SotC3Recently, for work, I had to write up a Top Ten Games of the Decade. Top Tens are my gaming phobia. I won’t normally be drawn on my favourites because it would tear the fabric of my soul to leave something out. Top ten over a decade though is not so bad. Also it was for work so it’s not really my top ten, is it? It’s the top ten of the publication, representing the gaming public’s favourite and most influential titles, as researched by me. The research was interesting though. I realised fairly quickly that ‘The Noughties’, as they are obnoxiously known, wasn’t actually that great a decade gaming-wise. What I mean is that in most Top Tens of all time you’ll find that about eight of the ten games are from the previous two decades. There have been some great titles though. Of course few of my personal faves made it into the article as mine are mostly JRPGs and arty games. That’s not to say I wrote the article completely dispassionately.

I got my family, Dan and Max, to write out their top tens and I wrote out mine and then we argued the cases for and against each one. It was actually very useful and I was convinced by quite a few passionately fought campaigns. I don’t have Dan’s list any more as he wrote it on a kid’s magnetic magic board but he did manage to talk me into including Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in the final cut. The argument that struck me was that this was the game that introduced forgiveness into gameplay, that let you take back a mistake and try again, with its time reversal. It seems now so normal for games to be quite forgiving but that’s definitely a quality nurtured in this last decade. He also convinced me to replace Ratchet and Clank with Jak and Daxter – a game that had, if you recall, no loading screens. However, in the end, neither made the final list. A shame but well that’s the problem with top tens isn’t it? There are only ten slots.

I did hang on to Max’s list. Do remember he’s seven years old. I think he may be some kind of mad genius:

LBP31. Magna Carta 2
2. Kingdom Hearts 358/2
3. Little Big Planet
4. Street Fighter IV
5. Shadow Hearts: From the New World
6. Final Fantasy XII
7. Eye Pet
8. Tales of Vesperia
9. Star Ocean: The Last Hope
10. My Sims Agents

Here’s the list I would have of my own favourites. As long as I wasn’t expected to justify them, these would be my top ten of the last decade:

Eternal Sonata21. Okami
2. Ico
3. Dark Chronicle
4. Bioshock
5. Portal
6. Beyond Good & Evil
7. Final Fantasy IX
8. Fallout 3
9. Eternal Sonata
10. Metropolismania

It’s a new year now though and a new decade begins. Let’s see what ‘The Teenies’, as they’ll be obnoxiously known, will bring.