My favourite games that I have played from 2010 to 2020
So many games, so many choices. What a decade it has been for the gaming community. We have all been treated to so many fantastic experiences from incredibly talented developers and artists, ranging from looter shooters and treasure hunters, to all-powerful gods and cities in the sky. We have witnessed countless explosions, adrenaline-fueled action, emotional moments, intense atmospheres and breathtaking vistas. It has been nothing short of amazing and the future looks very bright for the video game industry and its community.
I have played a lot of games over the last 10 years and I thought it would be a fun challenge to figure out what my top 10 games have been from this past decade. It took some time, a lot of writing down notes, scribbling, making lists and such but I have finally come up with my top 10 games so here they are! Grab a snack, maybe a drink, and I hope you enjoy the read.
10. Alien Isolation (October 7th 2014)
Developer – Creative Assembly
Starting things off with what I believe to be the best terrifying experience to date, Alien Isolation doesn’t hold back its amount of scares and heart-pounding tension. Developed by Creative Assembly, you play as Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley. Your objective is to find out what happened to your mother 15 years ago and uncover the mystery of her disappearance. You travel to Sevastopol space station, where your mother’s flight recorder has been recovered, only to realise that you are being hunted by an unknown monster that is killing everyone on board.
Through its intense story and tenser atmosphere, you must survive at all costs to find answers whilst navigating Sevastopol station. I played Alien Isolation a lot, even on the hardest difficulty as I really wanted to see what the Alien AI could do. It makes the Alien more adaptable and aware of your presence as you scurry and hide from it while also ramping up the damage you take from enemies. It can lead to some very difficult and intense situations and if you do not adapt quickly, using an array of crafted gadgets and weaponry, you will most likely come face to face with the monster and meet your demise. I definitely felt on edge most of the time when playing this as the Alien can catch you off-guard, even when you think you are safe.
If you enjoyed to Alien movies like myself, then this game is a must play for you. Alien Isolation delivers one hell of a horror spectacle that will make you want to keep the lights on at night.
9. God of War (April 20th 2018)
Developer – Santa Monica Studios
The 2018 game of the year and Playstation 4 exclusive, God of War, tells a tale of father and son on an epic adventure through a nordic land filled with giant monsters and powerful gods. You play as Kratos, a former ghost of Sparta, who must journey through the unknown realm of Midgard to deliver the ashes of his wife to the highest peak of all the nine realms, alongside your son Atreus. It is an emotional story of what it is like to be a parent raising their own child in a harsh and unforgiving world.
I enjoyed this so much that I truly wanted more after the credits rolled. The combat is addictive, brutal and can really make you feel like an unstoppable force. Listening to all the unique and colourful characters tell stories about Norse Mythology was also a treat for my ears. Did you know that there are no loading screens in this game too? Crazy right! It is all one shot and blends everything together incredibly well so no loading screens at all. I could not get enough of it and I wanted to keep discovering more of what Midgard had to offer. The monsters, the characters, everything works brilliantly well and I look forward to the next installment of the franchise to continue Kratos’ story.
With an intuitive combat system, a beautiful world and a powerful, yet emotional story about father and son, God of War proves to be one of the most epic games ever created.
8. Gris (December 13th, 2018)
Developer – Nomada Studios
Possibly the most gorgeous game I have ever played, Gris, developed by Nomada Studios and published by Devolver Digital, is a breathtaking and beautiful artistic achievement that blends creative platforming and a deep, emotional tale that is full of wonder and imagination.
You play as a woman named Gris who has lost her voice and must overcome fears that take the shape of a flock of birds that try to consume her. As you traverse through harsh deserts, underwater caverns, rich, detailed forests and a city made of lights and bright colours, you are challenged with overcoming obstacles in a stunningly beautiful, water-coloured world by finding your true inner powers, such as turning into a heavy block of stone, the ability to double jump to traverse higher and farther, and creating new pathways with constellations. It is a pleasure for your eyes to watch how the game changes with its wonderful art style and simple platforming. What makes it even more unique is that there is no dialogue, no voices, just singing and it is all you really need for this game to work. It uses colours as a way of showing emotion and is all hand drawn digitally.
