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Throughout the week, Joystiq celebrates its tenth anniversary by revealing every author's favorite - not "greatest" - games of the last decade. Apart from selecting a number one, each record is unordered.For his high selection, Function Content material Director Xav de Matos discusses the industrywide implications which have advanced out of the release of a shooter sequel in 2004.Half-Life 2 - Valve / 2004It is probably not a daring choice, however Half-Life 2 represents more than a singular product to me. When it launched in 2004, it ushered in what would be the changing face of the Laptop market, particularly, it introduced the world to Valve's digital, Steam.Steam's introduction to the trade was rocky, littered with points when it arrived. But it surely has developed and in the final ten years Steam has grow to be the defacto Pc platform. In case your Pc game is not on Steam at this time, clients can be vocal in their disapproval.Half-Life 2 additionally handed the business another essential ingredient, the Source engine. Powering every thing from revamped basic mods as standalone video games like Counter-Strike and a plethora of artistic independent video games, the engine has additionally proven itself to be malleable sufficient to leap into the subsequent generation, Titanfall is powered by Source, for example. And where would we be with out Supply, perhaps we would miss out on different Valve classics, like Portal, Left four Useless, Crew Fortress 2 and the ever growing Dota 2.As for Half-Life 2 itself, why is it my favourite recreation of the last decade? Persevering with the story from the original Half-Life, which was a pioneer in story-telling, Valve launched us to a world after conflict. A police state that developed out of the mistakes made on the Black Mesa Analysis Facility. It introduced us to new and great characters, we played with physics and the gravity gun, and visited unbelievable locations that stand in my mind as a few of the best any sport has supplied. Stepping into the infested mining city of Ravenholm or walking off the train into a secured City-17 are some of my favourite gaming memories. Half-Life 2 told a narrative that, at its heart, is about endurance and survival within the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. I won't argue with anybody who says they hated the airboat sequence, but to me Half-Life 2 was level after level of new challenges, areas, and game kinds that we hardly ever see in games immediately. And that feeling of getting a new Half-Life? Seeing those promotional boxes on store shelves after waiting so long for a new entry within the collection? Lastly getting my arms on that game stuffed me with pure joy.I love the Half-Life series, it helped shape my notion of what an entire sport needs to be - games that place story in as high regard as gameplay - and I love Half-Life 2 and the unique for doing that. And in the future we'll learn how its story will end and we'll get our Half-Life 3. However most likely not ... Valve's really busy making hats for Staff Fortress 2, or something. It's killing me.Splinter Cell: Chaos Principle - Ubisoft Montreal / 2005While I contest that Splinter Cell: Blacklist is the better recreation, Chaos Concept wins a spot on my record for one explicit mission: The financial institution heist. There's a mission, a part of the best way by way of Chaos Principle, that sends Sam Fisher right into a Panamanian bank along with his eyes on discovering the identity of an arms supplier. As a way to cowl his infiltration, nonetheless, Third Echelon offers Sam a secondary goal: Make it appear to be a financial institution robbery. Guiding your approach by means of the twists and turns of the big building after accessing the bank by a skylight, dodging laser trip wires and pocketing $50 million in bearer bonds from a large vault is the best heist second I've ever had in any sport. It stands up as one of the best mission Sam has ever been despatched on, and the quantity of joy I had finishing it time and again is what places it on this record above the more refined Blacklist - a recreation I selected as my favorite of final yr, and one I've put over 50 hours into.Minecraft - Mojang / 2011Before it turned a sensation, Minecraft was this tiny recreation that captured the imagination of some mates who tried desperately to elucidate to me why they loved it and why I might feel the identical manner. To me, it looked and sounded foolish. I could not think about why anybody would waste hours of their time on a game that seemingly had goal or goal; one in every of the many errors in judgement featured on this list alone. Once i lastly took the time to play Minecraft I was struck by its simplistic creativity. Actually open world, Minecraft offers you little info and asks you to find things on your own. On land, in its vast seas, or deep on the core of your own world. On a floor level, the sport is about surviving onslaughts of enemies that come out after darkish, but hours later you end up building a portal to a new dimension with the only objective of discovering particular materials to make your house base look a little bit fancier than your good friend's personal rudimentary constructions. It is a rare sport that becomes as advanced as you want it to be based mostly on your own personal objectives. It is an exquisite experience and one I am completely happy to have been confirmed utterly unsuitable about.The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - CD Projekt Red / 2011My 2011 Sport of the Year was CD Projekt Pink's gorgeous and vicious RPG, The Witcher 2. Not to take away from every other RPG I've performed and enjoyed over the past decade, however nothing holds a candle to the alternatives obtainable and characters met in Assassins of Kings. The story is sophisticated, injected with the identical stage of political intrigue that fascinates viewers weekly with HBO's Recreation of Thrones. It is methods are very different and particular, its combat will be troublesome and thoughts-warping, however the Witcher 2 is a mountain of a sport. It gives challenge hardly ever