Top 10 Video Games of the 2000s

Video Games from 2000 to 2009 was a much different experience from the 1990s. The moment Sega officially stopped manufacturing anymore consoles, it was all Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo throughout this decade of gaming and its still remains that way today. Though it wasn’t as evolutionary as the 80s and 90s, the industry has reached an even more interactive experience with online gaming, HD graphics, and motion gaming that became a worldwide phenomenon. Consoles and handheld gaming in the 2000s wouldn’t achieve such a thing if it wasn’t for PC gaming going on in the 2000s. PC games grew more artificially advanced with the power of Steam that changed the way we play games by downloading the games we purchased (similar to mp3 changing music). With the new direction of downloading games, it made independent games (indie) to have more exposure in the world of gaming. The popularity of PC gaming saw the decreasing of importance in the game industry due to the fact that many titles were ported to consoles and it became standard for Sony & Microsoft’s consoles to be multi-media machines– playing not only games for the machines, but also surf on the internet, play DVD’s and movies, and do so many things that a normal PC can do. Meanwhile, Nintendo wanted their Gamecube & Wii to be pure gaming machines like the Nintendo DS that doesn’t do all those fancy things that Microsoft and Sony were doing. It seemed that Nintendo was toast with the Gamecube, until it captured the casual audience, that loves their iTouch/iPad games, by re-introducing motion gaming that actually works! There were so many trends happening all at once in gaming that made it fun to go back to, just like these lists that I’ve made for each year of the 2000s in gaming.

Top 10 Video Games of 2000
Top 10 Video Games of 2001
Top 10 Video Games of 2002
Top 10 Video Games of 2003
Top 10 Video Games of 2004
Top 10 Video Games of 2005
Top 10 Video Games of 2006
Top 10 Video Games of 2007
Top 10 Video Games of 2008
Top 10 Video Games of 2009

I have mixed feelings about this decade of gaming because not only did some of the best games of all time get released here, but PC gaming lost popularity, Sega is no longer competing in the console market, companies releasing incomplete games that you have to buy [more than $60] from DLC to get the full experience, over-saturation of first-person shooters, less number of platformers, and the quality of JRPG’s as diminished greatly. When you compare gaming in the 2000s to gaming in the 1990s, the 1990s was more interesting. It had so much evolution going around the industry and each year of the 90s felt almost completely different than the last; making it a very exciting time to see what’s going on in the gaming world. On the other hand, the 2000s was a really bad decade but the video games released here really brighten things up as the years go by. There’s absolutely no denying that these games kept our spirits up as the world continues to go downhill in the post-9/11 era. Not to mention that the internet became the norm, hearing recommendations from video game journalists, Youtubers, bloggers, and fansites really changed the way we communicate about video games. Back in the 80s and 90s, we didn’t have the internet so we didn’t hear people’s recommendations or being aware of what’s worth buying or skipping. And since you’re all here to know what are the best games from 2000 to 2009 let’s take a look as the some of the most best of the best of this decade.

 

Number 10.  –  Metroid Prime

It’s been 8 years since the Metroid series had another game. A lot has changed since Super Metroid; 3D graphics has significantly evolved, first-person shooters became famous, and Nintendo is now rivaling with Sony and Microsoft. Understandably, Metroid needed to evolve with the modern times, but this game could have been a disaster because it was being developed by the unknown Retro Studios who was making the next big game into a FPS.  Many longtime Nintendo fans were just a tad enraged when they learned one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises had been given to an up-and-coming studio, not to mention the longtime 2d series would not only be going 3d, but also 1st person. Early screenshots and preview builds of the game did nothing to quell those fears. Sensing the game wasn’t shaping up as they’d hoped, Nintendo and Retro started meeting more often. When the game released, it blown everyone away. Not only did the game play well as a 1st person shooter/adventure, Retro took Metroid from 2d to 3d flawlessly.

