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J.R.’s Top 10 of 2013

GTA V

1)  Grand Theft Auto V

The Grand Theft Auto series is one of those franchises that consistently outdoes itself.  With every single iteration of Grand Theft Auto, it improves upon its predecessor in nearly every way.  Grand Theft Auto V is no exception.  The sheer size and scope of this game is unprecedented.  Rock Star seems to be years ahead of its competitors.  You could easily get lost in San Andreas.  To give this game a perfect 10 does not even do it justice.  Grand Theft Auto V is the type of masterpiece of a game that all other games are judged by.

GOT

2)  Game of Thrones

2013 was a pretty stellar year for couch potatoes, and out of all the great shows on TV this year, Game of Thrones separated from the pack.  Already one of the best shows on television, season 4 of this hit HBO series elevated the show to new heights.  There are shows that surprise you, and then there’s Game of Thrones.  If you’re a fan of the series, all I have to say is “Red Wedding” and it’ll immediately draw a reaction.  If you’re uninitiated in the realm of the seven kingdoms then I can tell you that “The Red Wedding” was an episode of GoT this season that affected me like no other show ever has.  The episode was shocking, it was tragic, it was incredibly sad, and it completely changed the trajectory of the show.  There is nothing else like Game of Thrones on TV.

Breaking Bad

3)  Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad will go down as one of the greatest shows in history.  The saga of Walter White and his transformation from a meek high school science teacher to the terrifying head of a Meth empire was astonishing.  Walter White’s transformation is the single greatest in television history.  This stunning metamorphosis could not have been achieved without the tremendous acting talent of Bryan Cranston.  Through the role of Walter White, Bryan Cranston was revealed to be one of the greatest actors of our generation.  Breaking Bad was good from the beginning, and its final season did not disappoint in any way.  Breaking Bad will be sorely missed.

MOS

4)  Man of Steel

If you follow the site much, you can probably tell that I have affinity for all things comic book related.  Superman is one of my all time favorites, ever since the amazing Christopher Reeves Superman movies of the 80’s there’s been a giant hole in our collective soul just waiting for the next great Superman film to take its place.  Unfortunately, Superman Returns was NOT that movie and it took us until 2013 to get another truly great Superman film.  But you know what?  It was wroth the wait.  Despite what the haters may have said about this film, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Zach Snyder set the stage for the future of the DC Movieverse, now that we know the next chapter will be a Superman vs Batman movie, only time will tell if this franchise reaches even greater heights or falls flat.

COD Ghosts

5)  Call of Duty: Ghosts

Every year we get a new Call of Duty game, and every year the haters complain that it isn’t revolutionary.  It isn’t anything new.  It’s more of the same.  Well, guess what?  We don’t want revolutionary when it comes to Call of Duty.  You don’t need a revolution to make this game one of the greatest franchises of all time.  Ghosts is simply an amazing title with a ridiculous campaign that takes you literally from the depths of the ocean dodging sharks to a space station where you do battle in zero gravity.  There is nothing boring or repetitive about this game.  Add to that a slew of online modes and you will be playing Call of Duty: Ghosts until… well… the next Call of Duty comes out.

House of Cards

6)  House of Cards

Wow, what a delightful surprise House of Cards was.  Kevin Spacey plays a conniving congressman to perfection, on television?  Well, Netflix isn’t quite TV but I digress.  House of Cards is thoroughly entertaining.  It’s smart, it’s suspenseful, and it feels gritty and real.  House of Cards depicts the dark underbelly of Washington D.C. politics that you can only hope doesn’t exist in real life.  There have been other shows based in the realm of politics, but House of Cards takes you places you’ve never gone.  With other great programming like Orange is the New Black, Arrested Development, a deal announced with Marvel to bring programs such as Daredevil to the small screen if you don’t have Netflix yet, I seriously don’t know what you’re waiting for.

Lorde

7)  Lorde

Royals is one of my favorite songs to come out of 2013.  What at first seems like a pop song making fun of other pop songs, soon reveals itself to be the coming out party of a true pop superstar who doesn’t get caught up in all the bullshit of your typical Top 40 fodder.  It’s hard to believe that Lorde was only 16 when she recorded her album Pure Heroine.  As good as her debut album was, you get the sense that she’s only getting started.

Bioshock Infinite

8)  Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite is just a good, solid first person shooter with a deep story and unforgettable graphics.  Infinite is an incredible adventure that takes you on a surreal journey through the massive floating city of Columbia.  The powers and weapons you acquire along the way only add to the immense satisfaction gained from dispatching your foes.  In a year that saw fantastic new releases like Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite definitely held its place among the best games of 2013.

Enders Game

9)  Ender’s Game

Although there were probably movies that I enjoyed a little more than Ender’s Game like Thor 2: The Dark World and Star Trek Into Darkness, the sheer excitement of seeing Ender’s Game on the big screen earned it a spot on my list.  I’ve never been an avid reader when it comes to fiction, but over the last few years I’ve read nearly a dozen books set within the fictional universe that all started with Ender’s GameEnder’s Game is hands down the best book I’ve ever read, so to see my favorite book come to life on the big screen was incredible.  Sure, the movie wasn’t without it’s faults but I was thoroughly satisfied with the film and I hope they continue what they started by bringing other tales from the Enderverse to the silver screen.

Simcity

10)  Simcity

I have a soft spot for Simcity, I just really like this game.  Maybe it’s because I was enamored with the original Simcity as it was one of the few games we were allowed to play on our teachers’ Apple computers in grade school.  I’ve always enjoyed the aspect of creating a city and helping that city grow into a true metropolis.  This current version of Simcity has done some truly amazing things with the franchise but unfortunately, as good as this game is, its giant weaknesses are constantly being thrown back in your face which is the true tragedy of this game.  If only you were able to create cities not confined to the seemingly miniscule plots of land they’ve provided, this game could be so much better.  Unfortunately, this is something Maxis has stated quite clearly that they can not and will not address.  Oh well, maybe next time?

So there you have it folks, that is my list of my Top 10 Favorite Things from 2013.  What do you think?  Did I nail it?  What are the glaring omissions that you would have added to your list?  Let us know what YOU think in the comments below!

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