25 Best Video Games Of The 2000s. This might just be the greatest decade in gaming history. Game History Electronic games are changing how people play, learn, and connect with each other, including across boundaries of culture and geography. The International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) develops exhibits and undertakes other activities to interpret the historical and cultural significance of video games and other electronic games to ensure that.
The 2000s in video gaming was a decade that had been primarily dominated by Sony, Nintendo, the newcomer Microsoft, and their respective systems. SEGA, being Nintendo's main rival in the 1980s and 1990s, left the console market in 2002 in favor of returning to the third party company they once were. Overall the decade has seen the last of the low resolution three dimensional polygons of the 1990s and has entered the realm of High Definition games, and has often focused on developing immersive and interactive environments, implementing realistic physics, and improving artificial intelligence.
- 1Consoles of the 2000s
- 2Games of the 2000s
Consoles of the 2000s[editedit source]
Sixth generation consoles[editedit source]
The sixth generation of video game consoles officially began in with the introduction of the short-lived Dreamcast, which was discontinued in March 31, 2001. SEGA announced that they would no longer produce video game consoles after 2 successive under-performing consoles, and instead became a third-party developer. The PlayStation 2 was released, and became the best-selling video game console of all time. Microsoft entered the home console market for the first time with the Xbox. Although initially expected to struggle, it vaulted into a solid second place behind the PlayStation 2 on the strength of the launch title Halo: Combat Evolved. The GameCube, manufactured by Nintendo, launched in 2001 alongside the Xbox, but fell into third place, a first for Nintendo. The Game Boy Advance was launched as a replacement for the Game Boy Color in 2001. The sixth generation improved on the 3D graphics of the fifth generation consoles. Some of the new features in the consoles included built-in DVD playback, and built-in, or attachable hard drives. Internet play on consoles, pioneered by the Dreamcast, became commercially viable with the Xbox Live system, which was launched in November 2002, one year after the console's release. It featured a broadband connection and downloadable content and was a major success.
Seventh generation consoles[editedit source]
The seventh generation of consoles began with the release of the Xbox 360 on November 22, 2005. This was followed by the Wii and the PlayStation 3 in November 19, 2006 and November 11, 2006, respectively. The seventh-generation featured widespread implementation of HD graphics, media centers, and wireless game controllers, as well as complete online service for all three consoles. The PlayStation 3 also featured Blu-ray Disc compatibility. The Wii implemented an innovative game controller that featured full motion sensitivity, and is wielded like a remote, but had limited button interaction. In response, the PlayStation 3 featured tilt-sensitive controllers, using Sixaxis technology. The Wii's motion sensitive controls and focus on family-friendly games, while alienating some hardcore gamers, has helped the Wii to become by far the best-selling console of the current generation. The high price of the PlayStation 3 kept it in 3rd overall place, but it has slowly increased in popularity, allowing it to remain competitive with the Xbox 360, especially in locations such as the United Kingdom. Nintendo continued to dominate the handheld console market with the release of the dual-screen Nintendo DS in 2004, including successive replacements such as the Nintendo DS Lite and Nintendo DSi. The PlayStation Portable, released in 2005 by Sony, was the first serious competitor to Nintendo's handheld gaming consoles and is by far the best-selling non-Nintendo handheld.
Games of the 2000s[editedit source]
3D gaming[editedit source]
At the beginning of the decade, the only genres of gaming that were predominantly 3-dimensional were role-playing games (RPGs) and first-person shooters (FPSs). The real-time strategy (RTS) genre had seen its first successful 3D release, Homeworld, in, although it wasn't until the releases of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Age of Mythology that 3D became the standard for the genre
Computer game[editedit source]
The Sims, released by Maxis in, sold more than 6.3 million copies worldwide by March 22, 2002, to become the best-selling PC game in history, surpassing Myst. After Electronic Arts bought Maxis, the company produced numerous expansions, turning The Sims franchise, which has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide as of April 16, 2008, into the best-selling PC franchise in history as of March 19, 2008.
