What’s Your Top 10 Games From This Decade?

What’s Your Top 10 Games From This Decade?
Image: Kotaku
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In a few months, the decade will be officially over … which is kind of insane when you think about how far forward games have come over that time.

We’ve been through two console generations this decade, ushering out the end of the Xbox 360, PS3 and the Wii U for the PS4, Xbox One and, eventually, the triumphant Switch. PCs have seen a massive resurgence in the last couple of years, and lately they’ve helped to usher in a new world of ray-traced graphics (which will properly enter the domain of consoles with the next PlayStation and Xbox in 2020).

Always-online games are now definitely a thing. The variety and availability of indies has absolutely exploded from where we were in 2010. Games like LIMBO, Super Meat Boy, Joe Danger, Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Octodad still captured the imagination, but every year brought indies that just got bigger and bigger: Frozen Synapse, Binding of Isaac, Terraria, Hotline Miami, Fez, Mark of the Ninja, FTL, Journey, Legend of Grimrock, Antichamber, Towerfall, Gone Home, Papers Please, Surgeon Simulator, Kentucky Route Zero, Gunpoint, Don’t Starve, Risk of Rain … and that’s just the first three years the decade.

Consider the last few years have been like: Stardew Valley, Dead Cells, Untitled Goose Game recently, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Superhot, Firewatch, Undertale, The Witness, Rocket League, Beat Sabre, Nuclear Throne, Gorogoa, The Outer Wilds, Into the Breach, and so on. The funding and appetite for indies has changed remarkably as well, particularly as larger AAA blockbusters fatigue players with service-based models, and the Switch has been especially good for indies.

Why Indies Continue To Thrive On The Switch

In a presentation at the White Nights conference last week, Valve business development head Jan-Peter Ewert put some figures on the disturbing reality for indie developers: the market is still very, very crowded. With the removal of Steam Greenlight and the straight-to-door Steam Direct approach, around 180 games get released every single week. Even if most games find no audience at all, the increased noise makes it infinitely harder for good games to stand out. Fortunately, there's one platform where indies are continuing to find a second lease of life, or a successful first one.

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But that’s not to say the last 10 years hasn’t been full of memorable, imaginative blockbusters either. Horizon: Zero Dawn was as good as anything this generation or the one before by some considerable stretch. More stories have been published on Kotaku about the The Witcher 3 alone than some writers will publish in a year or two. Assassin’s Creed collapsed spectacularly with Unity and, after a decent turn in Syndicate, made a superb recovery with Origins and Odyssey. Breath of the Wild is probably the best Zelda game and one of the best things to ever carry the Nintendo name.

Path of Exile continues to break ground and set the bar in its genre; Warframe has changed expectations for how a game can evolve over time. Hollow Knight has become a shining example of what Australian developers are capable of, and even though it’s going back a bit, there’ll always be a place in my heart for Mass Effect 2.

So you have from 2010 to 2019. A whole decade of video games — what’s your top 10 from the decade?


  • My list is Breath of the Wild at number one followed by nine other games that don’t actually matter because they’re not Breath of the Wild.

    • Okay having now slept on this, I’ll do a proper top 10…

      Breath of the Wild – redefined Zelda and open-world gaming, complete unmitigated masterpiece
      The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Would be number one if it wasn’t for BotW
      Nier Automata – Platinum’s best game to date, and proof of why they’re the best game studio in the world
      Final Fantasy XIV Online – The first MMO to truly be able to lay claim to the title of ‘WoW-killer’
      Persona 5 – a vast and compelling RPG and probably the best game in the entire Shin Megami Tensei franchise
      Elite Dangerous – Here’s a 1:1 replica of the galaxy. Explore it. Good luck, Commander.
      Monster Hunter World – Absolute brilliance
      Hollow Knight – Unarguably the greatest metroidvania game ever made, and that includes Super Metroid and SotN
      Euro Truck Simulator 2 – Absolutely 100% dead serious in putting my second-most played Steam game on this list. With ProMods, it is pure gaming zen
      No Man’s Sky – Explore a galaxy with no limits. Amazing.

