ZAM Game of the Year Awards (Part One)

We honor our favorite PC and console games of 2013 in part one of our awards.

Winner: League of Legends Season 3 World Championship

In early October, Riot Games hosted the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship finale. Over 30 million people watched around the globe as the final two teams, Royal Club from China and SK Telecom T1 from Korea, battled for the grand prize of $1,000,000. With a sold-out venue of 11,000 people in the Staples Center, the performance of these two teams did not disappoint and SK Telecom T1 emerged victorious.

Honorable Mentions: The International 2013 (Dota 2) hosted by Valve and Red Bull Battle Grounds (StarCraft II) hosted by Red Bull USA

Winner: Don’t Starve by Klei Entertainment

Don't Starve is an action-adventure wilderness survival game where you play as Wilson, a scientist who has been tricked by a demon and transported to a mysterious world. In order to survive on the way back home Wilson must make the best use of his environment. In the game you must survive insanity, hostile creatures and starvation. You can build structures, craft tools and more to aid in your survival.

The game is currently available for PC, Mac and Linux through Steam. Early next year it will also be available on the PlayStation 4 and will be free to download to PlayStation Plus members.

Honorable Mentions: FORCED by Beta Dwarf Entertainment and The Stanley Parable by Galactic Cafe

Winner: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn by Square Enix

The world of Eorzea was reborn this summer with the relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV. Taking place five years after the events of the original release, the players must help fend off threats of invasion while assisting in efforts to rebuild what remains of Bahamut's devastation. This MMORPG features many races and classes, crafting, guilds, progression, an intricate battle system and much more.

ZAM user Aspergeron speaks about seeking a decent MMO on a console: “FFXIV: ARR blew all of those games – combined – out of the water.” Hyrist states that “The story of something that stands the test of time is never as touching to me as one of redemption. FFXIV has risen from the ashes of its own mistakes, with a Producer/Director that resonates and communicates with his base continually.” Altair feels that there’s no question involved in this vote because “I have yet to see an MMO pull off what FFXIV’s pulled off with such panache.”

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is available on the PC, PlayStation 3 and will be available on the PlayStation 4 in April 2014.

Honorable Mention: EverQuest: Call of the Forsaken by Sony Online Entertainment

The original EverQuest title is now 20 expansions strong with this year’s release, Call of the Forsaken. West Karana has been disrupted by series of cataclysmic events, leading up to the arrival of a powerful dragon known as Lady Lendiniara. Her abrupt arrival exposed the Realm of the Dead, known as the Ethernere. To send Lendiniara back to her world, adventurers must travel the tainted West Karana, the fabled Dead Hills and the long lost Neriak Fourth Gate.

Many ZAM users chimed in on their adoration for the nearly 15 year old EverQuest. DarkVendetta points out that “EQ stands the testimony of time, the durability of changing tastes within the genre, economics and competition.” Hexeez mentions “Over the past two years or so, a constant stream of returning players have come back to the game” while Romen chimes in “With new expansions every year, and this year’s Call of the Forsaken, it always has some new places to explore, new things to accomplish and great people to share it with. Long live EQ!”

EverQuest: Call of the Forsaken is available for the PC.

Honorable Mention: The Last of Us by Naughty Dog

This PlayStation 3 exclusive action survival game features the moving story of Joel and Ellie in a post-apocalyptic United States. At every turn the two must deal with zombie-like creatures, survivors turned bandits and cannibals, and more as they employ stealth and an arsenal of weapons to aid in their survival. ZAM user Brokenwheel enthused that “The Last of Us held my attention like no other game has for a long time.” With one DLC in its belt and two more to follow in the first half of 2014, The Last of Us will continue to provide single and multiplayer content for its users.

The Last of Us and its first DLC, the Abandoned Territories Map Pack for multiplayer, are available now for the PlayStation 3.


Stay tuned tomorrow for our Free Agent’s Game of the Year pick and check out our final six ZAM Game of the Year awards on Thursday!

 Ann "Cyliena" Hosler, Managing Editor

 Follow me on Twitter: @Cyliena

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I could understand open beta
# Dec 18 2013 at 6:22 PM Rating: Decent
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34 posts
I could understand open beta, because people can actually play it if they want to. Closed beta NDA or not is still closed, which means people who want to play it can't. Many games spend a long time in open beta so I agree with this part, because then at least people who want to play it can. But closed beta? Really?

Edited, Dec 18th 2013 7:26pm by bombardj
Games that aren't out yet can win?
# Dec 17 2013 at 6:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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34 posts
In seems odd that you are allowing non released games to win game of the year. I thought the whole point of these things were to score games people could actually play and help them decide what they want to play. If a game isn't even in open beta, I don't think it should be included that is just my 2 cents.
Games that aren't out yet can win?
# Dec 18 2013 at 12:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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As more and more games are holding closed betas with no NDA (such as Hearthstone, which I assume is what is being referred to here) or a FFA open beta (sometimes with no character wipes), we decided to include games that fell under this umbrella in our voting. Some games remain in these types of beta states for so long that it's shocking to hear when they officially launch, as it feels like they already had launched weeks or months prior.

I realize that not everyone will agree with this and we'll take your feedback into account for next year, but I do ask that everyone please be respectful in your comments. It's the time of year for celebration, so let's celebrate!
Games that aren't out yet can win?
# Dec 17 2013 at 9:10 PM Rating: Good
bombardj wrote:
In seems odd that you are allowing non released games to win game of the year. I thought the whole point of these things were to score games people could actually play and help them decide what they want to play. If a game isn't even in open beta, I don't think it should be included that is just my 2 cents.


Could not have said it better.
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