My Top Ten Games of 2000

The new millennium was a strange year for video games, with the last hurrah of the N64 and the release calendar being squeezed in a drought due to the pending release of the PS2. 2000 was definitely overshadowed by the years on either side of it, suffering form a lull in releases, but it is still home to some noteworthy games. It was the first year that I probably played more PC than consoles, and in hindsight was probably the end of my devotion to Nintendo that I had maintained since first getting the N64.

Many of these games I didn't get to play till years after their release, which may have coloured my opinion of certain games, but all the same here are my favourite games of 2000.

List items

  • Introducing me to a new kind of strategy game without base building and a greater focus on large scale battles, Shogun kicked off my love of the Total War series. From managing my provinces, wrestling victory in thrilling battles against enemies and a great range of factions to choose from, Shogun was an incredible experience that broadened my expectations of what a strategy game could be.

  • Taking all the charm and improvements that Spryo 2 had and building on it again, Spyro 3 was the pinnacle of this type of adventure-platformer. More characters, more fleshed out story and all the best gameplay of the series made for a game that remains better than anything Spyro related that came after, Skylanders be damned. They don't make them like this anymore.

  • PC strategy games had been on my radar since I first played Starcraft, but Imperium Galactica provided a very different model. There was a huge focus on planet management and ship building, but it also had a spy network system, full blown space and land battles, and a range of races to compete against for control of the galaxy. It didn't hurt that it had 3 full story campaigns to select from as well, something that would likely be DLC in the games of today.

  • The jewel in the crown of RPG's of its era, Baldur's Gate II was the first title that I genuinely felt was able to compete with the JRPG's of the day, like Final Fantasy. Presenting a wonderful fantasy setting with well presented characters, rich lore, a good story and dome incredibly rewarding game mechanics, Shadows of Amn is the best example of the isometric role-playing games to date.

  • My first PS2 game really blew me away with its visuals (compared to the PS1) and I also loved the Chinese setting. Riding on horseback and smashing enemies in a way that felt really powerful, I pretty much instantly fell in love with Dynasty Warriors after playing this game on Christmas Day.

  • When I first played this I was bitterly disappointed. Gone was the structure of my beloved Ocarina and replaced by this time limited nightmare with all the characters I liked from Ocarina twisted in some way. However, the more I have looked back on it the more the weirdness of it appeals to me. It is a dark game with a tone that the rest of the series never approaches. The 3DS version is also a lot more playable.

  • Strictly speaking this game wasn't one of the N64's finest, but it allowed me to play the gameboy Pokemon games on the N64 through it, then port my Pokemon into this version and face friends in a full 3D arena. This had a wow factor. It also had some pretty damn fine mini-game modes. Clefairy school anyone?

  • I only played this many years later on the Xbox Live Arcade, but it is fast, responsive and precise with a different mechanical take on Street Fighter. My main issue with it is the lack of some of the cast I find more interesting (Blanka) but its a good fighting game with the core Street Fighter foundation.

  • Smoother than Mortal Kombat or Tekken and with gorgeous sprites for the characters, Marvel vs Capcom 2 was an easy to play fighting game that rapidly escalated its demands on the player. It never quite captured my imagination in the same way as other fighting games, but I enjoyed my time with it.

  • Considered a classic by many when they speak about it, I found Pokemon Snap a quirky spinoff on an immensely popular series that did not have much substance to it. Still, it is fun and colourful, giving it merit at the end of the N64 lifespan.