The 15 Best Games Since 2000: As Voted By You, The USgamer Audience

The 15 Best Games Since 2000: As Voted By You, The USgamer Audience

Bet you didn't see this one coming! Following on from USgamer's official 15 Best Games Since 2000 series, here's the list of games as voted by you, the USgamer readership. Did your nomination make the cut?

Last week we finished up our 15 Best Games Since 2000 list. What's quite clear is that while most agreed that the games we included on the roster were all very good, many of you had different suggestions as to what you'd like to see on the list. So we thought we'd ask you to name the games you thought were missing in our community question for last week.

We had some great responses, and indeed were so impressed, we thought we'd compile the games that either recieved multiple votes, or had particularly compelling reasons why they should be included on the list and create a Top 15 Best Games Since 2000 as voted by the USgamer audience. So without further ado, here's what many of the USgamer readership believe are the 15 best games since 2000 – in no particular order.


Nominated by: FalcoT

"Portal seems like a big loss from the list. In terms of my expectations towards a game changing during play, I doubt anything will surpass it. To make room, I'd remove Katamari Damacy, a very novel idea but, if we're being picky (we kind of have to), a bit repetitive. "

Nominated by: Happy-Mask-Salesman

"I would include Portal in my list. I think the Portal and Mario Galaxy games were the most fun franchises from the last console generation."

Metroid Prime

Nominated by: DrCorndog

DrCornDog was quite blunt about his choice, citing, "How on earth do you make a "best games since 2000" list without Metroid Prime?"

Well, now we have!


Nominated by: SatelliteOfLove

"One of the most brilliantly designed systemic games I have ever touched... "

Final Fantasy XII

Nominated by: touchofkiel

"My favorite game would be FFXII. But that's not a popular choice."

Nominated by: cldmstrsn

"I guess for me what is missing is Final Fantasy XII. For that game to come out a week before the PS3 it kind of got "lost" amongst all that chatter and for some people the battle system didn't click and they all thought Vaan was the main character which is always funny to me. Its still a joy to play after all these years and I always have the itch to play it but I'm holding off because not only have I already played it this year but I am really hoping for an HD remaster announcement."

Super Smash Bros Melee

Nominated by: AlxndrNevermind

"I really think the list was great overall. I was disappointed, however, that Metroid Prime or Super Smash Bros. Melee were not on the list. I always felt that SSBM was a game that really cemented SSB as one of Nintendo's top tier franchises, and furthermore its legacy can be seen by its continued inclusion in popular fighting game tournaments. Additionally, I feel as though it was a high point for the fighting-game genre, and introduced many players who might never had entered. The games accessibility, both in presentation and controls, allowed for SSBM to become a fighting game phenomenon. Metroid Prime is a fantastic game that really nailed how the 2D Metroidvania could transition properly into 3D. The game was masterfully crafted, and had so many great new ideas, while also borrowing from its predecessors. Truly one of the best games of its generation."

Rock Band

Nominated by: PlatypusPlatoon

Jaz had Rockband 3 on his original 15 nominations list, but it didn't make the round one cut. However, PlatypusPlatoon is also a fan of the series, saying, "Rock Band. Man, what a game. I could probably still go back and play that now and have a blast... if I could dig up the ol' plastic instruments and wipe the layer of grime off."

The World Ends with You

Nominated by: InsertTokenz

"There have been a bunch of excellent games that could have made such a list (many of them already mentioned by folks here in the comments!)."

"For the sake of trying to offer something no one else has mentioned yet though, I'll go ahead and make a case for The World Ends With You on the DS. A game that not only brought a lot of new and truly refreshing gameplay elements to the JRPG sub-genre, but also was one of the few games designed to take complete advantage of all the hardware features of the Nintendo DS in order to facilitate and compliment those said gameplay elements to perfection."

"It has served as one of my most favorite original DS titles, which I feel would make a likely candidate for the top 15 games of the past 15 years."

Nominated by: sleepiest

"It's an absolutely wonderful game, and the only one where I actively try to push myself difficulty-wise. I really have no criticisms to make on it."

Nominated by: brionfoulke91

"TWEWY is a really strong contender to be on a list like this. Certainly it was one of the best DS games, at least."

Nominated by: Lord-Bob-Bree

"I completely forgot about TWEWY, but that could have been a great choice. It had such a great battle system, and it's "choose-your-own-difficult" (both in actual difficulty and levels) is something that more games should have learned from. I also like how it handled its story."

Bayonetta/Bayonetta 2

Nominated by: brionfoulke91

Here's a tricky choice. Which Bayonetta deserves to be on this list? There were nominations for both, so rather than choose between the two, you can read these two reasons why, and choose for yourself.

Firstly, brionfoulkeg91 says, "Without a doubt, the biggest omission from your list is Bayonetta. It's the best action game ever made! So it deserves a place on any list, certainly within the top 15 games since 2000. I don't think I need to go into reasons, most people agree that Bayonetta is the best action game ever made. Some people might put DMC3 or Ninja Gaiden Black higher, which is also fair. I would have been fine with either of those games ending up on your list as well."

