The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

With the 2010s coming to a close, here are the games that left the biggest impact in the last ten years on an artistic and cultural level.

Though it might have felt just like yesterday, in just over a month the 2010s are coming to a close. In that span of ten years a lot has changed around the world: some for the better, some for the worse. But in spite of all that, one thing that arguably changed for the better has been the world of video games.

In the span of that ten year window, the video game industry has changed considerably. This past decade saw the final years of the PS3/Xbox 360/Wii generation and the introduction of the next generation (PS4/Xbox One/Wii U/Switch), with the NEXT next-generation looming around the corner in the coming year. The last decade saw the rise of the live-service online game, as developers shifted towards experiences that players could keep coming back to for years on end. The last decade also proved that single-player games are, in fact, not dead with massive worlds to explore, emotional stories to be told, and memorable characters that will last us a lifetime.

With the decade drawing to a close, the staff at DualShockers gathered together to look at what we felt were the best video games to represent the last decade (2010-2019). By “best,” we meant the games that had significant impact on a cultural, artistic, or development level across both the landscape of video games and larger mainstream culture.

To put together our final list, the DualShockers staff assembled their own top 50 games lists, with each “tier” of games (1-10, 11-20, etc.) receiving a scored point value. Once calculated, our list then comprised of the games with the highest point totals among all of the staff that had voted. Ultimately, no list is 100% perfect, and surely there will be disagreements and acknowledgements of where we went “right” and “wrong,” but we hope you enjoy going back in time and seeing what we felt were the games that defined the last ten years.

With that being said, here are the games that we considered the best and most important of the last decade.


Inside

50. Inside

Playdead, 2016 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mobile)

Inside proved that developer Playdead wasn’t just a one-hit wonder. 2016’s follow-up to Limbo has much in common with its predecessor, but features a far more eerie world. Inside’s immaculate pacing and intelligent game design make it a worthwhile addition to this list on its own merits, but it’s the game’s finale that makes it truly stand out all these years later. Pound for pound, it’s one of the most memorable experiences you’ll find within the past 10 years. – Logan Moore, Managing Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

49. Titanfall 2

Respawn Entertainment/EA, 2016 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Titanfall 2 is one of Respawn’s utmost masterpieces and a true mixture of lessons learned at the beginning of the decade and the innovation created near the end of it. Through both a masterfully-crafted story and a satisfying, pure-fun multiplayer mode, Titanfall 2 is one of the most enjoyable games of the decade. – Ben Walker, Contributor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

marvels-spider-man

48. Marvel’s Spider-Man

Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment, 2018 (PS4)

After years of dormancy, Marvel’s Spider-Man marked a triumphant return to console games for both the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler and Marvel Games as a whole. Insomniac nailed the look and feel of Spider-Man, and just swinging around New York is a joy. On top of that, Marvel’s Spider-Man features an excellent story with a surprising amount of nuance and character development. Marvel’s Spider-Man was one of the best games of 2018 and is the best selling first-party PS4 title ever, so it definitely earned its spot on this list. – Tomas Franzese, News Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

47. FTL: Faster Than Light

Subset Games, 2012 (PC, Mobile)

FTL is the most addictive game of the decade; I’ve spent many nights on it when it initially released. It’s probably the single game that I played the most this decade along with BOTW, Super Robot Wars Z3.1, Phantasy Star Online 2, and Lost Technology. – Iyane Agossah, Senior Staff Writer

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

46. Gone Home

Fullbright, 2013 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mobile)

Call it a narrative experience, “walking simulator,” or otherwise, there is no denying that Fullbright’s Gone Home has had a tangible effect on the way that we tell stories in games, and how the medium can approach storytelling in a more immersive, involved way. With the twists and turns that the story takes as players explore the home of its main character, Katie Greenbriar, Gone Home evolves from something tragic and somber, to something far more profound. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

45. Super Mario Galaxy 2

Nintendo EAD Tokyo/Nintendo, 2010 (Wii)

While Super Mario Galaxy 2 may have been upper-handed by later Mario games like Super Mario Odyssey, there’s no denying that even nearly ten years later, it still has left its mark as one of Mario’s most energetic and creative endeavors yet. Following up the joyous Super Mario Galaxy was no easy feat, but Nintendo managed to up the ante with Galaxy 2 by making its already vast galaxy even more expansive and endless. Plus, any Mario game that features a ton of Yoshi will always make me happy. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers’ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

44. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard

Capcom, 2017 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

Resident Evil VII didn’t just stand as a return to form for the beloved horror series when it released: it essentially became the turning point for Capcom as a whole. Prior to its arrival, the Japanese publisher had gone through a rough stretch and was in desperate need of a critical and commercial success. Resident Evil VII ended up being both of those, thanks in large part to the game’s new RE Engine, which has gone on to be used in games like this year’s Resident Evil 2 remake and Devil May Cry 5. In the latter half of this decade, Capcom has been one of the strongest third-party publishers around, but that success all started here with Resident Evil VII– Logan Moore, Managing Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Valkyria Chronicles 4

43. Valkyria Chronicles 4

Sega, Media.Vision/Sega, 2018 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

After a slightly disappointing second entry, a good third episode (but limited by its PSP hardware), and a random spin-off that no one asked for, Valkyria Chronicles 4 marked the return of Sega’s tactical-RPG series in all its splendor. It’s the perfect example of a remarkable JRPG, with its initially stereotypical characters all ending up having strong personalities and struggles. The gameplay was further improved from the first game and better balanced. The story also delivers and is quite original in how it functions as both a prequel and a sequel to the first game, the most beloved in the series. Valkyria Chronicles also played its part in making the Sakura Taisen franchise more popular in the west, especially seeing the series share the same development teams. The upcoming Shin Sakura Taisen, tentatively titled Project Sakura Wars in the west, probably wouldn’t have had a localization announced right away, or even a French translation, if not for the Valkyria Chronicles series and 4 in particular. – Iyane Agossah, Senior Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

42. Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver

Game Freak/The Pokemon Company, Nintendo, 2009 (DS)

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver is the closest example to the perfect Pokémon experience. At the time, Game Freak incorporated refreshingly welcomed ideas, such as returning to the beloved Johto region with the ability to have a Pokémon follow you, as well as the introduction of the PokéWalker, a real-life device allowing you to transfer your pocket critters into it and leveling them up along the way. With the reprise of traveling through Johto and Kanto, catching the iconic red Gyarados, and of course, climbing to the peak of Mt. Silver and challenging Red when you were truly ready to end your journey, HeartGold and SoulSilver brought these incredibly memorable gaming moments to life in a new light. – Cameron Hawkins, Staff Writer

Death Stranding

41. Death Stranding

Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment, 2019 (PS4, PC)

One of the biggest stories of this decade was without a doubt Hideo Kojima’s departure from Konami and the eventual founding of his own studio. Kojima finally would be moving on from working on the beloved Metal Gear Solid franchise and would instead be creating something entirely new. The resulting product ended up being Death Stranding, and the pre-release cycle for the game was one of the most dumbfounding and intriguing of all-time. Over a span of years, Kojima continued to tease fans with bizarre trailers, nonsensical explanations of the game’s world, and the promise that Death Stranding would signal the arrival of an entire new genre. While the finished game ended up being a bit divisive, there’s no question that Death Stranding was one of the most anticipated games of the decade for a variety of different reasons. – Logan Moore, Managing Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

40. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Kojima Productions/Konami, 2015 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

It’s fitting that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has ended up slotting right ahead of Death Stranding on our list. In what is almost certainly Kojima’s final Metal Gear game ever, the famed game developer was able to create one of the best gameplay experiences of the decade. Longtime fans of the series may have desired a compelling story, but the mechanics of The Phantom Pain are some of the most polished and refined ever. Even though it’ll likely be forever remembered most notably for being unfinished, Kojima’s final Metal Gear project is still able to stand toe-to-toe with the other beloved entries in the saga. – Logan Moore, Managing Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

39. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo/Nintendo, 2019 (Switch)

