For all the hype surrounding a new generation of consoles, 2013 demonstrated that mastery over the form is more significant than the number of particles pushed onto screens. The vast world of Los Santos layered glistening beauty upon gruelling grit, while The Last Of Us cut through an overcrowded genre with a refined script and unflinching creative vision. Both are standouts of a year in which big-budget games pushed at the limits of size and polish, but were otherwise content to refine genres rather than reinvent them. Again, the indie scene picked up the slack, daring to tell stories of emotional hardship and the nature of choice. But even it seemed focused on the promise of consoles to come, with a number of games slipping to 2014.