The 2010s’ Most Significant Games (Zero Punctuation)


Well, I’ve done my best, worst and blandest
video because I’m as steadfast and reliable as your preferred brand of water-based lubricant,
but 2020 is an important year. It’ll be a while before we see another year that can
so perfectly form the frames of a pair of hilarious novelty spectacles. And it’s the
start of a new decade. Think of how far we’ve come in the last ten years. In 2010 I was
stuck in a small yellow room complaining about video games, and look at me now. I’m a little
bit fatter with a slightly less functional dick. Rather than summarise ten years’ worth
of best and worst games lists again – I mean who the fuck remembers Amy besides whatever
poor twathinge invested in it and presumably now makes their Christmas dinner by peeling
old lettuce leaves off the sides of compost bins – I’d like to run down a short list of
my most significant games and gaming developments from the last ten years. Remembering that
significant doesn’t necessarily mean good. I mean, a metal straw pushed up my nostril
until it penetrates my brain cavity would be a significant part of my day but it’ll
mean a poor Yelp review for your milkshake shop. The history of gaming in the 2010s could theoretically
be told entirely in open world games. If I were to pick one that represents them all,
I’d probably go for Far Cry 3. Which was pretty good, but it was where an unpleasant trend
was beginning to crystallize – the sandbox game becoming less open-ended cathartic adventure
than gigantic three-dimensional checklist of busywork, its map splattered with identical
copy-pasted challenges and collectibles designed mainly to torment the obsessive-compulsive
with a primary gameplay loop best summarised as “tidying up.” Where the stories gradually
devolved into withered strands of linear tutorial missions that don’t even have proper endings
‘cos we have to go straight back to the sandbox afterwards to hunt the remaining five hundred
silver pinecones. But if you want an exemplar, look no further than CD Projekt Red’s 2015
hit The Witcher 3, which showed that if you want a compelling open world game there really
is no substitute for putting the fucking work in, imbuing even the least of its sidequests
with carefully crafted story and character to create a game from which rich narrative
bleeds from every pore like the juices of a beautifully cooked roast. Plus you get to
see lots of lovely girls boobies. The Black Ops Series, Yahtzee? Have you been
mainlining Worcestershire sauce again? Think about it, viewer. With four games spanning
from 2011 to 2018, is there any series that better encapsulates the state of spunkgargleweewee
modern shooters in the 2010s? It’s like a barometer for shit. It starts with Black Ops
1 and that cold war era Manchurian Candidate plot that played out like an overexcited twelve-year
old downing pixie sticks hand over hand while giving his school report on the Cuban Missile
Crisis. That was while they were still riding off the high of Modern Warfare 1 when Call
of Duty still cared about at least try to take storytelling seriously. But over the
course of Black Ops 2 and 3 we see the gradual process of modern shooters giving less and
less of a shit until they can barely spare a single kernel of undigested corn. So suddenly
we’re dealing with super terrorists in the future with jetpacks and grapple guns and
robot uprisings until Black Ops 4 comes along, throws up its hands, stops pretending and
ditches the story altogether to drink from the overfilled catheter bag of live service
multiplayer. And rip off PUBG as well just to completely give the game away. Sooner or
later shooters always gravitate back to what people actually want from them: simplicity.
Run around, shoot things that aren’t you, bounce up and down on their lifeless faces
prostate-first. If only they’d rung up Doom 2016 they could’ve found that out for free. For a company that’s constantly bringing out
the same fiery turtle lizard kidnapping the same raddled old strumpet whose underskirt
region must by now resemble a First World War battle trench after a shipment of dodgy
corned beef, Nintendo’ve done a surprising amount of hardware innovation, and the Nintendo
Switch is the result of a decade of harsh lessons. First there was the Wii, that underpowered
little white square of hardened cum, in retrospect little more than a very inefficient way to
bring computer bowling to the nursing homes of the world. Then the 3DS, which thought
the best way to iterate on the winning dual screen formula would be to add a visual gimmick
about one step removed from a children’s pop-up book. Then the Wii U of course, it’s a console!
It’s a portable! It’s both! As long as you have a convenient forklift to move the portable
part around and don’t intend to go more than twelve yards. So after all that flailing,
we end up with the Switch. Which I have to admit, I’ve come around to. I have an office
full of gaming machinery but the Switch is the only device I keep in my living room to
dick around with in my off hours. Because it’s easy to set up, has a rich library of
curated indies and I have a pro controller now so I can actually play the fucking things
without bending my hands into hideous claws fit only for stirring pasta water and bringing
off female robots. But masturbation isn’t the only great thing
that’s best achieved alone. Often the most significant indie games come to us from small
if not solo developers, probably because they’re the ones who can take the big artistic risks
without having to worry about other people needing to be paid and saying unhelpful things
like “Is it strictly necessary that every single enemy be themed around faeces?” The
2010s brought us such innovative titles as Eric Barone’s Stardew Valley, a game courageously
asking the question, “What if Harvest Moon, but called something different?” Alright,
bad example. Lucas Pope brought us Papers Please and Return of the Obra Dinn, a superb
one-two punch demonstrating the unlikely storytelling power of bureaucracy. And how could we forget
Toby Fox’s Undertale, a lovely indulgent scented bubble bath of a game, equal parts nostalgic,
hilarious and moving, which I would probably call my game of the decade if I were in a
room full of people wearing internet meme T-shirts. But in terms of most culturally
significant solo indie game, I’d give that title to 2011’s the Binding of Isaac. A game
whose deceptive simplicity hides nauseating depth and which is partly responsible for
the explosion of indie roguelikes that continues to this day. Yes, Edmund McMillen, I blame
you. My first idea for this video was just to list
off my last ten games of the year with some token snarks and then knock off for spaghetti
and robots, but then I realised that this would leave Dark Souls unmentioned, since
I went from initially dismissing it to hardcore proselytism like when all the world’s insane
conservative grandpas discovered social media. Dark Souls is what I’d call my game of the
decade if the room was instead full of fat bearded dorks who unironically own swords,
but it might also be my most historically significant game, now that every other game
seeks to ape it and the media calls every milk float with a slightly stiff brake pedal
“the Dark Souls of commercial transportation equipment.” At the time it came out, franchises
like Uncharted were redefining games as cinematic experiences with all the depth and challenge
of a paddling pool half full of children’s activity sheets from popular chain restaurants,
and it took From Software to remind us that games are games, not just films where you
have to keep holding the remote, and they have their own strengths. Depth of exploration
and discovery, the satisfaction of overcoming meaty challenges. Real games never went away,
Dark Souls was saying. They were here all along, waiting around a corner to twat you
with a poleaxe.

