Looking at any ten year period in gaming’s history, you’re going to find a ton of really great games, but the 2010s were more than that. The past has been filled with a ton of amazing games, but 2010 is where gaming has really hit its stride across the board. The innovative indie scene has seen megahits that have propelled developers into the mainstream gaming consciousness, and we have seen the most refined game design ever.
To call the 2010s, particularly the second half, a golden age of gaming would not be a stretch. Core concepts and mechanics we’re all familiar with were pushed to new levels, and we were dazzled with new ideas. What may be the best part, however, is that there’s a clear path forward to even greater games thanks to the innovative design this past decade.
Those interested in some stats from our top 100:
- 17 games were debut titles from that developer
- Top 5 months of release: October with 18, May – 13, September – 12, January – 12, and November/March – 8. December had the fewest at 2.
- Six years have at least one game in the top 10.
- 2014’s highest-ranked game is 24th, the lowest of any year.
- 2010, 2014, and 2016 were the only years to have no games in the top 20.
- 2017 has the most games on this list with 13. 2011 is second with 12.
- There are 12 Sony exclusives (on release), 8 Nintendo, and only 1 Xbox exclusive (on release).
- Capcom is our top developer with 5 games followed by FromSoftware and Nintendo with 4 each. Overall, 19 developers had 2 games or more on this list.
- We rated each game as a staff using our review scale 1-10. The average score created the list below (with a required minimum number of votes). Every game averaged 8 or above. Only the top 13 games averaged a 9 or higher.
Here’s our fond look back at the 100 best games of the 2010s.
We also went through and looked at each individual year of the 2010s, ranking the top 15 games for each year. You can find those here.
The 100 Best Games of the 2010s
100 – Kerbal Space Program
Developer: Squad | Release Date: April 27th, 2015 | Game Page
It doesn’t take rocket science to see why people like this game. Well, in the case of Kerbal Space Program, it is rocket science. Giving you the simple goal of helping a race of weirdos named Kerbals in getting to the Mun, you’ll be putting together rockets and raising funds for more rockets. However, it’s really the community that has made this game impressive. Kerbal Space Program has fans that love to build, and there’s real joy in seeing their creations.
99 – Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal | Release Date: October 5th, 2018
In 2017 the Assassin’s Creed series got an insane revival that turned it into an action RPG, making it stand out from past entries in a unique way. Odyssey followed up on this with a game that is just bigger, and better, in every way. Featuring a large open world, a ton of interesting side quests, and a story that actually changes depending on your actions, there’s a lot to love in this massive undertaking. Just be ready to put time aside for it.
98 – Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Developer: Naughty Dog | Release Date: November 1st, 2011
Many people wondered how Uncharted 2 could be topped. The answer? Uncharted 3. From bigger firefights, more interesting story situations, and a revamped multiplayer, Uncharted 3 took everyone by surprise. Now on its third major hit, it seemed like there was no way to stop the series. Another trip with Nathan Drake and his crew of merry thieves was welcomed, and it made for another memorable entry for a fantastic series.
97 – XCOM 2
Developer: Firaxis Games | Release Date: February 5th, 2016 | Game Page
After already getting a fantastic revival, XCOM 2 took all the things you loved about XCOM: Enemy Unknown and made them better. From some novel new ideas, such as a mobile base rather than a stationary one, to new enemies and allies, XCOM 2 is just a fantastic blend of tactics and resetting every time a friend dies. Several expansions later and the game is only better than it was at launch.
2017 TechRaptor Awards Won: Best Expansion/DLC
96 – Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Developer: Nicalis | Release Date: November 4th, 2014 | Game Page
When you make the definitive twin-stick roguelite game, it’s hard to follow it up. So what do you do? Well, you sit down and completely rework the game you already made. Rebirth added more features to the already beloved game, regenerating it for a new crowd and making it once again stand out among the rest of the roguelites. You can see right away why Binding of Issac kickstarted the genre’s resurgence, while still getting the best version of the game.
95 – Nidhogg
Developer: Messhof | Release Date: January 13th, 2014
Sometimes you just want to stab a friend with a sword in an effort to appeal to an old god. So for such an act you go to Nidhogg. A 2D fighting game where players tried to advance past their friends so they could appease an old god, Nidhogg was weird enough to catch attention and fun enough to hold it. Now you just need to get yourself eaten by said god, naturally.
94 – Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Developer: PlatinumGames | Release Date: February 19th, 2013
While we may still have no clue what “Revengerance” actually means, we do know that Metal Gear Rising: Revengerance is one of the best character action games made. Taking all the absurd of the Metal Gear universe and ratcheting it up to 11, you’ll be performing crazy moves while cutting enemies into little chunks. With insane action, even more insane bosses, and a fifteen-minute cutsecene about memes, Metal Gear Rising is one for all Metal Gear fans.
93 – Metro: Last Light
Developer: 4A Games | Release Date: May 14th, 2013 | Game Page
If Metro 2033 kickstarted the Metro franchise into something unique, Metro: Last Light is the game that really caught people’s attention. With improved mechanics all around, Last Light continued the story of Artyom and his efforts to save the Metro in an interesting way: by revealing he was wrong the entire time. Now the hero has to deal with the fact that he made a horrible mistake while shooting Nazis, which anyone can easily get behind. This is a sequel for the fans.
92 – Sonic Mania
Developer: PagodaWest Games, Headcannon | Release Date: August 15h, 2017 | Game Page
Sonic is another one of those IPs that hasn’t really managed to put out much quality in quite some time. So what does Sega do? Ask a team of fans to make something better. The result is Sonic Mania, a 2D Sonic game that takes the gameplay and presentation from the classics while also giving it enough of a modern twist to really feel unique. So is that enough to make people care? When it came out the answer was a resounding yes, and we ended up with the best Sonic game since… probably the original.
91 – A 2019 Game TBA With Our Awards Soon!
