CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Are you looking for the perfect gift for the gamer in your life or simply don't know what games to put on your holiday wish list? You're in luck! While 2013 was a rather disappointing year for gaming, this buyer's guide will let you know what games of the year are worthy of purchase.
Due to deadline restrictions, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games were not be included here; a buyer's guide for those consoles can be found here.
"The Last of Us"
This is one of the most critically acclaimed games of the year for good reason. Developer Naughty Dog has crafted a survival horror game charged by an emotional story and phenomenal cast.
You guide, Joel, who reluctantly agrees to travel halfway across the U.S. with 14-year-old Ellie, who holds the cure to the plague caused by the Cordyceps fungus that wreaked havoc by suddenly spreading to humans 20 years before. While the gameplay is tense, the relationship between Joel and Ellie is the real star, and you'll have formed an emotional attachment to the two by the time the game reaches its shocking ending. (M)
"Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX"
In 2002, Square Enix teamed with Disney to combine characters from its "Final Fantasy" franchise with familiar Disney characters. The result was the PlayStation 2 action RPG classic "Kingdom Hearts," which became a widely acclaimed, popular series.
This collection includes the previous Japanese exclusive "Kingdom Hearts Final Mix," which added new cut scenes and optional bosses to the original game, and the PS2 remake of the Game Boy Advance game "Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories," which bridges the gap between the first and second games.
Also included are a large collection of journal entries and almost three hours of HD cut scenes from the DS-exclusive "Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days" (though you can't play the game), which takes place between the events of "Kingdom Hearts" and "Chain of Memories." (E10 )
"Beyond: Two Souls"
Starring Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, this is the latest from Quantic Dream, best known for the critically acclaimed "Heavy Rain." Like that title, "Beyond: Two Souls" merges elements of film and video games to create an interactive cinematic experience.
Rather than play as Ellen Page's Jodie Holmes, you're put in the role of a mysterious entity named Aiden, with whom Jodie has a connection. In this psychological action thriller you'll play through 15 years of Jodie's life as she attempts to understand who she is. (Rated M)
NINTENDO WII U
"The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD"
"The Wind Waker," the 2003 GameCube entry in "The Legend of Zelda" franchise, has often been cited as one of the best in the series, though its cel-shaded graphics -- now regarded as a great artistic choice -- caused controversy at the time. Gamers are able to experience it again with this HD remake, which includes Off-TV play, Miiverse functionality, a harder game mode and gameplay tweaks for a smoother experience. (E10 )
"Super Mario 3D World"
A sequel to 2011's 3DS-exclusive "Super Mario 3D Land," this implements gameplay elements like its predecessor as well as new ones. The game is still a mixture of the movement in 3D and 2D "Super Mario" games, and now five characters with unique abilities are available: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad and Rosalina.
Additionally, new power-ups and items are introduced, such as Cat Forms, which allow characters to stick to walls, and the Cannon Box, which allows you to fire cannons. Along with local multiplayer co-op that supports up to four players, Off-TV play and Miiverse functionality are included. (E)
The long-awaited sequel to 2004's "Pikmin 2," the third game in this real-time strategy franchise makes its HD debut on the Wii U. Like previous games, you control up to 100 of the strange, alien creatures known as Pikmin, using them to battle enemies and explore the world.