Friday Favorites: Games of the Decade

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

I’m looking back on some of my favorite games that I’ve played these past ten years and I can’t believe how many gems I’ve found. It was difficult to narrow these lists down!

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Considering it’s 2020, the first year of the new decade, and we were challenged to figure out what our overall Game of the Decade was when Rachel and I joined Jett from In Third Person on his Twitch show Boss Rush this past Wednesday.

This homework was hard.

Nevertheless, I was able to create a list of my top games from the years 2010 to 2019. These are listed by the year rather than a ranking system, and this is all my personal opinion.

2010: Pokemon Heartgold/Soulsilver

Heartgold and Soulsilver were a couple of fantastic remakes for the original second generation of Pokemon. Considering the Crystal version was one of my favorite installments of the franchise, I was pleased with the way the remakes were handled. Updated graphics, music, and the fact that Pokemon could follow you around were all wonderful aspects of these games! (Honorable mention – Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth)

2011: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

While the motion controls can be hit or miss, Skyward Sword was such a fun adventure with some of the brightest graphics I’ve ever seen at that point for a Legend of Zelda game. The world itself was a bit linear, but I enjoyed the areas that we did explore. My favorite part of the game, though, had to be the characters themselves. Zelda and Link, Fi, Ghirahim, Impa, and even Groose all had awesome designs and character development throughout the game.

2012: Harvest Moon: A New Beginning

Harvest Moon was a series that I always enjoyed, but more so the older installments than the newest ones. A New Beginning was a happy medium for me. Allowing me to build up and create both the farm and the town was a fun project and it was always satisfying to meet the requirements needed for certain buildings. I enjoyed the graphics as well, and the online features worked great when there was enough people playing the game.

2013: Fire Emblem: Awakening

If you know me at all from this blog, you’ll know that the Fire Emblem series is a love of mine, particularly Awakening. It reignited my passion for the franchise, with the characters and story line, even if some of them were a bit more cliche than unique. I loved customizing the avatar, especially since they had more of a personality, and pairing up the characters is always a guilty pleasure of mine. (Honorable mention – Pokemon X/Y)

2014: Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

The Ace Attorney series is near and dear to me, and I was always curious about the Professor Layton games, hearing that they involved crimes to solve as well but with little puzzles dotting the story here and there. When this crossover game came out, we seized the chance to be introduced to Professor Layton and were not disappointed. The mesh of two casts worked well and the story was well done! (Honorable mentions – Tomodachi Life, Sims 4)

2015: Undertale

This game took the world by storm with its unique characters, metafictional elements of storytelling, and near perfect scores by critics. It was unlike anything I’ve ever played before, an RPG where you didn’t have to harm anyone. The success story of the creator Toby Fox is amazing and inspiring to anyone who knows his name. That, and the music is some of the best!

2016: Stardew Valley

This game, as I’m sure I’ve said before, is everything that I wish the newer Harvest Moon games are. The premise is simply to raise a successful farm, try to improve the community, and become friends with the townsfolk. Without any gender locks when it came to relationships as well, it’s a big step for LGBT+ representation as well. It’s an easy game to get into, put down, and then pick right back up again. Considering how well it’s been kept up to date with content and features, it’s no surprise that this game is on many people’s top games of the decade lists. (Honorable mentions – Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes, Death Road to Canada)

2017: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

This game was my choice for my personal Game of the Decade. It was a tough choice, I’ll admit, but the Legend of Zelda franchise has always been near and dear to my heart. This series helped introduce me to video games, after all. Breath of the Wild was such a fresh and gorgeous take on the franchise. The graphics were beautiful, the exploration and world was fantastic, and I adored all the nods to previous entries in the franchise, with familiar areas, snippets of dialogue, and the memories. I’m so excited for Breath of the Wild 2! (Honorable mention – Miitopia)

2018: Octopath Traveler

I was in love with this game from the moment I saw the first trailer. The art style — reminiscent of a pixel-like pop-up book — was beautiful to me, and the music has turned into one of my favorite soundtracks. The battle system was fun and the character classes in this RPG were great to explore and grow. While I enjoyed the characters, I do wish they were given just a little more depth and interaction with one another. Still, Octopath Traveler was a great game to dive into and lose yourself in the world. (Honorable mentions – Deltarune, Gris)

2019: Fire Emblem: Three Houses

This was probably one of the most difficult years of gaming for me to narrow down my played list and choose just one game. However, after mulling it all over for a while, I finally decided on Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Considering I was lukewarm about Echoes and Fates, and I was a little perplexed about the school setting of Three Houses, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I love this game. My main critique for this game is that there was no “golden ending;” I want to protect all of the students! And I totally never trusted the church. This game was one of my runner-ups for Game of the Decade. (Honorable mentions – Arcade Spirits, Pokemon Sword and Shield)

What were your top games of the decade? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Rachel’s Game Of The Decade

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

Last night, Kris and I were on the latest episode of Boss Rush, a video podcast hosted by Jett from In Third Person. We discussed our game of the decade from the 2010s and I thought I’d share my process as to how I came up with my game of the decade.

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Double Jump started in early 2016. I have played video games all my life but it wasn’t until Double Jump that I started playing them “seriously,” if that makes sense. I always played games with no ulterior motive in mind. I didn’t review them. I didn’t stream them. I played them for fun and when a new game came along, I usually dropped the current one and picked up the next. Unless I was super into a game, I haven’t completed many of them.

