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The Best Gaming Memes Of The Decade

Memes have transformed into an unstoppable phenomenon over the last ten years. To create a meme, you need only add a phrase or sentence to a still image, video, or GIF. While some frown upon spending time looking at memes online, dismissing them as the equivalent of fast food for the mind, you should not underestimate the power of an exciting and compact idea capable of uniting millions in laughter.


Great memes in gaming seem to come from either poor or excellent design decisions. A clever meme has the power to elevate a great work, but it also allows fans to create something fun and lasting out of an otherwise flawed or forgettable product. From bathtubs to "breathtaking" celebrity cameos, here are the best gaming memes of the past decade. Mild spoilers ahead.

"You're Breathaking" - Keanu Reeves/Cyberpunk 2077

In June 2019, CD Projekt Red presented Cyberpunk 2077 at E3. After revealing Keanu Reeves' portrayal of the iconic Johnny Silverhand, the actor appeared on stage to promote the title much to the surprise and delight of the crowd. During the presentation, Reeves described Cyberpunk 2077 as "breathtaking." YouTube personality Peter Sark couldn't contain himself and shouted "YOU'RE BREATHTAKING" at Keanu, who returned the compliment to Sark and the entire audience. After the event, Sark tweeted the video of the exchange, which now sits at almost one hundred thousand likes and over twenty five-thousand retweets. 


This organic moment gave birth to one of the most heartwarming memes in pop culture history. Keanu Reeves enjoyed the dubious honor of being a sad meme for the first half of the decade, so it's extra excellent to see such a cool person make a comeback. Fans have since filled the internet with images of Reeves calling everything breathtaking and the world is a better place for it. Oh, and Cyberpunk 2077 looks promising as well.

"Praise the Sun" - Dark Souls

Solaire of Astora is the only character willing to help you out of sheer goodness in the otherwise bleak world of Dark Souls. A peculiar looking knight, Solaire is famous for sporting a sun crest on his chest, the strange, wide-armed position he uses to show appreciation for the sun, and for his memorable dialogue. Everything about Solaire of Astora, including his famous catchphrase "Praise the Sun," is meme-worthy, and fans have made good use of this potential. Solaire is responsible for the unlikely popularity of terms such as "Jolly Cooperation" and "Sun Bro."


More importantly, Solaire's positive vibes have helped thousands of players push through the hardships Dark Souls throws at them. Despite his tragic demise later in the game, the memes assure Solaire of Astora will forever live in the hearts of players around the world.

"Peace Was Never An Option" - Untitled Goose Game/X-Men: First Class

2019's Untitled Goose game lets you play as a goose whose sole purpose is to mess with the people in its path. The game's peculiar premise, together with its fun mechanics and quirky looks, made the indie title blow up in popularity among even mainstream audiences. Naturally, an avalanche of memes followed suit.


The best of the bunch is "Peace was never an option." This meme originated from the best line in a tense scene from X-Men: First Class. Various still images surfaced featuring the message with other animals, such as one where a chicken menacingly stands atop an ax. Fans then replaced the chicken with the titular goose, taking the joke to new heights. There might never be an explanation as to why the goose is so resentful towards humans, but you don't need one to appreciate its antics.

Press F to Pay Respects - Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare

A well-made indie game can offer a more immersive and emotional experience than the best of movies. In contrast, a AAA title with no love put into it can have a smaller emotional resonance than Tetris. The developers of 2014's Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare believed they could heighten the emotional impact of the funeral of a character you've known for no longer than 10 minutes by having you press a button to pay your respects. This lack of emotional intelligence proved instant meme fodder, and hilarious spoofs of the "Press F" meme started appearing all over the Internet.


Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, which released the same year, committed a similar faux pas. In Mordor, you enter stealth mode to kill monsters but the game also features a moment where you enter stealth to bring up a button prompt that allows you to kiss your wife. This misguided effort to teach you to use an important game mechanic has drawn both criticism and the attention of the meme-making community.

Fortnite dances

The original Fortnite dance, which Epic took from the dance moves actor Donald Faison performed on the TV show Scrubs, may be the defining meme of the second half of the decade. It all started when a few kids decided to upload videos of themselves mimicking the iconic dance moves from the game, and millions soon followed suit. The developers took note and kept adding more dances to the game. 


Much like the title responsible for it, the meme became a hit overnight. Everyone has seen it, even the few people who don't know what Fortnite is. The meme also spawned some hilarious spin-offs. For a few months after its spike in popularity, any new video on a meme page could include yet another funny and weird reference to the iconic dance. Modders made sure the meme crossed over to other games, where you can now see characters outside of Fortnite performing Fortnite's dance moves. The dances became so big they even crossed over with other memes from other popular games.

Play of the Game - Overwatch

Overwatch's Play of the Game started out as a post-match showcase highlighting an impressive moment. The snappy presentation and catchy music that accompanies the video replays prompted several gamers to create hilarious Play of the Game compilations that have little to do with Overwatch itself.


