Compiling a ‘Top X number of games’ list is always a fun but really difficult task. First of all – it’s a very personal thing. Some games can be ‘objectively’ great – but for some reason or other just don’t click with you. Other games are critically or generally looked down upon but you absolutely adore them anyway. There’s just no accounting for taste, as they say. So for my list, I really tried to think about games I enjoyed playing and come up with a slightly ‘quirky’ list of some games. Here goes nothing…. here are the 10 games I enjoyed the most over the last 10 years.
10. FIFA (2010)
Ok, so I’m starting with a bit of a cheat but there’s no way I can create a list of the top games in the last 10 years and not mention FIFA. FIFA has been a big part of my gaming life at least since about 1997. In the last decade, the series has seen some big changes, some massive improvements and arguably thanks to the proliferation of microtransactions the biggest issue the series has ever faced. However, for me, the specific edition I’ve chosen to highlight is FIFA World Cup 2010. Not only do I have some great memories playing it, but thanks to the World Cup taking place in South Africa – the locations and commentary always hit close to home.
9. 11-11: Memories Retold (2018)
A wonderfully personal narrative game about a terrible time in history. An amazing eye-opener and a sad trip through history told in a beautiful way through a series of decision trees. Also, possibly the most visually beautiful game I have ever played.
8. Florence (2018)
I’ve included a mobile game on this list because that’s how much I enjoyed Florence. Unlike the microtransaction, time-gated nonsense that’s all too common on the platform these days – Florence provides a short, wonderfully unique experience proving that good mobile games can be a real thing.
7. Unravel 2 (2018)
I love platformers. And I really enjoy good co-op games. The Unravel games provide this and more tied together by a fun game mechanic. Unravel was already beautiful and could’ve easily made my list – but the sequel just made it that much better.
6. Horizon Zero Dawn (2017)
I don’t enjoy violence in video games. Usually, that means I don’t get to enjoy many big action-adventure games. So there were some parts of HZD that I didn’t enjoy, however, in terms of story, setting and game mechanics (bows and big mechanical dinosaurs in particular) there was so much to love about HZD – and it’s just so pretty!
5. Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018)
For similar reasons as those stated above – there are some things about Spider-Man that were just not for me. However, swinging through New York and exploring every nook and cranny was one of the best video-game experiences and for that reason alone it’s worth a mention in my list.
4. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017)
Yes, it’s the first of several (I limited myself to 3) entries featuring Mario. Surprise surprise. However, I don’t think this one needs much explanation. It is quite simply the best kart racer ever made. It is stunningly beautiful, has fantastic, tight controls, and is amazingly fun to play with a group of friends. Currently, it is also the best selling Switch game – so that should tell you a thing or two.
3. Celeste (2018)
A simply amazing platformer that is brutally difficult but always feels fair. The controls are fantastically tight and if that wasn’t enough it somehow manages to handle the topics of anxiety and depression in a way that so many art mediums struggle. A special game that not only is a joy to play but deals with difficult themes in a very affecting manner.
2. Super Mario Maker 2 (2019)
Although it could be argued that the Wii U’s dual-screen is still the ideal way to play (and a stylus is definitely a plus), SMM2 still manages to shine on the Switch. Designing is a perfect background activity and the wildly fun multiplayer modes are sure to provide longevity. SMM2 has something for all kinds of players and makers and is Nintendo back at their creative best and a game you can keep coming back to.
1. Super Mario Odyssey (2017)
Probably my favourite game of all time, Super Mario Odyssey is everything I love about video games. It stars Mario, is a wonderful platformer that champions its history while still breaking new boundaries. However, most of all – it is a joy to play and one of the best games of this generation.
And that’s my list – hopefully, there are some games you enjoyed too or at least some you’re going to give a second chance to. Of course, there are some games that just missed the cut and so my Honourable Mentions include:
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – a game I have bought but have not yet tried. However, given that it’s one of my favourite properties, has been critically well-received and I’ve loved all I’ve seen so far – I strongly suspect it would’ve made my list had I played it.
- BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL! – ingenious co-op puzzler that I wish more people played.
- Ori and the Blind Forest – so pretty and another great platformer.
- LABO – just an amazing idea by Nintendo that brings playing video games to a whole new level.
- The Outer Wilds – Such a different take on the sci-fi genre with a unique twist. Unfortunately, the first-person perspective is never my favourite, and I played it on PC without a controller so controls were tougher than I would’ve liked.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – no further explanation needed