It is a magical art piece of a video game that really brings out ones own imagination and continues to push it further with creative flair and personality. This game really does look like a water-coloured painting.
As someone who battles mental health, I found Gris to be an emotional adventure that speaks to me on multiple levels, telling me that I am worth something and that I shouldn’t let my fears take control of me. It will remain one of my most memorable games of all time and I hope to experience more of Gris sometime in the future.
7. Bioshock Infinite (March 26th, 2013)
Developer – Irrational Games
One of the most anticipated games of 2013, Bioshock Infinite is a truly unique experience that has you wondering if it truly is possible to live in the clouds.
Developed by Irrational games and published by 2K Games, Bioshock Infinite received critical acclaim for its gripping story, unique setting and gorgeous visuals. You play as Booker Dewitt, a former Pinkerton agent who is sent to Columbia, a city in the sky where you must track down a captive girl named Elizabeth.
Once found, you must find a way to escape the city in the sky, but things take a turn for the worse as you become involved in the cities ruling factions, the founders of Columbia that strive for white supremacy, and the Vox Populi, who are the rebels that represent the underclass of the city. During the conflict, you quickly realise that Elizabeth is more than what you believed her to be, as she has powers that can open tears, doorways to other dimensions and time.
Bioshock Infinite, while it doesn’t directly follow the previous two games, it has similar combat and abilities, such as being able to throw fire and electricity with your hands, using telekinesis to throw objects at enemies, summon a flock of crows and much more. It can feel quite exhilarating as certain areas can become chaotic when all sorts of elements and abilities start flying around you and you have to think fast in how to take down the tougher enemies of the game. With a vast array of weaponry and diverse gear that grants special attributes, Columbia can become an open playground of mayhem for you. You can also use the skyline rail system that acts like a rollercoaster to get around more freely, or if you need to make a quick exit if a fight becomes too much to handle and getting the higher ground can certainly be an advantage in difficult situations. You can also use Elizabeth’s powers to help you fight your enemies, making for a more dynamic combat system than previous titles.
It is without a doubt, one of the most intriguing and gripping stories I have ever played. I loved every minute of it that I played it more than once just to experience its world again and again. It is a true gem of the seventh generation of consoles and absolutely worth experiencing for yourself. If you have ever wondered what it might be like to live in the sky, then this should answer it for you.
6. Ori and the Blind Forest (March 11th, 2015)
Developer – Moon Studios
Developed by Moon Studios and published by Microsoft Studios, Ori and the Blind Forest is a challenging, thrilling and emotional metroidvania style game that has you gracefully acrobat across a stunningly rendered forest that you must bring back to life.
You take control of the little forest spirit named Ori, accompanied by Sein, who is the ‘light and eyes’ of the great forest spirit tree. Together, you must restore the forest of Nibel by returning the 3 stolen elements to their rightful places and bring peace back to the land. Doing this task though requires you to run, jump, climb and use other unique abilities to navigate through a deep and dangerous world full of secrets waiting to be discovered.
Ori has a certain charm to it, one where I didn’t want to stop playing until I found every hidden secret, every health orb and every spirit orb to make myself more agile and powerful to tackle the bigger and more difficult challenges ahead. It can be quite addicting in figuring out tricky puzzles to get to the next area or gathering the next XP boost to gain a new ability such as a double jump or add more attack power to Sein. Maneuvering around the colourful environments is a joy as well. Performing simple tricks looks graceful and satisfying that can make Ori look and feel like a true acrobat.
There is no doubt that this is a challenging game, and I do love a challenge. Deadly enemies and hostile environments are around every corner and can take you by surprise so you have to be quick to react if you want to survive. It is a risk vs reward that can really pay off if done right. It can, at times make you really appreciate the level design too. It is a joy to explore the forest of Nibel and fall in love with the gorgeous visuals.
What I love most about Ori is its music. It is a fully orchestrated score that really brings the forest to life. From enchanting woodlands to incredible fast-paced chase scenes, the music works perfectly well in making this world surprising and beautiful. I haven’t experienced anything like it before and stands out to be a marvel of artistic design.
