Clinton Keith: "Battlefield 1942. The sense of freedom and discovery that emerged from this simple FPS was compelling. There seemed to be an infinite number of ways you could play those original maps online. Plus this game was so flawed that the exploitations became part of the mystique and entertainment. One time, I learned how to "fly the submarine" above Guadalcanal. I strafed the enemy airfield firing torpedoes at the forces on the ground while my two sons were laughing their heads off watching."
Matthew Blankenship: "Okami - This game was innovative in terms of art style, gameplay, and storytelling. The game's art style is based on Japenese watercolors, umi-e. It's a look that works great for video games, because lies between "cartoon" and realism. The animations were particularly impressive. The gameplay of Okami, expands upon the 3D platformer adventure genre by introducing the Celestial Brush system of interaction."
"Even the playing of a four legged character had a
significant effect on the gameplay. Based off of Japanese folklore, the
story is told through more than just cutscenes, but also through the
environments and the characters in them. It is not my favorite game,
but it has had perhaps the largest influence on me as a game developer."
Thomas Langston: "Bioware's Neverwinter Nights released in 2002. Neverwinter Nights is not the prettiest game around, even in its time. What it did have was a fully featured, mod-able, and immensely popular set of module design tools. It was the spawning point for a slew of professional episodic downloadable content and user created content including a community created expansion pack..."
"The game featured fully fleshed out storyline and dialog that Bioware became famous for, in many ways because of this game. Alone, that story would have been worth the price of admission. The authoring tools though transformed a novel of game writing into a never ending story told through a world of authors' and actors' voices."
Jason Johnson: "Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. The dungeons are well thought out, never generic, and
some of them are real brain teasers. The battle system is simple yet
innovative. Fusing and leveling demons is very deep and rewarding. The
style and setting are dark, mature, and interesting, breaking most
every JRPG stigma. The story isn't mind-blowing but offers some decent
morality choices, and ultimately lets the player choose the outcome.
The graphics and character design are top-notch. The music is good.
There is tons of side-content. It's just all around superb, one of my
favorite games of all time."
Buck Hammerstein, EA: "Oblivion - I was immersed in the world for many hours and had the best game experience in my decades of gaming. It created believable characters and interesting quests within a well fleshed out world. It differentiated itself from other RPGs of the past with its ability to keep me engrossed from start to finish and still fills me with great memories of its colourful characters."
Anonymous: "Dreamfall: The Longest Journey portrayed a rich and lush series of environments and lore that could easily be adapted into other media without any sacrifice to any story element. Despite the sometimes gaping holes in consistency in the story, all the characters achieve a great depth of believability and emotional attachment. What makes Dreamfall different from other games is the dynamic and multi-threaded plot and character relationships. Out of all the games that I have fallen in love with over this decade, Dreamfall gives me the most influence and motivation towards my games."
Ricardo Silva: "Civilization IV
- The most perfect turn-based strategy game ever released. While it keeps
the basics of good old games in the series, it adds so much more that it will
be impossible for me to describe it here in short. It has very good
graphics, great animations,
completely extensible and moddable engine, perfect gameplay...
good netplay and best replay value ever in a game. In a decade where
dynamic, easy to play and fast games dominated, it kept the turn based
strategy game not only mainstream, but on top of sales charts."
Ed Alexander, Buzz Monkey Software: "Demon's Souls has managed to do what so many games have failed at: making difficulty fun. Back in the NES days many games were very, very difficult in comparison to today's games... But difficult games began to fall off because they weren't mainstream accessible. So for years games have been getting easier and easier to have a broader appeal, and that is fine... But the appeal for difficult games began to fade away."
"People got used to brute
forcing their way through a game, and if they couldn't brute force it,
they'd simply get frustrated and give up.
But Demon's Souls has changed that. A game where the fun is derived out
of not messing up. Out of paying attention and being careful... I want to see more games embrace Demon's Souls'
methods of teaching the player to be creative and observant, to
understand there are multiple paths to victory, they just need to be
open minded to experiment and try new things."
George Blott, Ubisoft: "Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. Probably much more impact in Europe than in North America (where Counter-Strike quickly took over the multiplayer FPS mantle), but I likely put more time into ET than all other games combined over the last 10 years. The balance of team based objective gameplay, with arcadey duel based shooting mechanics, and the smoothness of quake engine movement through space... beautiful! Half-Life 2 made me want to make games. But W:ET is still my favorite thing to play."
Jon Folkers: "My Game of the Decade is "Buying games that look cool but which I will never play." As I get older, I have more money than time. As time goes by, the accumulated pile of "good games" is always growing, and each holiday season sees more titles released than I could ever hope to play. Games always get cheaper with time, but I never get more hours to play. So I accumulate. Like the classic, endless "stay-alive" games such as Space Invaders and Asteroids, this is a game I will never win. Maybe in the 2010's I will get smart enough to stop playing it."