90 – A 2019 Game TBA With Our Awards Soon!
89 – Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Developer: Eidos Montreal | Release Date: August 23rd, 2011
It had been a long time since a Deus Ex game had released. Taking us back to the series was Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a prequel that combined FPS and RPG elements into a satisfying whole. From sneaking through a cyberpunk city avoiding gangs and fighting corporations, to uncovering some hidden conspiracies, there was a lot to like about Human Revolution. The fact that it brought back one of the most beloved series with style helped a lot too.
88 – The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Developer: CD Projekt Red | Release Date: May 17th, 2011
While The Witcher may have been an interesting, if flawed, RPG, it was its sequel that really brought the series to some recognization. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was the first entry to the series that really caught the attention of crowds, thanks to its lovely graphics, deep story, and thrilling gameplay. It put Geralt on the map and led the way to The Witcher 3‘s eventual release. It helps that it’s a fantastic game on its own.
87 – The Banner Saga 2
Developer: Stoic Studio | Release Date: April 19th, 2016
How do you follow up The Banner Saga? More, of course. Not really seeking to innovate, just expand, The Banner Saga 2 continues the story of the tribe you must care for and lead across the land. New creatures, such as centaurs, help bring more variety to the tactical combat, while the story continues to keep players off guard and emotional. It’s a good time to get into indie tactics games.
86 – A 2019 Game TBA With Our Awards Soon!
85 – Batman: Arkham City
Developer: Rocksteady Studios | Release Date: October 18th, 2011
Batman: Arkham City let you be the bat, and that’s pretty important. Letting you explore a large chunk of Gotham City under assault by a large and memorable crew of infamous villains, Arkham City is probably the definitive Batman experience. It has a combat system that would pave the way for many games to come, a bunch of tools that all get plenty of use, and voice acting that is filled with stars giving some of their best performances. Arkham City may be one of the best ways to escape into the role of Batman without actually being rich and having dead parents.
84 – Rayman Origins
Developer: Ubisoft | Release Date: November 15th, 2011
Ubisoft needed something new for a while, and Rayman Origins was just the ticket. 2D platforming had never looked as good, or felt as fluid, as it did here. The limbless hero had finally managed a new release not filled with the Rabbids, and he came back in style. The game was lovely, fun, and would go on to become one of the best 2D platformers of the decade. Now if only the Rabbids can get a marvelous return in the same style.
83 – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Developer: Ubisoft | Release Date: October 29th, 2013
The Assassin’s Creed series had, once again, been in not the best place. How did they solve this issue? Pirates. It turns out letting you sail the open seas and letting you gather together a pirate crew to commit ship-to-ship combat is the golden ticket. While the regular assassin stuff may have been okay, if forgettable, Black Flag really excelled with the ship exploration and combat. Considering this was over half the game, that was a very good thing, and it made it stand out among other entries in the series.
82 – Transistor
Developer: Supergiant Games | Release Date: May 20th, 2014
How do you follow up Bastion? You bring it to the future, give it a second killer soundtrack, and add some tactical decision making. Transistor followed a voiceless singer after someone attempts to assassinate her and her city is getting destroyed. In the process, she uses a giant USB sword to collect moves and use them against digital monsters. With a wonderful story and aesthetics, it’s no wonder Transistor was as loved as it is.
2014 TechRaptor Awards Won: Best Soundtrack
81 – Halo: Reach
Developer: Bungie | Release Date: September 14th, 2010
A game so beloved, it just came out a second time right before we started voting. The final Halo game developed by Bungie, Halo: Reach would tell the story of the doomed Reach and the events before the first game. It featured a single-player campaign polished to a shine and assuring that Bungie would be leaving the franchise with one more fantastic shooter. It also helped that it came with a massively enjoyable multiplayer suite, an extensive Forge map editor, and one of the best endings ever seen in a video game. Now’s the best time to give it another go, with the new PC release.
80 – Bastion
Developer: Supergiant Games | Release Date: July 20th, 2011
Another indie darling that would pave the way for many games to come, Bastion had style in such unique ways. A narrator that fit the role completely perfectly, a world that would construct itself in front of your very eyes, and a soundtrack that is still one of the best gaming has to offer to this day. Combine this with some fast and frantic top-down action gameplay, and it’s no wonder that Bastion would continue to be considered one of the indie greats.
79 – Tales from the Borderlands
Developer: Telltale Games | Release Date: October 20th, 2015
How do you follow super-serious games like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us? Go in a completely different direction. Go hilarious. Most people didn’t really consider the Borderlands universe to be worth exploring, at least not until Tales From the Borderlands came out. An almost shockingly perfect combination of humor and serious moments, Tales From the Borderlands stands as one of the best games that Telltale put out.
78 – The Wolf Among Us
Developer: Telltale Games | Release Date: July 8th, 2014
We don’t see too much modern fantasy in video games. The Wolf Among Us brought us to a fairytale version of New York City, putting you in the role of Bigby Wolf, aka the Big Bad Wolf. It’s a gritty crime story with plenty of interesting ideas to keep it going, and it managed to expand upon all the right things that Telltale hit with The Walking Dead. Full of fantastic characters, great story moments, and clever twists on fairy tales, The Wolf Among Us quickly became a favorite and it’s no wonder a sequel is the first project of the new Telltale.
77 – Dark Souls III
Developer: FromSoftware | Release Date: April 12th, 2016 | Game Page
After letting a different team take over for Dark Souls II while they worked on Bloodborne, the original FromSoftware team comes back to bring us Dark Souls III. Bringing the best improvements from the other games while still retaining Dark Souls‘ unique identity, Dark Souls III almost felt like a greatest hits collection. Well worth it for the fans, perhaps the only thing that held it back is that we were already used to the series by this point.
76 – A 2019 Game TBA With Our Awards Soon!
