Best Games of the 2010s – Our Favorite 210 Titles

This is it, folks. The end of the line. Here are our favorite 210 games of the 2010s.

November 22, 2019
The 2010s was probably the most eventful decade in the history of gaming. It saw the rise and fall of crowdfunded games, the advent of independent video game development, the birth of the Early Access program, the downfall and renaissance of Ubisoft, and EA’s uninspired Reddit comment which became the most downvoted comment in the history of the platform.

The 2010s also marked the decade when we (as in myself and Tania) came of age and started viewing video games with a more critical eye. To celebrate this wonderful decade of gaming, we took the time to choose the 210 games that we believe are the best. See you in 2029.

210. OBSERVATION

best games of 2010s observation
Release DateMay 21, 2019
PlatformPlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperNo Code
GenreAdventure

TANIA PREDA ➞ A space adventure-puzzle like no other, Observation is a sci-fi geeks’ dream come true, as it’s riddled with references to many cult sci-fi films and features a captivating plot that puts you in the role of a space station AI trying to uncover the mysterious loss of its crew. It’s very atmospheric, expertly paced and mesmerizing from start to finish. The only downside is that the game is relatively short.

209. Northgard

top 200 games of 2010s northgard
Release DateFebruary 22, 2017
PlatformNintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperShiro Games
GenreStrategy
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ The 2010s had a thing for norse-inspired games. Northgard is a strategy game based on norse-mythology in which you control a clan of Vikings in the midst of colonizing a newfound continent. It’s up to you to manage resources properly and prevent your vikings from getting slaughtered by mythological monsters. It’s pretty basic as a city-builder, but what it does, it does very well.

208. Forza Horizon 4

best games of 2010s forza horizon
Release DateSeptember 12, 2018
PlatformXbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperTurn 10 Studios, Playground Games
GenreRacing
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ The 2010s were good for racing games, and Forza Horizon is amongst the best entries in the genre. Car enthusiasts can drive their dream cars through condensed versions of real world locations, and unlock over 450 cars. We’re not going to get into the mechanics of the game here, but suffice to say, if you’re into racing games, this is a must-try.

207. Unravel

best games of 2010s unravel
Release DateFebruary 9, 2016
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperColdWood Interactive
GenrePuzzle Platformer

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ A cute puzzle-platformer released by Swedish company Coldwood Interactive, Unravel was one of the pleasant surprises of the 2010s. Though some critics raised concers about its controls and puzzle variety, Unravel has been universally praised for its visuals, story, protagonist, pacing and soundtrack. It’s a great choice if you like your platformers and charming visuals in one package.

206. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

best games of 2010s dragon's dogma
Release DateApril 23, 2013
Platform Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperCapcom
GenreAction RPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Challenging combat, great world design and entertaining boss fights. This is the essence of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, both the original version and the expanded edition, which is the one that made our list. The setting is a mishmash between realism and fantasy, emulating elements from both Western and Japanese RPGs. If you like open-world RPGs and you’ve somehow missed Dragon’s Dogma, you definitely have to give it a try.

205. Crypt of the NecroDancer

best games of 2010s crypt of the necrodancer
Release DateApril 23, 2015
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperBrace Yourself Games
GenreRoguelike

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Crypt of the NecroDancer is your average, run-of-the-mill… well, actually, it’s not. It’s a roguelike where you have your character move or attack only if said action matches the beat of the music. It is one of the more novel entries in the roguelike genre, and the best thing about Crypt of the NecroDancer is that, even if you remove the gimmick, it’s still a great game on its own. It’s charming, engaging and highly entertaining. Not to mention that the soundtrack is up there with the likes of Hotline Miami.

204. E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy

best games of 2010s eye
Release DateJuly 29, 2011
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperStreum On Studio
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Let’s put it this way: E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy is a very, very weird game, and hard to summarise in a few words. It also has issues in terms of balancing, a confusing interface, steep learning curve and poorly translated English texts. That being said, as far as experimental games are concerned, Divine Cybermancy deserves praise for its originality, versatile gameplay, eerie and engrossing atmosphere and cyberpunk aesthetic. Underneath its lack of focus and half-baked ideas lies a great RPG. But this game is not for everybody – you’ve been warned.

203.Tropico 4

best games of 2010s tropico
Release DateAugust 26, 2011
PlatformXbox 360, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperHaemimont Games, Feral Interactive
GenreManagement

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ The 2010s saw 3 (three) entries in the acclaimed management/political sim series, but out of them all, Tropico 4 is probably the best. Choose one of the premade avatars inspired by real-life leaders such as Pinochet or Castro or create your own, tend to your citizen’s needs, squash rebellions and lead your nation to prosperity. Of course, that is easier said than done, so it’s up to you whether you choose to become a benevolent ruler or a tyrannical asshole.

202. Anno 1800

best games of 2010s anno 1800
Release DateApril 16, 2019
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperBlue Byte
GenreCity-builder
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ The 2010s saw the Anno series going in the near (Anno 2070) and distant (Anno 2205) future, so going back to a quasihistorical setting was, ironically enough, a breath of fresh air for the series. This time around, the Industrial Revolution is in full swing, so it’s up to the players to build trade routes, establish supply chains, satisfy the needs of artisans and citizens and, overall, oversee the economic output of the faction. It integrates both classic city-building elements and combat on randomly-generated maps. Players also have to worry about tourism this time around, a big money-maker for savvy rulers who know how to manage it.

201. The Forest

best games of 2010s the forest
Release DateMay 30, 2014
PlatformPlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperEndnight Games Ltd
GenreSurvival
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Drawing inspiration from cult films such as Cannibal Holocaust and The Descent, and video games like Don’t Starve, The Forest is a unique take on the survival genre. After crashing on a forested peninsula and having his son kidnapped by an unknown man, the player must survive by exploiting local resources and, eventually, save their kid. Apart from standard survival gameplay elements, the game goes the extra mile by throwing in some moral dilemmas, like whether the island’s cannibalistic tribe is the true enemy and if any action is justified as long as one’s survival is at stake. The Forest shines amongst the plethora of survival games released in the 2010s with beautiful visuals and an engaging, empowering and nonlinear gameplay.

200. Company of Heroes 2

best games of 2010s company of heroes
Release DateJune 25, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperRelic Entertainment
GenreRTS

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Company of Heroes 2 received a lukewarm reception upon release due to its bugs, poor optimization and lack of content. Fortunately, after several patches and content updates, it became one of the last relics of a dying genre (RTS). Company of Heroes 2 boasts a painstakingly realistic recreation of World War 2 to the tiniest of details, from gun sounds, uniforms to random chatter amongst the soldiers. The meat of the game is the multiplayer, where players can test their tactical prowess in intense 1v1 matches, or obliterate each other in 4v4 battles with mortars, artillery strikes and tanks. If you’re a WW2 history buff and like RTSs, this game is a must-play.

199. Eurotruck Simulator 2

best games of 2010s eurotruck simulator
Release DateOctober 19, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperSCS Software
GenreSimulation

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ When it comes to relaxing games, few can beat Euro Truck Simulator 2. However, underneath its deceptive simplicity lies a deeply mechanically complex game with great attention to detail and a high variety of roads and sceneries that offers a great sense of individuality and freedom. These may seem like big words for a trucking game, but trust us, you have to play it to truly feel it. Just writing about it makes me want to install it.

198. Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time

best games of 2010s plants vs zombies
Release DateJuly 9, 2013
PlatformiOs, Android
DeveloperPopCap Games
GenreTower defense

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Look, we know – it’s a mobile game. A free-to-play mobile game. Published by Electronic freaking Arts. But out of all the random trash that one can find on mobile stores, Plants vs Zombies 2 shines not only due to the power of its brand, but also because of its strong gameplay, which needs no introduction after so many years. So if there is one thing we have to be grateful for, it’s that the 2010s gave us a mobile game that we can play during our commutes that’s not a flaming pile of garbage.

197.VVVVVV

best games of 2010s vvvvvv
Release DateJanuary 11, 2010
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
DeveloperTerry Cavanagh, Nicalis
GenrePuzzle Platformer
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ 2D perspective? Check. Zany name? Check. Physics based platforming elements not seen since 1986’s Terminus? Check. Steep learning curve? Oh my god, yes. Released in January 2010, VVVVVV (that’s six of them) kicked-off the indie explosion of the 2010s in big style boasting a retro aesthetic, engaging gameplay and a literal elephant in the room. It’s difficult, but not unfair. It may be a little dated by current standards, but nobody can deny its cultural and historical significance.

196. Satisfactory

best games of 2010s satisfactory
Release DateMarch 19, 2019
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperCoffee Stain Studios
GenreSimulation

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ “Hey, not fair, this game’s in Early Access and Epic Store exclusive”. We know, dog, who do you think wrote this damn thing? Anyway, us including Satisfactory in our list of the best games of the 2010s despite being in Early Access should be a testament to its quality. It’s a first-person open world factory building game (basically Factorio with better graphics) with some 4X elements thrown in for good measure. Players are tasked with, well, building factories, exploring and exploiting the alien planet and, of course, battling alien life forms. It’s deep, it’s engaging and there’s not a lot of games like this one out there.

195. Splatoon 2

best games of 2010s splatoon
Release DateJuly 21, 2017
PlatformNintendo Switch
DeveloperNintendo Entertainment Planning & Development
GenreShooter
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Who would’ve thought that a third-person shooter with anthropomorphic squids would do so well to warrant (an even more ridiculous) sequel? And who cares at this point? You have jetpacks, dual-wield pistols, dodge rolls, shotguns, Inkjets that do exactly what you would expect them to do and oh, did I mention the anthropomorphic squids? It’s great. Like, best games of the 2010s great. Go play it.

194. Skate 3

best games of 2010s skate 3
Release DateMay 11, 2010
PlatformPlayStation 3
DeveloperEA Black Box
GenreSports

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Back when you whippersnappers were playing with your Tamagotchis or whatever, the Tony Hawk series was the thing when it came to skateboarding games. Then came Skate, with its great physics system and relatively realistic approach to skating and turned the genre upside-down. Sadly, its best entry, released in 2010, was also the last, and I would give a hand and an arm for a sequel. Until then, Skate 3 will go down in history as not only as one of the best titles of the decade, but also one of the greatest skating games of all time.

193. The Talos Principle

best games of 2010s talos principle
Release DateDecember 11, 2014
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperCroteam
GenrePuzzle
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ From the makers of a little-known shooter called Serious Sam, The Talos Principle centers around an unnamed android tasked with exploring the worlds made for it by an entity named Elohim. At its core, The Talos Principle is a first-person puzzle game that delves into some pretty intense subjects – global warming, A.I. sentience, and the nature of humanity. Many people have deservedly called this game transformative, not only due to its captivating plot, but also the quality of its puzzles and engrossing atmosphere.

192. Cooked Served Delicious

best games of 2010s cooked served delicious
Release DateOctober 5, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperVertigo Gaming
GenreSimulation

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Ever make a plate of carbonara thinking it would be easy, only to screw it up royally? That’s basically Cook, Serve, Delicious – a restaurant sim that is easy to learn, but hard to master. Cook, Serve, Delicious has players building a restaurant from start to finish and handling the logistics. It’s also accompanied by a charming aesthetic and tons of humor that make you forget how stressful this business is, only to pull you back to reality when chaos strikes and several clients yell that they want their food. It’s deceptively simple, addictive and engrossing.

191. Destiny 2

best games of 2010s destiny 2
Release DateSeptember 6, 2017
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperBungie
GenreFPS

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ At release, Destiny 2 was an objective improvement over its precedessor – better graphics, better gameplay, better story. But if we were to pinpoint the one department where Destiny 2 excelled was the post-launch support. This alone turned Destiny 2 from a so-and-so MMOFPS into one of the best this genre has to offer. And with its recent transition to Steam, things can only go up for Destiny 2.

190. Frozen Synapse

best games of 2010s frozen synapse
Release DateMay 26, 2011
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperMode 7 Games
GenreTurn-based tactics

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Turn-based tactics game also experienced a mini-renaissance in the 2010s, with Frozen Synapse being one of the first. Players assume the role of a commander assisting a resistance movement against a corporate government regime, in a dystopian-cyberpunk setting. The premise of the game is simple: eliminate the other squad before they eliminate you. The graphics may be a tad dated even as indie-retro games go, but the soundtrack is probably one of the best there is, up there with the original Deus Ex, Journey and Hotline Miami.

189. Long Live the Queen

best games of 2010s long live the queen
Release DateJune 2, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperHanako Games, Spiky Caterpillar
GenreRPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Wait, no, don’t scroll down. No, really, don’t get fooled by appearances – Long Live the Queen is not what you think it is. In Long Live the Queen, you assume the role of a princess whose mother (the queen) has suffered an untimely death. Being the official heir, you’d think everything is set in stone. However, the queen’s death has triggered a power vacuum, and everything is up for grabs. Your sole job is to survive until coronation day, but trust us when we say that’s easier said than done. Power-hungry nobles will not hesistate to poison, stab, strangle, throw you off the balcony or all of the above if they get the chance. Obviously, you won’t make it to coronation on your first try, and each subsequent failed run will steer you more and more into the dark side until you become a ruthless sociopath with no moral qualms about eliminating both allies and opponents. Oh, by the way – you’re 14 years old.

188. Monument Valley 2

best games of 2010s monument valley 2
Release DateJune 5, 2017
PlatformiOs, Android
DeveloperUstwo Games
GenrePuzzle
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Similar to its predecessor, Monument Valley 2 was a few steps short of achieving greatness. However, one can’t deny its long-standing influence in the gaming industry. From a visual, mechanical and narrative standpoint, Monument Valley is nearly flawless. The puzzles are built around optical illusions, with players needing to surpass them in order to advance the story. The narrative and the emotional component of the game were influenced by the fact that the devs became parents between the two games. Overall, it’s a deeply emotional, visually stunning puzzle game, one of the best of the 2010s.

187. Super Mario Odyssey

best games of 2010s super mario odyssey
Release DateOctober 27, 2017
PlatformNintendo Switch
DeveloperNintendo Entertainment Planning & Development
GenrePlatformer
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ After all these years, Nintendo still manages to drop Mario hit after Mario hit. However good they were, the title of masterpiece (at least in this decade) has to go to Super Mario Odyssey. It introduced several new mechanics, such as the capturing mechanic, put more focus on exploration and hidden secrets and a banging soundtrack directed by none other than Koji Kondo. This has been an extraordinary decade for the Super Mario series, and we can’t wait to see what Nintendo has in store in the 2020s.

186. Metroid Samus Returns

best games of 2010s metroid samus returns
Release DateSeptember 15, 2017
PlatformNintendo 3DS
DeveloperMercury Steam, Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development
GenreAction-Adventure

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Metroid: Samus Returns is essentially a reimagining of 1991’s Super Metroid 2, with improved visuals, new controls and several new gameplay mechanics such as the ability to fire freely at any range. It’s considered by many fans and critics alike as a return to form for the series, and rightfully so. There’s really not much else to say about this game other than if you own a 3DS and would like the see where the whole Metroidvania trend started, you should check this out.

185. Gone Home

best games of 2010s gone home
Release DateAugust 15, 2013
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperThe Fullbright Company
GenreInteractive Story

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ What Gone Home lacks in gameplay makes up with a compelling narrative, engrossing atmosphere and a infectious sense of familiarity. No matter where you’re from or when you were born, Gone Home’s mid 90’s Washington State setting and comically bland characters feel deeply relatable, on a personal level. Exploring every nook and cranny of the house and revealing bits and pieces of the family’s history, as well as the personalities of the protagonist’s relatives feels weirdly satisfying, even though you’re essentially rummaging through bland household items and 90’s memorabilia. By the way, this game is a time capsule – the devs absolutely NAILED the mid-90’s setting to a point where it makes me feel nostalgic for a period I barely remember. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go watch Daria for the 4th time.

184. Warhammer 40k: Space Marine

best games of 2010s warhammer
Release DateSeptember 6, 2011
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
DeveloperRelic Entertainment
GenreThird-person shooter
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ While Warhammer 40k’s incursions outside of the RTS realm have not been too successful, Space Marine is one of the few lucky exceptions. Space Marine is a simple, honest-to-god third person action game where, in true Warhammer fashion, you smash and kill orks left and right. It may not be too complex, but it does the job well. It’s entertaining enough to satisfy outsiders, and true enough to the Warhammer lore to attract fans. If you’re up for some good ol’ fashioned ork killing, be sure to check this out.

183. The Swapper

best games of 2010s swapper
Release DateMay 30, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One
DeveloperFacepalm Games, Curve Studios
GenrePuzzle Platformer

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ A side-scrolling puzzle-platformer set in the far reaches of space, The Swapper impressed critics and gamers alike for the way it innovated on established game mechanics. You play as a female scavenger stranded on an abandoned researched station who gains the ability (through a device) to clone herself and switch her consciousness between them. The puzzles, and the overall gameplay, are built around this mechanic. The Swapper also deserves praise for its atmosphere, soundtrack and visuals. Fun fact: rather than digital textures, they used handcrafted art assets and clay, which explains the novel visuals.

182. Shadow Warrior

best games of 2010s shadow warrior
Release DateSeptember 26, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperFlying Wild Hog
GenreFPS
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Any game that lets you play as a mercenary ninja-assassin will find a home on our website. But all nepotisms aside, Shadow Warrior, while not being ground-breaking, is entertaining and mechanically satisfying enough to keep players glued to the screen from start to finish. Apart from the stellar sound and visuals, Shadow Warrior has one of the best melee combats in this list. Couple that with the ability to slice enemies into multiple parts, and you get one of the most satisfying first-person shooters of the 2010s.