Interactive gaming[editedit source]
Nintendo has led the market in console interactivity. The handheld Nintendo DS, released in 2004, features a touchscreen. Game interactivity took a major step forward with the introduction of the motion-sensitive Wii Remote with the Nintendo Wii in 2006. The PS3 introduced a tilt-sensitive controller on its release as well.The 2000s has also seen the implementation of physics engines and increasing in-game interactivity into video gaming. Red Faction, a first-person shooter (FPS) released in 2001 for the PS2 and the PC, features one of the earliest examples of destructible environments in video gaming through its use of 'Geo-Mod' technology. Certain sections of walls could be destroyed to provide alternate pathways or reveal hidden locations. Half-Life 2, released in 2004, is widely considered to have revolutionized physics in gaming with its Havok engine, which allowed for what was at the time widespread interactivity with objects in the environment of the game, although very little of the environment was destructible. The Havok engine brought realistic physics implementations to real-time strategy (RTS) with Age of Empires III in. Black, a console FPS released in early 2006, allowed the player's weapons to extensively damage the environment. The PC games Company of Heroes (an RTS), released in late 2006, and Crysis (an FPS), released in 2007, both extended the implementation of physics in video gaming, featuring environments that were nearly entirely destructible and interactive. Since the use of physics engines has greatly increased since around 2004, so has the level of interactivity and destructibility in video games.
Rhythm games[editedit source]
The rhythm game genre took off in the late 1990s with Beatmania in 1997 and Dance Dance Revolution in 1998. Although beginning their lives in arcades, they made the move to the home console market and each spawned a number of sequels and spinoffs. The popularity of rhythm games accelerated in the mid-2000s, led primarily by Guitar Hero, which was released in 2005 and featured a guitar-like controller and licensed soundtracks. Initially available only for the PS2, its sequels have expanded the franchise to include all consoles. The developer of the first two Guitar Hero games went on to create Rock Band in 2007, which expanded the concept to include drums and vocals. Guitar Hero World Tour, released in 2008, added drums and vocals as well, largely in an effort to compete with Rock Band. The independent game Audiosurf, released in 2008, allows the user to play their own MP3 files and maneuver a spaceship-like object across a track to hit the music 'notes'.
Although massively multiplayer online role-playing video games (MMORPGs) began in the 1990s with such titles as Ultima Online (1997), Everquest (1999), and Asheron's Call (1999), during the 2000s, MMORPGs became a dominant genre among PC gaming. Phantasy Star Online, released on the Dreamcast in 2000 and later ported to the Xbox, GameCube, and PC, popularized MMORPGs for consoles, although it remains a PC-dominated genre. MMORPGs feature persistent worlds, player-driven economies, frequent content updates, and massive servers that contain thousands of players. Most MMOs also feature monthly fees to help with the massive costs required to maintain and continually upgrade the games. The MMO genre has gained much of its success by cashing in on previous popular titles (such was the case with Ultima Online and Phantasy Star Online) with such titles as Final Fantasy XI (2002), Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (2003), World of Warcraft (2004), The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (2007), Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (2008), Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (2008), and the in-development titles Star Trek Online, Warhammer 40,000 Online, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. World of Warcraft, released in, has established itself as one of the most popular games on the PC and set what are now the generally-accepted standards for the genre. Lineage II has established a large market outside of the United States, particularly in Asia, and is the second-most popular MMO worldwide. MMOs free of monthly charge, including MapleStory (2003), and Guild Wars (2004) have also proven to be popular.MMOFPSs have also been developed, although they have not gained nearly the popularity that MMORPGs have. Perhaps the two most successful games of this genre have been World War II Online (2001) and PlanetSide (2003).
Browser-based and independent Games[editedit source]
Controversial mature-content in gaming[editedit source]
The Grand Theft Auto series, notable for many violent and sexual plotlines, was a best-seller of the 2000s. The series' popularity sparked a fad of several Mature-rated video games based on including gang warfare, drug use, and perceived 'senseless violence' into the gameplay. The Hot Coffee controversy, a sex mini-game, was discovered in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and caused widespread controversy and have fueled efforts to ban the sale of Mature-rated games to minors. The effort has been spearheaded by mothers, lawmakers, and activists (such as Jack Thompson), although all such efforts to pass any laws concerning this have been firmly struck down. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was originally an M-rated game, but due to much controversy was later turned into an AO-rated game. However, the game was changed and was re-released as an M-rated game
Best-selling video games of the 2000s[editedit source]
This is a list of video games that were released in the 2000s and have sold over ten million copies.
