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Top 10 Games of the Past Decade!

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  1. Nothing increases post count like threads where people post lists of junk. So what do you think are the top 10 games of the past decade? If you feel so inclined, you could describe why you picked certain games. That may even result in a discussion. I'll post my list a little later to be as big a goober as possible!

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  2. Pikmin and Pikmin 2.

    Best game of the next decade: Pikmin 3.

    As for the less obvious...
    The Sims, Halo, and Wii Sports have coopted a massive number of people to gaming. How wonderful. As for me (and this crowd, I expect), my expectations have been raised by the likes of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Resident Evil 4, and especially Final Fantasy XII, which have been inadequately represented in the TOP X lists I've scanned so far. In my opinion, these are the games that have truly advanced the state of gaming and raised the bar for what a videogame should be.

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  3. Ten games that had a big impact on me:

    Final Fantasy XII What open worlds in linear RPGs should be modeled after for quite some time.
    SaGa Frontier 2 Pioneer in alternative graphical styles, Sets a high standard for what game soundtracks sound like.
    Vagrant Story How to do localisation right. Excellent example of how to do 3d Metroidvania.
    Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter I might call this the most important RPG of the decade that almost no one tried to learn from.
    Cave Story The pinnacle of indie games and what one man can do.
    Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 I bemoan choose your own adventure games for creating terrible stories with boring character. This is how everyone should be doing it.
    Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos/Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Is better than StarCraft in every way except tournament level balance (which is way more important for 99.99% of the population).
    SSX What sports game should try to be.
    Super Mario Galaxy The new world for platform gaming.

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  4. Alright alright. I'm gonna submit, only because I like ya Nels! That and I'm totally week for these types of threads Top 10 games from this decade just passed eh? Well then! here goes:

    1. Deus Ex. What is there to be said about this cunning game? The fact that it's an action RPG with elements of simulation and adventure discreetly placed within the core design? Or how about it's disguise as a first person shooter? At first glance you could nail any those aforementioned archetypes and you'd be right as well as being completely wrong and that's where the ingeniousness truly lies. Categorizing this game is very much like a haze: it does not pertain to one particular genre, but ultimately borrows from many to form it's own unique spin on interactivity. RPG elements play a major role leaving the player to create a certain skill-focused avatar of which presented up to three possible solutions to any given situation in the level at hand determined by the skill-class that player has chosen. "Player choice" played a major role in the core design of this game, not only did it give breadth to the game play but it also gave the player lots of variations in "challenge and reward".

    We're still waiting for a game like this to come along, oh wait, we've got one coming out this year: Alpha Protocol and it's about fucking time.

    1. Advance Wars. A turn-based tactics game that just cuts out all the bullshit, and what an achievement. [Intelligent Systems](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_SystemsIntelligent Systems) had proven itself that it could bring the once exclusive-to-Japan series to the west and create a solid fanbase there. The game in essence is quite basic but extremely accessible whilst also giving breadth to strategy that could swiftly knock a player out if he/she is not perceptive of their actions and the consequences that lie there in. Even though the iterations that came after refined a lot of the elements presented here and have redefined this existing formula on the DS to heighten the accessibility, even so, it still stands as an important achievement in portable gaming. Strategy has never felt so "bite-sized" and exhilarating.

    2. Metroid Fusion. How dare I choose this game over Prime! I mean isn't it completely obvious that it was superior to Fusion in every conceivable way? Many would, but I don't thinks so. For one, the atmosphere in Fusion was RIFE and it had a very compelling story. Seeing as this game mostly follows the Metroid 2 tradition in game design, many thought it was a massive loss because it didn't live up to the great Super Metroid. Well I'm adamant in believing it wasn't supposed to and it never should because it's design is not even remotely similar (other than exploration) and therefor should be more so compared to Metroid II as they are inherently linked by design. With that out of the way, this game had a sense of horror I hadn't experienced until Resident Evil 4 (in some areas) where the SA-X antagonist would chase you countless times through out the game. Just hearing those footsteps when you first encounter "her" presence along with her introduction in the story sequence just fills you with absolute dread. There are some flaws, like the map layout for example but I can forgive such mishaps if only because this game was clearly made by a very confident team knowing exactly what they wanted to achieve in this game.

