It’s the end of the first decade of the New Millennium already. We’ve survived the Y2K bug, four years of George W. Bush, a terrorist attack on America, four more years of George W. Bush, Global Warming, the passing of icons such as Michael Jackson and Billy Mays, and what do we have to show for it?
Games. We’ve seen countless titles released for several systems. We’ve witnessed a generation’s death which birthed a fresh generation that then perished to make room for yet another generation. And we’ve played through all of this until our thumbs began to bleed. But what were the highlights of this decade? What were the best games from 2000 – 20009?
That’s something that we’ll never be able to agree on. In this post we have listed the Top Ten Video Games of the past decade as it pertains to six different members of the Everyview staff. You’ll love some picks and hate some others, so feel free to compliment us or call us idiots in the comments section. Also, feel free to leave your picks for the top ten games this decade.
Phil Michaels (Contributor)
10. God of War (2005, PlayStation 2)
Combining visceral violence with smooth as silk action, God of War is part thinking man’s game, part platformer, part “I’m going to rip everyone’s head off in this room” excitement. Whether you can stomach the gruesome nature of the game or not, one of my favorite parts has to be being forced to sacrifice an innocent guard in order to progress. Hearing his cries and shrieks for help as Kratos pushed him closer and closer to the incinerator, was quite disturbing… at first. Then I was like “aw, dude. Did you see that?” While not the best action game of the decade, God of War definitely deserves to lead off our countdown.
9. Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (2007, PlayStation 2)
Before Hideo Kojima ruined the lives of millions of MGS fans with Movie/Game Somewhat IV, the prequel to the past Metal Gear Solid games, MGS3 followed the story of Big Boss and the start to his rise of power. Subsistence is an advanced version of the original MGS3. It has added bonuses like videos as well as the ability to play with a free-roam camera like Metal Gear Solid 4 has. One of my favorite parts was the sniper fight with The End. It was a tense battle that could last upwards of an hour, constantly looking for the old man’s location, finding him, getting shot, and then having to go through the process all over again. It was a battle of endurance and the absolute shining moment of the game– besides the tear-jerking finale of the game.
8. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (2003, PlayStation 2)
The lovable duo return in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando for the Playstation 2 in one of their best adventures yet. The protopet toy onslaught has taken the universe by surprise, and it’s up to Ratchet and his robot sidekick Clank (or is it the other way around?) to save the day. This action-platformer brings the high-powered weaponry with it to take down big bad bosses and enemies both small and large. Increased usage of a weapon would power it up to be stronger, unleashing even more devastating force than before. Ratchet & Clank 2 has the best worlds, best soundtrack, and best platforming action on the PS2 making it number eight on our list.
7. Metroid Prime (2002, GameCube)
I wasn’t into the Metroid series until this game. Metroid Prime was the one that hooked me in. I didn’t really care about the whole “oh, no. Metroid isn’t an FPS” argument. Then I, along with millions of others, played through the game with my jaw dropped to the ground. Figuratively, mind you. This was an excellent game. I was just playing it to mock it, but no, this game was fantastically good! From the ambiance of the levels to the genius behind the level design, Metroid Prime put Texas-based developer Retro Studios on the map. Their next sequels wouldn’t have the same impact as the original Metroid Prime, but lo and behold, they’re one of more acclaimed Western developers now in this industry.
6. LittleBigPlanet (2008, PlayStation 3)
Play, create, and share– the mantra of the LittleBigPlanet series. The collection of created levels and objects online is just astounding. Not just be sheer size but by quality as well. The game’s developer levels are challenging, fun, and definitely inspire you to do your best when you create your own levels which is as easy as following the brief tutorials and leaping into the fray. Sharing your levels with strangers and friends online is an experience that can’t be measured in awesomeness. It’s a great innovation to the platforming genre and to games in general, it’s LittleBigPlanet.
