Winner: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch*
Level-5’s Ni no Kuni gave longtime RPG fans something they really needed. It used the role-playing game style we grew up with, yet so much about it felt fresh. It used a loveable cast and fascinating world to tell a story that was appropriate for all ages, striking emotional cords without having to resort to F words and gunshots. Monster collecting isn’t new, but Ni no Kuni included it without making it something you needed to go way out of your way to do, in order to progress. Strong characters were needed, yet leveling never felt like the dreaded “grind.”
Every inch of the world was a delight to explore, the game looks and sounds as pretty as any other, and when it was all over, I felt completely satisfied with what I had just done — a rare feeling.
Ni no Kuni wasn’t just the best RPG of 2013, it was the best RPG I’d played since Valkyria Chronicles.
- Tales of Xillia*
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
- Dragon’s Crown
*Japanese versions of these games were released before 2013, but the titles are so good, they deserve the 2013 award anyway.