Submarine Channel

Top5's

Top 5 Games Of The Last Decade

Our impact manager Yassin Karmoudi walks us through his favorite games of the last decade. While social-isolating, we have the opportunity to play again the best titles of the last 10 years. Let’s take a trip down memory lane!

5. No Man’s Sky

Have you ever dreamed of becoming an astronaut? Well, I did. As a young child, I was constantly dreaming of going on adventures in the vast space…

Back in 2013, Hello Games announced No Man’s Sky and suddenly my dreams could become reality. But…

Well, when Hello Games released No Man’s Sky in 2016, it wasn’t a good game at all. Yes, you could travel across galaxies, but there was no goal. While I was playing the game for the first time, I felt like being the sole survivor of a huge galaxy with over 18 quintillion planets. There was nothing to do. After few hours of play, I deleted the game.

No Man’s Sky might be one of the biggest PR failures of the 2010s but it still managed to deliver waaaay after its initial release.

A couple of years ago, I started reading a lot of positive feedback on the new updates which improved the game significantly. I decided to give the vast universe of No Man’s Sky a second chance and… Holy shit! Finally, I was able to live my dream of becoming an astronaut and to discover the undiscovered and go where no man went ever before.

Hello Games is just a small team of developers based in London. Yet, they have created the largest universe ever. Literally. Every planet has its own flora and fauna and after several game updates the universe no longer felt empty. The universe is alive. Space pirates, trade alliances, they are all there, but what really sets the game apart is the scale of the game. Even if you could travel simultaneously from planet to planet, it would still take you 585 billion years to visit all planets. Just for the reference. Our universe is only 13 billion years old. Indeed. It’s one big fucking universe.

The game offers us a glimpse into the future of gaming. But how did a small team in London managed to build 18 quintillion planets, all with their own unique features in just three years? They didn’t. All planets are generated procedurally. Hello Games created the digital laws of nature and their digital laws created the universe of No Man’s Sky. That is what makes this game so brilliant. Every planet is truly unique. On one planet you can quietly enjoy the view while you collect the required resources to travel. While on another planet you have to be careful not to be eaten by a space lion or be killed by a nuclear thunderstorm. No Man’s Sky is perhaps one of the most important games ever. It showcases the future of gaming.

4. A Way Out

I consider myself a mainstream gamer and A Way Out is not a mainstream game. I need a game to be visually stunning and powered by an engaging story. A Way Out offers a bit of both but does not excel in either. What the game does excel in are the game mechanics. For example, it requires two players to cooperate to progress through the game.

Yes, you heard it right: there is no single player mode in the game. Indeed, A Way Out is probably best described as a co-op split screen prison escape game.

The story involves two con-men who are in prison and planning on breaking out. The co-op approach offered me a gaming experience I never had before. Think of it as a comic, where two panels next to one another simultaneously tell the story from two perspectives. And it works. While you’re distracting the guard, the other player sneaks into the backroom to steal screwdrivers. Later that day, one has to keep an eye out while the other is busy trying to detach the toilet from the wall.

A Way Out pushed the boundaries of gaming and, at the time, it was just a small independent developer who did so, accomplishing something many bigger games attempted to do. Honestly, if you ask me, there is no game better to spend time with your friends than A Way Out. Trust me, it’s an experience unlike you ever had. Buckle up and enjoy the journey.

3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

When I bought the Nintendo Switch, there were actually not that many games available. Mario Kart was especially fun to play against others on the couch, but I also wanted to have a single player experience, that would showcase Nintendo’s magic. Despite the fact that almost all Zelda games received a lot of praise, I never played a single Zelda-game up until Breath of the Wild. I was under the assumption that it would be a bit childish and therefore not my piece of cake. I knew so little about the franchise that I wasn’t even aware that the green hooded warrior wasn’t actually named Zelda. Zelda is the damsel in distress, the hero you play with is named Link.

When I started the game, it took a while before I realized how megalomaniac the game really was. Damn, this game is full of ingenuity. After a short introduction, you are free to roam the big world with just one goal: defeat Ganon. From the hill where you start, you could already see the palace where Ganon is preparing to destroy Hyrule. From that point on it’s up to you how you get through the game. You could run straight to the palace and try to defeat the great evil – which I wouldn’t recommend– or you could roam around, discover the immersive world of Hyrule and forging new alliances in order to save the world.

