The last decade has seen the release of some pretty awesome games spanning indie titles, remakes of classic PS1 games, Nintendo’s comeback with the release of the Switch, and everything in between. It’s now the Duck’s turn to honor my top ten games of the decade (not including remakes because that doesn’t quite seem fair). Though I’m only going to get into detail on the #1 spot, I will provide a brief reason for why the other games made my list, as well. Without further ado, my top game of the decade was…
Undertale from 2015. I’m sure there are some out there who are tired of hearing about Undertale, but there was a reason this charming little indie game by Toby Fox became so, so popular. I’ve actually talked about the game a bunch in the past, and I’m sure plenty of you already know about the game’s premise. What made the game unique was not so much the fact that you had choices, but the fact that it could be completed without fighting anyone. It was such a noteworthy concept when so many video games rely on beating your enemies into submission.
To go along with that idea, many of the potential enemies you meet along your journey are actually fully-fleshed out characters. Some are good, some are bad, some are in between. No matter who they are, you make the choice to kill them or spare them, leading to a Pacifist Run, a Genocide Run, or multiple variations on a Neutral Run.
To top it off, the game was pretty darn fun, had an amazing soundtrack (it’s the only game whose soundtrack I own), an interesting story, and, wow, the characters were just so lovable. One of the best parts of the game was simply interacting with the characters and wondering who you were going to meet next. In a lot of games, I find speaking to characters to be really dull. Undertale is pretty much the only game where I want to speak with everyone and see what silly things they’re going to say.
But as I was saying, while Undertale has plenty of positives, the main reason I’ve placed it in my #1 spot is because the morality presented in the game was such a revolutionary and unique concept. After playing video games for nearly two decades up until that point, never before had I played something so different and which made me question the actions I so commonly took in my everyday gaming experiences without a second though. I can’t think of any other game that attempted to make the player feel guilty for doing things that are typically just a normal part of gameplay. (Man, I’m really starting to feel bad for driving into all those people in Jak 2….) Humanizing monsters that would normally just be hacked and slashed for experience, progression, or just because was so outside the box. It’s good to know that there are still some fresh, new ideas out there.
2: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017) – A truly jaw-dropping Zelda experience with an insanely massive open world that I happily got lost in for countless hours.
3: Super Mario Odyssey (2017) – The best Mario game since Super Mario 64.
4: Portal 2 (2011) – An amazing puzzle game and sequel to another really amazing puzzle game. Plus, it has the super entertaining, passive aggressive robot GLaDOS in it.
5: Luigi’s Mansion 3 (2019) – A joy for any Luigi’s Mansion fan. The Last Resort was a pleasure to explore and puzzle my way through.
6: Super Smash Bros Ultimate (2018) – The most massive version of Smash Bros to date, with a roster that includes Rareware’s King K. Rool and Banjo and Kazooie!
7: Rayman Origins (2011) – An amazing platformer with stunning cartoony graphics, a unique soundtrack, and a challenging difficulty level. Plus, it’s the precursor to the equally amazing Rayman Legends.
8: Little Nightmares (2017) – A super unique horror game that doesn’t rely on gore and violence to be scary.
9: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (2011) – A fun and charming JRPG with memorable characters and some cut scenes by Studio Ghibli.
10: Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010) – Thanks for bringing back old-school Donkey Kong Country goodness…and for allowing Tropical Freeze to be made.
Screenshot by Flickr User: mars2999