25 votes

What are your personal picks for "Games of the Decade"?

The 2010s are coming to a close soon, and I'm curious to know what your gaming highlights are from the past decade.

To be clear: these are your personal standouts so don't feel beholden to popularity, critical opinion, review scores, or anything else like that. If a game was great for you and you deem it worthy of mentioning, then by all means go for it. I'm not interested in a list of the "most important" games of the decade but individual lists from individual people.

Please let us know why you loved the games that you're choosing, and what makes them worth mentioning as your personal picks for "Games of the Decade." Furthermore, choose as many or as few as you like. I'm also not even going to limit this to games released in the 2010s, as I know that many games released before then have gotten new life in this decade through patches, mods, randomizers, online communities, etc.

Basically, there are no rules for this list other than "tell me what games you loved these past ten years, and why."

56 comments

  1. [7]
    NaraVara
    Link
    I think I'm going to focus more on design mechanics that either haven't been topped, broad impact on the culture, or stuff I hope to see more of in the future. Breath of the Wild: Now this is how...

    I think I'm going to focus more on design mechanics that either haven't been topped, broad impact on the culture, or stuff I hope to see more of in the future.

    • Breath of the Wild: Now this is how you do an open world game. They have enough faith in the gameplay to actually let you figure out what's important and what you need to do to move forward. The only map markers are the ones you put on yourself, like a real boyscout going out there with a map. The reward loop is based on you having fun doing activities that are intrinsically fun and engaging to do rather than falling back on Skinner box mechanics to congratulate you based on rewards/praise like you're some kind of maze-rat. All of it comes down to design. They have enough confidence in their design to trust that you'll have fun with it and figure out the stuff you need to figure out. I hope open world games moving forward take a page out of this book and prioritize moving you forward through fun/engagement rather than acting like a kanban board is the way to enjoy playing a game.

    • Mario Odyssey: Similar to BotW, but also here because of the sheer density of content. They manage to pack so much stuff into such small spaces, and they made the act of going through those spaces so joyful and fun on its own.

    • Mass Effect: 2 is the best of them, but the games should really be thought of as a cohesive series. It had some stumbling blocks throughout. The first game had really bad combat mechanics and throughout the series the facial animations were a bit dodgy and everyone seemed way too conscious about acting out their stage directions. They also had a lot of padding that didn't really amount to anything and they never quite figured out how to do inventory/gear management in ways that were any fun. But the characters, writing, and overall story were incredible and, IMO haven't been topped yet.

    • GTA V: I honestly have no idea how they've managed to keep this game fresh or so long. It's got a lot of online gambling mechanics built in (including a literal casino), but the game itself was really fun and, storewide, a great meta commentary on "gamers."

    • Street Fighter IV: It brought fighting games back into mainstream consciousness honestly.

    • Starcraft 2: It brought real-time strategy games back into mainstream consciousness. This was also the point where a lot of my cohort got back into gaming after various college/early career hiatuses we took. This might just be personal anecdote though.

    • Minecraft: Basically all of Generation Z's introduction to gaming happened through this game. And, similar to BotW, I really appreciate it's willingness to just toss you in and give you room to play. I'm a big fan of the idea that games are supposed to be fun.

    • League of Legends/DotA2: I can't pick one since they concurrently defined the genre. Not much to say about it honestly as I don't particularly like the genre. But credit where credit is due.

    • Crusader Kings 2: I honestly never imagined you could make an RPG out of a 4x game. Like, a real RPG. I hope to see a lot more mechanics for emergent storytelling in the future, both as a sequel to this and as ways to let people write up their own stories in games of any genre.

    • Witcher 3: I hate the kanban board as gameplay device paradigm, but as long as that's what we're doing Witcher 3 was the best in class. It wasn't perfect. The inventory and crafting system was replete with unnecessary and pointless task management, they left you to spend too much time derping around the map while there is ostensibly a crisis going on, and the combat system/gameplay loops weren't quite good enough to carry you through the entirety of the game playtime. But the writing and story suffuses every element of the game, letting you forget that you're basically working through a kanban board. Over time you really got to form a relationship with Geralt and inhabit the character.

    • Fortnite: Similar to Minecraft. I like this less, though, since they basically replaced the joy of creative play with a thinly veiled excuse to make you spend money on stupid shit. But, again, credit where it's due.

    • PUBG: See my note on Fortnite, and then remove the bit about consumerist crap. This get credit for being the first, and better than the more popular Fortnite.

    • Bastion: I'm surprised how few lists this game ended up on. It's simple, it's straightforward, it has a compelling story with a gorgeous soundtrack and art direction. There hadn't been a great beat-em-up style action game in a while and this was a wonderful update of the genre and I hope were get a lot more fun revivals of old genres. Hollow Knight is another great example of this sort of thing along with other indie darlings like Cuphead or Meat Boy.

    • Skyrim: I actually really don't like Bethesda games. They are everything I don't like about open world games distilled into a really concentrated form. They mistake lore for storytelling and volume for depth. They have no real sense for engaging characters and everything just seems like you're wandering through a theme park full of animatronics than a real, breathing world. That all said, the stuff they do well they do really well. The world building is so thorough and detailed you can't help but want to go around and satisfy your curiosity. There is so much stuff to do and things to explore, and it's all rendered beautifully. Its not really surprising people are still playing this game like, 10 years on.

    • Dark Souls: I, for one, welcome our rediscovered love of single player games that are actually challenging.

