2013 Game of the Year: Plants Vs. Zombies 2

We’ve reviewed hundreds of games this year and come up with two lists of our favorite titles. But only one can receive our Game of the Year award, and this year that accolade goes to one of the best strategy games around on any platform. It also happens to be free. Our Game of the Year for 2013 is Plants Vs. Zombies 2.

You can almost never go wrong with PopCap Games, the maker of classics like Bejeweled and Peggle. Plants Vs. Zombies 2 continues their winning streak with a sequel to the amazing original. This sequel offers the same addictive, strategic gameplay but expands the game in just about every way. It has multiple levels that span different time periods, like ancient Egypt and the pirate seas.

Plants Vs. Zombies 2 is a free-to-play game, which had many gamers who loved the first one worried. PopCap didn’t litter the game with a bunch of roadblocks and annoyances like many other freemium games. Instead, they give players loads and loads of content for absolutely nothing, and lets players who want more power-ups or quicker access to plants and levels to pay to unlock them. We played through the entire game without spending a dime, as did a lot of other people we’ve talked to.

It’s also a game that feels right at home on a touchscreen. The gameplay is made up of simple taps– tap to select a flower, tap to place it, tap to pick up sunlight, etc. It’s such a good match for the platform that it feels more at home on an iPhone or iPad than it does on a computer or console.

To top it off, the cartoonish graphics are gorgeous, with crisp animations that look like they could be right out of a Disney cartoon, and music that soars. Plants Vs. Zombies 2 satisfies on every level, and that’s why we’re giving it our Game of the Year award for 2013.

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