Edge 10s: the greatest videogames of the last 20 years

Only a small group of landmark releases – important, brilliant, inspiring games which each defined a specific moment in the evolution of play – have been awarded an Edge 10. Here are the 16 videogames that have achieved it to date, and more importantly, the writing that led to each score. You can read each review in full through links in the game titles and images below.

Super Mario 64

“The world of videogaming has just changed forever. The prospect of what Nintendo can deliver further down the line truly boggles the mind” – July 1996

 

Gran Turismo

“No other racing videogame has ever offered players such a convincing and rewarding racing environment.” – January 1998

 

The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time

“The game singlehandedly restores the faith in both the creative might of Nintendo and in the power of the videogame as an entertainment medium. A work of genius.” – November 1998

 

Halo: Combat Evolved

“This is not hyperbole: this is the most important launch game for any console, ever. It doesn’t mean the XBox will succeed, but it does mean that, if it fails, it will leave videogaming with one perfect, eloquently coded moment.” – November 2001

 

Half-Life 2

“Half-Life 2 is a firstperson shooter. But in action, storytelling, technical achievement, atmosphere and intensity it has far outdone its peers. Valve just hit the top note no other PC game developer could reach.” – October 2004

 

Halo 3

“In substance it’s nothing new, merely a magnificent, beautiful monster of an FPS sequel. In concept and execution, though, Halo 3 is the future.” – September 2007

 

The Orange Box

“Valve’s genius is in the way it constructs its worlds through unspoken means – and The Orange Box is a perfect realisation of some staggering talent.” – October 2007

 

Super Mario Galaxy

“The ideas, jokes, twists, surprises, new games, rules and interactions simply never stop coming. In fact, they intensify into a ceaseless torrent of absurd details and insane conceptual leaps.” – December 2007

 

Grand Theft Auto IV

“Yes, there’s still the freedom to cause havoc, and inevitably you do; the difference is that you’re no longer impelled to toy with GTA IV’s world in quite the same sadistic way – you live in it.” – May 2008

 

LittleBigPlanet

“Work and play collide in this game with such unprecedented force that they become indistinguishable.” – October 2008

 

Bayonetta

“Bayonetta is the kind of game you dream of playing, the kind of game every platform needs, and the kind of game any developer with ambition would fantasise about having on their CV.”  – January 2010

 

Super Mario Galaxy 2

“This isn’t a game that redefines the genre: this is one that rolls it up and locks it away.” – May 2010

 

Rock Band 3

“Harmonix now takes its rightful place alongside all who have championed the gift of music, not to mention those who have, just as importantly, kept it in step with technology.” – November 2010

 

The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword

“Unsurprisingly for a game with a key mechanic that involves flinging Link into tumbling freefall, a glint of matinee idol derring-do is never far from its eye.” – November 2011

 

The Last Of Us

“Naughty Dog has delivered the most riveting, emotionally resonant story-driven epic of this generation.” – June 2013

 

Grand Theft Auto V

“It’s a remarkable achievement, a peerless marriage of world design, storytelling and mechanics that pushes these ageing consoles to the limit and makes it all look easy. As we stand on the brink of a new generation, GTAV sends an intimidating message to the rest of the industry. Beat that.”  – September 2013


To celebrate our recent 20th anniversary, we also retrospectively awarded seven new Edge 10s – you can read about them all here.