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Angry the Clown

LCVG's Favourite Games of the Decade

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I thought it might be interesting to accumulate a list and/or individual ramblings of our favourite games from the last ten years. No pressure to rank anything, or limit yourself to any specific number of titles, or even rush to write about everything in a single post. Just take this thread as an opportunity to reflect on the ones you loved most, have gone back to and have stuck with you over the last decade.

 

 

The first one I'll champion is Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (2017). It's perhaps an obvious one from recent memory that immediately leaps out since the reveal of its sequel is currently fresh on the mind. It wasn't until I acquired an Xbox One X for only the briefest of periods that I finally took the opportunity to play the game earlier this year, and I'm so glad that I didn't miss this one. I had gone into the game knowing next to nothing about it, so was quite taken aback to quickly discover that it was touching on a lot of mental health related themes that are quite close to me. The more you learn about the size of Ninja Theory at the time of the game's development, the more you appreciate what they achieved as a whole. It's a magnificent game with truly exceptional sound design that I would encourage anyone to experience with a decent pair of headphones. There are lots of games I'll get to in later posts that I loved, but this one really made an indelible mark.

 

 

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I think I probably put more hours into DriveClub than any other game this decade. Such a fantastic blend of arcade with a hint of sim to keep it interesting. Had the online play worked properly from the start, it would likely have taken its rightful place as an all-time classic...complete with a solid sequel or three.

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Nice one :)

 

For me, this last 10 year span has been abso-fucking-lutly great for games. I’ll add these as my favorites for now (may amend and add more later):

 

Rock Band 3 (2010)

Skyrim (2011)

Portal 2 (2011)

Elite Dangerous (2014)

Bloodborne (2015)

Overwatch (2016)

Horizon Zero Dawn (2017)

Zelda Breath of the Wild (2017)

Control (2019)

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Finished Outer Wilds last week... and I feel like that would be in my list.    It is also triggering memories of The Witness which would also be on my list.

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Some biggies from the start of the decade.

 

Mass Effect 2 (2010): Everything clicked with the second game in the series with what felt like near flawless execution on every level for a game of its type at the time. It's so rare for me to want to revisit a game, but this is one I would be interested in going back to. It'd be great if we got a remaster someday.

 

Bayonetta (2010): I'm traditionally not very good at games Platinum have developed, and I don't think Beyonetta is an exception, but it was skilfully executed to the point where it would leave me watching an outlandish combo play out as a consequence of my button mashing and gleefully thinking "did I do that?" to myself. The frantic absurdity of the whole game made for one of the most memorable action game experiences I'd end up having this past decade.

 

Bioshock 2 (2010) & Bioshock Infinite (2013): Is the second game better than the first? I seem to recall not being too sure at the time, I think perhaps because the first game was the entry point into Rapture and really left a lasting impression on me, but in hindsight I think that yes, Bioshcok 2 may arguably be the better game. Bioshock Infinite I know wasn't received as well by some people, but I was deeply invested in it. The art direction of the whole series remains some of my favourite of any game, and Infinite's ending was one of those rare moments in gaming that literally made me gasp out loud.  

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I'm putting in a plug for:

 

Battlefield: Bad Company 2. This game really pushed a team mentality and I have fond memories of getting a full team charging after objectives. It was also back in the day when everybody was using comms. 

 

Super Mario Odyssey. This and the next game were the first in years that had me actually enjoying gaming again.

 

Marvel's Spider-Man. Not so much a game, as a Spider-Man simulator!

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Hitman 2016 for me. Fair argument for the sequel, but this is the one that turned Absolution’s issues around, got me into the series and innovated in so many way. 
 

DriveClub was just absolutely phenomenal in its balance of accessible yet deep driving, glorious amounts of style and Hybrid on the tunes. 
 

And yes, Elite Dangerous just devoured me for about two years. I don’t have VR, but the use of sound on that game made me feel like I did. 
 

Trials Evolution was absolutely phenomenal. They created such a perfect version of the concept that subsequent sequels only managed to water it down. 

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These are the games I remember fondest over the past ten years that I can think of off the top of my head. I put them in a bit of an order. World of Warcraft was the game I played the most and was obsessed with it for quite some time. Last of Us and BOTW were easily two of the most memorable games, not just of the decade, but of all time. 
 

The Last of Us Remastered

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Destiny

Super Mario Odyssey

South Park: The Stick of Truth

The Talos Principle

Inside

The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds

Super Mario 3D World

Farpoint

Superhot VR

Astrobot: Rescue Mission

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So this decade of games happens to coincide with my son, he turned 10 this year.  And with that came a large shift to online co-op games in order to stay connected to at least a couple of my buddies.  So those types of games are going to dominate my list, with a capital D.  These aren't in any particular order, although RL would be my number 1.