    • Stardew Valley: I still cannot believe this was made by one guy. Every part of it is so well done, from the music to the charming art, to the super rewarding gameplay loop. This is a game that, similarly to Minecraft, is all about letting you do what you want to do. There's been lots of criticism about how games are just adolescent power fantasies, but this like, the ultimate millennial power fantasy. It's not about beating anyone up, it's about having work that's satisfying and a nice place to live with a community around me.

    • Firewatch: This and all the various walking sims ought to get a mention. I like the willingness to explore new mechanics for storytelling and Firewatch, in particular, did a really good job of telling a story in a really experiential way. I would actually put Amnesia and other sorts of horror games in the same category as this.

    • Arkham City/Spiderman:(Both here because of best-in-class at combat mechanics/flow. I think Akrham City is still actually better that Spidey at combat, but Spidey is just so good at traversal mechanics that I can't pick.

    22 votes
    1. soctar
      Link Parent
      "...the ultimate millennial power fantasy" is such a perfect and heartwarming description. Thanks for writing it!

      "...the ultimate millennial power fantasy" is such a perfect and heartwarming description. Thanks for writing it!

      3 votes
    2. bleem
      Link Parent
      re witcher 3: I'm doing another play through right now and a lot of the mods for pc take care of all the stupid micromanaging of the inventory. Like auto apply oils, auto use the least valuable...

      re witcher 3: I'm doing another play through right now and a lot of the mods for pc take care of all the stupid micromanaging of the inventory.

      Like auto apply oils, auto use the least valuable alcohol when you meditate to make potions, unlimited weight, vendors have more money, no equipment degradation.

      2 votes
    3. zigzagzig
      Link Parent
      Only thing missing is Smash Bros Switch

      Only thing missing is Smash Bros Switch

      1 vote
    4. [3]
      Staross
      Link Parent
      If I go with play time then Dota 2 wins easily, almost 3k hours...

      If I go with play time then Dota 2 wins easily, almost 3k hours...

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        markh
        Link Parent
        To put this in perspective, if you worked 8 hours per day every single day - including Saturdays and Sundays - you would reach 3000 hours of work in 375 days, more than one year. That’s a lot of...

        To put this in perspective, if you worked 8 hours per day every single day - including Saturdays and Sundays - you would reach 3000 hours of work in 375 days, more than one year. That’s a lot of time in a game.

        2 votes
        1. Staross
          Link Parent
          It's a bit insane indeed, that said I've been playing for almost 6 years, so I don't feel that bad about it.

          It's a bit insane indeed, that said I've been playing for almost 6 years, so I don't feel that bad about it.

  2. [5]
    OswaldTheCatfish
    Link
    Without a doubt it has to be Minecraft. Just on a personal level it is what got me to gaming and is still easily my most played game. The ease, scale, and variety of mods that take an already...

    Without a doubt it has to be Minecraft. Just on a personal level it is what got me to gaming and is still easily my most played game. The ease, scale, and variety of mods that take an already fantastic game and improve it in a million different ways for different flavors makes the replayability almost infinite.

    I can still remember the first time I played the game, I had no context or understanding for what was going on, I had only seen videos like The Yogscast's Shadow of Israphel series which offered no real help. There was a sense of wonder and mystery. No tutorial to speak of gave made every advancement I made a true sense of accomplishment. I built up a house with walls of sand and could not figure out why the roof kept falling in. I got attacked by spiders and died. My first successful attempt I had dug into the side of a mountain and lived in a small hole. I had learned more by that point but the sense of wonder was still there. I knew the basics of how to make a pickaxe but there was still a mythology surrounding the game and its world that completely captured me. I had no idea the true scale or extent of what was in the game or what I could do and that made everything seem so much more limitless and magical than it even was.

    As an influence on the industry at large, it was one of (if not the first) large "indie hits" and could be credited with putting small or 1 man studios on peoples radars as something that can exist or can be successful. It also (for better or for worse) heavily influenced the expansion of the survival game genre and the survival mechanics or base building mechanics that have shown up in many games since then. Minecraft is also the first highly successful game I can think of to do an "early access" model, potentially helping people and studios see it as a valid option.

    Minecraft also helped catapult many youtubers to success, including my favorites (both at the time and now), the Yogscast, HatFilms, and a few others. The culture that it spawned on youtube was insane, and still continues to this day to a lesser extent. Lets plays, music videos, art, entire stories all made within the game.

    Minecraft can be a bit jankey at times but I personally believe that it is one of, if not the best games of all time. Sorry for the long post, its 3 am and I just really love Minecraft.

    Plus we got an entertainingly horrible twitter account run by an absolute crackhead.

    16 votes
    1. [4]
      ducc
      Link Parent
      Do you think he was always like this and decided to let loose once he was detached from Mojang / Minecraft, or what?

      Plus we got an entertainingly horrible twitter account run by an absolute crackhead.

      Do you think he was always like this and decided to let loose once he was detached from Mojang / Minecraft, or what?

      7 votes
      1. moocow1452
        Link Parent
        I said this earlier, but Notch is the living embodiment of a Twilight Zone parable about how making it big and never having to work another day in your life isn't going to make you any happier or...

        I said this earlier, but Notch is the living embodiment of a Twilight Zone parable about how making it big and never having to work another day in your life isn't going to make you any happier or better of a person.

        12 votes
      2. pseudolobster
        Link Parent
        Minecraft got a lot of its early users and exposure from 4chan. Notch has been known to post there. I think he's always been like this, but having "fuck you money" took the filter off.