- Wii Sports (Wii, 2006 – 21.56 million, packaged with system in all regions except Japan)
- Nintendogs (NDS, 2005 – 18.67 million)
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2, 2002 – 17.5 million, includes Windows and Xbox versions)
- The Sims (PC, 2000 – 16 million shipped)
- Gran Turismo 3 A-spec (PS2, 2001 – 14.89 million shipped)
- Pokémon Diamond Version and Pokémon Pearl Version (NDS, 2006 – 14.77 million)
- Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version (GB, 1999 – 14.51 million approximately, 7.6 million in US, 6.91 million in Japan)
- Grand Theft Auto III (PS2, 2001 – 14.5 million, includes Windows and Xbox versions)
- New Super Mario Bros. (NDS, 2006 – 14.16 million)
- Lineage II (PC, 2003 – 14 million customers)
- Grand Theft Auto IV (PC, Xbox 360, PS3, 2008 - 13 million)
- Pokémon Ruby Version and Pokémon Sapphire Version (GBA, 2002 – 13 million)
- The Sims 2 (PC, 2004 – 13 million)
- Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! (NDS, 2005 – 12.98 million)
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2, 2004 – 12 million)
- Pokémon FireRed Version and Pokémon LeafGreen Version (GBA, 2004 – 11.82 million)
- Wii Play (Wii, 2006 – 11.51 million)
- World of Warcraft (PC, 2004 – 11 million subscribers)
- Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day! (NDS, 2005 – 10.83 million)
- Mario Kart DS (NDS, 2005 – 10.45 million)
- Gran Turismo 4 (PS2, 2004 – 10.06 million shipped)
Playing games is something completely natural for us as human beings. It’s all in our DNA, in fact… it’s an indivisible part of the whole mammal existence.
I bet you’ve seen how the baby lion plays with it’s siblings. Or it’s the mother who’s initiating a fun pretend-chase to engage the cubs in an imaginary hunt for prey.
What about your dog running after a stick, playing fetch? It’s all fundamentally the same - all mammals are playing games.
We, of course, as the superior-mind type, took our favorite ones and found a way to incorporate them in the digital space straight after it began existing.
Need to Compete
Back in the days, where there was almost no technology existent, playing games was usually possible with people within reasonable distance - the family, your neighbors, your village. That created an unusual setback for one of the most popular games at the time - Chess.
See, it’s hard to find an equal opponent in such small social circles, because Chess is a game of logic and a specific skill. Match two unequal opponents and the game becomes boring for both sides. That’s why a way was needed to interact with more players. Believe it or not, people overcame that by playing Chess by mail!
That’s right, with the development of postal services, it was a secure way to send your move to your opponent and wait for his next action in an envelope.
Six years after the invention of the telegraph device, Samuel Morse (the inventor) wrote to Louis McLane that a game of Chess had been played using it. What’s even more interesting is that this happened before the publick reveal of the device, happening in the next month. Soon Chess clubs all over North America were doing it. Still, the by-mail play of Chess was formalised, but that didn’t happen until the beginning of the 20th century.
One Step Back, Two Steps Forward
The period between the two world wars marks a dark period for the evolution of gaming, with the world being occupied with its survival during the tough times. Two things were in favor of the game development though:
Wargaming had become a thing. Creating or replicating war strategies, new board games, people’s imagination was fueled by real-world events.
Technology was just about to start gaining momentum. With all inventions, driven by the need of technological supremacy from the fighting sides, it was now time to put the new creations and knowledge to work for the people.
So, the year is 1940, and even though the second world war still wasn’t nowhere near its end, Dr Edward Uhler Condom revealed a game machine on the New York’s World fair.
The game played was based on the Mathematical game of Nim. Some 50 000 people played on it during the fair, with a win rate against the computer around 10%.This of course, was just the start, its development again delayed from the events to follow in the next three years. The world will now see the first commercial home use gaming platform 27 years later!
The rise of something big…
According to lead market analysts, the Gaming Industry’s size is 159.3 Billion US dollars in 2020. That’s something, right? It took a long time to go there, but here we are, and it all started with the “Brown Box” .
The vacuum tube circuit, named “Brown Box” was revealed by Ralph Baer in 1967. It was the first game setup that was created for commercial, in-house use. One was able to play four sports games, as well as ping pong and checkers. Even more revolutionary were the first target shooting Light-gun and an attachment used to play golf.
This system was released officially in 1972, under the license of Magnavox and called “Magnavox Odyssey”
It has been claimed around 300,000 were sold. A failure in the eyes of the manufacturer, blamed mainly on badly-managed marketing and based on the fact that home gaming was still a new and uncommon niche in the American household.
No matter what, this was it - digital gaming as we know it today was born!
Rise of the Gaming Community
At this point the story becomes more familiar to the most. Sega and Taito were among the first ones to release arcade games - Crown Special Soccer and Periscope.
It wasn’t until the godfather of gaming created Atari, until household gaming really went viral.
