Another decade is coming to a close, and as we enter the 2020s, Justin Williams Laser wants to take a step back and review some of his favorite games of the previous decade. The ‘10s were a crazy time to be a fan of video games, with gaming becoming more of a mainstream hobby than ever before, multiple huge releases, and a wide array of exciting new ways to play.
Justin Williams Laser begins by remembering Portal 2, which released in 2011. Portal 2 was an incredible first-person puzzle game where the player character is able to shoot portals at walls in order to traverse levels. With an amazing, genuinely well-written humorous script, genius level design, and graphics that were so good they still hold up today, Portal 2 is sure to be on most, if not all, game-of-the-decade lists.
Justin Williams Laser touches on another instant classic from 2011 (a great year for games!), The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is enough game to keep someone busy years—a decade, in fact, as there is a large portion of people still playing this game today. Boasting a huge open world with tons of content to explore and a cornucopia of skills and armor to customize your character with, it seems easy to play and re-play Skyrim until the end of time (or at least until the next Elder Scrolls game releases). The developers seem to have picked up on this fact as well, re-releasing the game multiple times as the decade marched on for newer systems, including the Nintendo Switch and VR headsets.
Another heavy-hitter from 2011, Minecraft made its mark on the gaming landscape with its simple, sandbox-style gameplay. Akin to playing with LEGO, the fun of the game comes from the ability to build whatever you want, however you want. The game has been released on countless platforms, including phones and even Apple TV. While Justin Williams Laser personally has never played the game, it’s hard to deny its impact on the landscape.
Justin Williams Laser admits his next choice is a bit out of the ordinary but justifies it well: Pokemon Go, which released exclusively for phones in 2016, made a huge cultural impact. In the weeks after its initial release, you could see groups of people walking down the street trying to “catch” pokemon, and there were numerous news reports detailing massive gatherings of people for the sole purpose of playing the game. One famous report shows hundreds of people gathering in New York City’s Central Park for a shot at catching a legendary pokemon.
Although there are no doubt countless other games that are worthy enough to be on this list, Justin Williams Laser makes his final choice: Rocket League. Released in 2015, Rocket League pits two teams of cars against each other. This isn’t a race, however: the game follows the standard rules of soccer, albeit with a giant ball and flying cars. The game is simple to learn how to play, but the skill ceiling is incredibly high. There is always a sense of progress as you play and get a little better every time, whether you’re learning new mobility tricks with your car, or simply improving your teamwork with your teammates.
All in all, the 2010s saw a plethora of amazing releases, and the 2020s should prove to be another exciting decade for revolutionary—and most importantly, fun—experiences.