Minecraft
Minecraft

The 2010s were a significant time for video games. Each year, new and innovative titles expanded the possibilities of gaming. This era saw the birth of long-lasting game series and games that pushed the boundaries of storytelling, art, and technology. Looking back, we can see how games evolved each year, becoming more than just a hobby and turning into cultural landmarks that showcased advancements in game design and technology. Whether exploring a haunted house, traveling through space, or immersing into a chaotic underworld, each year brought defining gaming experiences.

Best Video Games Of 2010s List

YearTitleDeveloperGenreConsoles
2010Mass Effect 2BioWareAction RPGXbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
2011MinecraftMojangSandboxPC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Android, iOS
2012JourneythatgamecompanyAdventurePlayStation 3, PlayStation Network
2013Grand Theft Auto VRockstar GamesAction-adventurePlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
2014Alien: IsolationCreative AssemblySurvival horrorPlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
2015The Witcher 3: Wild HuntCD Projekt RedAction RPGPlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
2016InsidePlaydeadPuzzle-platformerPC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Android
2017The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildNintendoAction-adventureNintendo Switch
2018God of WarSanta Monica StudioAction-adventurePlayStation 4
2019Disco ElysiumZA/UMRole-playingPC

Video Game Excellence in the 2010s

The 2010s will be remembered as a great decade in video game history. Developers pushed boundaries both technically and creatively. Let’s take a look at some of the era’s biggest hits. Here’s a year-by-year breakdown:

2010

  • Red Dead Redemption: This open-world western captivated audiences with its gripping story and immersive world.
  • Mass Effect 2: Many consider this the best game in BioWare’s legendary space opera trilogy, thanks to its improved gameplay and memorable characters.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2: Nintendo continued to redefine platforming perfection with this dazzling journey through space.

2011

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Bethesda’s fantasy epic became a cultural phenomenon, drawing in countless players with its vast world and freedom of choice.
  • Portal 2: Valve’s brilliant puzzle-platformer expanded on the first game’s mind-bending concepts, with clever writing and an iconic villain.
  • Batman: Arkham City: This superhero game raised the bar for open-world design and combat mechanics.
  • Minecraft: The sandbox game that defined a generation.

2012

  • Journey: This unique and emotionally resonant experience transcended typical notions of what a video game could be.
  • The Walking Dead: Telltale Games revitalized the adventure game genre with this story-driven episodic masterpiece.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Firaxis Games’ revival of this classic strategy franchise expertly combined turn-based tactics with nail-biting tension.

2013

  • The Last of Us: Naughty Dog delivered a dark and mature post-apocalyptic tale that redefined cinematic storytelling in games.
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Rockstar Games’ polished and expansive crime saga remains one of the best-selling games of all time.
  • BioShock Infinite: This mind-bending first-person shooter explored complex themes of alternate realities with unforgettable twists and turns.

2014

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: BioWare bounced back with this sprawling fantasy RPG, offering rich character development and expansive environments.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: The revolutionary Nemesis system introduced dynamic enemy hierarchies and truly memorable encounters.
  • Dark Souls II: FromSoftware’s notoriously difficult action-RPG continued the legacy of challenging but rewarding gameplay.
  • Alien: Isolation: One of the greatest horror games and movie adaptations ever created.

2015

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: CD Projekt Red’s sprawling open-world RPG set a new standard for side quests and storytelling in the genre.
  • Bloodborne: FromSoftware took their Souls formula and injected it with a faster pace, transforming into a gothic horror masterpiece.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Hideo Kojima’s final installment redefined stealth-action with outstanding open-ended gameplay in massive sandboxes.

2016-2019 (and beyond!)

The latter half of the decade saw continued innovation and excellence, with highlights like:

Table of Excellence

YearStandout Games
2016Overwatch, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Doom
2017The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, NieR: Automata
2018God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2
2019Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Resident Evil 2 (Remake)

This list barely scratches the surface of amazing titles from the 2010s. It was a golden age for gaming!

Key Takeaways

  • Each year of the 2010s contributed landmark games that defined the period.
  • Advancements in game design and technology marked the decade’s evolution.
  • The article serves as a guide to the influential games from this era of gaming.

Revolutionary Games by Year

The 2010s saw a slew of video games that redefined genres and captured the imaginations of players worldwide.

2010

Mass Effect 2 set a new standard for story-driven games, with its deep character development and player-led storyline. Red Dead Redemption brought the Wild West to life in a vast open world, while Super Mario Galaxy 2 delighted fans with its innovative platforming.

