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The character Elizabeth, in the video game BioShock Infinite. AP Photo /2K Games / Irrational Games
The character Elizabeth, in the video game BioShock Infinite. AP Photo /2K Games / Irrational Games
Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. AP Photo / Namco Bandai
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. AP Photo / Namco Bandai
A scene from the mystery video game Gone Home.
A scene from the mystery video game Gone Home.

Top 10 games of 2013

From BioShock Infinite to Assassin's Creed IV, here are the top 10 best video games of 2013.

1 BioShock Infinite

The latest adventure from the provocateur Ken Levine asks tough questions about bloody American history. And it doesn’t provide easy answers – indeed, the more you learn about its setting, the flying city of Columbia, the loopier it gets. No other game this year bent my brain as much. (Irrational Games, for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)

2 Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Stealth and swordplay have always been at the core of this series, but Black Flag adds a new element: engrossing sea battles, as you and your pirate-ship crew romp across the 1730s Caribbean. (Ubisoft Montreal, for the PlayStation 3&4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC)

3 Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

The Japanese studios behind movies such as Spirited Away and games such as Dragon Quest collaborated on this epic about a kid transported to an alternate universe. It has all the pleasures of a role-playing game with the charm and humour of great anime. (Studio Ghibli and Level-5, for the PlayStation 3)

4 Tomb Raider

The video-game icon Lara Croft gets an origin story, as the shipwrecked heroine fights for survival on an island full of goons. As the teenage Lara evolves from helpless to deadly, you can’t help but think this kid’s got a bright future. (Crystal Dynamics, for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)

5 The Last of Us

This journey across a post-apocalyptic United States presents one nerve-racking confrontation after another – but it will be best remembered for the smartly written, subtly acted relationship between its protagonists, a bitter survivor and the lively young girl he’s to protect. (Naughty Dog, for the PlayStation 3)

6 Gone Home

Remember that feeling of returning to your childhood home only to realise you don’t know anyone who lives there? That’s the mood captured by this sweet, sad yet hopeful mystery, told entirely through the things a family has left behind. (The Fullbright Company, for PC)

7 Device 6

This witty mystery reminded me of the classic text adventures of the 1980s – except now, you have to rotate your iPad to follow along. The elegant design, with just a smattering of pictures and music, makes the creepy story all the more effective. (Simogo, for iOS)

8 The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Nintendo opens up the magical land of Hyrule – and its darker twin, Lorule – with a storyline that invites more exploration in the most challenging Zelda in years. (Nintendo, for the Nintendo 3DS)

9 Peggle 2

The killer app for Microsoft’s new Xbox One turns out to be ... a juiced-up pachinko game. But fans of the original will get what they were hoping for: a game so addictive that, even after bouncing through 120 levels, you want more. (PopCap Games, for Xbox One)

10 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

This massively multiplayer online game was so poorly received in 2010 that its publisher pulled the plug and rebuilt it from the ground up. The result is nearly a miracle: a lush online world so compelling that even antisocial gamers can enjoy it. (Square Enix, for PlayStation 3, PC)

* Associated Press

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