The 75 Best Games of the 2010s
75 – Subnautica
Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment | Release Date: January 23rd, 2018 | Game Page
Survival games and Minecraft have taken over the world by 2018. So how do you make yours stand out? Put it underwater. Subnatucia manages to capture all the fun of building a base with all the terror of being underwater and realizing that the only thing ahead of you is a dark ravine. You just know a shark or some other underwater monstrosity is going to get you, so you better stay on your toes.
74 – Dead Space 2
Developer: Visceral Games | Release Date: January 25th, 2011
If Dead Space managed to take all of the lessons of Resident Evil 4 and turn them into a better sci-fi game, then Dead Space 2 just improved on that even further. Combining action and horror into a nearly perfect package, and filling it with amazing sound design and brutal deaths, it’s no wonder the game was as loved as it was. Combine this with a UI that still manages to immerse players and hasn’t been done nearly as well in other games, and you can see why so many people were in love with this game. Even when it brutally killed them.
73 – The Banner Saga
Developer: Stoic Studio | Release Date: January 14th, 2014
Turn-based tactic games are usually all about the fights, but The Banner Saga decided to try something different. The first entry in a beautiful trilogy, you’ll be guiding your people across the land, making difficult decisions on what to do. People will live and die depending on your actions, and you need to keep moving lest you fall to the opposing army. It helps that there’s some fun tactical combat to go with all of this. The Banner Saga is probably one of the best ways to start your saga.
72 – Inside
Developer: Playedead | Release Date: June 29th, 2016 | Game Page
How do you follow up LIMBO? With another creepy yet artistically beautiful platformer. Inside keeps details light, and has no interest in telling you more than “Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the center of a dark project.” Really, if you don’t know more than that, don’t wait here. Go give Inside the blind playthrough it really deserves to see why it’s part of our best-of list.
71 – Overwatch
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment | Release Date: May 24th, 2016 | Game Page
When Blizzard told us they were finally making an original IP, plenty of people wondered if they still could do it. The answer? An overwhelming yes. Overwatch felt like a completely natural evolution of multiplayer hero-based shooters. With a cast of characters that was almost instantly likable, fun fast-paced gameplay, and a variety of creative maps, there was a little something for everyone here. And a lot of something for people who liked shipping and fan fiction.
2016 TechRaptor Awards Won: Best Multiplayer
70 – Return of the Obra Dinn
Developer: Lucas Pope | Release Date: October 18th, 2018 | Game Page
When a boat floats away people notice. When it floats back and the entire crew is dead, a lot of people notice. Return of the Obra Dinn has you investigating a boat that has a lot of dead crew on it. Armed with little more than a ledger, notes, and the ability to observe, your goal is to figure out just what happened. You’ll have to find corpses and, using the world around them, figure out who they are and how they died. This is one for the detective in all of us.
69 – Dishonored 2
Developer: Arkane Studios | Release Date: November 11th, 2016 | Game Page
Dishonored was already great, but we needed more. So we got Dishonored 2. With a new world to explore, a pair of playable characters, and levels with awesome new mechanics, there was a lot to move with Dishonored 2. The fact that one stage let you rapidly switch between two time periods while using a shadow monster to eat enemy soldiers? That had quite a bit to do with it.
68 – Fire Emblem Awakening
Developer: Intelligent Systems | Release Date: February 4th, 2013
What do you do when you’re told you’re not getting another entry to one of the best series? You make it the best entry to the series and change that line of thought. Originally meant to be the swan song for the Fire Emblem series, Awakening was so good it not only blew every other entry out of the water sales-wise but also saved the franchise and made Nintendo double back on getting rid of it.
67 – Bioshock Infinite
Developer: Irrational Games | Release Date: March 26th, 2013
Taking the famous underwater FPS series and bringing it to the clouds was certainly unique. Bioshock Infinitetold a highly political tale about the dangers of American Exceptionalism, Nationalism, and many other subjects. Combine this with multiple timelines, an impressive sci-fi twist, and fast-paced action gameplay that involved using zip-lines to their full potential, and you had a first-person shooter that many came to love and remember.
66 – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Developer: Kojima Productions | Release Date: September 1st, 2015
It’s hard to think that the Metal Gear Solid series would end on such a strange note. A series usually noted for its stories over gameplay, The Phantom Pain‘s story is usually called a dull wreck. Instead, it has some of the most interesting gameplay of a stealth game on the market. It turns out all it needed was some open-world love, which gave Snake a large number of options when it came towards stealth. With some actually fun shooting to boot, this is the way we all wanted Metal Gear Solid to play. It’s a shame this ultimately ended up as the series’ swan song.
65 – XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Developer: Firaxis Games | Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Another revival of a long-dead series, turn-based strategy game XCOM made a splash when it returned with XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It took all the parts of the originals that people enjoyed, such as the invasion setting and the tactical combat. However, it also made it accessible in a way that anyone can join, without cluttered UI and stat crunching. It’s nice to see all these classic franchises come back in such high form.
64 – Dragon Ball FIghterZ
Developer: Arc System Works | Release Date: January 26th, 2018
We all saw episodes of Dragon Ball Z and couldn’t figure out what the point was beside the punching. So Dragon Ball FighterZ does a fantastic job getting to the point. You pick your favorite character from the series and find new and creative ways to combo them into oblivion. Combine this with an art style that is always true to the show, and there’s really something unique about this 2.5D fighter.
63 – Mario Kart 8
Developer: Nintendo | Release Date: May 30th, 2014
How do you keep Mario Kart exciting? Trick question, Mario Kart is always exciting. Mario Kart 8 instead just takes all of the things people loved and ramped it up to 11. With beautiful graphics and some of the best stages to race on, it’s no wonder that 8 ends up being among the favorites of fans. There’s always a good time to be had throwing blue shells at your first place friend.
