In the past decade, I’ve had the privilege of working on a few different game projects – Fallen Earth (rest in peace – for now, at least), Knee Deep, and a revival of OtherSpace MUSH.
I haven’t had as much time as I would’ve liked to play games for long stretches. I’ve spent a fair amount of my free time poking around in old standards like World of Warcraft. But when I have found time to delve into something new, I’ve occasionally been rewarded with a game that sticks with me.
The following list of games from the past decade covers those games. In considering this list, I decided to limit to non-sequel games.
No. 10: Fortnite
The Epic Games sensation makes the list largely because it has become so prevalent, with tie-ins to everything from Star Wars to Robot Chicken. My boy loves it so much he wanted a Fortnite costume for Halloween.
No. 9: Five Nights at Freddy’s
This creepy jump-scare adventure first got my attention during the rise of the YouTube and Twitch video stars who freaked out on camera as they explored this Chuck E. Cheese-inspired horror show.
No. 8: No Man’s Sky
I loved the ambition of this project when it was first announced – a randomly generated universe that players could explore, with discoveries waiting to be claimed. No Man’s Sky struggled to meet those expectations early on, but gradually patched its way to massive improvements.
No. 7: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Traveling the realms of J.R.R. Tolkien as a sort of vengeful half-wraith/half-man, taking over the minds of the dark side’s minions, proved quite a lot of fun.
No. 6: Rocket League
Cars playing soccer. Such an amusing way to kill time and play with my kid on the PlayStation.
No. 5: Darkest Dungeon
A moody dungeon crawler that oozes style and dread. I feel bad for how many hapless heroes end up in the graveyard.
No. 4: Limbo
A creepy noir side-scroller that doesn’t take all that long to play through, but sticks with me years after I’ve played it.
No. 3: Mini Metro
Both relaxing and – as the game goes on – ridiculously stressful, this game mixes resource management with pattern chasing. To this day, it’s my go-to brain-reboot game.
No. 2: Kentucky Route Zero
Amazing mood and atmosphere in this surreal point-and-click adventure, whose art style gave us a lot of inspiration during the early development of Knee Deep.
No. 1: The Walking Dead (Telltale)
Really, as much as I enjoyed the zombie apocalypse adventure featuring a young girl named Clementine, this entry also serves as a memorial placeholder for the great titles Telltale Games produced before its demise. Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Tales from the Borderlands were probably my favorites.