Fire Emblem Three Houses is gutsy. One of the most popular aspects of the two previous (and popular) Fire Emblem entries was the romance system, and FE3H didn’t follow in their steps. True, Awakening (and Super Smash Bros. Melee) paved the way for the series. However, Fuukasetsugetsu–let’s call it that because I’m a weeb–innovates and completely changes certain traditions of the series, for the better. Fire Emblem is a series which has changed so little in 30 years that longtime fans call characters in each game by the name of the character they look similar to in the first episode from 1990. Fuukasetsugetsu breaks this mold with an incredibly high amount of dialogue, a first in the series, and brings one of the most lovable and developed casts to a game that I’ve seen in years. It’s an alien in the series in a similar way to Geneology of the Holy War, my other favorite game in the series, with how different it is. FE3H also actually never forces you to do anything, for those who (wrongfully) hate good long dialogue sequences, with its story actually adapting if you skip straight to the battles. It’s different and yet still feels just like the Fire Emblem series I’ve been into for maybe 15 years now. And you just have to admit, Intelligent Systems and Koei Tecmo were really confident and courageous to release a game with such comically ugly clouds in 2019. Fuukasetsugetsu became the best seller of the series within a few months for a reason. – Iyane Agossah, Senior Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

38. Limbo

Playdead, 2010 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita, PC, Mobile)

To me, without Limbo by Playdead we never would have gotten many of the artistic indie experiences that exist today. With no music or dialogue, it successfully creates an atmosphere where you are unsure of who you are playing and where you are going. After traversing and puzzling your way through dangerous environments including a giant spider, in its final moments it is up to the player to decide what the story is truly about, distinguishing how original and special that Limbo was and still is to this day. – Cameron Hawkins, Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

37. What Remains of Edith Finch

Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive, 2017 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

There are just a few games that evoked an emotional response from me. The one that got me the most though was What Remains of Edith Finch by indie studio Giant Sparrow. Going through each of the Finchs’ incredibly tragic tales was heartbreaking, but were also well-told. The baby and cannery sequences are some of the most well-crafted portions of a video game that I have played this generation. What Remains of Edith Finch is an incredible experience, and one that really pushed the narrative-driven adventure genre forward. – Michael Ruiz, Senior Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

36. Return of the Obra Dinn

Lucas Pope/3909, Warp Digital, 2018 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

From its striking 1-bit art style to its unique approach to puzzle gameplay, Obra Dinn impresses at every turn. The way the story unfolds as you peel back its layers is completely captivating. Lucas Pope’s latest is a game that’s incredibly difficult to put down, as it continuously welcomes you to do “just one more thing.” The level of detail in both the story-telling and world-building is absolutely astounding. Obra Dinn is a game that must be played so that you can experience the incredible, singular vision of its creator. – Ricky Frech, Senior Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy XIV: A Real Reborn, Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, PC, PS3, PS4, Square Enix

35. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Square Enix, 2013 (PS4, PS3, PC)

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is the definition of a comeback story. The original Final Fantasy XIV released in 2010 after five years of development and ended up being disastrous. After a change of leadership, A Realm Reborn launched in 2013 as a technical sequel to the original, taking place five years after the apocalyptic event that destroyed most of Eorzea. Since then, the game has brought new content time and time again that gets better with each expansion. It is an incredibly fun MMORPG whether you are playing with or without friends. Many currently consider Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn to be the best MMO available and that doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. – Cameron Hawkins, Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ thoughts on A Realm Reborn.

Games

34. Batman: Arkham City

Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, 2011 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Batman: Arkham City built upon the foundation of its predecessor to create one of the best superhero video games of all time. Tons of fan-favorite Batman characters are stuffed into this game and are backed up by amazing portrayals from voice actors like Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Grey DeLisle. The open world was very impressive for its time, and Batman has a ton of unique tools at his disposal to help in any given situation. Batman: Arkham City set the foundation for many open-world action games that followed, like Marvel’s Spider-Man, so its impact has definitely been felt over the course of this decade. – Tomas Franzese, News Editor

Games

33. Destiny

Bungie/Activision, 2014 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360)

If there is any shooter that redefined the ideas and mechanics of the genre in the last decade, Destiny would certainly be among the games that you would look to first. While it has had its growing pains over the years, Bungie has evolved Destiny (and later Destiny 2) into a shooter that effectively blends an MMO level of world-building and lore into arguably the best feeling shooter of the last ten years. With pristine mechanics and a continued stream of support and new expansions, it will be interesting to see in the future how Bungie continues to evolve Destiny to meet its own true destiny. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Games

32. Cuphead

Studio MDHR, 2017 (Xbox One, Switch, PC)

