Decade in Review: Ten Years of Gaming


In a gaming group I’m in on Facebook, we were challenged to pick our one game of the decade.  Just one!  OMG!  Of all the games we’ve played over the last TEN years!?  That required me to first figure out what all I’ve acquired AND actually played in the last ten years.  That’s going to be almost the entirety of my collection, actually, because I didn’t get my Nintendo Wii until 2009, shortly after buying my house.  My PS3 and PS4 game after, well into the last ten years.  I was a latecomer to both because I had other financial obligations.  So out of the 153 games in my current collection, 136 came to me in the last decade!

So I made a list!  Y’all know I love lists (and since I have these in a database, this was easy LOL)!  This is the list of all the games I currently have, that I acquired in the last ten years, AND that I have played at least some of in this decade.  It does include digital and PC games, but it does NOT include a few titles that I sold off because I disliked so much (of those I can mostly just remember Dragon Age on both PC and PS2) nor does it include a few titles that were rebuys of games I had before and had sold off but wanted back.  It does include remakes and remasters, though, as those had changed content.  I’ve added DNF to those I played but never finished (where the game had an actual finish that is).

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Nintendo Wii)
  2. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (Sony PS2)
  3. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (Sony PS2)
  4. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 (Nintendo Wii)
  5. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Nintendo Wii)
  6. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (Nintendo Wii)
  7. Super Mario Bros. Wii (Nintendo Wii)
  8. Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon (Nintendo Wii)
  9. Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Nintendo Wii)
  10. Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: The Complete Edition (PC)
  11. The Oregon Trail: 40th Anniversary Edition (Nintendo Wii)
  12. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo Wii)
  13. Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo Wii)
  14. Super Paper Mario (Nintendo Wii)
  15. The Last Story (Nintendo Wii) – DNF got stuck where couldn’t go back to level up, but too underpowered to beat the presumed final boss
  16. Pandora’s Tower (Nintendo Wii)
  17. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix (Limited Edition) (Sony PS3)
  18. Final Fantasy XIII (Sony PS3)
  19. Genji: Days of the Blade (Sony PS3)
  20. Ni No Kuni: Wratch of the White Witch (Sony PS3)
  21. Tomb Raider (Sony PS3)
  22. Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Sony PS3)
  23. Star Ocean: The Last Hope International (Sony PS3) – DNF ridiculously difficult out the bat and just no fun with bleh story
  24. Tales of Symphonia Chronicles (Sony PS3)
  25. The Last of Us (Sony PS3)
  26. Final Fantasy X|X-2 HT Remaster: Limited Edition (Sony PS3)
  27. Beyond: Two Souls (Sony PS3)
  28. Bejeweled 3 (PC: Origin)
  29. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix (Limited Edition) (Sony PS3)
  30. Final Fantasy IX (Sony Playstation)
  31. Final Fantasy XIII-3: Lightning Returns (Sony PS3)
  32. DuckTales: Remastered (Sony PS3)
  33. Tales of Xillia (Sony PS3)
  34. Tales of Xillia 2 (Sony PS3)
  35. Tales of Graces F (Sony PS3)
  36. Age of Empires II: HD Edition (PC: Steam)
  37. SimCity: Complete Edition (PC: Origin)
  38. Tales of Zestiria (Sony PS3)
  39. Portal (PC: Steam)
  40. Portal 2 (PC: Steam)
  41. Limbo (PC: Steam)
  42. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Sony PS4)
  43. Monopoly Plus (Sony PS4)
  44. Pure Pool (Sony PS4)
  45. Final Fantasy XV: Day One Edition (Sony PS4)
  46. Tales of Berseria (Sony PS4)
  47. The Last Guardian (Sony PS4)
  48. Lumo (Sony PS4)
  49. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 – Final Chapter Prologue – (Sony PS4)
  50. Persona 5 (Sony PS4)
  51. Plague Inc: Evolved (PC: Steam)
  52. Hue (Sony PS4)
  53. Bad Dream: Coma (PC: Steam)
  54. FETCH (PC: Steam)
  55. Serena (PC: Steam)
  56. Epistory – Typing Chronicles (PC: Steam)
  57. Murdered: Soul Suspect (Sony PS3)
  58. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (Sony PS4)
  59. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Nintendo Wii)
  60. PRICE (PC: Steam)
  61. Planet Coaster (PC: Steam)
  62. RiME (Sony PS4)
  63. Bear With Me, Episode One (PC: Steam)
  64. True Fear: Forsaken Souls, Part 1 (PC: Steam)
  65. Life is Strange Complete Season (Episodes 1-5) (PC: Steam)
  66. The Dark Eye – Chains of Satinav (PC: Steam)
  67. Doki Doki Literature Club (PC: Steam)
  68. Cinderella Phenomenon (PC: Steam)
  69. CUPID (PC: Steam)
  70. Dies irae ~Amantes amentes~ (PC: Steam)
  71. Red String of Fate (PC: Steam)
  72. Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition (Sony PS4)
  73. Long Live the Queen (PC: Steam)
  74. Tears – 9, 10 (PC: Steam)
  75. Uno (Sony PS4)
  76. Traum (PC: Steam)
  77. Q*Bert: Rebooted (Sony PS4)
  78. Rusty Lake Hotel (PC: Steam)
  79. Virtual Pool 4 (PC: Steam)
  80. Yakuza Kiwami (Sony PS4)
  81. Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Sony PS4)
  82. Assassin’s Creed (Sony PS3)
  83. Assassin’s Creed II (Sony PS3)
  84. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Sony PS3)
  85. Marie’s Room (PC: Steam)
  86. Cursed Sight (PC: Steam)
  87. Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition (PC: Steam)
  88. Gone Home (PC: Steam)
  89. The First Tree (PC: Steam)
  90. What Remains of Edith Finch (PC: Epic Games)
  91. Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Premium Edition (Sony PS4)
  92. Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition (Sony PS4)
  93. Kingdom Hearts III (Sony PS4)
  94. Eastshade (PC: Steam)
  95. Kathy Rain: A Detective Is Born (PC: Steam) – DNF gifted by a friend, but just couldn’t get into it; story was so slow and dull
  96. Firewatch (PC: Steam)
  97. Days Gone (Sony PS4)
  98. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (Sony PS4)
  99. Fez (PC: Epic Games)
  100. Inside (PC: Epic Games)
  101. Lost Ember (Sony PS4) – currently in progress
  102. Yakuza Kiwami 2: SteelBook Edition (Sony PS4)

