Game Night, Video Games

The Best Games of the Decade Part One: 2010-2014

Okay. I know I go on and on about how I’m always up for a challenge. But this one? This one is gonna be hard!

This last decade gave us a metric fuckton of games! We saw the end of a console generation and the rise of another (twice if you’re a Nintendo fan). Every single year had a slew of hits, all of which deserve best game of that year. It gets even harder as the decade goes on, as 2017 and 2018 were some of the best years for video games ever!

I had no shortage of games to choose from. But, after a long and arduous process, I’ve finally sorted them all out! Today, we’re gonna go through each year of the decade and decide which game was the best of that year, with the ultimate aim being to find the best game of the decade!

Let’s get started! Rewind your clocks with me and return to the past! Our trek through the decade begins!

2010

Oh man I’m gonna make some enemies with this one!

This year proved more difficult than I thought. Initially, I thought Halo: Reach was going to take this one, hands down. But then I remembered just how many other games came out, most of which were great!

However, there is one game that conquered the year. A game I’ve already discussed. One that sits very high on my list of all-time favorites! And that game is Xenoblade Chronicles!

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I’ve already reviewed the game, so I’ll keep it brief. This is one of my favorite RPGs of all time! The combat is unique and addictive while being easy to learn and hard to master! The story, while a bet long and messy, is emotionally engaging from start to end! And for a game on the Wii, this game looks surprisingly good!

Not many people played this game. But that ought to change soon! With the release of the HD Remake on the Switch, Xenoblade Chronicles will have another chance to earn the credit it deserves!

2011

This one was slightly easier. Sure, there were amazing games like Portal 2, Batman: Arkham City, Bastion and Catherine. My favorite Zelda game, Skyward Sword (fight me), even came out this year!

But only one game created an entire genre. And I didn’t put nearly as much time into those games as I did this one. You already know what I’m gonna say. It’s Dark Souls!

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Not the Remastered version, mind you.

Dark Souls is not a game for everyone. Initially, it wasn’t even a game for me! All throughout my first playthrough, I was determined to beat it not because I was having fun, but because I wanted to prove to myself that I could! I thought I’d beat it, heave a sigh of relief, then never play it again, using it only as proof that I was good at video games.

Friendly reminder that I was in high school when I first picked it up.

But then I beat it. I sat there as my character was consumed by the flames. I listened to Nameless Song and reflected on everything I had experienced on my journey. Then I came to a realization. Somewhere along the way, without even realizing it, I had fallen in love with Dark Souls!

This is a game I have returned to time and time again. Sure, it isn’t nearly as hard as it was the first time around, now that I know how the enemies work and how the bosses work. But I’ll still have fun, even to this day! This is a fantastic game that transformed games as we know them!

Good on you, Dark Souls. Allow me to pour out an Estus to you!

2012

Once again, this one was challenging. Not because of how many choices there were, mind you. There were only about five games from this year that I enjoyed. The problem was that all of them are worthy of the crown for the year!

But if I had to give it to one, it would have to be the one that I’ll still play to this day. And that one game is FTL: Faster Than Light.

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This game is short, sweet, and it gets directly to the point! It’s a difficult rogue-like space adventure RPG. Each run only lasts about an hour, maybe a bit longer if you take your time. But god damn is this shit addictive as hell!

It has the perfect loop of ‘just one more turn’. With every run, I find myself saying ‘Alright, just one more sector! Oh, I lost! Alright, just one more run!’ And that mentality has lasted for the last seven fucking years!

And here’s the sad thing. I’ve still only beaten it a few times. So I’ll continue to beat my head against the wall until I can beat it consistently!

I’ll get back to you in 2022.

2013

There weren’t many games that I’d put on the winner list from this year. But the few that do make it on there will undoubtedly get my head torn off!  Some people will scream for GTA 5. Others will call up for The Last of Us. There’s an equally large crowd that would shout Bioshock Infinite from the back!

But I’m gonna make enemies out of all of them by giving it to Dragon’s Crown.

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Fight me! I love this game! The art style is unique and timeless! The character designs are over the top, hilarious, and ridiculously memorable! Sure, the gameplay itself boils down to your typical beat ’em up game. But the story, RPG mechanics, and style set this game apart!

Does it deserve to be on here? Maybe not. But these games are my picks. So I’m going to put it on here anyway.

2014

This one was easy. So easy in fact that I don’t even feel like writing a big wordy paragraph to introduce this segment. It’s Shovel Knight. What else were you expecting?

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Shovel Knight is one of the most solid platformers I’ve ever played! The visuals are charming as hell, perfectly resurrecting the 8-Bit NES style with plenty of modern additions to make it completely timeless! Each level is unique and memorable, teaching the player its various mechanics without so much as a word of text! The boss fights are fair and challenging while still being really fun! Everything about this game works brilliantly!

And that’s not even mentioning how consumer-friendly the developers have been! Over the course of the last five years, they’ve continued to update the game, adding whole new campaigns starring new playable characters! All of which were free for people who already had a copy!

Name one developer who has been so generous! Go on! I’ll wait!

Conclusion

With that, we’ve reached the halfway point. Unfortunately, we’ve still got half a decade to go through! And it only gets harder from here! Much, much harder!

But that’ll all have to wait until next week. As much as I’d love to finish my work today, I’ve still got a job. And a life. And other things.

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