The 20 best PlayStation games of 2013 – the top reader voted PS4, PS4 & Vita titles of the year

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag preview screens7

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

We have to agree with William Wallace’s memorable last words – well, word – when asked at his execution what he liked most about Black Flag. What an intoxicating sense of possibility boarding the Jackdaw for the first time and clipping along the top of those surging ocean swells in search of fortune and misadventure. If the pirate fantasy is all about being the Master And Commander of your own destiny, Assassin’s Creed IV perfectly captures this ideal in its intoxicating open-world Caribbean.

It’s hard to remember an open-world with so many fun ways to ignore the main quest: swearing off dry land for hours at a time, sailing across open water, relieving merchant vessels of their precious cargo, sending broadside cannon barrages ripping through coastal naval forts, even swimming to ocean-floor wrecks in search of sunken treasure. One of 2013’s most enjoyable time sinks and an epic maiden voyage for new PS4 owners.

 

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Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch

Remember February? We were so young back then – so full of dreams and ambition, sticking firmly to our new year’s resolutions… Yeah, Ni No Kuni really put paid to that gym membership. Only a hyperactive cyborg would choose to pop down Fitness First rather than spend some time with Ollie-Boy and Mr Drippy, drinking in those gorgeous Ghibli graphics and training familiars by feeding them 99 flakes.

In case it’s been a rough year for your long-term memory capacity, Level-5 and Studio Ghibli’s JRPG about a young boy who finds a way into a magical realm found widespread critical acclaim, as well as massive sales back in Q1. Every negative association you have with the genre – the grinding, the menus, the half-arsed localisation – was turned on its head here, some were even turned into strengths. Has there been a more memorable voice-acting turn in 2013 than Steffan Rhodri as the instantly loveable Lord High Lord Of The Fairies? Not a chance, boy-o.

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