It’s hard to believe that we’re in the latter part of the second decade of this century, and it’s really scary how quickly times fly by. It was seven years ago that South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup, and next year the world will be mourning the 10 year anniversary of Justin Bieber. Yes, we’ve been suffering for that long.
It’s also strange how video games, something that you “play” can make you feel old, especially if you start looking at great modern games that released longer ago than you probably realise. By modern, I think anything that was released since the launch of the Xbox 360, which essentially marked the beginning of the seventh console generation. For this list, I’ll also not include anything from this decade, so 2010 is essentially the cutoff point.
Tomb Raider: Anniversary (2007)
The reason why this game is on this list is that it’s a bit of a double whammy! Not only is this game 10 years old, it was a re-imagining of a game that was at the time 11 years old! And that game is fondly remembered by a lot of people today, although we all can acknowledge that the controls of the original Tomb Raider were a load of crap.
God of War II (2007)
Widely considered as the swansong for one of the greatest consoles ever produced, God of War II was released on PlayStation 2, even after the PlayStation 3 was launched. It was an amazing looking game, that still holds its own today, and it’s really hard to believe that a decade has passed since it was released on a console that today is two generations old.
Red Dead Redemption (2010)
Rockstar has been making open world games for almost as long as I can remember, but one of the best games they made was Red Dead Redemption. It’s been some time since its release, and people have been clamouring for a sequel ever since. Rockstar is making us wait a long time for the sequel though, and next year it will be eight long years before we can go and explore the wild frontier again.
Assassin’s Creed II (2009)
Widely considered to be the best in the series, Assassin’s Creed II released eight years ago to a public that wasn’t tired of the open world formula that the series is known for today. The first game released only two years before that, so the concept was still something new and exciting. It’s hard to imagine today what the world will be like without Assassin’s Creed.
Halo 3 (2007)
Halo: Combat Evolved changed the gaming landscape back in 2001 when it launched for the original Xbox. It made FPS gaming mainstream on a console, and because of that, the world as we know it would never be the same. Fast forward a couple of years, and you end up with the conclusion of the original trilogy and a game that some consider the best console shooter ever made. What is scary is that Halo 3 celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and it feels like only yesterday that it was still being played on a regular basis. This game was released before I even owned a PS3, and it feels like I’ve owned my PS3 forever.
Bioshock is the spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed System Shock, but it quickly gained so much in the gaming world in terms of storytelling and gameplay. It’s a game that can almost be compared to the likes of Citizen Kane, not for the story that is told, but the way it was told. It’s a game that had the biggest WTF moment in history, not just for a game, but for you as a person and a video game player overall, and to think that something so surreal, so well written happened a whole decade ago in this very young form of entertainment we call video gaming.
Uncharted 2: A Thief’s End (2009)
I still rate Uncharted 2 as one of the greatest ever made. It absolutely blew my mind when I first played it, and it still does that even today. Even the PS3 version of the game (since it did get a fresh coat of paint for PS4) puts some games released today to shame. This is the game that prompted me to make this list. I somehow thought that it was a 2011 release, but was almost shocked to find out exactly how old it really is. And it’s funny how people still talk of this game today like they only played it yesterday.
Gears of War 2 (2008)
You can fault Microsoft for a lot of recent shortcomings, but you have to give credit where it’s due. The technology giant not only gave us the most widely used operating system in the world, but also the most widely used gaming mechanics, which is cover-based 3rd person shooting. The original Gears of War released back in 2006, but I put Gears 2 on the list simply because it’s the sequel and the fact that it’s almost a decade old hammers the fact that you’re getting old even further. Gears of War (and it’s sequel) was the ultimate ‘bro’ shooter, and a lot of us have memories of playing this with our friends in split screen mode.