#10: BioShock (X360)
Sometimes a game is on the list because it's just amazing, and sometimes it's on the list for launching a new franchise that just keeps the fun going. Bioshock is a bit of both. To many people, this is one of the best games of the decade. However, I want to move past that for some other important stuff.
What did it do for gaming? Bioshock did two big important parts for the gaming world. The first part was that it was really the first new series of gaming that people got into. It was something that was new and inventive while not being so over-blown. The grungy look and feel of the game made it stand out amongst most of the other games of its time, but it also fits the 1960's steampunk feel as well. The second thing is that it showed that an amazing single player game, in a world of online multiplayer, could still work in the generation of gaming that connectivity and always on was the norm. Telling a great story can always be fun if you can put people into it, and rather than opting for large gun battles between hundreds of players, it went to the basic mentality that should never be forgotten: A good game should always feel good for player 1 more than anything else.
Was the game any good? I haven't played it much to be honest, so I can't say. It's considered to be one of the top games of the decade, not just the year, but I have to put a question mark on that myself. Worth grabbing, for sure. But I wouldn't go as far as to put it above some other games.
Before you go and say 'Why not Vice City?' Well, although that game was defining, and I won't deny that, if you're asking yourself that question you'll come to understand why I put this ahead of that. Take every single criminal activity you could think of, and then put it into this game. Pretty much that's not even half the story.
What did it do for gaming? If you've played Vice City, it didn't change much. The more you activity do bad things, the more noticed you all by the law, and the more hunted down you become. No, that isn't why this one makes it ahead of the more well-known PS2 game. San Andreas is here because like Unreal Tournament, you can mod things so much that at times it causes more trouble than it's worth. This time, the mod in question was 'Hot Coffee' and it made it to where you as the player ended up performing sexual actions on screen when originally you weren't supposed to see any of it. This quickly changed the game from an 'M' Rating to an 'AO' Rating by the E.S.R.B. To my understanding, this is the first time a rating was changed post-release, and it was really one of the first times a game went viral for something that was done post-release to the game that the company itself wasn't involved in.
Is the game any good? Most people like Grand Theft Auto, but I can't stand it. I could see why people like it, but the whole crime-based type of game like this just bothers me. It's an Open World type so it does have that going for it, but I just don't think these games are for me.
This is one of those I'm going to cause some drama with I'm sure. Putting this on the list may seem off to those waiting on Kingdom Hearts 3 since the end of Kingdom Hearts 2 (on PLEASE put it out this year), but this game also puts out 3 points that do both good, and bad.
What did it do for gaming? License games are extremely rare unless they're a movie tie-in or some comic book whatever from who knows what. Now of days we get a ton of anime-based fighting games, so this was the first time this decade a licensed game was amazing. Point two may be that it really did capture a lot of Disney worlds without being so heavy on the "Princess feel" as I like to call it. Yes, the Princesses are a part of the game, but not so much where you just go 'EWWWW GIRL GAME!' But number 3, and the reason I may get attacked for it, it also showed us how much Square Enix isn't wanting to give us exactly what we want. The game has so many spin-offs and side points that aren't the official next part of the game, it almost feels like they're trying to just get away with whatever they want to. Maybe EA before EA did that?
Is the game any good? Better than almost all the Final Fantasy games that came out in the 2000's. It really had great emotion to the story and played very smoove for all the craziness that was on screen. I have only one real complaint about the game, and that's it only really put Final Fantasy characters into the game as a side story, not the main one. Ok that its suppose to be about Disney and their universe, but I would rather fight alongside Squall than have to fight against him in the beginning.
Sometimes, you just have to say it: It's impossible for home gaming to replicate the feel of an arcade. This is the first, and up to this time only, rhythm game that made it impossible to really play outside the quarter-munching game places. This was the one where if your arcade didn't have it, then I feel sorry for you.
What did it do for gaming? You can call Dance Dance Revolution the last great arcade machine, as it literally was the first new idea that brought gamers into arcades since the early to mid-90s. Unlike those arcades which had joysticks as your main input devices, this one used a metallic pad that you had to move in time with the music along a set of 4 arrows. The trick is that you have to use your legs, something that most games totally ignored up until the time of this game's release. More so, the sturdy metal pad was strong enough to hold on for a long time, and when you played it at home, you normally got slick feeling ones that aren't nearly as good. The game is one of the few new ideas that you simply can't reproduce in an arcade feel in your living room no matter how hard someone tried. I'm looking at you Wii Fit.