The game does not explain much, so you have to figure it all out just by yourself. Just like the good old times, before the internet provided walkthrough video’s and made life easy for all of us. To survive the cold night, you need to make fire. To make fire you need wood, but contrary to most of the games, Breath of the Wild doesn’t explain to you that there is actually an axe available to chop the trees in Hyrule.

Some opponents in the game are hard to beat, because you can’t directly tell what their weaknesses are. You could take the easy way and use YouTube to beat the opponents, but I found it very challenging to figure it out all by myself. Suddenly, I understood what people loved about this game. I was caught by the Nintendo Magic and I was attached to my console for weeks. Breath of the Wild was the perfect game to prove that their new console, which is a hybrid of a console and a handheld, is worth buying. So, whoever is in for a new experience, definitely check out The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch (which by the way is probably the best console of the decade). 

2. Grand Theft Auto V

I spent way toooo much time on GTA V and GTA Online. Despite the fact that the game is approaching its seventh birthday, I still regularly boot up the game to wreak havoc on the streets of Los Santos – the game’s version of Los Angeles. GTA is by far the game I’ve invested the most time into during the last decade. In fact, thanks to the game, summers passed along without me being aware of it and I actually almost missed a flight due to the game.

Why does GTA V earns a spot in this prestigious top 5, you could ask? If you have a game console, chances are that you own a copy of the game. Even now, in the new decade, the game is still managing to dominate the monthly top-10 best-selling game lists. There is a good reason why that is the case. First off, GTA V holds something for everyone. The game offers a narrative that most Hollywood screenwriters would be jealous of.

If you factor in the outstanding online feature which is still being updated 7 years after its release, it’s easy to understand why Grand Theft Auto V can be considered the pinnacle of gaming.

GTA V is a digital monument to pop culture. From music to popular movies, everything gets remixed and parodied in the game. In the end, GTA isn’t about robbing banks, or working your way up in the criminal hierarchy, it’s about mocking life.

The first time I entered Los Santos, it was breathtaking. Driving across the city, an icon started blipping on my radar. Somebody was getting mugged. The choice was biting: should I mind my own business or chase the mugger and retrieve the loot? And what to do with the retrieved money? Give it back ot keep it? I mean, if you’re good at something, never do it for free.

With this title, Rockstar proved once again that they’re the masters of gaming. While the world is holding its breath, I only wish to survive to experience the next Grand Theft Auto…

1. The Last of Us

The Last of Us was by Naughty Dog in June 2013 and boy, oh, boy, it hit me right in the feels.

The Last of Us is set in a post-apocalyptic world. Joel, the main character, is given the task to guide a young girl named Ellie to a camp on the other side of the country. Along the way, players must withstand the threat of other humans who are trying to survive at your expense and of creatures infected by a mutated strain of a fungus.

First off, the game is an outstanding mix between breathtaking world-building and an immersive story. For me personally, it was the first time that a game managed to make me cry.

The immersive gameplay redefined the concept of ‘destroyed beauty’. Although there are little people left in the world, the world in the game is brimming with life. Nature has taken control over most of the metropolitan cities and people are scavenging the little resources left.

I left no closet or drawer unopened as I traveled through the world. You can’t just shoot your way through the game, as there are just not enough bullets left. The game forces you to choose wisely when to engage in combat and when to sneak your way past your opponents. I know plenty of people who’ve never even touched a controller in their lives and yet they enjoyed watching a playthrough of the Last of Us. That’s why I can’t wait for the Last of Us II, which is scheduled to release June 19th, 2020.

Back in the early 2010s, online shooters were dominating the gaming landscape. Most developers jumped on that bandwagon and it seemed that the gaming industry saw no future in narrative single-player experiences. The Last of Us singlehandedly ushered in a new era and narrative-driven, single-player games are now hotter than ever.

By

Yassin recently joined Submarine Channel in the position of Impact Manager. He developed an unconditional love for stories at an early age. He grew up with his grandparents’ stories, cartoons, games, comics and so on. He was and still is addicted to stories, which is what motivated him to become a storyteller himself, so he could inspire others with great stories. Yassin started his career at Submarine Channel as an intern in 2014. He then worked as a storyteller at one of Amsterdam’s finest communication agencies, but now he’s back! Yassin spends his spare time writing and drawing. He’s currently working on both a book and a graphic novel. He visits the cinema on a weekly basis and he is a comic geek.

x

HELLO fellow human,

Please subscribe to the Submarine Channel newsletter. We will not bother you more than twice a month. Promise!