The Highest-Rated Platform-Exclusive Video Games of this Decade (2020 list)
In today’s gaming landscape, nine times out of ten, releases are widely available across all of the different platforms, as hardware limitations and features are so similar that it’s easier for video game developers to get alternate versions of their games out than ever before. That isn’t to say that a lot of hard work doesn’t go into these iterations of different shapes and sizes, as it does with a shadow of a doubt, but the streamlining of some once-obtuse hardware hurdles has made the whole process a whole lot smoother and efficient – benefitting the developer and therefore the gamer massively in the long term.
However, as is tradition with every unique video game console, there are always some exclusive games that are available solely in one place, meaning that you’d have to choose carefully which console to go with to make sure that you get the best chance of playing the best games, or even consider buying a second (or third!) system to play everything if you’re a diehard fan.
Well, for argument’s sake, let’s take a quick look at some of the highest-rated platform-exclusive video games of this decade, as stated by Metacritic (which collates a wide range of outlet’s review scores in order to give a title a fair and overall review score). This generation of games (eight) refers mainly to the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch, and even the short-lived Wii U system, but the decade also encompasses some of the other titles between 2010-2012/13, when our current console cycle started to get introduced.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Nintendo Switch – 97/100
It will come as no surprise to those clued up on video games that Nintendo will always have some of the best exclusive games, as any that they develop themselves (such as Mario, Zelda, Starfox, Metroid, and Kirby) have a golden stamp of quality – a sort of ‘seal of an approval’ that assures a level of quality – and are also completely exclusive to Nintendo platforms, which means you can’t get them anywhere else at all!
Breath of the Wild took the world by storm when it launched alongside the Nintendo Switch in March 2017. Not only did the game have the usual trappings, strong audio showing and beautiful visuals of another main series Zelda, but the gameplay was so freeing and baffling, allowing you to climb on or jump off of anything that you could see, that it has since inspired a ton of open-world games. You might think that the exclusivity may have reduced this game’s appeal, but there was actually a brief period where the game had sold more copies than the console itself.
The Last of Us – PlayStation – 95/100
Launching originally on the PS3 before later getting a remastered, better-looking version on the PS4, The Last of Us is a brutal and emotional journey through an apocalyptic and zombie-infested the United States of America. Playing as the begrudgingly tasked Joel, the game was tense, violent, and thought-provoking in equal measure, with some great voice acting talent from the likes of Troy Baker, too. The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog has always been a Sony-producing studio, and sadly it doesn’t seem like any of their titles will see any life on other platforms.
Did you Know? – Porting a video game is not an easy process, and to ensure that players across a wide spectrum and gamut of systems in all shapes and sizes get to experience the same level of quality that a game can offer on one system, you’ll need a talented team behind you. For example, alongside co-development, game creation, and design/technical consulting, Abstraction is a game development studio that specializes in high quality porting of existing titles. They’re experienced in 16+ platforms and have worked on over 50 titles over the years. You can visit their website for more information on their contributions to the gaming industry.
Super Mario Odyssey – Nintendo Switch – 97/100
The quintessential Super Mario video game, incorporating elements from seemingly every single previous title in the series’ rich history and baking them into one complete experience, Super Mario Odyssey is a celebration of everyone’s favorite Italian plumber with a mustache. Taking place in a wide range of different worlds and wildly different locales, Odyssey is a 3D game primarily, similar to the tentpole Super Mario 64 or even Super Mario Sunshine, but it also features some fun and inventive 2D segments that reference Mario back to his original days on the NES.