Made by the relatively small team at Studio MDHR, Cuphead is a little game that speaks to grand ambitions. Its shoot-em-up gameplay reminiscent of Contra and Gunstar Heroes is bolstered by some of the most memorable art direction in the last decade, fueled by the animation styling and music of animated shorts from the 1920s and 30s. Though it is often brutally hard in some places, with its hand-drawn animation and jazzy soundtrack Cuphead is still a singular experience that no other game can claim for itself. Plus, it features Mugman: enough said. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Games

31. Rainbow Six Siege

Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft, 2015 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Although it didn’t do well critically when it launched back in December 2015, Ubisoft turned things around by continually updating its tactical first person shooter, Rainbow Six Siege, with new Operators and maps, giving players a reason to come back every few months. This is also one of the games that made me realize shorter experiences in video games can be much more rewarding. It is one of the most satisfying and distinct shooters on the market, and thanks to its continued support, Rainbow Six Siege has become one of the best shooters this decade. – Michael Ruiz, Senior Staff Writer

Games

30. Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar Studios/Rockstar Games, 2018 (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia)

While it may be Rockstar’s most recent release, in more ways than one Red Dead Redemption 2 feels like the game that the studio was always building up towards releasing. It is unequivocally one of the most fully-realized open worlds ever created in games, and Arthur Morgan’s tale of regret, betrayal, and redemption is just as memorable and heartbreaking as when we first rode out to the West with John Marston. Red Dead Redemption 2 shows on a deeper level that game worlds aren’t just places that we can visit; they’re places that we can thrive in. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Games

29. BioShock Infinite

Irrational Games/2K Games, 2013 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Infinite had some big shoes to fit into following the critical success that was 2007’s BioShock, and it more than adequately filled them. The tale of Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth in the city above the clouds known as Columbia still stands as one of the most interesting, compelling, and iconic stories that was told in any game on this list. It’s not without its fair share of issues, but BioShock Infinite continued to prove that this universe has more than a few surprises still up its sleeve. Hopefully, the next decade will finally see this beloved series make a triumphant return. – Logan Moore, Managing Editor

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

28. Journey

thatgamecompany, 2012 (PS4, PS3, PC, Mobile)

All it takes for me to start welling up when I think about Journey is hearing its magical score by Austin Wintory. thatgamecompany’s masterpiece told a lot with little words by taking players through a 2-3 hour experience that could wring your emotions dry by its end. While several other games have taken a similar approach of artistic adventures with minimal exposition, Journey is arguably the tip of the mountain of how capable that games are of deep, emotional storytelling. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers’ review.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

27. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 

Bandai Namco Studios, Sora Ltd./Nintendo, 2018 (Switch)

“Everyone’s here!” was the original pitch for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate when it was first revealed last year, and the game has only delivered that and then some. With a deep roster that encompasses every Smash Bros. character to date and new arrivals like Banjo-Kazooie and Fatal Fury‘s Terry Bogard, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is truly a love letter to Nintendo fans, and gaming as a whole. With more DLC characters in the pipeline for the game, I’m more than excited to see the next challenger that approaches. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

26. Persona 5

P-Studio/Atlus, 2017 (PS4, PS3)

Persona 4 Golden was a masterpiece and can be considered as the culmination of the new Persona recipe which started with Persona 3. However, Persona 5 is the culmination of Atlus’ franchise as a whole in how it readapts and reincorporates elements from the first games in the series. Persona 5 has one of the funniest casts, some of the coolest moments, and one of the best IRL-facts utilizing plot twists that I’ve ever seen in fiction. The Phantom Thieves’ struggle, especially the way they end up being instrumentalized, is very resonating when you’re part of a minority. This makes Persona 5 a really great political game among the plethora (every single one) of Japan’s political games. P5 is simply awesome and one of the coolest things in existence. – Iyane Agossah, Senior Staff Writer

Read DualShockers’ review.

