The Qt3 Top 10 Games of the Decade Voting Thread

Top 10 Games of … THE DECADE!

Good Day, all! And welcome to the contest of kings. For only the bravest will dare attempt to come up with the top ten games of the decade! Well, the bravest and the ones also with the most free time on their hands. We invite all to participate, be they brave or bored!

This is going to work a lot like the Quarterlies, with @arrendek’s excellent script trawling the thread for entries, so we need everyone to adhere to a few simple formatting rules to ensure things go smoothly and all votes are counted.

We are also wanting to give folks the chance to do this in one of two ways, at their preference. On the one hand, if you are willing and able to produce your list in an order from top 10 all the way to the very best game of the decade, go for it! Your votes will be weighted, just like the Quarterlies, with the following point values.

1st=25 points
2nd=20 points
3rd=15 points
4th=10 points
5th through 10th = 5 points

Just make sure you format your entries like this:

And that will result in this:

  1. Game 1 - optional description
  2. Game 2
    optional description could also go here
  3. Game 3

The ** before and after a word will BOLD that word, do not bold the number, decimal, or any of the description, and try to format the name of the game properly so it gets summed with other identical votes.

Alternatively, If you spent so long just getting the list down to 10 and you don’t want to have to wiggle them around into some sort of order, we got you covered, simply format your entries like so and each game gets 10 points across the board:


And this will result in this:

  • Game 1 - optional description
  • Game 2
    optional description could also go here
  • Game 3

Instead of using a 1, 2, or 3 lead your game titles with an asterisk (*) and keep, again, only the title in bold and maintain spelling and title parity with other identical titles, when possible.

That’s all there is to it! I will post an example of un-ranked in the following thread and of course, if you have any questions or need additional information, don’t hesitate to post here and someone will always have your back! We will allow voting starting right now all the way until 2/23 (Sunday evening), give or take (about two weeks of voting). I’m certain we can be flexible if folks want more time, of course. The previoud decade isn’t going anywhere.

Here is an example of a proper ranked formatting post:

A note on Early Access and Franchises. My thoughts are Early Access games are eligible - if they are worthy inclusion on this list and still in Early Access, that’s all the more impressive. For Franchises, I like the idea of picking an entire franchise only if it was entirely released in this decade (Jan 1 2010 - Dec 31 2019) AND if you would have otherwise put each game on your list. However, I’m unsure how to format “XCOM Franchise” for example, so for now I recommend we vote only for a game by title, singular, and not try to put more than one game on a single line. It’s supposed to be a challenge, after all!

From the previous discussion:

For some additional resources, here is the Wiki of release dates by year since I am guessing not a single person reading this remembers every single game from the last decade off the top of their head. For those that do, you have my respect!

2010 - 2010 in video games - Wikipedia
2011 - 2011 in video games - Wikipedia
2012 - 2012 in video games - Wikipedia
2013 - 2013 in video games - Wikipedia
2014 - 2014 in video games - Wikipedia
2015 - 2015 in video games - Wikipedia
2016 - 2016 in video games - Wikipedia
2017 - 2017 in video games - Wikipedia
2018 - 2018 in video games - Wikipedia
2019 - 2019 in video games - Wikipedia

Additional Resources 2 - we have a thread discussing Game of the Decade from various other publications and forum members already created by @lordkosc that will also have some great entries and may give some ideas or jog the ol’ brain box for some inspriation. Check it out here:

Okay, enough preamble, let’s get to it!

My vote (and an example of un-ranked voting)!

  • The Witcher 3
  • XCOM 2
  • The Last of Us
  • Spelunky HD Original Spelunky came out in 2008 (and was web-based), but the HD version came out much later, first on XBOX (2014), then PC, and eventually just about everything (not Switch though, which I hope is addressed at some point).
  • Pillars of Eternity 2
  • Total War: Warhammer 2
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Slay the Spire
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age This remaster came out in 2018 for PC/PS4 and (iirc) last year on Switch, and that’s the version I’m voting for.

