Theology Gaming’s Best Games of 2013

Every year, we put our heads together and come up with the best and most important video games of the year. [Editor’s Note: Lies. We never do this, and this is just Josh’s opinion with sprinkles of other people’s additions] As such, it seemed best to put together a completely sincere list without any conjecture or trolling. [Editor’s Note: Again, all lies] We hope you enjoy. List after the jump!

Best Theology Game – The Shivah: Kosher Edition

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This remastering of Wadjet Eye’s first adventure game (2006) is about a rabbi who struggles with what CS Lewis called the Problem of Pain. As such, it may not be perfectly qualified as a game for this year. But as a theological work, it masterfully wrestles with the the question, “How can a loving God exist when there’s so much pain in the world?” Also, this game lets you fulfill your dream of one day being a rabbi who can out-rabbi other rabbis. Dead serious.

Best Game Jesus Liked – Brothers: Tale of Two Sons

Since our GameChurch brethren gave top honors to Brothers, we simply agree by default. [Editor’s Note: Josh was actually a big part of that decision]

Best Game Jesus Disliked – Shadow Warrior

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Jesus doesn’t really like evisceration, getting powers from demons, excessive foul language, and dick jokes (we assume). Still, we liked Shadow Warrior as it’s a great reboot with lots of skill-based first-person Katana-wielding substance.

Best Fun I Ever Had Yelling At My Wife and Parents – Spaceteam

Best Open World Game – State of Decay

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State of Decay delivered the open-world survival folks dig. But it did something new by focusing on leadership-simulation. Also, we think the title refers to your progressively-declining abilities as a leader. (Also, no one on staff played GTA V, and we don’t add games we don’t play. SO THERE.)

Most International Game – Guacamelee, a Mexican Game made by Canadians

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(Also, we liked this game a lot.)

Best Simulation of Russia 30 Years Ago – Papers, Please

Best Simulation of Russia Today – Metro Last Light

Best Men in Black/Mad Men Mashup – The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

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Best Fighting Game Where You Can’t Move Your Characters – Divekick

Best Game About Digging In the Dirt: Steamworld Dig

Best Family Night RPG  – The Yawhg

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Finally, a way to con your family and friends into playing something like D&D without them realizing it!

Best Doom Game – Teleglitch: Die More Edition

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Teleglitch originally came out last year, but the brutal challenge and tense shooting-and-reloading action made this year’s Die More Edition a  must-include.

Best Brooding for No Real Reason – Dante, DmC: Devil May Cry

Best Pants– Bullfrog Trousers, Gunpoint

Best Animal – The horse, A Ride Into The Mountains

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So majestic… (Sorry, Riley the dog.)

Biggest Game We Didn’t Want To Play – Call of Duty Ghosts

Best First Person Shooter – Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

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This is another we’re actually pretty serious about. Arcade-like skill-based shooting? Yes. Bastion-influenced storytelling as done by a whiskey-fueled Old West bounty hunter? Yes. A better game for a quarter the price of EA and Activision’s offerings? Yes. Yes. Yes. YES.

Best Demo – The Stanley Parable Demo

Best Game of Which We Only Played the Demo – Fire Emblem Awakening

Best Game That Should Be On a Best List But Isn’t – Rain

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Games journos, we thought many of you guys loved this game for following in Ico’s footsteps. Why isn’t it on anybody’s list?

Third Best Zelda Game – Ittle Dew

Wind Waker HD and A Link Between Worlds would undoubtedly earn second and first place respectively.

Best Guilty Pleasure – Turd Birds

What can we say? Pooping on people is awesome.

Worst Thing We Gave Money To – Candy Crush [For shame, TG contributors! For SHAME!]

Most Confusing Game – Antichamber

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Alexander Bruce channeled MC Escher to be make a game dedicated to breaking our brains. It almost worked. Almost.

Best Metal Gear Game – Shelter

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(AKA, Mama Badger Solid: Fox Eater) This game is what happens when you replace all of Metal Gear’s exposition with finding food for your baby badgers. And instead of dying if you’re spotted by the enemy, one of your babies gets eaten.

Best Chopping-Dudes-Into-Pieces Simulator – Metal Gear Rising: Revengance (Runner-up: Rainblood Chronicles: Mirage)

Best Collectible Card Game – NBA2k14’s myTeam Mode

Best Puzzle Game (or “Casual”, If You Roll That Way) – Super Puzzle Platformer

Best Beat’em Up Nobody Played (and Probably Can’t Find) – Aces Wild

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Seriously, just go BUY and PLAY this!

Most Goregous Game We Don’t Want to Keep Playing – Ni No Kuni

Best Highlight to Cultural Divisions Regarding Boobs – Tie: Dragon’s Crown, Killer Is Dead

Best Metroidvan-AUGH I HATE THIS GAME – Bunny Must Die: Chelsea and the 7 Devils

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Few games are so fun and infuriating at the same time. (Yes, it’s from 2006, but it came out on Steam in 2013, so eat that.)

Scariest Game With Nothing to be Scared About – Gone Home

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Considering that Gone Home was first crafted using Amnesia’s engine and assets, it’s not a huge surprise that it creeped-out a few of our loved ones – even after telling them there’s nothing scary in it.

Creepiest Braid-Like – The Swapper

Grossest Torture Porn – Tomb Raider

Best Ellen Page Performance in a Videogame – Ellie from the Last of Us

Best Bioshock Game – Gone Home

About M. Joshua Cauller

M. Joshua is a missionary to his basement — where he leads a videogames-and-spiritaul-formation group called GameCell. He makes indie game trailers by day, which you can see at mjoshua.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.