AP critics pick the year's best video games
FILE - This publicity photo released by 2K Games/Irrational Games shows the character, Elizabeth, in a scene from the video game "BioShock Infinite." (AP Photo/2K Games/Irrational Games, File)
The top 10 video games of 2013, according to Lou Kesten:
1. "BioShock Infinite" (Irrational Games, for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC): The latest adventure from provocateur Ken Levine asks tough questions about the bloody path of American history. And it doesn't provide easy answers — indeed, the more you learn about its setting, the flying city of Columbia, the loopier it gets. No other game this year bent my brain as much.
2. "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag" (Ubisoft Montreal, for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC): Stealth and swordplay have always been at the core of this series, but "Black Flag" adds a stirring new element: engrossing sea battles, as you and the crew of your pirate ship romp across the Caribbean of the 1730s.
3. "Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch" (Studio Ghibli and Level-5, for the PlayStation 3): The Japanese studios behind movies like "Spirited Away" and games like "Dragon Quest" collaborated on this sprawling epic about a kid transported to an alternate universe. It provides all the pleasures of a deep role-playing game with the charm and humor of great anime.
4. "Tomb Raider" (Crystal Dynamics, for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC): Video-game icon Lara Croft gets an origin story, as the shipwrecked heroine fights for survival on an island full of goons. As teenage Lara evolves from helpless to deadly, you can't help but think this kid's got a bright future.
5. "The Last of Us" (Naughty Dog, for the PlayStation 3): This journey across a post-apocalyptic United States presents one nerve-racking confrontation after another — but it will be best remembered for the smartly written, subtly acted relationship between its protagonists, a bitter survivor and the lively young girl he's sworn to protect.
FILE - This video game image released by Ubisoft shows a scene from "Assassinís Creed IV: Black Flag." (AP Photo/Ubisoft)
6. "Gone Home" (The Fullbright Company, for PC): Remember that feeling of returning to your childhood home only to realize you don't really know anyone who lives there? That's the mood captured by this sweet, sad yet hopeful mystery, told entirely through the things a family has left behind.
7. "Device 6" (Simogo, for iOS): This witty mystery reminded me of the classic text adventures of the 1980s — except now, you have to rotate your iPad to follow along. The elegant design, with just a smattering of pictures and music, makes the creepy story all the more effective.