      Honourable mentions:
      Undertale – Megalovania is the best video game song of the decade not named Weight of the World
      Civilization VI – The best iteration of the best strategy series
      Super Mario Odyssey – Probably should have been top 10 for the New Donk City level alone
      Warframe – this game is phenomenal in terms of what it’s transformed into over the past six years
      Horizon Zero Dawn – probably the most underrated game on the PS4
      Devil May Cry 5 – Didn’t just exceed my expectations, it MAX-ACTED them
      Assault Android Cactus – the best twin-stick shooter in a decade of great twin-stick shooters
      RUINER – you’re all hype for Cyberpunk but here I am already playing the best cyberpunk game ever made (also I want to know how they got Susumu Hirasawa to do a song for this game)
      Destiny 2 – More for the potential than the reality. I love the world and setting of the game, I just wish there was more… game.
      Guild Wars 2 – probably would have been on the list if FFXIV wasn’t. Fantastic MMO.
      Sayonara Wild Hearts – a e s t h e t i c the video game

      Ask me tomorrow and this list will be entirely different, probably.

  • The Last of Us
    Uncharted 3
    Infamous 2
    DOOM 4
    Wolfenstein: The New Order
    Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag
    Red Dead Redemption
    Red Dead Redemption 2
    GTA V (PS4 and PC editions) (I can’t deny it, I spent so much time in single player and multi, it’s ridiculous)
    ARK (I mean, 3000 hours or so makes it significant for me?)

    There’s probably many, many others, but those are the ones that come to mind right now?

  • Dark Souls
    Uncharted 2
    Red dead Redemption
    Witcher 3
    God of War (PS4)
    Stardew Valley
    Mass Efeect 2 (last good game by EA)
    Last of US

  • The last of us
    Mass effect 2
    Bioshock infinite
    Dead cells
    God of war (2019)
    Spiderman (2019)
    Dishonored 1 and/or 2
    GTA V (I really enjoyed the single player)
    Far cry 3
    Super Mario Odyssey
    The new types of assassin’s Creed games

    This list is only the beginning. I also find myself replaying specific games each year and some I have never just stopped playing. I still play a 20 year old fighting game every week.

  • Hotline Miami series
    Titanfall series
    Natural Selection 2
    Battlefield 3
    Witcher 3
    Path of Exile

    Best Trend this decade: More colours other than brown (jokes), the willingness to re-release and remaster games from previous gens. I don’t want to see these titles and stories lost to time.

    Worst Trend this decade: The confusing of breadth for depth in open world adventure games. I seriously question the sanity of people who enjoy these, especially if they somehow force themselves thru more than one a year

    • Regarding the last point, I don’t want to think about how many hours I’ve thrown into them 100%ing every Yakuza game up to when 0 finally broke me.

  • In reverse chronological order, not preference order…

    Detroit Become Human
    Zelda Breath of the Wild
    Night In The Woods
    The Last Guardian
    Fallout 4
    GTA V
    Mass Effect 2

    I expect Death Stranding to be in that list by the end of the year. No Man’s Sky in VR should probably be in there as should some Souls game (probably Sekiro). So many indies missing like Celeste, Hollow Knight, Into The Breach, Gone Home, Cuphead etc. Tough to narrow down to 10.

  • Bloodborne
    God of War (PS4)
    Last of Us
    DOOM 2016
    Dark Souls
    Battlefield 3
    Hollow Knight
    Mortal Kombat 9
    Wipeout Omega Collection

    Some unbelievable games already this decade, and these final months have some real contenders to change up my list. With DOOM Eternal, Death Stranding(?), Outer Worlds and even the upcoming Modern Warfare (hate me).

  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
    Dead Cells
    Fire Emblem: Awakening
    The Last Guardian
    The Witcher 3
    Resident Evil 7
    Nier Automata
    Into the Breach
    Hollow Knight

  • Fallout: New Vegas – 2010
    Red Dead Redemption – 2010
    Skate 3 – 2010
    Portal 2 – 2011
    Crusader Kings 2 – 2012
    The Last of Us – 2014
    Stardew Valley – 2016
    Horizon Zero Dawn – 2017
    God of War – 2018
    Spiderman – 2018

    I think that’s my best of the 2010s. Pretty PS4 heavy in the last few years, but what the hell.