Ori and the Blind Forest is an epic tale that explores an emotional story of love and survival that can really pull at your heartstrings, and is a must have for Metroidvania fans. I really cannot wait for the next game, named ‘Ori and the Will of the Wisps’ next year in 2020.
5. Uncharted 4 (May 10th, 2016)
Developer – Naughty Dog
If you ever wanted to experience what it might be like to be Indiana Jones, then the Uncharted series is for you. One of the Playstation’s finest exclusives to date, the Uncharted saga will have you on the edge of your seat as you experience what it would be like to be one of the worlds greatest treasure hunters.
Developed by Naughty Dog, the Uncharted games are a blast to play, and Uncharted 4, the latest game about Nathan Drake, brings the protagonists story to an emotional and satisfying conclusion. Seriously, I teared up at the end of this game as I knew I wouldn’t be able to see more of Nate’s journey anymore but I was content with his ending as it concluded better than I could have hoped for.
You play as Nathan Drake, a former treasure hunter who is pressured into helping his brother Samuel, who was presumed dead. With the help of Nate’s best friend Sullivan, you embark on an incredible, world-travelling adventure in search of the infamous pirate Henry Avery’s long-lost treasure to help Samuel out of a deadly situation.
You travel across the globe, solving puzzles and fighting adaptable enemies in a race against time to find one of the worlds greatest treasure troves. Epic gun fights, action-packed scenarios, stunning visuals and an engrossing story, Uncharted 4 is an absolutely amazing experience to play, and enjoyed every minute of it. I was in awe when I played it and I had to try it again multiple times just to relive its thrilling story again. It is a true masterpiece of a conclusion for Nathan Drake and I do hope to see more stories like this soon from Naughty Dog.
4. Hellblade, Senua’s Sacrifice (August 8th, 2017)
Developer – Ninja Theory
Inspired by Norse mythology and Celtic culture, Hellblade, Senua’s Sacrifice is a psychological horror that is truly a unique experience of a video game. It is a beautiful and unforgiving world where the darkness is your greatest enemy.
Developed by Ninja Theory which consisted of roughly 20 people at the time, the game explores human psychology. Working alongside a team of mental health specialists, neuroscientists, and people who suffer from psychosis, they were able to create a meaningful representation of what it is like to live with psychosis and the affects of mental health.
You take on the role of Senua, a Pict warrior that must travel to Helheim and face the Goddess Hela in order to rescue her dead lovers soul. Suffering from sadness, grief, confusion and fear, you must fight your way through dark entities and overcome their challenges in order to progress. The game has you swing your sword and dodge attacks as well as use an ability that allows you to slow down time to better react to deadly foes. Puzzle solving is also in the game which has you find certain runes to unlock gates to help you progress further. It works well to get you to explore Helheim to its fullest and uncover its hidden secrets.
Hellblade does extremely well in showing what it is like to experience psychosis. The game wants you to play it with headphones on and it does an amazing job with this as the sound design is Hellblade’s greatest strength. You can hear voices in your head, telling you what to do and what not to do. It is like Senua and the voices are constantly arguing. It can seem a bit much but makes you realise that real people in this world actually deal with this sort of thing on a daily basis. It can seem kind of strange and deeply disturbing at first but it makes the game all that much better as it makes for a richer experience. You will also hear a different voice in your head from time to time known as the darkness which Senua believes to be a curse and she must battle with this along the way into the depths of Helheim.
Another unique addition is that Senua is touched by something called the dark rot on her right arm. When you fall in battle, the rot grows and becomes stronger and if it reaches Senua’s head, then the game ends and you must start again. This acts as a way of showing that Senua’s mental health is at stake and losing something makes the struggle of surviving all the more real.
I fully loved this gem of a video game. I felt uncomfortable almost all the way through but I kept wanting more and more and wanted to see how Senua’s story ends. The acting, the stunning graphics and addicting combat made this game a work of art in my eyes. Ninja Theory has done an exceptional job at depicting what psychosis is like and what it can do to people. It really interests me to see how people that suffer from psychosis see the world through their eyes. It is terrifying but because of it, I also have a better understanding of it all now thanks to Ninja Theory and I highly anticipate the release of the next Hellblade game.
