Top 10 Video Games of 2000

Thank god the Y2K problem turned out to be all apocalyptic hype because the year 2000 has so many awesome things in stored for what was left off from 1998 and 1999. Entering the new millennium was something that almost everyone lived for. The year 2000 was such an amazing year for everything, not just gaming, but unfortunately the same candlelight could not last for ever as the 2000s just continues to get worse and worse by each year. Maybe it’s just the 90’s kid inside me, but I really am not a fan of the 2000s decade for it has so much miseries and grief than joy and excitement (and we’ll get to that when we get to our final lists of the 2000s). The reason why the year 2000 alone was such a great year is because is because we were still feeling like it’s the 90s and what’s left of it was still that energy of excitement and so many releases that made an establishment and qualitative material that kept an everlasting impression. As for gaming in the year 2000, nearly every developer had to such out what was now ending the life-span of the Nintendo 64, Playstation, Gameboy, and Dreamcast. Already the Playstation 2 has released in the end of 2000 and while there weren’t that many great games released for the new console for that year, it was the cheapest DVD player. The rest of the consoles on this list was at its peak of the each of the systems. There are so many game released in 2000 that it’s really overwhelming how good this year really is! That’s why the Honorable Mentions is so huge!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Escape from Monkey Island

This installment of the Monkey Island series has a very soft place in my heart and I defy those who doesn’t have the same feelings as I do. For those who says Grim Fandango is one of the best game of the genre and then says Escape is terrible because of it’s new engine, shows how hypocritical they really are. Coming back to Melee Island in full 3D never looked so good and the adventure is just as funny and warm as before!

WWF No Mercy/WWF Smackdown

                 

Since I’m such a huge fan of the Attitude Era, this should go without saying that these two games are the best that came out of this era. It fully represents what the show is all about and as a result it’s a huge pleasure to interact with your favorite wrestler (or created character) and play with them in any kind of varied match that you want. You can just be as chaotic as you want and it’s so much fun to play them with your friends as you can possibly be more insane than what has been seen on the show! Easily, some of the greatest wrestling games of the genre!

Spider-Man

I think that at the time of release this has to have been the best video game adaptation of Spider-man. All his signature moves are available, web swinging, web shooting, climbing walls, and they all work here in a very effective, and intuitive way. The 3D engine itself is very good, and the levels have a lot of variety. All in all they nailed the feel of the Spider-Man comics down very well, and that element of fun which you should naturally expect from a Spider-Man game.

Shenmue

This is a kind of game that you either love or hate. Shenmue is just some of the most visually impressive games that ever came out in 2000 and having such a believable, interactive world to travel in and search for your father’s killer was some of the most engaging moments in video games. It’s so well crafted that you forgot that you’re playing a video game and more into a world of a classic Asian martial arts-drama film. Coming into spoiler territory, the only reason why this game only makes it as an honorable mention is because the only thing that was accomplished in this game was that we set sail to China, and that’s pretty much it.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

I am one of the few that favors for Resident Evil 3: Nemesis more than Resident Evil 2. I understand that the game is set in the same locations that we’ve already seen in Resident Evil 2, however this game was more action packed and varied in the horror department than RE 2 ever was. Not only there were more zombies and monsters lurking around Raccoon City, but we also have the icon Nemesis who appears at random and attacks you with all that he’s got and never rests. This time the tension and the moment when it suddenly cuts to the bone are taken to an even higher screaming point. I’m very sad to see that this is the last true Resident Evil game before the whole series turned into dumb action games and it’s impossible to see if the series will ever go back to its old roots ever again.

Rayman 2: The Greatest Escape

This is Ubisoft’s Super Mario 64 and since then it has been re-released time and time again. For good reason, at release Rayman 2 stood out as one of the more brilliantly designed 3D platformers of the era. This creates a fun to play game more akin to the 2D games of old, with excellent elements like the grappling hook swinging adding even more to the experience. Truth be told, the PS1 version is probably the weakest version of the game, but credit where its due its still one of the best 3D platformers on the system (which really stands to the quality of the original material), and it does have some nice extras which may be appreciated, such as the new voiceovers for all of the cutscenes.

