games / Columns

411 Games Top 5 07.20.13: Top 5 Games of the 2000s

July 20, 2013 | Posted by Sean Garmer

Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there, it is time to travel back over 10 years to a decade that made games an entertainment powerhouse.

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* This Week the 411 staff was asked to do something rather difficult. They were asked to make a Top 5 list of the Best Games of the 2000’s. Any game whether it be on a console, arcade, a Computer, or even a mobile device that came out between January 2000 to December 2009 (whether it be USA, UK, or Japan) all counted. The staffers were allowed to make their own decision as to how they wish to make their lists. So, none of them are “solely objective.” *

John Bateman (Reader Voice 2)

Honorable Mentions:
Drakengard: One of my personal favorite games to play on the PS2. I adored this game, plus the idea of riding a dragon and causing major hell was just epic.

Shadow Hearts~ a cult favorite of an RPG, if you could even call it that. but for those who found and played this magnificent game you understand why it is on this list. it is an amazing RPG with great mechanics, great characters, great story that kept you enthralled from the first battle to the last cutscene.

Onimusha~ it is a shame really. this entire franchise has been all but abandoned by Sega, after a pretty disastrous O3 but I really enjoyed Dawn of Dreams. This Series took me from Tiger Woods style fists pumps, to wanting to find the nearest cute animal and punt it like Morten Anderson. I would love to see Onimusha rise from the abyss and return to the PS4, but alas. only time will tell.

#5: Way of the Samurai: This is, in my humble opinion the ultimate open world franchise. what other game series allows you to not only interact with your open world but literally hack out a different path by killing characters and thereby altering the world in which you existed. you could become the land’s grand savior or the reincarnation of the Devil King of the 6th Heaven, the keep in mind that in the world of samurai, Good and evil intentions don’t always lead to good and evil outcomes

#4: Tales of Symphonia: the top RPG of the decade and in my top 5 of video games all time. the Tales series has seen it’s shares of highs and lows but that has never been more prevalent in it’s greatest production, Tales of Symphonia. two worlds struggling to survive, amazing story that to this day the Tales franchise has tried to rival and only came close with Vesperia. This is in my opinion one of the games you must play in your lifetime.

#3: Okami~ the year was 2006, the month after my birthday and I had money in my pocket from relatives and such, but I could not find a game that interested me. then lo and behold I come across Okami, which the guy at my local EB Games, raved about. it was sliced to a bargain 29.99 since it had not been selling well, and this was one of the final PS2 games to come out before the PS3 was launched. in my opinion if this game was the PS2’s swan song it sung louder than it ever had before. this game was beautiful for lack of a better word. it’s graphics were like watching an anime unfold on your screen. even though Clover was closed down after it’s release this game received high critical acclaim including IGN’s Game of the Year award. I still search for a game that can rival Okami’s combination of quality, length, difficulty, story and beauty.

#2: Suikoden V: I would have gone with Suikoden 2 but it came out in 1999 so it would technically be cheating. Suikoden 5 is the best game of the franchise to come out in the 2000s, and to my memory the last one to as well. fans have prayed for a Suikoden 6 to hit the PS3 as I am sure we will for the PS4, or at the very least have them bring our beloved franchise to the PS Store. Suikoden 5 I will admit had me gasping in shock, shedding tears, and screaming in anger as my own emotions got caught up with the story.

#1: Yakuza 1-4: My favorite gaming franchise of all time. I know some people will be mad at me for not choosing some pop culture favorite but this is my list. I never cared for Gears of War, I liked God of War alright, Halo was too short for me to really get into and meh I’m getting off track. Yakuza is a series that follows Kiryu Kazuma, aka the Dragon of Dojima, a legendary Yakuza who took the rap for his former boss’ murder, and after getting out of jail strives to better himself. whether it is his battles with Nishiki to protect Haruka, the daughter of his childhood love in the first game, the brawls to find and save the son of the deceased head of the clan in the 2nd, the efforts to save his dear Sunshine Orphanage which he grew up in himself or searching for justice with 3 friends in Yakuza 4. Kiryu has looked sharp every step of the way whether with his gray suit or his bad ass Dragon tattoo and much like WWE’s favorite rattlesnake, he stomped a mud hole in your ass and walked it dry with some of the most insane and breath taking interactive(timed button press) fight scene animations I’ve ever seen. I hope Yakuza 5 comes to our shores, but for now I highly recommend that you go out and find the 4 games…and Dead Souls if your feeling generous to Sega, and get caught up in the world of Yakuza.

