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The 15 Best Games Since 2000: The Complete List

What are the fifteen best games from the past fifteen years? Here's our complete list.

Retrospective by USgamer Team, .

#12: Burnout 3: Takedown

When it comes to delivering the very finest in ludicrously high speed, ultra-thrilling racing, Burnout 3: Takedown still resides in pole position, despite it being some 11 years old at this point. That's because Criterion Games' super-aggressive, PlayStation 2 festival of automotive madness and mayhem took arcade racing to a point that – to be blunt – was exceptionally difficult to top. While its graphics might be looking chunkily dated these days, Burnout 3: Takedown's gameplay is still as fresh as it was when it was first released in 2004: It combines speed and fury in a way that no other racing game has done before or since.

If you're unfamiliar with the game, it's a classic racer in which the driver chases down the checkered flag on a variety of road and city courses. There are other vehicles present on the tarmac – not only competitors, but general street traffic that has to be avoided, or indeed used to help precipitate crashes that will catch out your rivals and send them spinning spectacularly to their doom. Yep. Crashing – a thing usually to be avoided at all costs in most racing games – is a core tactic of getting to the finishing post ahead of your rivals in this game. Whether you're jostling another driver off the road, bumping them so they collide head-on with a car approaching in the opposite direction, or using "Impact Time" when you yourself have crashed, to "aftertouch" your flaming wreck of a vehicle into other cars to take them down with you, smashing your opponents out of the way and generally driving your car like you stole it is part and parcel of this hugely entertaining game.

"... [Burnout 3] represents the very pinnacle of arcade racing. While current cutting edge arcade racers like Forza Horizon 2 and even the latest Need for Speed games are enjoyable and fun – and of course feature graphics that are two generations ahead – they feel positively pedestrian in terms of their speed and action."

It's the sheer speed of the action that makes the game such a terrific driving experience. There's just enough forgiveness in terms of the collision detection to enable you to pull off what feel like miracle moves as you avoid objects and other cars at incredible speeds. The game is slightly flattering in that respect, but that's a good thing. It encourages you to go for impossible-looking gaps, corner while doing spectacular drifts, and put all of your momentum into huge sideswipes to send other cars spinning to their doom.

While racing is the main headline feature of this game, one particularly entertaining additional aspect that Burnout 3: Takedown boasts is Crash Mode. The objective is to race as rapidly as possible towards certain annihilation – perhaps a busy intersection or a piece of roadway packed with traffic – with the objective of creating as spectacular a piece of vehicular destruction as possible. Here, the "aftertouch" feature of Impact Mode really comes into full effect as you guide your wreck into other vehicles and objects, finally making it explode to create a chain reaction that – if you do it right – creates hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage that's hopefully enough to hit that particular level's objective.

This gleefully wanton destruction is phenomenally addictive and fun, and the mode's targets are set just right to make the game challenging enough to keep you coming back repeatedly to try to score gold on each level.

The reason why Burnout 3: Takedown is on this list is, like I said earlier – it represents the very pinnacle of arcade racing. While current cutting edge arcade racers like Forza Horizon 2 and even the latest Need for Speed games are enjoyable and fun – and of course feature graphics that are two generations ahead – they feel positively pedestrian in terms of their speed and action. Burnout 3: Takedown sets a pace and intensity that no other racing games have ever managed to best, because, to be frank, if a game were any faster it would likely be nigh on impossible to play.

Ultimately, Burnout 3: Takedown gets the balance of speed, playability, and forgiveness absolutely spot-on. It puts you into a racing zone that constantly has you executing scrapes and maneuvers that you can scarcely believe you managed to pull off, but you somehow manage to do it time and time again – and it feels so good doing it. It's simply brilliant stuff – and if there's ever a racing game that needs to be remastered for current generation consoles, it's this. - Jaz Rignall

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  • Avatar for pdubb #1 pdubb 3 years ago
    You guys and gals are awful brave posting a list like this, but I defintely appreciate the intestinal fortitude required to stand by such a list in the year of our twitter rage 2015.

    Sadly, it seems a few of my favorites probably don't stand a chance since I can't imagine they rank in the top 10 based on the list so far:

    Mass Effect 2, Ninja Gaiden Black, Bayonetta, and Halo 3.

