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Gaming Age’s Games of the Decade: #20 – #1


Games of the Decade

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20. Luigi’s Mansion 3: Mario’s bro may have had his own year back in 2013, but it wasn’t until the waning months of the decade that he starred in a game that really allowed him to shine. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the Ghostbusters sequel you’ve always wanted, with lovely visuals, nice comic timing, and gameplay that never gets old. (MP)


19. Portal 2: Incredible puzzles, a fantastic soundtrack, and quite possibly the most hilarious writing to ever grace a video game. Portal 2 took everything that made the original one of the greatest games of all time and, somehow, improbably, improved on it. (MP)


18. Grand Theft Auto V: Rockstar Games manages to craft a title with a trio of protagonists which manages to appeal to most demographics (maybe they’ll have a female lead in the next decade). In addition to single player mode, the online mode has help make this entry in the franchise the most profitable entertainment products of all time with over 115 million copies sold worldwide.(SY)


17. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: The fact that Skyrim has been remastered and re-released with such startling regularity all throughout the decade speaks for itself. The dragon slaying epic has found its way across two console generations, made it to the handheld world of the Nintendo Switch, has a full VR release, and become a meme legend. All of that on top of the fact that it is an incredible RPG all around. (TN)


16. Alan Wake: Recently playing Remedy’s fantastic Control has made me reminisce of my favorite game of the past decade; Alan Wake. With some of the best storytelling, told mostly through internal monologue and a creepy woods backdrop, I had to slow down when I initially played Alan Wake because I didn’t want it to end. If you enjoy Control or the underrated, Quantum Break, you should definitely check out Alan Wake. My fingers have been crossed for a true sequel for nearly ten years (sorry, American Nightmare doesn’t count). (PR)


15. Animal Crossing: New Leaf: Easily the best version of Animal Crossing I’ve ever played, and basically the one to beat for every future version of Animal Crossing down the road. I poured endless hours into New Leaf, building up my village, getting to know dozens of villagers, paying off that SOB Tom Nook, and visiting various friends and strangers along the way. Also featuring one of the best 3DS soundtracks of all time. (DC)


14. Tom Clancy’s The Division: New York, New York, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. With a semi-plausible plot which justifies my aversion to paper cash, The Division takes the “Shooter-Looter” to a contemporary setting. Taking place strictly on the island of Manhattan, help restore order and uncover mystery of the plague which has stricken the nation by yourself or with others. (SY)


13. Dark Souls 3: The final Dark Souls game fires on all cylinders. The lessons learned across Dark Souls 1 and 2, plus the new mechanics taken from Bloodborne make Dark Souls 3 a unique, and more than worthy final entry in the series. (TN)


12. Super Smash Bros Ultimate: The fifth Smash Bros. game was the best (arguably) and biggest (inarguably) yet. An unparalleled cast of characters, a lengthy single-player campaign, and, of course, the multiplayer brawling that’s every bit as fun today as it was when the series debuted 20 years ago. (MP)


11. The Witcher 3: The Witcher 3 is one of the few perfect video games out there. Incredible combat, an intense, immersive story, gorgeous graphics and MONSTERS! What more do you need? I spent several hundred hours as Geralt, hunting monsters and slaying bandits, and I would spend several hundred more if I could find some way to spare them. (TN)


10. Doom: Heavy metal soundtrack. Visceral, demon slaying goodness. What’s not to love? (TN)


9. The Last of Us: No one tells a cinematic story like Naughty Dog and The Last of Us Remastered is perhaps one of the greatest ever told in video game form. From the gut-wrenching opening minutes and all throughout the surprising plot twists and insane character development, nothing will prepare you for the ending. No other game features this amount of incredible acting talent and the way the game is broken up into seasons really helps propel the narrative forward. I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel! (CM)


