CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As the calendar turns to 2014, it is time to take one last look back at the year that was in video games. And what a year it was.
The launch of long-awaited new consoles from Microsoft and Sony and the continued struggle for acceptance by Nintendo's Wii U were among the biggest trends in the industry. But 2013 will long be remembered for a software lineup that sent the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 out in style. It's not unusual to see great games at the end of a console's lifecycle -- after all, it can take developers years to fully harness a system's power. And with games like "The Last of Us," "BioShock Infinite" and "Grand Theft Auto V," we finally witnessed just what the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were capable of.
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 arrived with plenty of fanfare and just as many questions from gamers who struggled to identify which piece of new hardware was right for their needs. But regardless of whether they opted for the complete entertainment package offered by the Xbox One or the slightly more powerful PS4, gamers were left with a decided lack of choices when it came to software. Neither console launched with a true "must-have" game, instead featuring a selection of current-gen ports and a few lukewarmly received original offerings.
And then there was Nintendo.
The House of Mario continued to dominate the hand-held market with the 3DS and terrific games like "Animal Crossing: New Leaf," "The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds" and "Pokemon X & Y." But the Wii U again struggled to find a foothold among gamers and, just as important, third-party publishers. It should come as no surprise that the best games in 2013 for the Wii U -- "Pikmin 3," "Super Mario 3D World" and "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD" -- were all developed by Nintendo. But perhaps most disappointing was the number of Wii U ports that lacked features found on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. If publishers aren't viewing the Wii U as an equal platform and treating it as such, why should gamers? Sadly, the early part of 2014 looks to be more of the same for the floundering console.
But this isn't the time to look ahead. No, this is a time for looking back and celebrating another great year of video games. Without further adieu, here are the Top 10 Games of 2013:
10. "State of Decay" (Microsoft, Xbox 360) -- Zombies continued to roam the gaming landscape in 2013, and this survival-horror effort from upstart developer Undead Labs stood decaying head-and-shoulders above the rest. The constant juggling act of recruiting survivors and scavenging for supplies against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse proved an addictive experience, and the threat of permanently losing a character and all their progress loomed large with every trip away from the safety of your home base.
9. "Disney Infinity" (Disney, multi) -- After watching kids go crazy for "Skylanders," Disney cashed in on the popularity of the toy/video game genre by leveraging its vast library of colorful characters and dropping them all into a giant sandbox. "Disney Infinity" lets players unleash their imaginations and create virtual worlds in which Buzz Lightyear, Captain Jack Sparrow and Wreck-it Ralph can not only coexist, but set up impromptu kart races and games of Capture the Flag. Purchasing new figures can playsets can be costly, but there's enough content within the starter pack alone to keep young gamers entertained for months.