I haven't played as many games in 2013 as I imagined I would before the year began, but I've still played enough to be able to write a post about the ones that have pleased me the most.
Strangely--or perhaps not, considering my current obsession with the dual-screened handheld--all of the games discussed herein were released for Nintendo's 3DS. (That's not to suggest I've only played 3DS titles this year; pretty much all of the other games I played in the last 12 months, though, were for "older gen" systems like the DS, GameBoy, PC Engine, PlayStation and PSP.)
Animal Crossing: New Leaf--If I were to hold up one of these games as my absolute favorite of 2013, it would be this one. Not only have I played it more than any other title this year, but I've spent more time with it than I've spent with any game in the last few years (if not ever). I'm still not sure which Animal Crossing game I like best, the original or New Leaf, but it doesn't really matter--they're both among the most entrancing games I've ever come across.
Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale--Thank goodness for the 3DS eShop. Without it, gamers outside of Japan probably never would have gained access to this nostalgia-tinted title, which I can only describe as three parts open-ended adventure and one part card battles. Don't worry if that sounds less than thrilling--I can't imagine anyone but the most crotchety of gamers disliking this digital release.
THE "DENPA" MEN 2: Beyond the Waves--Although I haven't enjoyed Beyond the Waves as much as I enjoyed its more simplistic and straightforward predecessor, I've still had a good time with it. Sure, I find some of the newly introduced elements to be overwhelming, but I like a number of them, too--such as the new body colors and the additional clothing and equipment that can be used to alter the looks and even abilities of your adorable "Denpa" crew.
Nintendo's four "new" StreetPass Mii Plaza games--I held off on buying Flower Town, Mii Force, Monster Manor and Warrior's Way for quite a while (I only did so about two weeks ago) because I was unsure as to whether they'd be worth $15. Now that I've spent some quality time with each of them, I can safely say they're well worth the asking price--assuming you regularly StreetPass other 3DS owners--with Mii Force (the shmup shown above) and Monster Manor being my current faves.
Pokémon X--Back when it was first revealed, I wasn't all that sure what to think of the latest pair of Pokémon games. As soon as I started playing one of them, though, I was sold on its brilliance. That I've yet to get even close to finishing it says more about how hectic my life has become in the last few months than it does about the quality of this portable RPG, so rest assured I'm going to do my best to beat it in 2014.
Witch and Hero--It may surprise some of you to hear this, but I think this eShop title may be my second favorite game of 2013. There's just something about its mix of simplicity and depth (in terms of its gameplay--as in, there's more to Witch and Hero than simply bumping into baddies as quickly as possible), I guess. It's not for everyone, as the saying goes, but for me it's been the perfect title to turn to whenever I've got five or 10 minutes to blow.
A few games that I likely would've included here if I'd played more than an hour or so of them so far: Darumeshi Sports Store, Fire Emblem: Awakening and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds