Games of the Decade

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

Marvel’s Spider-Man

Bloodborne

Overwatch

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!

Sunshine Blogger Award

I was recently tagged by mckliz at McKenna Talks About Games for the Sunshine Blogger Award, giving another round of questions to answer about myself and come up with some another set of my own! I really enjoy the Animal Crossing Diaries and Music Monday posts as well as a recent post pairing wines with Zelda games so I encourage you to check out mckliz’s site here on WordPress. There were some excellent questions in here that I had to think about for while before coming up with an answer….let’s-a go!

Firstly, the rules…

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post

What video game town would you want to live in?

I would probably pick Delfino Plaza from Mario Sunshine. I’ve always loved tropical locations and the charming little town surrounded by the crystal blue waters of idyllic Isle Delfino would be a perfect way to kick back and relax. In contrast to some of my other favorite video game locales, the biggest hazard would simply be some graffiti and toxic sludge, which would appear less threatening than being overrun by monsters like so many of my favorite locations from Zelda games.

Do you enjoy crafting in video games? If so, what game has your favorite crafting mechanics?

I don’t mind crafting in games, though the crafting/building mechanics in Bethesda games like Skyrim or Fallout 4 has never been a favorite of mine. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 strive for a sense of authenticity and realism, but I could see where that may not appeal to everyone. Generally, I like being able to quickly discern whether or not I have enough ingredients to craft items and simply hold a button to fabricate.

What would your Pokemon gym theme be?

Water-type Pokemon have always been one of my favorite types so my gym would most likely reflect that, though I would at least attempt to incorporate another type in some capacity or another to avoid being yet another Pokemon gym where a trainer and their Pikachu can cakewalk their way through a gauntlet of water-types as I’ve always done. My gym would probably be something similar to the overall Alolan region. I did say I loved tropical locations…

What is your favorite video game food or drink and have you ever made it?

I’m honestly not able to think of anything unique to a particular game, other than being obliged to mention Sweet Rolls, which I have never attempted to make. Breath of the Wild has a number of recipes that sound excellent like risotto or salmon meunière, but nothing exclusive to the world. I guess I’d go for a nice cold Nuka-Cola?

What’s your favorite art style or medium?

I’m not an expert on different artistic styles as it pertains to paintings, but I believe a great deal of my personal favorites would be classified under American Realism. I’ve always been drawn to many works from the Industrial Revolution or the Jazz Age of the 1920’s, whether paintings or photographs. I’ve always found something fascinating about the architecture and depictions of life in America and especially New York City. A favorite painting of mine has always been the Edward Hopper painting – Nighthawks which depicts a man and woman sitting in an empty corner diner in the middle of the night amidst an urban backdrop. A piece that has been referenced countless times in American pop culture since its creation in the 1940’s.

What game has your favorite soundtrack?

There’s many wonderful game soundtracks out there able to make you feel such a wide range of things. Recent games like Persona 5, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or Red Dead Redemption 2 have all had memorable soundtracks that can instantly transport you into that world. I’m not going to blurt out Grand Theft Auto: Vice City right away as the soundtrack is generally licensed music rather than much of an original score, so I’ll probably fall back to Donkey Kong Country. David Wise’s iconic soundtrack is equal parts upbeat and pure ambient and always improves my day anytime I listen to it.

If you made a video game, what would it be like? What would be its genre and premise?

Any attempt at making a game would most likely start out with some ambitious idea and incorporating all of the different game elements I like into a single experience. This would then prove to be both utterly incoherent and failing to excel in any particular area(me in real life). I would then opt for something a little less grandiose by deciding I just want to make a simple platforming game without any excessive frills but just providing a satisfying gameplay experience…..or something like that.

Why did you start blogging?

I started my blog simply as an outlet to discuss whatever happened to be on my mind about video games, whether a specific title or topic. I have been trying to write weekly gaming related posts since this past February and if I accomplish nothing else, I at least have a sense of satisfaction in attempting to try something that I may not have otherwise as writing for a personal blog isn’t something that would normally fall within my comfort zone.

What blog posts do you enjoy writing the most?

I do enjoy all of them, as I generally stay within my comfort zone of video games and occasionally movies and music, but I get an extra sense of motivation/satisfaction when I write(attempt anyway…) something relating to the general history of video games like a couple previous posts of things like a summary of the Sega Dreamcast’s release and subsequent short lifespan or just listing my favorite Sega Genesis games for the 30th anniversary its release.

What do you enjoy outside of video games?

My go-to way to relax outside of video games would be music, movies, YouTube and coffee. I’m also that person that says how they want to catch up on various tv shows or movies but ends up watching a documentary or something similar. I’ve always loved history and geography, so anything that combines those I especially gravitate towards, games like L.A. Noire or the Assassin’s Creed series.

What video game crossover would you love to see?

After watching the Game Awards last night I’m having a hard time NOT wanting to see any kind of video game crossover including The Muppets. A Muppets/Untitled Goose Game crossover would be wonderful…

Here are my questions in return…

  1. Is there a game that you play during or associate with a particular time of the year?
  2. How do you feel about colleges forming e-sports teams/events and offering scholarships to play games like Overwatch or Fortnite?
  3. Would you rather pay more for a game($80-90) without any kind of DLC or micro transactions or pay less for a game(or free to play) and it implements a Season Pass?
  4. What’s the most difficult game you’ve played and what made it so difficult?
  5. Were you allowed to play Mature rated games as a kid, or did your parents strictly adhere to ESRB ratings?
  6. What is your least favorite game made by your favorite developer?
  7. Who is a video game character that you feel you would get along well with, who would you NOT get a long with?
  8. Favorite weapon or accessory in a game?
  9. Video games as a medium have progressed through the “Bit Wars” of the 90’s and the GPU arms race of the early 2000’s, do you feel gaming will ever reach an impassable technological stage? If so, how far are we from it?

That’s gonna be it for now, another round of questions answered AND asked. I’m going to simply leave my nominations open to anyone who would care to answer any or all of the questions I was able to devise. Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!