        Minecraft got a lot of its early users and exposure from 4chan. Notch has been known to post there. I think he's always been like this, but having "fuck you money" took the filter off.

        11 votes
      3. OswaldTheCatfish
        Link Parent
        I personally think he was always a nut, but from what I saw both before and shortly after selling Minecraft he seemed pretty lonely and sad. He never appeared to have any actual friends and he got...

        I personally think he was always a nut, but from what I saw both before and shortly after selling Minecraft he seemed pretty lonely and sad. He never appeared to have any actual friends and he got a divorce about a year after getting married. I think all of that combined with the isolation of having fuckloads of money kinda just made him lose it.

        10 votes
  3. [3]
    mrbig
    Link
    Portal 2. Hands down.

    Portal 2. Hands down.

    17 votes
    1. aymm
      Link Parent
      Oh, I completely forgot it came out this decade! Looks like I really need to go through my library and sort by release date

      Oh, I completely forgot it came out this decade! Looks like I really need to go through my library and sort by release date

      2 votes
    2. joplin
      Link Parent
      Agreed! I still play every Friday with my coworker. The user-made maps (both co-op and single-player) are unusually high quality. (Well you can certainly find bad ones, but there are a lot of good...

      Agreed! I still play every Friday with my coworker. The user-made maps (both co-op and single-player) are unusually high quality. (Well you can certainly find bad ones, but there are a lot of good ones.) I wish more game developers would think outside the FPS box and create cool mechanics like this. Another game with cool mechanics (though I wouldn't call it one of the games of the decade) is "A Story About My Uncle".

      2 votes
  4. [3]
    tunneljumper
    Link
    We have to talk about how the Dark Souls franchise inspired an entire genre. The degree of worldbuilding and attention to detail is unparalleled in its contemporaries.

    We have to talk about how the Dark Souls franchise inspired an entire genre. The degree of worldbuilding and attention to detail is unparalleled in its contemporaries.

    12 votes
    1. TheJorro
      Link Parent
      And the level design. I don't think Dark Souls would have taken off if it wasn't for its tightly constructed, cohesive level design where the levels folded back on themselves repeatedly. It really...

      And the level design. I don't think Dark Souls would have taken off if it wasn't for its tightly constructed, cohesive level design where the levels folded back on themselves repeatedly. It really helped communicate the idea that this game wasn't just some slog through unpolished gameplay and assets (which a lot of people thought Demon's Souls was when it was new), but that instead there was a clear intention and purpose behind the game's design.

      Demon's Souls had the hub world design that 2 and 3 kept but those were always put up against the original Dark Souls' level design as a result. Sekiro and Bloodborne returned more to the cohesive singular level design and people enjoyed that.

      7 votes
    2. somewaffles
      Link Parent
      It's such a close call between Dark Souls and Bloodborne. In my mind, BB is as close to a "perfect" game as I have ever played. Between sound/music, art direction, story, pacing, general mechanics...

      It's such a close call between Dark Souls and Bloodborne. In my mind, BB is as close to a "perfect" game as I have ever played. Between sound/music, art direction, story, pacing, general mechanics and atmosphere it nailed everything to the likes of which I have never seen a game of that length (I'd almost consider Portal 1 to fall into this near perfect category but it was almost demo length.) Dark Souls is amazing, but it has massive 3rd act issues and feels clunky at times compared to BB or 3. It's also the case that without DS1, BB probably wouldn't exist, so it's a tough call.

      4 votes
  5. pseudolobster
    Link
    According to steam the games I've played the most are FTL: Faster Than Light, and Rogue Legacy. I guess that comes down to roguelikes having a ton of replayability. I don't feel particularly...

    According to steam the games I've played the most are FTL: Faster Than Light, and Rogue Legacy. I guess that comes down to roguelikes having a ton of replayability. I don't feel particularly strongly about either one.

    The games I've had the most fun playing have probably been BoTW and GTA5. Both give you the opportunity to create all kinds of unscripted mayhem, and both have huge worlds to explore.

    Cuphead and Untitled Goose Game deserve honourable mentions for capturing their aesthetic so well. Neither are very deep, but they both accomplished exactly what they set out to do. They're both really polished in terms of art, design, and gameplay.

    Probably the game that captivated me the most, and I got the deepest into was Factorio. Aside from Tetris, I don't think I've ever played a game so much I've dreamt about it. No other game has invaded my thoughts as much as Factorio did when I first played it. It seems to play on a deep, almost OCD-like compulsion to constantly optimize things, where no matter how long you play nothing is ever perfect and you can always find things to improve.

    11 votes
  6. [2]
    orbit
    Link
    It might sound cliche, but honestly I'd have to pick Breath of the Wild. I've never been so sucked into a game and it's respective story so much before, and it was my first time playing Zelda,...

    It might sound cliche, but honestly I'd have to pick Breath of the Wild. I've never been so sucked into a game and it's respective story so much before, and it was my first time playing Zelda, going into it without knowing anything about the game's reception. I was absolutely blown away by how much they packed into a Switch game and the level of detail in every little aspect of the story and mechanics.

    9 votes
    1. clem
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      As a Zelda fan since I was 6 years old (1988), this is my pick, too. I feel a little unique in that many Zelda fans do not consider this the best in the series due to the lack of typical dungeons...

