Top 5 Games of the Decade

 

Illustration by Lindsay Lang

By Colton Carrier, reporter.

 

1. Dark Souls

Popping up in 2011 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the main claim to fame of “Dark Souls” was its brutal difficulty, punctuated with frequent deaths, visceral combat and insurmountable odds. While this is all supported by intricately tuned gameplay, the real kicker in “Dark Souls” is the dark, formidable atmosphere and world. “Dark Souls” is a masterclass in subtle world building, letting the plot be as barebones or deep as the player wants, with every item you run into providing background to the grim world of Lordran.

 

2. Journey

As an early experiment of “games as art,” “Journey” lies on one concept: communication. The game starts with the player getting paired up with another player who remains unnamed until the end of the game. During the game, there’s no way to communicate with this person directly, but both players experience everything together. “Journey” takes its duo on a trek through brilliant desert landscapes, where vibrant colors bring life to a dying landscape. At two hours, “Journey” is not a long experience, but it’s one of the most unique ones in gaming.

 

3. Gone Home

“Gone Home” is a quintessential slow-burn. Void of conflict, the game focuses entirely on the relationship between the player character and her family who, after several years away, have split apart, leaving the protagonist to piece her life together. The game has little in the way of gameplay, but the story is a unique experience, letting the player figure out a complicated family’s drama through exploration. “Gone Home” is a tour de force of writing in gameplay, and along the way has revolutionized the adventure game market.

 

4. Superhot VR

Virtual reality (VR) may have dropped off the map as gaming’s hottest trend, but many great games came out of the VR boom of the late 2010s. Despite this, it’s hard to pinpoint a single one that set itself apart from the pack better than “Superhot VR.” A spin-off of the already-amazing game “Superhot,” this iteration places you in the shoes of the game’s unnamed, faceless protagonist. The story is paper thin, but you’re here for the high octane action, mind games, physicality and crazy stunts.

 

5. Nier Automata

Ruminating on the nature of humanity, and the role of robots in a world without humans, “Nier Automata” tells dire tales of morality and mortality. It’s a spiraling depression with a shine of optimism to get you through it. If you can get past the gameplay, the only average part of the experience, you will get some of the best writing in gaming, backed up by the best soundtrack in the medium. Its way of delivering the story can be difficult, but “Nier Automata” is not to be missed at any cost.

 

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