The series retained its sense of exploration, isolation, platforming, and epic boss battles. Though the controls are unlike any FPS games before and since because it borrows heavily from the Z-targetting from Ocarina of Time. This made targeting enemies much more flexible than ever before.  While Prime has plenty of action, you play as a bounty hunter who is very much alone. This is made completely evident from the moment you investigate the Space Pirate frigate Orpheon. There are so many power-ups that are returning to the series various suits, beams, missiles, morph balls, and many more (seen from the previous games) that’s meant to progress through the game, solve puzzles, and beat bosses with them. This is some of the most impressive accomplishments in the new millennium of gaming.

 

Number 9.  –  Halo: Combat Evolved

When the Xbox was released, what’s the the big talk about the system? Well, there wasn’t anything to talk about the Xbox in 2001 other than a brand new franchise called Halo. This was unlike any shooter of its time where we were given a war drama that made the campaign worth a damn. The story is great and progresses you through the game very believingly with twists and turns that keep it intriguing. Each of the game’s campaign refuses to stop being suspenseful as you have the best variety of expanded level designs, coolest weapons (seriously the pistol is the best ever seen in the FPS), great variety of vehicles (such as the Scorpion tank, hoverbikes Ghosts, Banshees, and a Warthog), and so many enemies to blow off or gun down. Even despite the fact that the enemy variety is left to be desired out of the Covenant (Elite, Grunt, and Hunter as the only variety) the game’s atmosphere is like no other.  Halo is never, ever the same twice. That’s something that Halo 2 couldn’t do for me because playing as the Arbeter instead of Master Chief was laboriously boring. Even in the Flood-swamped doldrums of the Library, even over hundreds of man-hours of replay, it somehow manages never to repeat itself, not once.

There’s an alchemy at work here, a precious equilibrium in the AI and the design and the psychology of the game which means that things don’t happen the same way and, crucially, you don’t behave the same way in the same situation two times over. It’s a game that has broken free of its binary origins and come, gloriously, to life. Even among the medium’s greats, that’s rare indeed. And if that’s not a good enough reason why to play Halo there’s the multiplayer. The multiplayer was so much fun with it’s competitive nature, has all the weapons and vehicles seen from the campaign, expended map selection that so fleshed out, and so many more that creates many hours of fun. But in the end, Halo has totally revolutionized how we look at console FPS games. Because of its revolutionary take on FPS, it became the phenomenon that it really is. For the entire decade we have to endure the annoyance of Halo fanboys and even the awesome Red vs. Blue comedic series. Combat Evolved never becomes a simple shooting game. This piece of work will continue to shine in your Xbox because of how varied it is. With an addictive multiplayer mode, completely random single player experience, and the title of Halo, you won’t be let down.

 

Number 8.  –  Super Mario Galaxy

I must admit that Super Mario Sunshine is not that great follow up to the like of Super Mario 64 because it wasn’t revolutionary and the setting was unimpressive. However, it would take 11 years since Mario 64 to have a game that feels like the Mario series can be revolutionary once again. If Wii Sports didn’t get you into buying the Nintendo Wii, Super Mario Galaxy will!  Super Mario Galaxy doesn’t have a particularly deep or involved story, but what stands out from the rest of the Mario games is the adventure through outer space and the many creative level designs that looks like Nintendo’s best effort without having to use HD graphics. This is the most uplifting experience since going to Disneyland and you can simple feel it from the presentation, scale, creative level designs, and musical orchestra. The likeness factor is throughout the roof, but the objective of Mario is all the same. Once again, Bowser has stolen 120 stars and kidnapped Princess Peach, this time in an attempt to conquer the entire galaxy.