      As a Zelda fan since I was 6 years old (1988), this is my pick, too. I feel a little unique in that many Zelda fans do not consider this the best in the series due to the lack of typical dungeons and linear gameplay, but I also don't care about being unique in my love for this game. To me, Breath of the Wild is in homage to what I felt when playing The Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link, and Link's Awakening as a child (I leave out A Link to the Past because I didn't get an SNES until many years after its release). I loved the feeling of being alone in a vast world, something I never felt in any of the other 3D Zelda games. The worlds were either too small, to[o] populated, or too linear.

      But much like in the first two Zelda games, Breath of the Wild throws you into its world, and (other than the tutorial stuff at the beginning) leaves you alone to explore. This is exactly what I did when playing those early Zelda games and when imagining I was Link (or that my Lego Robin Hood was him) as a kid. Other than the lack of spooky dungeons, Breath of the Wild was everything I'd been waiting for in a 3D Zelda. It's my favorite game of all time. What I wouldn't give to forget the game and play it again for the first time!

      10 votes
  7. nothis
    Link
    The Witness. It’s, hands down, the deepest, best designed and beautiful game I’ve come across. There are bigger games and more instantly entertaining ones, I get that. But in terms of games that...

    The Witness. It’s, hands down, the deepest, best designed and beautiful game I’ve come across. There are bigger games and more instantly entertaining ones, I get that. But in terms of games that stick with you, that make you feel like you’ve experienced something that will still feel relevant a decade or more in the future, this is the best game I’ve played.

    8 votes
  8. Keegan
    Link
    Minecraft and Rimworld. Both have great base games that can be heavily expanded on by many mods and have great communities around them.

    Minecraft and Rimworld. Both have great base games that can be heavily expanded on by many mods and have great communities around them.

    7 votes
  9. asoftbird
    Link
    Minecraft hands down. It quickly gained popularity around the first months of 2010 and is still relevant today. Also, Factorio for the same reason; they started around 2014 l think. What AAA game...

    Minecraft hands down. It quickly gained popularity around the first months of 2010 and is still relevant today.

    Also, Factorio for the same reason; they started around 2014 l think. What AAA game lasts 6+ years nowadays?

    7 votes
  10. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    I think Minecraft, Portal, and World of Goo are the ones I'd recommend the most to someone who hadn't played them. Music and building are important. (They are all technically too old to qualify,...

    I think Minecraft, Portal, and World of Goo are the ones I'd recommend the most to someone who hadn't played them. Music and building are important. (They are all technically too old to qualify, but I rarely pick up games when they're released.)

    Honorable mentions for Factorio, RimWorld, Kerbal Space Program, and City: Skylines.

    I really liked Breath of the Wild at first but didn't finish. (I got a little stuck on some harder dungeons and it started to seem a bit of a grind; maybe I missed a trick.) Also, I think it needs a better princess, or maybe I didn't get to the better parts?

    I inevitably put a lot of hours into each new version of Civilization, but I think it's an inherently flawed game that should be better paced. (Something should probably be done about how imperialistic it is, too, but I have no idea what.)

    7 votes
    1. bobsledboy
      Link Parent
      The developers of the Endless games (Space, Legends, etc.) have a new game scheduled for next year called Humankind that is looking like a promising reinterpretation of Civilisation.

      The developers of the Endless games (Space, Legends, etc.) have a new game scheduled for next year called Humankind that is looking like a promising reinterpretation of Civilisation.

      3 votes
  11. Thrabalen
    Link
    Grand Theft Auto V. Not only has it made more money than any other game in history, its online mode is still going strong. It's become the game to beat.

    Grand Theft Auto V. Not only has it made more money than any other game in history, its online mode is still going strong. It's become the game to beat.

    6 votes
  12. Diet_Coke
    Link
    I don't think it should be THE game of the decade, but Horizon Zero Dawn deserves a mention, at least. The gameplay, story, music, design all work so well together to create a narrative that I...

    I don't think it should be THE game of the decade, but Horizon Zero Dawn deserves a mention, at least. The gameplay, story, music, design all work so well together to create a narrative that I still think about from time to time even though I haven't played the game in probably two years. The way the game is paced so that you slowly learn the backstory and then, little detail by little detail, build up to a big reveal is just masterful storytelling.

    6 votes
  13. [3]
    vegai
    Link
    Dwarf Fortress brought the procedurally generated idea and Fun into base building. Every base builder after that wants to be DF, but none have managed it quite. Rimworld comes close, though, and...

    Dwarf Fortress brought the procedurally generated idea and Fun into base building. Every base builder after that wants to be DF, but none have managed it quite.

    Rimworld comes close, though, and is much much more fun to play.

    Insurgency gets the tactical+fun FPS just right. Sandstorm might be good too, but I haven't tried it yet.

    Gris is a gorgeous platform game.

    Crypt of the Necrodancer is an amazing rogue-like dance game.

    KeeperRL is the best Dungeon Keeper reimagination. And the client is open source!

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      hungariantoast
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      [citation needed] Jokes aside, I've been playing Dwarf Fortress for years longer than RimWorld, undoubtedly have more hours in it, and still have not exhausted the vanilla game. Dwarf Fortress'...

      much much more fun to play

      [citation needed]

      Jokes aside, I've been playing Dwarf Fortress for years longer than RimWorld, undoubtedly have more hours in it, and still have not exhausted the vanilla game. Dwarf Fortress' depth is so immense.

      RimWorld is more accessible though, what with its fancy user interface, mouse support, graphics, and sound effects.

      They both make it onto my list of "games of the decade".


