It seems a bit strange to be selecting the best annual software for a system that's only been available for around a month, but consistency means that our Game of the Year countdown demands a PlayStation 4 category. This time last year the platform was little more than a pipedream, but the hot new hardware has bullied the headlines since its announcement on 20th February. It hasn't been entirely deserted in the content department either, with the following favourites augmenting the expensive arrival with a handful of must-play experiences.
Bronze Award: Killzone: Shadow Fall
Panned by some picky parts of the press, Guerrilla Games' gorgeous launch title Killzone: Shadow Fall proved to be the PS4 showpiece that we hoped that it would be. Despite the promise of an improved plotline, the Dutch developer still served up a cast of characters less interesting than the latest series of the X-Factor. However, it was the top-tier gunplay that kept this first-person shooter glued to our system's optical media slot. With an armoury of firearms more fierce than Hulk Hogan and an online component that steers the series back towards its very brutal best, this was always certain to receive a ginormous nod in our next generation countdown.
Silver Award: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
It can't be easy for the dozen or so teams that sit under Ubisoft's internal umbrella. While the folks over at Activision get a year or so to churn out a fairly straight-forward first-person shooter, the many outfits governed by the ambitious French publisher get given a similar timeframe to build an enormous open world. It's no surprise, then, that the war against the Templars had taken a turn towards the tedious by the start of 2013 – but the brilliant Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag steadied the series' wayward ship, and brought the brand back on track. Also available on the PS3, the next-gen version of Edward Kenway's sea-faring antics proved a real piratical pleasure, offering the perfect blend of on water action and tropical island infiltration.
Gold Award: Resogun
There's some debate over whether a downloadable shmup should be considered a system seller, but those familiar with the Super Stardust series are unlikely to participate in such a pointless discussion. Ever since its announcement at GamesCom back in September, we've been holding a candle for Housemarque's devilishly addictive spherical gun-'em-up. Offering an eye-searingly stunning visual experience, the old-school shooter sees you battling boisterous airborne baddies and saving fluorescent stickmen who've found themselves in something of an intergalactic pickle. Easy to pick up but a right female dog to master, this has remained our go-to next-gen title since mid-November.
Aside from the simplistic online co-op and lack of local multiplayer, it's hard to pick a fault in this explosive PS4 exclusive. Much like Super Stardust HD before it, Resogun offers an almost perfect fusion of challenging and rewarding action. While the core arcade mode does lean a little on the short side, this is a title that you'll struggle to put down while you battle your way to the top of the online leaderboards. Plus, did we mention that it looks amazing? – Push Square
Sammy Barker's Thoughts:
Regular readers will recall me ranting and raving about Resogun prior to the title's release, and one of my favourite moments this year was receiving messages from people who are enjoying the game as much as me. In truth, the new console launch has meant that I haven't got to play the title as much as I'd like to, but I intend to rectify that injustice over the New Year break. I'll be seeing all of you somewhere on the leaderboards.
Not content with being a sublime score-chasing experience, however, the Finnish outfit's first foray onto Sony's fresh new format is also something of a technical masterpiece. Boasting a handful of environments built entirely out of voxels – or cool little cubes for those of you without any graphics programming pedigree – the title's various worlds literally fall to pieces as you work through hordes of antagonistic Keepers with bombs, plasma beams, and boosts. Boasting a compelling co-operative component, multiple ships, and online leaderboards that are more addictive than chocolate coated Brazil nuts, it's little wonder that this proved the most popular PS4 title in our internal poll.
What was your favourite PS4 game of 2013? Do you agree with our winners, or would you have selected something else? Cast your vote and share your thoughts in the comments section and poll below.
What was your favourite PS4 game of 2013? (39 votes)
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition
Killzone: Shadow Fall
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Need for Speed: Rivals
Trine 2: Complete Story
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