181. Specs Ops: The Line

best games of 2010s specs ops
Release DateJune 26, 2012
PlatformPlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperYager Development
GenreShooter

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Oh, boy. Back in 2012, much ink has been spilled about Spec Ops: The Line, in particular its anti-war stance, the way it mechanically conveyed the desensitization of soldiers by making the gameplay linear and boring, the subtle way in which it portrayed the gradual mental degradation of the main character, and that scene. Spec: Ops The Line feels more like an interactive version of Generation Kill than a video game, and in the best possible way. It’s shocking, unpredictable, even meta in parts, and it wastes no opportunity to make players feel bad about their actions. As far as anti-war-war games, Spec Ops: The Line is up there with This War of Mine.

180. Watch Dogs 2

best games of 2010s watch dogs 2
Release DateNovember 15, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperUbisoft Montreal
GenreAction-Adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ I think we can all agree that the Watch Dogs franchise benefited greatly from ditching its bland original protagonist and the dirt and grit of Chicago. The second installment is an objective improvement in every possible way, from the gameplay to the story and characters. There’s more hacking, more exploration, more interactivity and if I’m completely honest, more well-rounded characters that feel like actual people and not extras from a bad Black Mirror episode. However, its biggest merit is its self-awareness and the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you were disappointed by the first one, we highly suggest you try out Watch Dogs 2.

179. FEZ

best games of 2010s fez
Release DateApril 13, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperPolytron Corporation
GenrePuzzle Platformer

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ FEZ, and especially its main designer Phil Fish, got a lot of exposure through Indie Game: The Movie. The debates revolving around whether or not FEZ is overrated and Phil Fish’s propensity to causing controversy aside, no one can deny the fact that it brought a lot of interesting things to the table. The gameplay revolves around the rotation mechanic, which allows players to alternate between four 2D views of the 3D world, revealing new paths and platforms and opening previously innaccessible routes. The puzzles are built around this mechanic, and the plane-switches are as fun to play and fiddle around with as listening to a Madlib beat switch. It may not be a ground-breaking masterpiece, but it’s certainly novel.

178. Rayman Legends

best games of 2010s rayman legends
Release DateAugust 29, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
DeveloperUbisoft Montpellier
GenrePlatformer

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ What can we say about Rayman Legends that hasn’t already been said? It’s a stellar game from start to finish – stunning visuals, tight controls, catchy soundtrack and ingenious level design and a wide variety of content. Several outlets and many consumers went as far as calling it one of best platformers of all time, and deservedly so.

177. Monster Hunter: World

best games of 2010s monster hunter world
Release DateJanuary 26, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperCapcom
GenreAction RPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Monster Hunter: World has all the elements that the series has been praised for in one attractive, and more accessible package. The premise of the game is simple: players take control of a monster hunter and are tasked with hunting down monsters, by either trapping them or killing them, in one of the game’s various environments. The player is then rewarded with loot and items to craft better gear to hunt more powerful monsters. It’s an enjoyable and satisfying gameplay loop that encourages players to be persistent and constantly update and revise their hunting strategies. The gameplay itself, combined with the beautifully designed living ecosystems, makes it one of the best games of the 2010s.

176. Jackbox Party

best games of 2010s jackbox party
Release DateNovember 26, 2014
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperJackbox Games
GenreParty Game
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Look man, you may not find The Jackbox Party Pack in many top of all-time lists, but let me tell you something: it’s fun. And stupid. Outrageously stupid. But they can also be an ideal bonding exercise. As our beloved Jum Jum put in his editorial/review of Jackbox “a lot of these games can help you to learn more about your friends, and what they all think about each other”. To grossly misquote an Outkast lyric, sometimes “ya just want to dance”. Or tell stupid jokes. Or deliver elaborately-constructed non-sequiturs. And Jackbox lets you do all of the above.

175. Injustice: Gods Among Us

best games of 2010s injustice gods among us
Release DateApril 3, 2013
PlatformPlayStation 4, Android, PlayStation 3, iOS, Xbox 360
DeveloperNetherRealm Studios
GenreFighting

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Say what you will about their latest cinematic efforts, but when it comes to video games, DC has more than delivered these past few years. Injustice: Gods Among Us is a tight and highly entertaining fighting game that offers a wide roster of both notorious and more “obscure” DC characters – really, Solomon Grundy? Who the hell is that? Each character has its own movements, combos, and fighting styles, so every fight feels unique. It may not have the gore and violence of something like Mortal Kombat, but it doesn’t have to. It’s definitely one of the best fighting games of the 2010s.

174. Banished

best games of 2010s banishes
Release DateFebruary 18, 2014
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperShining Rock Software
GenreCity-builder
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Labelling Banished as a city-builder is not only a stretch, but also goes against what the game is trying to achieve. In Banished, you don’t work towards building bustling cities with complex infrastructures. You’re simply aiding a group of outcasts in their efforts to build a new life for themselves, and making sure they and subsequent generations don’t die of starvation, frost, food poisoning, nasty diseases or all of the above. It may be limited in scope and lacking late-game content, but what it does it does well.

173. Axiom Verge

best games of 2010s axiom verge
Release DateMarch 31, 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperThomas Happ Games
GenreMetroidvania
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Axiom Verge is, above anything else, a love letter to the Metroid series, as Geoff put it. While it lacks somewhat in the map design department and the story is forgettable at best, Axiom Verge compensates with stunning retro visuals and compelling gameplay. It’s certainly not on the same level as something like Dead Cells or Hollow Knight, which are masterpieces in their own right, but as far as Metroidvania games are concerned, Axiom Verge is one of the best the genre has to offer.

172. Halo Reach

best games of 2010s halo reach
Release DateSeptember 14, 2010
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Xbox 360
DeveloperBungie
GenreFPS

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ While the 2010s saw the release of several great Halo games, Halo: Reach was the true turning point of the series. Halo: Reach upped the ante in every possible way by increasing the production value, taking all the elements that made the previous games modern classics and improving them and adding tons of new gameplay mechanics. However, its biggest merit is that it attracted an entirely new generation of players to the series. Halo 4 and 5 may be great games on their own, but neither of them has achieved the same level of cultural and historical impact.

171. Devil May Cry 5

best games of 2010s devil may cry
Release DateMarch 8, 2019
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperCapcom
GenreAction-adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Some have gone so far as to call Devil May Cry 5 a masterpiece of the action genre, up there with the likes of Bayonetta. It features not one, but three playable characters, including fan-favorites Dante and Nero, each with their unique style of fighting and progressions. It has been lauded as a return to form for the franchise, and rightfully so. It’s not only great as a Devil May Cry game, but also one of the best hack and slashes of this decade.

170. This is the Police

best games of 2010s this is the police
Release DateAugust 2, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperWeappy Studio
GenreStrategy
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ A hardboiled detective adventure/ management/ simulator where the lead character is voiced by none other than Jon St. John, a.k.a. Duke Nukem himself? A tale of political intrigue and systemic corruption? What is this, Chinatown? Sign me up!

169. Risk of Rain

best games of 2010s risk of rain
Release DateNovember 19, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperHopoo Games
GenreRoguelike
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Developed by two students at the University Of Washington, Risk of Rain went on to become one of the most critically and commercially acclaimed roguelikes of the 2010s. The biggest hook of the game, apart from the visuals and the gameplay, is that it’s incredibly well-balanced. The devs basically created an AI system just for scaling the difficulty. We’re not smart enough to explain it, but suffice to say, it’s designed to keep players on the edge of their seats, and it works like a charm. The sequel, Risk of Rain 2, which adds a third dimension, is currently in Early Access, but the original is worth a shot.

168. Amnesia: The Dark Descent

best games of 2010s amnesia
Release DateSeptember 8, 2010
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperFrictional Games
GenreSurvival Horror
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember (let’s be honest, you are), but back in 2010, Amnesia: The Dark Descent was all over the place. You couldn’t open a news outlet without seeing an editorial praising it, or browse YouTube without the-then archaic algorithm recommending cringey reaction videos. But all snarkiness aside, while retrospectively, Amnesia wasn’t that groundbreaking, it did manage to revive a comatose genre and lay the groundwork for future horror games. I sincerely don’t think Outlast would exist without Amnesia. It may not be a masterpiece, but its influence can’t be denied.

167. Thomas Was Alone

best games of 2010s thomas was alone
Release DateJune 30, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperMike Bithell
GenrePuzzle Platformer

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Think fast: what’s the last thing that made you cry? A kitten snuggling with a duck? A video of a Golden Retriever carrying a baby back to its crib? Hachiko’s Wikipedia page? How about some geometrical shapes? Yeah, you heard me right. Thomas Was Alone is the kind of game that will make you weep for an overweight cube who can’t climb up a platform, or a rectangle who’s either too slim or too chonky to fit anywhere. But in a weird way, it’s also a game about friendship and acceptance – to solve most puzzles and advance the storyline, players have to arrange the shapes in certain combinations… You know what, now I’m realizing that I’m starting to sound like a madman. Just play the damn game and leave me alone.

166. Tomb Raider

best games of 2010s tomb raider
Release DateMarch 5, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One
DeveloperCrystal Dynamics
GenreAction-Adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ After the disaster called The Angel of Darkness, my expectations for the franchise plummeted to an all time low. I was officially done with the franchise and ready to move on. Naturally, I welcomed the prospect of a reboot with a healthy dose of skepticism, and in a weird twist of fate, it ended up being quite decent. More than decent, actually. It’s polished; it has a great story; graphics that still hold up six years later; engaging combat; decent QTEs; tight platforming elements; Lara managed to gain back her personality lost somewhere between The Curse of the Sword and Underworld. And, most importantly, it’s fun.

165. The Last Guardian

best games of 2010s last guardian
Release DateDecember 6, 2016
PlatformPlayStation 4
DeveloperSony Interactive Entertainment, SIE Japan Studio, Team Ico
GenreAction-adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ The spiritual successor to Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian shares many thematic, stylistic and gameplay elements with the acclaimed 2004 classic. The story follows the connection between a boy and Trico, a gentle, half-bird half-mammal creature. While gameplay is not the strongest feature of the game, The Last Guardian offers probably one of the most emotional experiences in video game history. The bond between the boy and the creature, which grows stronger throughout the story, as well as the character development, are works of art in and of themselves.

164. Nuclear Throne

best games of 2010s nuclear throne
Release DateDecember 5, 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperVlambeer
GenreRoguelike

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Looking back, it wouldn’t be a stretch calling the 2010s “The Decade of the Roguelike”. One of the roguelikes that stood out from the crowd was Nuclear Throne. Boasting the chaos of classic bullet hell games, tight controls, a well-developed perk system and a weird setting, Nuclear Throne was a breath of fresh air and it still holds up today. Oh, and the guns in this game sound AMAZING, so I want to give a big shout out to Joonas Truner, the sound effect designer.

163. Kentucky Route Zero

best games of 2010s kentucky route zero
Release DateJanuary 7, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperCardboard Computer
GenreAdventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Kentucky Route Zero is a point and click game that follows the story of Conway, a truck driver that works as a delivery man for an antique shop. Aaaaand that’s the most boring way to describe this game. This is not a bootleg version of Euro Truck Simulator 2, rather an adventure game with no puzzles or challenges – the focus is put solely on the story and the atmosphere. I’m fully aware that ”David Lynch”-esque is thrown around a lot these days, but honestly, there’s no better way to describe Kentucky Route Zero. It also draws bits and pieces from the likes of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Flannery O’Connor. They’ve released two additional acts since 2013, with a fourth one dropping next year, so make sure to keep an eye on it.

162. Insurgency

best games of 2010s insurgency
Release DateJanuary 22, 2014
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperNew World Interctive
GenreFPS
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ As far as multiplayer shooters are concerned, Insurgency is somewhere between Arma 3 and Rainbow Six: Siege. It’s realistic enough to keep even veteran players on the edge of their seat, but accessible and easy enough to pick up for new players. The sound effects and the presentation, in general, deserve special praise – when a flashbang hits you in the face, you really feel it. It may have been overshadowed by the likes of Rainbow Six: Siege and even Counter Strike: Global Offensive, but if you want to try something in between, give this one a shot (pun totally intended).

161. Darksiders II

best games of 2010s darksiders 2
Release DateAugust 14, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PalyStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360
DeveloperVigil Games, Gunfire Games
GenreAction RPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Darksiders II is a great example of how to make an Action Adventure game with RPG elements. In addition to the tight gameplay mechanics, Darksiders II puts forward vast maps that can be explored either on foot or by horse, with a plethora of dungeons, side quests, mini-bosses and some puzzles, for good measure. Plus, it’s always a pleasure to play as Death itself – you double wield scythes, for crying out loud. How cool is that?

160. Doki Doki Literature Club

best games of 2010s doki doki
Release DateSeptember 22, 2017
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperTeam Salvato
GenreGraphic Adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ If you’ve been following the gaming industry for long enough, you probably already know by now that Doki Doki Literature Club is not what it seems. What starts out as a cutesy, innocent dating sim turns into a creepy, fourth-wall-breaking meta horror. I was one of the naive people going into Doki thinking ”Come on, how bad could it be?”. Let me tell you something: the scars left by Doki will never heal. As one Steam user put it “It’s not free; you just don’t pay with money”.

159. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

best games of 2010s cs go
Release DateAugust 21, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
DeveloperHidden Path Entertainment, Valve Corporation
GenreFPS

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ We couldn’t have done an honest job without including the juggernaut called Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. This game needs no introduction – it’s freaking huge, people are making a living from playing it competitively, Rush B, give me AWP, you know the drill. And please, for the love of God, don’t smoke mid on dust_2 if one of your teammates buys an AWP.

158. Xenonauts

best games of 2010s xenonauts
Release DateJune 17, 2014
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperGoldhawk Interactive
GenreTurn-based Strategy

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Xenonauts is basically X-Com for people who either didn’t like the reboot, or miss the originals. Of course, Xenonauts isn’t just a shoddy clone – the devs took the template of the old series and put their own spin on it. Just like in X-Com, you control a multi-national military organization (called Xenonauts) defending the Earth of an alien invasion, only instead of being set in modern times, the action takes place during the Cold War. You’ll have to balance the needs of your own nation versus the needs of the Earth, manage your funds, recruit scientists and soldiers and, overall, make sure that aliens don’t conquer the world. As always, make sure you don’t name your soldiers after loved ones.

157. Valiant Hearts: The Great War

best games of 2010s valiant hearts
Release DateJune 24, 2014
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, Xbox One, iOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperUbisoft Montpellier
GenrePuzzle
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Valiant Hearts: The Great War managed to somehow convey the brutality and misery of World War I without graphic depictions of blood, gore and violence. The plot, inspired by letters sent by soldiers from the battlefield during the war, centers on four characters who decide to hep a young German soldier find his love. As quirky as that may sound (and the game has a fair share of humour), this is far from your average bittersweet Richard Linkater story. It’s a story about friendship, sacrifice and survival in the face of unspeakable horrors. It’s charming, sad, funny and tragic at the same time. The industry definitely needs more games like Valiant Hearts: The Great War.

156. War for the Overworld

best games of 2010s war for the overworld
Release DateApril 2, 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperBrightrock Games
GenreGod Game

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Remember the first two Dungeon Keeper games? Pretty sad the third one was canceled, right? Don’t worry then – War for the Overworld is here to save the day. This is the true spiritual successor to the cult hit series of dungeon sims. Similar to Dungeon Keeper, players build intricate dungeons with deadly traps to kill heroes that enter. Since not even Underlods rule alone, players have to hire armies of dastardly minions to dig, build, and fight foes. The funniest thing to me is that the minions are actually paid contractors and not enslaved, which leads me to believe that the undeworld must have some strong labor laws in place. Or maybe the minions managed to unionize sometime before the events of the game? Whatever. You can still slap the minions, tho.

155. Soma

best games of 2010s soma
Release DateSeptember 22, 2015
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperFrictional Games
GenreSurvival Horror

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ When I said the 2010s were good for horror games, I wasn’t exaggerating – we got Amnesia, Outlast and Soma in the span of just five years. Soma, made by the same guys who made Amnesia, takes the story from the early Victorian Era to an underwater research facility in the year 2104. Initially a sophisticated facility built by two major conglomerates, it has fallen in disrepair after a comet devastated the Earth and became the last outpost of humanity. The game employs a System Shock-like system of delivering lore, and most of the horror elements, through audio logs, tapes and notes scattered throughout the station. It also delves into heavy subjects such as what it really means to be human, but saying more would spoil the whole fun. If you’re looking for Blade Runner mashed psychological horror, make sure to check out Soma.

154. Oxenfree

best games of 2010s oxenfree
Release DateJanuary 15, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperNight School Studio
GenreGraphic Adventure

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Even in the context of the indie explosion of this weekend incentivizing more developers to experiment than ever, games with coming-of-age stories are still relatively rare. Oxenfree is a wonderfully-written and paced supernatural thriller coming of age story that takes elements from all over the place – especially 1980s teenage horror films. It also has an intelligent conversation system which changes the story and other elements based on your decisions, a catchy synth-pop soundtrack, and tons of voice talent from other acclaimed games, like The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead. If you liked Always Sometimes Monsters and Night in the Woods, Oxenfree is a must-play.

153. Limbo

best games of 2010s limbo
Release DateJuly 21, 2010
PlatformPlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperPlaydead
GenrePuzzle

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Melancholic, artfully designed and uncannily creepy in parts, Limbo is one of the games that defined the 2010s. At its core, Limbo is a straightforward 2D side-scrolling puzzle adventure thingy that requires players to take a creative approach to advance the story. However, Limbo subverted the tropes of the genre right from the get-go, with its twisted, dark world filled with traps, creepy enemies, and terrifying, oppressive vistas. Weirdly enough, the puzzles, as well as the death animations, reveal a bleak and twisted sense of humour, as if the devs realized that players will need the occasional relief from the horror and dread.

