So with 2019 coming to a close, another decade of gaming goes with it in the dawn of the roaring 20’s (no pinstripe suits or flapper dresses here). From Skyrim to Red Dead Redemption II, the last ten years have seen some of gaming’s best, and with technical and gameplay innovations across the board, it’s hard not to be excited to see what the 2020’s are going to bring to the medium. With that in mind, the GH collective got together to discuss their favorite titles from the last decade, presented neatly in this article for convenience (Kyle’s OCD got the better of him).
Aaron Moger (@aaronvaanmoger)
Game: Persona 5
Year of release: 2017
It’s hard to believe it’s been a little over 2 years since I finished Persona 5 with it being one of the few JRPG’s that I actually got to finish due to time restraints of being an adult. As I have previously mentioned Persona 5 wasn’t a game I was looking forward to with the over the top art style, I genuinely and selfishly thought gameplay-wise it was going to lose out but I was completely and utterly wrong. Persona 5 is a marvel of turn-based goodness with that weird end of the spectrum character building that takes place in the metaverse or otherwise known as the realm of humans subconscious desires. Since it’s release Persona 5 has seen the release of Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, a rhythm game based on the characters of Persona 5 coming together with all the amazing music from the series. As of writing this, Persona 5 Royal has been announced which sees the return of Persona 5 with added content which includes a new character, alternative ways to explore the metaverse and new minigames and areas to visit. Persona 5 is one of the, if not the best JRPG’s I have played and if you haven’t yet I implore you to take a look. I would wait for the Royal version to fully experience one of the greatest games you will ever experience if you haven’t already, but trust me when I say it is worth it.
Caleb Moran (@Rad_Sh1ba)
Game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Year of release: 2015
A decade of games to decide from, and it’ a tough choice. Starting from humble beginnings there was Skyrim, although buggy it was still a grand and epic adventure, then there was Bioshock Infinite filled with creative and complex thoughts on politics and philosophy. Uncharted 4 was up there with it’s attention to detail and fun story, and God of War 2018 towards the end of the decade was a breathtaking but personal adventure with insane and satisfying combat to boot too. But it was Witcher 3 that takes the crown. A game that I actually didn’t like at first, with it’s slow pacing and complex mechanics I was ready to give up after 2-3 hours, but I persevered and once it clicked to me I didn’t stop, spending 5-6 hours a day getting nowhere with the main story, just sticking to side quests and seeing what the world had to offer. Witcher 3 is the perfect example of a video game, extremely fun and satisfying to play through with a story where you get to make the choices. The game world is huge with so much to see and do, the characters are interesting and unique, each quest is its own entire story and not all of them have a happy ending, the music can be gloomy giving each area that fine-tuned personality, the towns and villages have an insane level of attention to detail and all this is used in the sheer amount of content that the game gives you. Witcher 3 opened up the world of The Witcher for me, where I’m currently on the 3rd book in the series (5th if you count the short stories) and I’m so pumped for the Netflix adaptation too, and I owe all this to the absolute gem that was The Witcher 3.
Ryan Perrow (@NBFlying)
Game: Doom (2016)
Year of Release: 2016
If you’ve played Doom (2016) then its name is about all I’d need to say. I played a lot of Doom growing up and always enjoyed it’s luscious violence. When Doom (2016) came out I was worried that it would fall victim to modern shooter trends and betray the identity of the franchise. Well, my worries were wasted. Doom (2016) was a pure violent orgy of gore and metal! Never has a game’s soundtrack and gameplay merged so perfectly before, the pounding drums and shredding riffs drove me to commit more visceral acts of hellish violence! Doom’s gameplay is aggressive, the soundtrack is unrelenting, the narrative is simple and to the point, the Doom marine’s character is put over with zero dialogue, blunt action tells us all we need to know about the Doom Slayer! Doom (2016) was more than just a fantastic game, to me it was a statement. Doom (2016) showed the gaming world that a well-developed concept and well-defined game doesn’t need gimmicks or trends. It doesn’t have to copy features from the latest big hit. Quality speaks for itself and Doom (2016) strikes like a chainsaw ripping through a demon’s skull, just like Doom (2016) cut through every other game of this decade for me.
