SOMA - A moving, humanistic story about our longing for continuity, taking place in the most tactile, grounded environment I’ve ever encountered. One of the rare experiences that makes me appreciate my 12 years at a Christian school. There’s a point near the end of the story where I just lost it. Should I be embarrassed to admit that?
Into the Breach - The tightest strategy game ever is also the best. I love how much variety it out of such a small collection of elements.
Bayonetta A melee action game with an in-depth combat system and remarkable long term playability. And QTEs that are actually good. DMC 5 might have superior combat, but it doesn’t have Bayonetta.
Bloodborne - Soulsborne games fascinate me. The way they present impossible combat sequences and bosses, designed to be picked apart and mastered over successive runs. No other action developer possesses From Software’s attention to detail. Bloodborne is their best game because of its menagerie of transforming weapons, its focus on melee combat, and the way its world is presented and its story unfolds.
Splatoon - The sequel is superior in every way, but this is the game I’ll remember. I spent a summer playing every day. I love the vibrant theme, the unusual control scheme, and the way it makes multiplayer shooting about more than just fragging other players.
Chaos Reborn - More games need to crib its asynchronous multiplayer. And its one-hit kills, and the way it mitigates randomness by letting players psych each other out.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey - Epic length open world RPGs dominated the 2010s. I don’t have the patience for most of them. Too much filler, too many dialog trees, subpar combat. Odyssey is the exception. Kassandra, the dynamic mercenary system, the way combat remains challenging throughout, the incredible sense of scale across land and sea, trireme combat, plenty of great quests and characters, and…a story that frays towards the end. Can’t have it all. Oh, and the best, most impactful skill tree in any game, ever.
Grand Theft Auto V - Three characters written for psychology nerds like me to appreciate, starring in a seamlessly told story in a giant world full of varied missions and gameplay.
XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - A better match of theme to gameplay than the first game. I love how the stealth system combined with the mission timers creates a constant sense of urgency. I love the huge variety of abilities and items. And zombie missions. And the Chosen.
Star Wars: Battlefront - My favorite traditional multiplayer shooter of the decade. I think the sequel is the better game now, but I spent much more time with the first one. Gorgeous rendition of the best of the original trilogy, with solid, accessible shooting for casuals like me and plenty of variety across single and multiplayer modes. And what a treat the companion app card game turned out to be.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Endless Legend - solid 4X-ing in a fascinating science-fantasy setting
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - I’ll never run out of things to do in this fighter with deep but accessible enough fighting gameplay.
Sang-Froid - Tales of Werewolves - The planning from the original Rainbow 6 meets tower defense in a Canadian werewolf story. I love it when a plan comes together.
Fallout: New Vegas - the best Fallout, but I don’t know if I’d have the patience 2010’s combat in 2020.
Agents of Mayhem - The setting and characters can be a bit bland sometimes, but the action RPG gameplay is rich, deep, and one-of-a-kind.
MASSIVE CHALICE - great eugenics gameplay, really good tactical combat, too.
Mass Effect: Andromeda - Bioware’s best combat ever, and the best Mass Effect story because of how well it fits the gameplay.
The 2010s are when I became passionate about board games. Why are we burying them in the middle of the video game list? There won’t be a single board game in the top 10. How about a separate list?
Android: Netrunner - Extreme assymmetry, and a brilliant realization of its hacker-vs-corp theme. Fantasy Flight’s LCG bloat couldn’t dull the shine of its brilliant core.
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game - Rise of the Runelords - I’m sure the newer sets are better, but this is the first time I encountered the mechanism of building a deck of cards across multiple sessions of a game. A revelation.
Clockwork Wars - I love how the hidden unit deployment system keeps turns fast, even with high player counts. Lush steampunk art, modular board and tech tree, great production and box. One of my favorite and most played games. Great job, @hassanlopez!