OPM Most wanted – what have the team picked as 2013′s best games

WWE 13 Universe mode screenshots

WWE 14

David Meikleham, acting news editor

It’s not actually been officially announced yet, but another instalment in Yuke’s grap series is inevitable like the outcome of a Ryback squash match. WWE 13 was arguably the best game in Smackdown’s history. This was mostly down to the brilliant Attitude Era mode. Easily one of the best career campaigns I’ve played in a ‘sports’ game, it’s the desire to see this mode continue that has my anticipation meter ticking over into a suplex squeeing fit.

For a wrasslin’ obsessive like myself, the prospect of seeing another Attitude Era spanning the period just after WrestleMania 15 up to WM 18 is more exciting than mud wrestling with AJ Lee. The Rock’s battle with The McMahon-Helmsley Regime, seeing ECW and WCW storm the WWE during the Invasion Angle, the return of the NWO; be still my beating wrasslin’ trunks.

Yuke’s has finally proved it can master the presentation side of a great career mode and there’s a wealth of classic WWE moments still waiting to be recreated. Excitingly, there’s also still huge scope for man-hugging improvement. As big a step forward as last year’s game was, WWE 14 can make Big Show-sized strides with the right tweaks.

Principally, the Japanese studio has to sort out the AI. The developer needs virtual grappling opponents who provide involving, back and forth contests as served up in the likes of EA’s Fight Night series. Do this, and Yuke’s will have a Royal Rumble winner that finally acts as an unpredictable, challenging fighter.

The Last Of Us

Joel Gregory, deputy editor

We’ve had more games and films set in post-apocalyptic world visions than I’ve had hot meals – and I have a medical condition that means that I’m unable to eat food served below 50°C. But this is different. Ok, not necessarily different – it is, after all, a game about zombie-style mutants terrorising the last remnants of human society – but better. And I’m confident in saying it’ll be better because it’s made by Naughty Dog, creators of PS3’s greatest franchise, and because of the pools of drool that accumulate on my keyboard every time a new trailer drops.

For starters, it’s staggeringly beautiful – quite possibly the best looking game on the platform – with a remarkable level of detail within a world that’s been designed with far more care than ‘pop some rubble here, a burned out car there, and we’ll knock off down The King’s Jockstrap in time for happy hour’. But even more exciting is the developer’s ability to craft an affecting narrative and create meaningful emotional connections to its characters, and The Last Of Us looks like another winner in that regard. The game takes a far more measured approach to violence and its impact, allowing you to avoid it completely at points, so that you’ll consider your actions and their morality in greater detail. There’s also the factor of how this ugly new world and your role within it changes the characters at the game’s heart: a question made pertinent by lead man Joel’s murky backstory and Ellie’s youthful innocence. It’s frankly all too much for a gal to handle.

sssss