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General Gaming Edge celebrates the 12 defining games of the decade

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This is not a 'best of' list; it celebrates the games which have impacted the industry in ways that go far beyond their mere quality. Spelunky, for instance, is here not just for being brilliant, but also for birthing the Roguelike. Amnesia: The Dark Descent didn’t just redefine video game horror; it also gave us the Let's Play.

 

A 12-cover split run means each title is given the prominence it deserves; inside, in-depth analysis gives (we hope) proper context to each inclusion. Here's all 12 covers, which have been randomly sorted at newsagents' and in subscriber letterboxes up and down the land.

 

From the covers, a Reset user says the games are (with question marks by the ones he/she's unsure of):

 

- Spelunky
- Telltale The Walking Dead?
- Broken Age
- GTA V
- Breath of the Wild
- Amnesia
- Dark Souls
- Destiny?
- Minecraft
- Gone Home
- Fortnite
- Dota 2

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I don't agree with Gone Home, Spelunky, or Broken Age being a game of the decade. I wouldn't put BotW on the list either, but I that might just be me expressing my dislike of the game. 

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4 minutes ago, Bacon said:

I don't agree with Gone Home, Spelunky, or Broken Age being a game of the decade. I wouldn't put BotW on the list either, but I that might just be me expressing my dislike of the game. 

 

It's not about their favorite games; it's more how they defined the decade and influenced it. Broken Age was the first big Kickstarter game, which had ramifications for tons of other Kickstarter video game projects.

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6 minutes ago, SaysWho? said:

It's not about their favorite games; it's more how they defined the decade and influenced it. Broken Age was the first big Kickstarter game, which had ramifications for tons of other Kickstarter video game projects.

I wasn't basing them on what games I like/dislike except maybe for BotW. If I was, the only game that would remain on the list would be Dark Souls. And if I was going to put a kickstarter game on the list I'd do something like Shovel Knight, Darkest Dungeon, or Divinity. 

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Spelunky didn't come out this decade, unless somehow 2008 is this decade -- and it wasn't the first Roguelike (Rogue wasn't even the first Roguelike).

PUBG was probably the most influential game of the decade.

No Roblox?  (Not my jam, but the influence it had on gamers (particularly younger ones) was so profound.)

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7 minutes ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

PUBG was probably the most influential game of the decade.

If there was no Fortnite I would agree. I know PUBG came first but Fortnite kinda just killed it. It is still popular, but I never hear anyone talk about it, unlike fortnite. 

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2 minutes ago, Bacon said:

If there was no Fortnite I would agree. I know PUBG came first but Fortnite kinda just killed it. It is still popular, but I never hear anyone talk about it, unlike fortnite. 

 

You have to admit though, without PUBG, Fortnite wouldve just been a shitty horde mode that nobody ever cared about.

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1 minute ago, Bacon said:

If there was no Fortnite I would agree. I know PUBG came first but Fortnite kinda just killed it. It is still popular, but I never hear anyone talk about it, unlike fortnite. 

I understand your point.  However, PUBG created the genre and is still immensely popular (particularly in Asia) and is still the third most played game on Steam.  If we're talking "influence", PUBG was more "influential" even if it was overtaken.

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2 minutes ago, XxEvil AshxX said:

 

You have to admit though, without PUBG, Fortnite wouldve just been a shitty horde mode that nobody ever cared about.

Yeah, I totally agree, but after Fornite, no one was trying to be the next PUBG. They all wanted to be the next Fortnite. 

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Also, I think Fallout 76 should somehow be on the list. Not because of what it accomplished, but because of how it failed. Of course, that is really more of a Bethesda thing than the game itself, but yeah. Mocking 76 and Bethesda is still happening a whole year later. 

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Broken Age absolutely should be on the list, as it was the first game to prove that crowdfunding was a viable (though complicated) funding model for development. It blew the damn into smithereens. 

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45 minutes ago, Bacon said:

If there was no Fortnite I would agree. I know PUBG came first but Fortnite kinda just killed it. It is still popular, but I never hear anyone talk about it, unlike fortnite. 

 

If anything it should go to H1Z1!