    Lastly, I think the staff should put bets on how many comments for this article will completely ignore the "since 2000" aspect and complain about some 16 bit game not making the list.Edited July 2015 by pdubb
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  • Avatar for FTLMantis #2 FTLMantis 3 years ago
    I like the idea, but really don't like the slideshow format. It's cool to see a list like this where the historical contributions are weighed more than the extent to which the gameplay holds up.Edited 2 times. Last edited July 2015 by FTLMantis
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  • Avatar for Stepout #3 Stepout 3 years ago
    I just recently started playing Super Mario Galaxy for the first time. I'm having a lot of fun, but I miss the old-school quick and easy way of picking levels and where in God's green Earth is the Continue button after you die? Looking forward to the rest of the list :)
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  • Avatar for grappler51 #4 grappler51 3 years ago
    Cool idea, and it's definitely going to be very divisive no matter what. And I'm not sure how I feel about Burnout 3, I think there are better racing games (F-Zero GX?). I really hope Metroid Prime is on this list somewhere, the Wii version is pretty much perfect in my eyes. Also MGS3. Damn there's way too many good games even just in this time period. I can tell some good stuff is gonna is gonna get left out!
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #5 SargeSmash 3 years ago
    Really happy to see Burnout 3 on the list. I excessively played that game, and I agree with the takeaway that there's not many games with the same combination of speed and mayhem that it brings.
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  • Avatar for christopherhughes97 #6 christopherhughes97 3 years ago
    All good choices so far, but it's good to know that I'm not the only booster for Burnout 3. Dominator and Revenge were both fine, and Paradise was an interesting idea, but they just didn't feel as well tuned as 3. I'm not a big racing game player, so it's good to know that I didn't pick a favorite based totally on ignorance.
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  • Avatar for sleepiest #7 sleepiest 3 years ago
    I was happy to see Cave Story in the header image, and then sad because that means it didn't make number one. The jump in that game is the gold standard I compare all other jumps to, especially once you get that jetpack.

    You wrote that it showed up 10 years too late, but I wonder if it wasn't 10 years (or more) too early? Looking at all the praise that was poured onto Shovel Knight, for instance, makes me wish I could see Cave Story so lauded.
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  • Avatar for SigurdVolsung #8 SigurdVolsung 3 years ago
    Give me Dota 2 over LoL any day of the week and twice on Sundays. And, while the crashing portion of Burnout 3 was fun, give me any Gran Tourismo over that series. Heck, I may even take Midnight Club 2 over Burnout 3.
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  • Avatar for siamesegiant #9 siamesegiant 3 years ago
    Burnout 3 seems the obvious choice for an arcade racer. I'm surprised to hear the love for F-Zero GX in the comments here though. I've never played it but I've only ever heard it to be unfairly difficult, and not a patch on the N64 iteration.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #10 SatelliteOfLove 3 years ago
    I wonder where my top 3s from Gen 6 and Gen 7 will end up at. And if not, I know they'll get good explanations why others are in their places.
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  • Avatar for Daryoon #11 Daryoon 3 years ago
    Mario Galaxy is already eight years old? We're almost as far away from it as Mario 64 was SMB...
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  • Avatar for GaijinD #12 GaijinD 3 years ago
    Personally, I prefer Revenge to Burnout 3. I think being able to rear end regular traffic out of your way, or even into your rivals, adds a lot to the game. Personally, I found simply crashing through same way traffic rather than having to avoid it a lot less frustrating, too.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #13 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    I'm pretty disgusted by the inclusion of League of Legends on this list. Popular it may be, but it's an awful game in many ways. Certainly doesn't deserve to be on a list like this, in fact I think it would easily fit on a worst successful games of all time list.

    But you made up for it by including Cave Story, a game that definitely has to be in a list like this. Easily one of the best indie games ever made, if not the best outright! Incredibly influential and the best at what it does, even over many classic platformers. A great choice.

    Katamari Damacy and Super Mario Galaxy are also good choices. Burnout... pretty strange choice, but I won't fault you for it. Offbeat choices can be fun.

    One game I expect to show up on the top 10 for sure is Dark Souls. One of the most influential and significant games of all time, and one of the best designed. In all honesty it deserves #1.

    Some other games that I'd expect to see include: Bayonetta, Metal Gear Solid 3, Silent Hill 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Persona 4, and Minecraft. All of those would be excellent choices. If I were making this list, there's no question they would all make it.

    Some others that I think may have a shot of showing up on the list, but aren't shoe-ins: Neir, Splatoon, Catherine, Jet Set Radio, Virtue's Last Reward, Dangan Ronpa, Ninja Gaiden Black. I wouldn't be surprised to see any of those show up.