152. Legend of Grimrock 2

best games of 2010s legend grimrock
Release DateMarch 18, 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperAlmost Human
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ While Legend of Grimrock revived a dead genre, the sequel improved it, refreshed it and made it appealing for the current generation. Like its predecessor, Legend of Grimrock II is a tile-based real-time dungeon crawler (a real tongue-twister, I know). You control a party of four adventurers through a 3D grid-based world, in first person view through numerous biomes, dungeons and multi-height levels. Progression revolves around a healthy mix of puzzle solving and combat. Legend of Grimrock 2 is a fresh and modern take on a rare genre, so if you want to play a modern version of Dungeon Master, make sure to check this out.

151. Firewatch

best games of 2010s firewatch
Release DateFebruary 9, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperCampo Santo
GenreAdventure

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Say what you want about Firewatch, but nobody thought it would become so popular. The story follows Henry, a fire lookout in the Shoshone National Forest. Set one year after the real-life Yellowstone fires of 1988, the story revolves around a series of suspicious events and Henry’s efforts to uncover the mystery. Though criticized for its myriad of bugs and ending, Firewatch is a pinnacle of the adventure genre (or walking sims, whatever you want to call them), together with Gone Home and What Remains of Edith Finch. It has stunning visuals inspired by New Deal advertisments, an intriguing story and flawless writing – one of the best of the decade, without a doubt.

150. Fable 3

best games of 2010s fable 3
Release DateOctober 26, 2010
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Xbox 360
DeveloperLionhead Studios
GenreAction RPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ In some ways, Fable III is more of a lateral step than a step forward – it’s basically Fable II with higher production values and simplified gameplay. While the game suffers from lackluster combat mechanics and repetitive side-quests, Fable III compensates with a compelling story and clever writing. The world is gorgeous and brimming with humour and personality, even more so than previous entries in the series. Fable III manages to pull players into its world and make them care about the story and characters. Plus, look at the voice cast – Ben Kingsley, Stephen Fry, Simon Pegg, Michal Fassbender. It’s ridiculous.

149. Enter the Gungeon

best games of 2010s enter the gungeon
Release Date2016
PlatformNintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperDodge Roll
GenreRoguelike
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ In a decade stacked with roguelikes, Enter the Gungeon managed to stand out from the crowd by adopting elements from bullet hell shooters and focusing the gameplay around building the most ridiculous weapons imaginable. Equally ridiculous is the gun-themed aesthetic of the game, as Enter the Gungeon has you fight all manners of gun-related creatures – like living bullets. It’s a compelling and mechanically flawless roguelike. It’s brutally difficult, but chances are you’ll be too busy laughing at the absurdity of the world to be angry.

148. A Way Out

best games of 2010s way out
Release DateMarch 23, 2018
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperHazelight Studios
GenreAction-adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Ever wanted to see how it’s like to escape from a maximum-security prison with your buddy in a split-screen cooperative multiplayer action-adventure third-person game but you never could because you, well, live in the real world? Then you have to play A Way Out. Players control Vincent and Leo, two convicted prisoners who must break out of prison and avoid getting caught by authorities. What’s interesting about this game is that, though the players need to collaborate to achieve their goals, their stories are often desynchronized – one may play the game while the other is watching a cutscene. It also comes with a plethora of minigames and a surprisingly emotional and well-written story, so players who aren’t necessarily attracted by the gimmick can enjoy the compelling plot.

147. Terraria

best games of 2010s terraria
Release DateMay 16, 2011
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperRe-Logic
GenreAction-adventure

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Since its release, Terraria, together with Half Life 2 and Left 4 Dead, has joined the ranks of the games that absolutely everyone owns on Steam (no, really, show me a person who doesn’t). Terraria is essentially the ultimate basebuilding/survival/sandbox game. You exploit the resources in a procedurally generated 2D world, build stuff and fight waves upon waves of monsters and critters, all while trying to survive. It’s pretty straightforward compared to other survival games, but that’s precisely what makes it so appealing.

146. Tyranny

best games of 2010s tyranny
Release DateNovember 10, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperObsidian Entertainment
GenreRPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Tyrrany is essentially a high-fantasy RPG, but in reverse. The forces of evil led by Kyros have already conquered most of the world, and the only thing standing between him and total domination is a rebellion brewing amongst his forces. You, the Fatebinder, one of the higher-ranked members of Kyro’s circle, are sent to impose order and squash the rebellion. The game presents the player with a multitude of options and choices, with the most interesting being deciding how the Fatebinder influenced the previous 3 years of conquest during character creation. Though short, Tyranny is an interesting experiment in game development that subverts most of the genre’s tropes

145. The Division 2

best games of 2010s the division 2
Release DateMarch 15, 2019
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
DeveloperMassive Entertainment, Ubisoft Reflections, Red Storm Entertainment, FreeStyle Games
GenreAction RPG
TANIA PREDA ➞ What the first The Division game couldn’t achieve was successfully implemented by its sequel. The Division 2 takes place in a post-apocalyptic world after an outbreak wipes out a large part of humanity. However, there are no zombies in it. Instead, it’s a really fun co-op, online game that has good weapon mechanics, beautiful visuals, and takes place in destroyed Washington that, ironically, feels alive and dynamic.

144. Prey

best games of 2010s prey
Release Date5 May 2017
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperArkane Studios
GenreFPS

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Some critics described Talos 1, a space station which serves as the setting of Prey, as a “luxurious sci-fi playground”, while many criticized its combat and parts of the story. That’s fair. So why is Prey so high on this list? Because once every ten years, there comes a game that is so marvelously executed in some parts that you’re willing to forgive it for its other shortcomings. Prey falls into that category. The setting is so well-crafted that the lackluster combat and thin plot can become minor inconveniences rather than full-on dealbreakers.

143. Starcraft II

best games of 2010s starcraft 2
Release DateJuly 27, 2010
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperBlizzard Entertainment
GenreRTS
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ With its second installment, Starcraft went from a popular classic to a worldwide phenomenon. In fact, it became almost synonymous with the concept of esports and wise-cracking sports anchors belittling competitive gaming. Starcraft 2’s success is all the more baffling considering the fact that it belongs to a genre that has been clinically dead for the last ten to 15 years. But, whether we like it or not, Starcraft 2 has had a huge cultural impact in the 2010s and will probably continue to do so in the following decade.

142. Return of the Obra Dinn

best games of 2010s return of the obra dinn
Release DateOctober 18, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperLucas Pope
GenrePuzzle

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ If you were surprised by how entertaining playing a border agent is in Papers Please, wait until you pick up Return of the Obra Dinn. You play as an insurance adjuster who is trying to determine what happened aboard the Obra Dinn after it disappeared for five years and returned to port. Boring, right? Wrong. Return of the Obra Dinn plays out as a classic whodunit, where players are tasked with working out the sequence of events aboard the ship by either using the Memento Mortem, a device that when activated plays back the audio of certain events, or by finding clues. Return of the Obra Dinn comes with a stunning aesthetic and an intriguing plot, and uncovering the mystery bit by bit was one of the best gaming moments I’ve experienced this decade.

141. Octopath Traveler

best games of 2010s octopath traveler
Release DateJuly 13, 2018
PlatformNintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperSquare Enix
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Octopath Traveler has all the makings of a classic RPG, but with a modern twist. It features a stunning aesthetic termed “HD-2D” by the devs, which combines Super NES character sprites with high-definition effects. It’s a gorgeous game with equally solid gameplay, nail-biting turn-based battles, and tons of stuff to do and explore. If you’re looking for an old-school NES/SNES RPG made for modern audiences, look no further than Octopath Traveler.

140. Observer

best games of 2010s observer
Release DateAugust 15, 2017
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperBloober Team
GenrePsychological Horrror
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Observer, starring the late Rutger Hauer of Blade Runner fame, is a psychological cyberpunk detective game set in Krakow, in 2084 (wink wink), after a ”digital plague” killed thousands of people and led to war and rampant drug use. Though small in scope, the game has received praise for its minimalistic setting, terrifying hacking sequences, visual and sound effects, puzzles, labyrinthian plot and the performance of the late Rutger Hauer. It may favor style over substance in parts, but the overall execution is masterful.

139. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

best games of 2010s middle earth shadow of mordor
Release DateSeptember 30, 2014
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperMonolith Productions, Feral Interactive
GenreAction-adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Let’s be honest here: without the nemesis system, Shadow of Mordor could’ve joined the ranks of average, but forgettable action-adventure games. And if the rest of the game wasn’t mechanically tight and fun to play, the nemesis system could’ve been just a gimmick. The nemesis system is so novel and interesting that it’s easy to forget how good a game Shadow of Mordor is overall. But yeah, pitting orcs against each other is much more satisfying than slashing them up.

138. Kerbal Space Program

best games of 2010s kerbal space program
Release DateApril 27, 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperSquad
GenreSimulation
TANIA PREDA ➞ Build your very own space program and launch your cute little astronauts into space. If it only were as simple as it sounds. Kerbal Space Program appeals to the aspiring engineers in all of us who want to take a shot at buildings rockets. Until it all goes to hell and explosions happen. There’s nothing quite like it. Perhaps something like Space Engineers, but it doesn’t quite get as specific as Kerbal Space Program. Luckily, a sequel is coming.

137. Infamous Second Son

best games of 2010s infamous second son
Release DateMarch 21, 2014
PlatformPlayStation 4
DeveloperSucker Punch Productions
GenreAction-adventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ This game can really make you feel like a superhero or a villain depending on your choices. The story is classic and mostly what you’d expect. You won’t be getting any twists or surprises, but the gameplay is truly entertaining and it gives you options on how you want to play the game. Will you be using your cool, shiny powers for good or bad? Each one is worth playing through. It’s very satisfying to play and one of the better superhero-like games out there.

136. Frostpunk

best games of 2010s frostpunk
Release DateApril 24, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer11 bit Studios
GenreCity-builder
TANIA PREDA ➞ Rule over a frozen city in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and see how well you’d manage. Frostpunk has an interesting way of showing the consequences of your actions and proving that you can’t make everyone happy, no matter your good intentions. Each law you choose can make matters better or worse. Each time you try to save up energy, people will freeze and suffer. It challenges you to reign during times of impoverishment, sickness, and harsh weather. And most of the time, you will lose people on the way. Or at least, they’ll lose a couple of limbs to frostbite.

135. Dust: An Elysian Tail

best games of 2010s dust an elysian tail
Release DateAugust 15, 2012
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperLimited Run Games
GenreAction RPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ More of a platforming game at heart than a metroidvania, Dust: An Elysian Tail is a gorgeous, hand-drawn game that follows the story of an amnesiac warrior known as Dust and his flying fox Fidget. The game offers a fluid and masterfully animated combat system, tight platforming, and an incredible soundtrack. Our colleague Smoghtown also lauded Dust for its exploration elements, while noting that the game can get repetitive – which is a fair assessment. It’s one of the most gorgeous games to bless our screens this decade, so make sure to give it a shot.

134. Darkwood

best games of 2010s darkwood
Release DateAugust 18, 2017
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperAcid Wizard Studio
GenreSurvival horror
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ The twisted Soviet life simulator Darkwood impressed audiences with its surreal visuals, psychological horror elements, and twisted characters. The first few minutes of the game have you (a demented doctor) kill your dying dog, abduct a stranger, interrogate him, switch to the stranger’s perspective, engineer an escape from the doctor, black out, and wake up in a new place. Yeah, it’s crazy. Darkwood features a semi-open world brimmed with side-quests and NPCs to trade and interact with, and a day/night cycle. During the night, players must retreat to their hideout and defend against intruders. And that’s just scratching the surface. Darkwood is a gloriously twisted game that will definitely leave a mark on you.

133. Doom 2016

best games of 2010s doom 2016
Release DateMay 13, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Developerid Software
GenreFPS
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Doom 2016, the long-awaited reboot of the franchise, was everything people were hoping and expecting. It recaptures the spirit of the classic Doom while adding in some much-needed modern elements and a plot that I actually gave a damn about. Everything from the graphics, exploration, level design to shooting mechanics and soundtrack (MAN DOES IT SLAP) is excellent. Killing demons and other nondescript abominations from hell has never felt better. Can’t wait for the next one.

132. Celeste

best games of 2010s celeste
Release DateJanuary 25, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperMatt Makes Games
GenrePlatformer
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Celeste a modern classic. It’s been universally praised for its story, gameplay, atmosphere and beautiful pixelated aesthetic, with many considering it a landmark title. A lot of ink has been spilled on the merits of Celeste – the tight platforming mechanics, emotional storyline, fleshed-out protagonist, there’s really not much to complain about. It’s excellent. Celeste is an essential gaming experience.

131. Torchlight II

best games of 2010s torchlight 2
Release DateSeptember 20, 2012
PlatformNintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One
DeveloperRunic Games
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ If the first Torchlight was nothing more than a decent alternative to Diablo III, the franchise bloomed with the sequel and finally became its own thing. The sequel is a marked improvement over the first one – more loot, more monsters, more spells, more skills, more hub towns, more loot, you get the idea. Not only is the campaign longer, but you can now play it with friends. If you like hack and slash RPGs and sorting through tons of loot, Torchlight II is a must-play.

130. The Stanley Parable

best games of 2010s stanley parable
Release DateOctober 17, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperGalactic Cafe
GenreInteractive Story
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ The Stanley Parable was a trope-subverting, genre-bending, fourth-wall-breaking, meta overnight sensation that essentially turned the gaming industry upside down. It plays around with player expectations and well-established gaming conventions with the nonchalance of a master puppeteer. And now I’m realizing that talking about this game is so hard without spoiling the experience, so I’ll leave you with this: The Stanley Parable is a masterpiece of experimental gaming, and you owe it to yourself to try it out.

129. Overcooked 2

best games of 2010s overcooked 2
Release DateAugust 7, 2018
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperTeam17 Digital Limited
GenreSimulation

TANIA PREDA ➞ Overcooked 2 manages to bring a lot of silly fun that can get surprisingly intense. It encourages cooperation, coordination, and communication in a way that few games really can without severe consequences. And some proper yelling, but what’s a fight between friends when they forgot to chop that freaking salad? And it’s all fun and games until the floor starts moving. The developers also keep it updated, add DLCs, and special events that just the host player needs to own.

128. That Dragon Cancer

best games of 2010s that dragon cancer
Release DateJanuary 12, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperNuminous
GenreAdventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ That Dragon Cancer was inspired by the experiences that Ryan (lead designer) and Amy Green (lead writer) had after their third child Joel was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at just twelve months of age. The Greens’ story, which stretches from the moment Joel was born to his diagnosis and his death, is presented through a series of vignettes that oscillate between grittily realistic to highly abstracted. To say that this game is an emotional rollercoaster is an understatement. But as tragic as the story is, the game’s central message is that people should not be afraid to open up to others about the loss of loved ones. That Dragon Cancer’s greatest merit is that it helped thousands of other people cope and share their experiences.

127. Final Fantasy XV

best games of 2010s final fantasy 15
Release DateNovember 29, 2016
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperSquare Enix Business Division 2
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Final Fantasy XV is not only one of the best games of the 2010s, but also one of the greatest the franchise has produced. The 15th entry of the series has all the makings of a high-quality Final Fantasy game – great character interactions, interesting side-activities, eye-catching design, catchy soundtrack, and well-written companions. Though the story is not on par with previous games, it’s good enough to keep players interested.

126. Sunless Sea

best games of 2010s sunless sea
Release Date6 February 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4
DeveloperFailbetter Games
GenreRoguelike
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Sunless Sea is a Lovecraftian, cosmic-horror roguelike game where you navigate the shady, monster-infested waters of an underground sea (sorry, ZEE) and meet various eccentric characters and take quests from several settlements including Fallen London and transport mummies and oh my god, what is this? I’ll tell you what it is – it’s one of the best written and most interesting games of the decade. It’s funny and twisted, and terrifying at the same time. Granted, Sunless Skies, the sequel, is in many ways superior, but Sunless Seas takes the crown this time. Maybe Sunless Grounds will make our list in 2029?

125. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

best games of 2010s sekiro
Release DateMarch 22, 2019
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperFromSoftware
GenreAction-adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Sekiro deserves the first spot in a separate article titled “Top X Games that Fooled Its Fans”. It’s similar enough to Dark Souls to instill a fake sense of security in veterans of the series but derivative enough to offer a fresh challenge. I fell into the same trap. I thought I had Sekiro nailed from the first moments, only to get absolutely crushed halfway through the tutorial level. And let’s be honest, you too (yes, you, reading this) had the same experience. You absolute buffoon.

124. Superhot

best games of 2010s superhot
Release DateFebruary 25, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperSuperhot Team
GenreFPS
TANIA PREDA ➞ Superhot was an innovator and a John Wick simulator before John Wick was even a thing. It may look simple, but some of the levels can be quite challenging, considering you’re almost literally a glass cannon. However, beyond the very futuristic-like aesthetic, Superhot will make you feel really, really cool as you shoot down bad guys and skillfully avoid attacks in slow motion. It will take all your attention and just a tiny bit of strategy, but at its core, it’s meant to make you feel like a badass and succeeds.

123. Xenoblade Chronicles

best games of 2010s xenoblade chronicles
Release DateJune 10, 2010
PlatformNintendo Switch, Wii
DeveloperMonolith Soft
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ The explosive debut of one of the most critically and commercially successful series of all time, Xenoblade Chronicles essentially took all the things that fans loved about Final Fantasy and put their own spin on them. Everything, from the battle system, quest design, and UI was refreshed and made more accessible (not dumbed down) for modern audiences. Xenoblade Chronicles was a breath of fresh air in a genre that was becoming stale, and for that, it deserves a spot in our best games of the decade list.

