My personal picks for the Top 5 best video games of the 2010s

Benjamin Thompson

It’s crazy to think that within the next few weeks, not only this year, but the entire decade will be coming to a close. It’s been a long ride from 2010 to 2019 and within the gaming industry in particular, the ride was definitely a strange one, if not actually enjoyable.
The “Nintendo Switch”, released in March 2017.

While the past ten years might not have been as influential for video games on average as the early 2000s, with the whole Internet thing and wireless communication, the decade has definitely had its strong points, and I decided to take it upon myself to rank my ten favorite video games released from 2010 to 2019. As a person who heavily enjoys games I grew up playing, I always try to avoid placing bias towards my favorite games. But when you’re making an opinionated list like this, what can you do? Now without further ado, here is the full list. Enjoy! (And please, no hate comments.)

  1. “Fortnite: Battle Royale” (Almost Everything, 2017)

-Starting off the list, we have a bit of an unexpected surprise, at least for myself. Fortnite was originally a completely different kind of game when it first released. It had a few fans, but it wasn’t the most popular game in the world by any means. That all changed, however, when developer Epic Games decided to turn the game into a “Battle Royale” where 100 players all play against each other on one ingame map. The appeal the game had towards more age groups helped set it apart from the competition, and it quickly became an instant success story on Epic’s part. Over 250 million people have downloaded the game on a wide variety of gaming platforms, and while I can’t say that I’m a fan of shooter games or battle royales, I have to respect the impact Fortnite has left on more than just the gaming industry. Not to mention it’s actually pretty fun. If anything, this game made the list more for its impact. But in its defense,  I challenge you to find a 2010s game that has left a bigger impact on the world.
  1. “Undertale” (PC, 2015; Switch version released in 2018)

-Like Fortnite, this game is one that I honestly didn’t expect to make the list at first, especially since I’ve never played this and have played the former. But despite being the only game on this list I’ve never tried out, I’ve seen a lot of gameplay (and plenty of dead memes, to boot) and I realized something pretty special. This game is one of very few I can think off the top of my head that has only ever received positive feedback from players. In other words, I have yet to see someone say anything bad, provided they’ve played the game in its entirety. There isn’t any other game from this decade I can say that for. THAT is incredible. Developed by a man named Toby Fox, who now composes music for other similar games, this “indie” role-playing game is one that taught me just how special a game can be when the developers of it care about more than just making a profit off of something. Trust me, that’s a huge thing for me. You play as a person who wandered into another civilization full of monsters, and the player must choose which storyline they want to play out. It honestly looks like a lot of fun, even if non-fans hate this game with a passion.

Toby Fox
Offical artwork
  1. “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” (Switch, 2018)

-The fifth installment of Nintendo’s hit party…fighting…okay, what genre even is this? Anyway, this game does something very special in that it is designed to appeal to everyone, and that happens to include the massive character roster. No, seriously. Every character that has ever been playable in a Super Smash Brothers game is in there. The game also contains a ton of stages to play on (over 100!), many other game modes, an adventure mode that feels more like its own separate role-playing game, and quite possibly the largest soundtrack of any video game ever released. The game represents 19 years of long, hard work by series producer Masahiro Sakurai’s dedication towards his passion that started all the way back in 1999 on the “Nintendo 64” console. The game appeals to both casual and competitive players alike, which is something most games in the series struggled with, so there’s that too.
The retail case for the best selling Nintendo Switch game
  1. “Pokemon Black 2 & White 2” (DS, 2012)

-This entry in developer Game Freak’s best selling role-playing game franchise serves as a sequel to the original Pokemon Black & White games released in 2010. The game takes place in the same location as the first versions, two years after the events of them, and includes a TON of features those games didn’t. The game now has a total of 297 “Pokemon” the player can collect and train between both versions, including many returning from older games that were not seen in the main storyline of the first games. In all honesty, this is probably the best the developers have done in the case of wanting to cater to everyone with just one game. They didn’t sell as well as a few other games because many older fans hated the first games, but those who gave it a chance loved every second of it, and if you’re anything like me, you wish the newer games had this much love put into them…just like my #1 pick did.
Promotional art for the games.
  1. “Super Mario Galaxy 2” (Wii, 2010)

-I said earlier that I was trying to avoid bias, but…come on. This game is just amazing. This game was originally planned to be an “expansion” of sorts to Super Mario Galaxy, which was released in 2007 for the Wii and is still one of the best selling and most popular games in the Mario franchise to date. Like the original game, Super Mario Galaxy 2 served as one of the greatest games of my childhood for the sheer amount of pride and love Nintendo put into the game’s development. The other 3D Mario platformers are very fun to play too, but something about the otherworldly environments of the Galaxy series, especially in Galaxy 2, coupled with the game’s incredible orchestral soundtrack, easy to learn storyline, and wide variety of vastly underrated content creates an experience that I’ll never be able to forget. Since the game’s launch and massive success, fans of been waiting to see if Nintendo would consider making a third game…but as much as we want that, it probably won’t happen.

All in all, gaming this decade has had its strong and weak points. In my personal opinion, I’d say this decade wasn’t the weakest or the strongest in any area, but like with the others, there’s something for everyone if you know where to look. We can only hope that the 2020s don’t screw everything up. (Shoutouts to 2022, being the 50th anniversary of game consoles.)