    One game that I think sadly won't show up, but really SHOULD, is Ghost Trick. I would say it has the best story of any game ever made. It's a dark horse for sure, but I will be quite happy to see it shows up somewhere! More people need to be encouraged to play that game!
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  • Avatar for chaoticBeat #14 chaoticBeat 3 years ago
    I completely agree with Burnout 3 being the pinnacle of arcade racing. I don't think some people were ready for it. Burnout was definitely a sleeper series before #3. I clearly remember preordering it based on the insane preview. The gamestop clerk said, "Burnout? Really?" when I asked to preorder it.

    To me Burnout 3 had the perfect balance of racing and slamming other racers. Revenge upended that balance by taking away the tension in racing from avoiding traffic. Paradise was confusing and unfocused.

    I have hopes for Ghost Games and NFS Underground. I dug Rivals but, in the end NFS doesn't have anything on the Burnout games. It's going for a different feel I know, but the cars feel too heavy.Edited 2 times. Last edited July 2015 by chaoticBeat
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  • Avatar for Voncaster #15 Voncaster 3 years ago
    This list is "best" games not most "impactful."

    Does "best" game mean USGamer's "favorite" games?
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  • Avatar for Voncaster #16 Voncaster 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 "One of the most influential and significant games of all time, and one of the best designed. In all honesty it deserves #1."

    Minecraft would fit this description just as easily as Dark Souls. Come to think of it, most games in the top 15, will fit this quote. How about Disney Infinity or Skylanders? I would argue those games are at least as influential to other developers. From Software makes great games, and I play them, but beyond a few games here and there, I don't see other devs taking design cues from From Software.
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  • Avatar for Megamoppy #17 Megamoppy 3 years ago
    Randomly listening to Cave Story OST (Moonsong - seriously one of the best game songs ever) and come on to the site and there it is staring at me.

    Interesting list btw a definite mix up from the usual top lists...hmm considering the style of the list I imagine Portal will make it and maybe street fighter 4.
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  • Avatar for daidalus #18 daidalus 3 years ago
    OK i got it, USG is probably prefering console games, as 80% of the articles are about console games. You are huge fans of nintendo also. Got it.

    But if games like Civ, thief 2, deus ex, planescape and system shock(or these 2 are 1999?), diablo 2, world of warcraft, even world of goo as the best puzzle game, miss this list, it will be greatly disappointing.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #19 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @Voncaster I don't think so. When I said Dark Souls was the best designed, I meant it... I think it's a better designed game than Minecraft, and FAR better than Skylanders. You're focusing too much on the influential part, which kind of makes me wish I hadn't said that... although I do think it's a very influential game, I don't like lists of "best" games that take influence and success into account. To me leads to boring lists. My focus is more on sheer quality, and in that respect I think that Dark Souls may very well be the #1 game ever created, for many many reasons which I could write dozens of paragraphs about. But I won't bore you.

    Although I do agree that Minecraft probably belongs on the list. That and Cave Story are the only two PC games I would put on such a list, personally.
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  • Avatar for bertford36 #20 bertford36 3 years ago
    Good list, other than the awful decision to put League of Legends on it. Forget about being in the top 15, it's debatable if that game is even GOOD! Other than that blemish, good list so far. Cave Story rocks!
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  • Avatar for Sturat #21 Sturat 3 years ago
    I've thought about this before, and Katamari Damacy, Cave Story, and Super Mario Galaxy would be among my favorites from the last 15 years, too. I'd also include Portal and Resident Evil 4, which I expect to see later in your list.

    I haven't quite narrowed it down to 15, but my favorites would be:
    Fantasy Zone IIDX
    Pikmin 3
    The King of Fighters XIII
    Mega Man 9
    Super Mario Galaxy
    Cave Story
    Portal
    Katamari Damacy
    Resident Evil 4
    Ouendan
    Rhythm Heaven Fever
    Outrun 2
    Pac-Man CE DX
    Ys: Oath in Felghana
    Retro Game Challenge
    Valkyria Chronicles
    Sonic Generations
    Gradius V
    Meteos
    Half-Minute Hero

    I hope we get to see the list of all the staff nominations in the end.
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  • Avatar for Feanor #22 Feanor 3 years ago
    If RE4 and Persona 4 aren't in top 10 this list will be a disaster.
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  • Avatar for manny_c44 #23 manny_c44 3 years ago
    I guess it was good to make the cut off at 2000 because there were so many instant-classic 'game-changers' in 1998 and 1999.

