There are many out there who’d have you believe that all we get these days are sequels, remakes and re-releases, as large gaming studios scrape the bottom of the ideas barrel for one more nostalgia-driven cash grab. And hey, we really did love Resident Evil 2’s terrifying touch-up and can’t wait for Resi 3 to get the same treatment next year. That said, the last decade has also given us a brilliant selection of new worlds and stories to explore.
Now, if we were to celebrate each and every great new IP to have arrived in the last ten years, we’d probably still be here in 2029, at which point we’d have to start all over again. So to help simplify our list, we’ve limited our selection to the stellar new titles which have spawned franchises in gaming. Wait, Aren’t we just creating new opportunities for sequels in another ten years? Best not think about that now as we celebrate our picks for the most studpendous new series of the decade.
The most stupendous new series from the last decade in gaming
Yes, yes, Demon Souls exists, but it wasn’t until the release of Dark Souls in 2011 that FromSoftware truly enraptured the gaming world. The original Dark Souls remains a very strange and special thing in gaming, defying many of the conventions we’d come to expect from action-RPGs. The sequel may have fallen short of glory, but director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s return for Dark Souls 3 produced another barnstormer.
Dark Souls’ influence, for better or worse, can be felt throughout almost every aspect of gaming culture in the last 8 years. The original’s success led to a wave of Soulslike copycats, and even recent releases such as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order appropriate the mechanics of FromSoft’s series. While we love the original to bits, we’re most grateful that the success of Dark Souls led to the production of Bloodborne and this year’s stellar Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Kitchens! Friends! Food! Aliens? Part Mario Party minigame, part kitchen nightmares, we bloody Ghost Town Games’ Overcooked, and would argue that no game series has put more smiles on our face these past ten years. There’s something truly special about sitting down with a friend or partner to blast through a co-op game, and Overcooked nails that desperate feeling of interdependence as you hustle your way through timed orders. Splitting up the tasks of preparing, cooking and serving up meals is cracking fun in its own right, but add in wild locations like pirate ships, haunted houses and space stations and you have a recipe for brilliance.
The graphics are charming and the controls are as simple as they come, but you’ll need real organization and teamwork to nail three-star ratings on each level. It takes up to four, but Overcooked 2 makes for a fantastic couples game as well, provided you both share that itch to perfect your production line of course. Wait, who forgot to wash the dishes again? We’ll never get these orders out in time! That’s it, we’re starting again from the top.
Red Dead Redemption
While technically a spiritual successor to 2004's Red Dead Revolver, spirits don't count round these parts. 2010's Redemption set up for the epic wild west tale that gripped us this decade and started a series of its own. Red Dead Redemption 2's prequel stands as a towering achievement for Rockstar, a living and breathing wilderness barely tamed by frontiersmen like Arthur Morgan. Given the tough job of setting up gang leader Dutch van der Linde as the antagonist foil for John Marston in the original, RDR2 excels in weaving a rich tapestry of relationships with dozens of other campers who ride with you. The original's story stands well on its own, but shines with this added context for the breakdown of the van der Linde posse and Arthur's crisis of conscience at the heart of it. And if you knew nothing of John's journey afterwards, the prequel is again a masterpiece that any fan of well-acted, well-written period drama can appreciate. Plus you can start barfights whenever you want and hogtie anyone to feed them to gators. The true Western experience.Load Comments