5. Perfect Dark (2000, Nintendo 64)
The name’s Dark. Joanna Dark. Okay, it doesn’t work as well as Bond, but you get the idea. Take what you loved about Goldeneye 007 and expand it beyond your wildest dreams. More weaponry with secondary features, larger multi-player– this time with bots, more arenas, more hi-tech gadgets, and a deeper single-player mode makes Perfect Dark my personal favorite shooter of the decade. Call of Duty and Halo may have a more epic scale than Perfect Dark, but they can’t match the quality that PD possesses– even with the occasional framerate drops.
4. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (2009)
A game that might even be better than Super Mario Bros. 3 (blasphemy, I know), New Super Mario Bros. Wii takes it to another level after the mild disappointment which was the original NSMB on the DS. There’s both new and classic enemies, and each level has its own catch to it, constantly bringing something new to the experience from large, ominous spikes to icy wonderlands fit for new power-ups like the penguin suit and propeller cap. Bring in the return of the Koopalings, star coins hidden cleverly in each world, and one of the best final bosses in Mario series history, and you have New Super Mario Bros. Wii, a 2D fan’s wish come to life.
3. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008, Wii)
More Mario, you say? How about more Nintendo in general? Super Smash Bros. Brawl takes a wide assortment of the Nintendo elite including Mario, Link, Kirby, Yoshi, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Fox McCloud, Samus Aran, Captain Falcon, and newcomers like King Dedede, Lucario, Ike, and Captain Olimar. The stages are bigger and better than before with an all-star soundtrack incorporated into the game. Don’t forget the brand-new single-player Subspace Emissary mode, more trophies and stickers than you can smash a goomba at, and some of the best multi-player available on any system, and you have Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
2. Resident Evil 4 (2005, GameCube)
I remember never playing a Resident Evil game before and sitting down with RE4 being scared out of my wits at the chainsaw-wielding, burlap sack-wearing Dr. Salvador or being surprised when oven man came rushing out at me. RE4 was more about thrills than chills this time around contrary to past Resident Evil games. Regardless, it was Resident Evil 4 that gave me the most adrenaline rushes out of any game in a long time, and to this day I can go back and play through a portion of the game and find something new that I didn’t notice before. For thrills, chills, and bloody spills, Resident Evil 4 is difficult to beat.
1. Super Mario Galaxy (2007, Wii)
We’re not through with the portly plumber yet. This is it. The top game of the past decade — Super Mario Galaxy. Never before has there been such platforming perfection than this game. The music was on a grand scale, orchestrated, and much memorable. The platforming was never too challenging or too easy. It was the perfect mix of proper platforming. The player was constantly wowed at what obstacle, enemy, or galaxy they’d be introduced to next. Not to mention the whimsical nature and the sheer awe one gets as they play through the game. Bowser’s final level is one of the best designed levels ever in a platformer, maybe even a game. Without a doubt, Super Mario Galaxy is the best game of the past decade.
Zac Pritcher (Editor in Chief)
10. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008, Wii)
After my insane addiction to Melee, a game in which I logged nearly 300 hours of gameplay, I was unstoppable by the time Brawl rolled around. The third and best installment in Nintendo’s mascot fighter had everything hardcore Nintendorks loved about the predecessors and added new functionality like a more fleshed out campaign as well as online multiplayer. Needless to say, I’m well on my way to losing another 300+ hours of my life to this fighting franchise.
9. Metroid Prime: Trilogy (2009, Wii)
When it comes to First Person Adventure, no game even holds a candle to the Metroid Prime series. The original Gamecube epic is often considered one of the greatest games of all time. It’s sequel, Echoes, may not have received the same warm praise, but it was excellent none the less. And Prime 3 brought the adventure to a satisfying conclusion. This is three of the greatest adventure games of the last decade on a single disc.
8. Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (2006, PlayStation 2)
Despite its ridiculously convoluted and impossible to follow storyline, the Metal Gear Solid series has never had a problem attracting fans, and that’s for one very good reason; the games are consistently spectacular. And in my opinion, Subsistence takes the case as the series’ best. This game offers one of the most complete entertainment experiences out there.
7. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009, PlayStation 3)
While it may not necessarily be a very innovative or revolutionary adventure, it masters all of the elements of its genre wonderfully. Visually stunning, adrenaline pumping, and all around immersive, this is one of those rare games that you can play for hours on end and your buddies (or girlfriend) won’t mind just watching. Among Thieves is the best reason to own a PlayStation 3.
6. New Super Mario Bros Wii (2009, Wii)
This was the first all new 2D Mario Platformer to hit a console in over 20 years, and thankfully it’s also one of the best of all time. I’ve sunk countless hours playing this brilliant game both alone and with friends, and it has yet to get old. Everything from the creative level design to the addictive, classic gameplay help make this game a timeless classic that ranks amongst the best Mario games in existence.
5. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006, Xbox 360)
Never before Oblivion was the Free-Roam Adventure genre so well executed. In this game you are quite literally free to do whatever you, and no matter your decision, you will have fun doing it. Want to blast through the main quest and become a legendary hero? Sure. Wanna spend over 100 hours roaming the country side and performing side quests? Have at it. With countless books, spells, dungeons and weapons, Oblivion mastered the art of causing gamers to put their lives on hold for a video game.
4. Resident Evil 4 (2005, Gamecube)
Resident Evil 4 not only single handedly made the series relevant again, but it also reinvented the genre RE essentially created. Gone were the tedious controls, restrictive ammo counts, and claustrophobic hallways, and in their place came a revamped action oriented control scheme, plenty of loud guns and big explosions, and lots of wide open areas to do your killing. About the only thing I disliked about RE4 was the absence of zombies, but at least the new enemies made for more entertaining targets.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker (2003, Gamecube)
I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one, but I don’t care. Windwaker is my favorite Zelda game, and my favorite game of the entire last console generation. The art style is vibrant and beautiful, the world you explore is magical, the bosses are imaginative, and the cast of characters is unforgettable. Tons of secrets littered across the vast sea means you’ll never get bored and there is always somewhere new to explore. Gripe all you want about tedious traveling and the Cel Shaded style. This game is fantastic.
2. BioShock (2007, Xbox 360)
The first game that I’ve ever felt comfortable with calling a true work of art, BioShock deserves its spot as the number two game of this decade. The underwater metropolis of Rapture make for one of the moodiest, most visually stunning atmospheres I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing within, and every turn yields a satisfying surprise. The game’s story will grab you tight and hold on to you until the very end, and by the time you make it there you’ll be ready to do it all over again. A truly one of a kind experience.
1. Super Mario Galaxy (2007, Wii)
Surely you’re not surprised. Mario’s galactic adventure is one of the greatest games I’ve ever played, and is easily the best game to be released in the past ten years. The brilliant, unparalleled physics and perfectly designed levels help take Mario to new heights as he lets us guide him through his most memorable adventure yet. Never before have I encountered a game where every level would cause my jaw to hit the floor. There is no downtime. Every galaxy is more fantastic than the last. Every objective is as engaging as the one before it. Every step, jump, and spin is executed with a smile on your face. This game is unbelievable.
Andrew Majors (Senior Contributor)
To preface this, there is actually one game on my list that I haven’t played. So why did it make the list? More based off of a social impact. Also, there is also one game on this list I didn’t even love. So why is it on the list? Because of the impact. Why have I done my list like this? Because I have a love/hate relationship with games. I love playing games, but I hate most games. They’re too involved and require far too much time. And the Decade of the 2000’s saw me develop a regular social life. Sorry gaming nerds, but my list is going to suck.
I’m no gamer, but here’s my list.