Mario, of course, sets out to foil the dastardly lizard’s plans once again, this time with the help of a princess from the stars named Rosalina and her army of adorable sentient mini-stars called Lumas. The real charm here is in the nostalgia. Super Mario Galaxy is packed to the brim with callbacks and cameos from other Mario titles and even an occasional reference to other Nintendo titles. One moment you’re ice-skating in outer space; the next, you’re bouncing on a conveyor belt made of Battenberg. Such is its energy and thirst to explore new frontiers that even the emergence of all Mario games fails to make this any less than essential!  It has everything. Great bosses, great power-ups, great levels, a great concept, great innovation, great design, great graphics, a great musical score and most of all it is brilliantly good fun. It makes you think, it makes you smile and it compels you to play just one more level. Flat out, the most addictive platform game ever created, if not one of the most addictive games ever created. The perfect demonstration of how to ‘do Wii’ and what’s more, a game that matches, almost inch for inch, the genre defining heights of Mario 64. To play Galaxy, is to fall in love all over again.

 

Number 7.  –  The Sims 2

The Sims 2 seriously improved over its original by every stretch of the imagination. What once was the most unpredictable video game phenomenon ever to occur (The Sims) had a sequel that was more creative, educational, and even more enjoyable to interact! The Sims 2 improved over the original by introducing our Sims to age, pass on to generation to generation (family tree), reaching Sims goals, new objects to interact with, have full camera control, being able to place objects in more than one direction, and hundreds more! Sims 2 was so good, that going back to the original made it look like bare bones in comparison. The most significant addition to the Sims’ complexity as personalities comes in the form of their Aspirations – as well as the usual wants and needs of daily life, the Sims now have more idealistic desires, such as buying a nice TV, getting married, teaching their children to talk or simply a quick game of SSX 3 which is there to keep players busy from getting bored.They have one general aspiration in life – family, romance, popularity, wealth or knowledge – and from this one general aim spring hundreds of varied individual desires which really help define the Sims as individuals. Satisfying these desires will help them to become happy, balanced individuals, and also of course lets you buy them rewards.

We also have a variety of other complications to get to grips with – many new mannerisms (some of them slouch, some of them like to read newspapers in the bath, some of them scratch themselves inappropriately), more complex Sim-to-Sim interactions, closer family relationships and, most importantly, several different stages of Sim-life. From Sim-babies they become Sim-toddlers, at which point they have to learn to walk and talk and potty train to become children, who later become hormone-addled spotty Teens and, eventually, progress into boring old adulthood before retiring to Elder status. Sadly, this also means that Sims can die – and an addict like me would say that it’s often before their time. Just like the original Sims, if you want a better experience of the Sims 2, you’re going to have to buy the expansion pack that came later on after Sims 2, but it was worth it! Sure the expansion packs were more or less the same expansion packs from the original but what matters is that we’re all playing it better in full 3D and so many more features never seen before! I cannot recommend this game enough. It remains uniquely personal, terrifyingly addictive, and it’s worth getting ahold of under any circumstances!

 

 Number 6.  –  Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Who would have guessed mixing Bill Murray films with Zelda would have birthed such an incredible game? 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, playing music with instruments, cool weapons (HELLO, FAIRY SWORD), and  a lot of new, game-changing additions that would stick with the series for the rest of its lifespan. 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. Let’s not forget about the the masks in the game that each of them have a purpose for a quest, some of them for a special ability, and three of them has a transformation for link to turn into a Zorra (my favorite), Goron, or Deku that each of them have their own ability.

It’s simply amazing to see what each of these masks as used for and as a result it makes it wonderful to experiment what each of the masks can do and what advantages you can have with many of the quests. 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 and the biggest surprise on the Nintendo 64. Unlike Zelda II, this is actually the first Zelda sequel on a singular Nintendo system that actually executed all of their new ideas successfully. here are a lot of skeptics out there that doesn’t think Majora’s Mask is worth their time, but I urge you go give this title a second chance because once you get pass through the first hour of the game (it’s really part of the story), you’ll really love the intensive (and scary) journey that lies ahead of you and still to this day, there is no game quite like it. Quite frankly, the franchise will never go back to this idea ever again because Zelda fans everywhere only wants another Ocarina of Time which shows how stale the franchise has become over the years. Because of it’s impressive gameplay, level of creativity, and so many different quests to go through, all of it left me in complete amazement and it’s the reason why this deserves to be called the best Nintendo 64 game of all time!

