Below is Part one of my picks of the best Video games of the 2010s. Part two Will be coming tomorrow.
10. Terraria (2011)
It’s a testament to a games greatness where you can completely ignore one of its main elements and still consider it so amazing. Not being a creatively minded individual, I didn’t spend much time building things in Terraria. What I did enjoy doing was exploring one of the most satisfying games about discovery I’ve ever played. The gameplay loop of looking for resources, crafting better items, using those items to better acquire more resources hooked me into missing many reasonable bedtimes. Even when I would go to sleep after being engrossed in Terraria my mind would conjure up images of veins of rare ore and new shiny pieces of equipment. The Last Prism also has my award for favorite weapon in any game…. Ever….
9. The Last of Us (2013)
The last of us is a game I enjoy a lot more when I’m not playing it. Back in 2013 I recognized the game for the greatness it had but I felt like other games were more enjoyable gaming experiences. As the years went on The Last of Us really stood around in my mind. A good narrative lasts a lot longer than gameplay mechanics. While mechanics may get old and eventually tiresome in retrospect, an expertly crafted story can linger on in the memories of gamers. Even with all the gameplay flaws like boring water raft sections and enemies that do a slight shake and continue to run at you after getting shot through the neck because the game has a tiny headshot hitbox while your character throws themselves to the ground like Neymar just got brushed up against every time a bullet hits you in the arm….. \breathe, I’m still enamoured with the world and the incredible depth of its characters. Over half a decade later this is a game I still come back to every year or two.
8. Animal Crossing New Leaf (2013)
I went DEEEEEEEPPPPPP down the rabbit whole with this game. I love a daily routine and games that change with the seasons. New Leaf captured my heart like few other games ever have. I even had a second version of the game I used to farm Dreamies which I either transferred to my main village or traded online. I spent tons of time on Reddit and forums getting the rare or region exclusive items. This game immersed me like almost no other in my life. I loved slowly and methodically building a gorgeous town with characterful villagers that felt like it was distinctly mine. I loved logging to see when new milestones were achieved and events happened regularly enough kept me engaged in a living breathing world. I don’t know if my life can handle the 2020 Switch release absorbing me the way New Leaf did.
7. Xcom 2 (2016)
This was probably the strategy game I played the most over the decade. Some people didn’t like the shift in focus from organizing earth’s defense to conducting covert guerilla operations, but I personally didn’t mind the change. The customization was top notch, many of the problems in the first game were fixed and the DLC added some of the coolest classes in Turn Based Strategy. Xcom 2 is a game of endless possibility and a constant supply of narratives unique to your current playthrough. Xcom 3 should be right around the corner to start off the 2020s.
6. Ori and the Blind Forest (2015)
Ori and the Blind Forest combines tight platforming with gorgeously colored visuals. I generally play Ori every year around springtime and it’s one of the most comforting experiences I have in gaming. It’s a tight ten hour experience that doesn’t overstay its welcome. This game uses color palates better than just about any other I’ve ever played. Each area is beautifully realized with creativity that constantly invites exploration. Backtracking in a Metroidvania is a core part of the gameplay and having such amazing environments to look at means that you’re never bored of reexploring old locations. Combined with some of the tightest platforming controls I’ve ever played with, this is a game where I’m just happy to jump around its world for hours on end.