By Quentin H. / December 18th, 2019
Operation Rainfall was founded June 22, 2011 in order to push for the localization of a trilogy of Wii RPGS: Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower. Since successfully achieving our campaign goals, we have moved to covering the latest and greatest in video game and anime news. In celebration of the 2010 to 2019 decade ending, the staff put together a list of the top thirty-one best games that you simply cannot miss. In order to qualify for this list, the game had to:
- Be released between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2019 in North America.
- Obtain at least a plurality of votes from our staff.
- Re-releases from this decade were allowed for consideration, if the new release was a substantive increase of content over the original. For example, 2012 Persona 4: Golden would qualify due to the heavy amount of substantive new content included in that re-release versus 2008’s original release, but the HD re-release of 2008’s God of War: Chains of Olympus as part of the 2011 God of War: Origins Collection would not due to the minimal increase of new content.
Our writers then came together, and each picked up several games that they have played and loved, and talked about why each of those games are one of the thirty-one best video games from the past decade in each of the pieces to follow. Furthermore, a special thank you to Brandon Rose for the featured logo image.
You can check out yesterday’s best games-of-the-decade piece, covering the years 2010 and 2011, here.
Our final list will be published over five days in order of release date, covering two years per article. Today’s article covers nine games that were released between the years 2012 and 2013.
6) Kid Icarus Uprising
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: March 22, 2012
Josh Speer says:
In retrospect, 2012 was a fantastic year for the Nintendo 3DS. Not only did we get totally new series like Bravely Default, we got returns to classics like Kid Icarus in Kid Icarus Uprising. Now, I freely admit I was not a fan of the original series Uprising is based off. And yet, Project Sora Co. Ltd. did such a phenomenal job of breathing new life into it, I couldn’t help but become a fan.
Split into aerial and land based chapters, Kid Icarus Uprising is a bombastic and experimental game that was totally unafraid to take chances. It featured lush 3D graphics, fantastic characters, better banter and very complex controls. This is a game that would hurt to play for too long, and actually came equipped with a stand to ease the burden on players’ hands. Despite all this, the varied stew of all the game’s influences made for a really unique experience. The only shame about Kid Icarus Uprising is that it didn’t get followed up with a sequel, or hell, even a remake on a large console. But even then, Kid Icarus Uprising is indisputably a one of a kind that amassed a cult following on the 3DS. Here’s hoping it’s not the last adventure of the decade involving Pit and company.
7) Xenoblade Chronicles
Platform(s): Nintendo Wii / New Nintendo 3DS
Release Date(s): April 6, 2012
Drew D. says:
Xenoblade Chronicles holds a very special place in the hearts of all of us here at Operation Rainfall. 2011 saw opainfall’s inception as a localization campaign. JRPG fans in the West sounded off and in 2012, Nintendo responded with Xenoblade’s Western release.
Xenoblade Chronicles tells the story of Shulk, a seemingly mild-mannered teen, who is thrust into the endless conflict between his people, the Homs, and the Machina. After the Machina attack his home and murder his childhood friend, Fiora, Shulk takes possession of the Monado, the only weapon capable of defeating the Machina, and vows to end the Machina threat once and for all. What begins as a personal quest for vengeance soon evolves into a journey of discovery, as Shulk unravels the mysteries of the world, their existences, and their own personal meanings of life.
Xenoblade Chronicles stands out as one of the most remarkably complete games of the past decade and, arguably, of all time. Xenoblade’s accolades include a fantastic story, rich history, well developed characters, solid gameplay and battle system, loads of side-quests, a beautifully detailed world teeming with creativity and awe, and one of the most perfectly complementary soundtracks that flawlessly ties story, action, and visuals together. Xenoblade Chronicles is truly a gem, one that will remain at the top of our favorites list forever.
Publisher(s): Sony Interactive Entertainment / Annapurna Interactive
Platform(s): PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4 / iOS / Windows
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Leah McDonald says:
Journey takes place in a vast desert and tasks the player with one simple goal: Reach the top of a distant mountain. That journey covers vast stretches of desert, subterranean ruins and snow-swept peaks as players advance using elegant gliding techniques, short bursts of flight, and simple communication between a random partner.
As thatgamecompany’s third game, Journey leans heavily into the company’s signature minimalist design, telling its story through environmental queues and sparse cutscenes depicting the history of the world in mural form. It’s up to the player to decide what story is being told, and what their journey to the mountain ultimately means. There is no dialogue or written text, and even player communication is done through abstract pings to one another. It’s a fantastic use of video games’ unique ability to tell stories through immersive and emergent gameplay, and showcases how interactive media can touch people and spark discussion in ways books and movies cannot. It’s obvious why this is one of our games of the decade.
9) Bravely Default: Flying Fairy
Publisher(s): Nintendo / SQUARE ENIX
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: October 11, 2012
Josh Speer says:
Bravely Default: Flying Fairy could have easily been a giant flop on SQUARE ENIX’s part. For one thing, it was them taking a chance on a new game with mechanics very much inspired by classic RPGs. Given SQUARE ENIX’s preference to make big, bold and new games, this was definitely a crapshoot. They also took a chance on a new studio, Silicon Studio. Yet despite all that, this 3DS exclusive was not only a massive success, it proved to gamers worldwide and SQUARE ENIX that people still have a yearning for classic RPGs.
That success was in large part due to how fresh Silicon Studio’s approach to storytelling was. Bravely Default did use old school mechanics, but in ways that were very novel. The give and take to the combat system encouraged players to take chances, and get rewarded accordingly. Plus there were tons of side quests to accomplish, classes to discover and lore to experience. And like any great RPG, Bravely Default had a great cast of memorable characters, perhaps none so much so as Edea. A wonderful and noteworthy adventure, and a definite contender for a best game of the decade.
10) Persona 4: Golden
Publisher: Atlus USA
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Release Date: November 20th, 2012
Jenae R. says:
Persona 4 Golden is the enhanced version of Persona 4. It’s still Persona 4 though, the overall story hasn’t changed. In this Persona title, the main character has moved to Inaba, a rural town where he will temporarily live with his uncle and young cousin. But not long after he arrives, people start turning up dead. He, along with his new friends, awaken their Personas and form their own investigation team to figure out what’s going on and try to save the citizens of their small town.
The go-to recommendation that gamers mention to new Vita owners is Persona 4 Golden. It is always stated as the best reason to own one and therefore, definitely deserves its spot on this list. When Persona 4 originally released on PlayStation 2, it wasn’t quite as packed with content as Persona 3 FES. Inaba is very much a small rural town and there’s only so much to do. This new re-release added a ton of content to the game. There’s a new character, a new town area to explore, a new dungeon, new music tracks and even an additional month to complete social links and sidequests. Plus, there’s obviously more story content to go with it too. Not only that, but there’s an extras section in the main menu with stuff added such as art slideshows and a music player to listen to the game’s soundtrack. Persona 4 Golden took what was a sort of empty and not as grand Persona game and made it so much better. Some of us who initially played it on PS2 came to love Persona 4 a lot more after playing Golden. Which is why it’s one of oprainfall’s games of the decade.
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