    Hey Vagrant Story was released 15 years ago...I know from Retronauts how much Jeremy gets this game. It's got to be top ten.
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  • Avatar for orakiorob #24 orakiorob 3 years ago
    I'm one of those weird guys that don't really like Mario Galaxy. I bought it, I forced myself to play through it hoping it would eventually click, but it didn't. Maybe it's the gravity, I find it weird that it's always pushing me down so hard in a game where the main character is known for it's jumping ability. I don't know, I just don't like it.

    Nice list!Edited July 2015 by orakiorob
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  • Avatar for theresacatalano27 #25 theresacatalano27 3 years ago
    Just quietly remove League of Legends from the list, and replace it with something decent. No one will blame you. It takes a big person to admit their mistakes!
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  • Avatar for Mikki-Saturn #26 Mikki-Saturn 3 years ago
    Very interesting list - and a good idea too. I've always thought that the "best of all time" lists were kind of problematic, unless you develop a set of objective criteria that can be applied.

    Since I imagine they won't ultimately show up, let me plug a few dark horses just in case any interested parties want to check it out. Little King Story and Sin and Punishment Star Successor are both 10/10 games for me. Also, The Last Story, which is a little underrated because Xenoblade steals all the attention. But it's an extremely good, brisk RPG that ought to serve as an inspiration to other JRPG devs for how to do things in the modern era. Then too there's No More Heroes, which is a stone cold masterpiece in my opinion. I would also point out the greatness that is Catherine and 3D Dot Game Heroes. I imagine the Souls series will make an appearance without my intervention, so I won't say anything about that. :)

    Going farther back though, Skies of Arcadia is actually eligible and - oh man, can you believe Final Fantasy IX was released in 2000? Also Chrono Cross was a 2000 game in North America! I guess my lazy short hand is to think of all the great PS1 games as belonging to the '90's but obviously a few great ones slipped into the new millennium.
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  • Avatar for pdubb #27 pdubb 3 years ago
    I did realize as I loaded it up again last night that the Tactics Ogre remake does fall into this time frame.

    I know Jeremy gave it an amazing review and judging by the types of games on the list so far, I think it might have a chance to make.

    This makes me excited to no end, as maybe the publicity would get people talking about the series again. Few things would make me happier in the world of gaming than another game where I can expect cameos from Warren and Deneb.
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  • Avatar for Monkey-Tamer #28 Monkey-Tamer 3 years ago
    Some of these I completely missed, so I appreciate seeing new things on a list like this. Galaxy showed that the Mario formula can still work after all these years. For some reason I still love Mario 64 and Mario World. Good clean fun without the drama and cutscenes of most modern games.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #29 Kuni-Nino 3 years ago
    This is off to a bad start already especially with Mario Galaxy left out of the top ten.

    Cave Story and Katamari Damacy are in the top 15? What? I can buy League of Legends at 15 but you have to name 14 better games and, even though I've never played LoL, I can't possibly fathom how a game like Katamari is better than that phenom. LoL's popularity is only comparable to maybe WoW and Minecraft. That alone should vault it over stuff like Cave Story and Katamari.

    Whatever though. It's just a list. We're going to see the usual suspects show up since I know the tastes of everyone on the staff. I'll get mad, disagree and write another ten paragraphs about how wrong all of you are.

    Let me give props to Jaz for picking Burnout 3. That's a racer that everybody should play and shouldn't be forgotten. All the racers that came after it took some influence from it. Excellent choice.
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  • Avatar for Voncaster #30 Voncaster 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 Its a little bit of an axe to grind with me. Dark Souls is my least favorite of the From Software games on PS3. I had the least fun with it. I rank the From Software games Demon's Souls, Dark Souls II and then Dark Souls. But a lot of gamers seem to like Dark Souls the best.

    Dark Souls seems like the default answer, and its a quality game. But it has beyond obtuse gameplay elements (painted world and covenants), story that is obtuse, and the worst boss in the entire series in Bed of Chaos. Bed of Chaos is garbage, and it is not optional.

    Its all personal opinion. And for me, there is no way that I would call Dark Souls the best designed game ever. I don't even think its the best From Software game.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #31 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @Voncaster I disagree, I think Dark Souls is still the best of the 4. I find your objections against it a bit strange, considering that every Souls game has all of the elements you listed: obscure hidden content, obscure story, and a few bad bosses. In fact, if those are your main complaints, I would think Dark Souls 2 would be your least favorite. In my opinion, Ancient Dragon and Vendrick are both easily worse bosses than Bed of Chaos, optional as they may be, and the general quality of Dark Souls 2's bosses is the lowest in the series. There's plenty of obscure content, and the Dark Souls 2 storyline is easily the most obtuse and makes the least sense of any of the games.