122. Gunpoint

best games of 2010s gunpoint
Release Date3 June 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperSuspicious Developments
GenrePlatformer
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Gunpoint is a wonderfully animated and stylized stealth-based platforming game where you play as an Inspector Gadget-type private detective. The majority of your in-game time is spent infiltrating buildings, avoiding guards, bypassing security systems using a wide range of high-tech gadgets and overall being a suave, cigarette-smoking, trenchcoat-wearing badass. The writing is good, the story excellent and the characters range from stock-noir archetypes to… okay, I guess? It’s short but sweet. We need more games like Gunpoint.

121. Gris

best games of 2010s gris
Release DateDecember 13, 2018
PlatformNintendo Switch, iOS, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperNomada Studio
GenrePlatformer
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ An emotional, visual and mechanical masterpiece, Gris is one of those games that will draw at least a tear or two from you. It deals with all manners of heavy subjects, like loss, grief, depression, mental anguish and all that with absolutely no text. The story is conveyed through the soundtrack and the gameplay. Similar to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Gris managed to find a way to tell its story by using the tools of the medium, and not through bouts of empty, endless exposition. Gris is striking, emotional and hauntingly beautiful.

120. Atom RPG

best games of 2010s atom rpg
Release DateDecember 19, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperAtomTeam
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ If you miss the spirit and feel of the classic Fallout games, you have to try Wasteland 2… wait, wrong entry. I meant to say ATOM RPG. This time around, you’re not roaming the retro-futuristic 50s wasteland of the United States, but the decrepit, less glitzy and tongue-in-cheek wastelands of the Soviet Union. The devs went full in with the setting, so lovers of deep lore will have a blast with this game. The more you play it, the more you realize how close in spirit it is to its inspiration, as it has all the perks, quirks and mishaps of classic Fallout. If you love old-school CRPGs, you owe it to yourself to give ATOM RPG a shot.

119. Astroneer

best games of 2010s astroneer
Release DateFebruary 6, 2019
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperSystem Era Softworks
GenreAdventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ This little indie game oozes with charm. The visuals in Astroneer are polygon-based with a beautiful color palette and a remarkably satisfying sound design. As cute, little astronauts, you and your friends get to build a base for yourselves, using the resources you find on the odd and seemingly innocent planet. The world is procedurally generated, so you’ll get different terrain each time you start a new game. It offers replayability and a really fun time to play with friends.

118. Europa Universalis 4

best games of 2010s europa universalis 4
Release Date13 August, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperParadox Development Studio
GenreGrand Strategy
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ I think we can all agree that, as of 2019, Europa Universalis 4 is a totally different game than it was six years ago at release. That’s the nature of a Paradox game: evershifting, everchanging, ever chock-full of DLCs. Thankfully, most of the changes benefited the game, and Europa Universalis 4 is in a better shape than ever. If you’ve never heard of Europa Universalis 4, it’s a grand strategy game where players can take control of one of the over 500 nations from the Late Middle Ages through the Early modern period. You conduct trade, strike diplomatic deals, conquer territory, colonize the New World, establish supply lines and yeah, this game is too massive to cover here. Despite its sheer size and complexity, it’s much easier to pick up than other grand strategy games. It strikes the perfect balance between Civilization and hardcore Paradox titles such as Victoria II. Pro tip: turn off Iroman Mode on your first run and read a couple of guides before buying any DLC.

117. Wasteland 2

best games of 2010s wasteland 2
Release DateSeptember 19, 2014
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperinXile Entertainment
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ If the prospect of a post-apocalyptic Soviet wasteland doesn’t seem enticing, then you have to play Wasteland 2. In a weird way, it’s the spiritual predecessor to Fallout, because the first Fallout started out as a spin-off series to the original Wasteland, which came out in 1988. This is public knowledge by now, but I wanted you to know that I know, m’kay? Anyway, in Wasteland 2, you take control of a squad of Desert Rangers (basically desert cops) and set out to discover why a fellow ranger was killed. On your way, you get to interact with a variety of weird factions, like nuke-worshipping monks, nomads, robots, raiders over two major areas, Arizona and Los Angeles. It’s a rich, detailed and twisted world made all the juicier by the great writing and compelling characters. As always, make sure to read a couple of guides before diving into Wasteland 2, as this is the kind of game where you can create useless characters if you don’t know what you’re doing.

116. Civilization V

best games of 2010s civilization 5
Release DateSeptember 21, 2010
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperFiraxis Games
GenreTurn-based strategy
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Though Civ 6 was improved by subsequent updates and DLCs, we feel like the Civ 5 package with all of its additions, is better as a whole and worthy of a spot in our list. Civ 5 was the one to strike the perfect balance between complexity and accessibility, and it was also the one that brought an entirely new generation to the series.

115. Arma 3

best games of 2010s arma 3
Release DateSeptember 12, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperBohemia Interactive
GenreFPS
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Arma 3, the pinnacle of the Arma series, is the Operation Flashpoint 2 that we never got. To say that Arma 3 is a deeply complex and realistic military first-person shooter would be, quite frankly, redundant. It has a ridiculously steep learning curve, and I don’t mean hard in the sense that it takes a couple of hours to get the hang of it, rather hard in the sense that you have to take a physics course to learn how bullet trajectories and ballistics work. The game offers two large islands, Atlis and Tanoa (with the first covering 270 sq kilometers), which feature photo-realistic terrain and water environments. While the single-player campaign is serviceable and has you conduct everything from lone wolf infiltrations to large scale armored operations, the real meat of the game is multiplayer. It’s not the run and gun type of shooter and it’ll take you several hours before scoring the first kill, but when you master it, man, does it feel good.

114. Beyond Two Souls

best games of 2010s beyond two souls
Release DateOctober 8, 2013
PlatformPlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperQuantic Dream
GenreAdventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ The story of a young girl who seems completely normal, going through the usual motions and drama of any teenager. Except she’s tethered to the other side by a spirit. And developed by Quantic Dreams. You can already imagine the stunning visuals and brilliant cinematics that come out of this game, likely thinking that this could’ve done well as a movie. While the gameplay might not seem the most exciting considering the player’s input is sometimes minimal, the transition between “entities” is handled so well that it makes Beyond Two Souls an incredibly fun experience. The story is heartwrenching, brutal, and wonderful at the same time. It’s unique at its core and a twist to the coming-of-age narrative.

113. Yakuza 0

best games of 2010s yakuza 0
Release DateMarch 12, 2015
PlatformPlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperSega
GenreAction-adventure

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Yakuza 0 is a stylish crime story set between 1988 and 1989 in fictionalized recreations of Tokyo and Osaka where players take control of two up-and-coming criminals who are eager to climb the ladder of Japan’s underworld. Yakuza 0 marked the debut of the series on PC, and it’s the best game the series has so far produced. It features a stellar cast of voice actors, excellent writing and storytelling, fun brawling-focused gameplay mechanics, a variety of side missions that range from funny to absolutely ridiculous and a bustling, gorgeously recreated nightlife that deserves its own article. Yakuza 0 is a highly entertaining gangster epic that, unlike Mafia 2 and 3, is actually fun to play.

112. Control

best games of 2010s control
Release Date27 August 2019
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperRemedy Entertainment
GenreThird-person shooter
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Written by none other than Sam Lake, Control is a return to form by a company that produced the ambitious, but mildly disappointing Alan Wake and Quantum Break. Control takes place inside the Oldest House, a massive, nondescript Brutalist skyscraper in New York City with a constantly shifting interior and also the headquarters of FBC (basically an FBI that investigates paranormal activities). You control (hah!) Jesse, an FBC agent that eventually learns to exploit the paranatural elements inside the building – which is the basis of the gameplay. The Oldest House has a Metroidvania-like design, with areas unlocking once players hit a certain point in the story or obtaining the proper abilities. Control is a great action-adventure game, probably the best Remedy Entertainment has produced, with stellar production values, great writing, and a fleshed-out protagonist. Plus, smashing stuff via paranormal powers is always fun.

111. Total War: Three Kingdoms

best games of 2010s total war three kingdoms
Release DateMay 23, 2019
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperCreative Assembly
GenreStrategy
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ With twelve factions, a refined diplomatic system and a focus on character interaction and development, you can’t help but wonder if the people Creative Assembly are avid Crusader Kings 2 players. That’s because Total War: Three Kingdoms feels more like a Paradox-style grand strategy game built on the template of Total War than, well, a Total War game. And it works like a charm. The devs took full advantage of the Three Kingdoms period (220-280), managing to convey the political intrigue and machinations of the period in gameplay form. There are lots of facets to cover here, but the fact that the generals form relationships with other characters and have unique personalities and needs that players need to address is by the far the best feature of the game. Three Kingdoms is the peak of the series and I hope the devs will use it as a model for future sequels.

110. Shadowrun: Hong Kong

best games of 2010s shadowrun
Release DateAugust 20, 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperHarebrained Schemes
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Due to the fact that it essentially resurrected a dormant series and genre, consumers and reviewers alike were willing to forgive Shadowrun Returns’ many shortcomings. After Dragonfall, Shadowrun: Hong Kong is the grand finale and the peak of the series. The story takes place in a near-future version of Hong Kong, which is effectively controlled by corporations. The game is as cyberpunk as it can get, from cool-sounding classes like Street Samurai, shady characters, sleazy slums to plots involving corporate espionage and neon-lit alleyways. It may pale in comparison to more recent cRPGs in certain areas, but the story, writing, and style compensate for that. If you like cyberpunk, old-school isometric RPGs and dwarf hackers, you have to try this game out.

109. Salt and Sanctuary

best games of 2010s salt and sanctuary
Release DateMarch 15, 2016
PlatformPlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Nintnedo Switch, Xbox One
DeveloperSka Studios
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ These days, the term “souls-like game” is thrown around so much that it lost any meaning. However, when it comes to Salt and Sanctuary, labeling it as such is fair – because it is basically Dark Souls in 2D. The two games share the same themes, atmosphere, asynchronous multiplayer and brutal, but fair combat. It’s moody, atmospheric and challenging – exactly like its inspiration.

108. Hyper Light Drifter

best games of 2010s hyper light drifter
Release DateMarch 31, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch,
DeveloperHeart Machine
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Hyper Light Drifter is based on the vision of the lead developer, Alex Preston, who had been born with congenital heart disease and spent most of his life in and out of the hospital. He envisioned the game as an outlet to express something personal, but identifiable to a larger audience. Hyper Light Drifter is a game of contrasts – scenes of intense action broken by moments of quiet and abstract story-telling and a subverted, but intoxicating atmosphere punctured by a booming soundtrack. Hyper Light Drifter is the kind of game that will stick with you long after you finish it.

107. Journey

best games of 2010s journey
Release DateMarch 13, 2012
PlatformPlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperThatgamecompany
GenreAdventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Journey is a legendary example of video game craftsmanship: excellent pacing, beautiful music, engrossing atmosphere, and stunning visuals. Journey feels like playing a painting canvas that you can control, or watching an expertly directed short film. What’s more, Journey tells its emotional, heartbreaking story without a single word – it does so through the gameplay and visual-only cutscenes. This is the kind of gameplay that comes out only once every few years, so you owe it to yourself to try it out.

106. Jazzpunk

best games of 2010s jazzpunk
Release DateFebruary 7, 2014
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4
DeveloperNecrophone Games
GenreAdventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Taking something as cerebral and subjective as comedy and implementing it in something as mechanically-focused as video games can be tricky without falling into the ”gimmick trap” (see Goat Simulator). Jazzpunk pulled it off, as it manages to be both funny and fun to play. You play as a secret agent trying to uncover some kind of Soviet plot, and that’s about as much clarity as you’ll get. The world is populated with a plethora of NPCs, each with their own gag, and your tasks include assassinating cowboys, killing a pig with a ukulele, and smuggling pigeons, among others. Jazzpunk is a hodgepodge of references and influences, taking cues from the work of Josef Albers and Saul Bass for its cartoony art style and films such as Blade Runner and Alien. It’s freaking bonkers, and the 1950s themed aesthetic makes it all the more endearing.

105. What Remains of Edith Finch

best games of 2010s what remains of edith finch
Release DateApril 25, 2017
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperGiant Sparrow
GenreAdventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ You play as Edith Finch, the last in the Finch family line, returning to her family’s home off the coast of Washington state (what’s with games and their fascination with that state?). She believes that her family is under a curse that causes all but one member of each generation to die in unusual ways. The game is built out of several vignettes (or mini-anthologies), that show the fate of her relatives, which are uncovered as the player visits their bedrooms. Their stories, one more tragic than the next, are narrated by Edith, and possibly interpreted through her bias. What Remains of Edith Finch offers a beautiful and heartbreaking experience which, like any good Wes Anderson film, it will make you both cry and smile.

104. Fire Emblem: Awakening

best games of 2010s fire emblem
Release DateApril 19, 2012
PlatformNintendo RDS
DeveloperIntelligent Systems
GenreTactical RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Fire Emblem: Awakening was so critically and commercially successful that it effectively saved the series from cancellation. Awakening offers a mish-mash of elements from multiple genres, such as a relationship system that can lead characters to form families and have children, deep, tactical gameplay, a huge map, and even some roguelike elements in the form of permadeath (which the devs eventually made optional, to the chagrin of many fans). Fire Emblem: Awakening is a full package that contains something for everybody.

103. Dying Light

best games of 2010s dying light
Release DateJanuary 27, 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperTechland
GenreAction-adventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ The parkour is what really separated this game from its competition. The industry was filled with zombie games, but Dying Light managed to stand out not just with its excellent visuals, but the ability to run through the city, over fences, cars, buildings, people, and pretty much anything else in first-person made it stand out. The story can be considered decent, but the gameplay completely sold it. It’s infinitely fun and the way they approached true dark in terms of nighttime enhanced that horror feeling whenever you had to go for a run outside.

102. Horizon: Zero Dawn

best games of 2010s horizon zero dawn
Release Date28 February 2017
PlatformPlayStation 4
DeveloperGuerilla Games
GenreAction RPG
TANIA PREDA ➞ You play in a fantasy-like world with sci-fi enemies, where you hunt cybernetic creatures with your bow. I mean that’s cool, right? The aesthetic and world of Horizon: Zero Dawn is fascinating in itself. However, you also get to go on a journey with the protagonist, Aloy. It’s a beautiful story, often filled with lessons of human nature, where no extreme can be good for us as people.

101. Factorio

best games of 2010s factorio
Release Date2014
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperWube Software
GenreManagement Simulation
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ In Factorio, you “control” a crash-landed engineer who must harvest the resources of the alien planet to create an industry to build a rocket. If that isn’t the most Rube Godlberesque premise for a game, I don’t know what is. While building (or rather failing to build) your industry, you must protect it from waves upon waves of indigenous fauna and critters, which can cause great damage to your infrastructure. While the end goal is to build a rocket and leave the planet, being an open world game, you can safely ignore it continue researching tech and building your factory until either boredom or disaster inevitably ensues. And let’s be honest, the prospect of a lonely, disembodied engineer constructing an increasingly complex factory on a deserted planet, growing a little bit crazier with each pillar built is funnier than it should.

100. Alien: Isolation

best games of 2010s alien isolation
Release DateOctober 7, 2014
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperCreative Assembly
GenreSurvival Horror
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Alien: Isolation wasn’t the definitive, instant modern classic that people hoped for, but god damn me if exploring the 70s retro-futuristic environments of Sevastopol and playing as Ripley’s daughter wasn’t cool. Not that you can enjoy the environments too much with a blood-thirsty alien constantly on your tail, of course, but at least you have time for a short tour before it inevitably disembowels you. Alien: Isolation is far from being perfect, but it tried and succeeded to capture the spirit of the film franchise – it sounds, looks and feels like a part of the Alien universe. It isn’t the best Alien game that we could get, but it’s best that we got.

99. Alpha Protocol

best games of 2010s alpha protocol
Release DateMay 27, 2010
PlatformPlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperObsidian Entertainment
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Together with Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Alpha Protocol is one of those games that deserves praise not for what it is, but for what it could’ve been given more time, polish and resources. Sadly, unlike Bloodlines which benefited from years of community support, Alpha Protocol was released broken beyond repair. However, underneath the cracked surface lies a flawed masterpiece. It’s an espionage-themed RPG inspired by characters such as James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Jack Bauer, cult films like Ronin, Syriana and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and games like Deus Ex, System Shock 2 and Fallout. That’s some pedigree, so what went wrong? Well, almost everything – the gunplay is broken, the main plot is lackluster even after being rewritten by Chris Avellone and the graphics are dated even by 2010 standards. But the setting, customization, lore, and reactivity in the form of the dialogue system and resulting outcomes are some of the best the industry has ever seen. I hope Obsidian will someday manage to obtain the rights from Sega and develop a sequel. Out of all the games released in the 2010s, Alpha Protocol is the most worthy of a sequel.

98. Dead Cells

best games of 2010s dead cells
Release DateAugust 7, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperMotion Twin
GenreMetroidvania
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ With Dead Cells, the devs managed to avoid the classic roguelike trappings of locking all the cool content behind a laborious progression system and make the game fun and engaging right from the get-go. Of course, there’s a lot of stuff to unlock, but they give you enough interesting weapons and abilities at the beginning to keep you hooked until you discover the next thing. It’s as if the devs knew that the average gamer doesn’t have the time and energy to invest in a roguelike and threw them a bone. Even more, the Metroidvania elements add another layer of complexity to an already content-rich game. The controls are tight, the platforming is smooth as butter, and the combat gets progressively better with each subsequent unlock. It wouldn’t be a stretch to declare that Dead Cells is one of the best roguelikes of this generation.

