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Games of the year

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Our reviewers pick the most thrilling or inventive digital diversions they have played 

The Last Of Us.

The Last Of Us

(PS3)

The Last Of Us really does make for a perfect end to the PlayStation 3 generation. This journey across a post-apocalyptic United States presents one nerve-racking confrontation after another. Since there aren't any factories left to manufacture things you might need (like bullets), you need to think twice before loosing off a shot.

The relationships between the protagonists are well-written. From the great combat system to the grand scenic design, this game immerses the player in a most visceral plot indeed.

- Sithikorn Wongwudthianun

Tearaway

(PS Vita)

By utilising all Vita features (touchpad, accelerometer, keypad and camera) Tearaway is a full showcase for the platform and sets a new standard for the handheld gaming experience. The game gives you god-like powers to help Iota (the main character) finish his quest in a vibrant papery world. If you own a Vita, you have to own this game _ yes, it's that good! By the way, Tearaway was developed by the same studio that created the famous LittleBigPlanet.

- Sithikorn Wongwudthianun

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

(PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U)

This is the sixth main instalment of the popular Assassin's Creed franchise, this time taking us to the high seas where pirates run rampant, pillaging and plundering. Yes, it's rather like a Jack Sparrow adventure. The improved naval combat interaction is fun and you'll take to the ocean on your ship, the Jackdaw. The open-world gameplay will quickly consume your time with quests, side quests, fistfights in bars, etc. It's really fun to play. If you haven't tried an Assassin's Creed game recently, then this would be a great place to get back on board. Pirating in a video game has never been so enjoyable or thoughtful.

- Sithikorn Wongwudthianun

Payday 2

(PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Payday 2 is a four-player co-op shooter targeting Washington DC for an epic crime rampage, giving you the closest approximation you'll probably ever get to robbing an actual bank. Not just bank heists, but smashing into display cases of jewels and cooking up batches of methamphetamine, too. If you have a few friends hanging around with time on their hands, this is a great choice for some fun role-playing.

- Sithikorn Wongwudthianun

Tomb Raider

(PC, Mac, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

The transformation from timid youngster to hardened warrior when her ship gets pulled into the mythical island of Yamatai, Lara's origin story is a terrific, action-packed experience with stunning visuals. The gameplay is very good, too. This game is so insanely good that I played it twice!

Beware: Lara getting crushed, impaled, strangled, mauled, etc are images you'll see if you fail the game's various challenges, so please do your best.

- Sithikorn Wongwudthianun

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

(3DS)

Zelda games have been around for 27 years, which proves how popular and refined this series has become. For those who like top-down hack and slash while going on an adventure to save a princess, encountering monsters and big bosses in dungeons en route while searching every nook and cranny to find cool and essential tools and magic to help the adventure progress, this is the game for you. And this is one of the easiest in the series, so it'd be a great starting point to jump in.

- Komsan Jandamit

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

(3DS, Wii U)

Most hardcore gamers are masochist because most games resist one's best efforts. And the latest Monster Hunter should test the extreme limits of your masochism. This is an action game that pits you against dinosaurs and other monsters that are 10 to 30 times bigger than you and could kill you in no time (two to five attacks). You'll have to learn their attack patterns and jump in at the right moment to kill any of these beasts. Although, while you'll fail miserably much more often than you'll succeed, when you do meet success it will give you a great sense of fulfillment. Playing this game with friends will make things a lot more fun. Not for the faint of heart.

- Komsan Jandamit

Fire Emblem: Awakening

(3DS)

Do you like playing chess? The kind of chess where your pieces get stronger every single time you play? This turn-based strategy game is pretty much like playing chess _ one type of character will be able to beat down another type of character easily while being weaker to another type (swordsman beats axe-wielder while getting whacked by spearman), but you'll be pitting a dozen of your units against dozens of enemies, so a lot of strategy is required to make sure that your units are fighting in the right position on the battlefield in order to gain the upper hand. You'll be controlling an army that grows in strength (the units get stronger when you use their services frequently) and numbers (you'll meet more allies along the way and they'll join your cause), not to mention the fact that they can get acquainted with others to the point of getting married and producing children!

- Komsan Jandamit

Kingdom Rush: Frontiers.

Kingdom Rush: Frontiers

(iOS, Android)

Trolls. Mummies. Giant wasps. Malicious wizards. Underground monsters. You get it all in Kingdom Rush: Frontiers _ the second sequel to Kingdom Rush, a popular tower-defence mobile game available on both iOS and Android platforms.

Launched in June this year by Ironhide Game Studio, this game again impresses fans of the saga with its detailed mediaeval-themed graphics and easy-to-understand role-playing game structure. A good mix of Candy Crush and Plants vs. Zombies, Kingdom Rush: Frontiers is an addictive action-strategy game in which you don't mind too much getting stuck at certain levels _ sometimes for weeks! When you get farther along you'll realise that the only thing you need here is a bit of planning and foresight. Every tower built to defend your kingdom is a real challenge.

- Arusa Pisuthipan

Minion Rush

(iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry)

Track-racing games for mobile devices all look alike since Temple Run was launched. But with Gru's loyal, yellow, gibberish-speaking Minions, no game has ever be this cute or this addictive. From seven-year-old kids to 30ish colleagues of mine, they all play this!

This is a game that makes you so proud when you reach the No.1 list. Jump, fly, dodge obstacles, collect bananas, be mischievous and defeat villains; all this is done by a simple touch and swipe technique. Plus, with all the free frequent content updates, this game hasn't aged a bit since its launch. If this review hasn't been enough to convince you of the game's worth, here's more _ this is an app on which I spent more than 600 baht just to purchase more bananas and clothes for the Minions!

- Sithikorn Wongwudthianun

Honourable mentions:

Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Super Mario 3D World, GTA V, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, Soul Sacrifice, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and finally, Infinity Blade 3.

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