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100 Comments
  1. MazeFrame

    ?
    Glug, glug, glug

  2. Tommy Vercetti

    1:19 – 1:35 I feel so identified with this

  3. Lee K

    In terms of solo/small team developed games, it always saddens me to see Rimworld ignored. An astonishing game.

  4. Atlas Titan

    Your talking about most "Significant" games of the decade, i thought you would mention Star Wars Battlefront 2. Whats more significant than the game that caused governments around the world to notice that gaming in the home is akin to gaming in the casino?

  5. Ave Imperia

    Minecraft?

  6. mcslob the third

    I'm surprised the new God of war isn't on the list

  7. Kayra

    In 2010 I was watching your videos on 0.5% speed and pausing every 5 seconds to catch up because I was just starting to get into learning English. It's 2020 now and your videos are one of the rare ones where I don't have to put the speed on 2x and fiddle with my phone every 3 seconds. I've heard your sniveling more than I've talked to most of my extended family, so thanks for that.

  8. Crafter David

    Hunt Down the Freeman is where it belongs. Perfect.

  9. malachi champion

    Hey Yahtz, might you consider doing a full review of Undertale? We know you love it (we all love it), but personally, I'd like to hear a more specific breakdown of what precisely it did to earn all that love. It'd probably be good for the record keepers, if nothing else…

  10. Jakob Maximilian Riedl

    I just finished my backwards 0p marathon yesterday. This coming out the day after was a pretty fitting conclusion.

