As the decade draws to a close, gamers are faced with the daunting prospect of ranking the multitudes of titles they have experienced over the last ten years. There have been some absolute abhorrences that I’ve given time and money to, but of course there have also been some total master classes in perfect game design. I’ve wrestled with what to name my best of the decade for weeks, and can now confirm I am happy with the decisions I have made.

10) Pokemon Black 2 (2012)

The best Pokemon game ever had to appear in this list. Boasting a story and post-game that could easily take players over 30 hours to complete, not including filling the Pokedex, this mammoth achievement by Game Freak has seen me playing through so many times that I probably did complete the Pokedex over my various runs. I favour Black 2 over White 2 solely because of the Legendary Pokemon, Zekrom, being more fun to use than its alternate version counterpart, Reshiram.

I detested Pokemon Black and White, and am so happy I didn’t pass on Black 2 and White 2 when they came along and fixed every issue (lame story, extremely dislikeable rival and comparatively small map compared to other games) whilst adding new areas and characters that improved gameplay exponentially.

It certainly doesn’t re-invent the wheel, but back in the days of generation 5 long before the controversy of Dexit, nobody really expected it to either. What we got instead was a long, deep and gripping Pokemon RPG, that I certainly wouldn’t change for the world.

9) Forza Horizon 3 (2016)

Beautiful open world? Check. Massive selection of all types of car? Check? Stellar soundtrack? Check. Forza Horizon 3 checks every box in the pursuit of creating the best ever open-world racing game; then blows them out the water and comes out with a game that is nothing short of perfection. I’ve spent many an evening tearing around the awesome Australian map, and purchased close to every car in the game.

The DLC for Horizon 3 was phenomenal too, with Blizzard Mountain and the legendary Hot Wheels expansions adding to the hundreds of hours I’d already spent on this title.

Easily the best Forza Horizon game, and the best racing / open world racing game of ALL TIME, the Forza series is the sole reason I purchased an Xbox One and is the reason why I still use it to this day!

8) Skyrim (2011)

The hundreds of hours I spent exploring Skyrim (and loving every minute of it) guaranteed its place in my top ten games of the decade even years ago when it launched. My first ever Elder Scrolls game, I went in with no idea at all of what to expect, but when I learned early on that if an NPC was in any way rude to me I could show my frustration with shouting and a warhammer, I became hooked on Skyrim in an addiction that would last years.

Even when the game crashed or bugged out on me, causing me to lose sometimes hours of progress, all I would do is have a brief sigh and immediately start re-doing all I’d lost, but usually quicker and in a much more violent manner.

I doubt there are many reading this list who haven’t played Skyrim, but if you’re one of those who haven’t, then I understand you less than I understand why an NPC would belittle someone they had just watched hammer a dragon to death before trying to sell its bones to a shopkeeper they’d robbed not five minutes earlier!

7) DmC: Devil May Cry (2013)

Potentially controversial but I’ll say it, DmC: Devil May Cry is hands down the best Devil May Cry game ever. The fluid combat switching between scythes, shurikens, swords and a variety of guns, coupled with pretty environments and an amazing soundtrack, I am constantly perplexed when people tell me that they hated this game. Dislike the re-design of Dante if you must, though I’ve never minded the new look, but to criticise the adrenaline packed action and brilliantly written ‘new’ Dante is incomprehensible to me.

I still maintain hope that this mighty game will receive a sequel eventually, and can guarantee it will be a day one purchase for me.

6) Oxenfree (2016)

The best indie game of the generation AND the decade, Oxenfree is a game I’ve mentioned dozens of times on Respawning, and to anyone who will listen to me. The most gorgeous graphics, engaging characters and haunting story has had me coming back time and time again to play this masterpiece of a title. As I say every time I bring up Oxenfree, I won’t go into the story so as not to spoil it for anyone reading whose yet to play it, but you truly owe it to yourselves to give this gem a go if you like narrative driven gameplay, and a deep thrilling mystery solved through exploration, charming and funny dialogue, and your own hunger to understand how and why the events that unfold are taking place.

Thanks for reading part one of my top ten games of the decade. Let me know yours in the comments and on Twitter @MaliceVER and I’ll be back really soon with part two of my games of 2010 – 2019, so I will speak to you then.

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