Though only half over, 2013 has been a phenomenal year for the video game industry. With must-play titles like Tomb Raider and Bioshock:Infinte already released, and the upcoming PS4/Xbox one titles announced, this year may go don as the best year for gamers to date. But none of these releases will hold a candle to the PS3 exclusive The Last of Us!

ElleThe company Naughty Dog has a reputation for releasing near perfect games, and they have outdone themselves. Even the Uncharted series pales in comparison to their latest. It is clear from the first 10 minutes of the game that nothing will be held back and you are in for an emotional roller coaster. Even on the easiest difficulty it can brutally hard. You can’t just walk through the game and not be resourceful. Everything you do, whether it be picking up a crafting part, or deciding whether to choke or shoot an enemy, means something. One wrong choice and its certain death.

It has been 20 years since a global pandemic has wiped out most of the human population. Nature has taken over and cities lie in ruin. Most survivors live under strict military rules, but the world is still being decimated. You control Joel, a man who suffered major loss during the outbreak. He is tasked with smuggling Ellie, a 14 year old girl, out of the city and delivering her to a group of people on the other side of the country. This starts their journey as they battle both human and infected enemies at every turn and struggle to survive.

JoelThough the game can be completed just by going from point to point, exploration is highly encouraged- you never know what life saving item you may find. The voice acting is a high point, and the scares and thrills leave you on the edge of you’re seat. The highlight, however, is the relationship between Joel and Ellie. Watching their relationship develop from that of a gruff guy and lonely girl to that of a father and daughter is better than anything I have seen in any media, whether it be movie, TV, or game. Honestly, it’s better than most real life relationships I’ve seen. You will genuinely care for these people, and whenever something happens to one of them it is painful to watch.

In case you missed my point, The Last of Us is easily game of the year for me. Yes, I know that’s a bold statement as we still have half a year of games to come out, but I am that convinced. As a matter of fact, I can easily place this among my top five games of all time. If you own a PS3, you owe it to yourself to purchase a copy as soon as possible.

5+/5 stars