  • i really wish i related more the breath of the wild than i did. i was hugely disappointed by it. i liked the linear path of the previous games.

    anyway, im not sure on some of these date, but:

    God of War (2018)
    Uncharted 3
    Spiderman (2018)
    GTA V
    The Last Of Us
    Super Mario Odyssey
    Mass Effect 2
    Halo 5

    Probably missing so many more

  • What a decade for gaming…..

    Mass Effect 2
    The Last Of Us
    LA Noire
    Uncharted 4
    GTA V
    Until Dawn
    Alan Wake
    Superhot VR

  • witcher 3
    Dying Light
    Borderlands 2 and 3
    Farcry 3
    Spiderman Ps4
    God of War
    GTA V
    Dishonored 2
    Batman series
    Assassins Creed Origins
    Tomb raider

    Looking forward too:
    Cyberpunk 2077
    Dying light 2

  • I’ve played so many great games since the end of 2009 it’s hard to pick just 10.
    So I won’t, here’s my top 10 without giving it much thought:

    Fallout New Vegas
    Nier Automata
    Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin
    Saints Row 4
    Lisa The Painful RPG
    Zelda Breath of the Wild
    The Witcher 3
    Bioshock Infinite

    An now every other game I completed this decade and thought was good, but not good enough for me to think of without first looking at my list of completed games:
    Dark Souls 1 & 3,
    Mass Effect 2 (maybe 3 too),
    Assassin’s Creed 4, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze,
    Metroid Samus Returns,
    Zelda Link Between Worlds,
    Wolfenstien New Order,
    DOOM 2016,
    Night in the Woods,
    The Talos Principle,
    The Swapper,
    The Fall,
    Anodyne 2 Return to Dust,
    Dishonored 1& 2,
    Thomas was Alone,
    Shadows of Mordor, Dropsy,
    Hypno Space Outlaw,
    Nier 1,
    Dragon’s Dogma,
    Gravity Rush 2,
    Hyper Light Drifter,
    Watch_Dogs 2,
    Deus Ex HR & MD,
    Final Fantasy 14 (best MMO i’ve ever played),
    The Last Guardian,
    Tales of Besteria,
    Horizon Zero Dawn, Persona 5,
    A Hat In Time,
    Super Mario Odyssey,
    Xenoblade Chronicles,
    And the two latest games I’ve finished just recently last week, Astral Chain and the Link’s Awakening Remake.

    God, I play and finish a LOT of games, probably has a lot to do with working casual and not being able to find more hours :/
    Honestly I could make a top 50 of the best games in the last 10 years and I bet there would be some I haven’t played yet that I’d want to add. Like, I haven’t played Darkest Dungeon or Control yet and they’re both games that came out this decade.

    It’s not ALL just been loot boxes and shoddy made live service games. The majority of games have been really good.

    • How could I forget GTAV and Spec Ops The Line. Seriously, this decade was great, something for everyone’s tastes.

  • red dead redemption
    persona 5
    uncharted 4
    uncharted 2
    gta v
    last of us
    life is strange
    la noire
    cod blops

    honorable mention because it isnt anywhere near on the same scale as the rest of these games so it is hard to compare: the beginners guide

  • Ten great ones that I didn’t have to think about.
    Witcher:Wild Hunt
    Bioshock Infinite
    Borderlands 2
    New Vegas
    Farcry 3
    Mass Effect 2
    Dark Souls
    Arkham City
    Ahhh,way too many for a quick top ten.Try 25 next time…

  • Every other list is null and void as they do not contain Kerbal Space Program… I’m only kidding about the null and void but how could you miss out on listing KSP.

