The 25 best single player games of the decade
Imagine you were born today as a gamer who likes single player games. I'd envy the person who gets to experience all these games for the first time now.
So let's begin.
25th: Mass Effect Andromeda (2017)
Yes, I kick right off with a controversial one. It was very trendy to kick ME:A while it was down. And for a moment even I believed the critics. But this was a case where pre-ordering actually prevented me from missing out on something really good. I ended up loving the game overall, and it was a great single player experience with a proper epilogue that is so rare in games today.
24th: Driver: San Francisco (2011)
A driving game with a clever twist. The fun gameplay and the great physics put this game on the list.
23rd: Portal II (2011)
3D visual puzzles with two great AI NPCs, both of which are sold on the voiceover. Also the last worthwhile game Valve has put out.
22nd: Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
It might seem low on the list, but this is what Rockstar gets for making unlikeable, unrelatable player characters. Otherwise the game is stunning, huge open world, plenty of fun shooting and driving, just avoid the online part, it's dreary.
21st: Splinter Cell: Blacklist (2013)
I can not not love Splinter Cell games, even when they are a bit buggy, thankfully the as of today last instalment of the series was only mildly buggy compared to the ones before it. I enjoyed the story and the signature stealth gameplay very much.
20th: Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015)
The re-imagination of the game managed to squeeze on this list with its seconds instalment, the other two were not as great, but this struck all the right notes. I love strong female protagonists and this is one great example of that.
19th: Beyond: Two Souls (2013)
This is a divisive one, you either hate or love David Cage games. I fall into the latter category. Sure it is more an interactive movie with occasional QTEs, but I'm a sucker for a good emotional roller coaster.
18th: Alpha Protocol (2010)
This game could be close to the top in the list if it wasn't rushed and unfinished. Still it is an unmissable experience combining elements from Splinter Cell, DeusEx and a good international spy thriller.
17th: Mass Effect 3 (2012)
Another one deserving to be higher on the list and 90% of the game would put it in the top 5, but that pesky last bit, If I could forget that.
16th: Outer Worlds (2019)
About the only non AAA game that managed to get on this list. It is not a world ender, but it is decent workmanship this one.
15th: Mad Max (2015)
Avalanche studios can do great open world action games, I don't get how is it possible that Mad Max was so good, and Rage 2 is so bad comparatively. I'll blame Bethesda for that.
14th: Skyrim (2011)
And talking of Bethesda. Here is a far gone by era when Bethesda could do something good between two screw-ups. Not as good as Oblivion, but still good enough that I spent countless hours with it.
13rd: Dragon Age II (2011)
EA man bad! Another controversial title to put on such a list, but I don't write what you want to hear, I write what I think. And I think Dragon Age II is the best Dragon Age. #fightme
12nd: L.A.: Noire (2011)
A great new concept of a game that paved the way for much better character animation in games than we were used to before this. Also a great film noir story oozing with atmosphere.
11th: Fallout 4 (2015)
Finally the shooting is actually enjoyable in a Fallout game. Gameplay wise 10 steps forward, story wise 2 steps back.
10th: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (2016)
This did everything right that Human Revolution Failed at. It's only problem that it ends on a cliffhanger with no sequel in sight.
9th: The Last of Us (2013)
Perfect example of an all story game. I so hated the gameplay that I destroyed two dualshock controllers while playing it, still the story and narrative saves it, I already dread how many controllers I need to stock up on for TLOU2.
8th: Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (2018)
Another game that might seem out of place to some. But I absolutely loved this game, perhaps because this is the first AC game I actually enjoyed and played to completion, so it was all exciting and new for me.
7th: Ghost Recon: Wildlands (2017)
The best open world tactical shooter period. I just love taking out sicarios and stalking bases, and hiding and assaulting and dealing headshots.
6th: Fallout New Vegas (2010)
Fallout 3 Done right. If only these guys were allowed to make Fallout 4. I still cry when I remember how good were the survival mechanics in the game.
5th: Horizon: Zero Dawn (2017)
The best damned Console game ever. And proof that is in not impossible to do a game that is playable with a controller. Others just fail at it. I loved the hunting and scrapping mechanics of the game, and the exploration, and the graphics.
4th: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (2016)
The best single player narrative experience I've had this decade. It's the Expanse meets Battlestar Galactica meets Star Wars meets everything I ever wanted from a sci-fi shooter.
3rd: Alien Isolation (2014)
I have nothing but reverence for this game. The best AI, the best minigames, the most scary game of all time, it literally kept me up at nights. And it was a flop with no hope of a sequel.
2nd: Mass Effect II (2010)
The best of the Mass Effect series. If you ask me to show a game made right this is where I'll point at. I finished it a dozen times at least, and for the longest time I believed nothing will dethrone it as game of this decade. But then...
1st: XCOM2 (2016)
XCOM2 happened, and I just can't stop playing it. I really can't, I already clocked in over 1000 hours with it, with no end in sight. That's at least 3x more time than I spent with any other single game ever. If I have only one gaming related wish for the coming decade then I wish for XCOM3.
Have a very happy new year rich with great game releases!
That's all folks! Signing out for the last time in 2010-2019.