    Bed of Chaos is just one boss, and while it's not great, I think it's terrible-ness is overstated. It's not anymore unfair or frustrating than the Dragon God from Demons Souls. Also, I think that *optional* hidden content like the covenants and Ash Lake are really cool to have in games! There's something about secrets that lends a sense of mystery and intrigue to games, and these are feelings that most modern games lack. And if those hidden secrets are optional, then what's the harm? Besides, having hidden secrets makes a ton of sense in a game with a player based message system, it gives the community a reason to help each other, and that is one of the magic elements of Souls games.

    But, you know, that's just my opinion. I don't want to argue with you about which Souls games is better. Demons and Bloodborne are both phenomenal games, and if either of those were your favorite, I can totally understand. I would not at all be upset if Bloodborne or Demons Souls replaces Dark Souls on this list. Just so long as one of those three games makes it, because there's no question that the Souls games are some of the greatest achievements in gaming history.Edited July 2015 by brionfoulke91
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  • Avatar for sam-stephens #32 sam-stephens 3 years ago
    Decent list so far. Super Mario Galaxy is definitely a must. Ones that I would personally like to see show up include The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask/Phantom Hourglass, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, Pushmo, and Bangai-O Spirits.
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  • Avatar for Voncaster #33 Voncaster 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 Personal experience is going to color my opinion. I hit a serious wall with Bed of Chaos. I had no problems with the Dragon God.

    I don't use guides in my first play through of any game, and after playing Bed of Chaos for like 30 times and losing I resorted to guides. When I read the solution, lets just say I was not happy. To me, Bed of Chaos feels illogical in the way that no other Souls boss feels. You could say, that it is just one part of this large game and therefore you should like it. But it really ruined my experience with the game. Its stopped my progress cold and I had to pass that part to advance. I had no such problems in Demon's Souls or Dark Souls II. Demon's Souls would be my pick as the best From Software game.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #34 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @Voncaster Demons Souls is a respectable pick. Although it's not my favorite, I still think it has the best soundtrack in the series by far! I really wish they'd bring back that composer for the more recent Souls/Borne games.
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  • Avatar for docexe #35 docexe 3 years ago
    Interesting list, I’m glad that Super Mario Galaxy and Cave Story made the cut. I remember in particular the impression Galaxy caused on me when I played it for the first time. It was the most joyful experience I had had with a videogame in several years, which honestly says more about the quality of the game rather than the quality of the industry as a whole back then at the time of its release.

