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My Top 20 Games of the 2010s
Game list created by moop
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Overwatch - PC Games
Not much of a multiplayer person but if I had to choose a multiplayer game that I have stuck around with in the 2010s, it is Overwatch. The most obvious aspect that I love about Overwatch is its array of diverse characters with unique, endearing designs and varied abilities between them, as well as the easy to understand yet hard to master gameplay and the fascinating lore. I hope Blizzard would take their extremely talented CGI department and make them do an Overwatch film already. While it has been updated with many changes that I liked and didn't, the overall appeal of the game still resonates with me.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PlayStation 3
I'm gonna cheat and put the entire Trails of Cold Steel series in this spot since they follow each other seamlessly in terms of story and gameplay. The Trails of Cold Steel series is one of the most criminally underrated JRPG series we have been blessed with here in the West. Part of the larger The Legend of Heroes franchise, it isn't the prettiest and not the most innovative sets of games but what sets it apart from its contemporaries is its sprawling mythos, lovable cast of main characters, attention-to-detail heavy attitude to world building and solid gameplay foundations, with a deep combat system that is derivative of other games in the genre but unique enough to truly call its own. It's one of the few games where I speak to every NPC and visit every location because behind them are interesting stories told to the service of its world.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End - PlayStation 4
The Uncharted series is arguably the best series Sony has produced and there was no better way to end it than with A Thief's End. Culminating a 9-year-long story of a man obsessed with the thrill of adventure, Uncharted 4 ends Nathan Drake's arc with a more emotional yet satisfying note that makes total sense in the grand scheme of the series. Gameplay and performance wise, it is the most responsive and technically impressive game in the entire series, continuing Uncharted and Naughty Dog tradition of pushing the PlayStation hardware to its absolute limits without compromise with incredible action set-pieces and breathtaking vistas. It was and still is the best looking game on the PS4 in my opinion.
Minecraft - PC Games
If I could choose the one game that defined the entire decade, I would probably choose Minecraft. There's a reason why its one of the best-selling games in the world and to this day one of the most-watched video games on the internet. Behind its overwhelming popularity is one of the best sandbox games ever made with strong gameplay fundamentals that gives Minecraft infinite replay value. Its ridiculously deep crafting system is still one of the best in the industry, giving you an almost unlimited amount of options on what you want to do in your session. While its blocky art style can put off some people, its undeniable in its charm and simplicity (you can mod it to a nicer looking style if you want). I still come back to Minecraft every once in a while and every playthrough is always a completely different adventure.
Portal 2 - PC Games
Before the announcement of Half-Life Alyx, Portal 2 was the last major game from Valve before they just stopped developing big titles. Coming off from one of the best surprises in gaming, Portal 2 evolves the gameplay and story from the original Portal like a good sequel should. While it does lack the focus and tightness of the original, it's still retains its extremely creative, mind-bending puzzle-based platforming and the acerbic sense of humour in its story. Also, the Co-op option is the best two-player mode I have ever played in any game.
Bloodborne - PlayStation 4
One of the genres that have become quite popular in the 2010s decade is the hardcore action-adventure RPG or for a more simple term "Souls-like". Out of the "Souls-like" games, Bloodborne is the one that stands out the most to me. Abandoning the Souls series' more patient approach to combat, this game is faster paced where the combat encourages you to be aggressive as attacking while taking damage heals you and instead of a shield, you have a gun to parry attacks. Taking what worked with the previous Souls games, Bloodborne is an atmospheric delve into a hellish nightmare, full of grotesquely designed monstrosities to face while retaining the difficult yet highly rewarding gameplay that made the Souls games so addicting to play.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch - PlayStation 3
What do you get when you mix traditional JRPG and the art of Studio Ghibli? Well, you get this wonderful piece of gaming. Ni No Kuni is a love letter to the JRPGs of the SNES era and an antithesis on what the genre was at the time. Backed by Studio Ghibli's amazing art work and cell-shaded style, it's one of the most beautiful games I have ever played, and the combat - a mix of Tales and Pokemon - is surprisingly strategic and rewarding. The only shade I can throw on this game is it overstays its welcome reaching the end but its overall story is simple yet genuinely heartfelt with wonderful characters and a strong sense of imagination in terms of its world.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Nintendo Switch
If you've ever owned a Nintendo console, chances are you have owned an iteration of the Smash Bros. series. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate truly lives up to its subtitle as the ever hardworking and possibly inhuman series director Masahiro Sakurai pulled the seemingly impossible and make every single character from the previous games playable, plus the wide array of content packed into it from a ridiculously massive selection of stages and numerous modes to play through. In my opinion, this is the most responsive Smash Bros. game to date, with welcome changes that makes it easy for newcomers to play a higher level while generally satisfying more competitive players. There's nothing more I can say really, it's Smash Bros., a chaotic, accessible fighting game that's always a blast to play whether on your own or with friends.
