List by Priscilla M.
It’s hard to believe, but we’re at the end of a decade this month, and it should go without saying that a lot has happened in video games over that last ten years. Just think: at the start of the decade people were playing Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PSP and Nintendo DS. There’s been two new generations of consoles in that time, and one new Sony and Microsoft device.
In addition, in that time VR made a comeback, and streaming games has just started to get steam. DDNet started as a humble little blog right at the end of 2010, and it’s been fascinating to watch the site evolve and change as the industry.
To celebrate this huge transition, from one decade to the next, we’ve decided to get the team to share their most noteworthy games of the decade – the games that they found most memorable, or had the biggest impact on them. We’ll publish these at a rate of one per day, and today it’s Priscilla M’s turn to share her top 10!
For the longest time I had been embarrassed that I was yet to complete a game in The Legend of Zelda franchise. Over the years I had dabbled in a few of the titles but had never managed to see one through to the end. From the beginning I was captivated by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. Not only is it stunning but I found myself absolutely immersed in the world that it provided me. There was so much to do, see and explore. I felt accomplished when I discovered a new area or finally completed a difficult puzzle. Breath of The Wild completely changed the way that I play video games as now I am always off the beaten track wanting to find more; to do more. Bring on Breath of The Wild 2!
Portal was a great game, but Portal 2 absolutely blew it out of the water. The puzzles were both challenging and rewarding like no other game that I have played. I generally do not enjoy puzzles too much, but Portal 2 is an exception. The story is absolutely captivating as Wheatley, a bumbling buffoon who you befriend at the beginning of the game turns out to be a rather not so friendly fellow after all. Portal 2 is full of great dialogue just like the first one with a lot of memorable lines coming from GlaDOS. The co-op campaign in Portal 2 worked well and it felt like both players had equal responsibility in the completion of the puzzles. The credit song ‘Want You Gone’ is even better than the original ‘Still Alive’ and even to this day I still know all the words to it.
NieR is the one game that I would recommend to every single person. It is one of the most heartbreaking games that I have ever played. The story is just full of sadness wherever you turn. Each area has a backstory that is emotionally resonant. Each character in the party has gone through stuff that will make you just wish that you could give them a hug. I love games that are emotionally gripping and that is exactly what NieR is. Once you have beaten the game and think that you can’t handle anymore sadness along comes the second playthrough with a whole new perspective to emotionally destroy you again. The story is only made better by reading Grimoire Nier independently. The gameplay was solid, and the bosses were a lot of fun to beat. Plus, you can fish and that is a requirement for any good game.
Final Fantasy XIV is the best MMORPG that I have ever played. One of the reasons for this is the freedom one has in their character. You aren’t locked into a certain class at any time and are free to switch. This was an important aspect for me, and it is why I couldn’t get into WOW, Guild Wars or Guild Wars 2. However, when A Realm Reborn released I decided to give it a go and I was not disappointed. The storyline in FFXIV is something that you would expect from a mainline Final Fantasy – potentially even better. As the expansions released somehow, they managed to improve it every single time. It has my favourite OST of any Final Fantasy game and some of the most memorable bosses. As mentioned before, the ability to change classes on the fly allows me to swap between my favourite classes Dragoon and White Mage as I went along. The community are wonderful too. Everyone I have met on the game has been incredibly kind and helpful which I can’t say for other games that I have played online. On a personal level it has been amazing to be able to play together with my partner as even though we are living on different sides of the world; in FFXIV we are side by side working together and in that moment we just feel a little bit closer.
Throughout the many long years that The Last Guardian was in development I always kept faith that it would eventually come, and when it did, I was not disappointed. As a huge fan of ICO and Shadow of the Colossus I had the same feelings I had for those games when I played The Last Guardian. Traversing through the land, examining things in detail trying to extract lore for myself and possibly where the game sat in the timeline of its predecessors was something that I genuinely enjoyed. The relationship between the boy and Trico was fantastic and it felt authentic and as I managed the controls better it genuinely felt like they were beginning to trust one another more and the relationship was growing. This game holds the title of being the first game that I have ever shed a tear in. I was nine months pregnant and one of the scenes towards the end just absolutely destroyed me. The whole three games are all must play for anyone, but The Last Guardian is something special and I will never forget Trico.