 

Rocket League - Thank heavens for Playstation Plus or I may have never discovered this gem.  After putting in probably 400-500 hours there, I've added over another 1000 on PC.  Even with the frustration of dealing with countless smurfs, and the general online BS you get with random folk, I still enjoy the game to my very core.  I may not be the best, I rank about diamond in competitive play, but even when I lose I can still have a good time.

 

Destiny - The original had quite the allure back in the day.  Looter shooter with a fairly compelling play loop.  I think quite a few of us here enjoyed this even if I never finished the GD raid. 

 

Mass Effect 3 - Okay, so the ending wasn't great but I don't even bring it up for the story.  The co-op "horde" mode was where it was at.  Super action oriented with complimentary team play, where your character gets to get better made this a huge staple near the end of the 360's primary life.  

 

Skyrim - When I saw this in Magness's list my first thought was, that didn't come out until 2011?  But damn I guess it did, time flies.  Nuff said on this game.

 

Elite Dangerous - This was a game I always knew I would like, but didn't realize how much until I actually started playing it.  So many roles to play.  I've got a couple hundred hours in and the game still has more to offer.  Get a stick and throttle and it's space bounty heaven.  Have much work to do here still.  

 

VR - Not a game in specific, but the fact that VR exists now is amazing.  It was always a promise in the past and I remember pouring through magazine articles 20-30 years ago with hope.  Those devices mostly never released and I also remember the things that malls used to have.  But they were super limited and expensive to try to boot.  

 

Honorable Mentions go to:

 

Division 2 - Blasted through this, will probably come back at some point.

GTA 5 - Need to get the PC version at some point to play online.

Cuphead - Fun, if frustrating co-op.

Borderlands Handsome Collection - mainly 2, Pre-sequel is not nearly as good.

7 Days to Die - Fun for a while, but killed by updates forcing restarts.

Spider-Man - Great fun, but when it's over, it's over.

 

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Trying not to duplicate:

 

  1. Doom
  2. Ori
  3. Divinity Original Sin 2
  4. Dungeon Defenders
  5. XCom 2
  6. Dust: An Elysian Tail
  7. Dark Souls 3
  8. Devil May Cry
  9. Arkham City
  10. Fallout 4

 

But Bloodborne, Last of Us, Horizen, Skyrim, and Spider-Man owned my ass as well.

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Haven’t played as many games as the rest of you but the ones that stand out for me are...

 

Dead Space 2 - probably my favorite game of all-time.

 

The Last of Us - so far, THE best game I’ve ever played.

 

Rock Band 3/4 - they did Guitar Hero and RB 1/2 released before this decade but what Harmonix did with RB was merge karaoke and party game in a manner i just couldn’t get enough of.  Probably the game(s) I’ve put the most hours into and STILL have friends over to play. 

 

Portal 2 - my favorite coop experience. 

 

 

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Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (2012): I'm very fond of Sumo Digital as a developer and this was a surprising sleeper hit for me (part of a Wii U bundle I picked up at the time), and the most enjoyable kart-racer I had played since Diddy Kong Racing. I don't know if this one is on the XB1 backwards compatibility list. It'd be nice if it is (*edit* apparently it is!). I'm really not sure why the recent Team Sonic Racing didn't pick up from where Transformed left off. Even had it just been more of the same I'd have been pretty delighted. 

 

Titanfall 2 (2016) & Doom (2016): I'm lumping these together as I have typically found myself sick and tired of first-person shooters over the past decade, but these two stand out as utterly exceptional executions of the genre. Doom was everything you would hope a modern rejuvenation of the franchise to be, while Titanfall 2 was in its own right a near flawless execution of skilful level design in a game that never once outstays its welcome.

 

Cities Skylines (2015): With the Sim City franchise becoming something of a distant memory it was a treat to finally see a worthy successor emerge. I can't speak for the console variants of the game, but the PC/Mac release is a wonderfully detailed and ambitious experience to lose hours of your life to. I just wish I had a more premium CPU to power it.

 

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (2012/13): I didn't hold onto my 2DS for very long (something I've since come to deeply regret), but I'm glad I got the opportunity to enjoy the delights of New Leaf. I loved the town mayor angle. If gaming has an equivalent to comfort food, this would certainly be on the menu. New Horizons has a challenge to live up to, or exceed, the appeal of this one. 

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Games that left an impression on me:

 

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (2010)

 

The Last of Us (2013)

 

Hitman (2016)

 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)

 

Horizon: Zero Dawn (2017)

 

God of War (2018)

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Journey (2012) & The Last Guardian (2016): Lumping these together as I feel they share some similarities, first in the fact that they were two of the most emotionally engaging gaming experiences of the decade for me, but also because they feel like gaming's closest equivalent to a ballet or a silent movie, stories and emotions played out through little more than their visuals and music.