      As for Insurgency, I played Sandstorm a lot when it had a free weekend not too long ago and, if I'm being honest, I didn't like it as much. The sound and visuals are obviously so much better, but the feel of the aiming and movement felt... "floaty"? Does that make sense? Like, moving in Insurgency is sharp and direct. Sandstorm makes me feel like I'm actually inhabiting some gelatinous hunk of meat, which I ironically did not prefer.


      Did you see that KeeperRL got z-levels? I haven't played with them much yet, but I really enjoy the direction the game is going.


      Finally, since we seem to have similar preferences, have you tried Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead yet?

      (Screenshots.)

      3 votes
      1. vegai
        Link Parent
        I just tried Sandstorm myself as well, and ... hmm. It was raw and rough, but I managed to easily fool myself into thinking that "this feels quite a lot how I imagine a real firefight would feel"....

        I just tried Sandstorm myself as well, and ... hmm. It was raw and rough, but I managed to easily fool myself into thinking that "this feels quite a lot how I imagine a real firefight would feel". It's not as fun as the original Insurgency, but it is something. Perhaps not game of a decade, but definitely ... something.

        I played COOP. I liked how smart the AI seemed to be, in contrast to the previous "make a bunch of enemy run at you in a straight line and then take randomized shots that gets closer all the time". I saw them camping, hiding, waiting for me to show my face if they had seen/heard me before, and mercilessly blast perfect hits in such cases.

        Cataclysm looks very interesting, thanks for the tip!

        2 votes
  14. Surira
    Link
    I played Journey at my friend's house randomly one night back in 2012, and it blew my mind. It was so overwhelmingly beautiful and simple, and it made me cry just a bit (which maybe only a random...

    I played Journey at my friend's house randomly one night back in 2012, and it blew my mind. It was so overwhelmingly beautiful and simple, and it made me cry just a bit (which maybe only a random Kirby's Adventure game did back in the 90s when I had some shit going on as a kid and the background music was just right). I'd never played anything (and still haven't) like it, with the single player nature and no dialogue. The visuals were stunning even on PS3-level graphics, and I recall the music was fantastic. The ending definitely left me wanting more, but it was such a satisfying play-through with my friend there with me. This thread reminds me I should play Journey one more time before 2020 rolls around...

    5 votes
  15. [3]
    thundergolfer
    Link
    Uncharted 3. Just as good as Uncharted 2, and 2 is arguably the best game of the 2000s.

    Uncharted 3. Just as good as Uncharted 2, and 2 is arguably the best game of the 2000s.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      balooga
      Link Parent
      Agreed that Uncharted 3 was a great game, but what are your thoughts on 4? I played them both but not close together so I can't fairly compare them. 3 had more memorable over-the-top set pieces...

      Agreed that Uncharted 3 was a great game, but what are your thoughts on 4? I played them both but not close together so I can't fairly compare them. 3 had more memorable over-the-top set pieces which were a lot of fun in their ridiculousness. 4 introduced more open world design, along with the jeep, rockslides, underwater diving, and (IIRC) rope-swinging. It was also a much more poignant story. Hard for me to pick a favorite between them. I'm probably overdue for replaying them both (not to mention 2, which is also insanely great).

      1 vote
      1. thundergolfer
        Link Parent
        4 is definitely a level below 2 and 3 for me. Some patches are just too slow, and outside some really special moments the whole campaign lost a bit of the magic for me. The graphics are properly...

        4 is definitely a level below 2 and 3 for me.

        Some patches are just too slow, and outside some really special moments the whole campaign lost a bit of the magic for me.

        The graphics are properly stunning though. I should go back for a replay just to see the African savannah again.

        3 votes
  16. [4]
    sky_Pharaoh
    Link
    Persona 5 - my favorite game ever. Loved the series for years and to think they could top Persona 4 is just insane. Best design and soundtrack out of any game I've ever played Marvel's Spiderman -...

    Persona 5 - my favorite game ever. Loved the series for years and to think they could top Persona 4 is just insane. Best design and soundtrack out of any game I've ever played

    Marvel's Spiderman - This definitely came as a shock as I never thought it would be better than Spiderman 2 on PS2. I actually cried so hard at the ending. Combat system is spectacular and swinging around NYC felt so fluid. The story was surprisingly dark at times and the characters felt very fleshed out because of the good writing and great voice acting.

    NieR: Automata - Oh man...the story of this game is so philosophical and mind boggling. Its funny because I played this right after I played Persona 5 and I was thinking to myself "there's no way this game will have a better story than P5" and yet I honestly think the story is better (I still think P5 is a better game though). Soundtrack is god tier and it really inspires my own work as a musician.

    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - I almost forgot this game came out this decade because it feels like its been so long since its released. I bought it the first day it came out and to this day its hard for me to find games that get me as immersed as this one. The world building is so good, and the soundtrack is very subtle, yet crucial to the feel of the game. The combat system admittedly isn't great but I had enough fun with the game that it didn't really matter to me.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      If you liked NieR: Automata, you should play the rest of Yoko Taro's games. He's the master at making these beautiful horrible and sad stories. You should particularly pick up NieR. It will make...

      If you liked NieR: Automata, you should play the rest of Yoko Taro's games. He's the master at making these beautiful horrible and sad stories. You should particularly pick up NieR. It will make you feel like a monster. After I finished it I was depressed for weeks. It's amazing.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        sky_Pharaoh
        Link Parent
        Yeah I had actually planned on buying NieR soon, but there are some games that I want to get through first (the Yakuza series in particular). I haven't considered playing Drakengard though, I feel...

