The Best Games from the 2010s You May Have Overlooked

Some great games that can’t be missed

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The Best Games from the 2010s You May Have Overlooked

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Now that we have entered the next decade, the future of gaming is catching nearly everyone’s eye. The upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X promise unmatched console performance this holiday season, and major upcoming games such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Ghost of Tsushima look to be groundbreaking new games. However, there are still plenty of titles from the 2010s that are amazing to this day. Some fantastic games may have been missed by many gamers, so now is as good a time as ever to catch up on some lesser-known but great games. All of these games are under $20, as a bonus.

 

Katana Zero

Platforms: Switch, PC

Release Year: 2019

Playtime: Around 5 hours

 

Katana Zero is simply an excellent game. The time-slowing mechanic turns heart-thumping action into a slower strategy for a few moments at a time. The dense pixel art, illuminated by the glowing virtual neon of the game’s unnamed city, is consistently beautiful. The cyberpunk soundtrack matches the game perfectly. However, an unexpected highlight is the story. While most games such as this usually have a bare-bones approach to narrative, Katana Zero’s time-bending, twisting narrative rounds out a fantastic package.

 

Subsurface Circular

Platforms: PC, Switch, iOS

Release Year: 2017

Playtime: Around 2 hours

 

Game designer Mike Bithell has nothing but excellence on his record. His first two games, Thomas was Alone and Volume, had creative approaches to gameplay and narrative. Arguably his best work, though, is his third outing, Subsurface Circular. The game is largely a visual novel, meaning gameplay is pretty limited. However, the brilliance lies in the dialogue. The game uses focal points that you find through talking with others on the train. These focal points are then used for questioning different characters. Text-based puzzles are also inventive, such as manipulating a robot’s emotions to get it to answer your questions. The whole package is tied together by a brilliant story about robots and their treatment. If you like it, check out the game’s spiritual successor, Quarantine Circular.

 

Downwell

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS Vita, Switch, iOS, Android

Release Year: 2015

Playtime: Near-infinite

 

Roguelikes are often hit-or-miss: if done correctly, they provide infinite playtime that continues to stay fresh. However, they also can fail to provide meaningful gameplay for more than an hour or two. Downwell falls squarely into the first category to become one of the best roguelikes on the market. Priced at a measly $3, the game has you play as a boy falling down an infinite well, but with a weapon on his boots. Downwell’s easy-to-learn but hard-to-master gameplay, as well as a ton of upgrades and unlockables and appealing black-and-white graphics, make it a must-have for those looking for a new arcade-style game.

 

Minit

Platforms: PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4, iOS

Release Year: 2018

Playtime: Around 3 hours

 

Minit is an adventure game with a creative twist: your character starts the game by getting a cursed sword. The sword becomes yours to keep, but the curse is that you die every minute, meaning you have to be strategic in what you accomplish in each life. Built in the style of the original Legend of Zelda or similar adventure games, Minit’s world is filled out with an odd and lovable cast of characters and plenty of secrets to uncover. Playtime can be shorter or longer than 3 hours based on how much you explore the intriguing world.

 

The Fall

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Switch

Release Year: 2014

Playtime: Around 3 hours

 

If you’re a fan of sci-fi or point-and-click games, you owe it to yourself to play through The Fall. You play as the AI inside a human-operated futuristic combat suit. After crash-landing onto an old research base, your pilot is in critical condition, and you take control of the suit to search for medical assistance. A clever story digs into the sentience of artificial intelligence, and challenging puzzles require creative thinking to solve. The Fall is one of the more inventive games from the 2010s.

 

Bonus: Lots of PC-Only Indie Games

If you’re a PC player, there are a ton more games to weed through, since it’s much easier to publish a game on PC than on a console. Despite the excellence of these games, they haven’t been published on a console yet. Some amazing indie games to check out on PC include:

  • Gunpoint, a short-but-sweet 2D stealth game with refreshing gameplay
  • Superflight, a simple and relaxing flying game with an infinite amount of mini-worlds to fly through
  • Stick Fight: The Game, a hilarious and fun multiplayer game
  • Fistful of Frags, a free-to-play Wild West shooter that is rough around the edges but very fun with friends