And there it is! After weeks of voting, and weeks of reveals, we have what we have determined to be the best of the best, THE Game(s) of the Decade! Ok, as I said, I'm going to leave my biggest comment of the thread so far (Actually, you know what, my longest comment in my entire time on the Forums. This took me literally HOURS to write. Goes to show how I just couldn't bring myself to cut anything). I want to focus on the top two games, my votes, and total breakdown by year, and comments on all my picks that didn't make it.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE skip to the next post as you see fit.
Let's get started.
Pertaining to Bloodborne: I don't want to keep going about why don't care for any From game, but I WILL say it absolutely confounds me why there isn't a sequel. I'm SURE Sony would LOVE a new Bloodborne, but I doubt From will ever want to make it because they've focused on Sekiro and now Elden Ring. As for the HoG report, Bloodborne was another that was really stubbornly put through. It's first appearance was the first stream, where Ian brought it and it only had three votes, and though that may seem small, the three above it (Metal Gear Solid, Super Metroid, and Super Street Fighter II Turbo) took the lionshare. Surprisingly, it didn't come back until the seventh ceremony, where it JUST missed on being nominated then. Brad brought it that day, and it got nine votes, but lost out to the two who got 13 votes: Final Fantasy VI and Tetris. But Ian wouldn't let that stand, bringing back at the next ceremony and it received those same 13 votes to have the most on the night.
Regarding Breath of the Wild: Again, another time I didn't leave much a comment, but again, can't really speak when I haven't played a game. And since it's the Game of the Decade, I'm fully comfortable with being in the minority on this. It just does not appeal to me, but all the respect to it. (For the record, as a general rule, open world games don't do it for me with very few exceptions, and I've never really been into not just Zelda as a franchise, but just Nintendo games in general.
As for my votes, my list was as follows:
1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (2016) (11th overall on the list) (4th favorite game of all time)
2. The Last of Us (2013) (3rd overall on the list) (5th favorite game of all time)
3. Ratchet & Clank (2016) (10th favorite game of all time)
4. Portal 2 (2011) (28th overall on the list) (14th favorite game of all time)
5. God of War (2018) (4th overall on the list) (16th favorite game of all time)
6. DOOM (2016) (34rd overall on the list) (19th favorite game of all time)
7. Kingdom Hearts III (2019) (20th favorite game of all time)
8. Ori and the Blind Forest (2015) (25th favorite game of all time)
9. Mass Effect 2 (2010) (10th overall on the list) (29th favorite game of all time)
10. Horizon: Zero Dawn (2017) (20th overall on the list) (31st favorite game of all time)
11. Batman: Arkham City (2011) (19th overall on the list) (32nd favorite game of all time)
12. Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) (34th favorite game of all time)
DISHONORED 2 SHOULD'VE GOTTEN ENOUGH VOTES IN 2016! (36th favorite game of all time)
13. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (2010) (37th favorite game of all time)
14. Tomb Raider (2013) (44th favorite game of all time)
15. Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014) (48th favorite game of all time)
16. (HM) Gears 5 (2019) (54th favorite game of all time)
17. (HM) Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (2019) (55th favorite game of all time)
18. (HM) God of War: Ghost of Sparta (2010) (58th favorite game of all time)
19. (HM) Dishonored (2012) (61st favorite game of all time)
20. (HM) Gears 3 (2011) (68th favorite game of all time)
I have a personal top 100 list I update with each new game I play I like enough to warrant consideration, so I easily just pulled out of the list as the games were already in order. I included the years so you could see how the years broke out for me:
2010 - 3 games
2011 - 3 games
2012 - 1 game
2013 - 2 games
2014 - 1 game
2015 - 2 games
2016 - 3 games
2017 - 1 game
2018 - 1 game
2019 - 3 games
With how everything is grouped, I know EVERYONE loves 2017 as it had so many games throughout the whole 12 months, but for me and my interests, 2016 had was stacked, particularly in the three week period where three of my top six games from the decade and top 20 games ever came out, ending on my birthday. What an excellent time.
