Shacknews Community Top 100 Games of the Decade #75-51

The Shacknews Chatty community has come together to vote on the Top 100 Games of this decade. Today, we roll through #75-51.

13

Right now, Shacknews is beginning our celebration for the Year in Games, as we do every single year. However, we've also begun looking at the very best games of the decade. It's a tall task and one that we chose not to leave to the Shacknews staff. Rather, we wanted to spotlight the loyal Shacknews community, the many posters of Chatty. So join us this week, as we continue looking at the Top 100 Games of the Decade, as voted on by the Shacknews Chatty community.

Chatty has been a proud institution here at Shacknews since the site's inception over 20 years ago. Many have gone on to become developers, programmers, public figures, but most importantly, all of them are video game fans. So over the past few weeks, we've polled the Chatty posters on what they consider to be their best games of the decade. Through a rigorous process, we've put together a full list of 100 games and we'll roll those out over the next five days. We started with the first 25 games on Monday, are continuing with the next 25 today, the next 20 on Wednesday, another 20 on Thursday, and will end on Friday with the Top 10.

In case you missed it:
Shacknews Community Top 100 Games of the Decade: #100-76

So with no further delay, let's continue the Shacknews Community Top 100 Games of the Decade.

Alan Wake

#75 - Alan Wake (2010)

While Remedy has ventured back into the realm of the gothic and macabre with Control, their jump into that area first began with Alan Wake. It's a clever premise that sees a fiction writer look around and find that the darkness has overtaken everyone around him. Alan's primary defense against the Taken is a lone flashlight, as everyone comes at him with murderous intent. The episodic format made Alan Wake truly stand out and made this feel like one of Remedy's best efforts.

Hear it from Chatty:

"I replay it every Halloween. And just this year I bought it for the PC and played it for the first time in 4K and loved it all over again."
-MatthewPhillips

Hearthstone

#74 - Hearthstone (2014)

On paper, taking World of Warcraft and making it into a card game sounds kind of silly. But in practice, Hearthstone has an addiction factor that becomes harder to describe with each passing game. With card game rules that are extremely simple to understand, along with interactions that can only be pulled off in a video game medium, Hearthstone has become one of the premier forms of card gaming. With funny voice lines, cool visual effects, and occasional events, single-player stories, and yes, auto chess, Hearthstone has broken out to become one of Blizzard's best games and one that will only continue to thrive for years to come.

Persona 5

#73 - Persona 5 (2017)

There's been a rich history of Persona, but no Persona game has proven more captivating than Persona 5, where the Phantom Thieves of Hearts make their way across the land to steal the negativity from people's hearts. With a cool heist motif, Persona 5 also sprinkles in the turn-based combat that the series has become known for, leading to a mixture of solid gameplay and memorable story that makes Joker's journey one worth experiencing.

Hear it from Chatty:

"#1 game on the PS4 so it's the #1 game of the decade."
-Wikus Van De Merwe

Into the Breach

#72 - Into the Breach (2018)

After making a modern indie classic in FTL: Faster Than Light, what does Subset Games do for an encore? The answer involves a dystopian future where you jump into giant mechs to fight massive monsters. Into the Breach is an exciting strategy game that pits human forces, who pilot three different types of mechs, against the powerful forces of the Vek. Blending together FTL-style roguelike play with turn-based strategy, Into the Breach proved to be another game that succeeded at getting its hooks into players. It's Subset's second straight game to feel delightfully replayable.

Hear it from Chatty:

"Best strategy roguelike."
-Yo5hiki

SOMA

#71 - SOMA (2015)

The second game on the Top 100 from the team at Frictional Games, their more recent SOMA is another horror classic. The difference here is that it's less about worrying about typical gaming mechanics like managing your inventory. No, the focus here is much more on horror and trying to scare the crap out of you. The story is about discovering what's happened to humanity after an extinction level event and the story beats and twists prove truly horrifying. Blend this together with Frictional's ability to set up a dark and frightening atmosphere and SOMA proves to be their best work to date.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

#70 - The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (2014)

Everyone will likely have their opinions on Binding of Isaac's story or its… more undesirable content. But there's no denying that as an action-RPG roguelike, this is one of the better ones to release this decade. There's so much to explore and so much to play with in The Binding of Isaac, with hundreds of unlockable items and characters out there to pick up. It's replayability is off the charts, implementing the very best of roguelike design. It's a little gross, but that's to be expected from Super Meat Boy creator Edmund McMillen, isn't it?

