Multiplayer Experience of 2013 – The Winners

2013 was certainly an exciting, but ultimately disappointing year for multiplayer games. That’s not to say some really great stuff didn’t come out of it, however.

If we were to travel back in time to mid-2013, hype for first-person shooters was at an all time high. Not only were publishing giants Activision and EA gearing up for the launch of their respective flagship shooters, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4, but gamers got to anxiously anticipate their release on Microsoft and Sony’s next-generation consoles as well. Thrown into the mix was also Guerrilla Games’ Killzone: Shadow Fall, which would demonstrate the true power of next-gen FPS gaming on the PlayStation 4.

Come late October/early November, Call of Duty: Ghosts failed to raise any bars, while Battlefield 4 experienced one of the rockiest launches in FPS history. Killzone: Shadow Fall sure was pretty to look at, but its gameplay offered nothing more than more of the same.

That’s not to say it’s all doom and gloom for these titles. Battlefield 4 might be seen as a broken mess now, but like good wine, it will get better with age. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it became the multiplayer experience of 2014 for a lot of shooter fans. Likewise, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Killzone: Shadow Fall will continue to provide a solid FPS experience for gamers well into 2014 with continued support and DLC drops.

Meanwhile in 2013, games like DOTA 2 continued to build up momentum and popularity through tournament play, Diablo III made its debut on consoles, and we were pleasantly surprised with the multiplayer offerings from The Last of Us and the in-depth fighting mechanics of Injustice: Gods Among Us. PAYDAY 2’s Summer launch offered gamers a fantastic cooperative shooter and though GTA Online’s much anticipated October launch fell short of expectations, also experiencing a few bumps and bruises in its first few days online, it nonetheless provided gamers with high entertainment value. There were, of course, a few options for racing fans out there with next-gen titles like Need for Speed: Rivals and the Xbox One-exclusive Forza Motorsport 5.

Anxiously looking forward to 2014, the coming year in gaming might very well be one of the best yet for quality multiplayer experiences. Jam-packed with titles like DayZ, Titanfall, Destiny, The Division, Halo 5, plus what ever comes out of Activision and EA’s fall launch line-up, 2014 is going to be a good one and we can’t wait for things to get rolling.

Right now, I think you’ll find some of our choices for 2013 rather intriguing. We’ve even surprised ourselves. Titles you might think would have made the top of our list are nowhere to be found, while other titles we barely even covered this year somehow crept up to the top spots. So, let’s get to it.

Without further ado, here are our winners of MP1st’s Multiplayer Experience of 2013 Award.

Third Place

The Last of Us

The Last of Us’ focus on amazing story telling in one of this year’s most memorable single player campaigns sure didn’t stop developers Naughty Dog from surprising us with one of the best multiplayer experiences 2013 had to offer.

With its unique blend of slow-paced, tension-filled, team-oriented multiplayer combat and unique survival elements, The Last of Us offered a fantastic alternative to your every-day, shoot-em-up multiplayer game that has become the norm.

Naughty Dog, you’ve been a good boy this year.

Second Place


A top-notch multiplayer experience crafted by the talented guys and gals over at Starbreeze Studios and Overkill Software, PAYDAY 2 offered the best cooperative experience of 2013 in our eyes. The game’s simple-to-play-but-hard to-master philosophy made it a fantastic shooter to pick up and play for some quick fun, while offering tons of depth where you and your buddies could spend hours mastering the most effective bank robbery techniques through trial and error.

Excellent work, Starbreeze Studios and Overkill Software. We look forward to your continued support of PAYDAY 2 into 2014.

First Place


Clearly this year’s biggest multiplayer experience. With one of the largest communities in gaming and some of the most well-backed tournaments in competitive eSports, DOTA 2 is the place to be if you enjoy testing your wits, teamwork, perseverance, and determination on a virtual battlefield with your closest allies.

DOTA 2 is the epitome of virtual, online competition, which is what multiplayer gaming is all about and why we chose it as this year’s ultimate winner. Not only that, but through months of beta testing, Valve was able to launch a quality product on day one, despite the complexity of the project.

Having only officially launched for everyone last month, this is just the beginning for Valve’s finest in one of the fastest growing genres in gaming today.

The Breakdown

How this year’s top three winners were decided was through a tally system that was applied to MP1st’s Staff Awards; three points for a first place pick, two points for a second place pick, and 1 point for a third place pick. The final list ended up looking a little bit like this:

6 points – DOTA 2

5 points – PAYDAY 2

4 points – The Last of Us

3 points – Battlefield 4 / Battleblock Theater / Injustice: Gods Among Us

2 points – Crysis 3 / Warframe / Diablo III / Grand Theft Auto Online / Killzone: Shadow Fall

1 point – Insurgency / Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Ultimately, the final list is a mix up of games we enjoyed the most throughout the year, and games we may not have had a chance to sink much time into, but are deserving of the MPX 2013 nomination nevertheless.