3. Borderlands 2 (September 18th, 2012)
Developer – Gearbox Software
Borderlands 2 is by far the most addictive first person looter-shooter of the decade and the best in my opinion. Even though the 3rd installment, Borderlands 3 came out recently, I still found Borderlands 2 to be thoroughly more enjoyable with its vibrant cast of memorable characters and its fantastic story-line. I wanted more and more and easily put in over 1000 hours in to this game. Leveling up my characters and finding better gear to combat the vast variety of enemies was rewarding and always felt like it was worth my time.
Like most RPG’s (role playing games), you can choose to play from a selection of 6 diverse characters that all have their own unique attributes and special abilities. My personal favourites to play was Maya the siren who could grasp an enemy and keep them in a fixed position for a short period of time while you either take care of surrounding enemies or rain hell on the poor soul until they fall. You can customize her ability in some awesome ways such as adding elemental damage to enemies when they are grasped in the air. She is a great character to do some crowd control and is an absolute badass to play with. I also really enjoyed playing Krieg the psycho who is the funniest character in the game in my opinion. He has some hilarious dialogue and I believe him to be the most unique of the 6 characters. Krieg wields a custom buzz axe as his special ability that he can swing and throw at enemies when he goes on a rampage. You can customize it in interesting ways such as attaching dynamite to it to do more explosive damage too.
Of course, the best thing about this game is the enormous amount of loot you can collect. Over 87 bazillion guns, shields, grenade mods and class mods to find and equip is insane. So insane that it is in the Guinness world records for most guns in a video game! All of it is randomly generated too. You have guns that shoot elemental rounds like fire and acid, guns that explode on impact, guns that you can throw and explode on enemies, guns that never stop firing, guns that talk, the list goes on and on. Guns and gear are given colour-based rarity with different statistics going from white-green-blue-purple-orange. It feels very satisfying and rewarding when an orange rarity weapon appears too as orange rarity is classed as legendary and can be quite hard to find one. These legendary weapons are given extra attributes like doing more damage in unique ways, infinity ammo and much, much more. They are highly sought after in the borderlands community and are great fun to play with.
The main villain of the game is Handsome Jack who wants nothing more than to see you and all the other vault hunters dead and buried so he can rule the planet of Pandora. He is my favourite bad guy of any game and he is very well acted. He truly believes he is the hero of the story but ends up being a psychopath. You of course must stop his reign of tyranny at all costs so you can continue to shoot and loot to your hearts content in the borderlands.
Borderlands 2 has been given some amazing extra content too which expands it further into diverse new areas with new enemies, new characters and new weapons and gear to find. Tiny Tina’s assault on the dragon keep, a downloadable expansion that has you play like dungeons and dragons is by far the most unique expansion of the lot and easily the best.
There is a lot of replayability to this game. Its unique cell-shaded art style, incredible amount of guns, amazing story line, vibrant sense of humour, a detailed role-playing system and a fantastic cast of unique and funny characters makes Borderlands 2 one of the best games of this decade.
2. The Witcher 3, Wild Hunt (May 19th, 2015)
Developer – CD Project Red
For many people, The Witcher 3, Wild Hunt is the greatest game of the decade, maybe even of all time and there is no denying how awesome and amazing it really is. A rich and vast detailed world to explore, incredible monsters to hunt and kill, lots of unique quests to complete, a cast of memorable characters and a gripping storyline makes The Witcher 3 a masterpiece of a video game that is hard to put down and will make you want more from this incredible world.
You play as a Witcher known as Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter who is tasked to find his adopted daughter Ciri who is on the run from the Wild Hunt, an otherworldly and deadly force that wants to capture Ciri and use her powers as she can travel through time and space. Throughout the game, you will hunt and slay powerful monsters to earn experience points and gold to increase Geralt’s abilities and buy better gear. Geralt has magical powers as well which can be used in and outside of combat. These powers allow him to shoot fire from his fingertips, activate an invisible barrier around him to take less damage, manipulate peoples minds to fight on Geralt’s side and much more. Geralt carries 2 swords on his back. One made of silver for creatures of the wild. The other made of steel for humans. Both are for monsters.