62 – Terraria
Developer: Re-Logic | Release Date: May 16th, 2011
Minecraft‘s early access phase had already left such a huge impact on so many people that it was no wonder we started to see games try to use those ideas in new ways. One of the few games that got it completely right was Terraria. Combining 2D world-building with dungeon crawling and loot collecting, this quickly became many people’s Minecraft-but-not game of choice, and it’s still getting updates to this day. If you can’t play Minecraft, then Terraria is the next best thing.
61 – Dragon’s Dogma
Developer: Capcom | Release Date: May 22nd, 2012 | Game Page
What happens when you take the wild success of Dark Souls and combine it with making a party and hunting monsters? You get Dragon’s Dogma. A weird oft-forgotten title from Capcom, this game seemed to hit at just the perfect time to make an impact on several groups. A bizarre rock-filled soundtrack, insane customization, and a system that lets you climb on your enemies to attack specific parts help. Also, the fact that you tend to accidentally date a blacksmith a lot.
60 – Super Meat Boy
Developer: Team Meat | Release Date: October 20th, 2010
Another 2010 indie game that would go on to serve as an inspiration to many, Super Meat Boy is the perfect speed platformer. From wall jumps to crazy traps, needing to duck and weave your way around each level in Meat Boy’s quest to save his girlfriend was a delight. Perhaps what made it most memorable is that, upon completing a level, you got to see every attempt you made play out simultaneously. It made the success all the more memorable when you got to see it next to all the failures.
59 – Divinity: Original Sin
Developer: Larian Studios | Release Date: June 30th, 2014
cRPGs had been dead for a while. However, the success of both Kickstarter and Pillars of Eternity brought the genre back to the masses. Divinity: Original Sin was the first game to really reap the rewards of the revival. A lengthy RPG with a deep story and turn-based tactical combat that itched many genre fans right where they needed it, it’s no wonder that it quickly became the most celebrated cRPG in years.
58 – A 2019 Game TBA With Our Awards Soon!
57 – Dishonored
Developer: Arkane Studios | Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Immersive Sims haven’t really been having a great time. They don’t come out very often, and the ones that do don’t tend to do that great. However, Dishonored sought to change all that, and it managed to leave its mark. Creative powers, fun stealth, and a world that you could spend a lot of time interacting with led to something that caught many gamers’ attention. Also rats. Lots and lots of rats.
56 – Rocket League
Developer: Psyonix | Release Date: July 7th, 2015 | Game Page
It seems a bit silly when you think about it. Cars exploding to jump and playing soccer in multiplayer matches. Yet this simple idea has made Rocket League one of the most shockingly addictive and compelling multiplayer games of the decade. There’s such a joy to shooting a goal from across the map, from blocking a shot, from watching your blunder play out in slow motion while you tell yourself never again. Then you do it again anyway.
2015 TechRaptor Awards Won: Best Multiplayer, Indie Game of the Year
55 – Hotline Miami
Developer: Dennaton Games | Release Date: October 23rd, 2012
Another one of those indie darlings, Hotline Miami flooded the twin-stick shooter with neon colors and difficult but fair gameplay. Playing like one long and particularly terrifying acid trip, Hotline Miami took you to the seedy underbelly of Miami and had you somehow be even seedier. Combine it with a fantastic soundtrack and a thankfully forgiving instant spawn, and you had a really good time on your hands.
54 – Fallout: New Vegas
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment | Release Date: October 19th, 2010
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. However, what happens in Fallout: New Vegas gets remembered for years to come. Obsidian’s attempt at a modern Fallout game, this entry proved to be unique thanks to its captivating story and fantastic characters. From mutated grandmothers to depressed gunslingers, the cast is at its absolute best in a long while. Combine this with the always present joy of blowing someone’s head off in VATS, some dubious moral decisions, and several fantastic expansions, and New Vegas may be Best Vegas.
53 – Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Developer: Capcom | Release Date: January 24th, 2017
It may be hard to tell now, but in 2017 Capcom was in a miserable place. None of their projects were landing, and “will Capcom shut down?” was becoming a seriously asked question. Resident Evil 7 looked interesting, but if it would be worth it was up in the air. Yet this game marked the new Capcom and took everyone by storm. Changing the series to first person, setting it in a fantastic environment, and making the villains terrifying was more than enough to make Capcom suddenly get an incredible second wind.
52 – Life is Strange
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment | Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Another episodic adventure game inspired by Telltale, Life is Strange instead took a pretty different approach by giving a more realistic approach, at least at first. Following a normal teenager attending a fancy artsy high school, things got weird quick when she gets the power to rewind time. Inspired by indie movies and managing to hit close with a super relatable drama, it’s not strange Life is Strange is so well-loved.
51 – Horizon Zero Dawn
Developer: Guerrilla Games | Release Date: February 28th, 2017 | Game Page
Look, you had most people at “a woman hunts robotic animals with a bow.” That’s enough. The fact that Horizon: Zero Dawn makes actually hunting these animals a ton of fun is only icing on the cake. From a beautiful game world to creative enemies, there’s a lot to love here. There’s just something fantastic about climbing on top of a giant moving tower and looking over the lands to see just how the robots have changed everything.
The 50 Best Games of the 2010s
50 – Bayonetta
Developer: PlatinumGames | Release Date: January 5th, 2010 | Game Page
It sure takes a lot to sell a character action game these days. It turns out that Bayonetta has exactly that. From her over-the-top moveset to using her own hair to fight, Bayonetta herself made for a captivating and fantastic central character. Add in a few ridiculous boss fights and set-piece moments, a wide variety of unique enemies, and one of the most catchy soundtracks of 2010, and you have a winner.
49 – Wolfenstein: The New Order
Developer: MachineGames | Release Date: May 20th, 2014 | Game Page
There’s nothing wrong with a little Nazi murder. Or a lot of Nazi murder. Bucking many recent FPS trends by being single-player focused, Wolfenstein: The New Order was an amazing new entry to the classic series that no one saw coming. It helps that the game had one of the most shockingly compelling stories, with B.J. Blazkowicz’s Nazi-hunting managing to have several surprisingly tense scenes to keep the player watching for more.
