|2013 was one of the strongest years ever in video game history. Never before have so many AAA and indie titles with such overwhelming quality debuted in the same short timespan. In any other year, games like BioShock Infinite or Grand Theft Auto V would have easily walked away with this award. Unfortunately for them, however, they were not only released in this tough year but also alongside The Last of Us. It was clear upon release and even more so six months later how important of an achievement The Last of Us is for the medium. It’s not the deepest story to ever grace a game, but it’s one of the most realistic and perfectly paced ones we’ve experienced in one. Thanks to its mature manner, it’s one of the few video game stories that could truly be adapted into a film and preserve its integrity. It doesn’t succumb to convoluted, branching plotlines or crucial story elements told through side stories or item pickups, but instead presents everything in a single perfectly unfolded story. Better yet, Nauighty Dog resisted implementing any larger than life boss battles with a clicker as tall as a skyscraper — with one of the most memorable “boss battles” simply seeing Joel face of against another man. Most importantly, however, The Last of Us proved how far video games have evolved and gave hope for where the medium would go — and managed to do so on seven year old hardware.