 Deus Ex

You know that saying that whenever someone mentions Deus Ex they’ll will reinstall this game into their computer? Well, that’s not the case fore me because Deus Ex never tells you what to do only leaving the player to experiment a lot of different ways of playing the game. Enemy A.I. are a bit too stupid, the voice acting is a little cheesy, and the RPG system is a bit too complex for my taste. Either way, it’s a great follow up to System Shock 3 and the choice, and the associated pressure, is all yours.

Diablo II

While an expanded, richly detailed world is one way in which Diablo II outshines its predecessor, far more important is the added variety to the characters. Diablo II features five radically different classes. With twenty levels of growth per skill, and the average character finishing below level thirty, the amount customization is staggering. Simply put, Diablo II is one of the best PC games out there.  Even if you don’t care for PC games in general, Diablo II is a nice game, and with it’s multiplayer aspect and randomly generated world, you may find yourself playing for a very long time indeed.

See what I mean when I said that 2000 was such as fantastic year? It was almost as good as 1998, and 2000 is another year that’s worth coming back to. This list has got to be some of the toughest ones that I’ve ever made but in thinking about some of the best year in gaming, that should tell you a lot. So here is the list of the best games of 2000!

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Number 10.  –  The Legend of Dragoon

The classic style of JRPGs were coming to an end when the PS1’s lifespan was drawing near. Many of us began our love with the genre from Final Fantasy, but Legend of Dragoon is the purest of classic JRPGs that is so missed today. Nobody really gave a lot of credit to this game when it came out, saying that Sony was trying to compete against Square Soft… when they already are releasing games exclusively for the Playstation (face palm). I can understand why people disliked it, but I rather liked it back when it first came out and I thoroughly enjoyed it once more today. The Legend of Dragoon is one of the most underrated RPGs in the Playstation era. Probably the best thing about this game is the storyline. It has many plot-twists, a bit of wierdness that completes the fantasy RPG feel, and four entire disks of it. The fact that it has so many plot twists makes it difficult to explain it without spoilers. But the basic structure of the story line is that you play the game, going around doing stuff, but you don’t really know what the end goal of the game is until you start the fourth disc. And what so cool about this game is not just the dragons, the awesome characters in your party, and the epic story, but it’s the battle mechanics. The gist of the battle system is to press the x button when both the blue squares lineup together. It pretty much counts on your timing and rhythm, as the window for success is quite tight. Also, you need to be alert as every so often you will need to press circle to cancel out the enemy’s attempt of a counter attack. At the start of the game you will start off with a basic combo which allows you to get into grips of how the battle system works. Overtime, you unlock new combos which deal a lot more damage but get a lot tougher to pull off, which really is reminiscent to the gameplay of Super Mario RPG on the SNES. Truth be told, the battle system is by far the best thing about the game. I’m willing to believe that it deserves more credit than I first thought. It’s a game made for those who love fantasy adventures such as this one and it delivered on a piece of work. It succeeds on a beautiful atmosphere that reminds you of the days where 3D models were on front of a highly rendered background. Don’t miss out on this game because it’s been overlooked again, and again, and again just waiting for a bigger audience to see something great!

Number 9.  –  Marvel vs. Capcom 2

It took Capcom throughout the 1990s to finally make this fulfilling masterpiece of a fighting game! It started with the X-Men SNES titles then Marvel Superheroes was turned into a fighting game. Since then they’ve kept reusing the same engine and added new fetters to it like X-Men vs. Street Fighter, then Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Heroes. Then we’ve got ourselves the awesome Marvel vs. Capcom. Letting Marvel to let Capcom use their established character into a fighting game was some of the most ingenious ideas ever in the gaming industry. With 66 characters being reintroduced and debuting to this Capcom fighter, players select three fighters from the roster of characters from both of the titular universes and fight one-on-one until one of the teams have no remaining players or time runs out. Each character has at least one super combo and the entire team shares a single super meter. The characters can draw on this (at a minimum cost of one level) to perform their super combos or other special super moves. Up to five levels of the super meter can now be stored during a fight. Players can tag out their characters at any time, switching control to another character while inactive characters can gradually recover some health. Anyone that loves Marvel, Capcom, fighting games or games should already have played this game! There is no other fighter that has given so much variety of characters and the craziest team combinations to execute the most chaotic attacks. That’s why so many has regarded Marvel vs. Capcom 2 one of, if not, the best fighting game of all time.