8. Marvel’s Spider-Man: I’ve never been a Trophy whore, so you know a game must be good if I managed to earn Platinum, as I did with Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PS4. This game, much like the Batman Arkham games, really nails what it’s like to be a superhero. It’s just fun to swing around New York and run up the sides of buildings while fighting crime. The amount of different moves at your disposal is fantastic and the fact that you have a skill tree that slowly unlocks new perks really kept me engaged throughout the entire adventure. The amount of work that went into the audio in this game must be immense, because there’s so much chatter and auxiliary conversations going on that there’s no way someone has heard everything. I loved the sections playing as Peter Parker and the entire narrative is perfectly delivered, right up to the ending where I admit I teared up. Insomniac really delivered the goods here, and although it got a bit repetitive in the end (each segment of city has very similar objectives to clear), I still had a blast. (CM)


7. Hitman: The rebooted version of Hitman and its sequel are secretly some of the funniest games this decade. Watching Agent 47 try to blend in to all kinds of circumstances never fails to be hilarious, and the bizarre, convoluted ways you can kill people in this game never gets old. Every level in this game is full of weird little details, and you can play through them again and again without it ever getting old. (MP)


6. Dark Souls: While the Souls games got their start with Demon’s Souls in 2009, they did not hit it big with most gamers until the release of Dark Souls in 2011. This brutally difficult, multilayered, dark fantasy world begged for deeper exploration and perseverance. It also helped spawn countless other incredible games this decade that all take their cues in some way, from the original Dark Souls. (TN)


5. God Of War: While I absolutely love the old God of War games, they were never going to make a list like this. The 2018 reboot however, stands head and shoulders above almost anything else that came out this decade. Kratos has matured and become much more of a protagonist, while retaining some of the trademark rage that his character was originally based in. (TN)


4. Red Dead Redemption: Cowboy Grand Theft Auto. Read Dead Redemption sold itself on that idea, but ended up being much deeper than anything Rockstar had tackled before. Then the incredible Undead Nightmare expansion came out, which is still one of the greatest pieces of story DLC ever, and Red Dead Redemption solidified its place at the top. (TN)


3. Super Mario Odyssey: It’s been a long time since we had a sandbox-styled 3D Mario game and so when Odyssey arrived it felt like a breath of fresh air. Each area of the world felt completely different from the others thanks to wildly disparate graphical styles. One moment you’re exploring a lush prehistoric land and the next you’re riding around a realistic looking city on a scooter. The ability to use Cappy to morph into enemies and take on their special powers was genius and kept each level original and fun. Each world features tons of secrets to discover and plenty of challenge packed in to keep gamers coming back for more. With the most detailed graphics ever in a Mario game and an equally compelling soundtrack (complete with voiced tracks), there’s a ton to like in Super Mario Odyssey. (CM)


2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Breath of the Wild: For as long as I can remember my favorite game of all time was Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES. That all changed when Breath of the Wild launched alongside the Switch on March 3, 2017. Never before had I encountered a game with such wonder and excitement and been so engrossed in a virtual world to the point where I lost hundreds of hours exploring. The entire world of Hyrule is like a breathing living being with an attention to detail that is simply spectacular. So many times I’d mark an area on my map and set out on an adventure only to find ten other points of interest along the way – taking me hours to reach my intended destination when it should have taken minutes. I loved figuring out all of the puzzles and discovering new shrines and the way the world realistically interacted with Link (metal conducts electricity, fire spreads, etc.) and the addition of realistic physics made for a truly unpredictable experience each time I played. No other game has offered me this amount of freedom to tackle objectives the way I want to and in whatever order I choose. With memorable characters, incredible sights, countless secrets, and a wonderfully unique and refreshing soundtrack, I could play Breath of the Wild every single day for the rest of my life and never tire of it. (CM)


1. Bloodborne: Game of its year, game of the decade, game of the century, best Sony game ever, best From Software game: the list of things one could say about Bloodborne goes on and on. The rich Victorian setting is a welcome departure from the standard dark fantasy fare that Dark Souls is known for. Add in the fastest and most fluid combat the series has seen to date, plus most incredible Lovecraftian monsters ever to grace a video game, and you get the final, 10/10 product that is Bloodborne. A truly once in a generation experience. (TN)