Our Pick: Mass Effect 2

BioWare’s Mass Effect 2 delivered a captivating story, memorable characters, and refined gameplay mechanics. The game’s emphasis on player choice and its exploration of ethical dilemmas made it a masterpiece that solidified the Mass Effect franchise as one of the most beloved in gaming history.

With its deep narrative, character development, and refined gameplay, this game is celebrated for its engaging story and the meaningful choices that impact the game’s world.

2011

The ingenious puzzle mechanics of Portal 2 advanced the original’s formula. Games like The Witcher 2 and Dark Souls offered deep, challenging experiences. And then there was Minecraft.

Our Pick: Minecraft

Mojang’s Minecraft revolutionized the gaming landscape with its innovative sandbox approach and emphasis on creativity. The game’s procedurally generated world, limitless building possibilities, and engaging survival mechanics made it a global phenomenon that continues to capture the imaginations of players of all ages.

A game that transcended gaming itself, ‘Minecraft’ became a cultural icon. Its open-world sandbox style encouraged creativity and exploration, appealing to gamers of all ages.

2012

Journey stood out with its stunning visuals and emotional storytelling. Mass Effect 3 concluded its epic trilogy, while XCOM: Enemy Unknown revitalized tactical strategy games.

Our Pick: Journey

Thatgamecompany’s Journey took players on an unforgettable emotional journey through a surreal and breathtaking world. The game’s minimalist storytelling, evocative soundtrack, and multiplayer interactions created a truly unique and moving experience that continues to be praised for its artistry and emotional

An artistic and emotional experience, ‘Journey’ is a beautiful game that communicates profound narratives without words. Its innovative multiplayer and stunning visuals offer a unique and memorable experience. impact.

2013

The Last of Us offered a powerful narrative coupled with survival gameplay. Grand Theft Auto V expanded on its open-world legacy. Bioshock Infinite soared with its sky-high setting and complex themes.

Our Pick: GTA 5

Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto V set a new standard for open-world storytelling and action, offering a vast and immersive world to explore, a compelling narrative, and a plethora of activities to engage in. The game’s satirical take on American culture, its memorable characters, and its seamless blend of action, adventure, and humor made it a landmark title that redefined the open-world genre.

‘Grand Theft Auto V’ set new standards for open-world games with its massive, detailed world, deep narrative, and the groundbreaking GTA Online that continually evolves even years after its release.

2014

Dark Souls II continued the series’ trademark difficulty and intricate world design. Alien: Isolation was a great adaptation to the movie. Bayonetta 2 wowed action game fans with its stylish combat, and Hearthstone reshaped digital card games.

Our Pick: Alien: Isolation

Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation captured the essence of the original Alien film, delivering a terrifying and atmospheric survival horror experience. The game’s first-person perspective, procedural elements, and constant threat of the Xenomorph created an unforgettable and genuinely terrifying experience for players.

A masterclass in horror and suspense, ‘Alien Isolation’ captured the essence of the original ‘Alien’ film while delivering a terrifying, atmospheric survival experience unlike any other.

2015

Sweeping RPG The Witcher 3 set new benchmarks for open-world design, while Bloodborne‘s gothic horror captured players’ imaginations. Undertale became an indie sensation with its unique mechanics and story.

Our Pick: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt redefined the open-world RPG genre with its vast and detailed world, memorable characters, and engrossing story. The game’s non-linear approach, challenging combat, and emphasis on player choice made it a masterpiece that continues to be praised for its depth, scope, and narrative excellence.

Wild Hunt is a monumental game with a massive open world, deep storytelling, and complex characters. Its expansive narrative and world-building set new benchmarks for the genre.

2016

Overwatch redefined team-based shooters with its vibrant characters. Inside was a great puzzle game about control & free will. Meanwhile, Dark Souls III brought the dark fantasy series to a close with aplomb, and Stardew Valley offered a charming farming adventure.

Our Pick: Inside

Playdead’s Inside delivered a hauntingly atmospheric and puzzle-filled platformer that captivated players with its minimalist storytelling, evocative environments, and challenging puzzles. The game’s seamless blend of platforming, environmental storytelling, and suspenseful atmosphere made it a true standout title that stayed with players long after they finished playing.

From the creators of ‘Limbo’, ‘Inside’ is a dark, atmospheric puzzle-platformer known for its thought-provoking narrative and stunning art direction, delivering a compact yet impactful gaming experience.

