The past decade of video games has seen mishaps such as companies getting greedy with loot boxes and games not living up to promises made by developers. But this decade has also produced some amazing games. Before we enter the new roaring ‘20s, let’s take a look back at the top three games of the last decade.
(This list is my own opinion based on the games I’ve played.)
“Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” Bethesda 2011
As the Dragonborn of legend, you must discover the meaning behind the return of the dragons while a civil war rages across Skyrim. Bethesda’s fifth entry into their “Elder Scrolls” franchise, “Skyrim” takes players through an intricate narrative of war, magic and heroism. However, players also have the option to skip the story and do whatever they want. They can lie, steal, cheat and kill almost anyone they want to, but must also face the consequences. Skyrim offers something extra, as well, in the form of game moderations (mods). Bethesda opened up the world of Skyrim, allowing gamers to create their own content such as weapons, armor, characters, and new quests, using the same assets used to create the original game. I use mods that keep me from dying, so I can have a smooth ride and explore the world without worrying about survivability.
“The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” CD Projekt Red 2015
Geralt is a witcher, a man turned enhanced mutant who travels the world, slaying monsters for gold, while also getting tangled up in the affairs of sorceresses, kings and gods. Now, Geralt approaches his destiny as he searches for his long lost daughter who is prophesied to save the world or destroy it. CD Projekt Red’s “Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” is a masterpiece both in story, gameplay, and marketing. The world of “The Witcher” is open for players to explore, each region having its own horrifying aspects because of the monsters who live there, being either beast or man. The story is gripping, emotional and also a lot of fun at times as Geralt meets old friends from the original book series by Andrzej Sapkowski and from the first two games, “The Witcher” and “The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings.” Not only is this game amazing, but CD Projekt Red should be lauded for their handling of their DLC (downloadable content). After releasing the full game, which already held over 100 hours of gameplay, they spent the next year releasing smaller DLCs like new weapons, armor, quests, and even hairstyles, all for free. Then, when they released their two story content DLC, “Hearts of Stone” and “Blood and Wine,” they were only $15 and held almost as much content as the original game. When I first bought “The Witcher 3,” it was on a whim because I had a coupon. Since experiencing what it and CD Projekt Red had to offer, I’ve happily given them my money for their DLC, and have bought the game on multiple consoles because it was just worth.
“Red Dead Redemption 2,” Rockstar Games 2018
The American West of 1899 has been tamed. Arthur Morgan must keep his family of outlaws safe from the government and from themselves. Rockstar’s “Red Dead Redemption 2” is the long-awaited sequel to 2010’s “Red Dead Redemption.” Throughout the story, players get to know each member of Arthur’s gang, bonding with them between missions as they hang around their camp. “Red Dead Redemption 2” also achieves a level of simulation that no other game has before. Playing as Arthur Morgan, gamers have the chance to experience the most authentic Western tropes to date, like gambling in saloons, eating, drinking, riding and taking care of your horse, and of course exciting gunfights. And as an added bonus for local readers of the Driftwood, much of the game takes place in Saint-Denis, an intricately designed, fictional version of New Orleans in 1899. It’s truly a game someone can escape into. The first time I beat this game, it felt like I’d just lived another life. I also sobbed like a baby at the ending.
Making this list was more difficult than I thought it would be.
So many truly amazing games have come out over the past 10 years, and I wish I could talk about every single one of them, so I reached out to fellow gamers to hear their own favorites. “‘Nier Automata’ for sure, ‘Detroit: Become Human,’ and ‘Kingdom Hearts 3,’” says Grecia Medina, soon to be UNO master’s graduate. Maylon Waldrop, a UNO grad student says “‘Assassin’s Creed II’ or ‘Fallout 4!’”
As we enter into a new decade, we are also entering into a new generation as the XBox Scarlet and Playstation 5 are set to release in 2020. If there is any perspective to be gained from the past 10 years, players want less loot boxes and microtransaction downloadable content, and more fully polished games for both single-player and multiplayer. With such controversial failures of the past— game publisher EA being investigated for illegal gambling with their loot boxes in “Star Wars: Battlefront II” for instance—gamers are hopeful that developers will learn from these mistakes and be better in the future.