 

Journey might actually be the game I replayed the most these past ten years, and a game that arguably served up the the best multi-player experience I had ever had when I was once paired with a stranger with whom I went through the entire game, with them taking the time to make sure I was finding every hidden thing (I knew where most were by that point, having played it several times, but it didn't matter. The fact they were so openly keen to make sure I was with them every step of the way was extraordinary). It made the final ascension feel all the sweeter and resonant when the player and I parted ways.  

 

Last Guardian... oh how I waited and waited and waited. While I think there's fair argument to say that Colossus is Ueda's best, there is something so downright Miyazaki like to aspects of Trico's personality, and the way the creature is animated, that stuck with me. If one of the game's core aims was to have me sense a bond with Trico like that I'd have for a living pet, it succeeded on every level. There were moments were I genuinely gasped in fear for his fate. Set pieces, like the bridge sequence, are also breathtaking in their scale and execution. If PS5's backwards compatibility could enhance the game, and smooth out some of the rough edges, it would be so wonderful. Takeshi Furukawa's score is also one of the best ever written and performed for a videogame.

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It’s funny... before this thread arrived, I had made a list of my own favorite games of the past 10 years. Here’s two of them:

 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda is my favorite video game series of all time, so it may not be much of a surprise for me to name it as one of my games of the decade. That said, even I was surprised by not only how good it was, but how much I loved it. It’s not unusual for me to replay a game that I love, but with BotW, I ended up replaying it twice in a little over two years. And this is not a small game, mind you. My first time through, I spent around 90 hours playing it. My second play through — in which I tried to do as much as possible, including some of the DLC — clocked in at over 125 hours.

 

What I love most about it is how it returns the series to the spirt of the original game on NES. You can go anywhere and do anything you want in any order. For the first time in ages, I felt like an adventurer, discovering new things over every hill. Despite it being an open-world sandbox, it didn’t feel like every other such game on the market. The icons on your map represent the things you’ve discovered, rather than the things you still need to do. It’s a subtle difference from every other open-world game, but an important one. Rather than feel anxiety about all the stuff you still have to do, you feel accomplished for finding so much.

 

Bring on the sequel, Nintendo! I’m ready to explore another world like this.

 

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

It’s hard to believe that this one hasn’t come up on anyone’s list yet. Naughty Dog billed this as the last adventure featuring Nathan Drake as the lead, and so we expected some sort of conclusion to his story. Amazingly, we got that and so much more.

 

Uncharted has always been known for its spectacle — and there’s more than enough in this installment to go around — but it was the quiet moments that stuck with me the most. Nate and Elena arguing about who will do the dishes. Nate reconnecting with Sam after he returns from the dead. The banter between the characters throughout the adventure. And that epilogue... Man, that epilogue was just so beautiful and perfect. I had always like the characters from Uncharted, but by the time I’d finished Uncharted 4, I loved them.

 

*         *         *

 

That’s all for now. When I get a chance, I’ll post some more entries to this thread. I have a quite a few!

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Driveclub (2014) and Forza Horizon 4 (2018): Two hugely satisfying and accessible racers. Driveclub had a rough start, but improved consistently with every patch and release of DLC. It's the closest a driving game as come to help scratch an itch that the MSR/PGR series left in its absence.

 

Forza Horizon 4 meanwhile was uniquely entertaining, spectacularly so in fact. I'd typically wince at the idea of an open world racer, but Horizon takes the concept and executes it to damn near perfection. It might even be the most fun I've ever had with a driving game. Hard to imagine where they can top that achievement with an inevitable fifth instalment.

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Dark Souls - One of the most influential games of the decade. The term “Souls-like” has become a genre unto itself and the series injected a standard of gameplay and expected difficulty that quietly took the industry by storm. It’s influence is as far reaching as Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare was in its time for the first person shooter genre except that some of the gameplay elements in the series became genre agnostic in their ubiquity. It absolutely belongs on any credible “Games of the Decade” list and it should come in damned high on said list.

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No game in the last decade (or ever for that matter) has hooked me like Rocket League has.  I have played that sucker consistently (as in pretty much most days off) since it hit PSN for free back in 2015.  I continue to be amazed at what some people can do in this game in terms of car control/mechanics and I fool myself that I can someday do the same.  :)  I do take some level of pride in being pretty decent at it given most the players at my rank or above are at least half my age.  I'd love to compete in a 40 and over tourney.  :)  It isn't the quest to rank up that keeps me coming back.  It is how the game feels.  Game play is easy to pick up and incredibly difficult to master.  The perfect pick up and play game that I can play for 30min if I'm short on time or I can easily dump hours into it on any given night if I'm not careful.  So ya the answer for me is pretty easy.  Rocket League!

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Rocket League is a great pick. I'd have to have it on my list too. I have little interest in either cars or football, yet it combined the two and delivered something ludicrously entertaining. It was also one of the rare multiplayer experiences that I wasn't hesitant to engage in.

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