The community has created parodies drawn from various forms of media, including television, film, and other video games. The further removed it gets from actual competitive play, the better. You can now watch Tom Cruise earning the play of the game by destroying an entire army of aliens or Mr. Krabs claim "Krab of the Game" during a colorful episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. Walder Frey from Game of Thrones takes the cake with a particularly hilarious take on the infamous Red Wedding scene.

"Megalovania" - Undertale

One of the best games of the decade, Undertale led to the creation of several awesome memes. Who can forget Sans, the beloved skeleton who lines come out in the dreaded Comic Sans font, or the Annoying Dog that ended up as one of the decade's staples in cuteness? All the great memes born from Undertale could fill an entire list. If you'd like to relive the wonder, there are numerous YouTube playlists you're sure to enjoy.


"Megalovania", easily the best song in from the game's already amazing song catalog, tops the list. Toby Fox, the game's creator, used his background as a musician to elevate the game significantly through its soundtrack. "Megalovania" is a melodic and energetic tune worthy of any final boss fight. It's great a meme by itself, but it also got remixed numerous times to create a new slew of glorious memes.

The creepy Marshstomp - Pokemon

The Mudkip is one of the cutest creatures from the third generation of Pokemon. The Marshstomp, Mudkip's evolution, also used to be pretty cute but started to look very weird from Pokemon X and Y onward. Fans didn't enjoy the change, but instead of complaining, they turned the ultra-creepy Pokemon into a meme. The picture of the creepy Marshstomp got Photoshopped into all sorts of scenarios where it looks like it might be about to commit some heinous crime.


Nintendo was very cool about it, and instead of ignoring or trying to shut the meme down, they expanded on it even further. They didn't fix the poor Pokemon's design, but they gave away high-resolution models of Marshstomp for fans to use in the creation of better memes. Though a nice move from Nintendo, the new models didn't feature the same creep factor of X and Y, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire.

Steam user reviews

Steam user reviews are not just a meme, but a meme-generating factory of their own. In 2013, Valve tried to allow the members of the gaming community to express their opinions on games by creating a platform where they could publish serious reviews everyone could read. Many rogue members inside the community thanked Valve by turning the platform into a complete joke. Though gamers have been unkind to Valve, the hilarious jokes stemming from this meme every time a new game is released have always been worthy of great laughs.


There are few experiences like diving into the pool of madness that is the world of Steam user reviews. You'll find all sorts of sarcastic writeups in there. The best ones tell you nothing about the quality of the game. When it comes to Steam user reviews, you should never expect honesty, but you can always expect hilarity.

Geralt in a Bathtub - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

One of the most iconic moments in a game about killing monsters involves everyone's favorite silver-haired protagonist enjoying a bath. Geralt of Rivia's bathtub antics at the beginning of The Witcher 3 have not only become one of the most iconic gaming moments of the decade, but one of the sexiest memes. Who could have predicted that a serious contender for the "sexiest meme of the decade" award would be just a guy relaxing in a tub? The simplicity is one of the best things about it. 


Fans have been crazy in love with the meme since The Witcher 3 released, a fact the people behind the The Witcher brand are well aware of it. Various types of Bathtub Geralt figurines have hit the market, and even the new Netflix TV series got in on the steamy action by featuring a scene that's an admitted tribute to Bathtub Geralt. 

"You Died" - Dark Souls

By now, you know Dark Souls is a very challenging game. It's so challenging that the ubiquitous Game Over screen has become a meme known for triggering both uncontrollable anger and deep despair on sight. Upon learning about the meme potential of Dark Souls' death screen, every video on the internet featuring someone experiencing pain could culminate with the "You Died" message. It might be simple, but you shouldn't doubt its versatility.


Just when it seemed like the meme had reached its full potential, modders got the game to say something else upon death. Some great examples include "Thanks Obama" and the more recent "You cheated not only the game, but yourself." This meme may have also inspired the hilarious memefication of the Grand Theft Auto "Wasted" Game Over screen.

"I took an arrow in the knee ... " - Skyrim

"I took an arrow in the knee" was one of the first remarkable gaming memes of the decade. It grew so big Skyrim fans wrote numerous articles wondering how such a monstrosity had come to be and later on how they couldn't stand it anymore. The meme is not to blame, though. It only grew to the point of saturation due to its inclusion as part of some misguided stock dialogue in the biggest and most popular game of 2011.


What makes "arrow in the knee" so funny is that it was intended to make guards seem like they had more personality, but it ended up painting the entire guard force as inept instead. Every single guard in the game says the line. One guard could have had his shot at being an adventurer blown by an arrow, but how did every guard in the world decide to go into the same line of work because of an arrow-related knee injury? Well, that's Skyrim for you.