Tears, fears and Doggos: Best PlayStation games of the past decade (2010 - 2019)

Best PlayStation games of the decade
Best PlayStation games of the decade (Image credit: Jose Negron/Android Central)

The 2010s sure flew by, didn't they? 2020 is almost here, so the Android Central gaming team decided to sit down and discuss some of our favorite games, characters, and more that graced our lives over the last decade. Some picks were easier than others, and a few strong voices managed to get nominations onto the final list. Take a look at what we loved (and didn't) over the last 10 years in gaming, starting with the best PlayStation 4 exclusives.

1. Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn banner

Source: Sony (Image credit: Source: Sony)

This pick was almost unanimous across the entire team. While this open-world title from Guerrilla Games hooked us in with robot dinosaurs, it kept us playing thanks to a breath-taking, tragic, and ultimately hopeful story about the overuse of technology, corporatism, and climate change. The game's lead, Aloy, exudes everything about the game's themes. Her determination to rise above her station and do her part is drenched in optimism. In the year 2019, we're faced with an unknowable future, and the game reminds us that we can still conquer and rise above it all. It's a beautiful game that will keep you entertained for hours with lush landscapes but will stay with you even after that excitement has waned. It's just short of a masterpiece. - Carli Velocci

2. The Last of Us

The Last of Us

Source: Sony (Image credit: Source: Sony)

Naughty Dog created one of the most emotional, impactful, and unforgettable adventures with The Last of Us. Post-apocalyptic media is usually rife with meaningless action sequences and little story to care about, but The Last of Us bucked the trend — creating an intimate narrative while still keeping tense enemy encounters when appropriate. It was hard not to get invested in Joel and Ellie's lives, and that we care so much for these characters speaks volumes to how well Naughty Dog wrote them. When you combine that with gorgeous graphics, beautifully-crafted levels, meaningful combat, and a fully-realized world you'll understand why The Last of Us is one of the best games ever made. -Jennifer Locke

3. God of War

Kratos screaming

Source: Sony (Image credit: Source: Sony)

With God of War, Sony Santa Monica reinvented an iconic character and rebooting him for a modern age. It took a hyper-violent warrior and forced him to confront his own fears and memories while trying to raise a child. This father-son story follows a weary warrior into an unfamiliar world drawn from Norse myth, bringing Kratos once again into conflict in a way we did not expect. Incredible combat, stunning visuals, and a harrowing story backed by spectacular performances are all here, making this one of the PlayStation 4's top exclusive games. Oh, and this game introduces the Leviathan Axe, which can be thrown and called back to your hand in one of the coolest gameplay mechanics ever. -Samuel Tolbert

4. Marvel's Spider-Man

Spider-Man webslinging

Source: Sony (Image credit: Source: Sony)

Getting a good superhero game hasn't been easy and getting a good Spider-Man game was a long time in the making. Sony used its license to one of Marvel's biggest stars and commissioned a PS4 exclusive, and after what seemed like an eternity it finally arrived and boy was it good. Every detail of Marvel's Spider-Man delivers. First, there's the open world of Manhattan, beautifully recreated and populated with bad guys, landmarks, easter eggs, even the Avenger's Tower. Then there's the web-swinging, one of the notoriously bad parts of Spidey games since Spider-Man 2, which Insomniac absolutely nailed. While the looks and the mechanics are easy to praise, the story should never be forgotten. It's so well written that you'll laugh, you'll cry, and then you'll wish this was in the MCU. Packed with drama and classic villains, Marvel's Spider-Man is easily one of the finest games to come out on PlayStation in the last 10 years. -Richard Devine

5. Bloodborne

Bloodborne enemy

Source: Sony (Image credit: Source: Sony)

FromSoftware made its name with the Dark Souls franchise, but this is another shining masterpiece in its portfolio. The game forgoes Western fantasy and trades it for a gruesome, gory, Gothic atmosphere that is the very manifestation of the word "dread." As a Hunter, you can wield all manner of Trick Weapons and firearms against werewolves and other Beasts as you hunt through the streets of Yharnam. Appearances are deceptive, however. As you delve further into the night, you'll find that madness and insight into the unknown are irrevocably linked. What seemed simple gives way to all-conquering horror, and what seemed like mere flesh is something beyond all understanding, ripped straight from the nightmares of Lovecraft. If you are in the mood for a difficult, dark game, this PlayStation 4 exclusive is well worth grabbing. -Samuel Tolbert

6. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Sam and Nathan Drake

Source: Sony (Image credit: Source: Sony)

It can be hard to wrap up an iconic series and create a satisfying conclusion for some of the most beloved characters to ever grace PlayStation, but that's what Naughty Dog did in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. Nathan Drake went on one last adventure for the sake of his brother to find the long-lost treasure of Henry Avery. The cinematic set pieces and action sequences the series was known for were out in full force, and the platforming and puzzle-solving were as fun as ever. Once you picked up the controller to start the game, it was difficult to put it down. Naughty Dog ensured that longtime series fans weren't let down by how it all ended. -Jennifer Locke

7. Until Dawn

Until Dawn

Source: Sony (Image credit: Source: Sony)

This was a contentious pick. The horror title from Supermassive isn't scary enough for some and might be too scary for others. It might be messy, have some problematic depictions of mental health, and spawn moments of pure frustration. However, there's no denying that Until Dawn did the choice-driven game better than a lot of its peers circa 2015. It gives you a plethora of characters to either fall in love with or hate, along with actors like Hayden Panettiere and Rami Malek putting in top-of-the-line performances, but then goes the extra step of putting you in charge over whether they make it out of this supernatural slasher movie alive. This opens the door for a lot of replayability, with even the tiniest of decisions affecting the larger outcome. A game where the choices actually affect the story? Few titles have done it better. -Carli Velocci

8. Journey

Journey desert

Source: Sony (Image credit: Source: Sony)

Words and dialogue tend to be the backbone of nearly every story. But not Journey. It takes a special skill to tell a narrative through just visuals, and it's a good thing the art direction here was expertly crafted. Thrown into a vast desert with only a lonely mountain looming in the distance, you begin the titular journey. The mystery of what awaits is enough to entice any player forward, and you'll come into contact with the remnants of a long lost civilization that was left to fade away. Your journey doesn't have to be solitary, though. You're able to run into anonymous players to help you on your quest, even if you can't communicate verbally. -Jennifer Locke

9. The Last Guardian

Trico and the boy

Source: Sony (Image credit: Source: Sony)

The Last Guardian was in development hell for so long that no one thought it would ever come out. While it may not have lived up to every expectation set for it, The Last Guardian has a lot of heart and soul where it counts. Everything in this game only serves to strengthen Trico and the boy's bond, so much so that Trico could remind you of your own childhood pet. The story told means nothing if we aren't attached to the characters in some way, and The Last Guardian delivered on that spectacularly. -Jennifer Locke

10. Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet and Clank

Source: Sony (Image credit: Source: Sony)

One of the first games I played growing up was Ratchet & Clank on my friend's PS2. The nostalgia I have for it alone makes it hard for any sequel to top. So Insomniac went down the right path by developing a reimagining of sorts instead of a true sequel. Ratchet & Clank (2016) is how you should reimagine the original. It's like looking through rose-colored glasses. It's not a remake by any means and much of it is different from its predecessors, but the feeling I got when playing it brought me right back to my friend's living room all those years ago. And that's what a good reimagining should do. -Jennifer Locke

Honorable mention: P.T.

P.T. wasn't technically a full game, hence the honorable mention, but it made a huge splash when it dropped on PS4, arguably one of the largest of any game on this list. P.T., which stands for playable teaser, was released by Hideo Kojima as a way to reveal Silent Hills, a game that seemingly had everything horror fans could've asked for but was canceled before we could see it. P.T. isn't available to download anymore, which is a shame for a lot of reasons, but mainly because it's an extraordinary horror experience. You're stuck in a never-ending hallway haunted by a ghostly woman named Lisa, and to escape you need to uncover the mysteries of the family that lived in that home. It's tense, atmospheric as hell, and quickly became the inspiration for future horror games. That last fact alone makes it one of the most important games of the past decade. -Carli Velocci

AC Staff