        Yeah I had actually planned on buying NieR soon, but there are some games that I want to get through first (the Yakuza series in particular). I haven't considered playing Drakengard though, I feel like I should.

        1 vote
        1. Akir
          Link Parent
          I should have offered a disclaimer for Drackengard actually. Just be aware as an early work it is very rough compared to his later work. If you think that Nier Automata was strange and quirky,...

          I should have offered a disclaimer for Drackengard actually. Just be aware as an early work it is very rough compared to his later work. If you think that Nier Automata was strange and quirky, Drackengard is on an entirely different level. Cavia was also a little infamous for having very unpolished gameplay.

          1 vote
  17. kfwyre
    Link
    I was originally going to give a more curated list, but in order to come up with it I dove into my media log. As I started to pull out what I would consider games of the decade, I realized that...

    I was originally going to give a more curated list, but in order to come up with it I dove into my media log. As I started to pull out what I would consider games of the decade, I realized that the raw, unfiltered data told a story in and of itself. As such, I've included, by year, any games that I marked as favorites in my log (based on the year I played them, not the year of release).

    It's worth noting that the "favorite" status of the games below is not necessarily current but instead accurate to the time that I played the game. As such, something I marked a favorite in 2010 might not get the same treatment were I to play it now. Furthermore, these favorites reflect my personal feelings rather than any larger context. You'll see stuff on here that would likely never make a broader "Best Of"/"Most Important"/"Most Influential" list, but that's not what I'm going for. These were just games that I had really positive responses to and really enjoyed or appreciated, for whatever reason.

    This also captures something about my gaming habits, as you'll see that the later years have far fewer favorites than the earlier ones. Is this because I have less time to game? Am I getting pickier? Does the joy of gaming wear off now that I've played so many of them for so long? Probably a little bit of all three.

    2010
    • Beat Hazard
    • Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box
    • Caster
    • Epic Dungeon
    • Everyday Genius: SquareLogic
    • Geometry Wars 2: Retro Evolved
    • Jet Set Radio Future
    • Rock Band 2
    • Splosion Man
    • System Protocol One
    • Trine
    • VVVVVV
    2011
    • Before the Echo
    • Blur
    • Borderlands
    • Castle Crashers
    • Defense Grid: The Awakening
    • Dungeon Defenders
    • Fallout 3 - Game of the Year Edition
    • FUEL
    • Jamestown
    • Just Cause 2
    • Nimbus
    • Nitronic Rush
    • Plants vs. Zombies: Game of the Year
    • Portal 2
    • Sanctum
    • Scoregasm
    • SkyDrift
    • SpaceChem
    • Super Meat Boy
    • Terraria
    • The Binding of Isaac
    • The Blackwell Legacy
    • Trials HD
    • Xotic
    2012
    • Analogue: A Hate Story
    • Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition
    • Borderlands 2
    • Botanicula
    • Dear Esther
    • Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten
    • Driver San Francisco
    • Dustforce
    • Dys4ia
    • Escape Goat
    • Faerie Solitaire
    • Fallout: New Vegas
    • Gemini Rue
    • HOARD
    • Killing Floor
    • LaserCat
    • Mass Effect
    • Peggle Deluxe
    • Peggle Nights
    • Saira
    • Scratches: Director's Cut
    • Super Crossfire
    • Super Hexagon
    • Syberia
    • The Blackwell Legacy
    • The Last Express
    • To the Moon
    2013
    • 9.03m
    • 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
    • Beyond Good & Evil
    • BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
    • Bleed
    • Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons
    • Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box
    • DOOM II: Hell on Earth
    • Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
    • Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos
    • Euro Truck Simulator 2
    • Excitebots: Trick Racing
    • FUEL
    • Game Dev Tycoon
    • Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
    • Gone Home
    • Hotline Miami
    • Killing Floor
    • Love
    • Nintendo Land
    • Portal 2
    • QRTH-PHYL
    • Rayman Legends
    • Resonance
    • Saints Row: The Third
    • Sanctum 2
    • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
    • Space Channel 5: Part 2
    • Space Pirates and Zombies
    • Spyro the Dragon
    • Super Mario 3D World
    • Super Sanctum TD
    • The Last Express Gold Edition
    • The Longest Journey
    • The Walking Dead
    • Theme Hospital
    • Thomas Was Alone
    • TrackMania² Canyon
    • TrackMania² Stadium
    • TrackMania² Valley
    2014
    • 140
    • 10,000,000
    • A Flipping Good Time
    • Actual Sunlight
    • Bejeweled 3
    • Blur
    • Boom Blox
    • Broken Age: Act 1
    • Danmaku Unlimited 2
    • Distance
    • Dust: An Elysian Tale
    • Electronic Super Joy
    • Excite Truck
    • Ghost Squad
    • Hexcells
    • Hexcells Plus
    • Killing Floor
    • Love
    • Lovely Planet
    • Mario Kart 8
    • Nation Red
    • osu!
    • Papo & Yo
    • Rayman Legends
    • Rhythm Heaven Fever
    • Super Crate Box
    • Super Mario Galaxy
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    • Trials Evolution
    • Urban Trial Freestyle
    • Wii Fit U
    • You Still Won't Make It
    • Zineth
    2015
    • Battleblock Theater
    • BlazeRush
    • Bob Was Hungry
    • Coin Crypt
    • Cook, Serve, Delicious
    • Danmaku Unlimited 2
    • Diablo III
    • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
    • Escape Goat
    • Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved
    • Gone Home
    • Hexcells Infinite
    • Love
    • PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+
    • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare DDX
    • Quiplash
    • Rocket League
    • Rogue Legacy
    • Shadowrun Returns
    • SpeedRunners
    • Splatoon
    • The Jackbox Party Pack
    • Tyrian 2000
    • Velocibox
    2016
    • Action Henk
    • Cally's Caves 3
    • Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist
    • GemCraft - Chasing Shadows
    • iZBOT
    • Killing Floor 2
    • Overwatch
    • Paint it Back
    • Rocket League
    • Rogue Legacy
    • Shadowrun Returns
    • SpeedRunners
    • Spirits of Xanadu
    • Splatoon
    • The Jackbox Party Pack
    • The Jackbox Party Pack 2
    • The Last Express
    • Time Rifters
    • Tyrian 2000
    • Velocibox
    • VVVVVV
    2017
    • Breakneck
    • INSIDE
    • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
    • Overwatch
    • Paint it Back
    • SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell
    • Splasher
    • Splatoon 2
    • Super Mario Odyssey
    • Tacoma
    • The Beginner's Guide
    • The Room
    • The Talos Principle
    2018
    • A Bird Story
    • Celeste
    • Distance
    • Pinkman
    • Quern: Undying Thoughts
    • Stories Untold
    • Tinertia
    • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
    • Yooka-Laylee
    2019
    • Drag Star!
    • JYDGE
    • Quarantine Circular
    • Spyro Reignited Trilogy
    • Subsurface Circular
    • The Witness
    • Yoku’s Island Express
    3 votes
  18. cwagner
    Link
    Not even the slightest bit of a question: Pathfinder: Kingmaker. The best CRPG I’ve played since Neverwinter Nights. Runner-up would be Slay the Spire. 2nd runner-up: Civ V thanks to the Vox...