  11. Bilbous Bagoda

    I don't understand why anyone would prefer RE7 over REmake 2

  12. swapertxking

    Bioshock Infinite? Really? It was a mediocre affair at best, should have gone to the original. Would you kindly.

  13. MrFlipperInvader792

    2:16 I need to see a gif of that

  14. Nemoy 2

    he never even mentions portal 2 but it's still his second best game of the decade
    like just begrudgingly "yes, valve always wins in the end lets talk about something else"

  15. FUNKOfilms

    Dark Souls might honestly be the newest game to spawn an entire copycat genre.

  16. SlenderFox

    Worst game of the decade: Hunt down the freeman
    Lol I forgot that game existed

  17. hd4011

    And I still fucking hate Dark Souls and what it brought to the table. Since then every asshole and their mom thinks a great game is making you exhausted and unable to move for 10 seconds for just lifting your weapon and every little idiot can one hit you with a small branch.

  18. Intergalactic Human Empire

    I felt Skyrim or Fallout: New Vegas deserved at least a passing mention for the amount of mods being released for them, even today. It’s a hard challenge to make a game people still care about a decade later.

  19. Niels Daniel Buch

    Hey yahtzee, the lubricant you use on your trilby is shit, next time try Mr. B.'s lube or Crisco if you are going really deep, and something tells me 2020 will provide ample opportunity to go really deep in a few developer bum-holes!

  20. Kaiser Karry

    Yhatzee, what about Minecraft and League of Legends? League of Legends basically solo carried the entire Esports scene to what it is now AND online streaming. Minecraft is goddamn Minecraft!

  21. Moltenslayer

    Not even a mention of Skyrim ?

  22. Maskami

    Oh shit Shadow of Mordor made the top ten! Hell yeah, I bought that game and the sequel because of him.

  23. Philip Balfour

    FOR GONDOR!

  24. Christian

    Can't believe he put Bioshock infinite as his top 10, looking back after you play it there so many questions and Elizabeth turns into an idiot and in the dlcs, a bitch!

  25. sweetamishbutter7

    How do you say "significant" and then go to the Witcher 3? Was it an amazing game? Yes. Did it make other developers start putting work in to make their games better? No. It's still a diamond in the rough which makes it pretty insignificant to me, nobody copied the model of hard work and good story telling so its not really significant. If this was a best games of the decade list then I'd be 100% on your side.

    This list is kinda all over the place. Not sure if you're trying to do an "influential games" like Jim Sterling or a "best games" but this is kinda in between. Whatever nothing really matters.

  26. Дмитрий Грязнов

    Personally, a little disappointed Hand of Fate (1 or 2) did not make it to the best games list. Tastes differ though.

  27. ProfPepper58

    What's that game with gman in the final worst list???

  28. Scott

    Dark Souls…also significant for making journos cry about games being too hard.

  29. Cameron Domes

    Great video, but some things were missing imo which is fair cause then it’d get long and these probably aren’t the most significant.

    Amnesia basically redefined horror with first person.
    Pubg sparked battle royale games and as much as I hate it, was the predecessor to fortnite which has had a pretty huge significance.
    Overwatch was the first huge hero shooter since tf2 and inspired a lot of games.
    Hearthstone has had pretty huge impact for card games.
    No man’s sky, anthem, fallout 76, and ac syndicate (I think that’s the one) as a package brought the push back on companies releasing unfinished games with lots and lots of promises.
    Finally battlefront 2 and loot boxes.

    Not all are the most significant games of the decade, but every single one has had a pretty huge impact on their respective genre and some on the future of games as a whole.

  30. orangeapples

    Oh Ride to Hell: Retribution 1%. You will never be forgotten.

  31. Cameron Heaton

    Yay, Yahztee compliment Nintendo. He loves it.

  32. JasonT404

    Lol hunt down the Freeman as the worst

  33. TRJTRY1

    I was expecting skyrim to be mentioned seriously how many times was that game re released

  34. Gazzz

    Bo2 was the last good call of duty in my opinion

  35. sf90001

    Spec Ops the Line is still amazing

  36. Brian Collins

    Imagine talking about significant 2010s games and not bringing up Minecraft, couldn't be me.