10. World of Warcraft (2004, PC)
Starting the list is that one said game I’ve never played. But the impact of this game cannot be denied in any regard. It is, quite possibly, the most extensive online gaming network ever created. People have lost their lives in this game. If that isn’t the biggest sign that a game is a success (or the person playing a failure), I don’t know what is.
9. Max Payne (2003, PlayStation 2)
I loved this game on PS2, everything from the use of bullet time that led to exciting shoot-outs and the film noir-esque style of the game. The storyline always progressed nicely, and the game always struck me as the lovechild of The Punisher and The Matrix.
8. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (2001, PlayStation 2)
I don’t know how many hours I blew on this game. I always appreciated the simplicity of the game, you’re just going around on skateboard doing tricks and accomplishing goals. I loved the freestyle multiplayer competition levels where you and some friends could try to out-stunt the other. An easy way to pass some time, and I like that in a game.
7. Madden ’07 (2007, PlayStation 2)
My favorite version of Madden, and I would guess it’s because it was the one I played the most. I love the Franchise mode, and the ability to turn Joey Harrington into a Hall of Fame QB, and it also had a solid collection of new features like lead blocker control and the hit stick, which have become staples of the franchise.
6. The Sims (2000, PC)
I love the simplicity (a running theme on this list) of taking an avatar and just living its life. It’s like the video game equivalent of playing God, and that appeals to me.
5. WWF: No Mercy (2000, Nintendo 64)
The best Wrestling game I’ve ever played (I just got Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 for Christmas, so the jury is still out on it). This game finally took the concept of a pro wrestling game and really changed the game in terms of the storyline mode, one that adapted as your played, and took you down a variety of paths. Replay ability was sky high with this one, and until I sold my N64 last year, I was STILL playing this game.
4. Halo 2 (2004, Xbox)
Now, this is a game that I don’t particularly care for, but I can appreciate what it is. It changed the first-person shooter, and was revolutionary at the time. People were obsessed with getting this game, and the online features really gave this game a life of its own.
3. Grand Theft Auto 3 (2001, PlayStation)
My favorite of the franchise took gaming to the next level. It implemented a sandbox style of gaming, where the player dictated what was accomplished next, and is the game that did so perfectly, without bogging the player down with hundreds of side jobs or a gigantic environment. Plus you could pick up hookers.
2. Guitar Hero/Rock Band games
I’m completely middle of the road on these games. I think they are fun up to a point, but after the novelty wears off I find myself pretty bored. But I can’t argue that the concept is brilliant, and this is perhaps the only game that I have seen played at parties/group gatherings of both sexes and multiple types of people where the game became the life of the party.
1. Wii Sports (2006, Wii)
Don’t let the simple title fool you, this is the most revolutionary game from the decade. It brought arcade style gaming into your home, and appealed to multiple age groups. It’s simple, fun, and ground-breaking at the same time, and it’s a refreshing that a game that isn’t based on zombies, war, or require a lifetime commitment to enjoy for hours and months on end.
Brandon Majors (Contributor)
10. Grand Theft Auto 3 (2001, Ps2)
GTA3 made the list for the soul reason that it revamped the top down GTA series in 3D! It made old people and republicans everywhere shutter and started all sorts of wars against violent games and games with even the smallest hints of any sort of sexual theme. It never was my favorite game, but I think it deserves a spot.
9. Halo: Combat Evolved (2001, Xbox)
Most everyone has played Halo, and most everyone has played Halo’s multiplayer. This game was Bungie’s start to what we now all know is a franchise both milked for all it has, and a game that is evolving to fit more sequels and prequels than Final Fantasy. All in all the series has been a most enjoyable one, despite the long hours logged playing Team Death and CTF with squealing twelve year olds that perhaps others out there have also endured.
8. Resident Evil 4 (2005, Gamecube)
Japan’s survival horror franchise spawned its newest, prettiest sequel that wasn’t (to our delight and dismay) filled with rotting flesh husks of human beings hell bent on sucking your brain out through your skull like a piping hot cappuccino. The installation changed Resident Evil’s play style from a fixed camera horror game to an over the shoulder third person action movie of a shooter.