Here’s mine :)

  1. Diablo 3 (2012)
  2. Borderlands 2 (2012)
  3. Minecraft (2011)
  4. Skyrim (2011)
  5. Hob (2017)
  6. RimWorld (2018)
  7. Shadowrun: Dragonfall (2014)
  8. TrackMania 2 (2011)
  9. Cities Skylines (2015)
  10. Ori and the Blind Forest (2015)
  1. Dark Souls
    My most played game of all time. This and Demon’s Souls
  2. Darkest Dungeon
    The narrator is so great and the RNG is so bad
  3. Bloodborne
  4. Inside
    I want to be inside this game
  5. Grand Theft Auto 5
  6. Xenoblade Chronicles
  7. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
    I spent so much time and money to level up toys, really addicting
  8. Portal 2 Witness had to go, P2 is just better
  9. Sins Of A Solar Empire: Rebellion
  10. Earth Defense Force 5
    Destructable environments and loot boxes, EDF EDF

this is brutal, here are the games that fell to the cutting floor

Limbo, Getting Over It With Bennet Foddy, Spintires, Slay The Spire, Return Of The Obra Dinn, Into The Breach, Nier Automata, Cities: Skylines, Rim World, Prison Architect, The Long Dark, Trackmania 2, No Mans’s Sky, Papers Please, Zelda, Witness

I want to play The Witcher 3 but never actually get the time to do it, it seems so huge…

  1. Kerbal Space Program - Taught me everything I know about orbital dynamics. I’ll never forget that feeling of landing on Mun for the first time. Or my first successful rescue of a Kerbal that got stranded on Mun. Or my first mission to Duna!
  2. Pax Pamir 2nd edition - Does an amazing job of capturing its theme in gameplay. You’re the leader of an Afghan faction in an incredibly turbulent period, trying to navigate a sea of foreign interference and fraternal treachery. The only game that ever convinced me to read a 500-page history book.
  3. The Witcher 3 - The ending was so wonderful, so beautiful, such a perfect ending to my story that I will never play The Witcher 3 again. That playthrough was my story, the only Witcher story that will ever matter to me.
  4. Inis
  5. Total War: Warhammer 2
  6. Eldritch Horror
  7. Spec Ops: The Line
  8. Star Wars: Rebellion
  9. Comancheria
  10. Kentucky Route Zero

One last edit: Minecraft out, Spec Ops in.

  • Crusader Kings II
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • XCOM 2
  • Mad Max
  • Tyranny
  • Dishonored
  • Life is Strange
  • The Walking Dead - (Season 1)
  • The Banner Saga
  • Pyre


My most played game of the decade was actually Train Simulator, but I don’t really think it’s one of the 10 best games I played over that period … I can’t really figure out what order to put these in so I’m going unranked … Not really sure if my tastes evolved over the decade, I definitely wasn’t playing games like Life is Strange 10 years ago though and I now think if a game is wrapped up in 15 hours or less, that’s a big plus … CK2 and ETS2 are the kind of games that will no doubt absorb a bunch of hours of my life in the next decade too, whilst I would be surprised if I played any of the others on the list ever again, that’s just how I roll … I only ever finished one run on XCOM 2 but what a fantastic ride. I just don’t know if I need to do that again and the expansion looks like they went overboard … Could go with Dishonored 1 or 2 here, but I think the prequel pips it on account of being a fresh new world. I prefer the creativity that a brand new game series brings, although I clearly enjoy sequels and meeting familiar characters all over again … The Banner Saga goes in as a series as you’d be daft to only play one, but again, the first was a fresh experience and therefore the most memorable … Pyre goes in on story and experience although I did enjoy the sport part quite a bit … Tyranny was easily the best RPG I played in the decade, I was defeated by the word / lore soup and dire blob combat of Pillars, Divinity 2 combat was too hard and slow, and Witcher 3 was just too big for me, I have 38 hours and I don’t think I’m even half way … Mad Max is the greatest 7 out of 10 action game ever made, fight me

In order to ensure that my votes count as little as possible, I’m going to include both a couple of RPG systems and a boardgame! Generally, this is more a list of sheer life-impact than raw enjoyment of a particular title, though the two are often linked, and usually tied to play-time, as well.

