With the decade coming to a close, I decided to take a look at some of the many games that have defined this past decade for me. The past ten years have seen me take a much bigger interest in video games and I have discovered so many truly amazing games during this time. The games that I have included in this article are here for a variety of reasons. This could be because of the story, the characters, the graphics/art style, the memories I have from playing the particular game and more.
I’ll be honest. I wasn’t really sure how to organize this post at all. I’ve rewritten it about five or six times now and that isn’t even counting how many games I’ve added into the post and then swapped out.
The list below is separated into two sections. The first section is pretty straight forward. These are my top five games from the past decade. The second section is games that I’ve really enjoyed for numerous reasons over the past decade. I actually had loads of fun going through my collection rediscovering some of the games I had forgotten about from previous years and also playing a handful of them again.
In no particular order, here are my top five games from the past decade.
Final Fantasy XV – Xbox One/PlayStation 4
I took a chance with Final Fantasy XV. Until this point, I had never played a Final Fantasy game. Well not properly at least. The game had caught my attention a few times while I had been out but I kept putting it off more and more. One day I decided to just go for it. The worst that could happen is I simply didn’t like the game. Oh, how I was wrong. After I installed the game and started playing I was hooked. I just sat there for a good few hours just captivated by everything the game had to offer. I loved the characters, the storyline, the art style, the world, the quests, there really wasn’t (and still isn’t) anything that I came to majorly dislike about the game.
I’ve found myself coming back time and time again to Final Fantasy XV and every time I’ve discovered something new or something I may have missed in the previous playthroughs. I actually bought a second copy of the game to play on PlayStation 4 which then allowed me to experience the downloadable content as well.
While I was disappointed to find out the additional downloadable content after Episode Aryden had been cancelled, I’m still looking forward to what is next for the Final Fantasy after this game.
The Sims 4 – PC
Those of you who know me well will know that seeing The Sims 4 in my top five is no surprise but the game has made this list for more than just the gameplay and countless hours I’ve put into it.
I’ve been playing games from The Sims franchise since the start back in 2000. It’s crazy to think that the franchise will be twenty years old next year.
The Sims 4 has seen me spend numerous hours creating my own Sims and stories in a number of different ways. With each new piece of downloadable content, it opens up more ideas and possibilities. The Sims 4 allows me to be who I want to be but that isn’t the main reason why it’s made this list.
It’s the games community, the friends I’ve made and the opportunities I’ve been able to experience because of this game. Creating content for The Sims Community is something I could only have dreamed about a few years ago. Writing and sharing content about a franchise that I’ve grown up with and love has been incredible. I’m also lucky to work alongside so many talented people who I can call my friends as well.
The last year has been a challenge. I won’t lie about that but not only has writing about video games been a valuable and positive outlet for me but The Sims 4 was the one game I kept coming back to time and time again. I felt no pressure to rush through the different aspects of the game. I would just open up The Sims 4 and see where the game took me or just try and build something. It helped and sharing that love of the game with friends and the game’s community as well as talking about it made those first few challenging months a lot easier. Honestly, I can’t thank this game and the games community enough for helping me through those challenging first few months.
Skyrim – Xbox 360
Skyrim, my introduction to the world of Bethesda games! Without this game, I would never have discovered so many other brilliant games from Bethesda. I picked up Skyrim after hearing my friends talk a lot about it and how much fun it was. Curious to find out more I remember walking up to my local Argos and grabbed a copy of the game. I had never heard about The Elder Scrolls games before and only knew that Skyrim included Dragons. I’ll admit it took me a while to get into the game but once I hit that point where I started to really enjoy the game I couldn’t stop playing.
Since its release, I’ve acquired Skyrim on a variety of platforms, started and given up on numerous playthroughs, rage quit and laughed at the game for ridiculous reasons but since writing this post I’ve kicked started a new save on Xbox again. This time around I want to try my best to complete the game fully, unlock all the achievements I have left to unlock and rediscover my love for the game before the next Elder Scrolls game is released.
Stardew Valley – PC
We all love a good farming simulation game and Stardew Valley captured my heart from the get-go. The game came out around a time where things were a little stressful in life for me and being able to jump into the game allowed me to escape reality for a few hours at a time was honestly relaxing. I never found myself rushing through the game to complete tasks. I spent a good chunk of the first season just exploring and clearing space on my farm. I honestly can’t say how many hours I’ve put into the game but it has been a good couple of hundred if not more. Even now I still feel like I haven’t discovered everything but maybe one day I will.
Horizon: Zero Dawn – PS4
For me, Horizon: Zero Dawn was the perfect introduction to the PlayStation 4. It had been a few years since I had last owned a PlayStation console myself but Horizon: Zero Dawn was actually one of the reasons why I wanted to get a PlayStation 4 in the first place. I had been watching a few different people stream the game over on Twitch for a few months and I was on a bit of a single-player game kick at the time too, There was just something about the game that made me want to experience what it had to offer. I loved the characters, the gameplay, the story and just so much about it and that was just based on what I had seen on a variety of streams.
When I actually sat down and played the game myself, I was blown away. The game felt completely different but in a good way and starting to play through Aloy’s story just kept me wanting more from the game. I honestly couldn’t wait to get home from work to play a little bit more of the game each day. I know there has been a rumour about the possibility of a Horizon Zero Dawn 2 floating around for a little while and I would love to see a follow on to the first game but we will have to wait and see I guess.
As I talked about earlier on in this post, there are many games that I can say defined this past decade for me. While these games didn’t fall into my top five, they do however deserve a mention for one reason or another.
- Call of Duty Black Ops
- Borderlands 2
- Assassins Creed Black Flag
- Forza Horizon
- The Witcher 3
- Bioshock Infinite
- Destiny/Destiny 2
- Need for Speed: The Run
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- Watch Dogs 2
- Marvel’s Spider-Man
- Final Fantasy XIV Online
- Detroit: Become Human
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2
- Splatoon 2
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf
- Super Mario Galaxy 2
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
- Super Mario Land 3D
- Cities Skylines
There are honestly so many games I would love to include in this post but I really don’t know how long it would end up being.
Looking back over the past decade I can see how I started to branch out and explore different game franchises and genres. Along the way, I’ve discovered games that I didn’t get on with very well to games that I love and have replayed numerous times. I’ve played games from genres I never thought I would like and have gone on to play even more games from those genres.
Thinking about the upcoming decade, I’m sure there will be numerous new games and genres to explore and I can’t wait!
What have been some of the games that have defined this decade for you?