    No particular order:
    Papers Please
    God of War (2018)
    Nier Automata
    Mass Effect 2
    Zelda Breath of the Wild
    The Last of Us
    Dark Souls
    Tetris Effect and Beat Sabre for VR entries
    Detroit Become Human
    MGSV (pity it was released unfinished, or that was always my impression just with how it ends suddenly and gives you a text run down)
    Assassins Creed Black Flag.

    And many more, I’ve been very happy with the quality of games I have played this decade, with so much quality and choice it’s easy to find something I enjoy.

  • Taking one title from each year, mine would be:
    2010 – Mass Effect 2
    2011 – Dark Souls
    2012 – Mass Effect 3
    2013 – Rayman Legends
    2014 – Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
    2015 – Bloodborne/Witcher III
    2016 – Overwatch
    2017 – Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
    2018 – God of War
    2019 – Kingdom Hearts III

  • Doom.
    Papers Please.
    XCOM 1 and 2.
    No Man’s Sky.
    Ion Fury.
    GTA V.
    Titanfall 2.
    AssCreed Origins.

    Although basically Doom is so far ahead of them for me that there may as well not be a list.

  • 1. Witcher 3
    2. Street fighter 4
    3. Doom
    4. Alien Isolation
    5. CIV 5
    6. Monster Hunter World
    7. Dishonored
    8. Hearthstone
    9. Apex Legends
    10. ZBOTW

  • Off the cuff –

    Last Story
    Red Dead 2
    Yakuza 6 (replace with your favourite studio Gotoku game- they’re all amazing)
    Final Fantasy XV (I’ll lose my breath defending this game)
    Nier Automata
    Spider-Man ps4
    Xenoblade Chronicles

  • My list:
    Zelda: Breath of the Wild
    Super Mario Odyssey
    Super Mario Galaxy 2
    Super Smash Bros Ultimate
    Mario Kart 8
    GTA V
    Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
    Civilization V
    Portal 2
    Just Cause 3

    So hard to remember all the great gaming in the last decade. Am sure I’m missing dozens of other great games that could easily make the list.

  • This decade was so good I can make a top 10 just out of games nobody has mentioned so far. In alphabetical order:

    Cities: Skylines
    Endless Space 2
    Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
    Minecraft (if you go by the 2011 version 1.0 release date)
    Portal 2
    Rise of the Tomb Raider
    StarCraft 2

  • My list has some weird ones, compared to some of the others here:
    Untitled Goose Game (short but incredible)
    Kerbal Space Program (~1400 played on steam so far)
    Fallout 4 (I’m a fallout tragic)
    Portal 2 (Duh)
    The Stanley Parable (broke my brain)
    FTL: Faster than Light (I can’t stop coming back to it!)
    Dream Daddy (Just wholesome and wonderful)
    Doki Doki Literature Club (Also broke my brain)
    Fortnite (just good dumb fun)
    World of Warcraft: Legion (a few gripes but still easily the best WoW expansion in the time frame)

  • “In a few months, the decade will be officially over … which is kind of insane when you think about how far forward games have come over that time.”

    Yeah, but I’m more bothered by how far BACK games have slid. Gaming has gone massively downhill, and I can barely even think of any games this decade that I really love as much as the ones of generations past. It’s been an awful, awful ten years, as gaming has changed from an industry of art created by creators to entertain people, to an industry of cold, sterile product stamped out by executives to extract money from people, and games have had features and content steadily stripped out to be sold back to us for extra while content left in has been homogenised and spread thin to provide the optimal vector to present the microtransactions to us on. This is not a decade in gaming worth celebrating. If I have to name a few then, well, Warframe, Dark Souls, Bastion, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Civilization V, Guild Wars 2, Katawa Shoujo… that’s about all I can think of that I really loved, honestly. There’s probably some more good games out there (DOOM at least), but since I didn’t get around to playing them, I don’t count them.

  • XCOM Enemy Unknown
    XCOM 2
    Hitman 2
    Life is Strange
    Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor
    GTA 5
    Uncharted 3

  • Breath of the Wild
    Mario Oddysey
    Civ V
    The Binding of Isaac
    Path of Exile
    Super Mario 3D World
    Don’t Starve
    Divinity Original Sin II

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