To sum up, out of 136 games, I’ve played at least some of 102.  Wee!  And three DNFs.  One which made me pause writing this to go “didn’t I get rid of that damn thing” and nope, apparently I have not yet LOL  Damn you Amazon for making selling on you as a normal person impossible.  Bleh.  Guess I’ll get it listed on eBay.  But I digress…

Now, from all these games, which one would I call my game of the decade.  Oh, wow…talk about pressure!!! So let’s break this into chunks..first, my game for each year.  Obviously, being this is my list, it’s based on when I played it, NOT when it came out…well, except I honestly can’t remember that far back, so except for 2018 and 2019, it’s based on year of acquisition LOL

  • 2010: tie: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
  • 2011: Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
  • 2012: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • 2013: tie: Pandora’s Tower and Final Fantasy XIII
  • 2014: The Last of Us
  • 2015: tie: Tales of Xillia and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
  • 2016: Tales of Zestiria
  • 2017: tie: Persona 5 and Tales of Berseria
  • 2018: Horizon Zero Dawn
  • 2019: three-way tie: Yakuza Kiwami, Days Gone, and Assassin’s Creed 2

OMG, so many good games on even this shortened list, and all with their own unique features and awesomeness!!!  Of those, I would say my top three would be Horizon Zero Dawn, The Last of Us, and Yakuza Kiwami.  And from that list…my game of the decade would have to be…

This game, I could probably talk about at length, but this post is already long enough. So short version:
The graphics are amazing, no question there. Detailed, beautiful, and just fun to explore except for well the monsters. The story is incredibly compelling and kept my playing even through some pretty hard and scary bits, and it’s combined with characterizations that are so beautifully nuanced and just so well done! It is a game that will have you pondering right and wrong more than once, and that ending OMG!

The gameplay is also very well done, and holy cow are those clickers freaking terrifying! I was literally on edge of my sofa the entire time I played sequences with those. And that one sequence where you’re hanging upside down and have to shoot fast? Nerves shot!

And of all the games on my list, this is the one that for the first time, I felt any sort of urge to turn around and play it all over again! Even now, with Last of Us 2 coming out, I’m tempted to fire it back up and play through it again, it’s just that good.

Runner-up?

Again, eye-popping graphics with such beautifully detailed grass that I could wander in it for hours!  If I’d been Twitch streaming at the time, you’d have totally herd me mention it repeatedly.  Anytime I showed someone this game, I was like “look at that grass!”  The story is again, compelling and well done, blending in the open-world aspects beautifully with a storyline that lets you meander while also being relatively linear.  Not to say you can’t affect things at all, the friends and allies you make along the way will actually have a big impact towards the end of the game, which is an awesome touch not often seen in games, and you can mold Aloy’s personality a bit in your choices during conversations.  Again, great characters with Aloy being difficult to like at first until you slowly piece out the complex person beneath the hardened exterior and come to realize she’s had to be that way to protect herself from the hatred of her clan.

There are the beautifully crafted machines, each with their own natures, and a system that truly encourages you to find your preferred fighting style and go with it.  While it has quests and tasks that will also push you to try them all, overall, go for what works for you.  For me, it was stealth to start, a few arrows, then bash everything with my stick LOL  Except the really big machines, then it was find a high hiding spot and shoot repeatedly or run like hell.

Back to the story, in addition to the situation Aloy and her clan finds itself in with the sudden attack of the cultists, the story also revolves around who Aloy really is and what happened to our world that this ended up being our post-apocalyptic future! Oh, and there is also the freaking amazing way they worked in the DLC, The Frozen Wilds, so that it seamlessly integrates into the main game!  No having to do anything from the menu, not a side story, but fully merged into the game so you can go back and forth at your leisure.  Other games really need to step it up to that level!