Anyway, my words regarding all the games that sadly, didn't make it in the face of intense competition, in ascending order:
GEARS 3: "Of all the games I played in 2011 (and quite frankly pretty much most of the games I've played), there are extremely few that would rival the amount of hours I poured into Gears 3. Being such a die hard Gears fan, this is one of the first games where the wait for it was brutal. I've anticipated other games for a longer period of time, but I just remember Gears 3 being one of the first where I would actively seek out news in the year/year and a half before it released. I'm not a Horde fan, so it and Beast were the modes I put the least amount of time into, but Beast being a much quicker pace made it a more enjoyable experience than Horde. I also REALLY didn't care for how Epic redesigned the characters, so much so that Dom literally doesn't look like any resemblance of his previous design while others characters were more identifiable. That said, I felt the campaign was a nice length, even if it wanted to go into even more bizarre sci-fi territory down the stretch. And yet, I'm still angry about the end of the Mercy section, only because Clayton survives the campaign. It's a personal bitter taste I still carry because of who took his place. And yet, for all of that, the OVERWHELMING majority of time was spent in offline multiplayer, trying to achieve as many Onyx medals as possible. Now-a-days the thought of mindlessly playing against bots over and over and over and over across three modes primarily (Team Deathmatch and King of the Hill were the fastest way to level up) doesn't sound interesting, but Gears 3 came at a time when I was pretty new to Xbox Live, combined with not as have as many replayable games as I do today AND the fact I had not much to do as I was in college at the time and I'm not a social person to begin with. Plus, this is probably the only game I have EVER played that I cared about cosmetics and I think motion skins are pretty cool, so I'm partial to the fire or moving steel variants."
DISHONORED: "The first (reason I love it) is its world. I find the concept of a steampunkish setting dealing with a viral epidemic to be fascinating (Note: This had some poor aging, huh?), and this aesthetic lent well to the ingenious level design. Personally, the Golden Cat, the Hound Pits Pub, and the Flooded District also stand with the Boyle Estate as memorable locales and the levels, with multiple paths, opportunities, and open-ended nature packed so many secrets, pick-ups, and gameplay moments that make them just as strong as the narrative. And for me, I really enjoyed said narrative. I liked the twist and the last level being so fundamentally different based upon your choices was, for me, jaw-dropping. Encouraging replayability plus the two story DLC, Dishonored is phenomenal. And the sequel is even better in every way."
GOD OF WAR: GHOST OF SPARTA: "God of War on the PSP doesn't get enough love. Ghost of Sparta is the second of the two PSP entries, and while I like Chains of Olympus more, GoS is really REALLY solid. I liked the concept of Kratos having to track down his brother, but much like Uncharted 4, it's understandable how introducing a close family member never referenced prior is a bit cheap. Thanatos is a good Olympian to despise, though I wish he was present more throughout the game. It's fun to visit Atlantis and Sparta, but they actually aren't as well realized as I personally would like. For being a PSP game, the controls are actually pretty good, because in my experience, games with fixed camera angles are better to play on handheld in the absence of free camera movement. Ghost of Sparta also is a nice wedge before God of War II, and I always enjoy seeing the fantastical interpretation of Greek mythology the God of War series provides."
STAR WARS JEDI: FALLEN ORDER: "I can confidently say that, for me, this is the best Star Wars game since KOTOR. I loved quite a lot, especially the level design and characters. Yes, I do have qualms with there being no fast travel system once you complete a planet's story, and yes, Cal isn't the most charismatic protagonist out there, but exploring Zeffo and the final planet, and always being accompanied by BD-1 never got old. I enjoyed many of the secrets, especially an entire area which is the best spot of the whole game (despite the fact many of the secrets were just cosmetic items or world lore). I enjoyed the story quite a lot, and really appreciated it was something different from the Skywalker tree of everyone knowing and being connected by everyone. I also loved being able to customize my saber and learning the combat mechanics. I'm not a fan of the souls combat formula, but after playing this, I understand why it's so appealing. My biggest problems are only really two things: 1. Spiders. #^$& Kashyyyk. 2.) Tech problems. There were times when the game would freeze as it tried to load the next part of the word, there would be an odd-clip through, or encounters wouldn't end because an enemy just wasn't there. Only once did my game hard crash, and it was during a linear story moment so I only had to replay about 15 minutes once. Despite that, I LOVED this game, and I hope Respawn follows Sony Santa Monica and implements a new game plus, because going through fully powered up would be too tantalizing to not go through it again."