  37. Forseti, God of Justice & Excellent Pasta Sauce

    I was genuinely considering buying a sword just to hang on my wall.
    But now i don't want to go 3 for 3…

  38. David Pike

    I love how I can never know if I'm in agreement with you or totally against you.

  39. Le Phoque Bleu

    I don't even recognize the cover of his worst game of the decade :')

  40. klamercho

    I like that spec ops the line is there, good taste Yhatzee

  41. FIRST LAST

    Come on. I got half way though your Boneworks video before it got put to private….

  42. Andy

    A little surprised that Skyrim didn't make the list in some way.

  43. Lewis Dimmick

    Feels like your always chasing Jim Sterling's content with vids like these.

  44. Yuhara

    Huh. I expected him to mention skyrim. Is it not as significant as I thought?

  45. DESPECTIFY

    bro finally soneone who honors Undertale for what it is and looks beyond the toxic fanbase

  46. Quartz

    How many years has Zero Punctuation been a thing and the intro/outro music is still obnoxiously louder than the rest of the content?

  47. wizzardoffuzz

    What was the worst game of the decade there? I knew all the others but I couldn’t place the box art for number 1

  48. Elad Ku.

    Wat? No STAR CITIZEN?!

  49. litestudios

    No minecraft? It was 2011 right?

  50. Samuel Goad

    I cant believe Battlefield 3 was on the worst list, that game was endless fun, really zanny combat where Jets were glorified ubers and you could rekt more shop with three dudes on a skid loader than a tank.

  51. D2daK87

    Before I even watch it you can't choose dark souls cos demons souls started it and that came out in 2009

  52. Liam Cusack

    Unpopular opinion/popular hipster opinion: undertale was very overrated and the hype ruined what i expected to be the most mind blowing gaming experience of my life

  53. The Comedic

    You put undertale as your #1 best, then hunt down the freeman as #1 worst. As someone who has a very specific taste in video games, that does not include liking undertale, but does include hating HDTF, I'm conflicted about you, Yahtzee.

  54. Shawn Beachy

    I love how he had someone ask for the new fire emblem.

  55. Bobby K Bobette

    BioShock Infinite is a turd. RE7 is average as fuck. Strange picks

  56. Antony Evans

    Is this a re-up? Feel like I've already watched it.

  57. Heckin Memes

    Dark Souls.

  58. amilyester

    Bioshock Infinite? Really??

  59. Agan Mardrus

    Cant wait to see what'll be the twat with a poleaxe this decade

  60. TBO Anubis

    I knew Dark Souls would win this. Ever since he picked it up he’s flung it around like he found a lost love lol. Good choice though I mean DS(1-3) really make you think and test your patience on a regular.

  61. Lefteris Panagopoulos

    Other than bringing up its name as a competitor for your game, what do you think of the darkest dungeon?

  62. Trystan Williams

    What’s the music in between segments?

  63. James DeRosa

    The Binding of Isaac isn’t a “solo” indie game. Edmund McMillen doesn’t really program so much. Florian Himsl is given co-credit on design.

    This is like when people erroneously think Tim Burton directed The Nightmare Before Christmas.

  64. Zen Popcorn

    0:17 – dick

    Yahtzee I love you

  65. Normadic N

    Far Cry 3 is a masterpiece

  66. Cioponi

    That Princess Peach joke was brutal- Yahtzee’s really improving his sexual innuendo jokes

  67. Corvus Crump

    To another decade! Hopefully with a lot less capitalist gamblefisting and non-games and just as many cock and bollocks jokes.

  68. D. Hunter

    Thanks for the very last frame. I was gonna be like, ‘HEY! You forgot something!’

    No. No you didn’t.

  69. GreySolidusSnake

    If you don't put the original Xenoblade Chronicles on here your wrong.