Looking back at 2010 and moving forward from there has been weird. There are so many games that I can’t believe only came out a decade ago. There are some games that came out later than I thought or earlier than I thought. Some years I didn’t play that many games and other years I played a lot of games.

I found a list of game releases on the Internet for each year. I went through each year and wrote down the games I had played. Of course, games that came out in 2012 I didn’t play until 2015 or something, but I didn’t get too technical.

Once I wrote down all the games I had played that game out in their respective years, I listed my game of the year for all of them.

  • 2010 – Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • 2011 – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • 2012 – Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
  • 2013 – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • 2014 – Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright
  • 2015 – Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
  • 2016 – Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
  • 2017 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 2018 – Octopath Traveler
  • 2019 – Luigi’s Mansion 3

I didn’t include any indie games on this list. I thought that would be too much to sift through. If I had, Death Road to Canada would have been on there as well as Gris and Celeste (if I had played it).

The other thing is, looking at all the games that released in their respective years, my personal choice for game of the year doesn’t feel like “game of the year” material. I mean, I don’t know who else would pick Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon to be the best game of the year. However, out of everything I played, I liked these ones the best for their own reasons.

But we’re just talking about the overall game of the decade.

Each of these games is my favorite for various reasons. So, how was I supposed to choose a game of the decade? Aside from story, graphics, music, and anything else that makes a video game fabulous, I looked at some other elements.

Out of those ten games I listed, I had only completed nine of them. I never actually beat Donkey Kong Country Returns. So, that was out.

  • 2010 – Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • 2011 – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • 2012 – Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
  • 2013 – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • 2014 – Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright
  • 2015 – Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
  • 2016 – Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
  • 2017 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 2018 – Octopath Traveler
  • 2019 – Luigi’s Mansion 3

Out of these nine games I completed, I realized I didn’t complete alone. Kris and I played The Miracle Mask, Layton vs Wright, and Spirit of Justice together as though they were two-player games. While this isn’t a bad thing, I figured my all-time favorite game of the decade should be something I was always in control of (Kris usually handles the controls) and that I had done by myself. So, these games got the boot as fabulous as they are.

  • 2010 – Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • 2011 – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • 2012 – Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
  • 2013 – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • 2014 – Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright
  • 2015 – Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
  • 2016 – Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
  • 2017 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 2018 – Octopath Traveler
  • 2019 – Luigi’s Mansion 3

Now, wait a minute. If I’m only going to count games I played myself and had control over then there are a few other games I need to look closer at. Skyward Sword, Breath of the Wild, and Octopath Traveler. I never played those games. I never touched the controls of those games. Sure, there are light puzzles and such, but nothing as in-depth as a Layton or Ace Attorney game. These are visual novels where we took turns playing the characters.

I watched Kris play Skyward Sword, Breath of the Wild, and Octopath Traveler all the while being a backseat gamer and laughing whenever she died. Since I don’t have the full effect of actually playing these games and being in control myself… these games were also out.

  • 2010 – Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • 2011 – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • 2012 – Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
  • 2013 – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • 2014 – Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright
  • 2015 – Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
  • 2016 – Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
  • 2017 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 2018 – Octopath Traveler
  • 2019 – Luigi’s Mansion 3

Out of the decade, I only 100-percent solely played and completed three games. Wow. That’s not much, is it?

Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Luigi’s Mansion 3 are all vastly different games too. Pokemon, Animal Crossing, and Luigi cover my gaming tastes pretty well, but none of them are alike at all.

I enjoy all the characters throughout each game. The dialogue is humorous in Pokemon, can be flat in Animal Crossing, and the cut scenes in Luigi’s Mansion 3 were adorable. I love collecting things in Animal Crossing. Super Mystery Dungeon isn’t a main Pokemon game and you don’t collect too many things, per se, but the exploration element is fun. Exploring in Luigi’s Mansion 3, even though it’s pretty linear, is fun as well. Each floor of the hotel is fun and unique. The same goes for the dungeons in Super Mystery Dungeon. Except, even though the layout of the dungeons in Super Mystery Dungeon are different, the gameplay is more or less the same. In Luigi’s Mansion 3, each floor has a different puzzle for you to solve.

All the games are charming in their own right. They’re relaxing. They’re quirky. They’re fun.

I still have to choose just one though.

Out of all of these games, I played and completed Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon just once. While I do hope to go back to it and replay it, I haven’t and that game is now five years old. So, the bronze trophy goes to Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf came out in 2013. I haven’t 100-percented the game yet since a lot of the collectibles depend on the time of year and time of day you play. However, after nearly seven years, I still go back to that game. It goes in spurts, yes. But I always go back to it.

Luigi’s Mansion 3, on the other hand, is just shy of being three months old. I played through it once and completed it. I didn’t 100-percent it because there were certain things I couldn’t find, but I beat the main story in about 20 hours. I enjoyed every second of it. I had been looking forward to this game for months. When I got it, I couldn’t put it down. I was so happy to play it. The moment I beat it, I couldn’t wait to start a new file and play it all over again.

And honestly? A game hasn’t made me feel like that in a very long time.

With that said. My game of the decade is…

Luigi’s Mansion 3.

It was a tough choice between that and New Leaf, but Luigi’s Mansion 3 gives me feels like the other games don’t. I’ve enjoyed each and every moment with all of these games. After writing this post, I have the urge to go play Super Mystery Dungeon again (especially after the last Pokemon Direct) and also check in on my village in New Leaf.

If you want to see some other game of the decade choices, feel free to catch up on Boss Rush.

What’s your game of the decade? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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