48 – FTL: Faster Than Light
Developer: Subset Games | Release Date: September 14th, 2012
Hitting right when the rougelite craze was at its peak, FTL: Faster Than Light looked to add to it by having you play not just as yourself, but as a crew on a spaceship. With plenty of strange situations for you to try to win, and difficult enemies to overcome, you had to keep moving to stay out of the way of the ever-advancing swarm of enemy ships that just want to remove you from existence. It led to a good time and many bad runs.
47 – Pokemon Heart Gold & Soul Silver
Developer: Game Freak | Release Date: March 14th, 2010 | Game Page
For many people, Pokemon Gold & Silver are the high-point of the franchise. It’s when Pokemon didn’t just seem like a fun one-off idea, but like it could keep going places and getting bigger and better games. So when Nintendo took the time to completely remake these two popular entries with better graphics, people were pleased. Pleased enough that it’s often considered a favorite in the franchise. HeartGold & SoulSilver are both celebrations of the original games, and also their own thing by adding online play and new minigames.
46 – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Developer: Naughty Dog | Release Date: May 10th, 2016 | Game Page
After a shockingly, and excitingly, dark turn with The Last of Us, it was time for Naughty Dog to return to their roots and give Nathan Drake one last adventure. So Uncharted 4 introduced us to his long lost brother and finally tied up Nathan Drake’s story so he could settle down and rest for a bit. Who could blame him, he needed one last adventure before it was time. In the end, Uncharted 4 managed to surpass the quality of three already fantastic games, making sure Drake’s final adventure was also his best.
2016 TechRaptor Awards Won: Best Writing
45 – Borderlands 2
Developer: Gearbox Software | Release Date: September 18th, 2012 | Game Page
Borderlands was good. Borderlands 2 was better. A common theme for some of the bigger releases this decade, it turns out taking an already solid idea and improving on it can do you a ton of good. So just shine Borderlands up a little, give it an interesting story and one of gaming’s best villains, provide years of DLC, and improve the gameplay exactly where it needed to be improved. Bring a few friends, you’ll have a great time.
44 – Dead Cells
Developer: Motion Twin | Release Date: Augusy 7th, 2018 | Game Page
Roguelites keep getting bigger and bigger, and Dead Cells is the most recent love letter to the genre. How do you manage to be that love letter? Well, you simply need to refine everything to a sheen and make sure that it all flows as smoothly as possible. If you add in some fantastic weapon ideas and great enemies, then you get Dead Cells, and you’ve also got another winning game on your hands.
2018 TechRaptor Awards won: Indie Game of the Year
43 – Hollow Knight
Developer: Team Cherry | Release Date: February 24th, 2017 | Game Page
If Ori and the Blind Forest showed that you could bring back 2D metroidvanias with cute art and fun gameplay, Hollow Knight showed the same thing but also add “intense combat” and “high difficulty” to that list. When you navigate your cute bug through the world, trying to keep them alive and away from various enemies, it’s hard not to get engaged. Hollow Knight delivered on all that you’d expect to make it a real indie classic.
2018 TechRaptor Awards Won: Best Evolving Game
42 – Spec Ops: The Line
Developer: Yager Development | Release Date: June 26th, 2012
If you ever wanted to consider games art, many people say this is the place to start. Spec Ops: The Lineseems like a generic military shooter on its surface. However, it quickly evolves into a terrifying and weirdly meta video game about the actions you take and the consequences behind them. Have you ever once thought about the swarms of soldiers you kill, or what that would do to someone’s mental health? Likely not, and Spec Ops: The Line puts that on full display.
41 – Titanfall 2
Developer: Respawn Entertainment | Release Date: October 28th, 2016 | Game Page
After you make a game that manages to bring excitement back to multiplayer sci-fi FPSes, how do you follow it up? The answer is a game that goes hard in making people care about the single-player too. Titanfall 2added in a single-player campaign, and it ended up being one of the most shockingly fantastic campaigns in FPS history. From giant robot fights to time travel, there was a little something for everyone. Or a big something, in the case of the titans.
40 – Monster Hunter: World
Developer: Capcom | Release Date: January 26th, 2018 | Game Page
Resident Evil 7 may have brought Capcom off the brink of death, but it was Monster Hunter: World that truly saved the company. Taking a beloved niche series and reworking it for a crowd is always an extremely difficult move that could just make everyone upset. However, in Monster Hunter: World‘s case, it was one that pleased everyone. It turns out Monster Hunter is fine, it just needed to be slightly more accessible.
39 – Grand Theft Auto V
Developer: Rockstar Games | Release Date: September 17th, 2013 | Game Page
The always-popular Grand Theft Auto series made a splash with V, which has gone on to become one of the bestselling video games of all time. Letting you switch between three characters at any time, you could find yourself going on bank heists, fun rampages, fleeing from the cops, and participating in all sorts of goofy minigames. It also shipped with an expansive, almost MMO-like, multiplayer offering, giving you even more to do with the game. There’s a reason Grand Theft Auto V is one of the bestsellers.
38 – Cuphead
Developer: StudioMDHR | Release Date: September 29th, 2017 | Game Page
Ever since cartoons have been coming out, games have been trying to copy their art style. There’s a certain charm to the classic animations, and Cuphead sets to recreate them as best they can. Ultimately, this is perfect. The art style is so unique and so memorable that it does a ton for the game. When you combine this with a jazzy soundtrack and some rather difficult 2D run and gun boss fights, then you got a real winner on your hand.