    Not even the slightest bit of a question: Pathfinder: Kingmaker. The best CRPG I’ve played since Neverwinter Nights.

    Runner-up would be Slay the Spire.

    2nd runner-up: Civ V thanks to the Vox Populi mod, the lack of which makes Civ VI a non-starter for me.

    4 votes
  19. [2]
    AnthonyB
    Link
    Fallout New Vegas, Skyrim, and Civ V definitely got the most hours out of me, and I'll always think of them first when I think about games from this decade, even though they're all sequels to...

    Fallout New Vegas, Skyrim, and Civ V definitely got the most hours out of me, and I'll always think of them first when I think about games from this decade, even though they're all sequels to games from the 90s. I also really enjoyed Portal 2, Smite, and Borderlands 2. And I have to throw a nod to Fruit Ninja (Doodle Jump missed the cut, no pun intended, by 8 months and Angry Birds by three weeks) for being one of the first huge mobile games, and my personal favorite.

    4 votes
    1. balooga
      Link Parent
      Skyrim gets my vote as well. I'd say it was the last title Bethesda developed that is truly great. I'd love to see TES VI carry its torch but I don't have much faith that the company (as it exists...

      Skyrim gets my vote as well. I'd say it was the last title Bethesda developed that is truly great. I'd love to see TES VI carry its torch but I don't have much faith that the company (as it exists today) is capable.

      Portal 2 is a strong honorable mention for me.

      1 vote
  20. aymm
    Link
    Minecraft Portal 2 Borderlands 2, TPS, and 3 Dota 2 Witcher 3 Doom Factorio That's it. I think? Lots of good stuff this decade!
    • Minecraft
    • Portal 2
    • Borderlands 2, TPS, and 3
    • Dota 2
    • Witcher 3
    • Doom
    • Factorio

    That's it. I think? Lots of good stuff this decade!

    4 votes
  21. emnii
    Link
    I'll limit this to three. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - A perfect evolution of The Witcher 2 and a game I could not stop playing. Batman: Arkham Asylum - It did the impossible; made a fun superhero...

    I'll limit this to three.

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - A perfect evolution of The Witcher 2 and a game I could not stop playing.

    Batman: Arkham Asylum - It did the impossible; made a fun superhero game that stayed true to the character.

    Destiny - A rough start, but it took Bungie's excellent FPS gameplay style and blended in a live and instanced world and an effectively attractive loot system.

    4 votes
  22. arp242
    Link
    From the top of my head, Pillars of Eternity and Tyranny are probably the two most memorable games I've played. In enjoyed Tyranny in particular because for much of the game I felt being kind of...

    From the top of my head, Pillars of Eternity and Tyranny are probably the two most memorable games I've played. In enjoyed Tyranny in particular because for much of the game I felt being kind of stuck in a shitty situation and having to make the best of it, which often ended up making things worse for at least some people in ways that were beyond my control.

    Torment: Tides of Numenera was also pretty good.

    Most point-and-click adventures from Wadjet Eyes Games rank high as well.

    You can probably see a theme here: I enjoy narrative-driven games. I only have a Linux laptop with an intel card, so can't actually play quiet a few games that come out.

    3 votes
  23. HoolaBoola
    Link
    I've never really played much, but I've got some definitive favourites: Minecraft, no doubt about this Stardew Valley Terraria And a couple mobile games, because of their impact on the mobile...