Batman: Arkham City - PlayStation 3
This is the best Super Hero game ever made and to this date, the quintessential Batman game. Arkham City is everything I wanted from a comic-book based video game and it completely nails everything that represents its title character, from its gritty atmosphere, faithful characterisations, and a story that is up there with the best Batman narratives. While it lacks the metroidvania feel of Arkham Asylum, City gives you a small yet full packed city to explore and retains the simple yet hectic beat-em up combat system while expanding on Batman's abilities and gadgets. This is the closest you'll ever be to an interactive comic book.
Journey - PlayStation 4
Journey is unusual. It has a simple premise, it can be completed under 3 hours, and the gameplay is nothing to write home about. But what made it so special for me is the way it was executed. Your character goes on some kind of pilgrimage to a mountain always visible in the distance, and they go through this beautiful yet desolate land full of mystery and danger, while being accompanied by some of the best music you will ever hear in a game, a timeless aesthetic, and a unique multiplayer aspect where an unknown player joins you in your journey to the top. Combining all of this makes Journey one of the most emotional experiences I've had in any game and as far as I know, there's no other game like this out there.
Red Dead Redemption - PlayStation 3
Red Dead Redemption is Rockstar Game's greatest achievement in my opinion. While my favourite game from theirs is San Andreas, I cannot deny how much love and passion they put into this game. More than Grand Theft Auto but in a Western, Red Dead Redemption is both an atmospheric, content-filled open-world and a tragic story of the game's namesake, emulating and rivalling Western films that inspired it. While its sequel plays smoother, is more polished and I could easily put that game in this spot, I can't ignore how much of an impression Red Dead Redemption made on me.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Nintendo 3DS
Before New Leaf, I tried to get into the Animal Crossing with Wild World on the DS but just couldn't bring myself to enjoy it, which I attribute to its slow pace and lack of motivation to acquire money for the loan. Enter New Leaf and I have clocked in around 200 hours into the game and I am still not stopping. It's still slow paced like Wild World but with the 3DS being more powerful hardware allowing it to play smoother, more accessible ways to earn money, and the ridiculous amount of content in it, I was hooked. It's incredibly relaxing, has a ton of charm and personality, and a great game to play in short bursts.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Nintendo Switch
I would say without a doubt that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best game in the entire series and Nintendo does not need to make anymore Mario Kart games. This is the peak, this is the highest point of quality for the series. It offers so much content from a huge and diverse choice of tracks, numerous characters and karts to use, and the right amount of game modes that define what a Mario Kart game is. Not only that, it controls perfectly and it's simple and fun to play, even more if you have friends to have a race with, which makes this easily the best multiplayer experience on the Switch and one of the best multiplayer experiences period.
The Last of Us - PlayStation 3
Coming out of the tail-end of the PlayStation 3's lifecycle, The Last of Us is the console's swan song and boy what a way to end things. The Last of Us not only pushed the PS3 to its absolute limits with technical deft as expected from Naughty Dog in terms of visuals and design, it delivered a solid survival-horror game with one of the most memorable and impactful stories in gaming, with writing and performances akin to an Oscar-baiting film. Like how Uncharted upped the standards of single-player games, The Last of Us follows suit and them some, setting an example of how games should be made for the then upcoming 8th generation.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Nintendo Switch
Being a huge Zelda fan since I was a kid and used to the Ocarina of Time formula that the series has been going with, I wasn't even remotely ready for how radical Breath of the Wild was in terms of everyone's perception of a Zelda game, and I am so happy with how it turned out. In my opinion, this is the most organic open-world game I have ever played. It's obvious that Nintendo studied a vast array of open-world games like GTA and Skyrim but gave their own spin on it. Unlike many open-worlds, exploring the massive land of Hyrule feels purposeful instead of just a boast of size, where every landmark and environmental quirks you see in the world always leads to something that you would never expect, which in turn encourages you to explore every nook and cranny of the map. Removing staples like progressive dungeons and items, this Zelda focuses more on gameplay more than any in the series as it just drops you in the world and lets you do whatever you want. It does sacrifice the quality of the story but when you have the series' best combat system and an organic, experimental approach to gameplay, it's a Zelda title like no other.
