The EZA Forums Top 50 Games of the 2010s!

  • I haven't finished Control or Sekiro. I started the former, but then it got announced for next-gen, and thought I'd be patient and wait for the upgrade so it might improve frame rates and pop-in on PS4, not that it was ruining my experience or anything. I'm genuinely excited to get into that one, I love the abstract horror elements and the unique feel it's got, I just haven't given it enough time.

    The latter I've played for a good ten to twelve hours. I'm not great at Souls games, though I've put time into every one. I love exploring the world and fighting, but like most other games From has made, it can be a little too punishing for me. It puts me on edge just walking around, and while I got pretty good at the parry and love sneaking around and doing stealth kills, when I'm up against a boss, I'm still just not very good at the game. I probably didn't make it very far, I'm stuck at a big flaming bull boss, but I just haven't put in the time or have the patience to go through and get past it. I applaud all who were able to make it to the end, I'd love to see more of that one!

  • The Witness

    #40. The Witness - 81 points


    #5 (Chocobop, MiserablePerson), #10 (THECapedCaper), #13 (Otos, E_Zed_Eh_Intern), #15 (Sazime), HM (ffff0, Sentinel Beach)


    Release year: 2016
    GOTY Rank: 10th
    Developer: Thekla, Inc.
    Publisher: Thekla, Inc.
    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC



  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

    #39. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds - 81 points


    #4 (NeoCweeny), #7 (E_Zed_Eh_Intern), #11 (feer), #12 (Chocobop), #13 (Oscillator), #14 (FerrisK96), HM (Shoulderguy, Sheria)


    Release year: 2013
    GOTY Rank: 3rd
    Developer: Nintendo
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS


    GT Review

  • Before release, I thought The Witness looked Myst-like, and I was intrigued. But then I saw extended gameplay footage after release and found out all the puzzles followed a template. I'm not totally down on it - I have it downloaded from Game Pass - but that lack of variety is a significant disincentive for me.

    LBTW is another I haven't played, but it's high on my "want to play" list, for the wall merge mechanic alone. Being pretty much the only 3DS game I'm very interested in is the only barrier. Hopefully it gets a Switch port, otherwise I'll eventually pick up as cheap a 3DS or 2DS as I can find.

  • The Witness is my #19. I like puzzle games, but usually they are just about figuring solution when the rules are known. The Witness is a rare game where you also have to figure out the language of the game and then use that language to figure out the rules. This trick is rarely done well, but in The Witness it's excellent. It's only my #19 because there were some annoying things in this game, like long philosophical videos. Also I have problems with its open-world: it’s nice that you can do things in any order, but traveling from one point to the other takes a bit too much time.

  • I played some of The Witness but ultimately I was too dumb for that game and never finished it.

    I've liked most portable Zelda games but The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is on another level in terms of quality. It borrows a lot from A Link to the Past, while having it's own great systems and surprises along the way. I revisited this game early last year and was pleased to see that it still holds up. I think it would make for a great Switch HD remaster despite how much I enjoyed playing Link Between Worlds with the 3D on. It ended up as an honorable mention for me but this is a game that I absolutely had to have on my list.

    Zelda: A Link Between Worlds - Post-Review Discussion:

    Youtube Video

  • I only played a bit of The Witness. I figured out the black panel reflection puzzles not too far from where the game started, and my god that was satisfying as heck. Hopefully I can get into the mood of playing this soon, it's quite the demanding game for me.

  • Banned

    All these games I haven't played!
    The Witness looks cool but I'm not sure I'll ever play it.
    Stopped having an interest in Zelda many years ago. Not sure what it is, just don't feel compelled to play the games anymore.

  • Played a lot of The Witness along with my gf but she lost interest and with that I lost interest too. But I did enjoyed what I played.

  • Damn, I forgot about The Witness somehow. That game is just fantastic, absolutely amazing design and puzzles.

  • Link Between Worlds was my first Zelda game. I enjoyed it a lot. I found it quite frustrating some times because of the open nature of it. It was hard to figure out where I was supposed to be going and doing at times.