"But as it is, none of those games made it, and your top 15 list is missing a pure action game. Dark Souls is the closest thing, but I think that Dark Souls is kind of it's own genre. There have been amazing action games released in the last 15 years, and I would have liked to have seen that represented on your list. "

Nominated by: Jairo-MC

"Bayonetta 2. It's the single best action game from the past 15 years, possible ever."

Halo: Combat Evolved

Nominated by: PlatypusPlatoon

"I'm not much of an FPS fan, but I agree with everyone saying Halo: Combat Evolved. The enemy AI was revolutionary for its time, and made the single player campaign fun and memorable. I still have great memories of Elites running for cover after taking some damage, and letting their Grunts soak up the bullets, before coming back for seconds later. The shield recharge system and two weapon loadout were firsts, too, as was the whole idea of a viable FPS on consoles."

Half-Life 2

Nominated by: NiceGuyNeon

"Halo: Combat Evolved and Half-Life 2 led the charge for me. I don't think there's any point in expanding on it. I think Halo: Combat Evolved (and Halo 2/Halo 3) and Half-Life 2 (and Episode 1/2) are the epitome of FPS."

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

Nominated by: daysofstatic65

This was also originally nominated by Mike Williams in his personal 15 shortlist. Dayofstatic65 agreed with him, saying, "Shadow Hearts: Covenant, all day. Great choice."

Mother 3

Nominated by: geoffreymoses97

How could we resist the blunt-force reasoning from geoffreymoses97, "I'm just here to say that this list is worthless and weak without Mother 3. Bye now." Fair enough!

Nominated by: Lord-Bob-Bree

"Mother 3 had such a charming and interesting story and characters (with the caveat of suddenly-silent characters) and very good music throughout that I felt improved the experience. The battle system, too, I felt was good, with the rolling HP and rhythm combos making it more interesting."

Fallout New Vegas

Nominated by: nimzy

Another game that Mike originally nominated in his personal list, Nimzy agreed with his choice. "Mike's after my own heart, I recently reinstalled New Vegas and modded it beyond recognition in celebration of Fallout 4's announcement. What a difference the years have made in the improvement of the game!"

Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne

Nominated by: SatelliteOfLove

Jeremy originally included Shin Megami Tensei IV on this personal list of 15 nominations, but it didn't make the cut. SattelliteOfLove prefers Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne, "which is Atlus' magnum opus and the greatest game on the PS2... "

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Nominated by: Kuni-Nino

"My real pick is Twilight Princess and this series and how it continues to deliver on quality is something this whole industry is guilty of taking for granted. Every new Zelda is greeted with rave reviews, almost evangelical, but it has now become something people quickly forget and I don't understand why."

"Has anyone else besides me noticed that Zelda is the only type of game left of its kind? Yeah, sure we had Okami a few years back, but that series is long gone. Dark Souls got comparisons to the first Zelda, but DS is closer to a dungeon crawler then to anything Zelda has become over the past 20 years."

"When I say this, I'm not talking about visuals because a lot of games borrowed the camera, the lock on, the sword combat and the traversal. What I'm talking about is its design if I can call it that. For a long time, people have had trouble nailing down the genre in which Zelda fits. People call it an adventure game, but it's not. People call it an action game, but it's not. People call it an RPG, that's kinda close but not really. And it's because Zelda is a lot of different things. Twilight Princess is the perfect expression of it."

"What other game has you riding a spinning top to topple a gigantic skeleton in the sand? What other game has you transforming into wolf? What other game has sumo wrestling with a goron trying to catch him and fling him into lava? There are so many unique gameplay ideas interwoven into a Zelda game and Twilight Princess has a metric ton of them. Link is snowboarding at one point! He even fishes!"

"The only game I've seen attempt so many different things is Rockstar's GTA games, but they don't come close to the careful design Nintendo places on Zelda. You can rest assured that when Nintendo designs an item for example, the dungeon they design around it is a thing they've tested about a hundred times and that is what all of Twilight's main dungeons feel like. It's extreme polish to an absurd degree."

"I can write further, but this is too long already. I'll just say this about Zelda. There are no stats. No BS RPG 'elements'. There are no setpieces. No cinematic gameplay touches. It's a pure game with design philosophies centered around "is pressing A fun?" That's the most important philosophy Miyamoto handed down."

"Complain about the tutorials all you want. Say that it drags the pace down or you feel insulted. I'll give you that, but just remember who the tutorials are for. New people deserve a chance to learn how to play and there is nothing else on the market that plays like a Zelda game. That time is long past and they don't have anything similar to draw on. Put up with the tutorials for your fellow man. You'll be rewarded with a one of a kind game."

"There. Done."

Related articles

Eric's Farewell | Off to Find a New Challenger

It's time for us to move on, but we'll carry USG with us wherever we go.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

You may also like

Kat, Mat, and Eric's Top 10 Games of 2020

Our favorites of the year, from those who remain.

USG's Top 20 Games of 2020

From thirsty gods to avaricious raccoons, these were our favorite games in 2020.

USG Game of the Year 2020: Hades Isn't Just About Escaping Home, But Rebuilding It

This Greek myth feels like the culmination of everything Supergiant Games has created thus far.