 

 Number 5.  –  Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando

Given that Ratchet & Clank was rather unflatteringly held up as Jak & Daxter with guns, it hardly seemed fair when Naughty Dog’s Jak II: Renegade borrowed a futuristic location and flying cars, and mixed heavy weaponry and traditional platforming to great effect. Doubly so when you consider the quantum leaps Ratchet and Clank made over its predecessor’s narrative, structure and sense of humor. Compared to Jak II, Ratchet & Clank 2 is a much more straightforward sequel. There’s no massive deviation from the previous game here – just smaller, subtler changes and a new and larger selection of planets to consider that’s almost reminiscent to Banjo-Kazooie (which we all greatly miss). But although Insomniac Games refrained from throwing the whole thing out the window and starting again with a blank canvas, their platformer grows to reveal itself as a far more thoughtfully resurrected package, and shows us that while Naughty Dog had to build an entirely new premise to stage the Jak series, there’s still a great deal of life left in the R&C universe.

On the surface, the game play the same as the previous game, but it’s stored with new features that made it some of the best sequels ever. The newest feature in the game is the Nanotech Leveling System. It is an RPG element in which you upgrade your health and weapons with experience points by defeating enemies. Once you’ve gained enough experience points and filled up their growth bars, you will level up one unit of your health or upgrade a weapon into a more powerful one. For those who hates level grinding, rest assured that this new feature will make you feel totally rewarded. Leveling up weapons (though it does take time) doesn’t feel at all like busy work, it’s all natural as you shoot away enemies and then get rewarded for a better weapon. Each level is a different planet in the galaxy that you travel in. While they run the gamut of traditional game levels (fire, ice, desert, industrial, etc.) they are beautifully drawn and wonderfully designed. From time to time, you’ll frustrate yourself trying to make a leap that was never intended to be made, but for the majority of the game you won’t fight anything other than the game’s intended enemies. In addition to traditional platformer-style levels, there are alternatives scattered throughout the game.

The game is full of side-quests in which completing them earns you a number of bolts such as the ever-so-popular gladiator arena battles (where you take on various challenges like defeating all enemies or fighting a boss), hoverbike races, spaceship combat, Giant Clank on the moon, and those open-world crystal collecting stages all made them wroth coming back time, and time again! After you’re done with the game, there is still plenty to do. The most time-consuming of the extra features is collecting skill points, hidden bolts, and even going even further with leveling up your health and weapons with harder enemies and challenges when you restart your play through in challenge mode. These are all the features that all Ratchet and Clank games that came after that follows the same formula and features that resolves back to what this game has started. Insomniac has came a long way from Disruptor and Spyro trilogy to making one hell of a game. This game is a testament to how fantastic Insomniac’s vision was, and seems to relish its success while still paying proper homage to its benefactor, Naughty Dog (with Jak II advertisements subtly and not so subtly placed throughout). This game is cute, clever, and tough, offering about as much variety as can be found in a single game.

However, when it’s all said and done, what really puts Going Commando over the top is the game’s writing. Simply put, this game so funny that I found myself laughing at nearly all the cutscenes. The game features a great cast of characters, with only one (the new-age hippie mystic) who overstays his welcome. Players who like an entertaining story to break up their platforming and shooting should be pleased, even despite the fact that there’s no drama between the two like the previous game. But best of all is how unpredictable the story gets – at first we expect to just capture the thief who stole the corporation’s experiment to questioning if the corporation is evil or not. This is a game appeals to anyone (shooter fans, kids and adults, platformer fans, action-adventure gamers – anyone!) This is no doubt some of the best exclusives that ever entered the Playstation 2’s library and it’s some of the biggest highlights on the console. Some say that Ratchet and Clank is 3D platformer’s Mega Man and no doubt Going Commando is 3D Platform game’s Mega Man 2. If nothing else, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando should serve as a blueprint for future sequels in the gaming world. It’s proof positive that developers can make a game that’s bigger than the original in nearly every way while tweaking the core mechanics and making it better at the same time.