Hear it from Chatty:

"I don't actually like the theme of it too much but the game play is so very good."
-crust

Batman: Arkham City

#69 - Batman: Arkham City (2011)

Rocksteady faced a tall task for its big Batman sequel. Could they take the intricate combat, which was already inspiring dozens of imitators, and could they take the intricate labyrinthine level design of Batman: Arkham Asylum and make it open world? The answer was a resounding yes, as Batman: Arkham City gave players an entire chunk of Gotham City as a playground. Incorporating more of the stealth gameplay that made Arkham Asylum such a joy, along with a grander story, more Bat-villains, and playable stretches as Catwoman, Arkham City proved to be more than a worthy successor to the original Bat-classic.

Resident Evil 7

#68 - Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017)

So let's be honest. After the disaster that was Resident Evil 6, many had written the franchise off completely. The magic was clearly gone. Then Capcom pulled off a magic trick. Resident Evil 7 went back to the series' classic survival horror roots, giving players new areas to explore and focusing more on stealth than bombastic action. The recognizable Resident Evil cast wasn't there, but that proved to be a benefit, giving new faces a chance to shine and expanding the RE mythos in ways fans did not expect.

The virtual reality aspect was a pretty big bonus, too. With the VR craze starting to take off, Capcom implemented a virtual reality mode, one that took the series' signature scares and brought them right to the user's face.

Yakuza 0

#67 - Yakuza 0 (2015)

The Yakuza series continues to feel like one that's largely underappreciated by the masses. It brings all the open world opportunity of Grand Theft Auto, but while it does contain a serious narrative, the Yakuza games don't take themselves nearly as seriously. Think of it as a different shade of Saints Row. It's a game filled with minigames, side missions, and diversions. And once it comes time to get to fighting, Yakuza 0 gives players a lot to work with, including the ability to switch fighting styles in mid-battle. Yakuza is a fascinating animal and one that anybody looking for a GTA alternative should look into.

Hear it from Chatty:

"Sega's plan to reintroduce this series to the West with a prequel was an inspired choice. This game is fun to play, gripping and yet goofy all at once. I was instantly converted to a Yakuza superfan and continue to work through the entire series."
-lefthighkick

Rocksmith 2014

#66 - Rocksmith 2014 (2013)

There was a brief period where the video game world was enraptured by music rhythm games and plastic instruments. For the most part, the games were focused on fun. And Rocksmith 2014 was certainly that. However, Rocksmith also took more of a tutorial turn and put a lot of its focus on teaching players how to play a real guitar. Players could even take actual guitars and hook them up via a special adapter, giving them a chance to jam properly. With 66 songs and hundreds more available as DLC, Rocksmith felt like one of the more authentic ways to get your guitar fix.

Hear it from Chatty:

"They perfected the UI, amp modeling and great note/chord detection, sh**loads of amazing DLC songs."
-tostador

Alien: Isolation

#65 - Alien: Isolation (2014)

We've talked about the checkered history of licensed games and lord knows that the Alien franchise was coming off one of the biggest clunkers of the decade with Aliens: Colonial Marines. Less than a year after that disaster, Sega and Total War masters The Creative Assembly stepped forward with their own take on the Alien franchise and it proved to be one of the most faithful adaptations of what the franchise is all about. Challenging players to navigate their way around a broken-down starship with a nigh-unkillable Xenomorph stalking them, Alien: Isolation is one of the top horror games of the past years. Don't make too much noise or the Xenomorph will pop out of the blue and kill you gruesomely. Your heart will skip more than a few beats when you play this game, especially if you play it in the dark.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

#64 - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018)

This is it. It's the culmination of Nintendo's mascot fighter, bringing together everybody. And I mean everybody! On top of bringing back everybody from the series to this point, Nintendo and Masahiro Sakurai upped the ante that much more by introducing even more characters from third-party universes. They've brought in characters from Persona, Dragon Quest, Banjo-Kazooie, Fatal Fury, and the surprises still aren't over. Given how many licenses and third-party characters are all coming together across numerous publishers, it's very likely that we will never see a crossover like this again.

