Best Games of the Decade
7: Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018)
Guides Editor Chris Jecks: Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the biggest technical marvels when it comes to video games of the past decade.
Few open-world games feel quite so complete, so teeming with things to see and do. Fish to catch, animals to hunt, NPCs to talk to, a murder mystery to solve, a man raised by wolves, a mysterious UFO appearance, selling stolen wagons to fences, seeking out the legendary White Arabian horse, hijacking a train or throwing some helpless NPC under one; iconic gunslingers to hunt down, ample bars to pass the time in with a few games of blackjack, dominoes, or Texas hold ‘em. Yeah, there’s a lot in here.
That’s not even touching on the exemplary story that follows the Van der Linde gang during a time when the Wild West as we know it was being clamped down on once and for all. It’s a ferocious battle between bandits and law enforcement, and it harbors some marvelous voice acting performances to deliver truly immersive cutscenes and edge-of-your-seat moments.
The level of presentation throughout its entirety is simply next-level. Playing through the game in 4K on an Xbox One X or PS4 Pro is simply one of the prettiest you can find this generation with excellent character models and stunning performances, to individual hairs on your horse’s mane and NPCs that go about their daily routines as normal.
Arthur Morgan’s story is one of the most memorable I can remember from this decade, and even outside of the 30+ hour story, there’s still so much more to experience. It’s not enough to just read about it or watch a YouTube video of it. You have to be there, guiding your Arthur through these spectacles. Living vicariously through him.
Top it off with Red Dead Online that’s come along leaps and bounds since its initial release largely thanks to its Frontier Pursuits and you’ve got a game that simply keeps on giving. Westworld may not be a reality just yet, but Red Dead Redemption 2’s probably the closest you can get to it right now.