Number 8.  –  The Longest Journey

After a long time in which adventure games seem to have been played out, leaving many passionate gamers to fend for low-quality titles, a truly spectacular masterpiece suddenly appears from the mind of a single man—Norwegian game designer Ragnar Tornquist. With The Longest Journey, Tornquist has managed to create a story that is as immersive and captivating as a classic tale. The Longest Journey is a breath of fresh air, a game that alone has revitalized an entire genre and sets a new standard for other games to follow. What makes this game really special is the fact that it is made to be experienced and remembered like a great book. The suspense and the curiosity it raises are captivating. There is also an enchanted feeling that there are many stories within the main story, and not all of the stories have yet to be told. The places and the characters are unforgettable. The game truly offers an incredible gaming experience, an immersive gameplay, and a wonderful story waiting to be revealed. The ingredients for the perfect adventure game are all present. With all these, you can surely bet that after many years you will still remember young April and her quest to save the Balance! The only thing that could make this game better is if the dialog conversations between characters should be shortened and the title The Longest Journey should be more about… what else? The journey!

Number 7.  – The Sims

There’s something about playing the original Sims that no other game has – the magical soundtrack, the wonderful point-and-click interface, the fulfilling artsy atmosphere. I admit that there were a lot of things that were heavily improved on the sequels, but The Sims does get better when you install more expansion packs to your computer. I’ve made a list of the best expansion packs for the Sims 1 already, but here are my overall thoughts. It’s very satisfying to keep playing and interacting with nearly everything you see in the Sims, but there were a couple of drawbacks that kept it from being the best. For instance, I really dislike the needs meter for your Sims runs out very fast and it’s even worse when you have a total of 8 Sims in your family that becomes a headache to fix their problems. Nevertheless, outside of the Sims series, there is no other game like the original Sims. I still do find nearly everything about this game so appealing and there are so many aspects that the sequels didn’t do well in comparison to the first. There is now a Sims Complete Collection that includes all the expansion pack which is more recommendable, but if you were there when the original Sims was still in the market, it was always worth while waiting for another expansion pack to be released, we then buy it & install it to our computers, and spend so many hours playing the expanded game, just made it such a glorious accomplishment. Who knew that putting so many every day aspects in our lives could work so well into a video game? Will Wright was that man that knew it all! I understand that some may not enjoy the Sims like I do, but it has been some of my favorite memories of playing video games on my computer. For the sake that this is the game that innovated gaming psychology, letting the players do whatever they want, and create the household in which they so desire, there’s a good reason why the Sims is the best selling Computer game of all time!

Number 6.  –  Banjo-Tooie

The sequel to one of the best platformers on the N64, Banjo-Tooie did not disappoint. With all the action-adventure sequels (such as Metroid and Zelda to name a few) they take away all of your powers and abilities from the original and start from scratch. But not Banjo-Tooie, Rareware did the most ingenious idea of keeping all of the powers from the original and give you even more powers and abilities in your adventure in the sequel! GENIUS! If that’s not enough, each of the worlds that you enter are perhaps twice as big than the original (but not as big as Donkey Kong 64). Banjo-Tooie came near the end of Rare’s glory days and is one of its last true gems. Between the funny dialogue, cheery art direction, and sheer amount of collectibles, it’s no wonder this title gives gamers a warm nostalgic feeling. Rare even slipped in a few jokes hinting that the characters were aware that they were in a video game. Banjo-Tooie is a wonderful game: the levels are fantastically crafted, the humour is ever-present and a lot of care has gone into creating an adventure of epic proportions. It stands above many of the good platformers out there, but it does fall short simply because it overreaches: the worlds are slightly too big, there are a few more moves than necessary, and playing as Mumbo Jumbo is a feature that adds no value to the series – the experience feels a bit superfluous. Still, don’t let this detract from the fact that Banjo Tooie is one of the gems in Nintendo’s platforming history: with rich level design, brilliant gameplay and a charming story, this one is well worth getting hold of.