 

Number 4.  –  Beyond Good & Evil

Beyond Good & Evil is the surprise critical smash that, sadly, everyone seemed to ignore. BG&E is a fantastic game that you can find for cheap these days, and it is absolutely a must play. If you look back over the history of gaming there are very few female leads – the ones that we know are all busty babes with no character depth. BGE broke this trend, smashed it in fact, when character Jade came out as an intelligent tomboy who uncovers the truth about the world using her camera, stealth skills, a few kick-arse moves, and, shockingly, intellect – perhaps this is a reason why it didn’t sell: cup size has proven to be the main driving force for many-a title.  What with Jade being a photojournalist, you can imagine that the camera is quite a key feature in the game: not only do you use it to capture incriminating evidence, but you also use it to take photographs of animals. Scattered throughout Hillys (and space) are a whole variety of creatures whose photographs will earn Jade cash (in the form of Pearls), which can then be used to upgrade your vehicle and make other essential purchases.

Don’t get confused here though, Beyond Good and Evil is not just about taking photographs, it’s also an action game reminiscent to Legend of Zelda. There are many sections where Jade must sneak past the enemy, or bash all sense out of them with her staff, and there are even levels where her trusty hovercraft comes into play. You’re also have a companion with you who’s willing to help you in battle and solve puzzles making the group dynamic great. It’s amazing how intuitive everything feels: the controls will come as standard to all adventure players, camera manoeuvrability is picked up in seconds, and there are even stealth aspects… that works!

Switching items between characters is simple, and being able to upgrade/downgrade their health is a fantastic idea. Then there are the hovercraft sections thrown into the mix: in these you must traverse the world and battle leviathan-like monsters. Of all the facets of the game and their controls, there is nothing that can be found frustrating or awkward – simply put; it’s a perfect system. Beyond Good and Evil is a game that focuses on character depth and involvement rather than voluptuous bimbos and their minimalistic storis. It’s an intelligent, refreshing, well-balanced, and entertaining piece of genius– essential for adventure fans. Please do not be put off by the whole ‘photographs speak louder than action’ message: this is truly an action-packed title, just with a bit more class.

 

Number 3.  –  Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence

After the atrocity known as Metal Gear Solid 2, Hedio Kojima finally given us an apology letter to all of the MGS fans with Metal Gear Solid 3. I can say without a doubt that MGS: Snake Eater is better than its predecessors in nearly every way imaginable, including the ending, which totally blew me away. This is actually the prequel to the original Metal Gear where this title goes all the way back to where Big Boss (the antagonist of the game) started the whole series all the way back to the 1960’s set in Cold War Russia in a one-man mission to prove America’s innocence from nuking Russia. We never knew what Big Boss (or Naked Snake as he’s called in this timeline) was like but this game shows us that he’s every bit like Solid Snake (his clone), but more fragile and relatable. After three installments to the series, this one here takes a revolutionary step to the stealth action genre. This was an innovative direction for the stealth gaming genre (as a whole) where the player is left with only one weapon and must scavenger for not only for new weapons, gadgets, tools, and other items, but must also think about their own survival for food and recovering for health. Each and every part of the game, the player can find anything lively like animals to kill as food, enemies to take out for ammunition, and so much more! Sometimes when you get poisoned or injured, you can go play doctor and heal any damages and intoxication which is really revolutionary! You really feel like your an one-man-army and this game makes you feel like this is all about survival with the limited resources you have. But the original Snake Eater had a bunch of drawbacks that made Subsistence a more recommendable pick for this list.