7. Halo 2 (2004, Xbox)
Bungie dropped the next in its line of Halo games and was met with success! The game brought back the herculean hero Master Chief, and offered up new guns, dual wielding, and the same great multiplayer that Combat Evolved introduced. The game would be the staple in most people’s online lineup. Halo 2 would last us until they finally released the third installation.
6. Monster Hunter (2004, PS2)
Monster Hunter was a sleeper that became an instant favorite for me. The franchise is a giant in japan, but didn’t fare so well here in the States. The game offered up to four man hunting parties in which players would venture into forests, mountains, deserts, and jungles in search of dragons, giant lions and other monsters with a multitude of weapons that could be forged by players or crafted from the spoils of dead monsters. Sure the controller mechanics were a tad bit difficult to master, but after getting down the control stick flick attack, you were golden.
5. Call of Duty 4: Modern warfare (2007, Xbox 360)
The game that changed the classic Call of Duty franchise from a series of World War II reinactments to a post modern fight against terrorism. An epic story filled with memorable chararacters and action packed moments that were remniscent of an action movie. The multiplayer pitted the world against eachother and introduced prestiging, letting the best players restart the multiplayer career with a new badge and 55 more levels to up their game.
4. Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind. (2002, Xbox)
The game that marked my first steps into all night gaming and excessive use of energy drinks to keep questing. Bethesda brought the massive world and lore from the Elder Scrolls to the next gen systems. Morrowind feature a 16 square mile island with dozens of miles of caves, dungeons, hundreds of monsters and NPCs as well as a custom character with near fully cusomizable armor, weapons, and for the first time in my gaming career that a game that said “Here’s the world, do what you want with it!” A game where you can make a living harvesting plants and making potions, or stealing from all manner of people. A knight, wizard, thief — anything you want, you could be.
3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009, Xbox 360)
Infinity ward brought back the award winning Modern Warfare series with what I see as a game adaptation of an action movie. A game that stirred up the world with its civilian killing mission as a U.S Ranger in deep cover as a Russian terrorist. The multiplayer was re-vamped and is offering up endless possibilities with its new lvl 70 cap and the prestige mode which offers up 700 levels total.
2. Fallout 3 (2008, Xbox 360)
Bethesda is known for there ability to create open worlds and near endless possibilities. Fallout was known for its post apocalyptic dystopia based on the 50’s golden age of science. They breathed life into the now nuclear corpse of what was Washington D.C. A wasteland filled with ravenous marauders and monsters awaits all those who exit vault 101. The game combined a traditional RPG with the firstperson gameplay of a shooter. Shotguns, rifles, laser cannons, flame throwers and other unique weapons fill the roster in addition to several Mad Max homages and notes to other Bethesda games.
1. Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion (2006, Xbox 360)
Bethesda upped the anty from Morrowind with the jaw dropping, blockbuster sequel that is Oblivion. The game let players do what they want, be who they want, and live how they want. Don’t want to do the main story? Play any of the other hundreds of quests available. Don’t want to do that? Spend your days stalking through the massive forests hunting deer and bears, using the spoils to fund more trips and equipment. This game won my number one of the decade because even to this day I still play it. The DLC for the game offers up even more possibilities within the epic adventure, and the visuals never cease to amaze me.
John Rogers (Contributor)
10. Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (2005, Xbox)
With absolutely amazing production values and an awesome online mode, this game kept me glued to my screen for more hours than I would like to admit.
9. Guitar Hero (2005, PlayStation 2)
Guitar Hero has had a massive effect on the way people discover music, and it’s a damn fun game.
8. Halo 2 (2004, Xbox)
Halo 2 was my first online gaming experience, and I lost the better part of my pre-teen years to it. I would do it all again.
7. Half Life 2 (2004, PC)
At the time of its release Half Life 2 was one of the most cinematic games I had ever experienced. It’s still a great game to go back and play, even after all these years.