2017 TechRaptor Awards Won: Best Multiplayer, Best Visuals. Best Soundtrack, Indie Game of the Year
37 – Stardew Valley
Developer: ConcernedApe | Release Date: February 26th, 2016 | Game Page
Sometimes you don’t want to fight, kill anything, or command armies. Sometimes you just need to farm. Stardew Valley took inspiration from classics like Harvest Moon, then brought them to the modern age. It’s the kind of game you can sit down in front of a computer or TV and just quietly lose portions of your day while being totally happy with it. It’s soothing, and the fact that more content keeps coming and the recent multiplayer edition means that you can relax all the more.
36 – Super Mario Galaxy 2
Developer: Nintendo | Release Date: May 23rd, 2010
It’s hard to top Super Mario Galaxy, the galaxy-spanning platformer favorite from the series. Yet, somehow, Super Mario Galaxy 2 does it with flying colors. In a way, the perfect sequel, taking everything loved about the original and iterating on it with such precision and care while never losing what made the original so great. It’s wonderful to step back into the role of Mario, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 remains one of the best places to do so.
35 – Undertale
Developer: Toby Fox | Release Date: September 15th, 2015 | Game Page
It seems so weird looking back at Undertale, how big it got. An RPG all about making friends and specifically not fighting the enemies, Undertale managed to hit all of the emotional heartstrings in a way you’d never expect, all while breaking the fourth wall and serving as a meta-commentary on RPG tropes. It also had some shockingly fun jRPG/SHMUP smash-up gameplay, and one of the best soundtracks of the decade. If not the best.
34 – Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal | Release Date: December 1st, 2015 | Game Page
Like many games, a rocky launch won’t always define your history. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Seige had a rocky launch. However, Ubisoft knew they had something good on their hands, so they sat down and thought about it. Before long, Rainbow Six Seige had been transformed into a top-class multiplayer shooter and a favorite for FPS fans. When you need a tactical fix, and you need to breach a wall to ruin someone’s day, Rainbow Six Seige is there for you.
33 – Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Developer: Ninja Theory | Release Date: August 8th, 2017 | Game Page
Mental health is one of the most difficult subjects to tackle in a video game. Hellblade managed to tackle the subject in a respectful way, without resorting to turning it into a dumb video game trope or powerup. When it also brought fast-paced combat, amazing graphics, and a shocking story, people took notice. Marketed as a AAA Indie game, it was clear to see a lot of love went into Hellblade, and so many remember it so well because of it.
32 – The Stanley Parable
Developer: Galactic Cafe | Release Date: October 17th, 2013
Are we even allowed to make choices in games or is everything pre-determined? Even the choices we can make are all planned for by a storyteller. Questioning this concept in one of the most hilarious ways, The Stanly Parable may not have had much gameplay, but it did have one of the most hilarious narrators in gaming and tied it together with a surprisingly thought-provoking plot that took shots at the game industry at any chance it could. Worth it just for the humor alone.
31 – A 2019 Game TBA With Our Awards Soon!
30 – A 2019 Game TBA With Our Awards Soon!
29 – Papers, Please
Developer: Lucas Pope | Release Date: August 8th, 2013
Running a little border checkpoint doesn’t exactly sound like the most fun of games. However, Papers, Pleasemanages to be one of the most compelling experiences. What starts as simply checking to see if passports match, you’re soon scanning for bombs, dealing with bribes, trying to make enough to feed your sick family, and trying to pretend the country you’re letting people into is as glorious as claimed. It’s captivating and quickly became a favorite for players looking for something a little different.
28 – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios | Release Date: November 11th, 2011 | Game Page
Oh, Todd, what would we do without you? Skyrim was the game that showed many players how awesome an open world can really be. Endlessly explorable, and thanks to the use of mods this was literal, Skyrim was one of the easiest worlds to get totally lost in for days. It helps that you could also do some hilariously silly things, like find ways to yell at people until they flew off of a mountain or decorate your house with the corpses of your enemies. Endless replayability.
27 – Red Dead Redemption
Developer: Rockstar San Diego | Release Date: May 18th, 2010
At the time it seemed like nothing could surpass Grand Theft Auto IV in terms of a living world. Then came Red Dead Redemption, which did it with such a cowboy flair. The story of John Marston manages to be one of Rockstar’s best. Criminals redeeming themselves is a great subject, and setting it to the slow death of the Wild West and with all sorts of betrayals manages to work wonders. Combined with fun gunplay, great missions, a lovely open world, and goofy multiplayer nonsense, and Red Dead Redemption remains one of the best choices for an open-world adventure.
26 – Total War: Warhammer II
Developer: Creative Assembly | Release Date: September 28th, 2017 | Game Page
It’s strange to think no one really tried to combine the Total War series with fantasy material before. Yet Total War: Warhammer showed that a place for such an idea existed. Its sequel then took all that goodwill and ideas and made them much better. There are fun tactical decisions to be made in leading around your fantasy nation, and it’s always fun to watch RTS battles with hundreds of units. The only real mistake was not just naming it “Total Warhammer.”
The 25 Best Games of the 2010s
25 – P.T.
Developer: Kojima Productions | Release Date: August 12th, 2014
Ah, what could have been. P.T. was supposed to be a prequel horror game that would lead into the Hideo Kojima directed Silent Hills. One thing led to another and the full game was canceled. At least, for a brief time, we had P.T. One of the most absolutely shocking horror games, P.T. would inspire fans and other developers for years to come, and eventually led to Kojima getting his own studio and Death Stranding. It’s just a shame you can’t actually play it anymore.
24 – Shovel Knight
Developer: Yacht Club Games | Release Date: June 26th, 2014
In a year where AAA games weren’t doing so hot, indies rose. Shovel Knight was the one that rose the highest. A Kickstarter success that received an insane amount of free content after launch, Shovel Knighttook all the best things about classic games and emulated their looks without making them a drag to play. Wonderful levels, awesome boss fights, and fantastic platformer challenges were wrapped in a retro aesthetic and soundtrack. Fans had a lot to love with the base game, but three free game-length major expansions and a free multiplayer mode means the fun got to last well after the initial release. Shovel Knight did so much right for a game that it’s no wonder we considered it the top game of 2014.