Lee Jones (Reader Voice)

HMs – Portal, Call of Duty 4, Shadow of the Colossus, World of Warcraft, Left 4 Dead

5 – Final Fantasy X – My fav Final Fantasy game. I talked recently about how much I can’t wait for the HD version to come out. The cast of characters is pretty cool but its Yuna I fell in love with. She was the character who was in every battle, it was her story I wanted to see more of in cutscenes. The game also treated Summons as important something that put me off later games.

4 – Uncharted 2 – For many the greatest game ever. I had a lot of fun playing this, the characters were engaging, the gameplay was excellent as expected, the story… well it worked at least. Uncharted 2 made you feel like you were on a journey and had many more crazy moments that made you connect with Drake than the original. Just the first hour alone gave me more enjoyment than a lot of entire games.

3 – Bioshock – Oh how the setting can make a game, not just Rapture itself but how the world was built with Splicers, Plasmids, Audio Diaries, soundtrack etc everything made sense and fit in wonderfully. The Little Sisters were creepy and the Big Daddy fights were intense. Andrew Ryan had a lot of ideas that made you think about your own views which is more than most games come close too. I wasn’t as enthralled by the twist as most seem to be but it served as a good point to stop learning and start doing. Even the sequel can’t spoil gamers fond memories of this.

2 – Timesplitters 2 – Ahhh the craziness, people have been petitioning for this game to be remade or hell just rereleased with working online for years. I only got to play this with my bro or friends but would LOVE to play with complete strangers. The variety is what makes this game stand out. The modes are cool (I played virus the most), the multiplayer characters actually have different stats and challenge mode allowed you to unlock more characters whilst doing a lot of crazy stuff. It used Goldeneye difficulty/objectives trick and had story co-op (oh how I miss this mode). Roll on Timesplitters 4.

1 – Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – Even today I flip flop over this and Skyrim being my fav RPG. Sure there’s others I feel more emotional attachment (Legend of Dragoon, Mass Effect 2) but this was the game I always wanted growing up. A high fantasy setting with a world I can just wander about and do my own thing. Oblivion excelled at that. People have logged an insane amount of time into this game as there’s so damn much to do. From the umpteen dungeons to the faction missions to grinding stats (and seeing progress in simple things like jumping higher), trying to find cool weapons and armour (just not for horses *cough*). I loved that different builds got to experience things differently. Badass dungeon fetch quest, I’d just turn invisible, stroll through and be back out in minutes whilst my flatmate would be stuck in there for ages as he could only hack and slash, flip side he found the Arena easy whilst I had to be a sneaky one hit and hide player as a few hits could kill me. Eventually though each side would be overpowered and could batter anything the world flung at us which is how I like my games. Early wonder, gradual build, some struggle, then being badass and having fun with the gameplay. If you can look past the graphics (a problem even then) this game is absolutely worth your time, for the hundreds of hours you could be playing for.

Robert Cooper (Music Zone Reviewer, Writer of Hammer of Doom News Report, Regular Contributor to Music Zone Top 5, Regular Contributor to Co-op Multiplayer 411 Games Podcast)

Honorable Mentions

Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask-I haven’t played as much of this game as I’d like to have, but I loved what I did play, I loved, and I know just based off of reputation that it deserves to be here.

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory-The best entry in one of my favorite series of the 2000’s, they took what was already a great stealth system, and made killing much easier, so the job gets done quicker.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas-I never finished this game due to my ADD nature that made it to where I couldn’t focus on one task, but this game was just too much fun. I remember playing it for hours, and getting nothing done, and that was okay.

Assassin’s Creed 2-A major improvement on the first game, this game had a much better flow and did a much better job of immersing the player. Not to mention it had a really good storyline that included characters from history that we all know and loved/not so much loved.

