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Games of the Year 2013

John McCarroll's Awards
5) Shin Megami Tensei IV (3DS)
Compared to previous games in the series, Shin Megami Tensei IV let me down. It was broken, easily abusable, and didn't have the story to keep it going. I loved it. It reminded me of playing a turn-based game from Tri-Ace and demon fusing is as strong as ever. Despite its weak points — story and abusability — there's a lot of charm to be found in Atlus' 3DS adventure. Now here's to hoping for a new Digital Devil Saga...

4) Dragon's Crown (PS3, PS Vita)
I got to play as a giant dwarf who smashed things over and over again. This is the sequel to the Capcom Dungeons & Dragons arcade games I always wanted. I wasn't let down. Additionally, Atlus and Vanillaware have supported this title with a TON of post-launch content, including Vita/PS3 cross-play and a new difficulty level. Hack-and-slash to your heart's content.

3) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Duel Destinies (3DS)
Phoenix Wright and his ilk have always had their ups and downs, and despite an overall quality adventure, I don't think they've ever put me on a roller coaster like this one. Despite the dips in quality, the aggregate is more than good enough to make up for the slow-as-molasses episode two and the a-little-bit-too-crazy-even-for-Phoenix-Wright episode five. Plus, what other game lets you play a piece of DLC where you defend an orca whale from a murder charge?

2) Tales of Xillia (PS3)
I'm always glad to see a new Tales game hit North American shores, and Xillia was no different. Jude and Milla's story is one worth watching, on top of the quality combat that's as fast-paced as ever. Combine that with real customization, a rarity in the Tales world, and Namco Bandai has a winner on their hands. If you haven't played it yet, get to it, especially since a sequel is slated for this year.

1) Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
I've always found Fire Emblem to be a little bit tough to approach — permadeath is a great concept for the super hardcore, but SRPGs are a place where I like to take things at a much more causal pace. Enter Fire Emblem: Awakening, where top-notch strategy gameplay meets difficulty that's as casual or as hardcore as you want it. Combine that with a fantastical marriage system and a ton of missions and it's tough to beat a package this complete.

Overall Awards
Traditional RPG Action RPG Graphic Adventure Strategy RPG Indie RPG MMORPG Port or Re-Release Downloadable Content (DLC) Best Combat Best Visuals Best Sound Best Story Best Non-RPG
And the winner is...
Best RPG of 2013
Editors' Picks
Andrew Barker Neal Chandran Derek Heemsbergen Abraham Ashton Liu John McCarroll Stephen Meyerink Kyle E. Miller Zackery Parkerson Mike Salbato Robert Steinman Brian Tomlinson John Tucker Dave Yeager
Reader's Choice
Reader's Choice Best RPG of 2013






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