If there was just one game that need an upgrade overhaul to reach perfection, there is no better pick than Metal Gear Solid 3. This isn’t the first time Kojima has re-released a Metal Gear Solid title with extra content, as both the original Metal Gear Solid and its sequel, Sons of Liberty, received the same treatment with new features such as virtual reality missions, demo theaters, etc. Subsistence, however, is a far more ambitious update, as it not only offers much of the same content that Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance did, but also a totally revamped single player campaign in addition to a very in-depth online mode.The original Snake Eater used the same top-down, fixed angle camera as the previous two titles, and while the game was still widely praised, many fans felt the camera angle to be obsolete and counterproductive. Apparently Kojima agreed, as Subsistence now features a completely user-controlled 3D camera in addition to the default angle. The result is a single player experience that feels remarkably different as it not only changes the way players tackle the game, but the level to which they can appreciate it.

One of the major flaws in Snake Eater is the camera was while off camera enemies can see you in a distance, forcing players to either slow their progress through the game to a crawl (by constantly stopping to scope out upcoming areas through the first person camera), or put up with an inordinate amount of alarms and dangerous situations that often weren’t their fault. Subsistence’s new camera angle completely fixes this problem by giving you any view of the terrain you desire at any time, simply by rotating the right analog stick (though it should be noted that certain boss fights do not allow players to use the new camera angle). This provides a single player campaign that is not only far more flexible in terms of stealth, but also the myriad survival aspects of the game, and while the new camera was the only real update to the single player mode, it’s arguably a big enough change to justify playing through the entire game again, even for those who’ve beaten Snake Eater more than once.  It’s hard to describe such a wonderful package in so many words but I think my excitement and opinion of the game has made it across.

Number 2.  –  Bioshockbioshock 2 1366x768 wallpaper_www.wallfox_net_26

System Shock 2 left the audience with a cliff hander, we’ve all waited for a System Shock 3. Due to bad marketing, System Shock 2 sold poorly and that left Looking Glass Studios start loosing its business. However, Irrational Games survived and aligned with 2K games to make the spiritual successor of System Shock 2. But since EA still owns the rights to System Shock, they had to make a setting that video games never made before, while take the gameplay from System Shock 2 and make a whole new series. That game is Bioshock!  Never have I seen a game that created this amazingly, deep world that I want to explore in. I never seen an FPS that wanted to be taken seriously by making itself as artsy, as original, and as creative as humanly possible. I love the story about morality that really is the biggest difference between this and System Shock 2.

I really felt effected when I’m rescuing or harvesting the Little Sisters because they stick out to me as the most innocent bystander of the game. Despite the fact that I never once was scared with Bioshock, the crazy variety of what the player can do from plasmids, shooting, hacking, and a sense of exploration, no doubt this is a game that’s up in my alley. Even though most System Shock fans would say otherwise, (despite how similar the story is) Bioshock was a true successor of System Shock 2. EA will never give us a System Shock 3 and the only way we can actually have the similar gameplay as to SS2 is to start the Bioshock series with the developers who made System Shock 2. Novels have accomplished sci-fi originality with Jurassic Park, Movies have accomplished sci-fi originality with The Matrix, and Video Games accomplished sci-fi originality with Bioshock! Bioshock really is one of those games that deserved all the credit that it has gotten and it has been one of my personal favorites from the 7th Generation of Video Games!

 

Number 1.  –  Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

It’s wondrous to see that Grand Theft Auto III revolutionized the sandbox genre into big popularity and San Andreas just packaged the player with just everything you can imagine! The setting, characters, atmosphere and story all appealed to me at what I thought was the typical “gangsta” way of life. The protagonist, Carl Johnson was your typical Grand Theft Auto main character. He was someone who has come from nothing with the aim of making a name for himself and had recently returned to San Andreas after his mother’s death. From the beginning, you could feel yourself getting to know the characters inside out. Fellow members of the Grove Street gang were Sweet, Big Smoke and Ryder. These characters provided a feeling of close family, once you had won them over in the beginning of course. The cast of characters was huge and included people such as The Game, James Woods and Ice T to name but a few who voiced characters in the game. The improvements which San Andreas had featured from Vice City weren’t hugely noticeable but, there weren’t many changes needed to the gameplay. Players could create stereotypical drive-by shootings, dramatic leaping out of a moving car and stunt driving moves. When you compare the gameplay at that time and games now, it may not seem revolutionary or definitive but, at the time, everything came together brilliantly like a gun-toting American visiting Ammu-Nation. As I have already mentioned, the setting was an excellent part of the game. It places us back to Los Angeles 1990s and the very essence of being in this game’s atmosphere really feels like we’re back in the 90s!