Bayonetta 2 - Nintendo Wii U
People seriously needs to stop sleeping on Platinum Games. They're pretty much the only developer I know that creates the best action games in the industry yet people usually just brush their games aside or take a curious look. Their magnum opus for me is Bayonetta 2. Taking what worked in the original and just making everything better, this is probably the greatest action game I have ever played. Its story is ridiculously fun with a memorable, very self-aware titular character, the pacing of the set-pieces is near-perfect, and the gameplay is hack-and-slash at its absolute best. I am always floored by the amount craziness of this game throws at you and just how responsive and creative the combat is.
The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game Series - Xbox 360 Live Arcade
Telltale's take on The Walking Dead series pretty much revitalised the point-and-click adventure, a genre thought to have been lost in obscurity, and focused more on the writing and branching paths of the story rather than puzzle-solving. The Walking Dead - particularly Season 1 - is one of the best stories I have ever come across in any game and one of the few licensed games that isn't a quick cash grab. I would even dare say this is far superior to the TV show. While it's not technically polished and the gameplay is very simple, its the impacting player choices that are not always black and white, the heartwrenching emotion of its writing with a cast of relatable - sometimes morally deplorable characters in the middle of it that elevates it from just your typical point-and-click adventure to a masterpiece of interactive story-telling.
Persona 5 - PlayStation 4
Possibly the greatest JRPG of the decade and one of the best in the genre. Persona 5 pulled no punches and delivers a stylish, content-packed adventure that blows the previous games out of the water and puts its other contemporaries to shame. This is a Persona game but perfected to top level with a funky and energetic soundtrack, vibrant presentation, engaging turned-based combat, a riveting story of rebellion, and the best cast of characters in the series so far, and what truly makes this game for me is how much confidence and love the developer put into it. It's easily my favourite PS4 exclusive and one of my all-time favourite JRPGs.
Fire Emblem Awakening - Nintendo 3DS
Hands down the best game I played on the 3DS and the title that made me fall in love with the Fire Emblem series. Before Awakening, all hands were on deck for developer Intelligent Systems as Nintendo gave them an ultimatum that if Awakening didn't sell enough copies, Fire Emblem as a series would be cancelled. Thankfully, it sold more than enough and pretty much made Fire Emblem from a niche Nintendo franchise to one of their flagships alongside Mario and Zelda. Awakening is akin to a Greatest Hits as it had a numerous features from previous games. While it's one of the easiest titles from a notoriously difficult series and the story does bite its own hands with its time travel aspect, what made Awakening special is its near-endless amounts of customisation options, accessible strategy gameplay, its impeccable presentation, and an endearing cast of characters and their interactions with each other.
Mass Effect 2 - Xbox 360
The best game I played in the 2010s is also the first major game I played in the decade and through all the years, it has stuck with me. The last masterpiece Bioware has developed before their tragic downfall, Mass Effect 2 changed my perception of video games for their potential as a story-telling medium. Before, I've always had the mindset that gameplay matters first and story is just an after-thought but Mass Effect 2 showed me that the two can be combined to an amazing concoction. While you can argue that its gameplay is a stripped down version of the original's RPG system, I appreciated that it streamlined the experience and improved the combat immensely. Of course, it was its darker, personal story - the way it expanded its already well-thought out universe from the original, and the best cast of characters I've ever met in the any video game are the greatest things about this game and it is forever ingrained in my memory until I am dead. It's a modern classic through and through and up to the end of the decade, no game has ever topped it for me as the best of that era.
2010s is done, here are my favourite games from that decade.
*Subject to change
*Subject to change
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