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Top 10 games of the generation voted for by critics and developers

Eurogamer has assembled and asked various video game critics and developers to form a list of what they believe to be the top ten games of the current generation. With the next generation of video game consoles from Sony and Microsoft launching in November 2020 now is the perfect time to find out which games developers and journalists believe have had the most impact this gen. While the Nintendo Switch (which launched much later in 2017 as opposed to 2013 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4) continues to pump out quality games and will do for years to come, you can expect its games to continue to feature in future lists. For now, here’s the top ten.

“It was interesting: there was a pretty strong consensus about the top games on the list – certainly about the number one – but after that there was a huge divergence of opinion, taste and genre that reflects just how thrillingly broad a church video games have become. Some massive pop-cultural phenomena only got one or two mentions apiece, while some rarefied indie games got a lot of support. (Admittedly, while we kept out of the voting ourselves, there was quite a lot of Eurogamer selection bias in the people we chose to spoke to.)”

Eurogamer

10. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
9. Threes
8. Nier: Automata
7. Slay the Spire
6. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
5. Titanfall 2
4. Kentucky Route Zero
3. Outer Wilds
2. Bloodborne
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

You can check out some of the games which didn’t quite make the list here.

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18 comments

  1. I agree with Breath of the Wild being at the top. It may not still be the best game to some, but I definitely think it was the most influential and innovative games of this generation. Also I am so glad Outer Wilds is so high up. That is an amazing game and everyone should play! Definitely my game of the year from last year.

    1. Influential, yes. Not sure I’d call it innovative. The most striking things it did in terms of design were specifically included as inspiration from the original NES Zelda. I don’t mean this as a criticism. Original NES Zelda is a masterpiece and its a shame that the series almost immediately ditched many of its best traits. The whole industry could serve to take these inspirations from the old days, so I’m more than happy to credit BotW for reintroducing them. I just feel the need to maintain that most of these aren’t new traits, as I’ve been asking Nintendo to start making Zelda games like this again for most of my life.

      1. That might be true, but most of these things have (probably) never existed in a 3D game before, at least not to that degree. and even then, I’d say Breath of the Wild took the original Zelda, like, 900 steps further. Additionally, one of the things that was very special about Breath of the Wild was how it was developed: they started by questioning absolutely every single convention of the series and asked whether they should keep it or scrap it. I’m pretty sure this approach was non-existent in the AAA game development scene prior to that, due to the high risk it poses. So even if we said the game itself wasn’t innovative (which I don’t quite agree with), it’s development definitely was, and I think just for that alone it deserves to be called that.

      2. A whole lot of this is going to need for us to get specific in order to have any kind of meaningful exchange, which would probably turn into 500 pages of comparing different aspects across games if we really wanted to do the topic justice, so I’ll try to avoid that.

        “most of these things have (probably) never existed in a 3D game before, at least not to that degree.”

        I think the original Dark Souls covered most of the relevant bases pretty well. Big world, you have pretty completely open freedom to explore it how you want. The world doesn’t care if you’re “strong enough” yet for the current zone. The secrets are legitimately secret, there’s no giant markings telling you where you can go through a wall. Variety of weapons, etc. Not to take anything away from BotW. I don’t want anyone to think I’m criticizing it here. I just don’t think I’d use the word innovative. It still easily deserves a high spot on the list.

        “they started by questioning absolutely every single convention of the series and asked whether they should keep it or scrap it. I’m pretty sure this approach was non-existent in the AAA game development scene prior to that”

        I’m not sure why you say this. Numerous devs have done this to reinvent games, to varying degrees of success. Doom 3, Final Fantasy XII, Resident Evil 4, etc.

      3. @cronotose I agree with you that the success of Breath of the Wild isn’t in innovation at all. For me, it’s about how this was Nintendo’s first true open world game and they delivered the genre to an unbelievable standard whilst keeping Nintendo’s trademark sheen of polish and quality. They made the open world:
        1) Interesting, with lots of unique sights to see, and great views and visibility of the world from many locations.
        2) Filled with content. Admittedly Koroks were pure filler, but the shrines were great landmarks, fun puzzles, and good reward for beating them with the quick travel.
        3) Fun to traverse around – and I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Link’s increased mobility in this game is what seals the deal. Climbing, gliding around with sailcloth and Revali’s Gale, or just auto-riding with Epona along the paths, it’s all great stuff.

        All of this has been done, it’s just rare to see a game that gets it all right at the same time. That’s why BotW is special.

  2. I want to give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt for having Breath of the Wild. The game itself is quite large considering how small the Nintendo Switch is. And to tell you the truth? I really enjoyed playing it especially when you have a horse otherthan Epona; you can be your own Link!

  3. Kentucky Route Zero, nah. Played it for the first time this year expecting great things but it was just ok.

  4. I’d probably put Bloodborne over BotW just because I can think of more things that I feel need fixing in BotW than I can Bloodborne.

    Though honestly, The Old Hunters DLC from BB might deserve a spot on this list by itself.

  5. 1. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
    2. Hollow Knight
    3. Nier Automata
    4. Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition
    5. Bloodborne
    6. Zelda: Breath of the Wild
    7. Persona 5
    8. The Last Guardian
    9. God of War
    10. Ori and the Blind Forest

  6. Hey Sickr, when PS5 and Series X go on sale, will you be able to show us if digital consoles are outselling the disk drive consoles? It’s not looking good for the future of gaming. Digital only is the devil. I hope the Series X and PS5 disk drive outsell their digital only versions. If they do then there is still hope. If not that’s it for gaming.

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