Is the game any good? Yes, it's likely one of the top 10 arcade games of all time, but I wouldn't say it's Pac Man or Donkey Kong amazing. I would say it's an acquired taste. You have to get used to the game and it's idea before you can really understand why it's amazing, meaning you have to get off the couch and play it. You can find it easy at almost any anime or gaming convention, so check it out if you can.
Sex sells, there's no getting around it. With all the games that came out in the mid-2000s that put this idea out there that weren't some Japanese hentai game on your PC (none of which I'm going to talk about), this was the first one that could have been marketed to be, for lack of better words, playable to the United States of America. It also didn't hurt that Microsoft pretty much let anything go during the early days.
What did it do for gaming? Let's just get down to it, Dead or Alive is eye candy to anyone who plays it. So instead of playing a fighting game, why not make it loaded with fan service for days and say 'here you go!' This was the first time a game could make its mark on being sexualized and be successful. Play game, buy more skimpy outfits, repeat repeat repeat. Yes, there were mods for more, removing of clothes, but the main draw was always sex appeal anyway.
Is the game any good? Eh, it's not bad. If you want to find things that are no full-blown porn then I guess you can come to this. I do think when it comes down to it, it's about how much you like the random insanity the Dead or Alive series has with the sex appeal. I like it, but I can see why you wouldn't be drawn to it. For better or worse, Dennis Rodman was the voice of Zack in this game, so let that sink in a bit.
This one's tough, because I had to think of an anime-themed game to put on here. It came down to this and Disgaea. Both had a following, but I think Persona had just a little more of a following to work with. Anyway, we got a ton of anime games in the 2000s, so finding one was harder than you may think, but here it is.
What did it do for gaming? JRPGs were mostly about cutting people in half and moving on. This was more of building relationships and stats outside of constant fighting. Characters had different personalities, tasks became more of a requirement when you weren't just fighting, and the world around you was constantly changing in somewhat real time. All that gameplay stuff aside, there was a huge push of anime-related titles in the 2000s, and this was the one most people pointed to more than almost any other. It showed you could make Japanimation-style themes to the rest of the world and it would be popular, as this also came with several spin-offs such as a fighting game and an actual anime series.
Is the game any good? Meh, I couldn't get into it for long. The game defiantly worth playing back then, but the problem was all the dragging on and on the game gives you. It took me 2 hours into the game before I actually felt like I was doing something. So if you love these slow, story-based games, then yes. Otherwise, move on to something more exciting.
Able to make this list by a few days, the original Mario Party was bland. It's single player sucked badly and you had to use the analog stick for most of the games. It was so bad when you did that, Nintendo sent you protective gloves because you would normally use the palms of your hands. Now, clean up all the issues, and you get a gem of a game that's hard to replicate.
What did it do for gaming? Unlike the first one which I see more as a blueprint than a finished product, Mario Party two showed that social gaming was still in style, and in fact was viable. I would put Super Smash Bros. Melee on this list but this game also was the first viable party game. Nintendo would make a few more Mario Party games, but this was the one that set the standard for everything else to follow. Even Sega's attempt with Sonic Shuffle and Microsoft's Fuzion Frenzy couldn't compete with what ended up making a whole new genre of gaming.
Is the game any good? Oh yes! This is by far the best party game you can have and it's not even close. Mario Party 3 was average, 1 was again bland, and 4 was ok, but I've played nothing quite as fun as 2. Even now the games never get boring. Oh, how many times we ruined our sanity with Bowser's Big Blast...
The top 3 are obvious calls. There's no wrong way to order them, but I just had to pick which one was the most impactful. So sadly, Halo was the one who got dropped down a bit. That doesn't take away what it did for gaming, make no mistake.
What did it do for gaming? The XBox just came out, and so it needed something to stand out from the rest of the gaming world. With that, it came out with many different shooters, both first person and third person. So Halo was one of the many games that stood above the rest. The graphics were amazing, showing off the power of the XBox. Also, you were only allowed to take 2 weapons at a time, thus having someone who just carried around guns that would be stored in an army base that only got stronger in power, doing nothing else was taken away. Each gun had a reason for being used, rather it was up-close or from far away, making the best of your weapons was key in winning each mission.
Is the game any good? It can be argued that Halo is one of the best, if not the best, launch title for any console in the history of gaming. But this one had a huge problem: The lack of XBox live support. If it had that right out of the gate, instead of us waiting for Halo 2, it would in my mind pass Super Mario 64 for the title of best launch game ever without question. It will be a debate that yes, you can have for a long time.
Again, putting the top 3 in any order that you can, Call of Duty 3's multiplayer was ok but felt generic. All you had to do is be a medic and you kept people alive as well as gain promotions. Taking away that medic and putting you in a kill-or-die setting in multiplayer is what Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare did. It's easy to forget that many spin-offs came from a spin-off of a WW2 game.
