These last 10 years have seen the release of some downright excellent, but what would I call my game of the decade? It’s a tough call to make, and I’m not sure if I can name one game in particular that I think is the best. Instead, I want to take some time to discuss and recommend a few of my absolute favorite games that came out throughout the 2010s. This isn’t a be-all-end-all list of the best games, these are just games that I personally found to be outstanding being listed in no particular order. With that out of the way, let’s begin.
Fallout: New Vegas (2010)
While this game’s spiritual successor “The Outer Worlds” is arguably the better game, “Fallout: New Vegas” is easily one of the best open-world role playing games to be released within the last 10 years. With a massive open world to explore, a boatload of memorable quests and characters, hundreds of ways to build a unique character, and thousands of addons from a vibrant modding community, this is simply one of the most enjoyable and content-rich experiences to be released throughout the 2010s.
Dark Souls (2011)
I’ve talked enough about “Dark Souls” over the years and although the original isn’t my favorite in the series, it can still be thanked for introducing thousands of players to the Souls-series pain-train. With rock-solid combat, level design, and character building, “Dark Souls” is a game that poses a real challenge to those who play it. It’s a niche title, to be sure, but those who are willing to take on its trademark brand of difficulty are in for one of the most rewarding action-role playing games of the decade, possibly of all time.
In my opinion, this reboot of “DOOM” was the best first-person shooter released in the 2010s, hands down. In a genre that had become saturated with drab, boring, and samey modern-military games, along came a title that reminded everyone what made FPS games fun in the first place: non-stop, fast-paced, mobile combat with a whole arsenal of awesome weapons and levels bursting at the seams with enemies and secrets. I’ve played this game to completion at least four times, and I have yet to get bored of it. Here’s hoping the upcoming “DOOM: Eternal” is able to hold up to it!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
This game is the reason to buy a Switch. From start to finish, “Breath of the Wild” is a superb experience that puts most other games of its ilk to shame. By taking “The Legend of Zelda” back to its exploratory roots, Nintendo managed to deliver a massive open world in which the player is free to go anywhere they desire and explore the country of Hyrule to their heart’s content. If you have a Switch but haven’t played this game yet, do yourself a favor and pick it up. It’s easily one of the best games available for the platform.
If you liked “BioShock” but were disappointed by the sequels, this game is a must play. While it draws more from “System Shock” than “BioShock”, the gameplay in “Prey” is nonetheless familiar enough to where fans of either series will be right at home with it. Exploring Talos I and learning about the story of Morgan Yu is an utterly enthralling experience, and it is brought to life by gameplay that merges first-person shooting, stealth, and character building seamlessly. I really hope that this title inspires a revival of the immersive-sim because I cannot get enough of this genre, and this is probably the finest example of it since “System Shock 2”.
This is easily one of the most unique games I have played in years. Set in a world of martial arts and talking animals, “Overgrowth” sends players on a journey across a well-realized world where they engage in some of the absolute best melee combat I’ve ever seen. Honestly, the world and characters are secondary in this game, because the combat is just so good. With the use of just a few buttons, the gameplay of “Overgrowth” is approachable and easy to learn, but with an incredibly high skill ceiling for the crazy stunts you can pull off. Go at it for a few hours, though, and you’ll be countering strikes and delivering insane flying drop-kicks like a rabbit version of Bruce Lee. Please play this game, there’s really nothing else quite like it.