2014 TechRaptor Awards Won: Indie Game of the Year
23 – Persona 5
Developer: Atlus | Release Date: April 4th, 2017 | Game Page
jRPGs aren’t really a genre known for style. Sure they sometimes look good, but Persona 5 has /style/. Following the Phantom Thieves on their quest is already killer, but they do it in such a stylish way that it’s almost easy to forget that you’re partaking in turn-based combat. Each fight, each movement, cutscene, even just jumping from cover to cover, is done in such a unique and classy way that it’s impossible to look away. It’s just awesome to watch.
2017 TechRaptor Awards Won: Best Writing
22 – Mass Effect 2
Developer: BioWare | Release Date: January 26th, 2010 | Game Page
My name is Commander Shephard and this is my favorite game in 2010. Mass Effect was already an insane success, but taking it to the next level did wonders. Set to the background of an unstoppable incoming invasion and a possible suicide mission, Mass Effect 2 didn’t move the story much but instead provided some of the most interesting, likable, and deep characters that the franchise has ever seen. It took the gameplay of the original and made it far less clunky while removing the need to spend excess time in menus. Most importantly, it made it feel like Mass Effect really changed the world, and we got to see many of our choices pay off in satisfying ways. Mass Effect 2 is the kind of game that will stick with players for generations to come.
21 – Doom (2016)
Developer: id Software | Release Date: May 13th, 2016 | Game Page
And relaxation is over. Now we need to kill demons, all day every day. Doom doesn’t try to hide what it is. It’s a big, dumb, FPS with big, dumb, weapons used to kill big, dumb, enemies. It knows what it is and it loves every second of it, and since it’s our top game of 2016 it seems we did too. Doom is more than happy to show you exactly what the inside of a demon looks like, and how a shotgun should tear a crowd of monsters apart from all sorts of different angels. It’s fast-paced shooting perfection, wrapped in a gory package that brings the series back to somewhere I’m glad to see it return to. It turns out you rarely need more than a shotgun, a chainsaw, and a bunch of targets. Good on Doom for giving it to us.
2016 TechRaptor Awards Won: Game of the Year, Best Soundtrack
20 – Bloodborne
Developer: FromSoftware | Release Date: March 24th, 2015
With Dark Souls having taken over the world, it was time to try it somewhere different. Bloodborne sought to take Dark Souls into a creepy Lovecraftian version of London while speeding up the combat and introducing new transforming weapons. The result? One of the, if not the, best spin-offs of the Souls formula. From crazy boss fights, a beautiful soundtrack, and gothic vistas, Bloodborne had it all. This was the first game that really made a PlayStation 4 show up on most people’s radar and worth the purchase.
19 – A 2019 Game TBA With Our Awards Soon!
18 – Spider-Man
Developer: Insomniac Games | Release Date: September 7th, 2018 | Game Page
There have only been a handful of good Spider-Man games. Most people say we really haven’t gotten one since the PlayStation 2 days. Thankfully, we had Insomniac to fix that. Marvel’s Spider-Man isn’t just a good Spider-Man game, it’s an absolutely fantastic one. More importantly, it’s one that loves the source material and goes well out of its way to make sure it’s as true to the friendly neighborhood superhero as possible.
17 – Divinity: Original Sin II
Developer: Larian Studios | Release Date: September 14th, 2017 | Game Page
So after Divinity: Original Sin reminded people why they loved cRPGS, Original Sin II had the difficult task of following this up with something better. It succeeded. Taking all the already fantastic parts of Original Sin and making sure that they continued to shine while also ironing out the worse points, we had another fantastic cRPG on our hands. A deep story and fun tactical gameplay added everything we needed to make Original Sin II the best follow-up it could be.
16 – A 2019 Game TBA With Our Awards Soon!
15 – Nier: Automata
Developer: PlatinumGames | Release Date: March 7th, 2017 | Game Page
When Platinum got their hands on the Nier sequel, people were confused. The original game was known for its story and soundtrack, not so much its gameplay. Nier: Automata managed to preserve those two elements, continuing to tell a mind-bending story that leaned on the fourth wall while having one of the best soundtracks in gaming. It just also added fast-paced character action gameplay. That’s all the sequel really needed to stand out from the crowd.
14 – A 2019 Game TBA With Our Awards Soon!
13 – Yakuza 0
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio | Release Date: January 24th, 2017
Up until 2017, the Yakuza series was popular in Japan but only really a footnote in America. However, the unexpected success of Yakuza 0 changed all that. It introduced a whole new generation of players to wacky Japanese melodrama combined with super-serious moments and combat that would alternate between goofy and overly violent. It’s a strange mix, but it’s one that works worlds better than it should and connected with a lot of people.
12 – The Last of Us
Developer: Naughty Dog | Release Date: June 14th, 2013
When we heard Naughty Dog was taking a break from Uncharted, this isn’t what most of us expected. Uncharted was a goofy action movie nonsense. The Last of Us is a depressing post-apocalyptic story of people just trying to survive. Joel’s trip to escort Ellie across an infected America in the hopes of finding a cure for the monstrous plague is one hell of a trip, and easily one of the most disturbing and emotional stories put on the format. When you also consider it has interesting stealth gameplay, dramatic firefights, and a surprisingly robust multiplayer option, then it’s not hard to see why The Last of Us is so beloved. Just try not to cry like most people do.
11 – Portal 2
Developer: Valve | Release Date: April 19th, 2011
While Portal was a surprise hit most people didn’t expect to take off as it did, Portal 2 improved on it in every way. It has one of the most hilariously entertaining stories with several characters that have gone down as favorites for many players. Potatoes and The Part Where He Kills You still crack fans up to this day. When you combine this with a super unique and clever puzzle formula, then you end up with a winner that is beloved by many and friend to all.
