Most people can’t help but be reflective as the end of the year approaches. Taking time to analyze the trends of our hobby, as gamers, is particularly fascinating. What were the most popular games of the year? And how do your personal tastes differ from the majority? The Spike VGA Awards picked New Super Mario Bros U as the Wii / Wii U Game of the Year, for example. Everyone here, regardless of how good NSMBU really was, had a different game in mind…

Each of my fellow Staff Members have designed their own unique list of games they’re looking forward to in 2013. How will our lists differ? How will they be similar? One thing’s for sure—we’re bound to touch on a ton of games that some of the more mainstream sites out there have…all but forgotten. Without ado, let’s get into my personal list of five games I’m anticipating in 2013!

There’s no question about it, ladies and gentlemen. While tons of our Staff are definitely anticipating Fire Emblem: Awakening, my voice is most assuredly the loudest among us. I’ve said way more than enough about this game before we got the good news at E3. And now that it has a confirmed release date of February 4th in the United States, I know I won’t be waiting too much longer.


The 3DS is sorely lacking when it comes to original RPG experiences with deep, complex stories destined to take up hours of our time. Fire Emblem will be the first of its kind on 3DS. And it will no doubt turn into a highly-regarded title for series fans like me, and possibly even some newcomers! Everyone around me knows that when I get Fire Emblem, I’m going to go into hiding for a good week or two, putting all but my job and relationship at risk.

Have I done enough to help spread awareness of Two Brothers? Part of me feels like I could do even more. I didn’t think there was any game out there that could vie with Fire Emblem for the honorable title of my most anticipated game of next year, but… as soon as I found out about this game, I knew it was something special. For all who are unaware: Two Brothers is an action-RPG that will attempt to bring impressions, memories, and ideas from our past to the forefront of these present times. It is, effectively, a work of art inspired by the monochromatic adventures of past, but built for the present.


Two Brothers should definitely be on your radar, whether you mean to play the game on PC, OSX, 360, or…your brand new, shiny Wii U. The anticipated end-of-March 2013 release date…cannot get here fast enough, ladies and gentlemen.

Ahh, Phantasy Star Online. This is the only MMO I will ever stay loyal to. I can’t commit to most MMOs because of my addictive personality (a game that never ends = no escape = Jonathan in the abyss a year from now), but I make an exception for PSO games because their campaigns are often finite, and I’ve met a handful of wonderful friends during the Dreamcast days…

… that are sure to make their return when Phantasy Star Online 2 comes stateside early next year. For the longest time, we weren’t sure if PSO2 would ever be announced for the West and for Europe. But now that the announcement has finally come, my hype is definitely building. I had a chance to play the open beta for the Japanese version of the game, so I know what to expect, and I know it’ll be worth waiting for.

The Phantasy Star Online franchise has suffered over time because of how Phantasy Star Universe was received. But because of a few good games released, including one that may have slipped under people’s radars, I’ve kept the faith. Alas, the next chapter in a franchise that defined my teenage years is coming soon!

No game came more out of left field for me this year than Mutant Mudds from Renegade Kid. I’d heard rumblings about the game before its release, but I expected the quality/fanfare for this game to be limited at best. When I actually got the game in my hands and started playing through it, I was…pleasantly surprised. I’ve since played through the game on PC, beaten the game’s free DLC, and…will probably be one of the first in line to buy it when it comes to the Wii U next year.


Jools Watsham confirmed a sequel to Mutant Mudds was coming in 2013. So long as it maintains the level of quality that the first game had, “Mutant Mudds 2” promises to be something to look forward to. The tiniest of nods to a sequel can actually be seen in the first Mutant Mudds game, if you’re skilled enough to triumph over the twenty “Grannie” levels. I wonder if it will explore the concept of 3D worlds, as hinted in a recent interview. Whatever Jools is planning, you can be sure I’m on board.


The final game I’m looking forward to was announced a ways back. It slipped under the collective radar over at Oprainfall, but I’ve been keeping tabs on what The Cave is all about. Have any of our readers been keeping an eye out for this game as well? I’m a huge fan of Cave Story (though longtime readers are well aware)… while this game isn’t made by Pixel, or even in the same ballpark, it seems to boast similar concepts of exploration, isolation, and an absolutely amazing-sounding soundtrack.


Not much is known about this game as of yet. But it’s coming to consoles in the first part of next year, so we don’t have long to wait! For more screenshots, you can head here. And for more information, best to check here.

There it is, ladies and gentlemen. Five reasons the apocalypse isn’t happening. For those of you anticipating the end of the world…I’m sorry to disappoint! If any foolish apocalypse thinks it’s going to stand in the way of me and Fire Emblem or Two Brothers, ‘tis sorely mistaken!

I figure this is the part where I include honorable mentions. I’m definitely looking forward to the next Zelda game on 3DS and Wii U, the next 3D Mario game, Yoshi’s Land (assuming it’s announced!) and much more, including some of the games we’ve talked about earlier.

What games are you all anticipating? Will I see anyone on PSO2 before long? Let me know in the comments below!

Jonathan Higgins
[Former Staff] Jonathan parted ways with Operation Rainfall on June 15th, 2014. You can follow him on Twitter @radicaldefect.