5. WWF No Mercy

The be all, end all of wrestling games to a lot of people. This built upon what already was an amazing game in Wrestlemania 2000, and made it just a little better. The CAW system was refined to add more options in terms of clothing to you wrestler, as well as fine tuning the capabilities of said wrestler. The Championship mode was AWESOME, every win and loss mattered and changed how your storyline unfolded, not to mention is was so much fun replaying the storylines of the Attitude Era using whomever you chosen. That’s right, TAKA Michinoku could be in Stone Cold’s spot in the WWF Championship storyline, and he would talk just like him, as well, and there was nothing you could do about it. Finally, I must gush about the roster, you had pretty much any and everyone from the WWF at the time (sans Big Show, who was replacced by Stevie Richards of all people in the storylines) and you could make any match you could think of, and I love that. This game means a lot to me, and I love it. Just a story to tell before I go,I once had all of my gaming systems taken away, and when I got them back, instead of playing the brand new copy of Assassin’s Creed 2 on my 360, I plugged up my N64 and ran a 40 man pin/submission/TKO gauntlet with my one submission CAW, it took 2 hours, but I pulled out the win on expert mode. Proves my love even more.

4.Jet Set Radio Future

This was the very first game I got with my original xbox, because it (as well as Sega GT 2002) came with the system. This game was a sequel to the awesome Dreamcast title, Jet Set Radio, and took the original and polished it up. The graphic were better than the original, and they looked great, with all of their cell shaded glory. The basis of the game was that you are in an inline skating gang that is graffiting over the propaganda of the overlords of a future Tokyo. This game was just pure fun, plain and simple, this was another game like San Andreas, where I could do anything I wanted for hours and still not get much done. There were records to be set for each town in the game with trick points and longest grinds, and stuff like that. You also could collect graffiti souls that unlock new grafitti for you to tag the town with. But I think the thing that has to be mentioned before I go is the soundtrack, it is my favorite soundtrack in gaming, or at least one of them, it has lots of foreign or little acts that range in sounds, from hip-hop, to j-pop, to techno, it’s all here. Though I wish it had a little metal, oh well, if you can find this game, and I know you can at some pawn shop, give it a go, you’ll enjoy yourself.

3.Ninja Gaiden

This game was a bitch, I’m just going to come out and say what we all know about this game, it felt impossible at times, but that was part of its’ charm. It was hard, but you got a lot of different weapons, and magic and learning how to utilize them best for the situation made the game a lot easier on you. It featured a pretty solid story of you being a ninja who was reborn and on a path of venegeance. The combat system felt really tight, with the game being a little hard to learn at time, and even harder to master which, as I said at the beginning, is part of the game, and it makes the player work to learn in order to win, but I didn’t mind it. Too bad Team Ninja couldn’t make a sequel as good as this game.

2.The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

If this list would have been done before Skyrim, this game would have came in at the top, but it did not, so it reglegated to the #2 spot. I still adore this game, though, it is still a great time, and is just like the other games in the series to where you will never touch the main quest for half of your playing time. There is so much to do, there are guilds to conquer, Oblivion gates to close, and Daedric artifacts to be found, not to mention there are people to rob and kill if you so choose. This game was about living your character’s life as an adventure, and finding greatness, no matter what you choose to do. Unless you put all of your points in mercantile, then you will only become rich. Bonus little bit of trivia, every character in the game has a real life, not just some set order of things that they do, it’s a really neat fact that shows how much care was put into this game.

1.Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic

This game I have come to appreciate even more over the years, because every time I have went back and played it, I realized just how unique of an experience it was if you think about how the game plays in comparison to other RPGs. This is my favorite Star Wars games of all time, it’s part of my Holy Quadrilogy of Xbox Star Wars games (along with Battlefront 2, Republic Commando, and Jedi Academy), it throws you into a world that we had never been in before and you quickly find yourself feeling like you are an actual person in this world, rather than a video game character. What helps this is the fact that you are allowed to make your own choices (when the game allows it), and your companions react accordingly, and based on those interactions through the way the react, you can learn things about them. The combat system is something I still love, it takes a lot from Dungeons and Dragons, with stats, feats, skills, and force powers being given every few levels, and you craft your class the way you want to play. This game is my favorite RPG of all time, and for good reason, a great combat system, compelling characters, an epic story, and tons of replayability. It had a sequel that was really good, but it didn’t touch what this first game did. Sadly, we wont be seeing KOTOR 3, and that still pisses me off, but that’s another list for another day. So go buy this game, now, it’s on Steam, go do it!

