With the end of the 2010s quickly approaching, it’s time to reflect upon some of the incredible video games produced in the last decade. From online MMOs, action-adventure games, and story-driven RPG’s, the past ten years have been transformative in the video game industry. Thanks to the internet and the rise of online gaming, eSports, and streaming, video games have become more popular and accessible than ever. With so many releases per year, it can be hard to remember just what titles truly made an impact in the past video gaming decade.
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top 10 best video games of the decade. Check it out – and see if your favorite made the list!
Kicking things off at number ten is a game that has made its way to every corner of the internet, Fortnite. Released in 2017 and developed by Epic Games, the online video game became an online phenomenon thanks to its prevalence and popularity on Twitch and reported celebrity players. For those who have managed to stay away from the ever-popular title, Fortnite offers three distinct gaming modes, including Fortnite: Save the World, a shooter-style survival game; Fortnite Battle Royale, a free-to-play battle royale game; and Fortnite Creative, a sandbox-style game that allows players to create their own worlds. Fortnite Battle Royale reportedly hosted over 125 million players in less than a year after release.
9. Mass Effect 2
Next up, at number nine, is a popular action RPG, Mass Effect 2. Released on January 26, 2010, and developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts, the title serves as the second entry in the Mass Effect video game series. Set in the Milky Way galaxy in the 22nd century, players take on the role of human soldier Commander Shepard as he attempts to take on an insectoid species called the Collectors who are threatening the existence of humanity. The Xbox version of the game currently holds a 96 out of 100 on Metacritic and earned many positive reviews for its storytelling, character development, and fighting mechanics. It has been dubbed by some as one of the greatest video games of all time, winning such high honors as “Game of the Year” (14th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards) and “Best Game” (2011 British Academy of Film and Television Awards).
8. League of Legends
Video game number eight technically didn’t come out in the past decade, but the 2010s were when League of Legends truly made a name for itself in the video game world. The multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game was first released on October 27, 2009, thanks to the developmental help of Riot Games. In July 2012, Forbes reported that League of Legends had become the most-played PC game in North America and Europe, in terms of hours logged played. Four years later, in September 2016, it was estimated that the site hosts 100 million active players each month. The game has also garnered attention in the eSports scene, with many LoL championships across the globe.
7. Red Dead Redemption 2
Coming in at number seven is another well-received sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2. This action-adventure game was released on October 26, 2018, and developed by Rockstar Games. It serves as the third entry in the Red Dead Redemption video game series and prequel to Red Dead Redemption. The game broke records upon release, making over $725 million in sales during its opening weekend. Critics and fans praised the game for its plot, characters, graphics, open-world execution, and details. Red Dead Redemption 2 has been considered one of the greatest video games of all time and holds such accolades as “Game of the Year” from a number of gaming publications.
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Number six is another action RPG – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Developed and published by Bethesda, the game serves as the fifth entry in The Elder Scrolls series and was released on November 11, 2011. Bethesda rebuilt their signature “Creation Engine” to develop Skyrim’s vast open world filled with unique details. Their efforts paid off, and the game was released to critical acclaim. Many reviews positively noted character development and game setting as reasons to buy the game. It is not only regarded as one of the best video games ever made but also as one of the best selling games of all time.
5. The Last of Us
Halfway down the line at number five is another action-adventure game, The Last of Us. Developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, this critically acclaimed PlayStation title was released on June 14, 2013. The game tells the story of two humans struggling for survival in a post-apocalyptic America. Even before its release, the game was highly anticipated; and after the title officially dropped, began receiving unanimous acclaim from fans and critics alike. Most reviews noted the game’s narrative, artwork, characterization, and sound design. The Last of Us has won a number of games and accolades and has been considered one of the greatest video games ever made. Many notable gaming publications have awarded it the title of “Game of the Year” as well.
4. The Witcher 3
Next up at number four is yet another sequel, The Witcher 3. Released on May 19, 2015, and developed and published by CD Projekt, this action, third-person, open-world RPG is based upon The Witcher novel series by Andrzej Sapkowski. Players take on the role of witcher Geralt of Rivera as he embarks on a quest to find his daughter. Utilizing magic and weapons, players must fight against enemies, make crucial decisions, and explore the game’s vast world to unlock one of its many endings. Though the game has received criticism for numerous technical issues cited within, praises for the game’s writing, characters, story, and design have still boosted it to earn the title of one of the greatest video games ever made. As a critical and commercial success, it was awarded the “Game of the Year” accolade by many publications and honors.
3. Grand Theft Auto V
Number three is yet another sequel from a very popular franchise, Grand Theft Auto V. The fifth entry in the Grand Theft Auto franchise was the series’ first release since 2008 and officially released on September 13, 2017, thanks to the help of video game developer and publisher Rockstar. The game broke records upon its release, earning $800 million on its first day and a reported $1 billion after only three days on the market. Many critics praised the game’s open-world concept, which allowed players to freely roam around “Los Santos,” a fictionalized version of Los Angeles. While the game was a commercial and critical success and has been declared with such honors as one of the best video games of all time, critics and fans have critiqued the title for its misogyny, citing its controversial portrayals of women.
2. Dark Souls
The penultimate entry on our list is another action RPG sequel – Dark Souls. Released on September 22, 2011, and developed by FromSoftware and published by Namco Bandai Games, Dark Souls is the second entry in the Souls video game series and serves as an indirect sequel to 2009’s Demon’s Souls. The game was instantly praised upon release, with critics and fans citing the game’s combat, levels, and usage of “flavor text” (text that adds context in video games). It’s also been regarded as one of the most unforgiving video games, with level difficulties as its main critique. Regardless, the game’s popularity garnered it two sequels and a remastered version, all released in the last decade.
Finally, coming in at number one is a game anyone who’s ever been on the Internet has undoubtedly already heard of – Minecraft. This sandbox video game was released in 2011, thanks to Swedish creator Markus Persson, and was purchased by Microsoft in 2014. As of this day, Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time, with over 180 million copies sold. The site also hosts 112 million monthly active players. Its simple concept of exploring a highly pixelated, blocky, 3D world has resonated with millions of fans, earning it a number of various accolades. The game has also spawned a plethora of online memes, parodies, merchandise lines, and even an entire convention (“MineCon”) to celebrate the game’s ever-growing fan base.
As you can see, the 2010s saw the release of some incredible titles in the video game market. From their critical acclaim, commercial sales, and cultural impact, It’s clear that these titles have made an insane mark in the last decade. With so many amazing titles, we can only imagine the kind of gaming content us video gamers have to look forward to consuming in the next decade. Get excited for all the great releases to come in the next ten years – and make sure to follow us at Top Ten Gaming for all the latest and best video game news, trends, and guides! See you in the new decade!