John Betts (@JohnBGameHype)
Game(s): Batman Arkham Series
Year(s) of Release: 2009-2015
This is a tough one for me, Mass Effect 2 & 3 are firmly up there. Whilst the Witcher 3 and Deus Ex bring back very fond memories. Then we have the nostalgia factor, and I could argue all day long to include Final Fantasy X HD remaster, Zelda BOTW, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or even Max Payne 3. However, due to the sad fact I’ve had little time lately to sink my teeth into Ryo Hazuki’s third adventure in Shenmue 3, I’ve decided to go with the Dark Knight, the saviour of Gotham and DC’s finest. Yes, you guessed it, Batman’s Arkham collection. Granted the first one released at the tail end of 2009, but the bulk of this superb action-adventures four-game run released this decade. Ever since gamers donned the famous cape and kicked ass back in 2009 to 2015, Rocksteady raised the bar, proving that not all licensed film/comic-sourced games suck and set a damned high standard. (which in my opinion has not been matched since, I hear your cries of injustice Spidey fans). The combat mechanics are incredibly fun, rewarding and smooth, offering an abundance of moves and combos to take out Joker and Gotham’s most wanted. Gliding around Gotham, saving the city from falling whilst solving riddles and doing the side stories has never felt so bloody good. I strongly recommend the awesome journey Bruce Wayne’s Arkham series takes you on to any fan of the genre.
Kyle Doherty (@Antigenetic92)
Game: Alien: Isolation
Year of release: 2014
The 2010’s have undoubtedly been one of the best decades in the history of gaming, not only in terms of gameplay innovation but of groundbreaking narrative experiences that have gone above and beyond to prove that video games are indeed a work of art. Some honourable mentions from the last 10 years for myself would be Mass Effect 2 for what is arguably the best game in one of the most intricate and enthralling Sci-Fi trilogies ever created (I hate Star Wars with a passion). The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is easily the greatest RPG ever made in my opinion, which brought one of my all-time book series to the mainstream, which boomed the series’ popularity tenfold with the Netflix adaptation of Sapkowski’s novels being the most recent outing (Henry Cavill nailed it as Geralt of Rivia). The last decade has seen some huge hitters across the board, and to choose one ‘defining’ title I could argue is next to impossible, so it boils down purely to one’s personal (yet entirely subjective) favourite, and mine was Creative Assembly’s 2014 white-knuckle rollercoaster: Alien: Isolation. After the lukewarm, eggy fart that was Aliens: Colonial Marines (see my ramblings here) it took a strategy game developer (Creative Assembly for reference) to show their SEGA overlords how to make an Alien game, and a f*cking terrifying one at that. Oozing atmosphere from every ventilation shaft and paying stellar attention to Ridley Scott’s 1979 Lo-Fi aesthetic, Creative Assembly succeeded in making the Xenomorph terrifying again, and for that, they will have my eternal praise as a developer that takes pride in their craft.
Jo Hughes (@x_jamjar_x)
Game: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Year of Release: 2016
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was yet another classic Nathan Drake story, and did not in any way disappoint. The franchise was already notable for its incredible graphics and landscape; it not only met this stellar reputation but excelled it, bringing the overall look and feel of the game to new heights previously unexperienced in the series. A Thief’s End rejuvenated the series and was truly a cinematic experience that blows away with its comprehensive plot, incredible scenery and remarkable graphics, this game took the Uncharted franchise beyond excellence and is the highlight of the games. This final episode of the Uncharted series dives in, mid-plot, to an action-filled boat scene and later invites the player to meet Sam, the adventure-loving and (at times devious) brother of our very own Nathan Drake. Diving in with the boat chase, you’re hooked from the word ‘go’. Later we discover that having retired from raiding and thieving in order to live a simple life with his wife, Nate is enticed into what he thinks will only be a small mission alongside his brother. We explore more than just the standard storyline here though, finally getting the clarity about Nathan’s history that was notably lacking in the third game. Again, playing a large part of the game as the young Nate, we actually begin to get a real picture of why the story has played out the way it has. The relationships explored in this final game are completely different to before, giving Nate a real narrative as a person. Exploring his personal life, the dynamic of his marriage, his childhood and more. The whole game is played with the anticipation of an end to the series that you aren’t quite prepared for, but you just can’t stop playing. With more personal moments there also comes more tension and more to lose with the villains being even more believable and corrupt than ever before with Nadine, a muscular, intelligent and of course hot as hell antagonist providing Nathan with the brunt of his troubles throughout the game. This is the most immersive of the entire collection and by far my game of the decade!
So that just about covers our picks for game of the decade from the 2010s here at Game Hype. We’ve come a long way since our inception in 2017, and we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for the readers, PR folk and developers that have supported us on our journey over the last two years. So here’s to the Game of the Decade article 2020 edition as well as another 10 years of video games from the industry that we all love. From everyone here at Game Hype, have a great new year and we’ll see you all on the other side!