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I'd definitely have a different list... we've had a few new genre's birthed from a couple of games that didn't make the list.

 

First there is Overwatch... gave us the hero shooter and is still super relevant

Then there is PUBG... for which without it I doubt Fortnite would be what it is.

 

Witcher 3 is still (IMHO) the definitive open world game with narrative and choices that actually effect the world & story.

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PUBG ABSOLUTELY should be on the list... it created a whole damn genre  and I remember folks on this very board dismissing Fortnite's battle royal mode when it came out saying that people who like PUBG would never  get into Fortnite :rolleyes:. The Witcher 3 as well.

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7 minutes ago, skillzdadirecta said:

PUBG ABSOLUTELY should be on the list... it created a whole damn genre  and I remember folks on this very board dismissing Fortnite's battle royal mode when it came out saying that people who like PUBG would never  get into Fortnite :rolleyes:. The Witcher 3 as well.

I mean, wasn't actually DayZ or H1Z1 that really created the genre? Like, I think it was a mod first and then it was one of those games.  

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1 hour ago, Dexterryu said:


First there is Overwatch... gave us the hero shooter and is still super relevant
 

 

That's really not true.  The fundamentals were there by the Team Fortress series.  Games like Monday Night Combat and Evolve also stretched the concept further than Overwatch, earlier.  Even Battleborn (lol) actually beat it to the punch by a few weeks.

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27 minutes ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

Dark Souls should probably not be on the list. Demon’s Souls created the genre - and came out last decade. 

Yeah, but DeS wasn't popular(at least not like DaS). The people who bought it liked it, but I had never even heard of the game until Dark Souls. DeS shouldn't be on the list just because it was first.

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1 hour ago, Bacon said:

Yeah, but DeS wasn't popular(at least not like DaS). The people who bought it liked it, but I had never even heard of the game until Dark Souls. DeS shouldn't be on the list just because it was first.

You just made the argument for PUBG then... H1Z1's king of kill mod was first, but PUBG popularized the Battle Royal genre. And Player Unknown was the one who created the mod in the first place, right?

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3 minutes ago, skillzdadirecta said:

You just made the argument for PUBG then... H1Z1's king of kill mod was first, but PUBG popularized the Battle Royal genre. And Player Unknown was the one who created the mod in the first place, right?

Oh, I didn't mean to imply those games deserved to be on the list over PUBG. I really have no clue who made the mod or anything like that. But, if I had to put one BR on the list, I'd still put Fortnite on the list over PUBG. I personally have never played a BR game so I am just talking from the popularity and social media presence of the games. IRL, on Twitch, and on Reddit, Fortnite is the game everyone talks about. Like, I was in a walmart parking lot when I heard of group of college kids talking about Chapter 2 of Fortnite. 

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2 minutes ago, Bacon said:

Oh, I didn't mean to imply those games deserved to be on the list over PUBG. I really have no clue who made the mod or anything like that. But, if I had to put one BR on the list, I'd still put Fortnite on the list over PUBG. I personally have never played a BR game so I am just talking from the popularity and social media presence of the games. IRL, on Twitch, and on Reddit, Fortnite is the game everyone talks about. Like, I was in a walmart parking lot when I heard of group of college kids talking about Chapter 2 of Fortnite. 

 

I agree that Fortnite is more popular than PUBG NOW, but it really wouldn't exist, at least it's BR mode wouldn't, if not for PUBG and PUBG was INCREDIBLY popular when it first came out and is still popular now especially overseas. There's definitely a case for PUBG at least being on this list in addition to Fortnite.

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Surprised Pokemon Go isn't on it, even though Ingress came out first....pokemon go had a way bigger social impact

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The Witcher 3 needs to be on here. Telltale TWD needs to not be. Agree with GTA V and BotW. Not really passionate about any of the others.

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Just now, best3444 said:

What about Red Dead Redemption 2?

Nah. Great story, but the gameplay was sub-par. RDR1 belongs on the list over that. 

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Also.. I have to be a Gone Home hater... that game was way overrated. I was on board the entire game until the.. i don't know what to call it.. finale? revelation? I don't know. I get what they were trying to do but I feel like a very mediocre game with a lame story got a pass just because of its theme.

