My Top 30 Games of the Decade (2010 – 2019)

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s

So this is a big one… I mean literally, making the 30 thumbnails was a pain in the arse, but I just couldn’t nail it down to just 20, and when I did 25 I thought of five more I could easily talk about and went “screw it!”. Hell, I could have easily gone to 50. So with that all being said (and the usual “these are only game I’ve played so I’m sure there are many great games left off this list” message) let’s go!

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 30

I’ve always loved the Civ series, especially Civ III which I played TO DEATH. Civ V dropped at the end of 2010 and I played it solidly for a few years, on and off. Sadly my PC wasn’t powerful enough to handle Civ VI, and I wasn’t into the series enough to upgrade just for it, so I got some extra time with V, before finding a new strategy passion…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 29

The first of four Assassin’s Creed games on this list, Syndicate was made by the same people who made Black Flag (see below!) and retained its sense of fun and exploration. My sign of a great game is when I really don’t want to stop playing, and with Syndicate I was conquering all territory and trying to find every little thing just so I could spend more time in Victorian London. A good send off to the old AC games…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 28

Dynasty Warriors 9 was a bees knees when I first got my hands on it. I was properly addicted as I freely travelled from towns and walled cities across beautiful countryside and into the thick of battle. I liked the changes to combat (even if certain people lacking classic weapons was a downer) and generally I was absolutely thrilled. Sadly once I’d gone through a storyline as an officer of each major faction, the mission repetition started to set in, and I soon left it. But those first weeks with the game made a real impression on me, and I’ve gone back and done a new run through once so far, with more to come I’m sure. (My review of DW9 can be found HERE)

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 27

This is a tricky one. Super Robot Wars V has been followed up on by X and T, but I haven’t played either, so I can’t say if / how they improved on this, but I’m betting them probably should be on this list instead. Ah well, in terms of my experience, I loved my three months (!) with this JRPG, with a crazy storyline blending so many Gundam shows and Super Robots shows, and a fun turn-based grid gameplay system. Well worth the long wait of watching the series from afar, wishing I knew Japanese so I could play them… (My review of SRW V can be found HERE)

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 26

Following on from my lack of ability to play Civ VI, I found… well, I first gave the Total War series a go but failed at the real time combat part, so I then found the Paradox grand strategy games to fill my PC strategy itch, and out of all of them I’ve played so far, Europa Universalis IV is the one I’ve put the most time in. I love it! The only problem is how long the games often last, as there are just so many countries, parts of the world and mechanics I want to try out, but I hate quitting in the middle! Add in the 1001 DLC expansions and I’ll be playing this for many more years to come…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 25

Final Fantasy XV has its problems, don’t get me wrong, but man I loved the setting and the characters, and times when I was driving around with old FF music playing on the radio as the cast of four main characters were all relaxing or chatting were just… fun. The main storyline kind of falls apart at the end with some dull levels, but you can’t complain about what comes before it. Few games have ever gave me such a real sense of friendship between characters. (My review of FFXV can be found HERE)

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 24

I literally went “Oh Sleeping Dogs was released this decade!” when I was looking up 2010s games. I LOVED Sleeping Dogs, especially the combat system and environmental finishers, and the storyline was really good too. It’s another game I was doing every little thing just to find an excuse to keep playing, I honestly remember a genuine feeling of sadness when I realised I was just driving around and beating up the same thugs for no reason and I therefore had to stop…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 23

It’s weird that Fallout: New Vegas came out within this decade, it feels like ages ago I first played it! Still, while it didn’t make as big an impression on me as Fallout 3 (which was probably “new experience bias”) I loved the setting, tongue-in-cheek humour and the Bethesda engine had yet to get old. The Outer Worlds, made by the same team, has just come out and may end up being better in the long run, but that’s the problem when you release a game so close to the end of the year/decade. New Vegas was the best Fallout game released this decade… Faint praise there…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 22

Super Mario Odyssey was more of that 3D Super Mario goodness. I don’t know how to express it, but just like with the Galaxy games (Yes Galaxy 2 nearly made it on this list, but it always felt like an add on to the original…) and Sunshine before it, everything about this game was great fun, level design, music, controls, scratching that collectables itch… but although the hat-possession trick was new, the game doesn’t feel like anything new, which is why it’s only #22. Still a damn fun game though!

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 21

I’ve been playing Adam Ryland-made wrestling promotion sims since EWR 2.0 in 2002, and I still love them. For whatever reason I didn’t play TEW 2016 anywhere near as much as 2013, which is why the latter is on the list, but either way I’m really excited to get my hands on TEW 2020 next year, as I’m sure I will be with 2026 or whatever the one after that is. Addictive, both playing it and in the editor…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 20

Dynasty Warriors 7 really saved the franchise for me, and established it as a favourite of mine. I loved DW5, played it to death, but then 6 came along and it just… wasn’t good. At all. I thought it might be a one-and-done for me, but then DW7 started getting hyped up, we found out that Koei were taking the storyline up to the end of the Three Kingdoms era by introducing late Wei generals (under the banner of “Jin”) and I was interested, then the game was everything I loved about 5, plus so… so much more. I was properly addicted, and the Warriors games have only kept on coming since. For the record 8 is technically better, as its just 7 with more characters, but I felt 7 really needed to be here in my personal Top 30 due to the effect its had on me.

