Top 10 Video Games of The Decade
For the final part of my ‘Top 10’ lists we’ll focus on video games. Millions of gamers will fondly look back on the decade, with the tail end of the original Playstation and Nintendo 64’s lifespan starting us off and ending with the likes of the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii on top of the world and (for the most part) churning out a constant stream of quality titles. Franchises have been born and continued, series like Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy have continued to wow us and it looks likely that they will continue to do so long into the next decade.
There have been a lot of ups and downs along the way though, namely the RROD problem for Microsoft and Nintendo’s disastrous showing at the E3 convention for both 2009 and more infamously 2008. With that being said no matter how you look at it the beginning of the 21st century has been memorable.
So, without further ado here are my top 10 video games of the decade in no particular order.
Fallout 3 (xbox 360, 2008)
Similar in a lot of ways to the medieval themed Oblivion, Fallout 3 is considered by some to simply be ‘Oblivion with guns.’ I disagree, sure it has its similarities seeing as it was made by the same people using the same game engine, but it’s an innovative first (or third if you prefer) person RPG that features an engrossing storyline and a very fun combat system. To summarise you can aim at a specific body part using something called V.A.T.S, allowing you to target a specific body point or simply blow the heads off your enemies.
The game also features a very good plot, decent graphics and a wasteland world that draws you in. Add to that the various expansions and you get a game that lasts for a very long time.
Tales of Vesperia (Xbox 360, 2009)
I should start by pointing out that this game was in fact released in 2008 in most parts of the world, but it on hit Europe in the summer of 2009.
Regardless of whether you’re a ‘Tales’ fan or not (in fact even if you’re not familiar with the series at all) this is quite simply the best RPG on the 360 by some distance, and features awesome anime-style graphics along with a wonderful soundtrack, very deep characters and a pretty cool story too. One of the best aspects of the game is with the battle system, it’s all in real time meaning you can plan your attacks and even strategise with the computer controlled characters for maximum efficiency.
You can read my full review of Tales of Vesperia here.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Playstation 2, 2004)
GTA: San Andreas is the highest selling game in the Grand Theft Auto franchise for a reason. It’s a sandbox-style game meaning you can more or less go wherever you want whenever you want, so if you want to spend an hour or two blowing everything up you can, or if you want to progress through the entertaining story you can undertake various missions.
Above all else this game is fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and therefore allows you to partake in all sorts of unrealistic chaos and carnage in the name of entertainment. In my opinion San Andreas is not only the best game in the GTA franchise but easily one of the best games on the PS2 as well.
Burnout 2: Point of Impact (Playstation 2, 2002)
I have to admit this isn’t the best Burnout game from a technical perspective, but on a personal level I had more fun with this instalment than any of the others by some distance. Burnout 2: Point of Impact is an arcade-style racing game that practically reinvented the genre, featuring white knuckle rides through oncoming traffic while battling for first place along the way.
The multiplayer feature of this game is what makes it so great for me. Up to four players can race simultaneously the old fashioned way via split-screen, or take turns on the innovative crash mode and attempt to rack up the highest damage score. This game is the ultimate party game and one that holds a lot of great memories for me.
WWE Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain (Playstation 2, 2003)
Another game that generated a lot of fond memories for me, WWE Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain is in my opinion still the best of the entire series. It has a fantastic season mode which has multiple paths to choose, and despite having to restart it after a year of play you can carry over title history and current champions. My main character is a 14 time WWE Champion for example, meaning the storymode can be almost limitless if you want it to be.
A staple part of the Smackdown series is with its multiplayer feature, and Here Comes The Pain has it as standard. This is a lot of fun for when friends are over, up to six people can battle it out allowing for some epic contests.
Final Fantasy X (Playstation 2, 2002)
This was the first Final Fantasy title in the franchise to appear on the Playstation 2, and as it turned out the best by a considerable margin. You play as Tidus, a star of the underwater sport Blitzball (one of the best minigames you’ll find in any game, by the way). You follow his story battling an unknown entity called Sin, and you’ll visit some stunning landscapes and encounter some truly memorable characters and antagonists.
The game avoids a lot of the usual roleplaying clichés as well which was something I liked, but the typical Final Fantasy storyline is what I enjoyed the most. It’s a truly fantastic story that anyone who owns the game has most likely replayed more than once.
Football Manager 2008 (PC, 2007)
I don’t know what it is about this game I love so much as in all honestly it’s not too different from previous instalments of the Football Manager series, I guess it was because I could actually win a few matches, league titles and other assortments of trophies and awards on this one that kept me coming back for more.
Anyone who’s played this game will tell you how damn addictive it is. Frequently I’ve thought to myself “I’ll just play half an hour” and five hours and a Champions League final later I still can’t tear myself away. Anyone who likes football and/or management games should enjoy it, it’s very text and stat heavy but that’s just how we FM addicts like it.
SimCity 4 (PC, 2004)
At the time of its release in 2004 SimCity was well received, but at the same time slated slightly for its system-hogging nature. Fast-forward a few years and most computers can obviously handle it, my old crate not excluded for once.
SimCity 4 is a very, very deep strategy game that stands out as the hardest in the series by far. It takes a lot of time and knowledge to build a thriving metropolis, but when you do it’s an incredibly satisfying feeling. It’s another one of those titles that just sucks you in and hours seem like minutes, more die-hard fans of the series prefer the previous title SimCity 3000 and while that’s a great game this one is just a little bit better if you stick at it.
Half Life 2 including Episodes 1 & 2 (PC, 2004/2006/2007)
I’d never played this game until The Orange Box was released in late 2007, but Half Life plus Episodes 1 and 2 quickly became a favourite of mine. It’s a first person shooter with the rare distinction of having a damn good plot along with memorable moments – Ravenholm being the best example.
You take the role of Gordon Freeman in events set some years after the events of the first Half Life game, the exact number is unknown but generally considered to be twenty. Your role is to take on the Combine who control the Earth as well as find out more about the mysterious G-Man who kept Freeman in stasis for the past two decades. What follows is an action-packed adventure that no FPS fan should miss.
Final Fantasy IX (Playstation, 2001)
The only Playstation game to make the list is Final Fantasy IX, but that’s mainly because it was one of the last great games to be released this decade.
You follow the story of Zidane in the world of Gaia, one which is covered by a mysterious Mist. As an adventurer you’ll explore the world in typical Final Fantasy fashion, taking part in an engrossing story that’s sure to keep you entertained from start to finish.
Posted on December 20, 2009, in Video Games and tagged 360, Burnout 2, Decade, Fallout 3, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy X, Football Manager 2008, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Half Life 2, PC, Playstation, PS2, SimCity 4, Tales of Vesperia, Top 10, Top 10 2009, Video Games, WWE Smackdown, Xbox. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.