  1. Fate Core
    No other game, digital or otherwise, has consumed more of my time, or generated more raw enjoyment, than the tabletop RPG Fate Core by Evil Hat games. A wonderful revision of the Fate RPG system, it’s heavily based in narrative, storytelling, and character growth-as-people-rather-than-numbers. Low-crunch, fast-playing, and incredibly easy to mod, it matches my particular GMing style perfectly, and I’ve run multiple lengthy campaigns and a couple dozen highly successful one-shots with Fate Core. From scifi to high fantasy to horror to slice-of-life to comedy to cyberpunk to the utterly bizarre, it’s handled every single thing I’ve thrown at it with aplomb, and helped me drag several people into the TTRPG hobby. I hope to publish a game on their awesome open license someday! Moreover, Fate’s introduced me or brought me closer to several of my very best friends, lead me to a very fun online game with some Qt3 friends, and helped pay my way to Gen Con the last couple of years, so really, it had to be number one, didn’t it?
  2. Starcraft II
    If we’re going by the sheer time metric, SC2 has to rank up there as well. My preference is to encourage other fans to simply list the full game rather than its three (albeit very significant) quasi-releases. All things considered, I’ve played SC2 monumentally less than I did Warcraft 3 or Starcraft 1, and honestly, even much less than almost every other game on this list. However, the SC2 proscene and the tournaments it spawned consumed the first 5 years of this decade almost entirely, introduced me to my first group of close friends in Raleigh, and are generally responsible for some of my happiest, most exciting gaming memories in the last decade. Watching greats like Mvp, Nestea, MarineKing, TaeJa, Hero, INnoVation, MC, Life (dammit Life), sOs, DongRaeGu, Scarlett, idra, White-Ra, Stephano, Naniwa, TLO, Huk, and iNcontrol (RIP) win it all, seeing the rise and fall of incredible teams like SlayerS, IM, TeamLiquid, EvilGeniuses, Axiom (RIP TB), going out to Barcrafts, catering for my buddy James’s annual BlizzCon party year after year. . . goddamn, I love SC2.
  3. Mass Effect 2
    There’s a pretty big drop-off after the top two for me, but ME2 is still a pretty fantastic memory in my gaming life. It was a big drop down from ME1 in terms of story, gameplay, and overall importance to my life, but I still had an absolute blast on both playthroughs and adored the new crewmates so much by the end. Sure, the end boss is dumb as fuck and the third game utterly lost my interest, but ME2 was an intriguing, challenging sequel to one of my favorite games of all time, and I’ll always appreciate the effort that clearly went into making it great.
  4. Sid Meier’s Civilization V
    I pretty much have only played Civs 2 and 5 for more than about an hour apiece, so I suspect my choice will bug a lot of folks here who are hardcore Civ4 heads, but eh, I missed the boat on it when it was fresh and the drop back to the awful graphics and lack of quality of life features I got used to in V mean I’ll never really be able to enjoy it properly. Civ5 ate up tons of my time and gave me a lot of fun for what I paid for it, so even if I did get pretty exhausted by it in the end, I can’t say it wasn’t worthwhile overall. It’s my most-played digital game on this list almost by a factor of 10!
  5. Powered by the Apocalypse
    Apocalypse World dropped in the TTRPG market in 2010, and from that point forward had spawned a massive ecosystem of interrelated “PBTA” games using its same basic 2d6 core mechanic and innovative “playbook” character-building system in a massive variety of genres and game styles. From the D&D-inspired Dungeon World to the X-Files/Supernatural ripoff Monster of the Week, from sexy teen monsters in Monsterhearts to sad teen heroes in Masks, it has given so many great games, and is such a fantastic system, I had to include it. I play much more PBTA stuff than I run, but I can’t wait to get a game up and running in the near future.
  6. HEXplore It
    Tom made me spend $200 on two giant boardgames and their expansions last summer and I’ve since spent about 6 amazing afternoons wrapped up in their absurd hexmaps, goofy dry-erasable character boards, epic boss fights, and crazy overpowered combos. I even kickstarted the third one! What an excellent boardgame concept – somehow condensing a full hexcrawl style RPG campaign into an afternoon’s worth of gaming. It’s convoluted, complicated, and more than a little insane, and I love it.
  7. Slay the Spire
    The game that made me love gaming again in 2020. An easy to play, impossible to master card-based rougelike dungeon-crawler/deck-builder that hits so many of my gaming pleasure points it’s almost a little naughty. I’ve dropped a good 60 hours on it in the last month and can see myself getting at least that many more out of it going forward.
  8. Dragon Quest XI
    The best JRPG of the 2010s, it helped rekindle my love for a genre that defined my gaming time in the 2000s. It really is gaming comfort food, to paraphrase Tim Rogers amazing video review. Gorgeous, inspiring, cleanly designed, masterfully made, it is one of the purest expressions of JRPG perfection I’ve ever experienced. To the point that I’m buying it again on the Switch to get the full experience!
  9. Gone Home
    The game that’s impacted me emotionally more than any other in the 2010s, Gone Home made me feel shit a game hadn’t ever brought out before. Beautiful, haunting, and all-too-brief, it absolutely ensnared me and didn’t get go until the tear-jerking conclusion. I love this game. And dammit, it is a game, and not just a point-and-click story. I’ll not hear otherwise from any of you!
  10. Sorcerer King
    This game fell in my estimation following Stardock’s fairly abysmal Star Control release near the end of the decade. All the promise I felt for their future making a new SC game seemed for naught, but nonetheless, I spy glimpses of greatness and brilliance in this deeply satisfying turn-based fantasy romp. The writing is clever and fun, the gameplay is an excellent refinement over the troubled Elemental formula, and it still makes me think of what could have been, which is almost more fun than the game itself. Alas.

