In the blink of an eye, a decade can race past us, leaving us feeling older, and hopefully, wiser. Still, when looking back at the last 10 years of video games, it's kind of crazy to see how far we've come. In fact, when compiling this list, we couldn't believe how old some of our favorite games of all time really were. Still, time marches on, and when it comes to video games, we're left with more and more memories with each passing year.
In celebration of that, we're going to take a look at the last decade of gaming highlighting the bests from each 365-day cycle. Still, to ensure complete impartiality, we're going to use the highest-rated games on Metacritic to determine what the best was. So, here are The Best Video Games From Each Of The Past 10 Years, Ranked.
11 2009: Uncharted 2
Naughty Dog's Uncharted 2 took the action genre and injected it with steroids. The result was a high-octane romp that sees treasure hunter Nathan Drake as he searches for the lost city of Shambhala and the Cintamani Stone. Amid the heart-stopping action, players are chased through a city by an armored truck, fight abominable snow monsters atop the Himalayas, and even race through a train that's falling off a mountainside.
This is arguably the definitive game on the PlayStation 3 alongside The Last of Us, and in many ways, it was the first game that proved Sony was still serious when it came to their third home console.
10 2010: Super Mario Galaxy 2
When Super Mario Galaxy launched on the Nintendo Wii in 2007, it was easily the best game in the series, but it was missing something — Yoshi. That's why when Nintendo made a direct sequel to the beloved title, they made sure to keep things relatively the same, but with everyone's favorite dinosaur.
Admittedly, Nintendo did take a step back in the story department, relying more on the basic Mario formula compared to its predecessor, but outside of that, Super Mario Galaxy 2 improves on almost everything the original created. The almost-perfect sequel.
9 2011: Batman: Arkham City
While Batman: Arkham City is fantastic in its own right, we can't help but wonder if one specific boss battle really puts it over the top. Sure, the game is perfect for Batman fans as they play as the Dark Knight who's trying to save Gotham after the inhabitants of Arkham Assylum broke out and began terrorizing the city.
And sure, the fluid combat system is near-perfect and some of the most rewarding in modern gaming. Plus, there are fantastic character designs. Actually, now that we think about it, the Mr. Freeze boss battle— where he actually learns your patterns and adapts to your play style — was just the cherry on top of the cake.
8 2012: Telltale's The Walking Dead
Telltale's The Walking Dead took the point and click adventure genre and turned it on its head. Giving players legitimately difficult choices, all of which impact how your peers view you, players control Lee Everett, a convict who, thanks to the zombie apocalypse is no longer imprisoned as he tries to protect Clementine, a little girl who lost her entire family.
Much like the comics and TV shows, this video game makes players question their morals, the motivations of their acquaintances, and their own decisions as they try to survive in the dangerous world.
7 2013: Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is the quintessential open-world game. In this bonkers commentary of modern America, players take control of Michael De Santa, Franklin Clinton, and Trevor Philips as the three plan out and execute heists all while the equivalent of the FBI breathes down their throats and uses them for their own gain.
Where GTAV shines — outside of the ever-improving, insanely replayable online mode — is its living, breathing open world. There's so much to do and see in the new San Andreas that players could spend hours doing nothing of real consequence.
6 2014: Super Smash Bros: Wii U
Nintendo's king-of-the-hill crossover fighter is always a good time, and the Wii U's offering is something that really made Nintendo's console worth having. In reality, it doesn't really break the mold in any revolutionary way, but its massive roster is a love-letter to gaming, making it something special.
Sure, it was the first game following Melee that required players to purchase an add-on to actually play with your GameCube controller, but the multiple play modes strong online mode make it a must-play.
5 2015: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Despite releasing a year and change after the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain really kicked off this generation. With an intricate story, only Kojima could think up and a bigger open world for players to explore, the final game in the series made by the man who made it famous did not disappoint.
In reality, aside from the open world, this game doesn't really change anything from previous entries in the series as Snake builds an army to take on Big Boss in the middle of the Cold War.
4 2016: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was the perfect sendoff for Nathan Drake — character fans latched onto a whole generation prior. The story follows a retired Drake who is thrust back into the treasure hunting life when his brother — whom he thought was dead — returned to his life. Throughout this, we discover Drake's past, even playing through critical moments of his life as he and his brother race against their long lost friend to find Captain Henry's forgotten pirate treasure.
Featuring some of the most heart-stopping action featured in any game, players will have to put their controllers down after some action sequences. On top of all that, the game is a technical marvel, featuring almost no loading screens, all while running as smooth as butter.
3 2017: The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
It's clear that when Nintendo made The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, it was clear they wanted to honor the franchise's roots all while breaking the cycle they ran into following Ocarina of Time. Taking notes from the first in the franchise, players are placed in a Hyrule overrun by evil following the return of Ganon. Players aren't given any real direction and can play the game any way they choose.
Combat has been completely overhauled too. Now, there's more of an emphasis on parrying and dodging. There's a steep learning curve, but it's one that gets more rewarding as players master it.
2 2018: Red Dead Redemption 2
In many ways, Red Dead Redemption 2 is overwhelming in terms of content. With a focus on realism, players can follow the scent of boar and bucks in hunts, steal from the dead, and upgrade their camp as gamers take control of Arthur Morgan, a member of the Van der Linde gang, in the final days of the "Wild West" as government forces crack down on crime.
The game is truly a technical marvel and another notch in Rockstar's belt. It's no surprise this title took almost every possible accolade at the Video Game Awards.
1 2019 (so far): Resident Evil 2
While the original Resident Evil 2 launched in 1998, the remake that released in 2019 gave the game a fresh coat of paint it desperately needed. Following Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, as a zombie outbreak cripples Raccoon City, the game offers two separate storylines that, while similar, offer different subplots and items, giving players more replayability than most games in the franchise.
Mix that with classic Resident Evil controls that lead to legitimately tense situations, and you have a game that will be hard to topple as the best game of 2019.