(ThyBlackMan.com) The 2010s has seen games really improve as far as graphics, storytelling, and gameplay. So many titles came out between 2010 and 2019, that it would be hard to pick which one was Game of the Decade, so here’s my list for ten games that really made this decade for gaming.
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda, 2011)
Of any game I’ve purchased this decade, Skyrim is the only one that I’ve purchased more than once. I’ve got this game on Steam, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Bethesda knows just where to hit me when it comes to games that it knows I’ll buy because I did the same thing with Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.
Skyrim has an element to it that our second entry also has: crafting. This activity ate up so much of my time that it’s ridiculous. I was free roaming and doing quests just so I could have material and cash to craft in this game. Also, like our next entry, the side quests were more enjoyable than the main story.
You could spend tens, hundreds of hours doing these side quests, fighting beasts, crafting, building up a homestead, foraging and mining and still not get too deeply into the main story. Actually, the main story is something where you’re like “Well, I reckon I could get back to that.”
Here’s hoping Bethesda actually mentions something about a sequel next year.
2. Fallout 4 (Bethesda, 2015)
I’m a huge Fallout fan and I waited a year and a half to finally get my hands on this game. Before that, I spent hours on Twitch and YouTube Gaming watching others enjoy it. When I did get to play it, I was not disappointed. It was everything I’d been watching and more.
What really made this game for me was the base-building element and the crafting. I’d gotten very used to crafting in games and now and days it’s almost mandatory that a game have some form of crafting. It doesn’t even have to be the most elaborate or require you to hunt resources, crafting just needs to be included.
Fallout 4 had that in addition to being able to establish settlements and having to protect them. I found myself spending more time doing both of these than doing the main story. Then while doing the main story I would often take breaks from that to go free roam and get more stuff for the bases.
3. Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac, 2018)
This is the ultimate Spider-Man game of all time. At least until/if a sequel is made then Insomniac will have to top this one. It had everything I loved from Spider-Man 2—meaning the web-slinging—with some tight combat, surly mobs, and pretty tough bosses. Nothing seemed random from enemies, the game world was fun to travel through, and the story was a blast. Loved 98-percent of the story—ugh, those Mary Jane missions.
The only gripe towards this game was that eventually, it becomes repetitive with the side missions. Well, not the raid missions on bases. They were repetitive but fun as hell. I loved those. The other side missions I could do without.
As a total experience, I had a ton of fun with Spider-Man.
4. Destiny 2 (Bungie, 2017)
I’m not the biggest shooting game fan but when I played Destiny 2, I started to warm up to them. I know Destiny 2 isn’t considered the end all-be all of first-person shooters but it’s a fun game to get into if you’re not a fan of the genre.
I’d play games with a first-person shooting mechanic to it (see Fallout 4) but the competitive nature of FPS just turned me off on the genre. Destiny 2 has a single player vibe but you’re playing cooperatively with others. I mean yeah, there’s a competitive mode in the game but most of Destiny 2 is working together with other Guardians, taking down enemies, doing raids, and collecting dope weapons and armor.
I was sold on it.
5. Fire Emblem: Awakening (Intelligent Systems, 2012)
Nintendo finally makes an appearance! Fire Emblem: Awakening was a dope tactical RPG that I sunk many, many hours into. It was also the first Fire Emblem I managed to beat because that perma-death thing was just…brutal sometimes. Loved the cutscenes and combat in this one.
Leveling up my team and establishing characters’ relationships was something I spent most of my time in the game doing. I mean, it really pushes you along story-wise so there are only so many opportunities to level your characters unless you got the first DLC available. Really fun game for the Nintendo 3DS.
6. Watch Dogs 2 (Ubisoft Montreal, 2016)
Watch Dogs 2 was dope! Such an improvement on the first game and all it took was a main character who wasn’t…wooden and boring. The supporting characters were all cool, lots of stuff to do when you’re not involved in the main mission, nice open world to explore—and it’s mapped pretty accurately to San Francisco.
I have to say, the combat was pretty solid as well. It suffers from being repetitive to a degree but I got so tied up in tagging, combat, and the story that it softened the repetitiveness.
7. Saints Row: The Third (Deep Silver, 2011)
The best way to describe Saints Row is if Grand Theft Auto and Fast and the Furious had a child. I love this franchise. It puts me in the mind of pre-GTA IV Grand Theft Auto. Funny situations, lots of action, an open world to explores, cars to supe up and pimp out, and a rock-solid story.
Oh yeah, you could also create your main character so you’re not necessarily playing a role but it’s like you’re dropped into this situation where your business is turned on its head and you’re getting it back by force.
It all works for me. Of the three Saints Row games we got this decade, The Third was the strongest.
8. Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe, 2016)
This is my go-to chill game. Now that I think about it, I stand corrected about my statement that Bethesda is the only studio I’ve purchased more than one version of the same game from. Chucklefish and ConcernedApe’s Stardew Valley got two purchases and both of them worth it.
While there is combat in Stardew Valley, it takes a backseat to mining, foraging, farming, and developing relationships in the town. It’s like the Harvest Moon spin-off Rune Factory with even less emphasis on combat.
Stardew Valley has a definite charm to it that has me starting it up every fall and winter. Massive Harvest Moon vibes.
9. Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar, 2013)
I like Grand Theft Auto but I’m not a massive GTA fan. It’s selling point is doing insane stuff in a large open world. It’s a subdued version of Saints Row. Like it aged, got some commonsense and shakes it head at Saints Row for doing a lot of the stuff it did when it was a young franchise.
GTA V is really fun though. Swapping between the three main characters only to find them carrying on their day was cool. Rockstar still has it when putting together a story, main missions, and side missions to keep you busy. There’s also a lot of attractions to take in. While it’s low on the list, I still had a blast with it.
10. Wolfenstein: The New Order (MachineGames, 2014)
Wolfenstein 3D was the first shooting game I ever played. When I heard that Bethesda was putting it out I was sold. Wish they’d done the same with Duke Nukem but whatever. Wolfenstein: The New Order had a fleshed-out story—something you expect from games now and days—and I got to air out Nazis. That’s honestly all I needed and this game got several play throughs out of me—which is rare since I tend not to replay linear games.
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.