Portal 2

25. Portal 2

Valve, 2011 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Talk about a game that no one really thought would blow up the way that it did. Portal 2 is quite literally the perfect blend of gameplay and story. It’s one of the only games that will have you belly-laughing and screaming in frustration at the same time. Anytime people play puzzle games nowadays, it always seems like the comparison to Portal 2 comes up. If a puzzle game can make that much of a lasting impression on you, it deserves to be recognized as one of the best games of the decade. – Tanner Pierce, Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

24. P.T.

7780s Studio (Kojima Productions)/Konami, 2014

As its name implied, P.T. (aka “Playable Teaser”) was merely meant to be the start of something greater with the highly-anticipated Silent Hills. Unfortunately, in the wake of the infamous split between Hideo Kojima and Konami in 2015, that led to Silent Hills’ untimely cancellation and P.T. being removed from the PlayStation Store. While the game may have been wiped away by Konami, what hasn’t been removed is P.T.’s legacy as a haunting experience in its own right. P.T. serves as a reminder not only of what a truly terrifying horror game can look like, but also of the increasing complications around game preservation that the industry will face in the coming years. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

23. Dota 2

Valve, 2013 (PC)

There are only a few games this decade that I believe really shaped the games industry in significant ways: Dota 2 is one of these games. Along with League of Legends, it helped popularize the MOBA genre, brought significant features that would bleed into other genres, and helped grow the esports industry. For better or worse, Dota 2 was not just influential this decade: it may be one of the most influential games of all-time. – Michael Ruiz, Senior Staff Writer

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

22. Undertale

Toby Fox, 2015 (PS4, Switch, PS Vita, PC)

Undertale is a masterpiece in every way, plain and simple. It is a one-of-a-kind experience that will likely never be replicated. As a young human who falls underground, players are introduced to a myriad of odd yet charismatic characters and creatures, and it is filled to the brim with humor and personality. However, what makes Undertale truly special are the revelations you learn based on how you play. The adorably cute and charming game that it shows at face value has an incredible amount of depth that eventually becomes disturbing and unsettling. All of this created by a one man army in Toby Fox. Oh, and let’s not forget that Undertale has one of the best video game soundtracks of all time– Cameron Hawkins, Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

21. NieR: Automata

PlatinumGames/Square Enix, 2017 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Part action-RPG, part-shoot-em-up, part-hack-n-slash game: NieR: Automata is a blend of genres that, on paper, shouldn’t work. Yet miraculously under Yoko Taro’s direction, this seemingly odd JRPG turned into one of this decade’s most memorable and affecting games. With an engrossing world, memorable characters, and a story that wraps around itself in intriguing, bold ways, NieR: Automata is a true cult classic and its ending(s) will stick with us for the ages. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

20. Bloodborne

FromSoftware/Sony Interactive Entertainment, 2015 (PS4)

While Dark Souls arguably had the biggest role in defining the “Soulslike” genre, Bloodborne is the game that honed it to its purest form. FromSoftware’s PS4 masterpiece took the foundation of the Souls series and elevated it even higher through a faster approach to combat, a haunting gothic setting, and a world that is filled to the brim with secrets, some of which fans are even still finding to this day. Bloodborne is an enrapturing experience, and even nearly five years after its release, I still yearn to go back to Yharnam. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

19. League of Legends

Riot Games, 2009 (PC)

League of Legends has been at the root of so many success stories over the past decade that it’s almost hard to list them all. Without League, the MOBA genre wouldn’t catch on like wildfire, esports wouldn’t be as massive as they are currently, and even streaming platforms like Twitch wouldn’t become such pillars of gaming culture. Riot Games also, like it or not, changed the video game landscape with its free-to-play, live service model for League of Legends that is still going strong to this day. League remains the most-played game in the world and that’s a title that it doesn’t seem like it’ll lose anytime soon as it heads into its 10th Season. – Logan Moore, Managing Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

rocket league

18. Rocket League

Psyonix, 2015 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

As someone that generally doesn’t play many sports games (if ever), Rocket League for me was a game that I just couldn’t put down when it first released. Taking its simple premise to heart of “soccer but with rocket-powered cars,” Rocket League exemplifies gaming at its best by being easy to learn, but far more difficult to master. Thanks to its competitive scene and continued support and new features (now bolstered by crossplay on consoles and PC) by developer Psyonix, Rocket League is easily one of this decade’s winning goals. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

17. The Walking Dead: Season 1

Telltale Games, 2012 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Mobile)

Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the definitive example that gameplay is not the ultimate factor in what makes a game great. Bringing over the mature themes from the comic book it’s based on, The Walking Dead is filled with sorrow, misery, and despair. It takes all the risks it can to tell its story as effectively as possible right up to the final shot. The two main characters, Lee and Clementine, are one of the most compelling and complex duos in gaming history. As Lee, taking care of Clementine, protecting her during the zombie outbreak, and teaching her the important lessons of survival while being confronted with your own personal morals at times still makes for one of the best narrative experiences of the past decade. – Cameron Hawkins, Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review of the first episode.

