So I did a top 10 games of 2019 video, but seeing as how it is also the end of the decade, it only felt right to do a top 10 of the decade as well. As with my 2019 video, I expect many to disagree with what I have here, but again, seeing differing opinions is what makes these kinds of videos fun. So without further ado, let’s get into some honorable mentions before hopping into the actual top 10.
As someone that was getting tired of the same old competitive shooters, Overwatch was a pleasant surprise back in 2016. It blended what I liked about competitive shooters with what I liked about hero-based games like League of Legends, culminating in a shooter experience quite unlike anything I had played before. I will never forgot grinding out diamond and masters rank in competitive, trying out new heroes for the first time, and getting all of those sick play of the games (especially on characters like Zenyatta). Granted, I don’t play the game as much as I did during the first four seasons, but during that time, it was some of the best competitive gaming I had ever experienced.
Having never played a Rayman game prior to this one, I honestly wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I had expected your everyday 2D platformer that would maybe be some fun to play through with a friend. After beating the game in a single nine hour session though, that expectation proved that to be very, very wrong. Rayman Legends is an excellently crafted 2D platformer, full of vibrant environments and characters, fast and fun platforming action, and tons of little secrets to find. It’s a platformer that has pretty much gone unmatched this decade and has cemented itself as one of my all-time favorites in the genre.
The House in Fata Morgana
I can’t count how many times I have recommended this game. Since my initial review, I’ve included it in pretty much every visual novel recommendation list I’ve put out. Although it looks and plays differently than your everyday VN, it is one of the best examples of what the medium is capable of. From it’s unique art and use of atmosphere, to it’s soul-crushing, yet excellently crafted storyline, it’s really got a lot going for it. Couple that with one of the best soundtracks ever produced and you’ve got a VN experience deserving of a spot on my list.
Okay, so with all of the honorable mentions out of the way, it is time to dive into the top 10, starting with #10.
10. Tekken 7
I was actually a bit late to the party with this one, only really getting into it earlier this year. However, since then, Tekken 7 has proved to be not only one of the best games I’ve played in the past decade, but one of the best fighting games I’ve ever played period. Tight controls, a ton of fun, yet complex characters to choose from, and fighting that actually has some weight behind it are just a few of the reasons why.
It was the first fighting game that I actually tried to better myself at by taking advantage of practice mode and learning combos and such, stuff that I had hardly touched in previous fighting games. I’ve had a blast practicing all of that and pummeling my friends online, so much so that I’m honestly surprised it has taken me this long to check the series out.
9. Little Busters!
Little Busters! marked the first time I had ever fully played through a Key visual novel. It may have taken me 100+ hours and three weeks of nonstop playing to do it, but the payoff was totally worth it. It’s a VN full of well-developed characters, a great soundtrack, a bunch of neat little mini-games, and, of course, a long and excellently written story with one of the best true endings I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. In fact, to this day, it remains the only video game to actually make me cry, it’s just that powerful.
I had already been a fan of Key due to prior anime adaptions of their work, but Little Busters! is what truly cemented them as my all-time favorite VN studio. Given that, it would be wrong to not include it on my list.
8. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim, a game I expect to appear on many lists of this type. I love it for much of the same reason as others, including its expansive storyline and lore-infused world, beautiful graphics that still hold up today, and its RPG mechanics that are actually fun to engage with. It’s a game that doesn’t really get old, even across numerous playthroughs. I’ve done a warhammer-wielding orc, a high elf thief and assassin, and, of course, the stealth archer. None of these playthroughs were alike, as there is just so much to the game that it would be hard to even do so.
On some playthroughs (in fact, probably most of them), I didn’t even bother with the main storyline, instead immersing myself in the world and doing my own thing. Whether that be breaking into all the houses in every major city or trying to befriend ever person I came across. It’s all possible here in Skyrim and that is just one of the reasons why I like it so much.
7. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
The third visual novel to appear in my list and yet another great example of what the medium is capable of. Unlike the other VNs I just mentioned, Danganronpa 2 takes a more gameplay-oriented approach to storytelling. It does this by letting players solve murders by investigating for clues themselves and then partaking in trials to determine the culprit (kinda like Ace Attorney). It sounds pretty basic on paper, but when combined with some actually decent mystery writing, you get quite the VN experience.
Aside from the already excellent mix of storytelling and gameplay, Danganronpa 2 packs together with it a cast full of colorful characters, some very vibrant and diverse art, and some comedy that is actually pretty well-executed given the serious nature of the story. It’s a truly unique game and one of the best mystery VNs I’ve ever read, earning itself a spot on my list.