seen anymore. Virtually like Dark Souls, The Witcher 2 refuses to tone down what it wants from a player to be enjoyed, endurance and perseverance. It is an exquisite sport and i urge anybody who has yet to experience it to leap at the chance earlier than Geralt of Rivia's story concludes in the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.Xenoblade Chronicles - Monolith Gentle / 2012A game that almost never launched in North America, if not for the outpouring of fans demanding its arrival, Xenoblade Chronicles lastly hit stateside retailer shelves in restricted launch in 2012. From the second the sport begins you're handled to a JRPG that makes substantial advancements to storytelling and gameplay. Its tale is about in an enchanting locale: A world literally built on the again of two massive dueling deities. Its combat system takes hints from MMOs and Western RPGs with cooldowns and particular skills, but positioning is essential to success. Additionally, Xenoblade Chronicles options a myriad of encounters that gamers should intelligently consider. It is not like typical JRPGs the place you roam and battle at random intervals, come beasts merely exist on this planet and only interact in the event that they feel threatened. Jason's Blog It removes the typical sense that the whole lot that isn't you and your party outdoors of town wishes on your demise. It's pure and lived-in. Xenoblade Chronicles features genuinely charming characters I needed to guard, an unique and mystical setting and a narrative about discovering your importance in a world that appears too huge to be impacted by a single particular person.Batman: Arkham Asylum - Rocksteady / 2009I remember enjoying Eurocom's mediocre Batman Begins recreation and pondering, "I suppose that is the best we'll get" when considering the historical past of Batman's video sport adventures. NES game aside, the respect video recreation builders have had for the license had been laid out next to the chalk define of Bruce's mother and father in Crime Alley for years. After which little-known developer Rocksteady got here out of a mysterious and magical place - I consider they call it London - to bring us Arkham Asylum. What adopted was a tremendous journey, featuring performances from voice actors that helped develop my fondness for the franchise as a baby in the early 1990s. I prefer the unique to the larger Arkham City as a result of it places Batman in a extra isolated situation. He's probably the most feared entity in Gotham, however stuck within the partitions of Arkham he's confronted with his total career. It is a monument to his success and it's slowly making an attempt to choke the life out of him. From its fight system to its gorgeous effects, Arkham Asylum is a tremendous piece of leisure that finally offered the Darkish Knight the respect he'd been uncared for.Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy - Midway Video games / 2004Psi-Ops is a recreation that was way higher than it ever deserved to be. Developed by the now defunct Midway Games, the third-person shooter featured loopy psychic talents and one of many earliest uses of a recreation that really embraced its use of the Havok physics middleware. MINECRAFT Grasping an exploding barrel with your mind and hurling it at an enemy who'd then blast the sky bouncing off any object it passes was embarrassingly hilarious. Later we would get video games just like the Pressure Unleashed which tried to follow in its footsteps, however didn't capture the same spark. The ability to take control of an enemy's mind, open fire on his squad after which leap off the aspect of a ledge sending him careening toward certain doom was a few of the dumbest enjoyable I had gaming in 2004. It is a bizarre and random choice, but I remember dying to complete work or college so I may get home to play the identical ranges time and again.Hotline Miami - Dennaton Video games / 2012Dennaton found the formulation for addictive gaming bliss: Rope me in with nostalgic graphical design, add buckets of blood, horse head masks, and among the finest gaming soundtracks I've ever heard and you have got your self certainly one of my favourite video games of all time. Hotline Miami is a bizarre sport, but its puzzle-like construction captured my attention when it launched in 2012. I've since gone via the sport again on Vita, exploring every corner seeking these hidden letters to get the "real" ending and that i at all times find myself pleased to replay outdated ranges. Did I mention the soundtrack? Great.Dark Souls - From Software program / 2011I've written quite a lot of features about how incorrect I used to be after i first performed and discarded Dark Souls. I've spilled a variety of blood in-game, struggling by way of every encounter and learning my mistakes. Dark Souls is a demanding sport, but one which by no means feels low-cost. Failing in Dark Souls is purely up to the participant. The instruments to dominate are all present, but only endurance is rewarded. Thankfully, I discovered the error of my ways.Metroid: Zero Mission - Nintendo / 2004There was some talk internally when I mentioned that I used to be going to pick out Metroid: Zero Mission as considered one of my favorite ten games of the final ten years. Some are adamant that it is a cheat as a result of it is technically a remake of the unique Metroid, however I contend that it's excess of that [and editor-in-chief Ludwig Kietzmann sided with me on that, so right here it's!]. Metroid: Zero Mission does follow the identical unfastened narrative featured in the NES basic, however it has completely new areas, new gameplay, and features a detailed story that outlines Samus Aran's origin, previously only actually fleshed out in manga. Samus is, by far, my favourite video game hero. Metroid Prime and Tremendous Metroid are amongst my favorite games of all time - each ineligible here - but Zero Mission introduces a new era to Nintendo's robust feminine protagonist. We study where she came from and who does not love an origin story?[Photographs: Nintendo, Ubisoft, Valve, From Software, Dennaton, ZOO Digital,Rocksteady, CD Projekt Red, Mojang, Monolith Tender]