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 19

Sonic Mania is a lovely package of nostalgia aimed squarely at me, the early 90s Mega Drive owner. The remastered and altered classic levels, the new levels, the music in all levels, the bosses (especially the Chemical Plant boss!) and all the little extra modes and playable characters meant this was a proper delight to play through, and required several of them for no other reason that what I just wrote: it was a delight to play through. More please… PLEASE.

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 18

The Metal Gear Solid franchise is one of those that’s near and dear to my heart, so on the one hand it was a shame to see this game, it lacked David Hayter as Snake / Big Boss and the story is clearly missing an entire chapter, but what MGS V does better than any of its predecessors is succeeding at being a really fun and long game to play. As much as I’ll sing MGS 3’s praises from the rooftops, you complete it in a few hours. MGS V and its system of having a home base and flying out to a couple of open world maps to do missions however you please was great, as was the gameplay and graphics to boot. It’s the first Metal Gear Solid game that was all about the gameplay and less about the story, but I was fine with it… For the most part. Enough to get it to number 18, anyway!

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 17

Assassin’s Creed IV was originally going to be where I jumped off the franchise. ACIII had left a bad taste in my mouth, and it was all feeling very samey. Then I saw the beautiful vistas, and the pirate ship upgrade / combat system, and I thought “fine, I’ll give it a go”, and it ended up flooring me. It’s another game I literally did everything, full upgraded the ship, visited every island, defeated every hidden ship and collected every damn collectable, all because I was having so much fun playing the game, stupid current-day storyline be damned!

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 16

It’s funny, if No Man’s Sky came out as it did to start and received no further updates, I’d still have it on this list. Maybe a little further down, yes, but even that original experience was so much fun for me, exploring randomly generated planets, the thrill of taking off from a planet’s surface and being in space with no load times, the little twinge of genuine excitement when you travel to a new star system, wondering what the planets are going to look like. The fact that since the original release they added tonnes of new content, entirely FOR FREE, is the icing on the cake. No Man’s Sky has replaced Minecraft as my “chill game”, where I put it on for no other reason than to just relax, maybe listen to something while playing, with no fear of stress or the need to concentrate. Sci-Fi bliss…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 15

I feel like hopping over to the scheduled “Top 10 Games of 2019” list and just copying and pasting, but I’ll instead be brief: the Resident Evil 2 remake took the skeleton of the 1998 original and built a great new modern game over it. Tight controls, great environments, long enough to be fulfilling, short enough to keep coming back and having another run, Resi 2 Remake hits all the right notes, and was a properly pleasant surprise. (My review of the Resi 2 Remake can be found HERE)

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 14

Mario Kart 8 was… well, it was Mario Kart, but with a modern graphical polish and some really great new tracks, plus lots of remastered old ones. Then they added DLC cups which had not only more new tracks and more remastered retro ones, but had characters and tracks from Nintendo franchises outside of Mario! You know what? I really must buy Deluxe on the Switch one of these days, I’ll happily play through it all over again…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 13

Assassin’s Creed Origins managed the impossible: Ubisoft actually took a risk and rejigged everything about the AC series: the combat was different, the setting was in the distant past rather than the recent past, the open world was truly massive and loot was all over the place, complete with an Online RPG-style rarity scale. There was so, so much content that it was sometimes overwhelming, but apparently not because it was another game I spent a long time on post-main quest just because I enjoyed my time in the world. All credit is due for the gutsy move… though why they’re keeping the modern era stuff in I have NO idea…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 12

Spider-Man was a properly entertaining sleeper hit for me. I knew it would be good, but I wasn’t expecting it to not only perfectly capture the feeling of playing as Spider-Man, not only have surprisingly varied and great combat, but to also have a really interesting and compelling story. This game’s Spider-Man might actually rival Spider-Man 2 for best Doctor Octopus portrayal, and that’s saying a lot. (My review of Spider-Man can be read HERE)

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 11

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey took everything Origins did and multiplied it… by, like, 1000 if we’re talking about map size… Odyssey lived up to its name as I ended up putting 102 hours into it, taking up nearly three months of my gaming life this year (with a break in the middle) The combat was still satisfying and fresh, the characters were interesting, the setting was visually stunning and as previously mentioned, the map is stupidly massive. Plus they added the ship upgrade / combat and island exploring from Black Flag on top of it! They took my two favourite AC games up to that point and joined them together, and it’s going to be a hard act to follow…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 10

What is there left to say about Breath of the Wild that hasn’t already been said by hundreds of reviewers already? Nintendo took one of their most beloved franchises and not only modernised it, but took the modern open world concept and improved on it. Playing and exploring in this game was a real joy, and the four dungeon-like areas were fun to figure out took. Plus the combat, abilities, being able to climb everything, the graphics… it was a damn fine package, and I’m looking forward to Part 2! (My review of Breath of the Wild can be read HERE)