The Witcher 3 is an open world game and is absolutely massive and rich in content. It will literally take you hours to explore this world. There is so much to do that it can be a bit overwhelming but it is absolutely worth your time and effort if you stick with it. Some side quests are so unique that I forgot what my main objective was until I finished the quest. All of them seemed different and they all have their own stories to tell. Whilst many RPG’s offer side quests that can feel repetitive, The Witcher 3 side quests all feel vast and unique that expands the game further, giving much more depth and detail into the Witcher’s world. Did you know there are 36 different endings to this game? The choices you make throughout your playthrough will have an effect on the ending so be wise with your decisions. The atmosphere, gameplay and story are all so detailed, it is easy to see why it won game of the year.
CD Project Red has done a masterful job in creating a magnificent game full of character and lore. It feels very immersive and it is impressive with its attention to detail. If you are looking for a single player game with an incredible story and addictive gameplay then do yourself a favour and play The Witcher 3, you will not be disappointed.
1. The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild (March 3rd, 2017)
Developer – Nintendo Entertainment
If you have been following my blogs at all, then I am sure that this is no surprise. Breath of the Wild is easily my best game of the decade and my favourite game of all time. I adore everything about this game that I still play it to this day with over 300 hours of game time. It is a masterpiece in my eyes and I can’t get enough of it.
100 years ago, Calamity Ganon strikes the kingdom of Hyrule and takes over. The hero Link, who you play as, wakes up in a mysterious chamber with amnesia. A voice calls to you, asking you to save Hyrule from the clutches of the Calamity, and so you embark on an epic quest to save the land from certain destruction and rescue Princess Zelda. Along your journey, you meet a vibrant variety of characters all with different personalities that will aid you in your adventure. You will recover memories, gain special abilities and items that will help you traverse across Hyrule, and solve tricky puzzles to unlock long and forgotten secrets.
Breath of the Wild is an open world game that lets you explore this vast world freely to your hearts content. Of course you have a main quest to follow but the game is designed to reward you with exploration and experimentation. It has a bunch of side quests to complete and many items to find.
The combat is easy to approach and engaging, yet certain techniques can be difficult to master. Each weapon feels great to wield, some of which have elemental effects like fire and ice. All weapons and shields will break over time if they are over-used, which makes experimenting all the more fun and interesting. It feels great when you plan on taking out a camp full of monsters in your own way and it either works the way you intended or goes in a way you didn’t expect at all. You can cook a multitude of different foods to create recipes that can give you bonuses too like giving you extra hearts or stamina. Its open-ended gameplay is addictive and its attention to detail is both beautiful and staggering. I just love exploring this world, finding new secrets, weapons and gear, it always feels satisfying to discover something new for myself. This rich land is just begging you to go explore all it has to offer.
Its unprecedented freedom is an incredible achievement that is surprisingly realistic at times. Link will take damage from either being too cold or too hot so you have to wear certain clothing or equip fire or ice type weapons so you can adjust to the weather effects. Rain will make it more difficult for you to climb walls. Lightning will strike you if you are wearing anything that can conduct electricity, the list goes on and on.
The colourful cast of characters are all unique that you won’t want to forget them. Complex and addictive puzzle solving is a treat and can feel very satisfying when you complete each one. I can’t see myself ever getting bored of this game and I know I will continue to play it for a long, long time. It is a must-have for all Nintendo Switch owners.
If you read this all the way through, then I can’t thank you enough. It took a lot of time to write this up and I really enjoyed writing down my opinions on some of my favourite games over the last 10 years. This is my last blog of 2019. I want to thank you for supporting me to write more and I will continue to write more and better my skills in 2020.
I hope you have a fantastic new year and I eagerly await for what is to come over the next 10 years in the gaming industry.