Super Mario Cereal

16. Super Mario Odyssey

Nintendo EPD/Nintendo, 2017 (Switch)

3D platformers were few and far between over the past decade, but Super Mario Odyssey more than made up for the genre’s scarcity. Equipped with his new ghostly hat, Cappy, Mario’s latest adventure is quite possibly his best ever in the 3D space and sees him equipped with all kinds of new, wonderful abilities. It was also one of the Switch’s first true system-seller experiences alongside the platform’s arrival in 2017. Despite all of this, the biggest success found in Super Mario Odyssey comes in how it looks to the franchise’s past while simultaneously pushing it forward. In many ways, Odyssey really feels like the first entry in the next generation of Mario games. – Logan Moore, Managing Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

15. Pokemon Go

Niantic, 2016 (Mobile)

No other game on this entire list changed everyday life more than Pokemon Go when it launched in 2016. Everywhere you went in the months after its release, you could see people wandering about, staring at their phones and trying to catch Pokemon. Local community venues such as parks saw ten times more foot traffic than normal and people began actually working together and communicating with one another all in the pursuit of finding Pokemon. Heck, even presidential candidates were invoking the game’s name to get brownie points. While the actual gameplay part of Pokemon Go leaves a bit to be desired, it cannot be denied how huge this game’s impact was over the decade, especially when it comes to bringing people together. – Logan Moore, Managing Editor

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

14. Mass Effect 2

BioWare/EA, 2010 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Nine years later, Mass Effect 2 continues to be one of, if not the prime example of world (or should I say universe) building and character depth. It has engrossing details of several alien species regarding their histories and ways of life. While recruiting members for an almost guaranteed suicide mission in the game’s finale, the huge cast of core characters are all memorable due to their unique character designs, personality, and loyalty missions. Whether big or small, your decisions determined whether or not you will succeed in your mission, ending with your team unscathed or falling to shambles and losing the characters you fell in love with throughout your adventure. – Cameron Hawkins, Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review.

The 50 Best Video Games of the Decade (2010-2019)

13. Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar San Diego/Rockstar Games, 2010 (PS3, Xbox 360)

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption is a sweeping tale of the life of an outlaw in the Old West. There are several things worth praise in John Marston’s tale, from the story to the graphics to the horse handling. However, what’s always stood out for me has been the voice acting and music. Rob Wiethoff’s performance as John Marston remains one of my favorites of all time. And I cannot remember a more beautiful cinematic moment in games than when you finally cross over into Mexico and “Far Away” by Jose Gonzalez plays. Plus, Undead Nightmare really set the bar for what post-launch DLC should be. – Ricky Frech, Senior Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Overwatch

12. Overwatch

Blizzard Entertainment, 2016 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

As the first new IP to come from Blizzard in quite some time, Overwatch certainly has left its mark. Recent events and controversies aside, over the past three years Overwatch has built a huge following and reinvigorated the competitive gaming/esports scenes, and provided one of the best multiplayer-oriented experiences of the decade. That of course is in no small part thanks to its endlessly lovable (and endlessly shippable) cast of characters, and that only makes me more curious to see how Blizzard builds on this world in the upcoming Overwatch 2– Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers’ review.

The Witcher 3

11. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, 2015 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

Geralt’s final journey most certainly is his greatest, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt easily left its mark on the last decade. From its stellar writing and characters, to a world that is filled with quests and storylines that are as rich as the storylines in entire games like it, CD Projekt Red crafted one of this generation’s stories to remember, aside from being one of its longest. In both scope and depth, The Witcher 3 is a sight to behold, and it’s a near endless adventure that is worth discovering every inch of. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Games

10. God of War

SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment, 2018 (PS4)

Our most recent Game of the Year winner, God of War, is arguably the game over the past decade that combined stellar gameplay mechanics with an impactful narrative more than any other title. Kratos’ return in 2018 was clearly inspired by games before it like The Last of Us, but it was simultaneously able to retain the DNA found at the roots of the franchise. With some stellar performances from Christopher Judge and Sunny Sujic, it’s a game that you likely won’t want to put down once you start it up. For our money, boy, it’s the best game that you can play on the PS4– Logan Moore, Managing Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Games