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 9

“Wait, you put Just Cause 2 ahead of Breath of the Wild?!” I hear you scream? Yes. It’s not about what it did for the industry or how polished it is, it’s how much I enjoyed playing it this decade, and from the moment I downloaded the JC2 demo on a whim, I was hooked (no pun intended). The story was non-existent, the controls actually not all that smooth, but man it was SO. MUCH. FUN. I played it to death, then I played it again and again on and off for the proceeding year or two before my 360 finally got unplugged. Each time I was on the same save, I was just finding new bases to destroy and new villages to plunder because the map was so big and full of white dots to uncover. It’s definitely a fond memory of this decade for me, and absolutely a Top 10 in my eyes. It’s just a shame 3 was only good, and 4… yeah, let’s not go there…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 8

On the opposite side of the spectrum then, The Last of Us was a truly stunning gaming experience, a really well told, well acted story set in the post apocalyptic world, but I wasn’t crazy about the actual gameplay. It was fine, but nothing special. The game ranks so high because by the time the end credits rolled I felt like I had experienced something actually literally epic, something that led to some genuinely interesting discussions after the fact. I hope they can pull off Part 2 next year, because I never felt it needed a sequel, it was perfect on its own…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 7

Red Dead Redemption is classic Rockstar. Its fun to play, has an amazing storyline told through great actors, and has an open world that looks stunning on a whole new level. As a prequel to the original, it even compliments that by giving us a great look into the back story of that game’s lead protagonist, while also telling a great story in its own right. The only reason its ranks lower than the first is because the first just holds that little bit more in my head as an amazing experience, but I was nearly going to put the two together, that’s how close it was… (You can read my review of RDRII by clicking HERE)

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 6

Well, what else is there to say? Red Dead Redemption took the concept of “GTA with horses” and lived up to that, because like the GTA games it told a great story with great actors while being fun to play and giving us a great open world. The ending still sends shivers down my spine thinking about it, and it’s nearly been 10 years! What a fantastic duo these games are…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 5

Yeah, yeah, I know. For 95% of you you’re going “Fire Pro what now?” and another 4% are going “it was fun, but it’s not THIS good!” Well, I’m afraid I found it exactly that good. I’ve always loved wrestling games, even when I fell out of love with the WWE, and Fire Pro is just that much fun. Such a responsive engine, so many great looking moves that are fun to pull off, endless (literally on the PC version!) slots to full up rosters of people from all over the world and across time. Throw in some mods that have added even more to the game and … yeah. Wrestling game perfection, and given the last game in the series was released in 2005, I never thought we’d see the day. The actual licensed New Japan wrestlers were the icing on the cake! I’ll be playing it forever, or until a sequel in 2030 or whatever…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 4

While I’m sure some of you were playing alpha and beta copies before then, Minecraft actually released in 2011, and boy oh boy has it made a lasting impact. I enjoyed it by myself, loved it with friends and family members (I’ve played it with two different generations of nephews!) and it’s still going strong. Whether it’s a game in survival or just building something in creative mode while chilling out (an experience now replaced with No Man’s Sky, as detailed earlier) you can’t go wrong with a bit of Minecraft, and it deserves every bit of praise thrown at it.

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 3

Super Smash Bros. is an all-time favourite of mine, I always play them right up to when the next one comes out, so when Ultimate not only promised everyone returning, but then threw in long requested characters like King K. Rool and Ridley, I was over the moon. It’s so much fun to play, alone or with friends, and the roster keeps getting bigger and better. Plus I have to mention the idea of collecting “spirits” (pictures of non-playable characters) which I delighted in collecting every. single. one. That’s over 1,000, for the record… and they keep coming as well! Long live Smash Ultimate, it’s too much fun to want to think about a new version with a smaller roster! (My review of Smash Ultimate can be found HERE)

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 2

Grand Theft Auto is a series I consider to have one of the best track records for just constantly knocking it out of the park and being amazing, and GTA V was no exception. The funny and clever plot revolves around three people, all three of which you control and can switch to, it’s once again brilliantly acted, really great to play with some really fun missions (and heists!) and has a stunning open world that looked amazing on the XBOX 360, let alone when I rebrought it on the PS4. That’s another thing, I rebrought it and played through the whole story again WITH PLEASURE. It hadn’t even been that long since I played it last, but I was excited to have an excuse to experience it all again. I haven’t even touched on the really fun online multiplayer part yet. This was so, so close to being my game of the decade, but not quite…

Decade Top 30 Games 2010s 1

When I first started thinking about a “game of the decade” article, I looked into games released in the 2010s and saw Skyrim counted and went “Ah… that’ll probably be my #1”. Sure enough, although it was extremely close, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was just too much fun to not give it the nod. It may not have had the clever and engaging plot of GTA V, but it revelled in allowing you to not follow the main plot at all and just explore, or live in this weird fantasy world. My first playthrough I did the main quest as an archer character, the second time I did the mage quests as a Mage and then just pissed about. It’s that kind of freedom and variety that keeps it endless replayable (although the opening level dialogue is starting to get old now…) I hope Bethesda manage to live up to the hype with ES VI, because this is the ultimate “hard act to follow” and my game of the 2010s.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s