Mandatory Top 10 of the 2010s: The Most Addictive Video Games of the Decade
There has never been a better time to be a gamer. This past decade has seen the rise of powerful handhelds, virtual reality, and better console and PC titles than ever before. The only problem is that there’s not nearly enough time to play all of the awesome titles coming out and there are too many addictive video games competing for players’ limited time. As the decade comes to a close, Mandatory took a look at the 10 most addictive video games of the 2010s. Not that you’ll need much of an introduction, as you probably can’t stop playing them!
Cover Photo: Epic Games
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Since League of Legends released late in 2009, that leaves Dota 2 for our most addictive multiplayer online battle arena representative. Valve put out the successor to Defense of the Ancients in 2013, and it has been cultivating an intense competitive scene ever since. It all culminates in The International tournament, which takes place on a yearly basis, and has remained very popular. The title is fully free to play, so jump in if you don't mind throwing away a few hundred hours of your life. There's nothing quite like the blend of strategy and thrill that a good Dota match brings.
Photo: Valve Corporation
'Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn'
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games are notorious time sinks. Everyone has heard the horror stories about World of Warcraft ruining relationships, and the best MMO this past decade has been Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. It wasn't always that way, though, as the original release was quite terrible. However, Square Enix totally redid the game with the release of A Realm Reborn, and has consistently released high-quality expansions that keep players coming back for more. The latest is Shadowbringers, and it cements FFXIV as an all-time great MMO.
Photo: Square Enix
Never before has a game been so addictive that its creator took it off the App Store, but that was the case with Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen's mobile game. Flappy Bird was deceptively simple and was perfect for the iPhone's touchscreen. People spent hours trying to get a high score in the arcade game and it inspired hundreds of clones trying to capitalize on its success. It might not be played anymore, but it is difficult to forget the craze that happened in early 2014.
A more modern phenomenon is Fortnite. It took the battle royal formula that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds popularized and took it to new heights thanks to its free-to-play formula. Now the most-played title in all of gaming, you can't even go shopping without seeing a ton of Fortnite-branded merchandise. It has transcended gaming and is now a part of popular culture. Beyond that, though, it's a highly enjoyable third-person shooter whose colorful graphics allow it to be fun for kids and adults alike.
Photo: Epic Games
'Grand Theft Auto V'
To call Grand Theft Auto V addictive would be an understatement of the grandest order. The release has sold over 115 million copies and has been a huge hit on two generations of consoles. Despite being released in 2013, it's still regularly in the top five of sales charts as the decade ends. That's an incredible feat and it speaks to how great both the core game, and its online component, Grand Theft Auto Online, are. Rockstar Games has done an amazing job of adding new content to the online version for the past six years and it has paid off tremendously for them.
Photo: Rockstar Games
While beta forms of Minecraft were available in 2009 at the earliest, it wasn't officially released until Nov. 18, 2011. Mojang's popular sandbox game is centered around building blocks, crafting items from materials, and digging away at the land. While there is a survival element to the title, its creation aspects have been the game's biggest strength. Fans have been creating incredible spectacles inside Minecraft during this entire decade and they will continue to put hundreds of hours into it in the next decade as well.
Blizzard Entertainment was put in a rough spot when they cancelled their MMORPG Titan, but in the ashes came a team-based first-person shooter called Overwatch. Filled with a colorful cast of characters and class roles, the shooter was instantly a hit when it released in 2016. It most recently came out on Nintendo Switch, and a story-based sequel is on the way as well. So, don't expect to see Overwatch go away any time soon.
Photo: Activision Blizzard
Niantic brought augmented reality gaming to the masses with the release of Pokemon Go in 2016. The mobile game encourages players to go sightseeing and walk in order to catch Pokemon while outside. It quickly became a global phenomenon, and continues to get quality updates to this day. While the craze has definitely slowed down, there are still plenty of people trying to catch 'em all like Ash Ketchem.
Virtual reality has been one of the biggest gaming developments this decade, and Tetris Effect is the most Zen-like experience available. It's easy to lose track of time as players enjoy the always addictive puzzle game and its neon-colored backgrounds and moving music. As odd as it sounds, it can be oddly emotional to play, and many players find themselves strapping on their VR headsets in order to play just one more round of Tetris.
Photo: Enhance Games
A huge mobile phone hit, Threes has players combining like-numbered tiles together. The objective is to get the highest score possible, and it inspired a bunch of clones. One of these is 2048, which actually became more popular the the original since it was free rather than a paid app.