- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Developer: EA Tiburon
- ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
- Genre: Sports
- Pros: Lifelike course recreation, deep variety of game modes, Tiger's Legacy
- Cons: Essentially the same as last year's game, some animation glitches, some course graphics that are starting to feel dated
Understandably shaken by the tabloid controversy surrounding the destruction of the personal life of Tiger Woods, EA pulled back somewhat from their iconic star in their last two games, focusing on the Ryder Cup for "11" and The Masters for "12." While Tiger shares the cover with phenom Rory McIlroy for "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13," this edition feels much more centered around Woods, still one of the most famous athletes in the world, than any of the other post-Tigergate incarnations.
The sense that the game has "returned to Tiger" is never truer than in the "Tiger's Legacy" mode, a series of challenges built around the key moments in the life of Tiger Woods. Starting with his toddler years, in which you have to use a tiny Woods to lob golf balls into backyard pools and even compete in child competitions through to the moments that made him a superstar, the developers of "Tiger's Legacy" have loyally taken every anecdote and piece of biographical information from Woods’ life and turned them into something to be recreated with a controller in your hands. They even look into their crystal ball and try and envision potential future tournament wins for you to play. Some of the challenges are essentially mini-games and they can get a bit repetitive (especially given the game's long load times, a notable problem throughout the game), but it's a cleverly designed mode that offers something new to golf game players and fans of Tiger Woods.
It's one of the few new offerings in "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13." The bulk of the game will feel familiar to the point that if you're still enjoying the "12" edition, you may want to hold off on upgrading. Most of the course design, the player animations, the XP system that allows for increased attributes (Power, Accuracy, Putting, etc.) is pretty much the same as it was before. While the "12" version was a beauty, it is a bit disappointing to see the developers fail to improve the game visually. The courses have been beautifully rendered, but there are little things -- the look of a bunker, a shadow that doesn't cut through the trees quite right, etc. -- that were more acceptable in a 2011 game than they are just a year later, especially when EA is asking gamers to spend another $60 on a title they bought just a year ago.
As for modes, "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13" includes what one would expect, including a deep Career mode in which you create your own player, get sponsors, win tournaments, and work your way to the Masters. There's also a boost pin system this year in which you can add certain pins to enhance attributes for one round only. It's not exactly "realistic," but it adds a fun twist to the gameplay. You can also use the Caddie again to help increase your chances for a successful shot as he will tell you how much to open your stance, add loft, etc. Don't worry. He's not always right, so he doesn't completely remove strategy from the game. And the swing controls have been slightly tweaked this year as you have to time your swing with the analog stick (or the Move) with a bit more precision.