  • The Witness is the first game in the countdown that I've played after the GOTY vote for its respective thread. At the time, I had the following mindset:

    "Of all the 2016 games to be released, The Witness is the one I'm on the fence the most about. Up until now, I have not played it, but the more I think about it, the more (however very incrementally it is) appealing it becomes. I love the art style, and I enjoy a good puzzle, but the time sink dedicated to this is staggering for me, especially when this is a game you can't put down for an extended period of time."

    I have since played it and while it's astounding in how there are puzzles literally everywhere, from the panels to the world itself, and the game is GORGEOUS, I actually didn't have the best time with it because there are certain mechanics that are prohibitive. The one that was irritating for me is I have difficulties with a few colors (as certain blues/purples look too similar to me, as does very bright greens/dark yellows), so some of the puzzles based on colors were literally impossible to solve for me without seeing a guide. That's when I noticed other mechanics that are just as bothersome for others, like puzzles based on sound or another sense. If there were accessibility options to make it easier to make the ACT of solving the puzzles easier, not necessarily giving the solutions, I would be higher on it, but as it stands, I can't in good conscience sing its praises without pointing out it can't be played by everyone because of certain design decisions. As of writing, I have played nine games to have been released in 2016, and I would slot it fifth because what IS there is exceptional and the games I have it higher than have more glaring issues.

    Moving on to A Link Between Worlds, this gives me the feeling of the highest thought of Zelda game that's spoken about the least. I couldn't (and still can't) really comment about it because I haven't played it, and as I just pointed out, whenever Zelda comes up as a topic, this game isn't brought up as much as many others like Ocarina, Majora, BOTW, Wind Waker, etc. The one thing I know about the game is you can turn yourself into a 2D painting and that's interesting, but Paper Mario kind of nailed down the 2D style well before then.

  • When it came out, I hated The Witness. My roommates at the time got completely enthralled in it. I didn't see one for days after, and I sat on the couch with two others while we played on the TV. I thought it was blatantly obtuse, pretentious, and just not a lot of fun. Over the years, I've tried several times to get into it and have given it many other shots on my own. Especially after starting a podcast with a theme of finding appreciation in the things you may not enjoy, I felt it was something I needed to do. I can say now, having finished The Witness, I still don't like it. I still think it's pretentious to have rewards to very intricate and overly difficult puzzles be scenes from Tarkovsky movies, or audio logs with quotes from renowned philosophers, all put there to seemingly make you feel like there should be some sort of story or connection to everything around you, or on the flip end to be 'about' how it doesn't have a story. But I can say that I've done a 180 on the puzzles themselves. I genuinely think there is nothing else like The Witness, and it articulates its rules in a way that is realistically like learning a language. Anyone can understand if they put the tools to the test. I also adore the colors and the world, and walking around is so peaceful and almost meditative with the sounds of your footsteps and nature everywhere. All that aside though, I still just don't like The Witness.

    A Link Between Worlds was actually my reason for purchasing a 3DS. I love that game, and spent a lot of time playing through it, but it's probably in my bottom tier of Zelda games. I thought the tool mechanic just sort of slowed the game down by making me re-rent tools I already knew I needed just to change the flow of things and give a different penalty on death. On the flip side, when you buy all the tools, it still doesn't feel like you've accomplished a lot because you really only use each tool in a specific place for the temples. But those thoughts aside, it's still Zelda, and it's just fun to beat temples, collect rupees and do little side activities like upgrading all those items while you save the world. It's also really cool to play with the 3D on, which I generally didn't like in a lot of the rest of the 3DS' library. I hate Ravio. The rest of the game is pretty freaking fun though!

  • I haven't had the time to share my thoughts about the last few games, so here they are:

    I loved Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, just like I love the entire series really, the Super NES ones still hold up too (especially 2). Tropical Freeze may very well be the most accomplished 2D platformer I've ever played, and it was my GOTY in 2014. Being a 2D platformer, it will never get as much recognition as other games, even I placed it only 13th, but I'm very happy it made the top 50 altogether.

    Never played a Monster Hunter game, but World is the closest I've ever gotten to finally giving it a shot. Maybe next time?

    There's something about Control that just doesn't appeal to me, can't quite put my finger on it. Reading your comments, it sounds like a PS5 version could improve it a lot in terms of performance, so maybe I'll let myself be tempted, especially if the launch line-up is a bit empty.

    Sekiro, well, I've never played a single Souls game (having just started Bloodborne a couple weeks ago). Bloodborne was always the most appealing of the bunch to me, but I don't think I'll want to play another one after that.