  70. Dudebro

    Videos too short

  71. Bulger

    Ha! He acknowledged the rouglites. Now review risk of rain ya twat

  72. Liberalist Bat

    No horizon zero dawn? That's a dislike from me dawg

  73. Irritable Down syndrome

    I think Kane and Lynch 2 deserves to be lower than the order 1886

  74. Sea Song

    And here's a heartfelt cheer for you, Yahtzee, the most significant game critic on the internet. No hiatuses, no drops in quality, no staleness. Thirteen years of stellar writing, punchy delivery both visually and verbally, and a practically unmatched ability for cutting right through the industry's bullshit and trends, and unwaveringly speak about the very core of what quality games are made up of. There's no doubt in my mind he has opened up countless eyes to the power of finely crafted criticism; no matter how much you might disagree, you just cannot dismiss the words of this man.

  75. PieSky FlyGuy

    Yhatzee's initial review of Dark Souls is the only one that did that game justice.

  76. Thejarone

    Witcher 3?? you bloody fanboi… All of these were started by one significant elephant in the room… Skyrim. Like it or not, Skyrim is the one that pretty much set the stage. may not be the best but it had the greatest influence (by the way, Witcher 3 is not even that good)

  77. Kyle Brett

    I saw a 'legal eagle' video the other day on MxR's current legal issues and thought Yahtzee needs to something with more 'commentary' than critisism for covering-your-ass-legal reasons …and now this has materialised. Well played …well played.

  78. hmm you

    "Twat you with a poleaxe" is now my favourite threat

  79. mamuburaa

    He liked Bioshock Infinite? It's shit…

  80. Abhid Islam

    Time to look up Creatures 2 on the C64

  81. Goth Sloth

    Well, in 2030 we can hear about how boss Elden Ring was and what that did for gaming.

  82. Fawkes2099

    Black ops 2011… ahem 2010 "journalist" 😉

  83. Geoffrey Winn

    Cool video!

  84. Sam Butler

    I half expected you to say Clash of Clans, and I was ready to accuse you of copying Jim's homework

  85. Buff Awesome

    No Minecraft. Really?

  86. Michael Pruitt

    How does Yahtzee speak at 2.0X speed

  87. C.Griffin

    I think this video was really well put together, nice job

  88. Mitchell Woroniecki

    A lot of people here discussing Isaac vs. Gungeon, but why can’t we have both? I’ve put tons of hours into both. Isaac is tighter; harder; more rewarding, but the dumb fun I have in Gungeon is a pretty good balancer.

  89. themambawarrior2

    I… I don't think the Switch is a game, Yhatzee.

  90. Faliat

    How… How could he not mention Skyrim or New Vegas?

  91. Combo Broker

    Once again Demon's Souls has been forgotten about again that even Yahtzee forgot that was the game he first dismissed. I know it was last decade but it never gets credit.

  92. Jonathan Gorman

    I wish subnautica was mentioned or Minecraft they are petty good and yatz loved them both

  93. Magnus Haveland

    Do the new Fire Emblem. Heh, now I said it too!

  94. Skreezilla

    And the novelty Glasses will let you see 20/20! – as an optical dispenser this year is just me making bad jokes at work

  95. Steve McCord

    Skyrim.

  96. GAPIntoTheGame

    So grateful Yatzhee didn’t forget about Ride to Hell Retribution 1%

  97. Johann Gambolputty

    Glad to see Just Cause 2 up there in some capacity, I always thought it was really underrated… I certainly remember enjoying it alot anyway

  98. Matthijs van Duin

    0:37 "Who the fuck remembers Amy?" … Actually, there was a great speedrun of Amy done fairly recently at a Games Done Quick charity speedrunning event, look up "Amy by FoldableHuman in 41:45 – SGDQ2018". Terrible game, but great runner with entertaining commentary.

  99. MrWasjig

    Technically speaking, Ride to Hell hurk Retribution still holds the ZP Lifetime Achievement Award for Total Abhorrence.
    If nothing else I'm impressed the industry hasn't produced something worse by now…

  100. Kelly Hall

    "Press X to accuse Fredo" – I spewed coffee.

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