Stewart Lange (Games Zone & Music Zone Reviewer, Writer of Retronomicon in Games Zone)

Until I started collecting games in 2009, I only owned a PS2 and Xbox 360 during this decade. Even then, my PS2 was mainly used as a DVD player. What can I say, I went out a lot.

HM- Mass Effect, Half Life 2, GTA San Andreas, Arkham Asylum, Borderlands

5. Final Fantasy X It must say a lot about how good this game looked that I still feel the first cut scene into the game at the Blitzball arena is one of the most mind-blowing FMV scenes I’ve ever seen in my life. This is the game I played the most on my PS2 and since it was my only games console for the first 6 years of the 00’s, it pretty much gets a spot on my list on merit alone.

4. Left 4 Dead 2: Ah, the first of two Valve games on my list. I will quickly point out that while I love Half Life 2, I never beat it so have disqualified it. Anyway, on to L4D2. This is maybe the most active game in my house as not only do I play it fairly regularly, it’s pretty much the only game my wife plays, for some reason. I convinced her to help me rescue Gnome Chomski from the Dark Carnival (all she had to do was carry him- the game was on easy). I don’t know if mothering instinct kicked in but when she dropped him getting on the helicopter, we restarted then and there. We recently played the whole game chronologically and that was quite the evening- we both died on the bridge at the end of the Parish and didn’t have the heart to restart the level because we knew we’d failed. Amazing.

3. Portal: I originally figured Portal as a throw away puzzle title, with a fairly peculiar twist that didn’t sound like it would work. But, work it did. Portal is one hell of an addictive game and is short enough that it has instant replay value. I make sure that I beat this game once a year and even though it takes less than an afternoon, it never fails to amaze me just how well made this game is.

2. Bioshock: I’ve never been into the horror genre, hence the lack of Resident Evil/Silent Hill and the like on any of my lists, but Bioshock was able to steer it’s way from “cheap scares” and instead make Rapture the most vibrant and real setting in any video game I’d played until that point. The story is breathtaking and the only thing I can fault about the game is that it’s linear and not 300 hours long. Seriously, though- this is the most perfect FPS I’ve ever played in my life.

1. Fallout 3: Fallout 3 wins any list it can for me. I’ve plower a stupid amount of hours into this game. I’ve 1000/1000 on my Xbox, probably 2 times over if it let you track that and even the 4 months I had a PS3 it was the only game I bothered to Platinum. Immersive, violent, exciting, life changing. There’s so much I could say about this game but in the end, I can’t really find the words to say everything I’d want to, other than one simple, clear sentence. My favourite video game of all time.

Twitter Break

Fun Links To Checkout A website started by two of the Triple Threat Column writers. Not only is it the permanent home of that world famous column but it has my podcast “Wrestling 2 the MAX,” recaps, and other columns.

Wrestling 2 the MAX Podcast. Go listen to episode 47 and tell us what you think at [email protected] New Episodes come out every Tuesday Morning over on This week, we reviewed WWE Money in the Bank and we also review Monday’s RAW after the PPV, and talk about how WWE’s Performance Center will help NXT stars of the future and we look at recent NXT call-ups to see how they are doing in WWE right now.

Games Coming Out the Week of 07/21/13

Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark (PS3 & VITA)

Smurfs 2: The Movie Game (Xbox 360, Wii U, Wii, DS, PS3)

Serious Sam Collection (Xbox 360)

Mars: War Logs (Xbox Live Arcade, PC)

Rugby Challenge 2 (Lions Tour Edition) (PC Only)

Prince of Persia: The Shadow And the Flame (IOS & Android Phones)

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Sean Garmer
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