It’s crazy to think about how just last week it was December 31, 2009 and baby Tyler was just finishing his first semester in college. The 2010s flew by, but I think it was because of the revolutionary turn video games have taken in the last decade. In honor of those games, here are *my top 10 video games of the 2010s!
*This is 100% my personal opinion and reflects games that I’ve actually played. There are many games that I’m sure deserve a spot on this list but I have not played (enough of). SARRY.
10. Portal 2 (2011)
You thought Portal was great? The sequel is that and so much more. The Portal series is just has such a way of combining puzzle, platforming, and story-heavy genres into one cohesive mess that I absolutely fell in love with. Portal 2‘s introduction of the “goopy goop” (as I called it) that makes you bounce and speed around the Aperture Laboratory gave a fresh feel to the gameplay that separated the game from the original. Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun with a puzzle game since Portal 2, which is more than enough of a reason to earn a spot on this list.
9. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018)
I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment during E3 2018 where Nintendo revealed that Snake would be returning to Super Smash Bros. and then, in large letters “EVERYONE IS HERE!” fills the screen. I had the biggest stupidest grin on my face to see the likes of Pokemon Trainer, Ice Climbers, Wolf, Snake, and yes, even Young Link and Pichu return to the series. This is truly THE ultimate Smash, and I’m shocked Masahiro Sakurai and the team were able to pull it off. We even got long-awaited fan favorites like “TOO BIG” Ridley, “TOO IRRELEVANT” King K. Rool, and “TOO IMPOSSIBLE” Banjo & Kazooie. I’m excited to see what the new decade holds for this game’s DLC.
8. Stardew Valley (2016)
HOO BOY, did I sink some hours into this wonderful game. Not only did I meet the love of my life (Harvey or Abigail, depending on the day), but I totally army-crawled through my depression and made it out on the other side because of this game. When people ask me what Stardew Valley is, I have a hard time describing it because it’s not just a farming game. Sure, that’s a heavy aspect of it, but it combines itself with an Animal Crossing-type life sim and dungeon crawler. Chucklefish, y’all are geniuses. Thank you for this masterpiece.
7. Minecraft (2011)
I’m not going to lie: I didn’t play this until WAY after it released, but I enjoyed it so much that I literally had to delete it from my computer in order to not tempt myself with sinking another 2 days straight into it. This was the peak of my gremlin gamer phase, and I consumed many a Dorito during this dark, trying time. But, hell, was it a good time. Having built my own house and mine in a community full of my Twitch friends, it was like… hanging out in real life, but in a virtual setting. The future is now, friends.
6. Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018)
I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t as excited about this game as everyone else was during the initial announcement… but then I realized it was open-world, and golly gee am I a sucker for open-world games! I finished this game in like 3 days, but it was literally because I played it nonstop for an entire weekend. I was just so immersed in the story and in awe at just how much detail they put into New York City. I’ve been to NYC twice before this game came out and I could literally recognize locations I visited, which is absolutely wild. Also, this is my favorite rendition of Spider-Man as a character (sorry, Tom Holland).
5. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (2012)
So this was actually my first Animal Crossing game ever, and to find out what I’ve been missing out on was probably one of the most pivotal moments in my gaming life. This was the first game I didn’t judge by its cover and I’m glad I shook that habit, because before, I just thought I would never be interested in Animal Crossing‘s humanoid-animal world. This game just got even better when they introduced the amiibo feature in 2016, because I was finally able to just bring in my favorite villagers and not have to keep kicking out Vic (I swear he just kept coming back). Also, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is 100% my most anticipated game of 2020.
4. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (2010)
This is probably a very unpopular opinion with many who just don’t enjoy the story line of the Kingdom Hearts series, but it’s probably my favorite series of all time. Sue me. The story has a strong cast of leading characters and also Terra I guess (he’s so dumb), and this was the first Kingdom Hearts game that like… actually made me cry. I can remember when this game was coming out I was trying to wrap my brain around the fact that this takes place 10 years before the original Kingdom Hearts and I just wanted to know WHY VEN LOOKED LIKE ROXAS. Well, now we know.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
It takes a lot to move Zelda fans away from the quote “My favorite Zelda game is Ocarina of Time because reasons that I’m using to cover up nostalgia.” Well, Breath of the Wild literally did that, which is crazy. Nintendo took a step in the best direction for the Zelda series, and that risk changed the game. Literally. I told you I’m a suck for open-world games. The Legend of Zelda is one of my favorite franchises of all time, and I never want it to go back to linear dungeon crawling. Give me more grand stories and grander spaces to explore. I think that best part of Breath of the Wild is that you don’t get the full story just handed to you. It’s discovered through the architecture, the ruins, and the land.
2. Overwatch (2016)
I can feel so many peoples’ eyes rolling hard right now, but hear me out. I hate FPS games, but I love Overwatch. I think it’s the rich story behind the game and the diverse cast of characters that really sold me. This is literally the only game I play online with people I don’t know, and that’s such a foreign concept to me. To think that I game could pull me out of my bubble and force me to talk to people already speaks volumes. Trust me. I’m a hermit. I seriously cannot wait for Overwatch 2 so we can finally play that single player campaign mode that everyone’s been begging for since 2016.
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)
Well, here we are. My #1 game of the 2010s. Feels weird to say this game released this decade considering how many re-releases its had over the span of 9 years. I suppose that’s just a testament to how legendary Skyrim is. The world is so large and so lively everywhere you go. There are so many nooks and crannies to discover and I honestly– here I go again. Open-world games, amirite? Seriously, I cannot give this game enough praise. I’m sure it holds the Tyler-world-record on most replays. There’s just so much to do and so many kinds of characters you can be. This really set the stage for The Elder Scrolls Online, which is my current obsession, and I’m SO excited to explore the cold, snowy mountains of Skyrim again in 2020!