This is a great time to look on the past few years of the video games industry for multiple reasons, with the rise of mobile game development companies, the current console generation coming to an end with it this past decade. So one only needs to reminisce for a little while to realize that it’s been an eventful few years.
We have seen countless excellent games released over the past decade, with games that have defined genres, games that have changed genres and even some games that are their own genera. Looking back on the last few years and trying to develop a blog naming the best games of the last decade has proved to be a herculean task.
But it’s one that we are going to undertake none the less, so sit tight has we go down memory lane and pay homage to the titles that made you skip school, work and left you urging to return back to any time.
Forza Horizon 4:
This game started off as a spin-off to the flagship Forza Motorsport franchise, as Playground Games and Microsoft have put out more and more of these spin-offs, in no time they started taking more stoplight in the gaming world.
With Forza Horizon 4 the developers may not only have delivered the best Forza game to date but also what is considered probably the best racing game of all time.
Thanks to excellent driving, a deluge of diverse content, an incredible open-world, an ingenious season’s mechanic and a wide selection of vehicles to choose from this is a game that simply cannot be praised enough.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 1:
Of all the gaming titles that came out in 2012 TellTale’s graphic adventure adaptation of Robert Kirkmen’s The Walking Dead Universe was the one that stood out to us the most. This was surprising because licensed properties are rarely good let alone this memorable.
The way they also adapted the grim and dangerous world of the graphic novels and put their own unique twist on it with incredibly written characters. The masterful storytelling in this title deserves all the praise in the world.
This is the title that shot this development company into the stratosphere and even through for the studio things may have ended badly but its undeniable that The Walking Dead’s first season has a lasting impact on the industry as a whole.
When Valve is firing on all cylinders it has no peers in the industry and the genius of Portal 2 is evidence to this claim. Taking the excellent puzzle-solving mechanics of the first game, Portal 2 expanded upon it in incredible ways and what was in no vague terms a master class.
On top of this the game was brimming with personality with an excellent narrative which is constantly witty and hilarious. Memorable character and even a co-op mode was just as much a blast to go through as the single player campaign was.
Like all things valve Portal does not know how to count to three, but gamers around the world are hoping that changes soon.
Batman Arkham City:
Rocksteady took the entire industry by surprise when they made Batman Arkham Asylum, which wasn’t just good for a superhero game but was just a great game in itself. Following up on this must have been a daunting task but it was one that the developer took on with supreme confidence.
The result Arkham City was one of the best games of the seventh console generation. Taking the strong combat mechanics of its predecessor and mixing it with excellent open-world traversal. Arkahm City delivered a game that was true for Batman fans.
The game nailed everything one looks for in a Batman experience. From the atmosphere and the eye popping visual aesthetics. The story and its cast of characters, not to mention the excellent performances turned in by Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as the Batman and Joker respectively.
This game was a crowning achievement for the studio and to this day stands as a benchmark for superhero games to aspire to.
Six years after their launch games aren’t usually an active and prominent part of the zeitgeist as much as they are somewhat hazy memories. But Grand Theft Auto 5 is a game that just refuses to go away. Enjoying the sales and player engagement that even games that came out mere months ago might not be enjoying.
It’s not hard to see why the game has had such enduring success because it represents Rockstar in top form. GTA to the extreme is chaotic, bombastic and overflowing with mechanical/systemic depth covered in a shiny coat of polish.
This title is in essence the best definition of value for money delivered through interesting characters and a gripping story.
It is very rare in today’s day and age for a game to literary create an all new genera and that is exactly what this beautifully challenging game has done with the help of its predecessor Demon Souls of course. However, even back in 2011, at a time when gamers did not know the long lasting impact and legacy Dark Souls would leave behind.
This game was like a revelation that took the entire industry by storm, owing simply to just how excellent of a game it is. Defined by stellar level design exhibiting the best qualities of metro-advanias and a relentless difficulty that would go on to shape so much of the industry and a great lure that a gamer can pour hours and hours into.
The Witcher 3:
It was not that long ago that most of us believed that open-world game design and a focus on effective storytelling to be deeply incompatible. The fact that we no longer feel these aspects to be mutually exclusive can be attributed to this game.
CD Projekt Red’s seminal The Witcher 3, a vast sprawling epic game that immediately took the world by storm and resulted in the Polish studio’s meteoric rise to global fame.
There is so much that this game did that still impacts the games and players. Whether that’s the huge and open-world, the stunning visuals, it’s grandiosely layered narrative or its excellently written characters and choice consequence mechanics.
The way this game treated the most insignificant side-quests and the bursting content makes this game the game of the decade for us.