Number 5.  –  Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Spyro: Year of the Dragon is clearly the product of a talented group of developers (Insomniac Games) who apparently give a damn about whether or not anyone actually likes playing their games. And unless there’s something severely wrong with you, you will certainly like playing this one. A Sorceress rom another dimension has her hench-rabbit Bianca go to the dragon realm to steal all of the dragons’ new eggs The only dragon who can fit down the rabbit hole to follow the bad bunny is Spyro, and so off he goes to collect all 150 stolen eggs with his buddy Hunter and four new friends that are playable characters.  The third installment in the Spyro series, Year of the Dragon was a smash hit for the original PlayStation and is still regarded today as one of the console’s best titles. Following our favorite purple dragon as he travelled across 30 different levels in the search for 150 magical eggs, Year of the Dragon added new characters, improved graphics, and better handling to the franchise’s already proven formula. Sound good? Yeah, we thought so too. The last Spyro title developed by Insomniac Games, Year of the Dragon showed that the company intended to leave the series while it was still on top. It’s hard to say they didn’t succeed.

This is also a good example of one of YotD’s several mini-games and there are literally tons of them. They all provide a fresh, new angle on an already great game. I think every level (about eight levels in every world) has one or two mini games you can play to try and win an egg, and they cover everything from boxing to skateboarding to submarine warfare. If that’s not enough there are also four new characters that actually are playable and provide different challenges and gameplay. Spyro: Year of the Dragon is a huge, entertaining game. With over thirty levels to explore, hundreds of different games to play, and four, brand new characters (five if you count the special missions for Sparx, Spyro’s dragonfly), this Playstation Spyro finale will gives gamers more than their money’s worth. While not very difficult, YotD contains enough variety to keep even the most experienced gamers entertained for a long time.

Number 4.  –  Mega Man Legends 2

Legends was able to create a living world populated by the best characters in the entire franchise. Thanks to voiced in-engine cutscenes with surprisingly detailed facial animations, fans fell in love with the tomboyish Roll Caskett, the hilariously inept Bonne pirate family, and the adorable Servbots, which looked all the world like overgrown LEGO minifies. With that foundation firmly established, Mega Man Legends 2 was able to expand the world further while correcting all the first game’s shortcomings and fixed every flaw from the original. The broken tank controls of before were streamlined thanks to the DualShock’s analog sticks, and the once sparse environments were given a heavy facelift. But beyond those necessary changes were a bunch of subtle tweaks that resulted in a truly complete product. The first Legends introduced us to the cast and the fun situations they find themselves in, butLegends 2 raised the stakes and crafted a story so profound that it impacted the entire franchise narrative. When you reach the end of Legends 2, you realize that the entire line of Mega Men and their comrades in arms have been engaged in a futile struggle, and mankind’s ultimate fate was set in stone from the beginning. Most Mega Man games are not deep, emotionally charged experiences. Mega Man Legends 2was an outlier; it’s no mystery why so many fans want to see the tale continue.

chrono-cross-cover

Number 3.  –  Chrono Cross

It’s tough to accept this as a squeal to Chrono Trigger despite the fact that it felt more like a Final Fantasy game than it ever did the original. Despite how close it is to its original, taking the game by its own merits, it’s got to be some of the best Playstation games of all time! The concept of having the largest party of the most varied teammates to the journey of jumping to dimensions is astounding to experience.  The game, like its predecessor eschews the random encounters found in many other JRPGs for a system where enemies can be seen, and avoided if so wanted, it also has one of the most interesting, and elegant of the battle systems of that era, with colour coded attacks, and customisable tables which allow you to assign your moves at different levels. All in all the game is an artistic, and fantastically memorable experience.

The game itself followed Chrono Trigger’s lead in many regards, with no random battles to be found, and a complex plot revolving around parallel universes and time travel. Gorgeous graphics – which, amazingly, still look fairly good today, largely thanks to the wonderfully realised artwork rather than any technical accomplishment – and a superb soundtrack rounded out one of the most highly rated RPGs of all time. Chrono Cross is a game that will forever be compared to it’s beloved predecessor, enjoyed by some but derided by many. This, I feel, is a shame, because Chrono Cross is a surprisingly innovative game that does a lot to carve out it’s own identity. It isn’t perfect, but it’s just shy of being so- it’s a beautiful game with an epic and deep story and some very well-designed gameplay. Chrono Cross is a fantastic RPG, and, for me personally, stands alongside Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, and other classics and everyone deserved to experience some of the best things that the Playstation has in stored for you!