    3. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. This game caught me completely off guard. An action platformer with a high octane for acrobatics and agility, this kind of level design really puts games before it like Devil May Cry to shame and so it should, because it had a fairly deep combat system a long with having a very useful time mechanic known as "the dagger of time": This is where the game had proven to break down some archetypes in the game industry. One of which was that when ever the player would endure a fatal response in the game (i.e. pitfall etc) due to the action previously made, the dagger of time could be used to "rewind" time where the player could precede that fatal action made and essentially retry the obstacle at hand. This would save time reloading the same scenario by the player over, and over again which also alleviated frustration due to it's fluidity when the mechanic was in use. This idea was used in the latest Prince of Persia game and taken much further, which was one of the greatest strengths despite how everything else in the game paled in comparison.

    4. Astro Boy: Omega Factor. Ahhh there's just something truly special about two dev/studios combining forces to make a game. Maybe it's because in such an environment, multiple geniuses can formulate a master game by forging their greatest strengths together to make an ultimate overarching design system where flaws are less likely to idle within. Kinda like two opposing magnets; drawn together by opposite forces and thus eliminating each others inherent weaknesses through opposing strengths. I'm talking about Treasure and Hitmaker. The fuckers who brought you Radiant Silvergun and Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram, designing a game TOGETHER. It's a dream come true that none of us deserve but hey, it's here and it rocks so fucking hard (it's probably the only Gamespot review I 99.9% agree with). Should I just get to the point? Alrighty then, it's pretty simple, the game is a perfect fusion between beat 'em up and shoot 'em up where by you control Astro Boy and wreck havoc on all the enemies in your way. The animation is superb, the art direction is immaculate, the abilities which Astro Boy possesses are bad ass and the boss battles are nothing short of epic. It's like playing Streets of Rage II, with Mega Man power ups (which you can expand upon as you progress through the game) while having R-Type and/or Gradius scrolling levels. It's a brutal concoction that these masters have pulled off to a tee. On top of that, there are a TON of secrets where you can uncover characters from the Astro Boy universe to flesh out the story more, not that it really matters, because you'll be completely focused on kicking tons of asses. The difficulty is defiant of holding your hand and the music slays. The only draw back is that there is some slow down when there are too many enemies on screen, and believe me, there can be a TON of them, but to be honest it's a "flaw" I wouldn't even consider a problem, in fact I kinda enjoy it because it almost feels like the game is complimenting my actions when I'm slaying massive amounts of ass.

    5. Resident Evil 4. When this game was first revealed, I wasn't overly excited, especially since after playing the first 3 I kinda stopped telling myself those games were any good. Of course once the footage of Resident Evil 3.5 came about at TGS 2003, my expectations did rise somewhat but it was before it's official release where I thought I'd give this franchise another chance. I was convinced that maybe, just maaaybe, this game could prove that the past 3 iterations were now obsolete and boy was I right. Once I fired up that game, I was completely encapsulated from start to finish. The visuals were amazing and the new gameplay approach while still retaining the core mechanics was so refreshing and engaging that I knew this game would be my GOTY. So many enriching qualities that the past iterations just didn't have, one being the boss fights, absolutely fantastic. This game also displayed a real sense of survival, where the player had to strategically think of how much ammunition he/she should use through out the game. You couldn't just plow through enemies after enemies thoughtlessly without considering how much ammo you have on you, these things needed to be proactively supplied in order for the player to survive. This aspect of the game has been there through out there series but in this particular sequel it just felt so much more real and engaging. A very engrossing game and to think it would get better in 2007 once it hit the Wii with having a new and BETTER control interface. It's hard to believe such a game would work so perfectly on the Wii and yet it wasn't even designed with such intentions (for obvious reasons).

    6. Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis. In 2006, there was me, my friends and this game, for about 3 months straight. Among a few other games during that year Rockstar's Table Tennis was one the most enjoyable experiences to come along in the sports genre for a looong time. It was so simple yet infinitely addictive. But why? What made it so compelling and engaging enough for me and my mates to play this thing for 3 months straight? The game's quick response to player input. That's pretty much it right there, the amount of input the player has in this game is very accessible and easily executed, but the responsiveness played a major role too. Everything can be pulled off with ease but it's ALL about the timing and that's where the game truly shined. You play the game by holding down certain buttons to trigger certain swings along with using the analog sticks to determine the direction of where you wanted to hit the ball along with how much force was behind the hit. You couldn't just smash your way to victory either, soft lobs are a nice trick when your opponent isn't paying enough attention. A game that anyone can pick up and play and doesn't require the player to exert his/herself too much in order to have some good quality fun.