    That being said, even with the acotation of “the past 15 years” this list is very likely going to prove divisive. The number of excellent and significant games during this period alone certainly surpasses the number 15.
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  • Avatar for The-Challenger #36 The-Challenger 3 years ago
    Honestly, besides Minecraft I have a hard time thinking of a contender for the number one spot. Interesting list so far.Edited July 2015 by The-Challenger
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  • Avatar for Voncaster #37 Voncaster 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 Appologies if my comments came off more as attacks than constructive argument. For whatever reason I feel the need to debate Dark Souls. I have respect for Dark Souls too, its just begrudging respect. My personal experience with it was not good so I prefer the other two games. I also love the Nexus and the NPCs in Demon's Souls. I like the Demon's Souls soundtrack as well, according to my iTunes import settings the composer is Shunsuke Kida. I also really like the Gwyn, Lord of Cinder track from Dark Souls.
    @The-Challenger Minecraft, World of Warcraft, a Souls Game or Portal would be what I expect to see at the top. I really like Portal, just because it took a very tired FPS genre and did something innovative and mostly non-violent with it. Minecraft and WoW are massively popular. Even though its not best sellers list, you have to examine and ask why it had that kind of appeal.
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  • Avatar for WelkinGunther #38 WelkinGunther 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 But, design-wise, Demon's Souls is just objectively superior. The levels themselves have natural 'checkpoints' and each pass you take ingeniously leads you back around. There's no question that Demon's had better characters, lore, sound, and atmosphere as well. Now, if you wanna talk variety and challenge, sure Dark was an improvement. And also was a more lengthy quest, but a lot of it was artificially padded out by making you traverse everywhere, mp was broken, and the humanity system just complicated things for no reason.Edited 2 times. Last edited July 2015 by WelkinGunther
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  • Avatar for StevieWhite #39 StevieWhite 3 years ago
    Very happy that Katamari Damacy made the list. On the whole, I feel like that game isn't as fondly remembered as it should be.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #40 jeremy.parish 3 years ago
    @StevieWhite Namco really ran the idea into the ground, unfortunately. If we'd seen maybe one follow-up, it would be a precious and fondly remembered gem. Instead it was devalued to death through pointless rehashes. Pretty sad.
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  • Avatar for StevieWhite #41 StevieWhite 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish So very true and so very sad.
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  • Avatar for pdubb #42 pdubb 3 years ago
    @jeremy.parish you should post this quote without context and ask people to guess which Namco franchise/IP it applies to.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #43 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @WelkinGunther We need to start a campaign to educate people on the proper use of the word objective.
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  • Avatar for Voncaster #44 Voncaster 3 years ago
    Given what Jeremy and Bob have said about MGS3, I will be shocked if its not in the US Gamer's Best Games since 2000.
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  • Avatar for WelkinGunther #45 WelkinGunther 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 so I'm gonna design a game where you slog through a marsh along an invisible wall, and when you make it to the end you get poisoned and have to go all the way back around this invisible wall to the beginning, and start along the other side to get the cure. This way the level takes twice as long, and nobody can complain that I could've just put a shortcut there, as it was my design choice, and game design is subjective. People don't go to school for it at all and there are no rules. There's no way things like utility, momentum, and variety of environment enter into it at all. As long as me, one person in the world, says its good game design, its good game design.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #46 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @WelkinGunther The difference between facts and opinions is that facts aren't chosen by popularity. We don't decide whether gravity exists based on a vote. Popularity does not make an opinion more "objectively true," it just makes it more popular. So yes, even if only one person in the world likes a game, his opinion is still just as valid as anyone else's.
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  • Avatar for PlatypusPlatoon #47 PlatypusPlatoon 3 years ago
    Very pleasantly surprised to see Katamari Damacy, Burnout 3: Takedown, and Super Mario Galaxy all on this list already - three of my favourite games of all time, and each incredibly innovative in their own way. There are a bunch of commonalities among all three of these games, too: they're better than their sequels that came after them, especially looking back in hindsight; they transcended their genres and were simply great games that didn't require you to have a pre-existing affinity for that type of game; and they had wonderful soundtracks! Uh, okay, maybe I'm stretching that tenuous link, because nobody's going to remember Burnout 3 for its song list. But both Katamari Damacy and Super Mario Galaxy have fantastic soundtracks that I listened to for years after putting the games down, and arguably are themselves among the top game soundtracks - no, top soundtracks, period - ever created.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #48 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @PlatypusPlatoon Very true about the soundtracks! And don't leave out Cave Story... it easily has the best soundtrack of any indie game I've ever played! Fantastic soundtrack!
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  • Avatar for WelkinGunther #49 WelkinGunther 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 You specifically brought up game design. So one person in the world liking a game IS their subjective opinion and can't be seen as wrong, but game design in general has a set of rules/tenets that are universally agreed upon because they simply work.
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  • Avatar for secularsage #50 secularsage 3 years ago
    Hmm, not to quibble, but Super Mario Galaxy isn't the only Mario game to get a direct sequel besides the original SMB. For example, Super Mario Land got a direct sequel that also introduced a brand new bad guy (Wario). And Super Mario World got a sequel/prequel (Yoshi's Island) that itself received a sequel (Yoshi's Story).

    Also, post-Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros. received a sequel, as did Super Mario 3D Land.

    With that said...

