The 2010s were a decade of great innovation and creativity in the video game industry. From indie titles to AAA blockbusters, there was no shortage of incredible games to play. Here are the top 10 games of the decade, in no particular order:
- Minecraft (2011) – One of the best games of the 2010s is undoubtedly “Minecraft” (2011) developed by Mojang Studios. The sandbox game that allows players to create and explore their own virtual worlds using blocks. The game’s open-ended gameplay, simple graphics and creative mode, which allows players to build without any limitations, have made it a massive hit, selling over 200 million copies. Its impact on the gaming industry and popular culture is undeniable, as its simple yet deep gameplay, and its open-ended creative mode have inspired countless other games and even entire genres.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017) – Breath of the Wild is an open-world adventure game that reinvents the classic Zelda formula in a number of ways. Its vast, open world is filled with secrets and mysteries to discover, and its physics-based gameplay allows for a level of freedom and experimentation that is truly unique in the Zelda series. It won many awards for its innovation and design.
- Grand Theft Auto V (2013) – Grand Theft Auto V is the open-world action game set in the fictional city of Los Santos. The game’s vast open world, engaging story, and incredible attention to detail made it a massive hit, and it quickly became one of the best-selling games of all time. The game’s online multiplayer mode, GTA Online, also became a massive success, with millions of players still playing it to this day. It offers a variety of activities for players to engage in, such as races, deathmatches, and heists. The game’s constant updates and new content have kept the players engaged, making it a staple in the gaming industry.
- Dark Souls (2011) – Dark Souls, the notoriously difficult action RPG that is known for its punishing difficulty and unforgiving combat. Despite this, the game has become a cult classic, and is widely considered to be one of the best games of the decade. Its challenging gameplay and deep lore have attracted a dedicated fanbase, and the series has since spawned several sequels and spinoffs.
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015) – The Witcher 3 is the open-world action RPG based on the popular fantasy novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. The game’s rich world, engaging story, and complex characters have made it a critical and commercial success. Although subject, some consider it to be one of the best games of all time. Its open world design and side quests also showed the standard for other open world games to follow
- Skyrim (2011) – Another open-world action RPG, Skyrim set in the fictional world of Tamriel. The game allows players to take on the role of the Dragonborn, a legendary warrior with the power to defeat dragons and take their power, and move freely through the world, completing quests, and engaging in various activities. The game’s leveling system, which allows players to choose their own path and play style, and the game’s freedom of choice, have made it a favorite among RPG fans. The game’s world is filled with a wide range of characters, each with their own unique personalities and stories, attention to detail in its world-building and quest design have been praised. The game’s modding community also helped to keep the game relevant and fresh, with new content and features being added by the community members.
- Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018) – The game immerses players in the gritty, lawless world of the American West, where they take on the role of Arthur Morgan, a member of a notorious outlaw gang. The game’s attention to detail is unmatched, from the stunning visuals and lifelike animations, to the realistic character interactions and the dynamic weather system. Players are fully immersed in the world and feel like they are living in the game. The game’s story is also a standout feature, with a gripping narrative that keeps players hooked until the end. The game’s characters are fleshed out, and players will find themselves emotionally invested in their journeys. The game’s open-world design, the level of freedom it offers, and the attention to detail in its world-building, have set the bar high for other open-world games to follow.
- Super Mario Odyssey (2017) – Super Mario Odyssey is a 3D platformer that sees Mario traveling to various different worlds in order to rescue Princess Peach. The game’s unique level design and tight controls made it a hit with both critics and players alike. Its sandbox-like level design and new mechanics like Cappy also marked a departure from traditional Mario games.
- Fortnite (2017) – Fortnite is a free-to-play battle royale game that quickly became one of the most popular games in the world. Its fast-paced, action-packed gameplay, and its ability to be played across different platforms made it accessible to a large audience. The game’s iconic building mechanics, unique art style and constant updates, events, and collaborations also helped it to stand out among other battle royale games and kept the players engaged. Fortnite’s cultural impact also extended beyond the game itself, with its emotes and dances becoming popular memes and even crossing over into pop culture.
- Stardew Valley (2016) – One of the best indie games of the 2010s is undoubtedly “Stardew Valley” (2016) developed by ConcernedApe. It is a farming simulation game that takes place in a small village called Stardew Valley. The player inherits a rundown farm from their grandfather and must work to restore it to its former glory. The game’s pixel art style and charming soundtrack create a nostalgic and relaxing atmosphere, making it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
These games all made the list for different reasons, whether it be for their innovation, gameplay, story, or cultural impact. Each of them have left a lasting impression on the gaming industry and have become some of the most beloved games of all time. As we move into the next decade, we can expect to see more incredible games that will push the boundaries of what’s possible in the medium.
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