Jamie Balfour

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A look at the last decade of gaming

A look at the last decade of gaming

The countdown has already begun. It's strange to think that another decade is over, this will be my second full decade on this earth. The end of the year and decade is often a good time to reflect on things. So I'm reflecting in this article on the last decade of games. 

This article will contain my top ten games of the last decade. You will notice that although Warcraft III is still my favourite game, the Reforged remaster hasn't made it onto the list, even though the beta is quite wonderful (if not a bit glitchy). I will hopefully be able to put that as my favourite game of 2020 though!

10. Halo: Reach (2010)

It's unbelievable that Halo: Reach was released this decade. When I think back to Halo: Reach my life was a different story altogether. I had pretty much just left high school by that point and was just about to start university. 

Halo: Reach was an amazing reconstruction of Halo 3's best bits but with more refinement. Features like the new load-outs, better weapons, cool new vehicles and a better online system made this game one of the most significant games of the decade.

9. Starcraft II (2010)

Another game that feels so long ago it surely cannot have been released in the current decade. Starcraft II changed a lot. Not only did it have an amazing modding community, but its editor was so similar to Warcraft III's with a heck of a lot of new features that meant that I could continue what I did back in the day. Although Starcraft II died out for me in 2015 or so, it was an amazing game. It was released at a time when I was very off gaming as a whole but yet it still managed to swing me back.

8. Pokemon X and Y (2013)

In 2011, another Pokemon game was released under the name Pokemon Black and White and I got back into Pokemon after a long hiatus.

X and Y are another set of games that feels so long ago that it doesn't even feel like the last decade. X and Y were so significant in the way Pokemon games became. The 3DS changed Pokemon games forever so they were no longer 2D games based on sprites. Pokemon X and Y amazed everyone very quickly due to its new technical features, particularly these 3D graphics. But the 3DS 3D games didn't last that long, as in 2019 the Nintendo Switch Sword and Shield games were released and they pushed the boundaries even further.

7. Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (2011)

Whilst at first Skyrim was a disappointment to me because it reduced my framerate to 25fps when I plugged in a controller, I was later sucked into buying it again on my Nintendo Switch and playing through it from start to end. Well, not quite. I've never quite finished Skyrim, but I've always enjoyed it. 

Skyrim may not be the perfect game free of glitches but it's certainly a good fun game that makes the days of dragons much more enjoyable. 

6. GTA V (2013)

GTA V may have been the most successful release in the franchise's history and it definitely deserves a spot here in the top games of the decade. For me, it was a game that when I needed to chill out I would sit and play through another mission in the game, not so much a focus on actually completing it from day one.

5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate brought many new features to Smash Bros. but the most significant element of the game was the addition of all previous characters from all other Super Smash Bros. games. 

Released in 2018 but still receiving updates into 2020 and a new decade, Ultimate combined a huge ton of features from previous games into one pretty perfect game. 

4. Minecraft (2011)

So many hours of my life have been spent on this game that at first glance seemed like something I would never play. But Minecraft is something else. It's openness, it's creativeness and it constant updating with new features has made Minecraft one of those games that in the last decade has had hundreds and hundreds of hours on it. 

Minecraft was released in 2011 but it wasn't until about 2014 that I got into this amazing game. 

3. Cities: Skylines (2015)

Cities: Skylines is my most-played Steam game for a good reason. I actually only discovered it in February 2018  as well. 

Skylines is an amazingly realistic feeling game that does much of what one of my old favourites, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, does but for city building. 

2. Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition (2018)

The re-release of Age of Empires II as the HD Edition in 2013 was a huge shock personally and gave me countless hours (it's only recently become my second most-played game on Steam since Cities: Skylines overtook it). 

The remake of an original game which was becoming harder and harder to play on modern operating systems was very welcome and it added in a bunch of major improvements to the original game too.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)

Breath of the Wild was extraordinary when it came out - it changed the standard for Zelda, moving away from the linear design that previous games had (which, by the way, I like too) into an open-world Zelda. Much of what made the original 5 3D games (Ocarina of Time to Skyward Sword) was subtly included in the game and things like boss battles were still a part of the adventure. 

Breath of the Wild's strongest feature was the openness at which it could be completed. No longer did you have to follow the rule of Forest Temple > Fire Temple > Water Temple but you could choose to do which dungeon you wanted first - in fact, you could go straight to the final fight at the beginning of the game. 

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in Technology
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