97. Heavy Rain

best games of 2010s heavy rain
Release DateFebruary 18, 2010
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3
DeveloperQuantic Dream
GenreAction-adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Being a David Cage game, you would expect Heavy Rain to come with its fair share of Cagesque weirdness and craziness (holy shit, remember Fahrenheit?). But out of all his games, Heavy Rain is undoubtedly the most grounded or, rather, as grounded as a game about a serial killer who leaves origami figures behind can be. While in terms of plot and writing, Heavy Rain is one step above your average crime/noire thriller, the visuals, voice acting, music, emotional impact, and setting are the elements that solidified its status as a modern classic. The game may suffer from clunky controls and several glaring plot holes, but hey, at least, there’s no Theory of a Deadman in the soundtrack.

96. Hitman 2

best games of 2010s hitman 2
Release DateNovember 13, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperIO Interactive
GenreAction stealth

TANIA PREDA ➞ The Hitman series was ahead of its time back in the day. They were some of the first to properly introduce us to different ways of resolving a quest or task, straying a bit from the familiar linearity that we were used to seeing. Hitman 2 has some of the most interesting missions in the game and the mechanics have vastly improved over its predecessors. Each target has a story that you’ll want to know more about and the locations you travel to are absolutely spectacular. The variety it offers makes Hitman 2 the most entertaining entry in the series from skillful stealth options to ridiculously reckless methods. Seriously. Grab a fish and start smacking people dead.

95. Oxygen Not Included

best games of 2010s oxygen not included
Release DateFebruary 2017
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperKlei Entertainment
GenreSurvival
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Oxygen Not Included is the cutesy, colony/disaster simulator that we never knew we wanted and needed until Klei Entertainment revealed they’re making one. Oxygen Not included is easy to get into, but brutally hard to master. Getting a colony running and setting up the basic necessities is only a quarter of the battle. The more time and effort you invest in your colony, the higher the risk of your colonists suffocating, drowning in their own poop or a combination between these two gets. Oxygen Not Included is a game of logistics, and the only way to win it is by striking the perfect balance between the needs of the individuals and the well-being of the colony. That, or watch one of your people freak out and set the colony on fire because Colonist #8531 has a nicer bed than them.

94. Nier: Automata

best games of 2010s nier automata
Release DateFebruary 23, 2017
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperPlatinum Games
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ I never thought a game about a bunch of robots fighting other robots in a post-apocalyptic wasteland would make me weep, but here I am, trying to recalibrate my emotions module. Nier: Automata is an expertly paced hack and slash/action RPG with an engrossing atmosphere and setting. As a game, it has a crazy amount of momentum – there’s always something to do, enemies to fight, side quests to pursue, abilities to unlock, and skill points to invest. Even after you beat it you’re not quite done. Now you have to pursue the “true endings” and of course you’ll have to do that because who could leave that beautiful, haunting soundtrack and decrepit, melancholic world behind? Nier: Automata wastes none of your time – it’s engrossing, emotional and highly addictive.

93. Rainbow: Six Siege

best games of 2010s rainbow six siege
Release DateDecember 1, 2015
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperUbisoft
GenreFPS
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Like 2019 Kanye, 2015 Rainbow: Six Siege is an entirely different game than it was five years ago. Not only did they add a buttload of content in the form of operators and maps, it runs smoother than it did at release and the infuriating netcode issues are a distant memory. Breach doors, destroy walls, plant cameras in hidden spots, create choke points with turrets, really, the tactical possibilities are endless. When it comes to tactical first-person shooters, there’s really no better option than Rainbow Six: Siege.

92. Prison Architect

best games of 2010s prion architect
Release Date6 October 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperIntroversion Software
GenreSimulation
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Your job as a warden in Prison Architect is to access as many government grants as possible and build a pleasant and safe environment where your prisoners can be transformed into productive members of society. Or you can say “screw you” to rehabilitation and build a slimy, drug-infested hellhole that would make the writers of Oz squeamish. It’s really up to you. I usually go for the former. That is, until the prisoners surreptitiously organize an armed uprising because I somehow placed the armory right next to the maximum-security wing of the prison. And by “surreptitiously” I mean it’s been going on for an hour but I haven’t noticed because I was too busy setting up the pipping infrastructure on the opposite side of the prison. Oh well.

91. Super Meat Boy

best games of 2010s super meat boy
Release DateOctober 20, 2010
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperTeam Meat
GenrePlatformer
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Did you know that before The Binding of Isaac, Edmund McMillen developed another smaller, lesser-known platforming game? And by “small” and “lesser-known” I mean it’s considered one of the greatest video games of all time. Yes, I’m talking about Super Meat Boy. Yes, the tough as nails platforming game with a distinctive visual style that kicked-off the indie renaissance of the 2010s. And yes, even in retrospect, it still holds up and deserves all the praise that it got. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to grab my controller and play some Super Meat Boy.

90. The Long Dark

best games of 2010s the long dark
Release DateAugust 1, 2017
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperHinterland Studio
GenreSurvival
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Unlike many survival games this decade, The Long Dark went on a different route, throwing your character not in the middle of a werezombie apocalypse or whatever, but in the lonely, hauntingly beautiful Canadian wilderness. The Long Dark is essentially a simulation game wherein players have to manage factors such as fatigue, body temperature, caloric intake, hunger/thirst, etc. Your objective (in the sandbox mode, there’s also a story mode) is to survive as much as possible by scavenging whatever resources you find, which includes commodities like food, medicine, firewood, water, or other items essential to your survival such as knives, weapons, axes, temperature-appropriate clothing, etc. Everything apart from the map itself, which is composed of several interconnected areas, is randomly generated, so no run is similar to the next. Environmental factors, which are also randomly generated, such as wolves, bears, blizzards, and snowstorms will make your job harder. And may I add that this game is drop-dead gorgeous? I sincerely can’t think of a piece of media that reflected the beauty, melancholy, and loneliness of the winter better than The Long Dark – except maybe Fargo. If you’re a winter person AND like survival games, this game was made for you.

89. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

best games of 2010s shadow tactics
Release DateDecember 6, 2016
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperMimimi Productions
GenreRTT
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Remember the satisfaction of executing a meticulously-planned ambush in Desperados and storming a machine gun nest in Commandos? Then this is the game for you. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun managed to scratch the collective itch of gamers who were longing for an old-school RTT (Real Time Tactics) game. Loosely based on Japan’s Edo period, the player controls a team of assassins (which includes a ninja, a samurai, a thief and old sharpshooter with a cute tanuki) and performs a wide variety of activities involving espionage, sabotage, infiltration, and assassination. The game features huge, sprawling, highly detailed and beautifully designed maps with a host of environmental factors that players can use to accomplish their objectives as stealthily as possible – bushes and crates to hide bodies, traps, throwable objects, and so on. Few games offer such a wide variety of tactical possibilities and approaches to accomplish objectives. It may have a steep learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll feel like a master tactician.

88. Thronebreaker: Witcher Tales

best games of 2010s thronebreaker
Release DateOctober 23, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperCD Projekt Red
GenreCard Game RPG
TANIA PREDA ➞ For anyone who loved the world of The Witcher series, Thronebreaker is excellent at expanding upon the world while keeping a lot of familiar elements. It’s a card game RPG, which is interesting enough in itself. You have choices that impact the story and battles that can keep your mind engaged. Queen Meve’s story will keep you hooked and interested in everyone around her. The card games itself can be tense battles or challenging puzzles, and the narrative is as expertly crafted as you’d expect from CD Projekt Red.

87. Guild Wars 2

best games of 2010s guild wars 2
Release DateAugust 28, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperArenaNet
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ With the sequel, Guild Wars went from “a decent alternative to WoW” with no subscription fee to a fully-fledged MMO in its own right. While other MMOs slowly faded in the background, absorbed by Blizzard’s behemoth, Guild Wars 2 distinguished itself with a dynamic questing system responsive to player actions, a persistent world, a compelling professions system that promotes synergy between each other, and a skill-based combat system that supports both small and large scale battles. It was, and still is to some degree, a breath of fresh air in an MMO scene where World of Warcraft holds a steady monopoly.

86. Titanfall 2

best games of 2010s titanfall 2
Release DateOctober 28, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperRespawn Entertainment
GenreFPS
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Titanfall 2 was meant to correct the faults of its ambitious predecessor and propel the series to mainstream stardom. While it managed to achieve the former, ultimately, Titanfall 2 suffered immensely from EA’s dubious decision to release it close to Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Being a relatively new IP with no chances of competing with the two giants, Titanfall 2 was essentially dead on arrival. Which is a shame, really, as the game was packed with creativity and fresh ideas, a wider range of Titans, gadgets, weapons, and abilities, and an updated parkour system that added an even deeper level of verticality to the maps. Fortunately, Respawn Entertainment had a second (third?) chance in the form of the hugely popular Apex Legends. The Titanfall may have suffered a tragic and untimely death, but its spirit lives on.

85. Duck Game

best games of 2010s duck game
Release DateMay 13, 2014
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperLandon Podbielski
GenreAction
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Duck Game is an action 2D game where four players are pitted against each other in increasingly elaborate, trap-littered 2D environments. Players shoot, stab, slash, burn or fry each other with a wide assortment of weapons and tools and oh, did I mention you’re playing a freaking duck? And you have a dedicated quack button, multiple unlockable hats, and a ragdoll button. Duck Game is by far the stupidest game I’ve played this decade. At the same time, it was also the basis of some, if not most of my fondest recent memories, like the time I mowed two of my friends with a chainsaw and taunted the third one with a series of strategic quacks while I held the high ground. It’s great.

84. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

best games of 2010s brothers a tale of two sons
Release DateAugust 7, 2013
PlatformAndroid, iOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows Phone, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperStarbreeze Studios
GenreAdventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Oh man, if you have a sibling, this game will make you cry like a baby. I’m an only child and still, this game was an emotional rollercoaster for me. Brothers is a simple, yet impactful story about two brothers who leave their home village to seek a cure for their ailing father. The puzzles are built around the two siblings helping out each other – for example, having the bigger, stronger brother push a heavy object while the smaller one crawls through a tight space. Each brother has a dedicated thumbstick, which feels increasingly more natural as the game progresses. In a weird way, the control scheme also forms the basis of the game’s most emotional moments, which I won’t spoil, so you have to trust me on this one. Brothers is also one of the few games that managed to use the tools of the medium to tell a story. The story is the gameplay, and the gameplay is the story; they’re deeply, fully intertwined. Brothers is a charming and heartbreaking game that communicates its story through interaction.

83. Night in the Woods

best games of 2010s night in the woods
Release DateFebruary 21, 2017
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperInfinite Fall
GenreAdventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Night in the Woods is a platforming game set in a small American town populated by anthropomorphic animals with a quirky story that deals with subjects such as mental illness, depression, anxiety, loneliness, the death of small-town America, the economic perils of low and middle-class people and oh, did I say quirky? Sorry about that. While Night in the Woods approaches some rather heavy subjects, it’s not all doom and gloom. On a larger level, the story is about stagnation (reflected in the state of the town itself) and our tendency to get stuck in our old ways and not look to the future. On a more personal level, it’s about our flaws as humans and the way we approach them. But the thing that impressed me the most was how the devs managed to capture that small-town atmosphere, and as someone who left his hometown to pursue bigger opportunities in the city, I felt right at home exploring the streets of Possum Springs. Night in the Woods is an endearing, excellently written coming of age story. Here are my detailed takes on the protagonist and the game as a whole.

82. Always Sometimes Monsters

best games of 2010s always sometimes monsters
Release DateMay 21, 2014
PlatformPlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperVagabond Dog
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Always Sometimes Monsters is the kind of game that likes to mess with your moral values. It’ll make you (nay, CONVINCE you) that the ends justify the means, then slaps you in the face for choosing the easy way out. Not that everybody could blame you for taking the shortcut – you play as a broke, unemployed writer who receives notice that their ex is about to get married across the country. What would you do? Crash the wedding in a last-ditch effort to win your ex back, or let her go? There’s no easy answer, and the game is filled with these kinds of moral dilemmas. Every single decision you take has some effect on later events, whether it’s something as banal as deciding where to sleep or as important as who stab in the back (or not, it’s up to you). Always Sometimes Monsters teaches us that adulthood is an ugly, confusing mess and that there’s nothing much we can do than try to be the best version of ourselves.

81. Battle Brothers

best games of 2010s battle brothers
Release DateMarch 24, 2017
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperOverhype Studios
GenreTactical RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Battle Brothers is a high fantasy management/RPG game where you take control of a decrepit mercenary company and try to make it profitable again. Of course, that’s easier said than done. On your way to mercenary stardom, you’ll have to deal with packs of direwolves, hordes of undead, orcs, roaming bandits, greedy village elders, pigly lords who see your men as nothing more than glorified pest control for their realms, and internal squabbles within your company. Then there’s buying and maintaining, equipment, feeding, paying and offering medical attention to your men. Then there’s the issue of turning your recruits from stick-wielding peasants, tailors, and gravediggers to capable warriors. As CEO of the Rowdy Pack of Mercenaries or whatever you want to call it, you’ll have to make some difficult decisions, like dismissing capable men who have suffered crippling injuries or leaving a couple of men to hold the line and possibly die so others can escape. Soon enough, you’ll start viewing your men as resources rather than people, and that’s exactly the intent of the game. After all, you’re no hero – you’re running a business.

80. Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag

best games of 2010s ac black flag
Release DateOctober 29, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperUbisoft Montreal
GenreAction-adventure

TANIA PREDA ➞ The Caribbean adventure brought a much-needed breath of fresh air to the franchise. Even with the latest Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey coming out with better graphics and more of an RPG touch, Black Flag is still the best entry in the past 10 years. You get to play as Edward, who is half pirate, half assassin basically, and not be encumbered by your high morals or need for revenge. His motivation is simple through most of the game: loot. Get rich and stay alive, which weirdly made him much more interesting than honor-bound Connor from AC 3. The setting of crystal blue waters and green jungles is gorgeous, and the naval combat is executed perfectly. Personally, this brought me back to Assassin’s Creed after I had completely given up on the franchise.

79. Batman: Arkham City

best games of 2010s batman arkham city
Release DateOctober 18, 2011
PlatformPlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U
DeveloperRocksteady Studios
GenreAction-adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Whether you like it or not, Batman: Arkham City is the pinnacle of the series. It’s an objective improvement over its predecessor in every possible way – bigger, more open environments, more gadgets, better writing, better story and much more stuff to do. I like to think of Arkham City as a playable version of the excellent Batman: The Animated series, not only because they share most of the cast, but they also have the same expertly-crafted noir atmosphere. Playing as the Caped Crusader never felt better.

78. West of Loathing

best games of 2010s west of loathing
Release DateAugust 10, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperAsymmetric Publications
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ I’m not even sure you can call West of Loathing a “western”. I mean, sure, there are horses, saloons, and cowboy hats, but there’s also magic, ghost horses, sinister clowns, cows, and several non-westerny classes, one of which is fittingly called “cow-puncher”. It’s essentially a parody RPG with a western flavor thrown in for good measure. The game is filled, and I mean FILLED with jokes, gags and callbacks, one more obscure and ridiculous than the next. And yet, despite the sheer number of jokes the game throws at you, they always feel fresh and on-point, which speaks volumes about the talent of the writers. Also, it has more content than you would expect from a $15 indie game that looks like it was drawn by a hungover graphic designer on a deadline – not that there’s anything wrong with the art style, of course – so make sure to try this out if you have some time to spare.

77. The Banner Saga

best games of 2010s banner saga
Release DateJanuary 14, 2014
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperStoic Studio
GenreTactical RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ My days of blasting Korpiklaani and Windir on full volume may be behind me (I’m more of a Deafheaven and Touche Amore guy now), but I’m a simple man – if I see something with Vikings, I’ll probably give it a shot. But The Banner Saga is not your average Viking-themed game, rather a fully-fledged tactical RPG where your choices have a relevant impact on the world. While the combat suffers from the occasional balancing issue, the quality writing, interesting characters, unique art-style and choose your own adventure type events are the meat of the game. By the way, this entry applies to all three parts of the series, and they must be played in chronological order if you want to get the most out of the story.

76. Stellaris

best games of 2010s stellaris
Release DateMay 9, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperParadox Development Studio
GenreGrand Strategy
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Stellaris is by far the most accessible entry in Paradox’s library of grand strategy titles, which speaks volumes about their difficulty considering this is a game about managing and expanding a galactic empire – no small feat. Stellaris took the classic 4x formula that we’ve all grown to love and hate and put its own spin on it, with Paradox-style events, customization options and intricate diplomatic and management systems. It’s not Crusader Kings 2 level of quality, but it’s a great starting point for people who are new to Paradox games. As usual with Paradox, Stellaris has a fair share of DLC and expansion packs, so make sure to read a couple of guides before buying any.

75. Telltale’s The Walking Dead

best games of 2010s telltale the wlaking dead
Release DateApril 24, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperTelltale Games
GenreAction-adventure

TANIA PREDA ➞ As much as we might not want to admit it, this game was a tearjerker and one of the saddest games we can think of. It made us laugh, hope, and cry through its wonderfully-weaved story in a post-apocalyptic world. Telltale’s ability to tell a story and make you become attached to the characters has never shone more brightly than it did for their Walking Dead series. It’s memorable, the characters are complex, and it’s thrilling to see where each of your decision takes you. The art style is classic Telltale and, while the engine never upgraded which likely led to the developer’s demise, in the end, there’s something so charming and recognizable to it that makes this game everlasting.