    I'm holding out hope for Persona 4 to show up in the top ten. It's the game that's influenced me the most this decade. I can't recall playing any other game where I went from hardly any interest to caring deeply about every whiff of a sequel or spin-off. It's the great JRPG of the 21st century, and while I like Persona 3 just as much now, P4 is a truly special game that deserves to be talked about!
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #51 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @WelkinGunther Little to nothing is "universally" agreed upon, because fortunately people are not the Borg. There's dissenting opinions on almost anything you can think of. Anyway, going back to how this conversation started, you can be damn sure that Demons Souls isn't universally considered the best in the series. And if we're just going by popularity, you and I both know that Dark Souls wins. Personally I agree with that opinion... although unlike you, I respect other people's differences of opinion, and I don't mind if someone calls Demons Souls their favorite. Like I said above, Demons Souls still has my favorite soundtrack in the series, at least!Edited July 2015 by brionfoulke91
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  • Avatar for WelkinGunther #52 WelkinGunther 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 I don't know, if we can't even agree that the original conversation started on the topic of the game's design, and not it's overall 'quality', or even that those are two different things, and that no one said 'game 1 > game 2' but rather, 'game 1 had better design which is but one factor when weighing a game's overall quality', then we are simply not having the same conversation.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #53 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @WelkinGunther You're nitpicking. My point remains: even if we are talking about "design," it is hardly universal that Demons Souls has better design. If anything, I think more people would give the edge to Dark Souls for better design. So your point about some opinions being "universal" was a really strange point to make in this case, since your original opinion was a minority opinion.
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  • Avatar for WelkinGunther #54 WelkinGunther 3 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 I gave examples to back up my point. I think anyone who is thoughtful and observant will agree that Demon's had superior design. If anything you were nitpicking by willingly overlooking the fact that I was referring to the design alone
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  • Avatar for tenaciousck #55 tenaciousck 3 years ago
    Well alright, I guess I should finally sit down and play Dark Souls.

    Man, I wish it was B/C with the Xbox One. =(
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  • Avatar for tenaciousck #56 tenaciousck 3 years ago
    Well alright, I guess I should finally sit down and play Dark Souls.

    Man, I wish it was B/C with the Xbox One. =(
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  • Avatar for tenaciousck #57 tenaciousck 3 years ago
    I don't know if Dark Souls is THAT influential, though.

    There's a niche for it and it's done the incredible task of breaking into the mainstream (Bloodborne and Sony had a hand in this).

    What other contemporaries does Dark Souls have, currently? I can't think of many copycats.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #58 Kuni-Nino 3 years ago
    @tenaciousck Dark Souls is influential among a certain segment of the industry. There are games that are far more influential like Modern Warfare, WoW, League of Legends. I don't think Dark Souls is anywhere near as influential as those games, but this isn't a most influential list so pointing out influence is only part of the equation.
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  • Avatar for Feanor #59 Feanor 3 years ago
    Cave Story sticks out like a sore thumb, especially when great action games like Bayonetta 2 and Ninja Gaiden Black were left off.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #60 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    @Feanor No, I think Cave Story solidly belonged on this list. It's arguably the best indie game ever made, one of the best platformers and best Metroid inspired games, has an amazing soundtrack, and is incredibly fun to play. You could make an argument for Spelunky instead, I guess. But I think one of those two games definitely belonged on the list.

    But yeah, Bayonetta (1 or 2) belonged on it as well.
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  • Avatar for opsirus #61 opsirus 3 years ago
    Dark Souls again? It's ugly and runs like total crap on PC, and I have no idea why it is always number one on lists like this. I understand that many think it is amazing, but I must be a filthy casual because I could not get more than ten minutes into it.

    "Oh, I'm SUPPOSED to die on the first boss? No thank you Dark Souls, I have better things to do with my time than be jerked around."

    It might as well be called "Beginner's Trap". Unless it was released by Tecmo instead , in which case its name would be "Deception: Unholy Grimdark Wonderland."Edited August 2015 by opsirus
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #62 SuperShinobi 3 years ago
    The omission of TLoU from the list was for me more glaring than burning sunshine in equatorial Sahara at the height of Summer during a period of unusual solar activity, at precisely 12.00 A.M.

    A top 15 list without Ikaruga would also be unthinkable for me. I think that's one of those games that people will still talk about in a hundred years from now.

    I was glad to see a racing game and an indie game make the list, although I would have picked other games from those categories. F-Zero GX for example is still a flawless game, whereas Burnout 3's visuals need a remaster.

    Picking GTA San Andreas over GTA V seems a bit odd, when it's so archaic in every way compared to the V remaster in particular. The story and soundtrack may be slightly better in San Andreas, but V is light years ahead in other respects.

    Seeing no handheld games on the list was a bit sad, as there's been so many great games on handheld consoles in the past 15 years, such as Ridge Racer PSP, Wipeout Pure, Gradius Collection, Dawn of Sorrow, The World Ends with You, Peace Walker, Lumines, Gravity Rush, Tearaway, TxK, Luigi's Mansion 2 and Mario 3D Land.