You can read more about why we chose the games we did in our Multiplayer Experience of 2013 Staff Awards list and find out what games our readers voted for by checking out the Readers’ Choice Award winner.

What are your thoughts on this past year of multiplayer gaming? Did you run into many enjoyable experiences, or were you mostly left disappointed? Also, how did we do with our choices?

Let us know in the comments and happy 2014!

  • MegaMan3k

    This is like a “who’s who” of the games that barely had any coverage on this site. Bizarre. And spectacular.

    • jameslara

      Ha yea we debated about that XD, but it came down to that

  • dieger

    man i need to get payday 2 :/ but i don’t wanna get any other version but the PC *sigh* guess its time to upgrade it

    • Santiago Garza

      The best choice is the one where you will be playing with friends (if they also have the game or plan buying it), because that’s when the game is most enjoyed. 😀

      • dieger

        no you should always get payday on PC the console version are abandoned by the devs

  • Oag0

    Last of us multiplayer should have never got close

  • Mr. Thuggins

    The REAL Winners: the developers/publishers who made a killing off of broken, unfinished games.

    • roland0811

      Too true. Gaming’s been going downhill fast since ’06-’07 and I don’t see anything in 2014 that looks like it’s going to pull out of the slide. At least I have my retro libraries to spend my money on.

      • Just saying

        wow, Don’t say that!!!!! Late 2014 will bring us Destiny and The Division which are, in my opinion, really promising to take us out of 2013 frustrating games.

        • roland0811

          The Division….maaaayyyybe. But as for Destiny, I’m not holding my breath.

          • Manatee

            Watch Dogs and The Division….

        • TI_21

          To tell the truth, the only AAA game for 2014 I’m genuinely looking forward to at the moment is Infamous. I kind of lost interest in most of the others at some point, so they need to prove themselves.

          • Just saying

            I’m really optimistic about what 2014 is bringing to the table. So many promising games that I’ll try to get most of them if I can.

      • James Mulhall

        Going downhill? The past few years we’ve had amazing games like all the Bioshocks, The Last of Us, Uncharted, GTA, Killzone, Heavy Rain.. I don’t see gaming going downhill at all, maybe Multiplayer is going downhill, but the single player games just keep getting better.

        • roland0811

          Maybe I’m picky but I didn’t see the appeal in most of the games listed, ESPECIALLY Killzone, Skyrim, Bioshock and Uncharted. I’ve played all the games in that list and personally wouldn’t grade them more than a weekend rental.

          But, however, I’ll agree that multiplayer has gone downhill as well. Ghost Recon is essentially dead. Counter Strike is, well, the same run ‘n gun game it’s been for over a decade. CoD’s been crap since CoD4. Halo hasn’t had a decent entry since Halo3. Battlefield has taken twitch shooter clusterf*ck to a whole new level.

          I dunno, I think I’ve been playing so long and the ’90s and early ’00s set such high standards that maybe I’m spoiled on all fronts when it comes to single player, co-op and multiplayer. There were a couple of surprises for me, though, over the past few years that have given me a glimmer of hope that some devs still believe in releasing complete, finished and tested games that are not only fun and engaging, but innovative as well.

          Also: PayDay 2 is the most fun I’ve had since GRAW 2’s co-op. So there’s that. 🙂

  • SamRock

    Where does Ghost stand in the breakdown?? Just curious because I dont see it anywhere!

    • James K

      No one in the Mp1st team chose Ghosts so it didn’t win this year.

      • SamRock

        THat makes sense!

        Thanks for sharing.. looks like all the issues with BF4 took away the attention from Ghost.

        • Call me odd, but even though Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts are the two games I’ve played the most since October/November, i don’t feel either are worthy of my MPX choices.

          I truly, honestly, deeply love Battlefield 4, but it’s simply an incomplete product at the moment. I’ve always loved Call of Duty, but I still think Ghosts is a step back from Black Ops 2 in too many areas.

          Like I said, it’s been a weird year for MP games!

  • awkenney

    Ok, so MP1st is clearly broadening at this point. None of these three games really appealed to the core audience of this site from even a year ago, and yet here we are. The climate has changed… and I’m still not entirely sure if I like it.

    • jameslara

      We have readers we have to keep please, that is true, but this may seem a bit harsh or whatever. I hate the idea of bending over backwards for our readers when it goes against our own opinion. We didn’t pick Ghost because we simply didn’t like it in comparison to other titles. BF4 didn’t win simply because it was to buggy for us to cope with for the first few months. It felt incomplete.