Many believe that GTA’s missions are mostly all the same. Drive here, kill these guys, get chased and lose the chasers. I don’t believe this is the case with San Andreas at least. There are several missions which come to mind when you think of San Andreas. ‘Are you going to San Fierro?’ is one that springs to mind in which CJ has to burn all of the Truth’s drug supply before the police come. As far as missions in games go, this one is extremely strange. ‘End of the line’ is another which many gamers will remember as the final mission in which a traitor is finally brought to justice in tremendous fashion. Not only are the missions excellent, but also the smallest things keep you entertained.  To be honest, at times it seems San Andreas is almost an action-RPG. Virtually every little thing Carl does affects some aspect of his skill. Going to the gym and pumping iron enhances his strength, making his fists far more lethal. Frequently firing guns makes him more proficient at aiming them, while spending lots of time driving vehicles improves his ability to stay on the road. Add in little things like Carl’s ability to get into relationships with certain female characters and the number of barber shops, tattoo parlors and clothing stores that allow players to customize nearly every aspect of his appearance and this game has far more depth than most action titles.

Some of the new abilities added to this game includes being able to rob houses (which requires planning – you can’t just walk in and take anything), buying properties, gambling in the casinos to earn money (or lose it), swim in water (rather then instantly drown), get a haircut or tattoo to your liking, change clothes and appearance and recruit gang members to control parts of the cities or your properties. The targeting system in the game has been improved and is now modeled on that in Rockstar North’s uber-violent but very cool game, Manhunt. This means you can now lock onto a single enemy, and remain locked while moving around him or her to avoid attacks. The range of weapons is impressive with everything from your fists to shotguns, knives to machine guns. Another area which has been ramped up, and once again inspiration has obviously come from Rockstar’s Manhunt is the stealth in the game. It is possible to hide from police or enemies in the shadows, or behind buildings and objects. While Los Santos is absolutely massive, and about twice the size of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in terms of area and missions, the game eventually moves onto two more cities, San Fierro which is based on San Francisco and finally Las Venturra which is based on Las Vegas. Customization was a large chunk of the game as well with tattoos, haircuts, clothing and body size all being able to be customized by the player. Even though the graphics at the time were not what they are today and the tattoos looked poor, it was still great fun to do. Choosing how your CJ should look was an excellent feature by Rockstar, especially the gym mini games and when you opted to ride a bike it helped you become fitter. All great features in a great game!

Sure, this game is far from perfect like having to deal with glitches seen once in a while, the game world is go big that it would take you a while to reach one side of the map to the other, and some of the missions were a bit frustrating, but not once was I ever bored with this game! Is there anything that GrandTheft Auto: San Andres doesn’t do? It’s like going to a thanksgiving feast and offered so much food that you can’t finish it all in a single day alone. It’s a game that begs you to keep coming back and the more you play it, the more you’ll enjoy it, I guarantee! Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas meets every expectation and then some. I think it’s important that no-one forgets where San Andreas made its name with a lowly ‘gangsta’ CJ who became a huge success through hard work, determination and some hilarious missions. Looking back on the game I still believe that the charm it had in 2004 still exists and is why some gamers still play the game from time to time. I know from time to time I play the game and I am still as much in love with it now as I was when it was first released! I can easily say that there hasn’t’ been another game that satisfied me more than Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas did and since then I’m still playing.

The Top Rated Games of the 2000s

10)     9)     8)  

7)     6)    5)  

4)     3)  

2)    1)  

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