6. Halo: Reach
And of course it wouldn’t be a best of the decade list without at least one entry in one of the best shooter series ever made. Halo: Reach takes all that makes the series great and somehow makes it even better. You’ve got the excellent FPS gameplay, the wide variety of fun multiplayer modes, a story that is more than just an afterthought, and, one of my favorite features in the series, the Forge mode.
All of this and more in just one package and that’s just scratching the surface of what I like about the game. I could go on and on about the custom game modes, the great map design, and even the lore, but I don’t have enough room in this video so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Just know that the game was good back in 2010 and now with the 2019 PC release, it has never been better.
5. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U & Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
We got not just one, but two excellent entries into the Smash Bros. series this past decade, so instead of listing each of them on my list individually, I decided to combine them here under #5. The Smash Bros. series has long been one of my favorites, ever since I unwrapped that copy of Melee for my birthday many years ago. Flash forward to this decade and we saw the arrival of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, which, honestly, was the only game I ever really played on Wii U.
Then we got Ultimate, which has been a constant source of fun for my friends and I whenever we get together. Not only is the roster impressive, but it just feels good to play, much more so than previous Smash games. Intuitive controls, fun fighting gameplay, and one of the best soundtracks out there on Switch are just a few of the things the game has going for it. It’s actually a bit worrying, as now I wonder how Nintendo can ever top it in the future. Whatever the case, it’s a fantastic fighting game all around and one of my all-time favorites, earning a spot on this list.
4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
CSGO, or the game that consumed over a year of my life. When my friends and I got into it in the Summer of 2014, it was literally the only thing we did the entire summer. Sure, we had to eat and sleep and all of that, but the rest of the time was pretty much just CSGO. Starting off as silvers, we grinded at that competitive for over a year, settling around LEM before we took a bit of a hiatus. However, even today we still come back to this game for a game or two.
From its super polished gunplay, to its heavy emphasis on teamwork, it was the first competitive shooter I ever really got into and enjoyed a lot. I’ll never forget finally hitting that LEM rank, pulling off those 1v5s, or getting those sneaky ninja defuses. This game gave me a lot of memories, many of which I’ll remember for years to come.
3. Civilization V
I have quite the history with the Civilization series. I remember playing a not-so-legal copy of Civ IV back during my school days, when all I had was a laptop running Windows Vista. I played that game to death, learning all the strats and even messing around with a bunch of mods. So when Civ V finally came out, it was pretty much a given that I would love it too.
Civ V took all that made Civ IV great and further refined it and added a bunch of cool stuff in the process. Sure, it took away some things like unit stacking, but things like that gave it its own identity. I had to abandon what I knew from Civ IV and adapt to this game that, while still bearing the Civilization title, felt like a brand new experience. And what a fun experience that was. Figuring out the best strategies, trying out all of the different leaders, achievement hunting for the most obscure achievements, and racing my friends for wonders in multiplayer are just some of the fond memories I have of this game. Although Civ VI is another decent entry, Civ V will always be a special one to me.
2. Fallout: New Vegas
Just a month after we got Civ V, we got Fallout: New Vegas, another game I have a bit of history with. I remember first learning about it in an issue of Game Informer, prompting me to try Fallout 3, which quickly ended up becoming one of my favorites. I then went out and actually pre-ordered New Vegas, one of the three times in my life I have ever pre-ordered a video game.
Although the game was a buggy-mess (and actually still is to this day), I ended up playing through it more than five times in that first year alone. As with Skyrim, this was another game that appealed to me in that I could do whatever I wanted. Ignoring the main story became a constant in my playthroughs and I would instead pursue the hundreds of sidequests, visit all of the locations on the map, find all of the unique weapons, and even do some role-playing outside of the game’s built-in RPG mechanics. It’s a fantastic game in spite of the bugs and has solidified itself as one of my all-time favorite RPGs.
I mentioned having a history with the past two games I just listed, but Minecraft easily takes the cake. That is because Minecraft is more than just a game to me. It got me through a tough few years at school, taught me a bunch of skills that I still use to this day (especially through all the server management I did), and is actually the reason why I have my current friends group. I know that may sound a bit cheesy, but I honestly wonder where I would be if not for this game.
I’ll never forget waking up early to get in a couple hours before school, managing my own server for years and building up an active community, playing around with all of the cool mods (shoutout to Tekkit), uploading a bunch of let’s plays (all of which are still available on this very channel), and of course, all of the friends I made both in-game and out. It’s a game that has had a significant impact on my life and has not only solidified itself as my personal game of the decade, but my favorite game ever period.
That brings me to the end of my list. A ton of great games have released this past decade and I’m sure I missed plenty of your favorites. Given that, do comment down below and tell me what your favorites were, I’m interested to see what I may have missed. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already and here’s to a great next decade for gaming.