Games of the decade 2010 to 2019

By Gieson Cacho // The Mercury News (TNS)

Picking the best games of the decade is an increasingly tough task. These are the games that had a lasting impact on me. They are the ones that I fondly remember or the titles that I still play today. With that said, here are the games that were the most important to me over the past decade.

  1. Pokemon Go —The magic of Pokemon Go is how it manages to build community. It’s a game that has led to real-life friendships and even a commitment to running. It’s a mobile title that has enriched the lives of players because its a game that exists beyond the screen.
  2. Hearthstone — I couldn’t get into Magic: The Gathering as a teenager but I gave the collectible card game genre another chance with Hearthstone. Part of the success of Blizzard’s game is that the developers simplified the gameplay elements and put it on mobile platforms and tablets.
  3. Dark Souls 2 —Every encounter is fraught with danger and players feel the tension in every fight. Yes, the game is difficult and it can be obtuse at times, but it’s also the most rewarding experience I’ve had this decade.
  4. The Last of Us —The visuals are gorgeous for its time and the gameplay mechanics are solid with a mix action and stealth, but it’s the world that Naughty Dog creates and the actors’ performances that invest players in the characters and transformed how we appreciate games.
  5. Red Dead Redemption — This game kicked off the decade and set the bar for the open-world genre. The beautiful visuals coupled with an intriguing story and memorable protagonist in John Marston made this a game that fans enjoyed living with.
  6. Mass Effect 3 — This title capped off arguably the best video game trilogy in years. It was also the culmination of years of storytelling as BioWare wrapped up a journey that began in 2007.
  7. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild —Breath of the Wild was a big departure from the series’ tried and true formula, but somehow it maintained the ethos of discovery and adventure. It was a series that needed a heavy dose of change and Eiji Aonuma and his team delivered.
  8. Monster Hunter World — The disparity between the popularity of the Monster Hunter franchise in Japan and the U.S. has always been wide, but it has significantly narrowed thanks to this entry in the series. Not only has Capcom produced one of its most visually striking games, but by streamlining the mechanics it made it more approachable and addictive.
  9. Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Brave New World —Few franchises have had its hooks in me like Civilization. The pinnacle of the series is Brave New World, where the team brings in ideas such as the World Congress, tourism and Great Works to add a new layer of depth to the late game. This game continues to be one I return to despite a solid sequel.
  10. Overwatch —Blizzard’s team-based shooter was a hit because it allowed players of all skill levels to compete by allowing them to fulfill different roles. If someone doesn’t great quick-twitch skills or accuracy, they may have a talent at tactics or healing. That makes it more accessible and rewarding. I’ve spent hours playing with my brother and cousins and figuring out our own playstyles.