2017

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild reinvented open-world gameplay with its intuitive physics and exploration. Persona 5 stylishly blended life simulation with dungeon-crawling.

Our Pick: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild revolutionized the open-world adventure genre with its vast and immersive world, non-linear approach, and emphasis on exploration and discovery. The game’s groundbreaking use of physics, its abundance of secrets to uncover, and its charming characters made it a masterpiece that redefined the Zelda franchise and set a new standard for open-world gaming.

Its emphasis on exploration and freedom, combined with its beautiful art style, created one of the most immersive and influential games of the decade.

2018

God of War was lauded for its mature narrative and revamped combat system. Marvel’s Spider-Man let players swing through New York City, and Red Dead Redemption II provided a deeper dive into its immersive Western world.

Our Pick: God Of War

Santa Monica Studio’s God of War reinvented the iconic action-adventure franchise with a more mature and emotional tone, a new perspective, and a focus on father-son relationships. The game’s stunning visuals, epic combat, and compelling story made it a masterpiece that revitalized the franchise and garnered critical acclaim.

A bold reimagining of the franchise, ‘God of War’ combines brutal combat with a powerful narrative. Its focus on character development and storytelling brought a new depth to the series.

2019

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice brought fast-paced samurai action, while Resident Evil 2 set a new standard for horror remakes. Fire Emblem: Three Houses mixed tactical battles with complex character dynamics. Disco Elysium was just unforgettable.

Our Pick: Disco Elysium

ZA/UM’s Disco Elysium delivered an unforgettable role-playing experience with its unique blend of political intrigue, philosophical themes, and character-driven narrative. The game’s innovative dialogue system, intricate skill progression, and thought-provoking story made it a true standout title that redefined the RPG genre and set a new standard for storytelling in video games.

An innovative game with deep narrative and unique mechanics, ‘Disco Elysium’ is celebrated for its compelling story, complex characters, and the freedom it offers players in shaping the narrative.

Innovations in Game Design and Technology

The 2010s saw leaps in how games are played and experienced. These changes shaped the industry.

Gameplay Evolution

Games began to blend genres creating rich new experiences. Strategy games benefited from this, adding depth to decisions and actions. Titles like Rayman Origins took the 2D platformer genre and injected it with fresh ideas, leading to engaging, dynamic gameplay.

Technological Advancements

Advancements in PC technology allowed for stunning open-world games and realistic first-person shooters. Technology like ray tracing made virtual worlds more lifelike. Alongside hardware improvements, software tools gave developers the power to create intricate and immersive worlds.

Narrative and Emotional Depth

Storytelling in games became more personal. Games like Life is Strange explored emotional and mental health themes, delivering a deeply personal impact. This decade saw a move to use games as a way to explore and understand individual stories and experiences.

Industry Trends

The rise of esports turned video gaming into competitive spectator sports. Indie games flourished on platforms like Kickstarter, allowing small teams to make their gaming visions real. Developers now had new ways to reach audiences, reshaping the gaming landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section aims to cover the most common inquiries regarding the best video games of the 2010s. It provides clear information about top titles, acclaimed games, and influential releases of the decade.

Which titles are considered the top video games for each year of the 2010s?

For each year of the 2010s, standout games made an impact. In 2010, “Mass Effect 2” impressed players with its deep story. By 2015, “Kerbal Space Program” was lauded for its unique gameplay. Each year saw titles like these earning praise and popularity.

What are some of the highest-rated PS4 games of the 2010s?

PS4 gamers enjoyed a variety of top-rated games. Titles such as “The Last of Us Part II” and “God of War” received acclaim for their compelling narratives and gameplay in the late 2010s.

What adventure video games from the 2010s come highly recommended?

Adventure games like “Oxenfree,” released in the mid-2010s, were highly recommended for their storytelling and innovation. These games stood out for their engaging experiences.

What video games from the 2010s are regarded as nostalgic or iconic today?

Games such as “Amnesia: The Dark Descent” from early 2010s hold nostalgic value for many and remain iconic for their influence on the horror genre.

Can you list some of the most influential video games of the last decade?

Influential games of the 2010s include “Minecraft,” which revolutionized sandbox gaming, and “Dark Souls,” which set a high standard for difficulty and world design.

Which video games from the 2010s were critically acclaimed across multiple platforms?

Multi-platform games like “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” and “Red Dead Redemption 2” were critically acclaimed for their expansive worlds, storytelling, and immersive gameplay. They earned recognition on various consoles and PC.

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