Well I can't say 2013 was a bad year for gaming. At least for indie games. It was big in 2012, and 2013 was even bigger the amount of indie games released. If we consider the indie games released in either Steam or even Desura (which I consider to be the launching pad for indie games), one can see the huge amount of indie titles going around. From adventure to rpg, single or multiplayer games, created by either small group of developers, or in some cases individual developers, there's something for every taste.
As a few examples I can point out some (random pick). Let's see...
I only got this game this Christmas, but I have a friend who is (was since he beaten the game so many times) crazy for it. It's a sidescroller action game with rpg elements, but there are few elements that makes it rather unique. For once, you are part of a family of adventurers and each family member is your hero in any given game you play until it dies. When he dies, he gets replaced by another hero of the family and keeps the family line going on. Eventually the family line keeps getting on until you beat the game (hence the Legacy name, I suppose). The rpg comes in a form of a skill tree that you can get updates every time you gold in a previous adventure. With that gold you buy those skills from the tree, and eventually you get stronger enough to beat more challenges. Overall, for the little I played of this game, I find it quite interesting, although I'm awful bad at playing this game. I just hope as I grab more skills it gets easier for me. (As a side note, I'm really bad at side scrolling games).
I would recommend this game, for any side scroller fan player who enjoys a light rpg.
What Diablo 3 should be or at least learn from. Path of Exile is yet another example of some fine indie games seen in 2013. It was on beta from 2012 or more, but it saw it's official release on October 2013.For those you don't know it, it's a action rpg much like Diablo but on the contrary to the latest Diablo 3, it offers much more diversity in terms of playing. Boasting from a huge skill tree to learn, to a very interesting crafting system and to a much more rewarding drop system, Path of Exile is everything Diablo 3 is not, and still much more. And the best part of it, it's truly free to play.
Another good example, at least in my opinion is Reus. It's a sort of god like game, where the player controls 4 giants, that transform the planet to every need, to make it habitable by humans, and to face their every needs. It sounds a bit simple but the result is a very entertaining strategy game. Like the old god like strategy games from Bullfrog.
If you like strategy, I can easily recommend this one.
Well there are far more titles, but most of them I haven't played yet, like Monaco or Don't Starve. Indie games everywhere. Another feature of most indie games, they are much more cheap than most AAA games. While let's say a Tomb Raider goes around 45 euros, Reus goes around 10 euros or Rogue Legacy goes around 14 euros. And if, like me, a user of Steam, you wait for seasonal or occasional sales, you can get these titles less then half-price.
But not everything was indie games this year. There been a few AAA titles out, even some expected, like the new Tomb Raider (haven't played but it's said it's a very good game), Saints Row IV or even Bioshock Infinite.
Linux is also becoming a platform of choice for gaming. Again thanks to indie games, Linux has seen a major increase in titles available to it. If the number is correct, there are at the moment more than 400 titles available for Linux, at Steam. That's rather impressive, considering Linux wasn't much of a pick for developers, a couple of years ago. And every day more and more games are going to it.
As you may have guessed it by now, I'm a Steam user. And as games comes, in my opinion, it's the best digital platform for games available anywhere. Sure, for the defenders of DRM, Steam is evil, but for me it's a lesser evil. I know if one day, for any given reason I can't access Steam, I will loose access to my games (unless I back up them all), but that's a risk I'm willing to take. At the moment Steam offers services, that for me are very interesting, like trading, cards collecting or achievement hunt. Also Steam features a Market where people can sell items or cards for money (Steam wallet), which allows players with time or eye for it to make some money and get games "free".
Also, Linux can thank a lot to Steam because it was it that gave the kick Linux gaming needed. And soon we will see Steam Machines, featuring Linux OS.
Good Old Games (GoG), is my second choice when it comes to digital platform for games. I choose GoG when it goes for classic games. Classics like the Ultima series, Wing Commander Series or the Baldur's Gate Games or the Bullfrog games. As a seller for classic games, nothing can beat GoG. One can find now, more recent indie games, but in that regard my pick goes to Steam.
2013 been quite a interesting year for gaming, as usual in the last few years. And if things keep going, I expect to see in 2014 many more, and better indie games going out, Linux becoming a even major platform for gaming and Witcher 3 being a kick ass game. :)
As a final note, and a personal one, I'd like to point out again Tremorgames. Any Steam user with the luxury of time, should note this site. This website features a huge selection of web based games, and some of these games, have a achievement system, in which case any achievement will give the player a specific currency (Tremor Coins) that can be used in exchange for Steam games available in site for "purchase". I've been using this site for a year now, and my results have been quite satisfactory.