Sid Meier's Civilization VI

#63 - Sid Meier's Civilization VI (2016)

Firaxis has had a very good decade. In addition to the highly successful XCOM franchise, they also continue to up the ante on the Civilization series. Civilization VI continued building upon the usage of the hex-based grid, giving players more ways to construct their worlds. Firaxis also implemented a slew of improvements on the game's tech tree, while also adding a new Civics tree that focused more on cultural improvements. Sprinkle in 18 playable civilizations, along with whole new interactions with opposing civilizations, and Civilzation VI proves to be one of the most ambitious games in the franchise. Firaxis pulls it off amazingly well and continues to build upwards with the addition of substantial DLC packs.

Spelunky

#62 - Spelunky (2012)

Creator Derek Yu had an idea with Spelunky in 2008, but ultimately chose to go back to the drawing board with it. When he returned with his 2D roguelike treasure hunter in 2012, it proved to be one of the most creative efforts in the genre. Utilizing randomly crafted stages, each Spelunky run was an event in itself, challenging players to collect as much treasure as they could while surviving against the harshest traps each chamber had to offer. It was delightfully retro, but also brought enough new ideas to the table that the second go-around for Spelunky proved to be a key part of the early decade's indie boom.

Disco Elysium

#61 - Disco Elysium (2019)

Let's cede this space to Sam Chandler and this excerpt from his review:

"It’s not very often that a game of this calibre comes along. Disco Elysium is mad with psychedelic energy, unabashedly dramatic, and dangerously well-written. I wish, like the detective, I could forget all about Disco Elysium, if only to experience it again as if for the first time. It’s truly one of the greatest RPGs ever released."

Hear it from Chatty:

"Games as art."
-]pm[chem

Inside

#60 - Inside (2016)

Limbo was one of the games at the forefront of the indie gaming boom, but it was Playdead's 2016 follow-up, Inside, that proved to be the superior game. Utilizing the monochromatic style used so effectively in Limbo, Inside is about traversing through a dreary world, one that only uses scant instances of color. And it uses color to effectively craft puzzles or push the story forward. It's also one of the most talked about stories of that year, with an ending that's still debated to this day.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

#59 - Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014)

Warner Bros. and Monolith Productions took a bold step forward with J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth franchise. Rather than explore yet another corner of Lord of the Rings, the two parties jumped into a different element of Middle-earth lore, with players taking on the role of a possessed Ranger out for vengeance. It's an epic adventure, filled with large-scale battles and the ability to possess enemies and make them serve you. But what makes Shadow of Mordor such a fascinating game is the introduction of the Nemesis system, which takes an AI enemy and gives them their own revenge tale, as they seek to knock you down a peg through the course of the entire game.

Hear it from Chatty:

"What can I say? I like free-flow combat."
-waxthirteen

Kerbal Space Program

#58 - Kerbal Space Program (2011)

Another game from the early decade indie boom, Kerbal Space Program was unlike anything seen at that point. This was more of an educational game, meant to teach players about the ins and outs of space travel and everything that goes into preparing a cosmic expedition. There was a lot of building, a lot of physics, a lot of science, and a whole lot of explosions. KSP is a game that was solid on its own, but it was also one that reached new heights thanks to its dedicated mod community. It was a phenomenal effort, one that showed the power of unconventional games that chose to do its own thing rather than tread old ground.

Elite Dangerous

#57 - Elite Dangerous (2014)

One of the biggest stories of this decade has been the long, agonizing wait for Star Citizen. But while waiting to get to that fireworks factory, Frontier Developments offered players a more-than-adequate substitute. Elite Dangerous opened up the entire Milky Way galaxy to players, giving them an opportunity to explore the cosmos to their hearts' content. With players able to take on multiple jobs to raise money to build a better spaceship, Elite: Dangerous offers hours of activities and ample room for advancement. Elite Dangerous started off as an outstanding game in itself, but years of updates have only made the game that much better and opened up the outer reaches of space that much more.

Sid Meier's Civilization V

#56 - Sid Meier's Civilization V (2010)

While there's a lot of love for the more recent Civilization VI, it's Civilization V that originally reinvented the franchise for the better. Taking players through the ages, Civ V introduced a whole new engine that utilized hexagonal tiles, an idea that the franchise has stuck with to this day. A number of the tried-and-true Civilization mechanics were overhauled with a more modern aesthetic in mind, making Civ V feel like a fresh new take on the series. Civilization V set a whole new bar for this type of strategy game, one that Firaxis continues to aim for with each subsequent release.