Shout-outs to Age of Rivals, You Must Build a Boat, and Boggle, which are the only three cellphone games I’ve ever loved, but nonetheless, I can’t shake my association of cellphone games as not being “real games.” Special mentions also to Broken Age, Halcyon 6, Pathfinder: Kingmaker, and Pillars of Eternity for each nearly dragging me back into gaming but not quite having the juice to do it, and to my bevy of new Switch games (Mario Odyssey, Super Mario Party, Mario Kart 8, and Octopath Traveler), which I look forward to getting to know better in the coming weeks <3

Anti-shout-out to 2013’s horrific Sim City reboot, and a confused trumpeting noise to Adventure Capitalist, Cities: Skylines, Crusader Kings II, Galactic Civilizations III, Guacamelee!, Mass Effect 3, Rogue Legacy, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Star Control, Stellaris, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown, each of which consumed a LOT of play hours but ultimately left me unsatisfied or even outright unhappy in some cases (sweet fuck how much time did I waste on Adventure Capitalist???).

  1. Europa Universalis 4
  2. Rimworld
  3. The Witcher 3
  4. Skyrim
  5. Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion
  6. Civilization V
  7. Fallout: New Vegas
  8. Slay the Spire
  9. Warframe
  10. Dark Souls 3

Thanks for handling the talky typey bits, Scott!

  • The Last of Us
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • The Witness
  • The Witcher 3
  • Life is Strange
  • Bloodborne
  • Crusader Kings 2
  • Portal 2
  • Disco Elysium
  • Saints Row: The Third

While this could be a Jason Bourne game I’ve never heard of, you guys are likely talking about Bloodborne.


But I’d still play that.

Damn, this was harder than I thought. Definitely some good ones that I had to cut off the list. Might change this up before the end.

  1. The Last of Us - still the best overall gaming experience I’ve had
  2. Dark Souls - simply a classic
  3. The Witcher 3 - need to finish this but there’s just so much to do!
  4. God of War - great writing combined with solid meaty gameplay
  5. Bloodborne - where’s the sequel?
  6. Dark Souls 3 - hoping this isn’t the last DS we ever see
  7. Diablo 3 - once it evolved to its current form
  8. Mass Effect 2 - sci-fi adventure at its best
  9. Monster Hunter: World - would probably be higher with some tweaks
  10. Earth Defense Force 5 - had to include an EDF game as I’m hopelessly addicted