Number 2.  –  The Legend of Zelda:
Majora’s Mask

Who would have guessed mixing Bill Murray films with Zelda would have birthed such an incredible game? (Answer: me, even though Nintendo refuses to reply to my letters suggesting a Zelda game based on Ghostbusters) Since they were re-using the engine built for Ocarina of Time, Nintendo was free to spend their time developing a weird and particularly unique (among Zelda games, at least) story, where Link – somehow stuck in a parallel dimension – has to battle a sentient mask before an evil-faced moon crushes a city that has somehow not been evacuated yet. The intricate, complex schedules that the townsfolk follow, the effects of the various masks you can collect, and the three-day time limit made for a very different Zelda game, pretty much unlike any that had come before or since. It still had all the big staples: dungeons, annoying fairies, cool weapons (HELLO, FAIRY SWORD), and an awful, awful water temple; but it also had a lot of new, game-changing additions that would stick with the series for the rest of its lifespan.

Majora’s Mask is my favorite Zelda title. It deviated a lot from the Zelda formula, and did an extremely good job. Majora’s Mask is a better game than Ocarina Of Time. I think it’s more fun to play, the world map is more populated, the 3 day timeline is very innovative, the dark and twisted tone of the game creates an amazing atmosphere, the dungeons are very clever, the ability to change physical form works very well, and the story was simple yet intriguing.  Furthermore, the controls are tweaked to be even better than Ocarina of Time. To be honest I didn’t give Majora’s Mask much of a chance when it came out. I thought it was weird that you weren’t in Hyrule, I wanted to be adult Link instead of young Link,  and the 3 day thing threw me off. It took me many years till I learned to get pass through the slow beginning and have an adventure of a life time. Majora’s Mask was a Zelda game made on a tight schedule, meant to be a direct sequel to Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which allowed the team to re-use the vast majority of the assets from it to create a new adventure quickly. While the game only has four main dungeons, Majora’s Mask has a ton of content in other areas. It is tightly designed and features one of the darker, apocalyptic storylines in the series. Uncovering more details about the various lives of the characters around them also has the effect of making the player feel much more connected to them and the world in which they live. Overseen by a giant grinning moon awaiting the end of the world, Majora’s Mask‘s mechanics and atmosphere are still unlike anything else in the series.

Number 1.  –  Pokemon Silver Version

Nothing will take away just how special the first generation of Pokémon was, but Generation II was where Pokémon really started to open up. The formal introduction of dual-types and the implementation of a day and night cycle created different ways to play. For the first time, the time of day mattered—certain Pokémon could only be caught at certain times, for example. This made gameplay more frustrating and more interesting. On top of having day and week cycles, Generation II expanded on the Friendship/Happiness system that was introduced in Yellow, making Pokémon grow via their “devotion” to their trainers. Plus the cell phone system allowed trainers to be battled again, resulting in more replay value. On a personal note, 251 Pokémon was just the right amount! But new elements aside, Generation II had (imo) the longest main game section with the addition of the original Gyms right after you complete the Johto League and re-enter the Indigo League. Never again has the Pokemon franchise ever did this again and for that, Generation II remains the best game of the whole franchise!

Gold, Silver, and Crystal hands down, there all the same to me (but with different Pokemon features), but I’ll always choose Silver cause you get cooler pokemon that wont appear in the others, like Lugia. Cool story with your rival being an actual bad guy, Team Rocket is back, everything is better, night and day bug catching contests, when you beat the first story you have to go back to kanto and beat the original 8 gym leaders, you even battle Ash, you know the guy from the original, and who you always wanted to battle, because after watching the show how the hell is a pikachu that strong! They say the original 151, but I always thought 252 was enough and didn’t care much for 253. There is no point of dreaming of being a Pokemon master anymore because we’re talking about a singular Pokemon game that has the best roster of Pokemon ever, the adventure is huge, the features installed are extremely varied, and the journey couldn’t be anymore fulfilling!

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