We are in the final stages of 2019 and are nearing the end of another decade in video games. Yes, I know it’s “not actually the end of the decade” and all that, but for convenience I’m going to make up this list a year “early”. The past decade has been great for gaming; our wonderful hobby is enjoyed by more people every day and we have seen new ways video games can be pushed in terms of technology and as an interactive artistic medium. Video games as an industry have surpassed movies and music in terms of revenue and I would even dare to say popularity as gaming is light years away from the niche hobby of basement-dwelling loners as nearly everyone partakes in some aspect of video games; I haven’t even mentioned the rise of platforms like YouTube or Twitch. I have, after much deliberation and numerous lists scribbled on my desk, created two separate lists for my games of the decade; one list with my favorite game of each year of the decade and another simply comprising of my 10 favorites of the decade. After looking through all(well, pretty much) the releases of the decade it’s hard to not point out 2015-18 as being downright amazing years for gaming. The early years of the decade saw some great games like the first Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect 2, Skyrim or The Last of Us, but outside of a few big games I don’t feel anywhere near as enthusiastic about 2010-14 as I do 2015-19.
2015 – the year that saw releases like Bloodborne, Metal Gear Solid 5, Fallout 4, Undertale, and The Witcher 3.
2016 – we received the phenomenal Overwatch and Persona 5, along with the revitalization of beloved franchises with the release of Resident Evil 7 and Doom.
2017 – the year began with a brand new Sony-exclusive in Horizon: Zero Dawn, only to be eclipsed by Breath of the Wild and the surprising success of the Nintendo Switch(yes, it was a surprise for most of us), with Super Mario Odyssey capping(get it?) off the year.
2018 – I don’t even need to say much further than – God of War, Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
***I will point out right away that while both The Witcher 3 and Persona 5 are looking to be INCREDIBLE games, I feel like I haven’t played enough of them at this time to accurately include them in my list, not entirely at least. Without further ado, here are my favorite games of each year of the past decade…
2010 – Red Dead Redemption
2011 – Batman: Arkham City
2012 – Far Cry 3
2013 – Grand Theft Auto 5
2014 – Destiny
2015 – Bloodborne
2016 – Overwatch
2017 – Super Mario Odyssey
2018 – God of War
2019 – Death Stranding
Here’s my personal favorites games of the decade. I included Red Dead Redemption 1 & 2 as a single pick, NOT sorry, I DO make these rules…
Super Mario Odyssey
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
Far Cry 5
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Grand Theft Auto 5
God of War
Red Dead Redemption(1&2)
That’s my list! What are your favorite games from the past decade? Let me know in the comments or just let me know how much you agree or disagree with any of the included games. I have also been working on a 2019 Games and Moments of the year that I will post soon. I’m heading back to re-watch more Star Wars movies! Thanks for reading!
7 thoughts on “Games of the Decade”
I agree. When I talk about how good of a decade the 2010s was for gaming, I am mostly talking about the latter half than the former half. To be fair, Metroid: Other M notwithstanding, the AAA industry did get off to a great start with 2010 and 2011 seeing the release of several classics such as Super Mario Galaxy 2, Peace Walker, and Dark Souls. However, I feel that the poor fan reception of Mass Effect 3 cost Western AAA gaming its credibility – possibly permanently. Over the next few years, you’d get games that were hyped like crazy, yet didn’t live up to what the press was saying about them. It’s part of the reason I consider 2013 to be one of the worst years in gaming (indeed, if you look at all the failing grades I awarded 2010s games, you’ll see that nearly half of them came from 2013 alone). Doesn’t help that the eighth console generation began with the participants tripping over the start line partially due to a lack of backwards compatibility.
Fortunately, around that time, the indie scene finally dropped the pretentious attitudes that defined pioneering artists such as Phil Fish and Jonathan Blow and began issuing works that began picking up the AAA industry’s slack. Shovel Knight was the game that caused me to begin looking into indies while Undertale convinced me they were more than a match for big budget productions.
All in all, I think of the 2010s as one of the best decades in gaming, though it took creators awhile to get there.
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When I started looking back at all the games of the past decade, I initially felt that maybe I was partial to the latter half simply due to being more recent or the fact I’m able to buy/play a greater number of them. After going through the games in greater detail, I still feel the quality of games in the past five years are superior.
It was also within the last few years that I really got to experience what indie games could offer as an alternative to AAA titles. Shovel Knight was also one of the first ones to usher me into the now-vibrant indie game scene. I would also credit YouTube in providing significant exposure for info games as that’s how I first became aware of games like Undertale or Firewatch.
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Reblogged this on DDOCentral.
Breath of the WIld and Ori and the Blind Forest are my two favourites since 2010. A lot of fantastic games and the emergence of the indie scene, which I’ve come to prioritise over AAA titles. So much choice, so much variety! Gaming in 2020 will be grand… except for Half-Life: Alyx. Which I won’t get to play. *grumble mumble*
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It was in the last few years that I finally realized the experiences indie games are capable of providing versus the giant AAA titles that often steal all the attention. Just this year, some of the most enjoyable moments were had with indie games like Ape Out or finally playing the Guacamelee games.
And in the opposite corner…an overwhelming number of big releases set for this spring. I will not be able to play Half-Life: Alyx either sadly, but March is still going to be a crazy month with the FF7 remake, Doom: Eternal, Animal Crossing, AND I’m still curious to see how well the TurboGrafx-16 mini works out.
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Ape Out is great yeah, love the reactive jazz drumming soundtrack! I’ve been a big indie game fan since around 2008, but it’s particularly taking off now.
Looking forward to the FFVII remake, though. Ooh yes!
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