Alright, we made it through my top 50 games of the past decade. A decade that saw me turn old enough to drive, vote, and drink in that order. There were a lot of great games in the decade so it was impossible to fit every great game on the list. So with that in mind, (and because I’m copying the AV Club format) I wanted to do an article taking a look at the best games that just missed out on the list (and a couple of games that would have been on the list if I wasn’t stupid). If this is the first article you’re reading in this series I encourage you to check out the rest before or after you read this piece, whatever floats your boat.
With that done, let’s get into the list proper, starting with two games that if I remade the list would have been on it. Because yeah, ok, I just forgot about them.
Return of the Obra Dinn
Ok, this one was a pretty obvious miss, but also I just forgot it and Papers Please existed when making the list. Inarguably one of the best puzzle games ever made it makes you feel like a true detective as you scour the ship searching for clues. It did make me feel a bit dumb at times when I couldn’t figure stuff out, but overall it was an absolute blast to play and is very tough to beat as a video game experience. It is one of the best games I have ever played for the argument of video games as a work of art. Which is entirely speaking without the art, which is very pretty and entirely unique. I will be eagerly anticipating any future Lucas Pope project as just like Playdead studios he has two amazing hits and no misses so far.
I would like to blame forgetting this one on having just played it too recently. Of course this is no excuse as this game is also phenomenal and one of the best gaming experiences of this decade. I actually like this game more than I like Obra Dinn and it may have just nudged its way into my top ten. All of the interweaving narratives along with the serene and beautiful, mystifying nature of the entire experience combine to create something wholly unique. Everything in the game feels hand-crafted and it is obvious that care went into every aspect of it’s development. I had no expectations going into this and decided to play it because I heard someone on the Splitscreen podcast saying good things about it and it was free on Game Pass anyway. I am extremely glad I did as it offers the same discovery elements as Obra Dinn, but with a more serene beautiful atmosphere engulfing the mystery, even if the mystery itself isn’t quite as carefully constructed.
I was as surprised as anyone when I realized that Dishonored didn’t make the list. I love Dishonored, but I realized that as I made the list it kept being pushed down and in the end it finished outside the top fifty. I love the gameplay, and it is very replayable, but the first game just was too short to me and that was a big negative. Then the second game came out and while I was really excited for it it just didn’t have that same feeling to me there was something missing. So as much as I love it, Dishonored just misses out on my top fifty. Although it nearly makes it for how fun the blink ability is on its own.
Saints Row The Third
The best argument for doing a game as, “GTA but” that exists in the world. Saints Row 3 takes most of the good elements to the Grand Theft Auto series and adds it’s own zany twist. While Saints Row 4 ended up feeling like Crackdown but without all the fun of unlocking the abilities slowly, Saint Row 3 is the best example of the series. The comedy is great throughout which is fantastic as there aren’t enough games that are funny and the playground is infinitely fun to play through. While the story isn’t as good as Grand Theft Auto and everything feels slightly jankier, it is great fun and definitely one of the best of the decade.
Dying Light asked the tough question of, what if we took the first person parkour of the Mirror’s Edge games, but then actually put them in a fun game. The result is the parkour zombie killing extravaganza Dying Light. With an idea so simple, but so weird it instantly grabbed attention and it ended up living up to it. Dead Island had fun meaty melee combat and they were able to transfer that here while actually adding more depth and the parkour element which was relentlessly fun. The story was still very lacking and I sure hope you only like like two colors because this games visuals can be very bland at times. Despite all of that the two main elements of the core gameplay are both incredibly fun and has me very excited for the sequel, which if it was going to come out this decade (which it’s not) could have made the top fifty if it fixed some of the problems with the first game.
Alright everyone, that is it. I know compared to my main lists this was very short and in all honesty I originally thought about doing ten total. However after a lot of thought I decided against it. With the best of the rest I wanted to keep it short and sweet highlighting the games that just barely missed out on the list. I think I did that very well and hope everyone else does as well. If I can scrounge up enough games part five will be a worst games of the decade. If not Part Five won’t come out until the end of the year when I got over what games come out between now and them and if any make the list.