Best Games of the Decade
Firewatch as far as gameplay is considered could be labeled as a walking simulator, where you play a man who ups and leaves his life to become a ranger. You make friends with a loveable and snarky voice on the other end of the walkie talkie referred to as Delilah, who helps you to uncover some weird happenings within the park you manage. The game is incredibly story-rich, and while short, leaves everything tied up neatly regardless of which storyline you play through. It’s a must-have for any collection, and with different dialogue options, there is significant replay value within it.
UNTIL DAWN (2015)
There aren’t many games that “wow” our team in a way where we talk about them rabidly 5 years later. Until Dawn is one of those. The game mechanics are similar to that of a game like Heavy Rain, where it’s an RPG meets choose your own adventure. And like the ideal RPG, your actions directly impact the game and the outcomes. In total, there are 3 main endings that you can get, however, there are 16 different cut scenes that can play out, and roughly 256 different endings in total depending on who of the 8 characters live or die throughout your playthrough.
Overwatch is a game that we’ve sunk both a significant amount of time and money into. It’s completely addicting with its short match play style, which allow you to pick it up in between tasks, or when on break or lunch when working from home. It’s a great way to let off some steam, and you can be as cooperative or uncooperative as you want through new and emerging arcade modes that come out. But given that it’s a team-based shooter, we’d recommend trying to play nice (play Pharah).
Spiderman on PS4 has pushed this console to its limits, and then some. It’s the Spiderman game that we always deserved, and so much more. As Spiderman, you can fling across the beautifully rendered NYC cityscape, and jump into exhilarating action sequences. The game has a more open world feel that truly allows you to play through the main story, or pick up side quests if you prefer, without feeling stuck to a linear storyline.
DONUT COUNTY (2018)
Donut County is a puzzle game in which you use holes that open up the ground from a delivery donut service in order to suck up objects in the town. On each level, the more items you suck up – the larger the hole gets. So plan your route strategically for some of the bigger items in your way. The art style is unique, and the dialogue makes each of the characters both relatable and memorable. It’s available on PC, console (PS4/Xbox One and Switch) as well as on mobile through your phone’s app store. So pick your platform and order some donuts!
JACKBOX PARTY PACK (First released in 2014)
If you’ve ever joined us for an Extra Life Stream in the previous years or hang out in our Discord server, you’ll know that we LOVE Jackbox. Jackbox is a game in which you have several mini-games that you can play – ranging from trivia, drawing games, pun games, and more. It’s incredibly hard to describe Jackbox because there truly is something for everyone. Want to learn more? Visit: https://www.jackboxgames.com/
SOUTH PARK – STICK OF TRUTH (2014) AND FRACTURED BUT WHOLE (2017)
If you love the humor and comedy of South Park, these games are absolutely for you. They play out as turn-based combat, chalked full of the jokes and farts you’ve come to love from South Park. Just be sure you don’t kill Kenny.
ORGAN TRAIL (2011)
Organ Trail is a riff on the classic, Oregon Trail, that we all likely played growing up or in the PC labs at school. It takes place after a zombie outbreak, and you have to make your way across the apocalyptic US in a beat-up station wagon while avoiding hoards along the way. While it doesn’t have the most exciting gameplay, it’s just challenging enough to draw you in and has old school graphics to make you feel a bit nostalgic. Don’t worry, you’re safe from dysentery.
Orwell takes place in a dystopian future, that may not be too far off from our own. It’s a surveillance state where all media and communications are monitored by “big brother” aka your new job. You’re on the hunt to track down a group of protestors before things heat up and get even worse than they are now. It’s up to you to try and stop them – or don’t. But remember, big brother is watching.
Fortnite is the game we love to hate. But when we’re being honest, it deserves a spot on the list for the best games of the decade. Fortnite sparked the public interest in battle royales and has constantly found ways to reinvent the wheel in both gameplay and cosmetics, as well as in-game events. What other game titles could have users literally staring at a black hole for over 12 hours?
DOTA 2 (2013)
While in recent years, DOTA 2 may not have held its own, the first few years after its launch was all most of us were playing. DOTA retained it’s hype from the first DOTA released in 2003, and our early cravings of nostalgia during that time made DOTA 2 a massive time sink full of fond memories. It was a MOBA that reshaped the play style, which gave a second life to League of Legends (released in 2009). League has since become one of the biggest MOBAs in the world, with over 80 million players logging in each month.
Worst Games of the Decade
FALLOUT 76 (2018)
We’ve shit on the Fallout 76 game quite a bit, so we’ll keep this one brief. Fallout 76 has been a bug filled mess, filled with poor business choices that have alienated the franchise fans in the process. We still hold love for Fallout overall, and will definitely pick up Fallout 5 when it inevitably hits. But for now, we’ll go back to replaying New Vegas in the meantime.
NO MAN’S SKY (2016)
No Man’s Sky being on the list of “worst games of the decade” needs to have the preface we’re only talking about the first year of launch. NMS has worked incredibly hard to create something that literally no one has done before, where worlds and the creatures within them are procedurally generated as you work to explore and uncover more of what the universe in this game has to offer. It is an incredibly ambitious and unique game, but at launch was for the most part unplayable as the game itself faced severe bugs. The team has worked hard from community-driven feedback and has turned this around in the past few years to even add in VR support for a fully immersive game unlike anything else.
FRIDAY THE 13TH (2017)
The Friday the 13th game was one that we had all wished for at some point in our lives. But when given the game to play, it didn’t quite hit the mark. The game was generally buggy and laggy, where many users exploited that for their own gain as the killer, and in many cases, match wait times could be as long as 2 hours. If anything, the launch of this game helped to drive awareness to Dead by Daylight (2016) which is a Twitch favorite to this date. The hide and seek style gameplay to escape a map with your favorite horror movie killers is a great way to kill some time… pun intended.
Best Console of the Decade
We all have varying ideas of what the best console of the decade was, so we’re going to break it down for what the best console was for each of us.
Nintendo Switch – this console is everything the WiiU should have been and took handheld and home gaming to the next level. While there are some limitations to what it can do (720p gameplay, LPCM not supported by all surround system equipment), in the past year it’s brought on more adult titles like Wolfenstein and Doom to really keep the interest of the market who may be sick of playing Mario and Yoshi games only.
Nintendo 3DS – this console brought on so many titles and even in 2020 still has some games on the shelf at Best Buy and Target. It was a must have for anyone who enjoyed hand held gaming, and really kept me entertained on the go over the years.
PS4 – this console won the last decade of the console wars, and while things are leveling out more, PS4 took the lead for so long both with the PS4 (regular and slim) and the advanced technology refreshed with the PS4 Pro as 4K gained popularity. While it’s difficult to say what the next gen console war will look like going into 2020 with PS5 and Xbox Series X, it will certainly be a new playing field for everyone.
Worst Console of the Decade
The NRDY team was absolutely unanimous on our decision to label the WiiU as the worst console of the decade. The WiiU had an awful marketing campaign that had very little info about it. Many, like Alex, bought it with the assumption that it would act like the Nintendo Switch, where you can take it to go and dock it at home. But no, it required to be within a very short range of the doc, and interference and lag could often cause for a subpar gaming experience. In the first year of its release, it only had a small handful of titles that it supported, and ultimately many developers didn’t invest heavily into it with the market share being skewed towards the PS4 and Xbox One dog fight.