Top 10 Games of 2000 - 2009 (Plus the 10 I like Better)

These are the greatest games of the decade in my view. How to define greatness? It's the combination of high quality and grand importance or significance. I'm not saying these games affected you; they affected me, and I'd argue they affected gaming itself. I'm doubling the list to make room for unobvious choices I feel strongly about but that don't reasonably deserve to crack a top-10. This list also expresses my particular bias for games based around fictional ideas and characters -- I mean no offense by neglecting certain genres that may affect you more than they affect me, but to me the most moving games are ones with characters in them.
This is the decade in games in which the balance of power switched from the East to the West. The Japan-dominated '90s gave way to Western-developed games this decade, specifically starting in 2001 with the back-to-back releases of Grand Theft Auto III and Halo: Combat Evolved; BioWare's work in the role-playing genre with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic also substantially contributed. 
This was a rough decade in many ways, but for game players it was fantastic so long as they kept playing.

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21 Comments Refresh
Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

A unique list with some truly great games on it.

Posted by Psykhophear

Finally, someone who enjoys MGS2 like me. I love MGS 3 and 4 but I find part II has much better balance of cutscenes and non-stop gameplay action than those two. Great list Greg.

Posted by RHCPfan24

A very nice list. I really love Animal Crossing being here. That game owned my childhood.

Edited by buckybit

Who am I to dare question Greg? I can never argue with these lists, since I maybe played 1% of all games - not owning all platforms. 
It is good to read well written, thoughtful pieces. Greg is a loss to the more literate review readers and he was amongst the best review writers. 
Happy New Year (soon) to all, BTW :)

Posted by ElectricHaggis

There are some games on this list I should really go back and play.  Although many of them could never make such a profound or shocking impact on me at this point, I'm sure it would still be worth it.

Posted by eduardo

Agh, I hate to argue over lists... there are some truly great games in this one, though. Having played almost all of them, save for Killer 7, which I know you love, Greg, I can agree with a lot of your choices. WoW is one huge game that is bound to live on after this decade, and hell, MGS 2, the first video review I ever watched. Man, seems like forever ago, huh? I still enjoy playing through the tanker level every now and then... how about you?

Posted by buzz_killington

Nice to see Allied Assualt up there, it made my list too. I would put Max Payne 2 over Max Payne and Vice City over GTA III. But overall, it's a solid list.

Edited by THE_END

Great list........I agree with everything except for the Metal Gear Solid 2 part.   Don't get me wrong Metal Gear Solid 1,3, 4, and even Twin Snakes are among my favorite games of all times, but Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty is garbage compared to the others in the series.  I own MGS2 SoL on PS2 and PC and beat it on both platforms only because it has "Metal Gear Solid" in the title name.  Just the thought of playing as Raiden again makes me avoid this game like it is the plague.

Posted by papadopus

Greg K, as in Greg Kassavin?  
Very nice list. Your description of Metal Gear Solid 2 is spot on, Metal Gear Solid 3 and 4 were never as exciting to me as I had lost that feeling of constantly being on my toes in suspense after the first two games.

Posted by Ben_H

Anyone who acknowledges Allied Assault is immediately awesome.  That game had both amazing singleplayer and multiplayer.  I don't even want to know how many hours I played that D-Day map on multiplayer.  It was so much fun.

Posted by NathHaw

I remember playing Allied Assault my senior year in college.  I would often head to my friends' apartment to get away from my roommate's girlfriend.  One evening after everyone had gone to bed, I installed and played AA.  When I'd finished the Normandy scene, I knew that the game would be forever memorable to me.  I'm glad you included it.
World of Warcraft is probably my number one.  I'm glad you included that as well.

Posted by JWawin

There are so many games on this list that I enjoyed a great deal. Excellent work! 

Posted by ThePhilatron

I really appreciated the way that you seperated the list into the 10 you found to have the broader appeal and then another 10 that was a lot more to do with your personal taste. Any type of critique I might make with regards to this list would do nothing but highlight slight differences in personal opinion. Great list!
Posted by Ross

Ikaruga was hard as hell but it was so much fun.

Edited by ChernobylCow

The only game I really have a problem with making lists such as this is Metroid Prime.  To me that game is so utterly stale and devoid of life.  Compared to something like Riddick or Resident Evil 4 it is like watching movie without costuming or set design.  Something urgent is lacking from it.  The game has no character.
Well written list you've got here.  I sunk way, way too many hours into Baldur's Gate 2 and many other games on this list.  It's been good to be a gamer for a long while now.

Posted by Superfriend

Nice list. I hated that last boss from Panzer Dragon Orta though, but I don´t blame you for liking the game a great deal. 
Thumbs up for placing Halo CE in the top 10, since most people will dismiss it as some sort of short-lived pop culture thing, when in fact everything it did is still relevant for todays games. Oh, and it was a damn fine game, too.

Posted by BaneFireLord

Good list, but I disagree about Oblivion's narrative. That was the only part of the game I thought was lacking. Everything else, 10/10.

Posted by KamikazeCaterpillar

I've never played or heard of the operative, but other than that there is not a single on here that I don't agree. 

Posted by wumbo3000

Goddamn Greg!  Get back into writing!  Reading this reminded me of how much I loved your reviews during the good ole' GS days.

Posted by funk_oddysey

Great list I got 16 of these games, though I still have to play through a few of them...

Edited by papadopus

How can you say Ninja Gaiden is like your "ultimate dream game" and list it all the way down at 16?