Hear it from Chatty:

"Just one more turn…"
-crust

Fallout 4

#55 - Fallout 4 (2015)

Fallout 4 is another return to the Wasteland, with Bethesda refining many elements of the previous games and continuing to build on them to make the world a more enticing place to explore. With a better crafting system, more characters to interact with, the introduction of settlements, and hundreds of quests and side quests to jump into, Fallout 4 proved to be a solid entry for one of gaming's most beloved franchises.

BioShock Infinite

#54 - BioShock Infinite (2013)

This wasn't quite the BioShock experience that anyone was expecting. The series' third chapter left the depths of Rapture and instead hit the open skies of Columbia. Taking the fluid combat of the previous BioShock games and adding skyrails proved to be one of the game's biggest innovations. And a tale that critically analyzed some of the darker elements of American excess made Infinite another standout example of Ken Levine and Irrational Games' powerful storytelling. Killer robotic presidents were just icing on the cake.

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag

#53 - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (2013)

The Assassin's Creed series was at a bit of a crossroads after Assassin's Creed III. The modern-day story, which was essentially the building block to the whole franchise, had gone completely off the rails and was nearly unsalvageable. The solution? Quietly start phasing that aspect of the story out and just focus on more tales set in the past. Also, pirates. Lots of pirates. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag stands out as one of the most daring entries in the franchise, not only refining a lot of the traditional AC combat, but also introducing naval battles for the first time. It was a bold addition that could have sunk (wocka wocka) the franchise if it didn't take, but the ship battles proved to be so much fun that it rejuvenated what was rapidly becoming a stale franchise. Sadly, Assassin's Creed dumped naval combat after Black Flag, but Ubisoft has kept the idea in its pocket and will look to revisit it with the upcoming Skull & Bones… eventually.

Super Mario 3D World

#52 - Super Mario 3D World (2013)

Nintendo appeared to be onto something with 2011's Super Mario 3D Land, a 3D platformer that combined the 3D gameplay of Super Mario 64 with the bite-sized levels of the traditional 2D Mario games. This turned out to be such a good idea that Nintendo revisited it on a much grander scale with 2013's Super Mario 3D World, which brought the concept to home consoles. But it did more than just take the 3DS idea and put it on Wii U. Super Mario 3D World also brought in four-player co-op, bringing the chaos of the modern 2D Mario games to a whole new setting. Add in new mechanics and new power-ups, like the Cat Suit, and Super Mario 3D World would become a shining star for the struggling Wii U, one that we propped up as the Shacknews 2013 Game of the Year.

(Bonus points for stumbling onto a new franchise with Captain Toad.)

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

#51 - Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (2019)

FromSoftware has been become one of the most recognized developers in gaming for their work this decade. But after establishing themselves with the Dark Souls series, they closed out the decade with a new experiment. They ventured to the time of the Japanese samurai, tackling a whole new mythology of men and monsters, centered around a single nameless hero, who does battle with his sword and his advanced prosthetic arm. FromSoftware added to its established formula by adding new traversal methods, more intricate combat, and a new mechanic that centers around single-use resurrection. It's sure to be one of the best games of this year, but the Shacknews community has taken to it so much that Sekiro sits in the middle of this decade's top games.


That's it for now. We'll continue our countdown tomorrow! Come back all week as we continue running through the Shacknews Community's Top 100 Games of the Decade.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 17, 2019 3:00 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Shacknews Community Top 100 Games of the Decade #75-51

    • reply
      December 17, 2019 3:16 PM

      I made the list! I’ve only played 3 games in this section, but they’re pretty high on my own list (Alan Wake, AC IV, BioShock Infinite).

      One slight correction to the AC IV write-up: AC III was actually the first AC game with ship battles, and it didn’t end with IV (you do them in Rogue and AC: Odyssey as well).

      Kerbal Space Program sounds like something I might like. There was a Project: Space Station game for the C64 that took you right from budgeting to picking staff to organizing payloads to flying shuttles to building the actual station.

    • reply
      December 17, 2019 3:20 PM

      Lol, I would have elaborated more on Into the Breach, but I was in a hurry and didn't actually think I'd be quoted in the article.

      What a decade for strategy roguelike hybrids. ITB was my GOTY 2018 and Slay the Spire GOTY 2019...can't wait to see what's coming next year!

    • reply
      December 17, 2019 4:31 PM

      Yay for lists

    • reply
      December 17, 2019 4:35 PM

      Also, disco was robbed of a top 50 spot!

