Top 50 Games of the Decade - Part 1 - ArticleCraig Snow , posted on 24 January 2020 / 2,866 Views
With a new decade upon us, the staff here at VGChartz have been hotly discussing the previous 10 years as seen through our own personal gaming experiences. Thanks to contributions from 17 participating staff members we've lovingly crafted a list combining all of our eclectic tastes into an overall top 50 games of the 2010s.
This top 50 isn’t a weighted list favoring any one person. Every single member of staff was given the opportunity to post a ranked list of their own top 25 original games of the 2010s (the vast majority of remakes, as well as all remasters and HD collections, were excluded). Each title was given a number value, dependent on how highly/lowly each person ranked the game on their own list, and the totals were then added up to produce the overall top 50.
Honourable mentions have been given to games or franchises that deserve special consideration for one reason or another. Our first honourable mention goes to Overwatch, which narrowly failed to make the top 50, but managed to appear on more individual lists than any other title outside of the top 50.
Without further ado, here are the first 10 entries in our Top 50 Games of the Decade list.
Ori and the Blind Forest
With the Metroidvania genre going through a renaissance in the last decade it’s particularly challenging for any individual game within the genre to truly stand out and make a name for itself. Ori and the Blind Forest managed to do just that, however, thanks to a touching narrative, beautiful visuals, tight controls, and captivating puzzles. It also boasts a heartwarming story (told through foreign narration), containing lovable and charming characters, as well as the magnificent forest itself of course.
Dark Souls II
When even the so-called 'black sheep' of the Souls series is considered one of the greatest games of the decade it should be obvious to all what an impact the franchise has had on the landscape. Dark Souls II's departure from the first title didn't endear it to everyone, but it took the foundation of Dark Souls and added polish, both in terms of visuals and mechanics. And just like rest of the series, it looms large above its rival Souls-like pretenders.
The Outer Worlds
What a pleasant surprise The Outer Worlds was, sneaking in right at the tail end of the decade. Obsidian Software continued its trend of producing excellent RPGs, this time in the guise of an other-worldly sci-fi shooter. The Outer Worlds is a true showcase of great world building in video games, in no small part thanks to great writing and its virtually unmatched sense of humor.
New Super Mario Bros. U
New Super Mario Bros. U shows off one of Nintendo’s greatest strengths - learning and improving through iteration. New Super Mario Bros. U is 2D platforming paradise, recovering the missing sense of exploration from its immediate predecessors and delivering some of the greatest local multiplayer gameplay of the last 10 years.
Yakuza had an explosive decade, transitioning from relative cult obscurity to finally gaining some much-deserved traction in the west. Known for its strong story-telling and over-abundance of activities to take part in, this crime epic successfully walks the line of dramatic and humorous, while also providing players with a fascinating world to explore and exploit.
Inside, a hauntingly atmospheric puzzle platformer with a uniquely dark narrative, was indie developer Playdead's highly anticipated follow-up to cult hit Limbo. Playdead managed not only to deliver on the high expectations generated by its debut effort, but did so by creating a follow-up that was both reminiscent of Limbo in many ways but also highly distinct in its own right.
With one of the most unique combat systems ever seen in an RPG, a strong euphonious soundtrack, engaging characters, and quirky writing, it’s so easy to see why Undertale is recognized as one of the strongest games of the last decade. It’s mind boggling to think it was all created by a single person - Toby Fox - in just under three years. If you haven't played it yet, you really should - it rightly became a cult classic almost immediately following its release.
Gears of War 3
The series that essentially perfected cover-based third person shooters closed out its initial trilogy with a blast. Whether it’s playing the remarkable campaign with up to four friends, cutting through endless Locust in the impressive array of multiplayer modes, or even mowing down wave after wave of humans as a Locust in the uniquely enjoyable Beast Mode, there are a lot of reasons to love having a chainsaw... on your gun!
Hard-as-nails platformers are possibly the last place you might expect to find a strong narrative-driven experience in gaming. That's no longer the case, following the release of Celeste in 2018. Celeste pushes you as much as it encourages you, while you scale mountains and confront your own personal turmoils. In an age when issues like mental health and other sober subjects are tentatively being addressed in gaming, Celeste found a way to merge these important topics with a beautiful and incredibly challenging gaming experience.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Platinum games has repeatedly showed off its mastery of the action genre, exploding onto the scene with instant genre pleasers like Madworld, Bayonetta, and Vanquish. So it was clear why Konami trusted the company to develop an action game wthin its flagship Metal Gear series. A seamless blend of intense action Platinum is known for, alongside the outlandish storytelling of the Metal Gear games, Revengeance remarkably managed to satisfy fans of both companies.