Best video games of the 00s

Seeing as we have threads about the best movies and albums of the decade, I figured video games deserve their own thread.’s Top 50 video games of the decade.
Onion A.V’s The 15 best videogames of the ’00s.

The list below are all games I’ve played and thought as excellent:

Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn & Throne of Bhaal
Beyond Good & Evil
Deus Ex
Grand Theft Auto III
Half-life 2
Independence War 2: Edge of Chaos
Max Payne
Metal Slug 3
Metroid Prime trilogy
The Operative: No One Lives Forever
No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Resident Evil 4
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Super Mario Galaxy
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Thief II: The Metal Age
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell
Tribes 2
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

Valkyria Chronicles
Dwarf Fortress

I probably have a few more to nominate, but those two spring to mind. The verdict is still up in the air concerning Dragon Age: Origins.

It was nice to see two underappreciated games I liked (Valkyria Chronicles and Beyond Good and Evil), get a little love. And it’s always nice to see Portal up there in the top 5. But I was surprised to see Half Life 2 (a game which I enjoyed, but not one of the best of the decade) and Shadow of the Colossus (a really excellent game, but not the best game of the decade imho) at the top. Still, it certainly gave me a couple three ideas on what to get myself for Christmas.

I’ve not played widely enough to really offer an opinion on the BEST game of the decade; the one produced this decade that I enjoyed the most was probably Knights of the Old Republic.

It has to be either Resident Evil 4 or Super Mario Galaxy–both fantastic games that are among the most innovative and revolutionary of this decade.

Fallout 3 has to be in the discussion. The detail and expansiveness of the ES games without the incredibly screwed up mechanics. A modern classic IMHO.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snakeater. MGS2 was a convoluted mess and MGS4, while really good, doesn’t really stand on it’s own as a game as it relies too much on previous knowledge of the series mythology. 3 though was just a great, relatively straightforward (for Kojima at least), cold war/espionage stealth/action game. Great mechanics with some memorable boss fights.

I’ll also third Valkyria Chronicles. Very underrated game that flew way too far under the radar. It will be regarded as a cult classic in the years to come.

Persona 3. Redefined how a lot of people, (myself included), thought of JRPG’s.

  1. Shadow of the Colossus
  2. Jet Set Radio (aka Jet Grind Radio)
  3. Shenmue II (and I didn’t like the first one)
  4. Knights of the Old Republic
  5. Super Mario Galaxy

I’ve played way too many games in the past decade to be able to narrow the list down, especially since for any one that I pick it reminds me of two more that might have to be selected over it. The odd man out in that is Katamari Damacy since the only thing comparable are its sequels. So Katamari with the stipulation that I like lots of other games and couldn’t select any of them as “best”.

Battlefield 1942 has to be in there somewhere.

Stuff I Play Mostly Alone

Civ 4
Dragon Age: Origins
Valkyria Chronicles
Persona 3
Demon’s Souls
Stuff I Play Mostly With Friends

Diablo 2
Warcraft 3
Super Smash Bros Melee
Rock Band 2
Soul Calibur 2

If you make me pick one game at knife point, I guess I go with Civ 4. These lists are always going to reflect the genre preferences of the people making them more than anything else: I like RPGs, strategy/tactics, and multiplayer competition stuff. I like the BioWare PC RPG style more than the Bethesda style. Open world games and WW2 type shooters don’t have a ton of value to me, even though they could be easily justified as filling someone else’s list.

That one list is a little crazy though - with Civ 3 on it over 4, FF 9 instead of 12, etc. Crazy talk!

  1. Okami
  2. Persona 4
  3. Twilight Princess
  4. Chrono Cross (released in US in 2000)
  5. Psychonauts

Wonderful game. Unfortunately, I know very few people who have had the opportunity to play it, but we picked up a copy off eBay and couldn’t put the controller down till it was beat. Amazingly simple concept (go kill each Colossus) but satisfying nonetheless.

Another one I want to mention is Siren. Released in 2003, this game consumed my life for a good amount of time during college, specifically before we bought the XBox 360 and only had a PS2. Great story, not bad game play, and just addicting because I always wanted to know what would happen next. My wife actually preferred to watch this game similar to watching a movie because of the plot. The same goes for Silent Hill games in general. I don’t know if any of those should be included in the top list, but they are definitely a consideration.

Brendon Small

::dons on flame retardant suit::

Deus Ex. I can’t believe it wasn’t even on that AV Club list.

One that has not been mentioned yet:
Mother 3.

It is a masterpiece from a storytelling perspective.

To be fair, it was #3 on destructoid’s list in the OP.

It was a great game. I loved playing the translation.

The problem, for me, is picking which Grand Theft Auto game gets the nod. I want to say Vice City, but GTA III really pushed the bar up and made Vice City possible.

I love me some Halo, which anyone even partially perusing these forums knows, but it’s not my number one. Hell, I can’t even make a list. There were so many damned good games that were out, I don’t even want to begin.

Same here on the GTA games. GTA 3 really set a new standard for action/adventure games but the proceeding titles really nailed the execution. Having played the games on the PS2 rather than the PC though I really felt the lack of an auto targeting feature. It really made the games more difficult than they should have been. Based on that criteria I’d pick San Andreas over GTA 4 as I had more fun with SA, it didn’t seem to take itself as seriously.


Ah, right.

I totally disagree with their assessment of Melee vs. Brawl, though.

Just sticking to PC games, which I know well, I’d choose, for this decade:

World of Warcraft
Knights of the Old Republic
Fallout 3
Civilization IV
GTA IV, though you could make arguments for Vice City or San Andreas