In 1973 Atari started selling the video game Pong, priced at $1,095. Soon after the console started appearing in bars, shopping centres and even dedicated gaming cafes. Soon after, realising the potential, more than 20 companies started to develop video games for consoles, to suit the exponentially expanding market.
The first day of the internet was January 1, 1983. Make no mistake, it’s no coincidence, just a year after, Bill Gates released Donkey. To make it even more interesting, he provided BASIC code to programmers, so they can develop own games. It’s this action, that will set the future for the online games as we know them today.
First game to use the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is SGI Dogfight.
With the advancement of personal computers, more and more people move from consoles to desktop devices. But it’s not a case of entirely changing the stream, rather just splitting it in two.
Download free psp 3000 skins template for galaxy. Still handling a very important role, Sega, Atari and Nintendo still push for advancement, since their finding is that internet is too expensive and too slow to scale at the moment. Their attempts in creating Network games will not succeed until later, when the world web becomes stable and accessible enough to facilitate the demands of the gaming society.
In the early 2000’s, along with the Dot Com boom, came the real development of the internet and the Online games accordingly.
With programming actually becoming a thing, and Java being there to work with online browsers… it was all destined to succeed. Very quickly a new genre in gaming emerged - online games, a.k.a browser games.
Ignoring the Obvious
How many reviews have you read about a game that is played in a browser and doesn’t have a desktop or console version?
Moving fast through the 2000-2020 period, we saw incredibly growth in the digital sector. As far as gaming is concerned - the game consoles went from good to fantastic. Sony, Nintendo and Xbox are driving the innovation forward. At the same time, almost all game headlines available for those are good to be played on more modern desktop devices… and vice versa.
We’ve seen games so close to the real world experience, that it’s uncanny. But to note all those worth mentioning will probably take me an year (or at least to do it properly).
The games that most of us ignore - the browser games. In most cases those are free games that can be played from every browser… almost anywhere, as long as one has internet access.
Probably the fact most of the online games are free makes them less interesting. Of course… usually there aren’t millions poured into them, which just supports my theory, but as far as I’m concerned. They do play a role in the nowadays gaming reality. And a big one at that!
From your desk to your pocket
In the beginning of browser gaming it was Java that ran the show. Most of the games were made on Java and there was a reason for it.
One could do things unimaginable by then, which could be played free, from all over the world. All you need to do is to install the Java application in order to get the game running. Glorified days those were!
The more games there were, the more the idea about a real-time browser multiplayer arose. And so, with some clever thinking and with the increase of internet speed of course, soon there were some headlines experimenting with it. After quite a few successful attempts, player became more and more thirsty to explore the possibilities of the world network. More players usually means more fun, right?
IO was born
Marking a new chapter in browser games are the IO Games. In it’s core, an IO game is a massively multiplayer online (mmo).
The aim is simple - play with players from all over the world in a mass something… shooting, fighting, eating or just a game of a random skill. The father of IO games is Agar.io.
It’s the one that made these types of games viral. So easy - you just type in the web address, click a button and enter a multiplayer space with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of other players. And that happened not too long ago - the year was 2014.
At the rate IO games are created nowadays, there are probably tens of those emerging every single week. The future is still to show us how those will develop, but my guess will definitely be favorable.
Can it look more realistic please?
By 2008 the gap between Console and Desktop games and browser ones was apparent. Imagine what happened until 2014, when Java was clearly lacking behind and we’ve seen game headlines such as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, GTA IV and many, many more very realistic games.
This is where things took a turn for browser games - HTML5 was introduced. The language now had more capabilities and it presented a perfect platform for game development. By then we’ve seen a huge improvement in the online gaming landscape.
Things began looking more realistic for 3D games, didn’t require a very serious machine(yes, there are computers that still struggle with browser games) and of course inherited the two most important features of a browser game: They’re free and accessible from all over the world at any given time.
What does the future hold?
Although I’m 100% confident browser games will never take over Console or Desktop games, I strongly believe their future is bright.
There are millions and millions of people out there that find their simplicity attracting.
Apart from the obvious benefits, engaging in a time-taking and long adventure game offline(or even online) isn’t quite the thing they’re looking for. That’s why some of the most played browser games are the ones that are fun, but not too engaging long term, such as Mahjong, Solitaire and many, many others.
Bonus: The top played 15 free browser games according to my research of Google Keywords:
6. Mahjong Classic
7. Uno Online
8. Tanki Online
The History Of Video Games
2000's The History Of Video Games Timeline
15. Evowars.ioAuthor: Iskren Ruskov