74. South Park: The Stick of Truth

best games of 2010s south park stick of truth
Release DateMarch 4, 2014
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperObsidian Entertainment
GenreRPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ I’m not what you would call a die-hard South Park fan, but once I catch an episode on TV, I can’t help but run to the internet and blast an entire season in one go. South Park: The Stick of Truth is not only a good South Park game, but a good, well, game in general. It’s essentially an interactive South Park season that everybody can enjoy, whether they’re familiar with the series or not. The RPG elements, while adapted to match the tone and humor of the universe, are very well-implemented and fleshed-out. It’s easy to dismiss it as a derivative cash-crab, but if you play it, you soon realize that under the wacky names and fart jokes lies a deceptively complex RPG that could go head-to-head with the likes of Pillars of Eternity and Divinity: Original Sin 2. What? It was developed by Obsidian Entertainment? Oh.

73. L.A. Noire

best games of 2010s la noire
Release DateMay 17, 2011
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperRockstar Games
GenreAction-adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ I’ll be the first one to tell you that L.A. Noire is far, and I mean FAR from the masterpiece that gamers and journalists alike thought it was at release. Time hasn’t been kind to this game – muddy textures, lackluster combat that was clearly shoved in the last possible moment to appease publishers and a barren city with nothing to do. Even the MotionScan technology, the game’s main selling point, doesn’t hold up to current standards. But everything else, from the writing, the story, the characters, the painstakingly recreated 1940s Los Angeles, atmosphere, and the cases themselves are just flawless. L.A. Noire oozes style and wears its noir pedigree with the swagger of Humphrey Bogart smoking a cigarette.

72. Persona 5

best games of 2010s persona 5
Release DateSeptember 15, 2016
PlatformPlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
DeveloperP-Studio
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ There are two things you need to know about Persona 5: it combines dungeon crawling elements with social simulation scenarios. Now that I think about it, that’s only one thing, but if that’s not enough to pique your interest, I don’t know what is. Taking place in modern-day Tokyo, the game will have you do all sorts of things that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to do in a sprawling urban metropolis, like exploring the Metaverse, fighting monsters, and summon physical manifestations of your psyche. It’s a very weird game, I know. It features a wide cast of characters, one more quirky than another and novel art-style, so if the above-mentioned blend of dungeon crawling and social sim sounds enticing, make sure to check out Persona 5.

71. Grand Theft Auto V

best games of 2010s gta 5
Release DateSeptember 17, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
DeveloperRockstar Games
GenreAction-adventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ Grand Theft Auto V veered a bit away from the dark and violent world of Niko Bellic and instead threw us into a satirical (?) version of Los Angeles… that’s actually pretty violent itself. With three protagonists to play with, an easy-to-digest story, excellent graphics, and an intricate world, GTA really raised the bar for games in a modern setting. Not to mention it kept the fun-as-hell shooting and driving. Grand Theft Auto V delves into the lives of Michael, Franklin, and Trevor, who can simply be summarized as the retired killer, reluctant killer, and reckless killer. However, that’s only on the surface. The characters are actually pretty complex, and even though the story is just decent, it’s a really fun game you can throw tens of hours in.

70. Fortnite

best games of 2010s fortnite
Release DateJuly 25, 2017
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperEpic Games
GenreBattle Royale

TANIA PREDA ➞ Fight it as much as you want, but Fortnite has been a gaming phenomenon, at least the Battle Royale mode. Unlike Save The World, which took six years to develop and came out grindy and a little too heavy on the microtransactions, Battle Royale introduced something fresh. It kept the colorful, animated theme, and the fun combat, and made a decent plan to handle the microtransactions. It’s a relatively simple game that can be mastered. When I got into early-access and played the co-op version of the game, I was charmed but ultimately disappointed in the lack of updates when all of Epic Games’ attention went to their battle royale mode. However, I can see its appeal and how the intuitive building and fun gunplay drew in millions of people.

69. Pillars of Eternity

best games of 2010s pillars of eternity
Release DateMarch 26, 2015
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperObsidian Entertainment
GenreRPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Pillars of Eternity may seem a bit dated compared to more recent cRPGs, but most people seem to forget that before Pillars was released in 2015 and Wasteland 2 a year earlier, the genre was basically dead. Pillars of Eternity proved that there’s a market hungry for Baldur’s Gate-style high fantasy cRPGs (which is ironic considering how poorly the sequel sold), and for that, we owe our eternal gratitude to the people that made it happen. The game’s knack for lore dump, hard to digest real-time with pause combat and hard to follow plot makes Pillars a hard sell for many people, but I’d still recommend it for the brilliant writing and intricate RPG systems. If you’re looking for an old-school RPG with all the quirks and perks, the original Pillars of Eternity is a must-play.

68. Invisible Inc.

best games of 2010s invisible inc
Release DateOctober 6, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4
DeveloperKlei Entertainment
GenreTurn-based strategy

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Invisible Inc. is a turn-based tactics/roguelike game developed by Klei Entertainment where you take control of a rogue espionage agency that has come under attack from, what else, tyrannical multinational corporations.This game forces you to think strategically and hack and sneak your way to accomplishing objectives, which can vary from obtaining valuable intelligence to sabotaging corporate infrastructure. All levels and objectives are randomly generated, and once an agent is killed, be becomes unavailable for the rest of the run. Oh, and you have 72 hours to overthrow the corporations or it’s game over. No pressure. If I learned anything from my experience playing Invisible Inc., it would be that spies don’t make for good fighters. So before playing this game, you’d better take a cue from George Smiley instead of Archer.

67. Hollow Knight

best games of 2010s hollow knight
Release DateFebruary 24, 2017
PlatformNintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperTeam Cherry
GenreMetroidvania
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Hollow Knight reminds me of a time when I could just sit down with a game and get fully absorbed by its world. And what a world Hollow Knight offers, indeed. Everything, from the objects, architecture to its inhabitants is bug-themed – and okay, it’s cute, but also occasionally terrifying. Hollow Knight is packed with creativity, memorable enemies, epic boss fights and beautiful vistas that vary from lush forests to sprawling underground networks and decrepit castles. The world of Hollownest is a masterpiece of level design, up there with the original Dark Souls, and the Metroidvania elements make it even more satisfying to uncover and explore. While the visuals are stunning, the real draw of the game is the challenging, but fair combat, which gets progressively complex as new abilities are unlocked. Hollow Knight is a nearly MARCO GIULIANI ➞ flawless game through and through, and with a sequel on the horizon, there’s no better time to pick it up.

66. Into the Breach

best games of 2010s into the breach
Release DateFebruary 27, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperSubset Games
GenreTurn-based strategy
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Subset Games turned the industry upside down with their indie hit Faster than Light, so I can’t imagine the pressure they felt with their follow-up game. Into the Breach may not be on the same level as Faster than Light (imho), but it’s still a great game on its own. Into the Breach is essentially chess with giants mechs, featuring a turn-based combat system with no numbers, no dice rolling and no RNG. It offers a near-perfect level of information on what will happen on the next turn, so if you screw up, you can’t blame the game for it. Into the Breach is easy to pick up, and most of the gratification comes from mastering its combat system and improving your strategy bit by bit, with each subsequent fight.

65. Mount and Blade: Warband

best games of 2010s mount and blade warband
Release DateMarch 30, 2010
PlatformPlayStation 4, Android, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One
DeveloperTaleWorlds Entertainment
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Out of the 500 or so hours I’ve invested into Mount and Blade: Warband, I’ve spent only 50 in the vanilla version. The rest of my time was filled with mods, one more transformative than the other. And that’s the beauty of Mount and Blade: Warband, more than the intricate RPG systems and the absorbing gameplay loop: the near infinite modding possibilities that, in the right hands, can turn it into a different game altogether. Just writing about this game makes me reinstall it even though I have like a million other games in my library that I bought and never touched.

64. Far Cry 3

best games of 2010s far cry 3
Release DateNovember 29, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
DeveloperUbisoft Montreal
GenreFPS

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ I don’t know about you, but Far Cry 3 has one of the funniest premises in gaming history: you play as a spoiled, rich dudebro on vacation on a tropical island who is forced by circumstance to become a warrior. That’s why I play video games, man. Anyway, I decided to choose the third entry over the other ones not only because of the ridiculous, tongue in cheek story but also because it brought the biggest jump in quality in the series. It has its fair share of gamey nonsense, like the fact that you need to “upgrade” your wallet to hold more cash, and the last upgrade can be performed only with shark skin, but the rest is just pure, shooty-shooty, get eaten by crocodiles while you’re stealthily scouting an enemy camp fun. And who can forget about that mission?

63. Dead Space 2

best games of 2010s dead space 2
Release DateJanuary 25, 2011
PlatformPlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperVisceral Games
GenreSurvival Horror
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Dead Space 2 is to Dead Space what Aliens was to Alien: same universe, same feeling, same atmosphere, only this time around you feel like you actually stand a chance against the necromorphs. Dead Space 2 ditches the survival-ish, psychological horror aspects of the first one for a more action-oriented gameplay. Gone are your days of a nerdy engineer who was struggling to fight zombies and aliens with improvised tools, now you have a wide arsenal of actual weapons at your disposal to blast, dismember, crush, slash and burn those nasty necromorphs. Dead Space 2 is the stuff of power fantasies, and few games released this decade have made me feel more in control.

62. The Outer Worlds

best games of 2010s the outer worlds
Release DateOctober 25, 2019
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperObsidian Entertainment
GenreRPG
TANIA PREDA ➞ The Outer Worlds doesn’t need the comparison to the trainwreck that was Fallout 76. It stands on its own, and it stands pretty tall. From the nicely detailed character creation to the dialogue choices, I found myself thrown into the nostalgia of a classic RPG. To me, it felt more like an ode to Obsidian Entertainment’s style than I could see the game as a middle finger to Bethesda. The dialogue, the companion system, the leveling, and many other elements brought me back to a style of RPG that I love. The colorful sci-fi aesthetic and detailed visuals are stunning to look at, even if limited in traversing. Each NPC has their own interesting story, intertwined in a world where corporations rule this multi-planet system and, while the humor is hit or miss, will make you want to do every single sidequest you can get to help them get out of their misery just a little bit. Go through every dialogue choice, learn about the world’s lore and its people, explore every path. The gunplay is admittedly not the greatest, but just invest in Charisma and you’ll barely have to fight anything anyway. Seriously. You can finish the game without killing anyone.

61. Borderlands 2

best games of 2010s borderlands 2
Release DateSeptember 18, 2012
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperGearbox Software
GenreFPS

TANIA PREDA ➞ Shoot things. In the face. THE FACE! From the comic-like graphic style to the highly interesting characters and weapons, Borderlands 2 deserves its place on this list without a question. It’s all about enjoying an FPS with your friends, with plenty of ‘wtf’ moments. The NPCs are over the top, comical, and questionable in every sense of the word. But as you play around as a Vault Hunter and do missions, you start to understand them a little better. This is the world of Borderlands. It’s different, exaggerated, loud, Mad Max-esque, and crazy. It definitely distinguishes itself from the myriad of FPS co-op games out there. It might not be the newest installment in the game, but the story makes it worth it and the devs released an Enhanced Edition so you can enjoy it without enduring older graphics.

60. Bayonetta

best games of 2010s bayonetta
Release DateOctober 29, 2009
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperSEGA of America, PlatinumGames, Nex Entertainment
GenreAction-adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Bayonetta is a balls-out action game that will make you feel like the most powerful m-fer that’s ever existed. Everything, from the presentation, gameplay, animations to the visuals and soundtrack oozes confidence. The main character has the versatility and swagger of someone like Dante from Devil May Cry, only with a grace and visually-creative fighting style that I haven’t seen in other video games. I loved every second I spent in Bayonetta, and I highly suggest you try it out.

59. Warframe

best games of 2010s warframe
Release DateMarch 25, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperDigital Extremes
GenreAction RPG

TANIA PREDA ➞ Create your customized, badass character, otherwise known as a warframe. This is the game that did microtransactions right, that was updated on a constant basis and that kept our hope alive that devs can be fair. Warframe set the standard for the rest of the world on how to make a game fun and how to keep the players coming back each time. You wouldn’t think this wonder also looks good and plays well, but it does. The combat and world traversing are entertaining as all hell, the quests are interesting, and this game just seems to get better and better. The effort the devs put in this game is admirable, from the updates to the hauntingly beautiful anthem of capitalism. Did I mention it’s free to play?

58. Wolfenstein: The New Order

best games of 2010s wolfenstein
Release Date20 May 2014
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
DeveloperMachine Games
GenreFPS
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Somehow, Wolfenstein: The New Order managed to make killing nazis even more satisfying than it normally is. Taking place in an alternate timeline where the nazis won the Second World War, you play as the member of a resistance movement who’s trying to overthrow the tyrannical regime. The main draw of the game for me, besides the retro-futuristic 60s visuals, is the over the top combat. If you like games that allow you to dual wield submachine guns and shotguns, drive mechs and attach ridiculous modules on your weapons (like a rocket launcher on a submachine gun), this is your jam. But as bombastic as the gameplay may be, the game treats its heavy subject matter respectfully. Wolfenstein shows the full extent of the nazi regime’s inhumane acts, while at the same time mocking and calling them out for the murderous and racist pieces of shit they are.

57. Transistor

best games of 2010s transistor
Release DateMay 20, 2014
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperSupergiant Games
GenreAction RPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Transistor is Supergiant Games’ stylish and melancholic follow-up to Bastion. Though quite linear and short, Transistor never wastes a single second of your time – no filler, full of substance. The combat, which is turn-based, is perfectly balanced, never feeling too difficult or simplistic. But the real draw of the game is the setting and the atmosphere, and like every great work of art, Transistor tells its story through them rather than bouts of endless exposition. The environments that you explore ooze with a romantic, melancholic cyberpunkish aesthetic comparable to Blade Runner’s version of near-future Los Angeles. Transistor is a haunting, beautiful game that will stick to you long after you beat it.

56. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

best games of 2010s uncharted 4
Release DateMay 10, 2016
PlatformPlayStation 4
DeveloperNaughty Dog
GenreAction Adventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ Join Nathan Drake for one last adventure into an exotic world after a lost treasure that turns out to be nearly unreasonably complicated to even get to. And how he finds it, but actually loses it and wounds up with nothing. Or does he? While Uncharted 2 is arguably the best of the series, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End brought back some of the elements that made previous games so interesting. The stealthy-style, puzzle-solving, sometimes-gun-shooting mechanics are still there and it just feels like an Uncharted game. It may seem odd to say, but so many sequels lose their identity somewhere along the way. The story of Uncharted 4 is touching and more grounded than its predecessors, the visuals are heavily enhanced, and the smooth gameplay makes for a solid 15 hours of fun. The voice actors, the improved gunplay, the details, the lighting, oh my the lighting, and the emotional storytelling made for the perfect last chapter of this exciting franchise.

55. This War of Mine

best games of 2010s this war of mine
Release DateNovember 14, 2014
PlatformPlayStation 4, Android, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One
Developer11 Bit Studios
GenreSurvival
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but historically speaking, video games haven’t taken a very nuanced approach when it comes to war. This War of Mine took a different route by showing the horrors and trauma of war from the perspective of the average civilian trying to survive and make sense of the chaos. At its core, This War of Mine is a survival/management game where you tend to the physical, medical and psychological needs of a group of civilians. You spend the daytime upgrading/repairing the shelter, and the nights scavenging for basic commodities. However, every action you have your people make will affect their current and post-war lives – for example, forcing someone who’s against murder to kill will lead to them becoming depressed and possibly commit suicide. This game is not for the faint of heart, as it treats its subject matter with a brutal realism that many people won’t stomach. A DLC even added kids into the mix, so ya know, have fun?

54. The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth

best games of 2010s the binding of isaac
Release DateSeptember 28, 2011
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
DeveloperNicalus
GenreRoguelike

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Some may call The Binding of Isaac the ultimate roguelike, and who can blame them? Even in its original state, this game had near infinite replayability, and the subsequent updates and DLCs have only extended its longevity. The sheer number of item synergies in this game is mind-boggling, and together with the randomly generated levels and item order, no run is similar to the next. It’s the perfect “Whatever” game, as Jum aptly put it.

53. Door Kickers

best games of 2010s door kickers
Release DateOctober 20, 2014
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperKillHouse Games
GenreRTS
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Door Kickers borrowed the explosive tactical and strategic complexity of cult-hit SWAT 4 and took it to the next level. You take control of, what else, a squad of up to ten customizable SWAT operatives and perform various missions: protecting VIPs, raiding drug dens, clearing hostiles, rescuing hostages and defusing bombs, amongst others. The core gameplay revolves around breaching rooms, with the possibility of approaching objectives either stealthily or guns blazing. Door Kickers is a complete package that perfectly encapsulates the beauty of tactical games. Planning and executing a perfectly choreographed raid never felt better.

52. Rocket League

best games of 2010s rocket league
Release DateJuly 7, 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperPsyonix
GenreSports
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Rocket League is football (sorry, we don’t call it soccer here) but with rocket-powered cars. A few years ago, Rocket League was my comfort game. Whenever I felt disappointed by my favorite squad’s poor performance, I drowned my sorrows by jumping into a Rocket League match and imagining that my team was A.S. Roma and the other was Juventus – along with venting my frustration on Reddit, of course. That Roma was going through a particularly rough patch was a convenient coincidence, as I ended up playing quite decently. There’s nothing much else to say about Rocket League other than the fact that it’s unequivocally skill-based, the kind of game where you can’t blame anyone but yourself for your poor plays. Like Roma.

51. Resident Evil 2

best games of 2010s resident evil 2
Release DateJanuary 11, 2019
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperCapcom
GenreSurvival horror
TANIA PREDA ➞ Capcom showed that this is how you do remakes. Keep some, change some. With Resident Evil 2, they did it right by not only changing all those sexy pixels into realistic graphics and gorgeous lighting but switching the story up just a little, enough to keep even longtime fans of the series still interested. It may be odd to see this game categorized as ‘survival horror’ than ‘action horror’ considering the gunplay, but if you go through it, you’ll know why. The zombies are not typical, taking several shots of a gun to the head to knock them down, the ammo is sparse, and the atmosphere is certainly more horror than action. You’ll do more running than fighting. However, the piece of resistance is Mr. X. Now, take out the memes out of your head for a second and think of the moment of his appearance and constant thumping of his heavy steps through the police department as you looked for keys and passages, looming dangerously just around the corner and slowly lumbering his way toward you. The urgency, the tension. The horror part of this game was executed beautifully without using your typical jumpscare.