I fell in love with Dragon’s Dogma when I watched the original trailer and I could never understand why the Internet wasn’t just as excited as me. I worked at an EB Games at the time and I was the only one who had even preordered a copy of the game. Nevertheless, I was correct, and the game turned out to be amazing. Since then I have bought it on every system it has been ported to and I will continue to shout its praises from the roof top. I am specifically mentioning Dark Arisen here as you can’t go wrong with the penultimate version and the DLC area is the most fun I have ever had whilst continuously dying. The game itself is fun! The enemies are amazing and fun to scale and discover how to take them down. It is even better at nighttime when you are rushing to the next town and suddenly in the path of a Drake.
The combat is what makes the game. It is enjoyable, and you can change your class on the fly between such thing as warrior, archer and mage. The pawn system in the game is unique – you create your pawn to fight alongside you and then you hire two other players pawns to complete your party of four. You can dismiss them at any time and send them back to their own player with new quest or enemy knowledge from what they experienced with you. Whilst a little rough around the edges in some aspects and even to this day I will be minding my own business and my brain will shout “WHAT A LARGE TREE!” at me; I still hope that there is a sequel because the pawn system is incredible and I really want to see what they can do with it.
I was late to the Yakuza series and so the first entry that I played was Yakuza 0 and all I can say is that I was a fool to put the series off for so long. The ‘Japanese GTA’ comparison really turned me off the series but it is truly nothing like that in my opinion. The characters were all so well written and I felt a connection with all of them, the story was so engrossing, and I could hardly sit in my seat wondering what was going to happen next and the combat was fun. You can’t go wrong smashing someone to the ground with a chair and pulling off some sick moves. The best part though is the perfect mix of serious and emotional storytelling and obtuse and frankly quite weird side quests that are available. I loved that one minute I was on a desperate mission in the main story but then I made a short detour and stopped some teenage panty selling ring. Or the fact that I still could do karaoke or run a hostess club after quickly chasing someone down who stole a video game. It is the perfect mix of serious and absurd and a series that I would recommend to everyone.
Wow. I had no idea what I was getting into when I first started to play Journey. I found my way through the beautiful yet lonely desert whilst trying to figure out exactly what was happening. It wasn’t long until I met someone else who looked like me. Initially I had no idea if this was a NPC or another player but once I realized it was another player the whole game experience just changed for me. We worked together making our way through all the areas – finding hidden secrets along the way. All we had to communicate was a chirp noise at the push of a button and some crazy spinning around in the direction we wanted the other person to go. As the game progressed, we made it through the pinnacle moment together and then I got lost right at the end. I was devastated that I was alone.
When I finally made it to the top the other player was waiting for me and I will always remember that. We walked through to the end of the game together and then messaged one another afterwards thanking each other for the experience. Since that time, I have completed the game repeatedly. As a white cloak I have taken little red cloaks through the game – leading them or letting them lead depending on the situation. Helping them discover the hidden secrets. It will forever be a special experience.
I play video games for the story and visual novels provide bang for your buck in that regard. Steins;Gate takes storytelling to the next level. I could not even imagine being so immersed in a story about microwaving bananas, but it works so well. The story line regarding leaping through time and crossing world lines and convergence somehow just makes sense. Of course, it is crazy but at the same time it includes so many references to actual events that it seems plausible and somewhat educational. The characters are what really bring the story to life. Each character has an important role to play and an emotional side that will make you feel for them all. Once you see every character ending you will realise that there really is no good ending for everyone and each choice you make can have quite painful repercussions. Steins;Gate Elite looks quite nice as it includes anime cutscenes in the game and is my favourite version overall.
Big world. Little Pomeranian. The premise has you playing as an animal, trying to survive in a destroyed Tokyo. There are 80 types of animals to choose in the game and depending on your choice means your style of play changes. Herbivores need to survive in packs whilst carnivores need to be on a constant look-out for the next hunt. The story mode has you understanding what happened to the humans whilst the survival mode has you surviving for as long as you can through the years – including creating generations of the animal of your choosing. Tokyo Jungle is just different and that is why it is so fun. I cannot say I ever dreamed of playing as a Pomeranian running for my life from a lion at a train station… but now that I have I want this game always in my life.
– Priscilla M.