Ten games you should try after a decade of not playing games

A few days ago a friend of mine mentioned that he had enjoyed video games ten years ago, but one day he just stopped playing them. Maybe it was the lack of time, maybe the shifting priorities of getting older — it doesn’t really matter.

What matters that he feels like he’s “missing out”, as games can be as valuable pieces of entertainment as a good movie or book. It’d be a little daunting to start catching up with all the games in the past decade, so I thought a short list of great titles which are easy to pick up and not a huge time investment would come in handy.

So without further ado, here are some accessible and fun games which aren’t a complete waste of your time.


Portal

A concise first person puzzler about using portals to get from A to B, with a well written and humourous story — it will most likely leave you yearn for more. (And thankfully, it does have a sequel.)

Get Portal on Steam.


Braid

Looks like a good ol’ side scrolling platformer — but in fact Braid is a really clever (maybe sometimes a bit too clever) puzzle game that involves playing around with time. Come for the novelty, stay for the masterfully designed levels and riddles.

Get Braid on Steam, or on The Humble Store.


Cave Story

A side scrolling run-and-gun exploration game with sharp gameplay and captivating atmosphere. Might not reinvent the wheel, but it really shows off how to do this genre in a most amazing fashion.

Get Cave Story+ on Steam, or on The Humble Store.


Minecraft

As a name, as a brand, or as a phenomenon, Minecraft probably needs no introduction — it’s essentially virtual Lego. The game puts you in a randomly generated world of blocks, most of which you can mine to turn into resources, so you can craft various things to, well, do whatever you wish. Even if you don’t plan to build a 1:1 model of the Enterprise-D, it’s still fun to explore the forests and caves for resources, maybe build a small fortress or two — and survive the night.

Get Minecraft on Minecraft.net.


The Walking Dead

A really good take on how to modernise the classic point and click adventure genre. Raw gameplay takes the back seat, as this title focuses on the well written story and the choices you make, some of which can lead to pretty cathartic moments.

Get The Walking Dead: Season 1 on Steam, or on The Humble Store.


FEZ

On the surface, FEZ is a colourful li’l adventure game where you get around by toying with perception. Dig a bit deeper, and you find some of the most mind-boggling puzzles ever — at least, few games made me pull out a pen and paper to jot down my thoughts while solving its riddles.

Get FEZ on Steam, or on The Humble Store.


Thomas Was Alone

Another smart puzzle platformer with marvellous script which proves you don’t need the fanciest graphics to convey a great narrative and have a well designed game.

Get Thomas Was Alone on Steam.


Papers, Please

You’re a border inspector in a fictional soviet country, and you do what inspectors do: checking documents. What makes you come back for more mundane stamping is the overarching plot that happens around you while you’re simply trying to do your job to feed your family.

Get Papers, Please on Steam, or on The Humble Store.


Shovel Knight

A game that perfectly embodies the look and feel of old school 8-bit platformers — and does it oh so elegantly. Don’t be mistaken, it’s not a 8-bit game; but it’s how we remember 8-bit games. Turn up the nostalgia-o-metre to eleven!

Get Shovel Knight on Steam, or on The Humble Store.


Undertale

You’re a small child who’s fallen into the world of monsters. Gasp! Undertale is last year’s indie hit, a small Japanese RPG-esque adventure where your actions really matter. With charming characters, comical dialogs, and great music — anything said about Undertale would be a spoiler. Just give it a go.

Get Undertale on Steam, or on The Humble Store.