5. Animal Crossing (2002, GameCube)
I’m a pretty relaxed person, and Animal Crossing understood me better than 2/3 of my previous girlfriends ever could.
4. Rock Band (2007, Xbox 360)
It basically took everything Guitar Hero did, and kicked it up a notch. The addition of singing components and a drum instrument really helped this game become a party essential.
3. Advance Wars: Dual Strike (2005, Nintendo DS)
Dual Strike is one the most simplistic strategy games ever, but its map editor and deep gameplay mechanics helped it become one of my favorite games of all time.
2. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007, Xbox 360)
Lovingly known as CoD 4, this game took online firefights to a whole new level. If you haven’t already played it, kill yourself.
1.World Of Warcraft (2004, PC)
I poured hundreds of hours into this game, and just about every one of them was worth it. The amazing open world and millions of choices you have are enough to keep you hooked for years. You don’t get 12 million subscribing users with hype alone.
Patrick O’brien (Contributor)
10. Prince of Perisa: Warrior Within (2004, Xbox)
Surprised to see this game on my list? This game has a special place in my heart. The gritty environment, puzzles and the story all caught my attention when I was an even younger lad. This game’s gameplay and execution pushed me into becoming the gamer that I am today. With the intense boss battles and evolving story, this game gets the tenth spot on my list.
9. Grand Theft Auto 4 (2008, Xbox 360)
GTA 4 is the most expensive game ever made, and it’s easy to see why. This game has a pretty damn good rendering of New York City and the realism is pretty good too. I mean there are even 150 songs on the radio and 2 hours worth of TV that you can watch instead of reeking havoc on the denizens of Liberty City. There is just so much to do in this game and the story is pretty involved.
8. Metroid Prime Trilogy (2009, Wii)
Now here are three games that I couldn’t beat without without a walkthrough. I just got sick of traveling and trying to figure out where the Hell to go. The level design and environment is astounding in each game. My favorite is most likely the first for the originality closely followed by the third to tie up the end of the Prime storyline.
7. Borderlands (2009, Xbox 360)
This game was a surprise. I personally thought this game was going to bomb. However the cell shading and the perfectly balanced RPG elements in the game paired up with great shooter elements is the making of a new type of genre. I mean it’s so exciting finding a gun that completely ousts all the other guns that you have acquired, and it’s even better when that happens every 20 minutes.
6. Bioshock (2007, Xbox 360)
There is a mistake! This is no game, this is art. The story and the game development and whatever the Hell else there is going on in Rapture is mind-boggling. Plus, I have always wanted to genetically alter my DNA so I can shoot electricity.
4. Mass Effect (2007, Xbox 360)
This games has breached into cinematic and emotional story telling thanks to the grandmaster game developers of BioWare. They have done it again in the world of RPGs, and they are continuing to do so with its upcoming sequels.
3. Fall Out 3 (2008, Xbox 360)
Bethesda took over this epic adventure and thankfully they did. This game has taken me on a road of exploration that I never thought I would get to see in my lifetime — the apocalypse. I really hope it happens soon in real life…
2. Half-Life 2 (2004, PC)
A classic in modern gaming terms today. The dystopic and fantastic world that half-life 2 thrusts you into is like an epic roller coaster that doesn’t want to let you off. Someday valve will finish Episode 3 and end Dr. Freeman’s journey. Personally I think they haven’t finished it because they don’t know how to end it well.
1. Assassins Creed 2 (2009, Xbox 360)
An incredible come back by Ubisoft Montreal. The predecessor to this game was quite repetitive and didn’t tell you enough of the story to be very interesting. Assassin’s Creed 2 took that to another level, changing how the story unfolds slightly and where the story takes place. Many questions are answered and many are formed. But this game’s concepts and ideas really can work with our shrouded history and the so called Pieces of Eden. It’s somewhat even believable.