50. Papers Please

best games of 2010s papers please
Release DateAugust 8, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, PlayStation Vita
Developer3909 LLC
GenrePuzzle
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Who would’ve thunk that border control, bureaucracy and international relations are the stuff of legendary video game development? Me, of course. In all seriousness, the best thing about Papers Please is that it demonstrated that, in the right hands, even the most boring premises can be turned into interesting, engaging video games. Of course, the game benefited from the fact that lead designer Lucas Pope was a border inspector, and what better person can capture the tension and stress of a job like this in video game form than someone who lived it?

49. Ori and the Blind Forest

best games of 2010s ori and the blind forest
Release DateMarch 11, 2015
PlatformNintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperMoon Studios
GenreAdventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ Even beyond the brilliant visuals and soothing soundtrack, Ori and The Blind Forest is a fantastic game that will tug at your heartstrings while simultaneously offering tension-filled moments. It’s one of the most touching entries on this list and definitely a must-play. It will make you tear up before you even start. The controls may be a little tricky, but you’ll forget it in an instant once you immerse yourself in sweet Ori’s magical story. The best way to describe it is to say that this game is full of heart and soul. You can see and feel the love put into making it, from every visual detail and note of the soundtrack. It’s enchanting, captivating, charming, and thankfully, it’s getting a sequel.

48. Mortal Kombat 9

best games of 2010s mortal kombat 9
Release DateApril 19, 2011
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita
DeveloperNetherRealm Studios
GenreFighting
TANIA PREDA ➞ Is it the best Mortal Kombat game out there? Probably not. However, MK 9 resurrected the franchise. It introduced storytelling directly into the game, bringing a transition between cutscenes and the actual fights. You’re not just fighting towers of fighters (though that still is a mode) anymore, but you’re fighting for something, a story. NetherRealms created a captivating world and they finally used a game to take advantage of their expansive lore properly. Yes, it’s a little dated right now, and the next installments have a better fighting system and enhanced graphics, but MK 9 changed the world for fighting games.

47. Mark of the Ninja

best games of 2010s mark of the ninja
Release DateSeptember 7, 2012
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperKlei Entertainment
GenreAction stealth
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Mark of the Ninja has all the makings of a modern masterpiece – stunning visuals, great writing, flawless presentation, smooth platforming, and balanced gameplay. Add to that a stealth-focused gameplay revolving around exploiting shadows and lighting and you get the quintessential ninja game. If you haven’t played it yet, please do yourself a favor and pick it up.

46. Kingdom Come: Deliverance

best games of 2010s kingdom come deliverance
Release DateFebruary 13, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperWarhorse Studios
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Kingdom Come: Deliverance is perhaps one of the few RPGs with a purely historical and realistic setting, in that you’re not fighting dragons and ghouls, but cumans and bandits. Set in the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1403, then part of the Holy Roman Empire, you play as the son of a blacksmith whose simple village existence is disrupted by a cuman raid. With your family murdered and home destroyed, you set out in the world to… essentially stop being useless. Kingdom Come functions as a classes RPG where stats grow as you’re using them, as well as a needs system that requires the player to eat and sleep. The combat is brutally difficult initially, as you have to learn the basics of fighting, but once your character gets better, it all clicks together. The setting and world itself deserve praise as well, as the devs used actual real-world maps of historic Bohemia to build the environments. With great writing, an immersive historical setting and fleshed-out characters, Kingdom Come is a definite must play both for history buffs and RPG fans.

45. Life is Strange

best games of 2010s life is strange
Release DateJanuary 29, 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
DeveloperDontnod Entertainment
GenreAdventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Life is Strange made a lot of waves when it was released and for good reason. While games dealing with heavy subjects such as depression, death and introversion are more common nowadays, five, ten years ago, they were a rarity. I won’t delve too deep into the game to avoid spoiling the story, so I’m going to conclude by naming two reasons why you should definitely check it out: Max’s ability to rewind time and change certain stuff from the past, and the resulting consequences on the story.

44. Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain

best games of 2010s metal gear solid 5
Release DateSeptember 1, 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
DeveloperKojima Productions
GenreAction-adventure

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Look man, I may not be part of the Kojima fan club, but once I played The Phantom Pain, I understood why he’s considered an auteur. There’s something about this game that makes it stand out from your average action-stealth game. I can’t quite put my finger on it – it may be the presentation, the writing, or the emergent, open-world gameplay. Playing The Phantom Pain felt like watching Drive, when what I assumed would be an average car-chase film turned out to be a stylish, deeply cerebral piece of media.

43. Spider-Man

best games of 2010s spider man
Release DateSeptember 7, 2018
PlatformPlayStation 4
DeveloperInsomniac Games
GenreAction-adventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ The web-slinging. I could stop there to describe why this game was so good, but it’s not just that. This was the best Spider-Man game since Spider-Man 2 (2004) not just because it did the web-slinging right, but because they did right by the wise-cracking superhero. Most of us love Peter Park because he’s the relatable nerd who just wants to do good. He’s smart, kind, and noble, but ultimately not the hard-ass superhero. This game showed us just that and created a compelling story around both Spider-Man, the hero, and Peter Parker, the lovable nerd. The combat was done right even if, once mastered, it was easy to take down everyone at once. It’s a good thing stealth was the more exciting option, though.

42. Diablo III

best games of 2010s diablo 3
Release DateMay 15, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperBlizzard Entertainment
GenreAction RPG

TANIA PREDA ➞ Diablo III was a rollercoaster for me. I finished and farmed in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction more times than I can remember, and I stood in line at midnight to get my hands on Diablo III. Only to get hit with the 404 Error and be kinda disappointed with the game when I finished it in a couple of hours. I was ready to give up. Until that update hit and it made the game a whole lot better. Diablo III brought back everything I loved about its predecessor, only with better graphics and new abilities. It’s fun to play alone and it’s fun to play co-op. The world-building is one of the best you’ll see, something expected of Blizzard. It’s grueling, bloody, miserable, and cool AF. While it’s a hack-and-slash, pay attention to the story. It’s worth it.

41. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

best games of 2010s hellblade
Release DateAugust 8, 2017
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperNinja Theory
GenreAction-adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a narrative-driven game that explores the psychology of Senua, a Pict warrior that goes on a journey to save her dead lover’s soul from the goddess Hela. While the game is a stunning artistic achievement in and of itself, it deserves special praise for its mature, realistic, nuanced and respectful depiction of psychosis. Hellblade is a simple game that nailed its subject matter completely. It will make you weep, but also grateful that the medium of video games has finally achieved the level of maturity to portray such heavy subjects realistically and empathetically.

40. Don’t Starve

best games of 2010s dont' starve
Release DateApril 23, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperKlei Entertainment
GenreSurvival
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Don’t Starve is a cutesy, Tim Burtonesque, lovecraftian misery simulator that will throw you in the middle of a dark, dreary world where you have to survive as long as possible. That’s the gist of one of the best survival games that ate hundreds of hours of my life – and I’m surely not the only one. As usual with survival games, your main objective is to keep your character fed, healthy and mentally stable. But here, death can occur in a variety of different ways, one more ludicrous and rage-inducing than the other – and trust me, getting eviscerated by pig people 200 days into your campaign for stealing a couple of carrots is never fun. Since release, Don’t Starve has been supported with a plethora of updates, DLC, expansions and a multiplayer mode, just in case you don’t want to suffer alone. Whenever I feel like playing a survival, Don’t Starve is always my go-to game.

39. Detroit: Become Human

best games of 2010s detroit become human
Release DateMay 25, 2018
PlatformPlayStation 4
DeveloperQuantic Dream
GenreAdventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ You know those games where they say your choice matters, but you get to the end and realize it barely did? Detroit: Become Human is the complete opposite. Even if we take aside the politically charged story and the impressive visuals, the game stands out in terms of consequences to your choices. They actually matter and can change your game from beginning to end. It’s your story you’re crafting, and you make the choices for Connor, Kara, and Markus, watching them unfold and see how these three androids not just survive in futuristic Detroit but evolve into the world around them. They can all change themselves and the world throughout the course of the story (if you keep them alive) and essentially… become human. Sorry, I had to.

38. Dishonored

best games of 2010s dishonored
Release DateOctober 9, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperArkane Studios
GenreAction-adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Dishonored has aged like a fine wine, or rather a well-maintained steam engine in a collector’s garage that you could technically take for a spin, but why would you? Unlike the anecdotal steam engine, Dishonored still merits a revisit, even after seven years and a decent sequel. While the overarching narrative is not on par with the rest of the game, the individual stories, lore, side-quests, characters and the world itself are fresh and packed with creativity. The gameplay and level design encourage players to experiment and accomplish objectives creatively, and the vertical level design makes the world a pleasure to explore. Dishonored is a complete package that offers versatile gameplay and a well-crafted steampunk universe on par with China Mieville’s Bas-Lag series.

37. Cities: Skylines

best games of 2010s cities skylines
Release DateMarch 10, 2015
PlatformPlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperColossal Order
GenreCity builder

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Building a functional city after 20 hours of grinding make me feel like an urban planning genius. That is, until I watched a few cities made by actual urban planners and civil engineers on Youtube and I realized that I should never, ever be put in charge of something like this. Virtually all cities that I designed were a couple of badly placed intersections away from a complete shutdown, and even then they were hanging by a thread. Trash sat for days on people’s front porches because the trucks were stuck in endless traffic jams, bodies were decomposing in people’s living rooms because there weren’t enough cemeteries to support the city’s high mortality rate, which in turn was caused by faulty sewer networks that flooded houses with poop, long story short, I was the worst mayor ever. And yet, I loved every second I spent in Cities Skylines.

36. Until Dawn

best games of 2010s until dawn
Release Date25 August 2015
PlatformPlayStation 4
DeveloperSupermassive Games
GenreAdventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ A horror game that used all the tropes known to man and yet still built it properly into something that gave me a few frights. It’s like they were given a challenge or something. Granted, while it does make use of a little too many jumpscares, Until Dawn turned the typical “high schoolers on a trip in the snowy mountains” into an interesting story. It took full advantage of the PlayStation 4’s potential and crafted believable visuals, which can be paramount to horror games. The character models are unbelievable and the recreation of snowy mountains basking into the light of the moon is breathtaking. You can love and hate the characters, kill them off or ultimately save them all. It all depends on your reactions and decisions during critical moments, all lovingly intertwined stereotypical high school drama, with a couple of decent twists here and there.

35. Slay the Spire

best games of 2010s slay the spire
Release DateNovember 15, 2017
PlatformNintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperMega Crit Games
GenreRoguelike
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ I hate card games with a passion, and for that reason, I was very hesitant to give Slay the Spire a shot. Boy, what I fool I was, as Slay the Spire turned out to be not only one of my favorite games of the year, but also of the freaking decade. It’s so well-balanced, so polished, so full of content, and the roguelike elements only add to the game’s variety and replay value. I would go so far as saying that it’s as infinitely replayable as The Binding of Isaac, and many long-time Isaac players will agree with me.

34. Sleeping Dogs

best games of 2010s sleeping dogs
Release DateAugust 14, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
DeveloperUnited Front Games
GenreAction-adventure

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ If you have an affinity for hardboiled undercover cop stories like The Departed and Infernal Affairs, you will love Sleeping Dogs, because it was basically inspired by those films. Set in a vibrant, colorful and masterfully reproduced Hong Kong, the story follows Wei Shen, an undercover Hong Kong-American police officer on assignment to infiltrate and destroy a local triad organization. What starts out as a standard assigment soon turns into a moral dilemma of immense proportions, as Wei Shei reconnects with his roots, befriends fellow triad members and the line between his real identity as a police officer and undercover persona gets thinner by the day. Sleeping Dogs scratches all my itches for undercover-cop thrillers with labyrinthian plots, mafia flicks and Hong Kong cinema, and for that, it will forever hold a special place in my heart.

33. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

best games of 2010s the elder scrolls 5
Release DateNovember 11, 2011
PlatformEven on your microwave
DeveloperBethesda Game Studios
GenreAction RPG

TANIA PREDA ➞ Even without the many, many mods the community made for Skyrim, the vanilla version of the game was always good. Sure, it was buggy, but it introduced us to a vast world filled with side quests and an open landscape that was ours to explore. Unlike most games, it can be argued that the side quests are better than the main Dragonborn storyline, which only adds to the different approaches you can take to it. There’s a lot more to Skyrim than the memes and the backlash Bethesda is getting these days.

32. Bastion

best games of 2010s bastion
Release DateJuly 20, 2011
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperSupergiant Games
GenreAction RPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ If you read my entry about Transistor, you probably saw this coming. Bastion is masterfully-constructed action RPG set in a beautiful, hand-painted post-apocalyptic universe where the world was fractured into thousands of floating pieces following a calamity. Supergiant Games know how to build engaging worlds with absorbing atmospheres, and Bastion is no exception. Few games have managed to captivate me like Bastion. I was fully absorbed by its world for the entire duration of my first (and only) playthrough, trying to discover every bit of lore and information related to that universe. The graphics, music, presentation and story are so well-crafted that you can almost forgive Bastion for its dissappointing combat. It’s an amazing game with an equally amazing story that raised the bar for many indie games to come.

31. Bloodborne

best games of 2010s bloodborne
Release DateMarch 24, 2015
PlatformPlayStation 4
DeveloperFromSoftware
GenreAction RPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Earlier this year, I wrote in my best fantasy RPGs roundup that if Dark Souls 2 was the neglected stoner child, Bloodborne was the child that was sent to violin lessons from an early age and enrolled in the best private schools. Bloodborne is a miserable and depressing journey through a Lovecraftian crapsack world that will have you slash, and crush and shoot your way to whatever the Elder God’s have in store for you (I’m not going to spoil it). Unlike standard souls games, Bloodborne features  faster-paced combat based on dodging, parrying and counterattacking. It’s a huge departure from the defensive style of Dark Souls, and Bloodborne even mocks you by placing a useless, broken shield in an early area of the game. An addictive RPG with chaotic combat and a haunting gothic world, Bloodborne is truly one of a kind. 

30. The Wolf Among Us

best games of 2010s wolf among us
Release DateOctober 14, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360
DeveloperTelltale Games
GenreAdventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ To think The Wolf Among Us was made by the same company that descended into churning out formulaic adventure games, one more broken than the other as the studio was approaching its demise, is mind-boggling. Nearly a decade after I first played it, I’m still in awe of it. The Fables comic book series and Telltale’s graphic adventure game formula was a match made in heaven. The visuals, the dialogue-centric, story-driven gameplay, the fairy tales characters in a modern setting – Telltale was practically made to create this game. Too bad that we’ll never get a sequel. But at least we have the comic books, right?

29. Spelunky

best games of 2010s spelunky
Release DateDecember 21, 2008
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita
DeveloperMossmouth, LLC
GenreOpen-source indie
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Spelunky is the ultimate platformer, pure and simple. It’s a randomly generated, brutally difficult, infinitely replayable Indiana Jones-esque roguelike death simulator that will throw EVERY conceivable obstacle in your direction, from snakes, traps, spiders to spikes and flaming boulders. It was so influential that it served as a template for many other platformers, like Rogue Legacy and Noita, yet neither achieved the technical and mechanical mastery of Spelunky. To be completely honest, I don’t know if even the sequel will manage to surpass Spelunky. Only time will tell, I guess.

28. Rimworld

best games of 2010s rimworld
Release DateOctober 17, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperLudeon Studios
GenreColony Sim

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ I don’t think we’ll ever get a colony sim as comprehensive as Rimworld. I’m not saying it’s physically impossible, but I don’t think any sane game developer would bother developing a colony simulator on the same level as Rimworld when they could just, you know, play Rimworld. This game lets you shape your colony however you want, and with colonists having a wide variety of stats, backgrounds, quirks, and perks, the roleplaying possibilities are nearly endless. To give you an idea, during one of my playthroughs, I created a settlement of vegan colonists who made a living out of kidnapping people and selling their organs on the black market. Of course, my settlement was eventually destroyed by a group of cannibals. Ironic, to say the least. Rimworld is an emergent narrative at its best.

27. Hotline Miami

best games of 2010s hotline miami
Release DateOctober 23, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperDennaton Games
GenreTop-down shooter
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Hotline Miami plays like a stylish, neon-soaked, perfectly choreographed ultraviolent and brutal dance through 1980’s underground Miami. Always outgunned and outnumbered by sleazy Russian mobsters and other unsavory types, you must use your wits and reflexes to shoot, slash, and bludgeon entire floors of people before anyone notices. One hit and you’re dead. It’s simple, straightforward and unhumanly satisfying, especially with the booming retro soundtrack that heightens the already sky-high tension. Hotline Miami is a mesmerizing spectacle of violence and surreal storytelling that will stick with you long after you crack the skull of the last enemy.

26. Subnautica

best games of 2010s subnautica
Release DateJanuary 23, 2018
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, MacOS
DeveloperUnknown Worlds Entertainment
GenreSurvival
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ In Subnautica, you crashland in a colorful and beautiful ocean where literally everything is hostile to you. And who can blame the poor sea creatures? You have no business being there. You’re nothing more than an intruder scavenging their backyard for resources ship-building materials like a hobo rummaging through the trash for a half-eaten quesadilla. I never thought a world could be as beautiful and at the same time as hostile as the ocean in Subnautica. One moment you’re picking plants and admiring the vistas, the next you’re attacked by a huge sea monster. And you know what? I’m totally fine with that.

