5. The Last of Us
In a game about a zombie apocalypse, you’d think the ones to fear would be the zombies. That’s been the case in every zombie game, from Resident Evil to Left 4 Dead. However, as one character says to protagonist Ellie, “it’s the normal people who scare me.” This game is emotional, and it will tug along for the ride whether you like it or not.
I am not an easy person to scare. I just don’t find very many things scary, but I say without shame that Outlast terrified me. Whether you fear being in the dark, being trapped, or being chased by screaming naked men, Outlast will wear your nerves raw. Chances are good you’ll be whimpering right along with protagonist Miles as things go from bad to worse to traumatizing, but the adrenaline rush is worth every minute of it.
3. Grand Theft Auto 5
Rockstar’s series has been scaring the media since they inherited it in 2001. But, whatever your opinion may be on the moral value of a game where you can hire prostitutes, rob banks, and kill more people than the Spanish flu; GTAV is pure escapist fun. Play as Michael, Trevor, and Franklin, the criminal Holy Trinity as they tear through Los Santos. The story isn’t exactly deep, but it is surprisingly interesting and funny.
2. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag
Few games can claim to define an entire adjective, but, from now on, when you say “That Pirate Game,” AC4 is the game everyone will be thinking of. After the disappointment that was Assassin’s Creed 3 and its boring Assassin Connor, we now have his grandfather, rascally anti-hero Edward Kenway. Climb aboard the good ship Jackdaw and ready your sword for boarding!
1. Bioshock Infinite
The second game of the year starring Troy Baker as a cynical loner protecting a surrogate daughter, Infinite is by far the best. Portraying a world where breathtaking beauty masks extreme violence and moral evil, Ken Levine’s opus is more compelling than a lot of movies and books, let alone games. No matter if you’re roaming a pastiche of quaint turn-of-the century America or dodging the bullets of gun-wielding robots that look like George Washington, Infinite will take you on a trip unlike any you’ve been on to date.