Bestest Nintendos Of The 2010’s
With 2019 rapidly coming to a close, it’s time to reflect on the past decade and all of its many highlights. Specifically the video game ones, mind you. Even more specifically, let’s look long and hard at the best Nintendo games released over the last ten years.
Breath of The Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild made significant changes to the established Zelda formula for the first time in decades. Finally, that sense of wonder was restored to the series. You truly felt free to pursue your quest in whatever manner you chose, all while bathing in the majestic loneliness that permeates every nook and cranny. Every action feels valuable, every move you make flows naturally into the next one. You’re always itching to explore further, to seek out one more objective, one more distant landmark. This is a game that creates new gaming enthusiasts, that turns lapsed believers into devotees. Breath of The Wild might be one the best games Nintendo has made in their entire history.
Super Mario Odyssey
The most recent main series Mario game marked a return of sorts. Each stage is a puzzle box, to be poked, prodded, and endlessly obsessed over. The core possession mechanic introduced a host of fascinating powers in a measured, organic fashion. Better yet, Nintendo added a near-endless stream of collectible-hoarding content. This way you never have to stop playing if you don’t want to. Each of the levels feel deliberate and well-crafted in a separate fashion than the amusement park ride stages we’ve seen from the previous few games. This is a Mario game that encourages you to keep coming back long after the credits roll.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate
For a lot of players, nothing will ever be as good as Melee. For everyone else, Super Smash Bros Ultimate quickly became the pinnacle of the series. If nothing else, everyone moves faster, everything is punched up, and absolutely everyone is here. This game has so many characters it boggles the mind, and waves of DLC only boost those numbers further. This is a series that keeps slowly getting better. At this pace, the eventual sequel is almost guaranteed a slot in the next decade’s best of lists.
Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart is a franchise that evolves slowly but steadily. Every new iteration brings some small but significant changes to the stage, and Mario Kart 8 is no exception. But where previous games added weird mechanics or new items, 8 does both of those things. Also, there’s tons of tracks, riders, and vehicles. Much like Smash Bros Ultimate, this game takes all the good bits from every previous game and mashes them into one mega-title. The result is a feature complete release that begs to be explored, mastered, and continually returned to.
Super Mario Maker
Nintendo gave players the keys to the kingdom, bidding us all to do as we willed, with every tool at our disposal. In no time at all, we assembled a massive library of incredible stages, exhibiting creativity and skill to make grown men weep in their chairs. At the same time, having the power to do it ourselves highlighted just how masterful Nintendo’s level design actually is. Turns out making iconic stages isn’t as easy as we all thought? If nothing else, Maker earns a spot on this list for how firmly it was wedged into the collective consciousness right from the beginning. This is freedom we can’t get enough of.