    Finally, Minecraft - a game best suited for the kids? As an adult I'm struggling to find the fun in that one. Seems to be just slow menial labor ad infinitum.Edited August 2015 by SuperShinobi
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  • Avatar for TurboKill #63 TurboKill 3 years ago
    @opsirus I'm not trying to change your opinion, but I suggest you give that another try...You're not supposed to die at the first boss. You're not supposed to die at any boss*, really. Learn the game and you'll find that it's other, far more linear games, that are truly jerking you around.

    And how many other games can you make progress through death? If you die and recover your bloodstain, you just managed to get more XP going through an area than if you didn't die. You can then use that XP to upgrade your weapon, stats, armor. (Weapons of which are the most important thing to upgrade in the game)

    Everybody, in time, comes to figure these things out, so long as they don't go hollow.

    (*-One minor exception which is well after the point of no return, and it doesn't feel like an actual death. You're taken to a new location, still alive...)Edited August 2015 by TurboKill
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  • Avatar for TurboKill #64 TurboKill 3 years ago
    @SuperShinobi Before I ever played TLoU, I heard a ton of people describe it as "the game that offers nothing new, but does everything fantastically." And, after playing it, I'd say that's pretty accurate. (Though I'd argue the game gets very repetitive.) Not taking anything away from the game, but there are far more original games, like Ikaruga, that would deserve a spot in the list before TLoU. Sure..the game has a twist ending, but eh, lots of games do.

    It's too bad Ikaruga didn't make the list. Though I'm not surprised that the genre is relatively forgotten.
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  • Avatar for Noelle #65 Noelle 2 years ago
    Except for mincraft, what would be the best game to buy my stepdad? He has a playstatoin4. Where would I find it?
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  • Avatar for FTLMantis #66 FTLMantis 2 years ago
    Looking at this list again, I'm surprised at how much it mirrors the one I would put up if I was in your place. I'm really glad that pure fun plays such a big part in making games stick out for you guys, I think it's a big part of the reason I keep coming back here. I don't think katamari would have found a spot on many other websites.
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  • Avatar for bigbramble #67 bigbramble 2 years ago
    11-15 don't belong on the list in my opinion. Particularly league of legends. There are a lot of amazing games there though.
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  • Avatar for Paul-S #68 Paul-S 2 years ago
    Other titles I would of picked from the last 15 years include:
    Deus Ex - Open ended gameplay and the first game to make me feel genuinely paranoid on which NPCs to trust
    Portal - Fresh game mechanics combined with clever writing, even if the latter did get overquoted.
    Team Fortress 2 - Bucked the trend of gritty realism in online shooters.
    Saints Row 2 - Just plain, madcap fun.
    Knights of the Old Republic - Remembers what made Star Wars great.
    Batman: Arkham Asylum - Did what so many licensed games fail to do: makes you actually feel like the protagonist.
    Disgaea - You took so much of my life.
    Ghost Trick - Good puzzles, incredible animation and one of the best supporting characters of all time (Missile).
    God Hand - Id driven, hard, does its own thing and gleefully doesn't care what you think about it.
    No More Heroes - Exploitative auteur deconstruction done right.
    Contra 4 - Remembers what made the original games good and builds on it. Also, it's balls-hard.
    Katawa Shoujo - A work of love that could of been horrible and crass, but turned out to be charming and touching.
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  • Avatar for Spram #69 Spram 2 years ago
    There are a lot of good games here.. and some I haven't played.

    Anyway, the lack of Metroid Prime is...
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  • Avatar for blazerandazzo77 #70 blazerandazzo77 2 years ago
    I agree with pdubb. Mass Effect 2 is #1 post-2000 game in both critical acclaim and consumer. Followed really close by Red Dead Redemption.
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  • Avatar for xtord #71 xtord 2 years ago
    Decent list , in my list top 10 list , i would agree with mgs 3 ,persona 4 golden and resident evil 4

    Now for honorable mention from your list i would have bioshock, rdr, super mario galaxy , shadow of the colossus, dark souls (dark souls2 as i havent finished the orginal ,but i hear is better) .

    But again if we take a list from purely after 2000 , they all might actually fit in my top 10 list after 2000

    thus
    persona 3/4
    kingdom hearts 2 final mix
    mgs 3
    final fantasy x
    shadow of the colossus
    resident evil 4
    Planescape torment ( does it count) if not arkahm city.
    mass effect 2
    portal 2
    Silent hill 2

    Also bayonetta 2 if is as good as the orginal.
    again honorable mention for bioshock , galaxy, dark souls 1/2 if we take purely after 2000. Also the world ends with you and dragon quest 8 if there as good as ppl say they are or mother 3.
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