It’s been a wild decade for video games. Sprawling Westerns, zombie apocalypses, fantasy epics, and so much more helped define an incredible varied and exciting ten years. As we reach the end of the decade, I thought it might be cool to take a look back and see which games were crowned Game Of The Year between 2010 and 2019 because, you know, it’s nice to reflect.
Now, there are various GOTY awards out there from different publishers and companies, so for the sake of keeping this brief I decided to focus on just one. But which one? If GAMINGbible had been around for long enough, I would have absolutely compiled our own GOTY winners from the last several years, but we’re still pretty young. And cute.
Instead then, I opted to go for The Game Awards (formerly known as the Spike Video Game Awards), because that’s widely-regarded as the “big” one. Read on for all the big winners and heavy hitters from the last ten years – and be sure to let us know whether or not you agree with the results over on Facebook and Twitter.
2010 – Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar Games)
Rockstar’s epic Western adventure deservedly took the crown in 2010. In a time where most video game open worlds lacked a convincing level of depth, Red Dead Redemption effortlessly transported players to a dusty, dangerous America that was bursting with character. John Marston’s emotional, tragic journey through this world remains one of the most memorable in gaming.
2011 – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks)
It’ll come as no surprise that Bethesda’s sprawling RPG epic took the win in 2011. All these years later, thanks to endless re-releases and a wonderful community of modders, Skyrim is as engaging a game as it ever was. An expansive world to explore, an obscene number of quests to indulge in, and… you know what, you’ve played Skyrim. You get it.
2012 – Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season One (Telltale Games)
A heartbreaking, harrowing adventure that left players everywhere reeling from one of the most emotionally devastating endings in gaming. Even before that depressing denouement though, Telltale’s first season of The Walking Dead is one packed with smart characterisation, tough choices, and unexpected consequences.
2013 – Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games)
Rockstar’s second GOTY in just a few short years. GTA V is, as well you know, an absolute juggernaut of entertainment. It continues to sell incomprehensible numbers of copies, even six years later. But commercial success alone wouldn’t have netted GTA V this prize. It also happened to be a truly incredible piece of work, with one of the best-realised open worlds in gaming, and plenty of hilarious satire taking aim at America. Los Santos is an inspired creation, and one we’ll always come back to happily.
2014 – Dragon Age: Inquisition (BioWare)
With the news that BioWare is currently working on a new Dragon Age game, it’s reassuring to remember that the studio hit gold with the last entry. Dragon Age: Inquisition is a masterfully put together RPG, one that isn’t afraid to explore weighty political issues and embrace a layered, branching story. This was as good as RPGs got, quite frankly. Until the following year, that is…
2015 – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a masterpiece. Gorgeous, huge, surprising, hilarious, challenging, and ludicrously absorbing. The game’s two massive regions are utterly captivating, and couldn’t be more different from one another. The combat is crunchy and brutal, and rewards depth without punishing those unfamiliar with its intricacies. The acting, writing, and quest design is top notch. A deserving Game of the Year.
2016 – Overwatch (Blizzard)
Overwatch effortlessly earned its place as a juggernaut in the FPS space, and a titan of casual and hardcore gaming alike. Blizzard’s hero shooter is fast, chaotic, and above all, fun. While the game itself is a little light on story, hordes of dedicated fans quickly rallied to make the varied cast of brilliantly-designed heroes come alive in breathtaking fashion.
2017 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD)
Nintendo’s first attempt at an open world game (in the modern sense) was met with rapturous acclaim. With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nintendo looked at what made AAA open world games so successful, smartly cut what didn’t quite work, and added a bunch of uniquely “Zelda” touches. The result was 2017’s Game Of The Year, and our own Game Of The Decade.
2018 – God of War (SIE Santa Monica Studio)
2018’s God of War was a bold and brilliant reinvention of one of gaming’s most one-dimensional violent brutes. The Kratos of old had a compelling murder/vengeance quest that was pretty cool at the time, but games like The Last Of Us and The Witcher 3 proved that we ready for a little more depth. Thankfully, SIE Santa Monica Studio delivered with a stunning, thoughtful exploration into the consequences of a life filled with violence and regret.
2019 – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (FromSoftware)
Honestly, I think Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is quite possibly the most surprising Game Of The Year winner of the last decade. That’s not to say FromSoftware’s brutal ninja stealth adventure wasn’t an entirely worthy contender, but I honestly wasn’t sure it would beat Resident Evil 2 and Control.
What do I know, though? Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is truly fantastic piece of work, and arguably FromSoftware’s best work to date. An ingenious combat system and a beautifully-designed labyrinthine world work together to produce an unforgettable experience – one packed with heart-stopping moments of tension and epic boss battles.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to do so soon. Just proceed with caution: it really is one tough cookie.