    7. Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure. Refer to this. I've said it all really regarding this almost invisible gem. The optical sensor is the center piece here in this magnificent game. Zack & Wiki exhibits the Wiimote and the Wiimote only; every mechanic is finely contained in that little white remote. There's a sense of freedom and grace when all you have is a remote in one hand. The puzzles aren't just your typical adventure trend either, you had to figure out how to USE certain key items by way of gesture in order to solve the puzzle in the level, truly remarkable stuff (I expect Pikmin 3 to do something very similar). An adventure game that uses a more "evolved" interface giving it a more frantic and accelerated pace of gameplay for such a genre. It makes games like Myst seem entirely redundant and obsolete due to Wiki's enhanced interface bringing forth it's unique design, but without such an example, Wiki would be nothing, so in that regard it did serve it's purpose but it's now time to move onto bigger and better things and Zack & Wiki fits that bill veeeeery nicely.

    8. Valkyria Chronicles. I haven't even played this game and because this year was really quite dull (with the exception of Ninja Gaiden II I guess), I was mostly playing games from the year before. Chronicles was the only title that caught my attention and judging by a handful of reviews once it was released, seemed to be my type of game. Of course the drawback here (and why I haven't played it yet) is because it's exclusive to the PS3 which is something I can never justify, as I had already invested in a 360 and had a hard time justifying my ownership of that console as well. I do not understand why we have exclusives in this generation, especially when it's 3rd party, because a lot of the hardware corps (i.e. Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft) aren't as compassionate towards such things, and because it's a much higher risk when you're backed up by a 3rd party publisher (i.e. less funds etc) but I guess Sega went right ahead and made it so. Either way, this game certainly looks amazing, with it's elegant "water color"-like art direction and it's fluid animation. I personally looked at this title as an evolved form of games such as Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics and knowing that much of the development team was involved with the Sakura Wars series on both the Saturn and Dreamcast, it's no surprise that this game turned out to be quite deep and rich in game play. With Tanaka's (Skies of Arcadia) and Nanaka's (Nightshade) experience and knowledge thrown into the mix, this game was bound to raise a few eyebrows and possibly break some new ground for the tactical RPG genre, and it's about time too. We've got enough Fire Emblems and Disgeas out there.

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    1. Little King's Story. I'm not even going to bother with this one. Mainly because I will end up ranting about the many undertones and nuances blah blah blah. All you need to know is this, it was conceived by the great Yoshiro Kimura. I'll let someone else do the talking for me but I will say this, if you have not yet experienced this game and you own a Wii then (and I apologize for saying this but it must be said) you're a fool and you need to wake up to yourself. In other words, buy this game NOW.
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  5. Well, your top 10 list is not my top 10 list, Pugz (although there is some crossover). However, I completely agree with every one of your choices. I'm still carefully weighing and considering my top 10 list, actually. Every time I think I've got it figured out, I think of another gem that I'd forgotten about.

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  6. I really enjoy seeing your lists. I regret that there really isn't a lot of variety in mine and that's due to my rather restrictive buying habits. I'm often too scared to try games that aren't all ready considered "safe" outside of the RPG realm. It's been so hit or miss that I basically gave up while I was in high school (a decade ago) on purchasing games outside of my comfort zone, which was the last time in my life I was able to spend a lot of time gaming on a regular basis.

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  7. Pugz, good call on Advance Wars. If there's been any one series of games that has captivated me above all else in the past ten years, it's definitely Advance Wars. I'd easily add every entry to my list, though Advance Wars: Days of Ruin is the jewel of the magnificent crown. Not only was gameplay great, but it got rid of much of the unnecessary innovations (too many units, dual strikes and power plays) introduced with each new entry, simplifying the series back to the core principles that made it great. It also got rid of the stupid preteen themes, characters, and dialogue, which hurt previous installments minimally, but was much appreciated none the less.

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