25. Outlast

best games of 2010s outlast
Release DateSeptember 4, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperRed Barrels
GenreSurvival Horror
TANIA PREDA ➞ One of the best horror games ever made. The fact that one of its achievements is “Scared by a plant” is a testament to the terrifying atmosphere Outlast creates. It builds up tension and then keeps it. It’s rare that you will ever relax while wandering around the abandoned asylum, full of nutjobs just waiting to bludgeon you. Even saying it doesn’t sound pleasant. Not that you have much of a choice. What started as an investigation in the shoes of a journalist turns into a constant chase and search for an exit. And because it’s all shown through the night vision mode of a camera just makes it all the more terrifying. It’s brilliant. Just don’t let yourself run out of batteries.

24. Max Payne 3

best games of 2010s max payne 3
Release DateMay 15, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
DeveloperRockstar Studios
GenreThird-person shooter
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ While Max Payne 3 ditched the comic-book style storytelling for a more standard, but stylized presentation, and moved our alcoholic anti-hero from grimy New York to equally grimy, but sunny Sao Paolo, it nevertheless retained the noir aesthetic of its predecessors. Thematically and stylistically speaking, Max Payne 3 is more City of God and Elite Squad than your standard hardboiled story, but the gameplay is the same John Woo-esque controlled chaos that we all love and enjoy. It’s worth mentioning that the gameplay is slightly slower to convey the fact that Max is no spring chicken anymore, and that he’s struggling with alcoholism and then withdrawal. Though linear, the depth of the story, writing and gameplay are enough to compensate for that.

23. Darkest Dungeon

best games of 2010s darkest dugeon
Release DateJanuary 19, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperRed Hook Studios
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Darkest Dungeon made me realize that no person, no matter how heroic and stoic they may seem, can witness their companions getting killed by cosmic abominations and smelly fish people without going through AT LEAST one sleepless night. That stuff gets to you. This notion is deeply ingrained in the core mechanics of Darkest Dungeon, as your roster of dungeon-crawling adventurers are on the brink of mental collapse. For that reason, despite the high-fantasyish horror thematic, Darkest Dungeon is by far the most grounded and humane roguelike in recent memory,

22. Crusader Kings 2

best games of 2010s crusader kings 2
Release DateFebruary 14, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperParadox Development Studios
GenreGrand Strategy
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Crusader Kings 2 is the game that made me devour hundreds of Wikipedia pages about medieval history. Not necessarily because I’m a devout history buff, but because I was curious if the dastardly and cartoonishly devious schemes I was pulling to hoard as much power as possible had real-life equivalents. Turns out, most of them did. I’m not going to out myself because I have a Twitter and a life and everything, but what I can tell you is that Crusader Kings 2 is unmatched when it comes to emergent storytelling. I usually try to be a good guy in video games, but what can I do if Crusader Kings 2 made being a ruthless, bloodthirsty, sibling-murdering tyrant so damn fun?

21. Faster Than Light

best games of 2010s faster than light
Release DateSeptember 14, 2012
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperSubset Games
GenreRoguelike
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ I have hundreds of hours in this thing and I still managed to beat this game once, on the lowest difficulty with the easiest starting ship. But to use an age-old cliche, in Faster the Light, it’s the journey that matters, not the destination. Jumping from system to system, encountering random events, interacting with characters, fighting pirates, and desperately looking for a repair station when your ship is about to fall apart, that’s the core experience of Faster than Light and what makes it a roguelike classic.

20. Overwatch

best games of 2010s overwatch
Release DateMay 24, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperBlizzard Entertainment
GenreFPS
TANIA PREDA ➞ Blizzard’s MOBA-like FPS shooter was definitely one of the most impacting and best games of the 2010s. Despite the balance issues that will never leave it, Overwatch did the impossible and brought a fresh outlook on competitive shooters. It caters to every playstyle, and that’s likely why it’s such a good game. It doesn’t matter what your background in gaming is. Odds are you’ll find a hero you enjoy playing and you’ll only want to learn more about its lore.

19. Cuphead

best games of 2010s cuphead
Release DateSeptember 29, 2017
PlatformMicrosoft WIndows, Xbox One
DeveloperStudioMDHR
GenreRun and gun
TANIA PREDA ➞ Don’t be fooled by the charming visuals. Cuphead will test your patience and coordination while playing you one of the best jazz soundtracks you’ll ever hear. The music is amazing and the level design is absolutely spectacular. Cuphead is a shoot ’em up game that’s just difficult enough to make some quit while at the same time keeping it fair. It’s definitely a must-play for anyone who enjoys the genre. And did I mention the soundtrack?

18. Undertale

best games of 2010s undertale
Release DateSeptember 15, 2015
PlatformNintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Vita
DeveloperToby Fox
GenreRPG

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Undertale is a meta-masterpiece of immense proportions that functions as a deconstruction of the entire medium of video games. I’d go so far to say (wait, I already did that) Undertale is a landmark example of postmodernism in video games because it subverts all expectations and turns all the conventions of the medium upside down. Undertale is smart enough to identify our deepy-rooted tendencies as gamers and spins them around. The result is a game packed with plenty of meta-jokes and fourth-wall-breaking moments that will make you ponder the philosophical implications of things as banal as saving and loading your game. Or it will make you sad. Very, very sad.

17. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

best games of 2010s deus ex revolution
Release DateAugust 23, 2011
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
DeveloperEidos Montréal
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ If the original Deus Ex is set in a crapsack world where multinational corporations have overthrown governments and society was reduced to a caste system, Human Revolution is set in a world that’s on the brink of that happening, but it’s still okay because hey, augments! All jokes aside, out of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided, the former is the one that fully captures the spirit of the original, both narratively and mechanically. Human Revolution is one of the best examples of the power of emergent gameplay, and every single piece of the game is built to support it. Also, after all this time, I still believe that Hengsha is a landmark achievement in level design because of how carefully and painstakingly constructed it. To paraphrase Adam Jensen, nobody asked for this sequel – but thank god somebody made it.

16. BioShock Infinite

best games of 2010s bioshock infinite
Release DateMarch 26, 2013
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, OS X, Linux
DeveloperIrrational Games
GenreFPS

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ A wacky steampunkish adventure with a surprisingly strong narrative and a gut-punching ending, Bioshock: Infinite is one of the most artistically and aesthetically impressive games of this decade. If I’m allowed to be a bit snarky, this is probably one of the few instances where I saw a Pinkerton agent portrayed sympathetically – not surprising considering what they did in real life. A lot of ink has been spilled about this game’s beautiful setting (the airborne city of Columbia), visuals and labyrinthian plot, so there’s nothing much I can say that hasn’t been already covered. It’s the Bioshock series at its best, and together with the DLC, it’s a modern classic.

15. Metro: Last Light

best games of 2010s metro last light
Release DateMay 14, 2013
PlatformPlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
Developer4A Games
GenreFPS

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Metro: Last Light was to the Metro series what The Witcher 2 was to the Witcher series: its big-budget, long-expected breakthrough into the mainstream. Last Light follows pretty much the same formula as its predecessor, but with more weapons, smoother gameplay, better presentation and writing and a stealth system that actually works. Add a compelling story filled with intrigue and backstabbing, a plethora of factions with interesting backstories and you get a world that will fully absorb you. Also, Venice has to be one of the most gorgeous and atmospheric levels I’ve ever seen in my life.

14. XCOM 2

best games of 2010s xcom 2
Release DateFebruary 5, 2016
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperFiraxis Games, Feral Interactive
GenreTurn-based strategy
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ XCOM 2 is the excellent of Enemy Unknown, the modern reboot of the classic series which taught us that it’s never a good idea to name your soldiers after loved ones, unless you want to see them brutally murdered by aliens. While XCOM 2 is essentially more of the same, but with a graphical upgrade and a guerilla theme, its expansion, War of the Chosen, is the definitive version of the game that everybody should play. It adds bosses, allies, interesting characters and a separate story that ties in neatly with the main narrative. XCOM 2 is a tactical, turn-based spectacle with lots of customization options and high replay value.

13. The Last of Us

best games of 2010s the last of us
Release DateJune 14, 2013
PlatformPlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
DeveloperNaughty Dog
GenreAction-adventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ The Last of Us is a game you’ll think about when someone says “This game should have been a movie”. The story is so good and the world is so beautifully tragic that you can’t help but fall in love with the plight of the two protagonists. It may be a post-apocalyptic tale of a broken world, with dangerous zombies walking around, and few resources, but that’s not the main focus of the game. The relationship between Joe and Ellie is the central piece and it’s executed almost flawlessly. It’s interesting, funny, and heartbreaking at the same time.

12. Dragon Age: Inquisition

best games of 2010s dragon age inquisition
Release DateNovember 18, 2014
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
DeveloperBioWare
GenreAction RPG
TANIA PREDA ➞ Dragon Age: Inquisition is a BioWare game through and through. The good BioWare I mean, back when they were allowed to focus on writing an epic story with memorable NPCs and emotionally-draining decisions. Inquisition is an absolutely superb fantasy game where you get to create your own character and forge your own story in the world. There are so many consequences to your choices and dilemmas you’ll encounter with your companions that you’ll want to replay it when you’re done. The story is excellent and the visuals are stunning. This game earned its Game of the Year award.

11. Stardew Valley

best games of 2010s stardew valley
Release DateFebruary 26, 2016
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperConcernedApe
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ By now, most people have caught on with how good Stardew Valley actually is, but back when it was released, I had to BEG people to give it a shot. And who can blame them? It’s a freaking farming sim. Underneath the cutesy exterior lies a deceptively complex game that will absorb hundreds of hours of your life. This is the kind of game that will make you excited about the prospect of waking up every morning to water your turnips. It will make you wish you could ditch your dreadful office job for a simpler country life, spending your days feeding cows, growing crops and making delicious peach jams during the winter. Stardew Valley is nothing short of therapeutic. It’s my ultimate comfort game that I always go back to whenever I’m feeling down.

10. Red Dead Redemption 2

best games of 2010s red dead redemption 2
Release DateOctober 26, 2018
PlatformPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperRockstar Games
GenreAction-adventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ One of the most beautiful games to date. Red Dead Redemption 2 fully lived up to its expectations with a vast open-world, filled with life and wonderful sceneries, as well as stories to be told. This game brought realistic animations to a new degree and it somehow made mundane tasks such as brushing your horse or cleaning your gun a fun chore. It makes you want to explore the Wild West from on top of a horse and get involved in each event that happens around Arthur Morgan’s life and crew.

9. Mass Effect 2

best games of 2010s mass effect 2
Release DateJanuary 26, 2010
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
DeveloperBioWare
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ If you’re looking for a Sci-Fi story that plays out as a classic heist film, then look no further than Mass Effect 2. Compared to the grand, bombastic feeling of the first and third entries of the series, Mass Effect 2 is more intimate and personal and scope, and as a result, there’s more space for the writing to shine and the characters to bloom and fully develop. The entirety of your playtime is spent roaming the galaxy and recruiting volunteers for a high-reward suicide mission and making the necessary preparation, and though there’s no time limit or anything, the prospect of failing is always lurking in the back of your mind. Mass Effect 2 is the best that the series has ever been, and I doubt it will ever achieve the same level of greatness.

8. God of War

best games of 2010s god of war
Release DateApril 20, 2018
PlatformPlayStation 4
DeveloperSanta Monica Studio
GenreAction-adventure
TANIA PREDA ➞ The God of War games were a fun, hack and slash adventure back in the day. However, the 2018 God of War is a true journey. The combat is one of the most satisfying and exciting you’ve experienced so far. You get the full strength of a god at your hands as you hack with your axe at creatures from Norse mythology while staring in awe at the serene landscape of the North. The story, however, will truly captivate you. Kratos and Atreus make the best pair and exhibit the most complex father-kid relationship since Joe and Ellie. Their dialogue is realistic and beautiful in spite of its fantastical nature, and their journey together is truly an experience that will always stick with you.

7. Fallout: New Vegas

best games of 2010s fallout new vegas
Release DateOctober 19, 2010
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
DeveloperObsidian Entertainment
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Fallout: New Vegas is the best Fallout game since the 90s classics. It’s diverse, intuitive, geniously written (Chris Avellone was lead writer, after all) and it was developed over the course of two years with a limited budget. This is an RPG in the truest sense of the word, with a branching questing system that molds according to player decision and an overall design philosophy that allows people to play the game exactly as they want, with no restrictions. New Vegas is the closest the series will ever get to emulating the spirit and freedom of the original series – at least until Bethesda sells the rights to the franchise. Which, let’s be honest, will never happen.

6. Portal 2

best games of 2010s portal 2
Release DateApril 18, 2011
PlatformPlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
DeveloperValve Corporation
GenrePuzzle
TANIA PREDA ➞ Calling Portal 2 a mere “puzzle game” is a disservice to the creativity that went into this masterful game. Whether single-player or co-op, it’s impossible to describe just how fun it is to play with the portal gun and solve the puzzles placed in front of you. The humor makes everything incredibly charming, outside the fact that there’s a huge AI attempting to kill you. In addition, the community made excellent use of the workshop and kept this game alive with new maps, even if you want to play it today.

5. Disco Elysium

best games of 2010s disco elysium
Release Date15 October 2019
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
DeveloperZA/UM
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ How can a small studio from Estonia make a RPG so fresh, so groundbreaking, so out-of-the-box that it makes other RPGs look stale in comparison? Disco Elysium features no combat – all interactions are handled through dialogue trees and skill checks. But what sets Disco Elysium apart from virtually all RPGs I’ve ever played is how it managed to simulate human thought processes and the consciousness. How? By making your skills – which can vary from mundane to abstract – “talk” to each other, giving hints during dialogue about the best course of action. As for the writing, Disco Elysium flows like a hardboiled detective novel written by Fitzgerald on his best day – filled with sadness, melancholy and at the same time an explosive humor that references everything from Kant to DMX and Snoop Dogg. This is my The Wire of games – I’ll compare all future games with Disco Elysium.

4. Dark Souls

best games of 2010s dark souls
Release DateSeptember 22, 2011
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
DeveloperFromSoftware
GenreAction RPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Sometimes I just want to wipe all my memories of Dark Souls, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind style, and play it as if it were the first time. Dark Souls is a mesmerizing, cerebral experience that will make you go through the entire emotional spectrum – sadness, frustration, anger, happiness, melancholy. Some of the more difficult fights will destroy you mentally and physically, and then the game will reward you with a beautiful vista. Everything in Dark Souls clicks, from the genius level design featuring an intricate interconnect world, difficult, but fair combat and the environmental storytelling that it’s, as of 2019, unmatched.

3. Zelda: Breath of the Wild

best games of 2010s zelda
Release DateMarch 3, 2017
PlatformNintendo Switch, Wii U
DeveloperNintendo Entertainment
GenreAction-adventure
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Many people consider Breath of the Wild a landmark in open world game design, and I couldn’t agree more. This game should serve as a template for all future open world titles. And the weird thing is that Breath of the Wild didn’t reinvent the wheel, rather it took designs and mechanics perfected in other games and put their own spin on them. Breath of the Wild is a compelling, absorbing game that captures exactly what made the old Zeldas so good while laying the groundwork for the next generation.

2. Divinity: Original Sin 2

best games of 2010s divinity original sin 2
Release DateSeptember 14, 2017
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperLarian Studios
GenreRPG
MARCO GIULIANI ➞ If you feel like modern games offer only the illusion of choice and freedom, Divinity: Original Sin 2 was made for you. Every quest that you encounter has at least a couple of different approaches, and more often than not, said approaches can be either unlocked or blocked depending on decisions made during other quests. I don’t know how Larian Studios managed to create such an intricate questing system, but the Excel spreadsheets must’ve been crazy. DOS 2 also has some of the funniest writing and most bizarre characters I’ve seen in a video game, like the crab who thinks it’s a powerful sorcerer or the spiked heads which you can torture with bad head puns if you have the right character.

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

best games of 2010s witcher 3
Release DateMay 19, 2015
PlatformMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperCD Projekt RED
GenreRPG
TANIA PREDA ➞ A masterpiece of the RPG genre that will stick with you long after you finished it and make you want to go through every little bit all over again. The Witcher 3 completely envelops you in its world. It makes you care about each single side quest and become emotionally invested in every decision you make. It’s vast but never grueling. It’s amazingly crafted, dense with life, and even fuller of interesting stories and fascinating NPCs. The characters, even outside the main cast, are beautifully represented as complex people, each with their own set of values and problems who, just like the monsters in this game, emphasize that the world is in shades of grey. I would be disappointed to hear that there’s an RPG fan out there who hasn’t walked in the shoes of Geralt of Rivia. If I could erase my memories of one game just to replay it and be captivated by its story and world again, it would be Witcher 3.

CONCLUSION

This wraps up our list of the best games of the decade. To reiterate, these are the games that we believe were defining and that we enjoyed playing .We’re fully aware that we probably missed a lot of stuff, so we’ll leave it up to you to fill the gaps. Tell us in the comments section below!
Marco Giuliani

Marco Giuliani

Lead Editor

I can reproduce every scene from The Sopranos word by word. I also like to talk endlessly about weirdly specific game mechanics and tropes. But I guess that's par for the course, right?

Tania Preda

Tania Preda

Contributor

I pride myself with an awesome gaming rig and probably spend way too much money on peripherals. I’m still keeping my tastes varied, either heading into competitive Overwatch, doing every single side quest of Red Dead Redemption 2 or Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, sometimes indulging in a bit city building with Anno 1800 or Frostpunk, enjoying the bloodshed in Mortal Kombat XI, and getting excited about most upcoming open-world, story-driven RPGs.

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