 

Spoiler

I was expecting a punch in the gut when you finally get to the attic, like the girl committed suicide or something.. but no. Her and her girlfriend ran off together. That's it. Never mind that they have no jobs and no money for ya know, gas and food, but they were gonna run off and "live their lives... together." Riiiiight. See ya in a few days when you realize that you're literally incapable of taking care of yourself cuz you're barely out of high school. Oh and also, didn't the girlfriend enroll in the military and then fail to report for duty? Yeah have fun with that, too. 

 

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16 minutes ago, XxEvil AshxX said:

Also.. I have to be a Gone Home hater... that game was way overrated. I was on board the entire game until the.. i don't know what to call it.. finale? revelation? I don't know. I get what they were trying to do but I feel like a very mediocre game with a lame story got a pass just because of its theme.

 

  Hide contents

I was expecting a punch in the gut when you finally get to the attic, like the girl committed suicide or something.. but no. Her and her girlfriend ran off together. That's it. Never mind that they have no jobs and no money for ya know, gas and food, but they were gonna run off and "live their lives... together." Riiiiight. See ya in a few days when you realize that you're literally incapable of taking care of yourself cuz you're barely out of high school. Oh and also, didn't the girlfriend enroll in the military and then fail to report for duty? Yeah have fun with that, too. 

 

Gone Home wasn't even the first walking simulator.

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When you're putting a list like this together, I think it's fine to go in either direction in regards to popularity vs impact as long as you're consistent. So it would make more sense to me, if you're going to go with Fortnite instead of PUBG, that you'd also take League over DOTA, and probably something else for Spelunky and Broken Age. I'm not really even sure why those are on there. Representing indie games, XBLA, 2D?

 

The way I'd personally do a list like this is to think about what major trends defined the decade in games and which games represent them or were a trend unto themselves.

 

I think Minecraft is the most unimpeachable game on the list, for all the obvious reasons. As I said, I'd put League up there just for its continued dominance and its ever present place on the Twitch rankings and esport viewership.

 

BoTW is a fine pick because it was both a very good game that will influence game design for years, but also because it's the best game to represent a resurgent Nintendo and the rise of the Switch.

 

I might choose between GTA and Destiny, because I see them the two biggest poster children for the recent trend towards games as a service. They both exist in this not really an MMO, but still persistent space that encompases so much of gaming now. I'd probably go with GTA, but either seem like a fine choice.

 

 

I might put Skyrim on there, as a game that has remained relevant all decade, though it's impact might be smaller than its longevity might suggest. It might have to fight it out with Witcher 3.

 

I'd also consider The Last of Us. Yeah, Uncharted 1&2 were last decade, but that style of single player adventure really came into its own this decade and doesn't seem to be slowing down. The Tomb Raider reboots, Spider-Man, God of War, HZD, etc.

 

It does seem like you can't really encapsulate gaming this decade if you ignore mobile. Pokemon Go seems like a good choice, though Candy Crush is annoyingly relevant.

 

There should be spots for indie games, but I honestly don't know enough to identify the trends or figure which games I'd pick as representative.

 

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8 minutes ago, TwinIon said:

When you're putting a list like this together, I think it's fine to go in either direction in regards to popularity vs impact as long as you're consistent. So it would make more sense to me, if you're going to go with Fortnite instead of PUBG, that you'd also take League over DOTA, and probably something else for Spelunky and Broken Age. I'm not really even sure why those are on there. Representing indie games, XBLA, 2D?

 

We don't have the full article yet for the reasoning behind everything, but it appears that Spelunky was chosen for popularizing roguelites, while Broken Age was the first major success in kickstarting and showed a different way to fund games, which has tentacles connected to hundreds upon hundreds of other projects.

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1 hour ago, Bacon said:

Nah. Great story, but the gameplay was sub-par. RDR1 belongs on the list over that. 

 

I was being sarcastic. Game is a mess.

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Although not quite originally this decade, but was Team Fortress 2 the game to popularize cosmetic items, and then show how the Free-to-Play model can go big?  I didn't pay attention to mobile F2P games back in the day, so I'm not sure where the influence originates.

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