What did it do for gaming? In an online world that was lacking action, save from some Unreal Tournament games, Call of Duty 4 gave it to us, but also added in some important factors. Going back to Halo, where you can only hold 2 guns at any given point of time, CoD4 made it to where you now had to select different settings that you wanted to have instead of just picking up dropped weapons. Did you want to take a shot-gun with a sniper rifle without trying to find one or the other, then you could. But also, after you went on a killing spree, you could use different things to aid your team in battle. They got better in future Call of Duty games, but now you got the basic outline to what you were looking to do here.
Is the game any good? Although people complain about it now, Call of Duty 4 is one of the best games of all time when it came out... then CoD:MW2 came out and blew that multiplayer away. Debate things now if you want to, but there's no way you can go back when this came out and say that this game was bad, boring, or whatever negative you want to.
Still hard to place the top 3 in any order, this list at the top is the hardest one I've had to do yet. Thus, what could mean more for gaming than 2 of the best games ever? The first game that I know of that made MMORPGs viable as a concept. More people have played this game for a long period of time than most other games in history, myself included.
What did it do for gaming? Of all the MMORPGs to come out, this one set the standard in almost every regard. People now were drawn to a universe that already had a decent backstory of the Warcraft series of RTS games and made it an RPG. While that alone helps it, the sheer number of people who played this game at one time is what puts this at the top. Also, after a while, the game got easier for people who were starting fresh to get into. It's not impossible now of days to Solo a lot of the game and queue up for battles with other people looking to do the same within a matter of minutes instead of looking for a group and taking hours or days. You can still join a guild now and get a ton of perks, but consider that a lot of people are playing it now, over 15 years later, and you have no doubt a game that has stood the test of time on top of being a smash hit.
Is the game any good? When I first started it, there was a huge problem. It was stated in a review once "No one is allowed to be new here." And that was the biggest issue then: Beginners got lost big time. Now of days it's easier to work solo. Its expansions are good at adding new content, but I also think they watered down the RPG system itself. You now are forced to take one skill tree instead of potentially blending parts of another. But gameplay wise outside of that, you can have a good time still. I just think the best part of the game is the vast world you get to take part of more than the social aspect of the gameplay aspect, as there's no one way, even as a certain race or class of a character, you need to play the game to get ahead.
Final Fantasy X: For better or worse, this was the first main game that I remember in the PS2 era that had voice acting. Hahahahahaha, if you know what I mean.
Resident Evil 4: One of the biggest Gamecube Exclusives at the time it was released, it did show what the Gamecube was able to do. The one problem is that it came out on other consoles as well. Notice the lack of Gamecube games on this list btw.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes: Yes, this one was one of the last arcade fighters that were out there, and honestly it's roster shown how many characters you could have in a fighting game.
Soul Calibur 2: Another great fighting game, this one came down to having exclusive characters for each of the 3 main consoles. Despite having Link on the Gamecube version, it wasn't quite impactful enough.
MVP Baseball 2005: When EA did sports games in this decade, they did them right. This is widely constered the best baseball game of all time. And it went so far as to include legends of the game as unlockable players. Ever wanted to see Babe Ruth pitch in today's game (Yes he used to pitch) at a hitter's wonderland like Minute Maid Park? Here's your chance!
Sonic the Hedgehog: No, not the original one that made #1 of the 1990s, the one that came out on the XBox 360 and is considered one of the worst sonic games of all time. It nearly single-handedly ended Sega. But talk about a bit of a recovery selling Downloaded games from our past onto things like XBox Live and PSN.
Fallout 3: When you take your time, these things can become amazing. Nearly 10 years after the first game, the world saw the post-apocalyptic universe for themselves on a modern console.
Half-life 2: Ok, this one's tricky. In one regard I see what people would like about it, and it's not ever getting a sequel is in itself a reason this game is so popular. On the other end, Kingdom Hearts was the same way and now is finally getting a third game in the main series. Valve, unfortunately, is doing what Square-Enix is doing, so I get it, but compared to other games, it's not as important.
The 2000s were a decade of some of the most amazing video games of all time. A ton of them stand out now, well into the 2010s. It's tough to not look at these games as they're out there today and a lot of them are just as fun as they were then.
Again, if you feel like your ideal game didn't make this list, do let me know. I want to know what you would put on this list of decade-defining games.
List by PlasmawarriorX (11/08/2018)
Discuss this list and others on the Top 10 Lists board.
Have your own Top 10 in mind? Create and submit your own Top 10 List today.