The 10 Best Games of the 2010s
10 – Red Dead Redemption 2
Developer: Rockstar Games | Release Date: October 26th, 2018 | Game Page
So much was put into Red Dead Redemption that it’s no surprise so much was also put into its prequel. Red Dead Redemption 2 is another massive open-world game that lets you explore the west and interact with so much. With plenty of story-filled side quests and main missions, a ton of shoot outs, and the ability to tie someone up and drag them behind your horse, there’s something here for everyone. It helps that there’s also another giant content filled multiplayer mode to go with it.
2018 TechRaptor Awards won: Best Writing
9 – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Developer: Sora Ltd. | Release Date: December 7th, 2018 | Game Page
Everyone is here! With the single goal of taking every single character from every single Super Smash Brothergame and making sure they all get a chance to shine, everyone was shocked to see how many characters there really are. When you also add in a bunch of surprise DLC characters, there’s certainly a party going. Now with a massive single-player mode, a fantastic soundtrack, and more weird fights than you can shake a stick at.
2018 TechRaptor Awards won: Best Multiplayer
8 – A 2019 Game TBA With Our Awards Soon!
7 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Developer: Nintendo | Release Date: March 3rd, 2017 | Game Page
Not since the original Halo has a launch game gotten so much critical acclaim. Breath of the Wild took a page from other games released around the time, most notably the classic Ubisoft Open World design. This led to a Zelda game that tackled something entirely different, and it did so in a fantastic way. From amazing combat to a world where it seems like any weird thing is possible, Breath of the Wild introduced us all to the Switch and why we should pay attention to it.
2017 TechRaptor Awards Won: Game of the Year
6 – Super Mario Odyssey
Developer: Nintendo | Release Date: October 27th, 2017 | Game Page
If Breath of the Wild introduced us to the Switch, Super Mario Odyssey made us love it. It turns out Mario doesn’t need a fancy open world, it just needs a gimmick. One super clever, super well-made gimmick. In this case, Mario has Cappy, a hat that lets him possess any enemy he comes across, giving him access to all-new abilities. Suddenly, so much seemed possible. Better yet, Odyssey was happy to let you go wild with it. Each stage is masterfully crafted so that each gimmick can be used to its full potential, and you can explore and find collectibles for any weird thing you could think of. The worlds are clever, the situations are fun, and every part of Super Mario Odyssey is crafted so that it is one of the most joyful experiences known in gaming.
5 – Minecraft
Developer: Mojang | Release Date: November 18th, 2011 | Game Page
While it may have launched into a beta phase a couple of years before, Minecraft finally hit 1.0 in 2011, and its status as a world-changing video game had been confirmed, leading to it being the bestselling game of all time. Bringing the love of virtual building blocks to as many people as possible, and still getting more content to this day, Minecraft drops you in a world with as few instructions as possible and lets you have fun living in it. In addition to all this, a large modding scene that can give you consistently new ways to spend time in Minecraft. This is one for adults and kids alike.
4 – Journey
Developer: Thatgamecompany | Release Date: March 13th, 2012
There’s something to be said about art style and what it can do to a game. In the case of Journey, the answer is “make it.” Tasking you with simply walking across a desert to get to a light in the distance, Journey has plenty of surprises along the way. You’ll start by meeting other players on the same quest as you and can find ways to communicate without ever actually talking. Then you can take in the game world, full of discoveries, beautiful landscapes, intense sliding segments, a wonderful soundtrack, and some heartbreak. It’s a lovely game, putting how fantastic games can be as an artistic medium on full display.
3 – God of War (2018)
Developer: Sony Santa Monica Studios | Release Date: April 20th, 2018 | Game Page
There really is no reason God of War should be as good as it is. A soft reboot of a classic PlayStation franchise that, for most people, ended in 2010, there wasn’t really much expectation for it to be much other than good enough. For it to totally blow every other game that year out of the water? Now that was a shock. Kratos has once again tried to settle with a family, and the bond he forms with his son as they try to spread his wife’s ashes from the mountain is simply one amazing emotional work. The fact that it’s tied together by one of the most genuinely fun and varied combat systems in a God of War game, a great semi-open world with plenty to do, and some absolutely lovely graphics? Just icing on the cake. The God of War is back, and he’s once again in charge.
2018 TechRaptor Awards won: Game of the Year
2 – Dark Souls
Developer: FromSoftware | Release Date: October 4th, 2011 | Game Page
Very few games have had as much impact on how games are made and played than Dark Souls has had. From creating an entirely new genre of games to popularizing several concepts like passive multiplayer or extreme difficulty, it’s hard to deny that Dark Souls hasn’t had an impact on the industry in such a major way. It’s easy to see why, though. So much love and attention has been put into every part of the game, from its world-building to the plethora of fantastic boss fights. It’s really visionary, and it’s no surprise that Dark Souls continues to be the game that many fans compare other games both in and out of the series to. It really was one of the best.
1 – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Developer: CD Projekt Red | Release Date: May 19th, 2015 | Game Page
You saw this coming. We all saw this coming. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was, and honestly still is, the RPG that defined the decade. The story of Geralt managed to sneak its way into the heart of many gamers, and exploring the vast open-world full of interesting and unique side quests could keep players captivated for 80+ hours. It’s hard to deny just how much love there is for the game, as it has been brought up constantly when the subject comes up. Take into account a pair of well-recieved DLC expansions, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the kind of game that has a solid chance of still being looked on with awe years from now. If nothing else, many games will continued to be inspired by it. Hey, it may even encourage you to pick up one of the books, despite what the author thinks.
2015 TechRaptor Awards Won: Game of the Year, Best Writing, Best Soundtrack.
2016 TechRaptor Awards Won: Best Expansion/DLC