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BlueGartr Staff Picks - Game of the Decade

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2019 was something of an odd year for gaming without a lot of exceptional standouts. Luckily, 2019 also signifies the end of a decade, so let's instead consider the past ten years of gaming! This decade has seen an expansion in the scope and potential of games. We’ve seen games that have told amazing stories that stay with us years later and seen games that have been true works of art. The 2010s also saw competitive games grow e-sports to new heights and saw gaming culture and gaming personalities emerge and claim a spot in the public eye in ways that no one could have imagined ten years ago. We've seen games push the boundaries through technology, and we've seen games do amazing things with minimalist approaches. There have been a lot of amazing and impactful games this decade, so let’s look at the BlueGartr staff’s games of the decade.

Realistically, FFXI. The game was in its twilight for a lot of this decade, but it had the biggest impact on me.

Nier: Automata is my second place because it revived my hope in RPG stories. RPG stories have been super clique for most of the genre's history. If you had asked me before Nier, I would have said that the remaining interesting depths had been plumbed in the early 2000s. Nier showed me that RPGs can still tell compelling, original stories even now.

Brill Weave
The Last of Us or Fallout 4

10- Papers, please: It's hard to read anything in this game without a weird Russian-ish accent. I really liked how the gameplay incorporated with the story.

9- Overwatch: Would've put this higher on the list if it weren't for the recent Hong Kong drama but it's a nice "snack" game you can play casually.

8- Pokémon Go: Hey it was fun for the 2 months it lasted!

7- Doom: The most accurate modern adaptation of old school games.

6- Fallout: New Vegas: Like Skyrim but with guns.

5- Undertale / Deltarune: Fuck you Toby Fox.

4- Skyrim: For a change I get bonuses for getting lost.

3- Doki Doki Litterature Club: Who doesn't like a dating sim?

2- Minecraft: Remember when FFXI and FFXIV both sucked really bad? So much I hosted not one but two BG official Minecraft servers.

1- Zelda: Breath of the Wild: I rarely felt so good for thinking I broke the game mechanics but it was all according to the keikaku. Also Link is cute.

I have to give it to FFXI. Even though it only existed in what I consider it's true form for four months of 2010 (albeit Visions and the 80 cap itself hadn't broken the game fully), this is one of those situations where you only appreciate something once it is gone. This decade saw games reach a broader market than ever before, but with games no longer competing for the "gamer" market we saw the rise of new practices in monetization like DLC and loot crates. It is telling that WoW Classic, a game most of us would have derided as casual in XI's heydey, is what passes for "old school" MMO gameplay.

XI represents what gaming has lost and will probably never regain, and signifies how fast generational gaps emerge now.

In no particular order:
Doom: Possibly one of the best shooters I've ever played, I loved it from start to finish and it made me so happy to murder the fuck out of demons

Titanfall 2: The other best shooter, like Doom I've played through its campaign multiple times, unlike Doom its multiplayer is fantastic, except everyone is so much better than me it's terrifying

Final Fantasy Record Keeper: A mobile game so good I spent enough money that I forced myself to quit

Minecraft: Played a shit ton of this, still do

StarCraft II: The second best Blizzard game, but I love RTS games

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls: Post 2.0 patch this game is a gem people ignore and they are wrong.

Final Fantasy XIV: The place where I get to dress up as 2B and fight a train, yeah, it was a job for a little bit, but now that I'm a filthy casual, its great

Borderlands 2: I played so much Blands with Michaera, its still some of the fondest times Ive had in gaming

God of War: The new one made me feel so many feels, I cant wait for the sequel

Batman Arkham City: This is a tough call between this and Asylum but City wins out for just being more of the same but better

Honorable mentions: Horizon Zero Dawn, FFXI, Dead Cells, Fire Emblem 3 Houses, Nier Automata, World of Warcraft before it got shite.

Skyrim - Something about being an OP stealth killing machine that I can never get tired of.

Fallout: New Vegas - I can never get enough Mojave wasteland justice. Although I've never completed a playthough, I find the gameplay leading up to the forced choice to be incredibly engaging.

Fallout 4 - Despite all of it's faults, I've done five full playthroughs and I can still squeeze a lot of fun out of the game. I still haven't modded the game, maybe for my sixth.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - My favorite cyberpunk title released so far. Another "OP stealth killing machine" simulator.

Borderlands 2 - My favorite wasteland fantasy shlooter. I've played the game mostly solo and I enjoy the challenge that can pose.

Just Cause 2 - I love blowing shit up while doing madcap acrobatics.

Skullgirls - My favorite fighting game since Capcom Vs SNK 2. Solid mechanics and an awesome soundtrack.

Age of Empires II HD - I play the RTS genre probably a bit too much and this game gets my most attention. I create various head canons of destroying other nations.

Destiny 1 & 2 - The most solid FPS gameplay on console. I'm really into the lore, too.

Mass Effect 2 - My favorite BioWare RPG and I have rose-tinted glasses in the sense that I think this was the last great game from the studio.

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 - This series of Gundam games solidified my love of Gundam mecha. So much mindless hacking and slashing while getting enthralled in the lore.

Grand Theft Auto V - Another game I've never finished, but only because it's all too easy to get distracted embracing my murder boner. I enjoy getting lost in the mindless killing while real life times are tough.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - I've never had so much fun controlling a boat. Sea shanties are a huge bonus and I still hum some of them out even today.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - I love methodically fucking with unaware NPCs.

Hitman 2 - Methodical murder boner.

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom - The most fun I've had with a JRPG since the PS2-era. I get so much joy out of this game.

I knew it would be a challenge to narrow all the games I played this decade down to a single choice. I spent a long time debating it before settling on three games that, to me, defined the decade in gaming. So, in no particular order, here are my top three games of the decade:

Destiny (1/2): At the start of the decade, I was still playing Final Fantasy XI. However, by the next year, I had stopped and assumed it would be the last MMO-esque game I would play. And then along came the release of Destiny in 2014.. While it certainly has had its ups and downs, there’s no denying the Destiny franchise has delivered exceptional FPS gameplay that has consumed more of my gaming time this past decade than any other.

Breath of the Wild: I’ve definitely played a lot of great games this decade, but in most cases, when I finish a game, I don’t revisit it again. That’s not the case with Breath of the Wild. This is the game that I can go back to, even years later, and still find myself adoring the world and exploration. Breath of the Wild took the open world experience that has grown to dominate this decade and perfected it in ways that still stand out. For a long time, this game was either in my Switch or on my nightstand so I could easily play it whenever I felt the need. For me, Breath of the Wild delivered the best gameplay experience of the decade.

Minecraft: I will admit that my experiences with Minecraft have been limited, at best. Although I never sunk a large amount of time into the game, I’ve followed the amazing stories of things players have done in Minecraft for years. I can look at gaming today and see the impact that Minecraft’s unique approach to the player experience has had today and no other game comes close to the freedom that Minecraft offers players. Earlier this decade, Minecraft was the an introduction to gaming for a lot of kids and it expanded the idea of what the boundaries of what games can do. There's no denying the impact of Minecraft both inside and outside gaming.

So those are our choices for Game of the Decade. Feel free to share your own or even your game of 2019 below!

Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to 2020 and the new decade, may it be better than the last!


  1. Draylo -
    Draylo's Avatar
    FFXI is the best ever, and will continue to be!
  2. Cantih -
    Cantih's Avatar
    I still have not played Minecraft. Didn't get in/on sale before Microsoft bought it, and didn't think to keep an eye on it after.