Ten years ago, neither Alex or I were playing video games all that much – at least not like we used to. On the threshold of a new decade, we celebrate the ones that compelled us to return.
In our first episode of the year, we look back on 10 games of the past decade that surprised and delighted us. Be it for their technical accomplishments, creative world building, stellar writing, innovative mechanics or genre-defying structure, these games left us wondering, “How was this even made?” We argue for their place on our lists, and why each uniquely impacted us.
Tune in, and peer into the rear view mirror with us. We hope you’ll walk away with some fresh perspectives and a list of games worth revisiting.
Additional Credits & Notes
- Alex Koval – my co-host – is a full-stack developer, aspiring radio theater producer, and lifelong fan of the horror genre. He currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA. Some of his favorite games include Resident Evil, Final Fantasy Tactics, Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Bloodborne, and Banjo-Kazooie.
- Music opening today’s episode is courtesy of Mono Memory – an 80’s inspired synthwave producer based in Edinburgh. The song is called “Crystal Beach” and can be found here on Bandcamp. Additional music came from the OST’s to each game as they were referenced.
Polygon graciously allowed me to write this intimate opinion piece for them, which explores my experience playing the long-awaited The Last Guardian and the parallels I drew between it and our bond with animals. It serves as an analysis of the game’s design, as much as it is a personal essay and investigation into the ways we all encounter animals in need.
Here’s an excerpt from the piece:
The Last Guardian doubles as an interactive metaphor for the discovery and rehabilitation of animals in situations of abuse or neglect. For being such a fantastical setting, it plays host to a cautionary tale that is grounded in reality. By offering us an extended glimpse into an abused animal’s perspective, The Last Guardian asks us to empathize: What does it mean to spend time in their environment? How are they a product of it, and how much can they change?
The full article can be found here, and I invite you to share your own story and/or takeaway from The Last Guardian.