9. DOOM

id Software/Bethesda Softworks, 2016 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Google Stadia)

I love the original DOOM. It’s one of my favorite games of all time. So naturally, I was pretty excited about Bethesda and id Software’s reboot. However, I did not expect it to be as good as it is. This decade’s DOOM is a technical masterpiece. There is not a single first-person shooter that feels as good as DOOM. It expertly blends modern and retro shooter mechanics in ways other retro-inspired shooters fail in comparison. Paired with a ripping DOOM-y metal soundtrack and ridiculously fun campaign, it’s no wonder it has received so much praise. DOOM is a masterclass in first-person shooters, and arguably one of the best this decade. – Michael Ruiz, Senior Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Games

8. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

PUBG Corporation/Bluehole, 2017 (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mobile)

Battle Royale games may have been around for some time before 2017, but the genre truly became a breakthrough with the arrival of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. With its record-breaking player counts on PC and its later domination on consoles, PUBG shaped the foundations of what Battle Royale means, energized the space of streaming and competitive gaming, and made us all want to win our very own chicken dinners. While it might have had its throne usurped by Fortnite and other competitors, there is no denying that PUBG is what started off the battle royale of Battle Royale games. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Games

7. The Last of Us

Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment, 2013 (PS4, PS3)

Ask pretty much anyone who plays video games and they’ll tell you how good Naughty Dog’s last game on the PlayStation 3 was. When it comes down to story-driven games, The Last of Us is the best of the best this decade. Its gritty and heartbreaking story has been capturing players ever since its 2013 release and caused it to be a talking point for years. With a sequel set to be released in May 2020, it’ll be tough to live up to expectations, but if anyone can do it though, Naughty Dog can. – Tanner Pierce, Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Games

6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks, 2011 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Bethesda Game Studios’ recent gaffes aside, the studio has created multiple games that stand as pillars of their respective eras, and Skyrim might just be the most successful game the studio has created. As of 2016, the game had sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, and with the game being released on Nintendo Switch and VR in recent years, that number has only continued to soar. There’s a good reason for those lofty sales numbers too. Skyrim was one of the most fully-featured and immersive RPG experiences you could get in 2011, and the modding community has kept that true even as the game nears its tenth year on the market. – Ricky Frech, Senior Staff Writer

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Games

5. Dark Souls

FromSoftware/Bandai Namco Entertainment, 2011 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

No other game this entire decade has been more influential than Dark Souls. While Demon’s Souls was technically the start of the “Soulslike” subgenre, Dark Souls proved to be what would inspire countless developers to borrow ideas from FromSoftware’s new creation and iterate on it endlessly. Nearly every action game since has seemed to glean something from Dark Souls, whether that be large, AAA releases like God of War or indie titles like Hollow Knight. Not to mention, any game that has been even remotely difficult over this decade has likely been referred to either seriously or jokingly as “The Dark Souls of…”. Regardless of whether or not you have the fortitude to play Dark Souls for yourself, its effect on the gaming industry can’t be denied and is still proving to be a foundational title over eight years after its release. – Logan Moore, Managing Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Games

4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Nintendo EPD/Nintendo, 2017 (Switch, Wii U)

Open-world games, perhaps more than any other genre, have defined a lot of the last decade in gaming: you can just take a look back at the rest of this list to see how many of them wound up here. But of all the open-world titles to make our list, it’s undeniable that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had perhaps the biggest impact of them all. Aside from completely reinventing the traditional formula of Zelda, Breath of the Wild led us through a captivating journey that truly defined the meaning of exploration and discovery. To this day, players are still finding hidden secrets within the game, speaking to the ways that Breath of the Wild isn’t just the Nintendo Switch’s best title (and maybe one of Nintendo’s best ever), but one of the defining experiences of the last decade. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.