GEARS 5: "Gears 5, for me, is the best Gears game since the first two games. Gears 5 actually provides a wide amount of choice for how you want to play, within each mode. For single players like me, it's a MASSIVE plus I am able to play every mode alone. That includes multiplayer. Playing against bots to practice without dedicating to the campaign or playing against (or with) others was a benefit gone from Gears 4, so being able to open up all modes, including Horde and Escape, to play alone is greatly appreciated (though Horde and Escape are still anti-single player, at least you can ATTEMPT them). Escape is a nice concept, and the more friends you have, the better. Also introducing the map editor opens a lot of opportunity to always mix up the various maps and creativity of other players. The campaign is EASILY the strongest part. The story is great from the jump and carries itself all the way up until the climax. Sadly, there is one plot point that undos a good deal of that good will in the final hour, but that critique aside, I absolutely LOVED it. Especially Jack. Adding a new and out-of-the-box way to approach Gears is fantastic, and I applaud the Coalition with what they've done throughout the whole package of Gears 5. Except.... Their microtransaction and customization system is a colossal waste. Having to buy a currency (Iron) that isn't earnable, and having a limited selection that's not even permanent feels like a total letdown development time went into this. THANKFULLY, the one saving grace of this system is not one time was I ever directed or made known about any of this. I had to mess around with the menus on launch night and look around to discover this, so it's so far out of the way, it's there ONLY for people who will go out of there way to spend cash on cosmetic items. (And now, well after I wrote this, they've redone the system, so it's now even less of an issue, thankfully) There's so much great with Gears 5, and Gears has proven itself, in this generation at least, to be the most important exclusive for Xbox. Halo included."
WOLFENSTEIN: THE NEW ORDER: "This was the ONLY game that I felt was great. I LOVE the no-apologies take on violence and was completely surprised by how much I really liked the story. I felt it dragged a little bit and by the time you go underwater is when I felt it was becoming a little too wrapped up in itself, but the overall campaign was fun. I especially enjoyed how the choice you make in the beginning changed the story and it was really interesting to see the differences."
TOMB RAIDER: "While I've never really been into the Tomb Raider franchise, my best friend tried this out a copule years after it released and had let me know to give it a shot. I saw a demo on 360, and was interested enough with said demo to give the full thing a chance. I'm happy I did, because I absolutely loved Yamatai. While I could've done without some of the characters, I was invested in not only the location, but the concept Lara Croft wasn't the Tomb Raider yet, but becoming as such and learning what it takes to survive. While each subsequent release of this reboot got less interesting as time went on, there's just something about this game that really spoke to me with its mix of ancient Japanese mythology, "modern" technology, and fun puzzles that were at times challenging, but most were rewarding. Exploring the wrecked ship, bunkers, tombs, and villages of the Solarii were fun."
KINGDOM HEARTS: BIRTH BY SLEEP: "Birth by Sleep was a revelation for me in my Kingdom Hearts fandom. The first game where you didn't play as Sora, AND taking place before (at the time) any other game in the series, having to play the same main story arc from three different perspectives was interesting. Also, getting to see the beginning, middle, and end of a particular world's story from said perspectives was really neat as well, though when you take a look at the timeline on the main menu, the timing in visiting these worlds seem out of order. But I digress... The command deck was an interesting way to get around the shortcut menu and combat system on a portable device and while I don't have a problem with it, I do prefer the series with a legitimate controller. Getting to see certain Disney classics was interesting, though I prefer some of the more modern selections from the mainline games. Seeing as how THIS game would turn out to be the secret movie from Kingdom Hearts II was surprising for it to be a PSP game, but it's probably the most important Kingdom Hearts game in the whole series that is NOT the main trilogy. One final thing I actually like is the monopoly-like mini-game where you can powerup your commands and earn items so you can fuse them for even more powerful attacks. There are some things I don't like, for example the Mirage Arena (which is this game's version of the Olympus Coliseum), Disney Town, D-Links, and a couple of story beats, but overall, Birth by Sleep is always a fun time to play. Sadly, because I'm terrible at games, I've never been good enough to play the Secret episode, only watch it on YouTube, but all in all, there's so much here that's really good. My second favorite PSP game behind Crisis Core, and one of the best Kingdom Hearts games overall."
I know it wasn't eligible, but Dishonored 2 is seriously awesome: Two protagonists, each with their own powers, dialogue, and interactions with others changing accordingly, the game invites you to play it four times: A low and high chaos run with both characters. The story is phenomenal and the level design is even better than the first. The clockwork mansion, A Crack in the Slab, and seeing Dunwall at the beginning and end are all standout moments.
BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT: "I absolutely LOVED the scale of Gotham, and (the game) is the best looking, most inclusive (of villains) Batman game ever. However, it does have its issues (such as) while regular mode was fine once you figured out the controls, the tank mode for the Batmobile really irritated me. ESPECIALLY by the end game. (In addition) the Arkham Knight (him)self? While I'm not a big Batman fan and have only been (a most casual) one for only the last few years, the reveal didn't bother me as much as die-hard fans, but I too feel it was telegraphed and could have been something better. (The thing that bothers me the most is) hiding the "True ending" behind having to beat the Riddler, which involved finding EVERY trophy and solving EVERY riddle. And that ending not really being a concrete one is also bothersome. With that being said I have to say the absolute best part of the game was every single instance (you see SPOILER!!!) particularly during the end sequence."
ORI AND THE BLIND FOREST: "I was captivated when I first saw the trailer during the Xbox conference at E3 2014, showcasing what turns out to be the beginning of the game. Artistically speaking, this (and the sequel) is the most beautiful game I've ever played. The forest had such lush and spectacular environments and the story was sorrowful (Though it DID lose some of that impact a little at the end). My one big criticism for the game is while the game is challenging throughout, the difficulty spike for the end sequence seemed like an unnatural jump by just a little bit."
KINGDOM HEARTS III: "I recognize this game has some issues: the story inconsistencies, not only the actual plot points themselves but also the actual storytelling, feels like it's been shotgun blasted all over the place. All the worlds having no reason to revisit for storytelling purposes was a letdown, but understandable when factoring in the sheer scope of each world. Yet there was some areas that felt pointless (Lookin' at you Hundred Acre Wood and Twilight Town). But tying in main narrative scenes in between world visits as opposed to incorporating them WHILE in the worlds is another issue. Each Organization member being in each world felt like they were just there to be there, and didn't really do much for the core narrative, so every world felt contained and separated instead of connected. Plot points and revelations are left unanswered and even with the recently released Re:Mind (Don't get me started on the all the secret movies across the base game and DLC), there's too many unanswered questions. And the fact there was virtually no Final Fantasy representation outside of the opening monologue of the first world was colossally disappointing, so while it's nice to see them in Re:Mind, I wish there was more. As far as criticisms, my final one is regarding the loading. It felt inconsistent and lengthy quite often, and the social media post were so jarring I get a sense of whiplash every time I see one. It takes me out of it so hard. Despite ALL of this, when I look back at all the games I played from 2019, this is the game I had the absolute most fun with. It's so difficult for me to look at the game with a critical eye when I've had bias present for the better part of two decades, but nothing brought me more joy. The game is STUNNING to look at, especially when I marvel the transition from cutscene to gameplay. Several of the world designs are really cool, like exploring an ocean and its islands, a giant toy store, or a huge metropolitan city (despite the downsides the latter two being the ONLY important areas in said worlds). So many of the series' best ideas are implemented, from movement to combat. In the case of the latter, it's a spectacle to watch as Disney rides, ultimate abilities and forms flash and zoom across the screen just destroying the opposition and unique ones as well such having multiple keyblades equipped and overhauling the synthesis system. I like how diverse the mini-games are and I got a kick out of the retro-handheld ones, but the some of the Flans and the cooking games aren't fun. I love this series too much, and I never, EVER want to recommend it because of all the hurdles and roadblocks it takes to get into it now as opposed to back in a simpler time without ludicrous spinoffs and tripling over itself in convoluted, make-it-up-as-you-go sense of storytelling, but for me, Kingdom Hearts III was what I wanted, what I got, and what I fight for."
RATCHET & CLANK: "(It's) really great to go through old locales (from the very first game) with a fresh coat of paint, great weapon design (and every one of them is fun to use with incredible special effects and abilities), good (not great) story (though still a major improvement over the 2002 original), and most importantly, a feeling of having fun (at every given second). Of being caught up in the moment where you pause the game, take a second to realize the joy being felt, and being so grateful that the game exists. (I'm so happy Rift Apart is coming because with Spiderman being as successful, I was terrified Insomniac wouldn't go back to the franchise)"
WHEW! That's it. I'm done. I know. "THANK GOD!" you're saying. I just couldn't help myself. I loved this thread and these are some of my favorite games of all time. Thank you so much for allowing this post to clog your feeds. I'll see you all in the GOTY 2020 thread in a few months, and I'm shouting this thread out in the next Community Showcase, so I hope you'll have a post there Axel!