    • reply
      December 17, 2019 5:54 PM

      There are a lot of good choices here -- how many responses did you get to the poll overall, Ozzie?

      • reply
        December 17, 2019 9:25 PM

        We got a turnout of about 100.

        • reply
          December 18, 2019 4:02 AM

          That makes me kind of sad. :(

        • reply
          December 18, 2019 4:54 AM

          Bummer. I never saw the poll.

          • reply
            December 18, 2019 5:34 AM

            Ozzie only posted about it every day for like two weeks.

            • reply
              December 18, 2019 5:34 AM

              🤷‍♂️

            • reply
              December 18, 2019 5:40 AM

              Nah for example there were no posts between the 5th and 8th. A lot of missed days. Very easy to miss during this time if year when people are busy. I saw two posts and was so busy and forgot about it with holidays and work

            • reply
              December 18, 2019 9:09 AM

              And PostSummary also mentioned the posts because they were always featured posts.

        • reply
          December 18, 2019 5:01 AM

          😕

        • reply
          December 18, 2019 5:06 AM

          the 100 true gamers!!

        • reply
          December 18, 2019 5:09 AM

          100/800 geriatrics isn't bad.

        • reply
          December 18, 2019 5:40 AM

          That's not a bad turnout, given the # of active Chatty users and the requirement (up to 15 games to list, which is quite a lot of work). Almost 10% of active Shackers participated!

          • reply
            December 18, 2019 6:51 AM

            Yeah, I almost didn't fill it out because of the work. 15 games for a guy who plays a couple of them a year

    • reply
      December 17, 2019 6:03 PM

      I'm also surprised KSP was not top-50. Sensing a strong console bias in responses

      • reply
        December 18, 2019 5:54 AM

        I loved watching KSP. Especially when the Beastcast was going its videos of it. I didn't enjoy playing it and I think a lot of people fell into this category. Turns out rocket science is hard.

    • reply
      December 17, 2019 6:08 PM

      How is FallOut 4 so high up on the list? That game sucked butt.

      • reply
        December 17, 2019 8:41 PM

        Yeah I’m surprised it even made the top 100.

      • reply
        December 18, 2019 4:35 AM

        Yeah wtf shackers. It beat

        Persona 5
        Into the Breach
        Binding of Isaac Rebirth
        Disco Elysium
        Super Smash Bros Ultimate


        Like... so many games on this list are better than Fallout 4.

        • reply
          December 18, 2019 5:41 AM

          I don't agree that any of those are better than fallout 4. However I will say that shack leans PC, Switch and Xbox in that order. Thats one big reason Persona 5 is so low on the list. While I don't think its better than Fallout 4, I think it would have beaten Fallout 4 if Persona 5 was cross platform. At least on the pc as well (legally).

          • reply
            December 18, 2019 5:44 AM

            I have a feeling Fallout 4 was like #15 on nearly everyone's list for lack of thinking of anything else they played. Just sheer volume of sales propped it up.

      • reply
        December 18, 2019 5:06 AM

        shackers like bad games. so many gushing fallout 4 praise in the post-witcher 3 era.

        • reply
          December 18, 2019 5:43 AM

          Fallout 4 is not a bad game. It may have disappointed people, but lets not get crazy here. I hated Witcher 3 but I wouldn't say its a bad game. I don't feel the need to make my personal favorite game better by putting others down.

      • reply
        December 18, 2019 5:44 AM

        Because not everyone feels the same way you do? Honestly it was the #1 game on my list.

      • reply
        December 18, 2019 5:50 AM

        I played a fair bit. And this is on the pc. Doesn't include my time with the Xbox One version

        https://i.imgur.com/gSwcQoY.png

    • reply
      December 17, 2019 8:40 PM

      Sad Disco didn’t make top 50. Also I would contend that Mario 3D world wasn’t even the best Mario game on that platform. Not only was Super Mario Maker the best Mario in that platform, it was the best Mario game of the decade. Maybe the second best Mario of all time.

    • reply
      December 18, 2019 4:35 AM

      Thanks for quoting me for Persona 5.

    • reply
      December 18, 2019 5:47 AM

      Unless Warframe is in the top 10 this list is garbage.

    • reply
      December 19, 2019 9:13 PM

      Thanks for using my blurb on Yakuza Zero! <3

Hello, Meet Lola