Games

3. Fortnite

Epic Games, 2017 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mobile)

Literally and figuratively, Fortnite has changed the game when it comes to gaming in the mainstream and culture as a whole. While it started off as a modest PvE horde mode-style experience, in the span of under a year Fortnite became a phenomenon and shifted the landscape of gaming on a wider spectrum. While it’s notable alone for almost single-handedly changing the conversation about cross-platform play, its ongoing support and world-building (again, literally and metaphorically) have led to its memorable events like its Avengers crossover and more. It’s the world’s biggest game for a reason, and while it may be easy to dismiss Fortnite for being “popular,” there’s no denying that the world has its eyes on it. – Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor

Games

2. Minecraft

Mojang, 2009/2011 [Early Access/Final Release] (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PS3, Xbox 360, 3DS, PS Vita, PC, Mobile)

Personally, most of my hundreds of hours spent in Minecraft happened during the alpha, which came out in 2009. However, in my day job I teach at an elementary/middle school: to this day, ten years after I had my moment with Minecraft, it is still one of the three most talked about games in the lunchroom (Fortnite and Roblox being the others). For a game that was released before many of my students were even born to still have that kind of impact is mind-boggling. And, while the Fortnite love is slowly dying with those kids, Minecraft doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. – Ricky Frech, Senior Staff Writer

Games

1. Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar North/Rockstar Games, 2013 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Grand Theft Auto V is the game that just won’t die. Its original release on last-gen hardware proved to be massive in its own right, but upon coming to modern platforms, it experienced a second wind that still hasn’t showed any signs of slowing. To date, Grand Theft Auto V has shipped over 115 million copies around the world and remains near the top of best-seller lists each and every month. Rockstar’s support for the game hasn’t waned either, continuing to provide Grand Theft Auto Online players new content and updates regularly.

While that’s all impressive in its own right, the quality of Grand Theft Auto V can’t be denied whatsoever. Even in the years since its release, GTAV still hasn’t been matched when it comes to the density and explorability of its open-world. It also boasts a novel story that features three of the decade’s most iconic characters in Trevor, Michael, and Franklin.

Grand Theft Auto V was an ambitious project by Rockstar and took all of the developer’s studios around the world to make it come to fruition in the way it did, but the gamble more than paid off as the game now stands as the most-profitable piece of entertainment ever made. For all of these reasons and so many more, it’s easy for us to deem Grand Theft Auto V as the most important game of the past decade. – Logan Moore, Managing Editor

Read DualShockers‘ review.


Fun Facts about our Top 50 Games of the Decade and the selected games:

  • 226 games in total were in consideration/voted for during our Games of the Decade selection process. 57 games ended up making the shortlist (with a seven-way tie for our last 3 slots of the list) before being narrowed down to our final 50. Borderlands 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Persona 4 Golden, and Saint’s Row: The Third were the four other titles considered in our votes for the final 3 slots before deciding on Marvel’s Spider-Man, Titanfall 2, and Inside.
  • 2017 is the year with the most entries on our list at 9, followed by 2018 (8), 2015 and 2013 (6 each).
  • Nintendo and Sony tied as the publisher with the most titles represented on our list (6 games each). Rockstar Games, Kojima Productions, and Nintendo tied for the single developers with the most games on our list (3 each); FromSoftware, Playdead, and Valve followed with 2 games each.
  • Switch and PS4 tied in terms of the most console-exclusive titles on our list (4 each). PS4 was represented by God of War, Bloodborne, P.T., and Marvel’s Spider-Man, while Switch was represented by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver hold the distinction of being the only representatives for their platforms on our list for the Wii and Nintendo DS, respectively. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the only Wii U title that made our list (aside from also being available on Switch). Pokemon Go is the only mobile-exclusive title.
  • Death Stranding is the newest game on our list (released November 8, 2019), while the oldest game is Minecraft (available in early access in May 2009).
  • RPGs were the most well-represented genre on our list overall at 12 games (incorporating RPGs, JRPGs, strategy-RPGs, and action-RPGs), followed by action-adventure (10), first and third-person shooters (8), and platformers (7).
  • Several of DualShockers’ Game of the Year winners in past years were represented on the list, including God of War (2018), Persona 5 (2017), The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015), and Mass Effect 2 (2010).
  • Three of the games on our list (League of Legends, Minecraft, and Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver) were originally released in 2009. HeartGold/SoulSilver were considered eligible because they released in the West in March 2010, and as an ongoing/live-service game, we considered League of Legends eligible for its impact on esports/competitive gaming as a whole in the last decade. Minecraft was available in an early access state as early as May 2009; we considered it eligible for its public, full release in November 2011.