    The Witness was excellent, but as a first-person puzzle game I preferred The Talos Principle. I have a lot of respect for what Witness does though, and I feel like it was absolutely one of the top 50 games of the decade, in terms of significance. Happy to see it pop up.

    Finally, I want to give a huge shout-out to Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Just like I said about Tropical Freeze, this is in my opinion the most accomplished 2D Zelda. The controls in particular are much smoother and responsive than previous entries, it's a delight to simply move around and fight in this world. The open structure was also refreshing, and even the story was mildly interesting, although simple (which is more than I can say for most Zeldas). I think the reason it generated less buzz than it should is because it is seen as a mere "remake/sequel" to Link to the Past.

  • Red Dead Redemption

    #38. Red Dead Redemption - 82 points


    #3 (Phbz), #10 (TokyoSlim), #12 (JW), #13 (Shoulderguy, Nimbat1003), #14 (Sentinel Beach, iboshow), #15 (Capnbobamous)


    Release year: 2010
    GOTY Rank: 2nd
    Developer: Rockstar
    Publisher: Rockstar Games
    Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360


    GT Review

  • Death Stranding

    #37. Death Stranding - 83 points


    #8 (Hazz3r, Lotias), #9 (JW), #10 (Jamicov, collin), #14 (Sazime), HM (Tearju Engi, Sentinel Beach)


    Release year: 2019
    GOTY Rank: 6th
    Developer: Kojima Productions
    Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PC


    EZA Review

  • Haven't finished Death Stranding. It's been a slow burn for me because I want to give it its own time, and sit down for more than fifteen minutes at a time. I love how it feels, and the emptiness, but I want to become more invested in the story, so hopefully that comes around soon (I'm in chapter 2).

    I appreciate Red Dead Redemption, it's just not for me. I've never been an open-world buff, and a lot of the stories in the game feel like John is just being mean to Irish or other characters that are over the top. It's difficult for me to get invested in a story when it's spread out so much between so many character missions. I do love the setting though, and had fun with the shooting. Bully is by far my favorite Rockstar game though because I think the small scope helped amplify all of the characters and side stuff you inevitably end up doing.

  • Red Dead Redemption was a game that I enjoyed while playing, but had no memory about once it was dinished. Except for the one thing – it’s ending. It’s excellent and it’s even more powerful thanks to the several “quiet” missions before the last one.

    Death Stranding is an interesting case. On one hand, I have several problems with it: combat feels unnecessary, many cut-scenes are too long, and the game simultaneously tells you that baby is just equipment and that you should care about it. Also motorcycle breaks the game: you travel so fast, that you reach destinations 30-seconds after the song starts. And motorcycle traversal is almost effortless, so every other traversal tool (including later ones) becomes unnecessary.

    But on the other hand, Death Stranding is a very relaxing game, and I like that. And while I hated its useless online aspect at first, I’ve eventually realized that this is an excellent social commentary on the bad influence of “likes”. All those bridges over flat surfaces, numerous sings in base entrances and other objects placed on popular routes that provide zero benefits to you, but are destined to be passed through and therefore gather likes. We had Journey where online interactions are meaningful or not happening (people just pass by), and we have Death Stranding, where almost every online interaction is meaningless, because it’s driven by likes.

  • I did not expect Death Stranding to make it. I figured people would find it difficult to detach the actual game from its insane promotional campaign / memery.

  • RDR in 38th and Death Stranding above it, in 37th. This brings great shame to this community! I joke, but I'm surprised.

    RDR is one of my all time favourite games above all because I love its world. Also has a super strong cast of characters. I was so obsessed with this game that I bought a 360 just to play it and I loved every minute of it.

    Death Stranding is an interesting game, one of the most interesting games I've ever played. Great atmosphere and emergent gameplay but it also feels like its online ideas are underdeveloped and the writing is among the worst I've ever experienced on any artistic medium. Like pathetically bad, but in a way like The Room, when it becomes entertaining to watch Kojima outdoing himself as the story progresses. I'll forever keep the memory of my girlfriend, after watching me play for a few days, coming in the living room and timidly asking me "this game is kind of stupid isn't it?" Still a game I recommend anyone to play it because when it gets it right is an 11/10.