Honorable Mentions:
Fable 3 - I might move this into my top 10 as a nod to the overall series. Tough call here.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor - great implementation of an open world orc slayer
NHL XX - play this every year with my bro-in-law online
Bioshock 2 - Little Sisters were terrifying on the harder difficulty
Dragon Quest Builders - awesome take on Minecraft crossed wtih a lite RPG
Horizon Zero Dawn - trekking around a beautiful world while taking down dinos has never been better

They are just spelling it the way it wants to be spelled. :)

  1. Hearthstone
  2. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  3. Grim Dawn
  4. Slay the Spire
  5. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  6. FTL
  7. The Witcher 3
  8. Dragon’s Dogma
  9. Divinity: Original Sin
  10. Alien Isolation

Honorable mentions:

Wolfenstein: The New Order
Sword Coast Legends
Elite Dangerous
Starcraft II
Clash Royale
Darkest Dungeon
Just Cause 2
Portal 2

Let’s be honest there it almost certainly has include Skyrim, Dark or Demon Souls, some GTA game, maybe some Uncharted / Naughty Dog game, some Paradox game or two, almost certainly Fortnite. League of Legends should be here, but it was released in October 2009. Quite possibly some or all of the World of X (Tanks etc) games. Probably some indie game like Stardew. Minecraft should be here as well, but again, late 2009. Probably Twitch or YouTube, as these platforms have totally transformed the relationship between games and game players.

The answer of course is Life is Strange.

  1. Distance (Refract)
    Drive along the side of a building in low Earth orbit as society literally collapses around you in a game that is named after one of the basic properties of the universe. Playing through the end credits is a great touch, I wish more games did this. This is inadequate to describing what the experience is like, however; little bits of the world are revealed to you along the way, pinning down the magnitude of something horrible that has happened, is happening: something you may not be able to escape in 4 hours, but you have to try. There is one part where the road ends and you careen off a cliff, the game slows down and tells you “press x to fly”, because… naturally. Rotating to stick landings is how I remember better days snowboarding Crested Butte.

  2. Massive Chalice (Double Fine)
    Survive a 300 year war against a cosmic threat by defending territory against the corrupted forces of nature by breeding families with desirable traits and sending them into battle once every decade like its Oberammergau. There is a nice tension between maintaining unbroken lines to the very end and sending your best warriors in to fight. Figuring out who is allowed to marry whom has some ironic comedy to it. Both desirable and undesirable traits will inevitably end up being passed on, and warriors are greatly affected not only by heritage but who they train with. It’s also somewhat sobering watching them grow old and die or else meet some byzantine fate.

  3. Botanicula (Amanita Design)
    A group of five imaginary adventurers with individual unique abilities confront a monstrous spider inside a microscopic insect world that’s part of a tree with its own creation mythos and eschatology in a wordlessly vocal game.

  4. Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
    Be a lightsaber-adjacent wielding, gunslinging, mortally ill hobo with amazing cyberpunk abilities and visions of Set and a bull-like cyclopean creature while learning the ropes of four different cultures amidst titan strewn landscapes. I really like the sound track by Disasterpeace on this: it feels like Blade Runner with more electronic jazz and piano.

  5. RimWorld (Ludeon Studios)

  6. Kairo (Locked Door Puzzle)

  7. Dreadhalls (White Door Games)

  8. Minecraft (Mojang)

  9. The Banner Saga (Stoic Studio)

  10. Fez (Polytron)

This should give me time to play Kentucky Route Zero and Return of the Obra Dinn. Apologies to Disco Elysium; you look cool, but you’ll have to wait for another decade.

  • The Witcher 3
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Assasin’s Creed: Odyssey
  • XCOM 2
  • Dishonored 2
  • Battlefield 1

Also rans: Kingdom Come, Subnautica.

Here’s my top 10. I’ll post comments and honorable mentions later.

  1. NieR: Automata
  2. Monster Hunter World
  3. The Witcher 3
  4. Guild Wars 2
  5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  6. X3: Albion Prelude
  8. Injustice 2
  9. No Man’s Sky
  10. Yakuza 0