    I've never really played much, but I've got some definitive favourites:

    • Minecraft, no doubt about this
    • Stardew Valley
    • Terraria

    And a couple mobile games, because of their impact on the mobile gaming:

    • Clash Of Clans. Seriously, it topped the charts for so long and still has frequent updates. The amount of copy cats, and look at how many games have a screaming warrior as their icons now.
    • Angry Birds. Though released in 2009, and thus not really a game of this decade, I'd say its biggest impact has been during this decade still. It's sad how Rovio pretty much ruined the game and it's sequels.
    • Vainglory. PC-level MOBA gameplay in a portable format. I'd choose this game over DOTA and LoL any day.
    3 votes
  24. [3]
    Icarus
    Link
    I will talk about my top games and what I think of the state of them today. Mount and Blade: Warband: This game took me awhile to get in to but after the Floris mod pack, this game felt complete...

    I will talk about my top games and what I think of the state of them today.

    • Mount and Blade: Warband: This game took me awhile to get in to but after the Floris mod pack, this game felt complete to me. Its one of those games that I will binge on for a week and then drop off for a few months. I expect Bannerlord to be my game of the decade for the 2020s.

    • Rocket League: Probably the only e-sports game that I invested a significant amount of time in across Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC. For the first 2-3 years, this game was great. Nowadays, not so much as it went the way all comp games do with heavy studying of the meta and technique. Its still fun to hop in every season or so and make my way up to platinum before forgetting about it.

    • Overwatch: For awhile, this game was the game I would go to when I wanted to hop into a match and goof around. I put over 300 hours into this game and played competitive maybe twice? This game was fresh for awhile but the amount of heroes and the amount of shields that are involved in a single match. However, I found myself playing this game more and more alone over time and strangers online weren't as open to opening up to me while playing so I dropped off. Wouldn't mind if someone here would be interested in hopping in a few matches every once in awhile! Don't know about OW2 but I guess we will see.

    • Super Mario 3D World: This game just makes me feel things that I never knew a Mario game could make me feel. The soundtrack is incredible, the levels are so vibrant, and it just makes me yearn for more.

    • NintendoLand: This is probably not on anyone's list unless they hosted parties or did what I did and carried your Wii U everywhere. This game was such a blast with others. It didn't matter the level of skill a person had with games, Mario Chase and the Luigi's Mansion games were always big hits. Honorable mention here goes to Game & Wario for the Wii U. It had equal playing time in groups.

    • Call of Duty Black Ops 2: This is another Wii U game I got heavily invested into. It was so much fun playing with another person online because one person would get the Wii U game pad and the other would get the TV. No splitscreen multiplayer was awesome and I believe the community is active to this day.

    Console of the Decade: Wii U - I love the Wii U. Its my all time favorite system and I wanted it to be good for others so bad. There was just a charm about booting it up, and seeing WaraWara Plaza and all the Miis of others who were playing and posting about the same games I was playing. If you hack it, you can play every Nintendo game up to that point on it. It introduced so many good Nintendo games and to this day I prefer it to this day over my Switch.

    3 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Seconded! This game was unexpectedly fantastic. It felt fresh and original, with lots to do and enjoy. I'd actually forgotten about it until I was going through my media log of all games I've...

      NintendoLand

      Seconded! This game was unexpectedly fantastic. It felt fresh and original, with lots to do and enjoy. I'd actually forgotten about it until I was going through my media log of all games I've played since 2010 (in preparation for adding my own writeup to this thread) and it jumped out at me. I'm so happy to see you put it here, as I was pretty sure I was going to be the only one mentioning it in this thread.

      Console of the Decade: Wii U

      I see the Wii U as the Dreamcast's older sibling, and I say this as someone who loves the Dreamcast dearly. Both were risky, innovative platforms; both have libraries with lots of quality hidden gems; both undersold and were thoroughly underappreciated; and both lived past their natural lifespan by becoming emulation/homebrew machines. I think there's something to be said for me having a soft spot for the underdog, because despite my PS2 and Xbox 360 getting more gametime and having, on the whole, presumably "better" game experiences overall, they don't have a fond place in my heart like the Dreamcast and Wii U do.

      2 votes
    2. bleem
      Link Parent
      the amount of mods the homebrew community has brought is mind blowing for the WiiU

      the amount of mods the homebrew community has brought is mind blowing for the WiiU

      2 votes
  25. timo
    Link
    Portal 2, Minecraft, Rocket League, Battlefield 3.

    Portal 2, Minecraft, Rocket League, Battlefield 3.

    2 votes
  26. evrim
    Link
    My picks would be The Last of Us and The Witcher 3.

    My picks would be The Last of Us and The Witcher 3.

    2 votes
  27. mosburger
    Link
    Cities: Skylines, but I'm biased toward that genre having played similar games since the OG SimCity.

    Cities: Skylines, but I'm biased toward that genre having played similar games since the OG SimCity.

    2 votes
  28. [2]
    est
    Link
    team fortress 2 I spent 4k hours on this shit. GTA V

    team fortress 2

    I spent 4k hours on this shit.

    GTA V

    1 vote
    1. mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      GTA V is awesome. I played on the Xbox 360, and it was amazing that they could make something with that scope work in last-gen hardware. I bought it for the PS4, but, apart from loading times, I...

      GTA V is awesome. I played on the Xbox 360, and it was amazing that they could make something with that scope work in last-gen hardware. I bought it for the PS4, but, apart from loading times, I cannot say the upgrade made much difference for me. This is not to say they did a bad job porting it, the game just works on both platforms. On top of a wonderful set of single-player missions, you also get endless multiplayer content. Online gaming is usually not my thing, but I can recognize the added value.

      Team Fortress 2 is among the few online multiplayer games I ever enjoyed. I was never very good at it, played as a mediocre doctor but had loads of fun.

      3 votes
  29. Comment removed by site admin
    Link