty exclusives (though Towerfall is no longer an Ouya exclusive). Some fantastic games came out this year, some getting more attention than others (my beloved Rayman Legends is being grossly overlooked, such a crime). But everything didn’t come up roses. There were tragedies, controversies, and drama. That’s why 2013 was not the best year for gaming, nor was it a fantastic year.
It was a good year. I look forward to another good year in 2014.