15. Left 4 Dead
(Valve, 2008) Photograph: Akella Four players take on waves of zombies in a post-apocalyptic landscape : it doesn ’ t sound like the most innovative proposition, but Valve infused this enthralling cooperative blaster with bright technical flourishes. The bet on ’ s cagey artificial intelligence system, named “ Director ”, varied the numbers and ferocity of enemies a well as the unhorse and music, depending on the skill and strategies of the players, making for a wonderfully choreograph experience that felt both spontaneous and cinematic. And veteran fans still have nightmares about the Witch …
(Q Entertainent, 2001) Photograph: Sega Inspired by his love of dance music, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, produced a euphoric combination of rhythm carry through and vilify shooter in which the musician navigates a deteriorating AI system that resembles a cabaret lighting expose. successfully shooting enemies locks you in with the beatnik of the music, adding extra layers to the instrumentation, so that you ’ re not just completing a level but besides composing the soundtrack. Alongside other titles such as Jet Set Radio and Samba de Amigo, the bet on symbolised the creativity and youthful exuberance of the Dreamcast era .
13. Wii Sports
(Nintendo, 2006) Photograph: Nintendo The industry laughed at the theme of the Wii, with its weird motion restrainer and relatively dated hardware … until they saw people playing Wii Sports. Its solicitation of five absolutely tuned events made competitive multiplayer gaming accessible to everyone in the sign of the zodiac, from toddlers to octogenarians, helping the machine shift key more than 100m units and contributing to the idea that games can be a highly sociable bonding experience. There were arguably better games on Wii – Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros Brawl, for model – but Sports was the title that defined the machine and its ethos .
12. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
(Infinity Ward, 2007) Photograph: Activision Some people will argue Battlefield 1942 was the more accomplished military shot of the earned run average, but we ’ rhenium going with Modern Warfare for the way it brilliantly added RPG-style progress mechanics to the multiplayer component, and killstreak rewards that brought new levels of structure and compulsion to the on-line experience. The campaign was excellent excessively, drawing on Andy McNab-style heroics and pacy 1990s thriller movies and, with Captain John Price, providing one of the lone sincerely memorable characters of this unharmed genre .
11. Shadow of the Colossus
(Team Ico, 2005) Photograph: Sony Computer Entertainment Fumito Ueda had already introduced the universe to his dreamy, impressionistic purpose philosophy with the beautiful Ico, but Shadow of the Colossus cemented his reputation as a genuine visionary. A young warrior sets out to revive a dead girlfriend by slaying 16 elephantine monsters ; but are these hulking, doleful creatures – which exist both as enemies and living architectural models – very the baddies in this scenario ? A fantastic meditation on grief and game plan .
10. Guitar Hero 2
(Harmonix, 2006) Photograph: RedOctane Who knew, when a little know music game developer inaugural released a pint-size plastic guitar into the worldly concern in 2005, that music games would briefly become the most beloved and popular thing around ? For a brief period in the former 00s, living rooms everywhere were inundated with make guitars, mics, drums and tied DJ decks, to go with the flood of rhythm-action games that had suddenly flooded the market. The popularity of rhythm games didn ’ thymine weather, but that changes nothing about how transcendentally brilliant they were. For many gamers, Rock Band, with its full complement of plastic instruments, was the best, but Guitar Hero was the original, and it was Guitar Hero 2 and its brilliant soundtrack of nailed-on rock classics that launched this music genre to truthful worldwide fame. There is no feel in gaming like falling to your knees, tilting the guitar to unleash Star Power, and absolutely nailing the solo in Sweet Child o ’ Mine .
9. Silent Hill 2
(Konami, 2001) Photograph: Konami The original game introduced Konami ’ randomness phantasmagoric, psychological take on the survival-horror genre ; the sequel took it in bizarre, daring modern directions. trouble oneself supporter James Sunderland turns up in the eponymous town looking for his dead wife, but what he finds amid the mist and radio receiver electrostatic is a freudian menagerie of fetishistic monsters, including the unforgettable BDSM overlord Pyramid Head. As with all capital horror fabrication, once you ’ ve experienced it, it haunts you for always .
8. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
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Photograph: Bethesda From the consequence you emerge from the sewers in the inaugural hour of obliviousness and see how far its alcoholic fantasy earth extends into the distance, and are on the spur of the moment overwhelmed by the come of exemption that you are given to explore it, it is apparent that this is a gigantic leap for role-playing games. This is the game that set the template for open-world adventures, a music genre that would become dominant allele in years to come. 2002 ’ s The Elder Scrolls III : Morrowind had the barbed, more concern set and fib, but it was besides an absolute drag to play ; Oblivion let you fight and talk and connive your way through its world with ease, using charming or swords or a silver medal tongue to shape the adventure however you wanted .
7. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
(Nintendo, 2000) Photograph: Nintendo The weirdest, saddest, most memorable Zelda game was released right at the dawn of the ten. Whisking hero Link away from the kingdom he ’ d just saved in 1999 ’ mho Ocarina of Time, it transplanted him to a doomed and distorted locate, where he became caught in a three-day time loop. As a grimace moon draws ever closer to the satellite, the residents of Termina go always more urgently and anxiously about their business, and we try to figure out how to avert calamity. Link dons masks that transform him from child to grotesque living shrub to mountain troll or mermaid. Majora ’ s Mask ’ s time travel is so apt and artful that few games dared imitate it in later years, and its note captures the mighty melancholy of a half-remembered myth .
(2K Games, 2007) Photograph: 2K Games Beginning with a jawdropping origin into the inundate libertarian eden of Rapture, a fail city state that took Randian objectivist principles to their coherent extremes under the leadership of Very Problematic visionary Andrew Ryan, Bioshock was, at the time, a rare shoot game that had something concern to say. The superpower-bestowing tonics that sent most of Rapture ’ s residents harebrained besides provided for some very playfulness and flavorful battle, but it is the grandiose fix and big ideas that earn Bioshock its place among the greatest games in this genre .
5. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
(Konami, 2001) Photograph: Konami The foremost stealth-action Metal Gear Solid game had been a huge hit on the original PlayStation. Its grizzled champion, Solid Snake, was on the way to becoming a bet on icon. so for the sequel, Hideo Kojima and Konami got rid of him and made us all play as decadent stranger Raiden on a boat. few games have ever messed with players equally much as Sons of Liberty, with its wide-ranging political themes and a prescient preoccupation with misdirection and fake news. It is an anarchic postmodernist masterpiece .
4. Halo: Combat Evolved
(Bungie, 2001) Photograph: Microsoft There was a meter when people scoffed at the theme of a big first-person gunman on a cabinet, rather than a personal computer. Halo was what changed that, setting the scene for shooters to become the prevailing genre of the 00s. After exhausting the space-opera single actor report, with its beautiful vistas and evil, intelligent alien zealots, the teens and students of the 00s would lug TVs and Xboxes around and fiddle with LAN cables to enable 16-player multiplayer battles before on-line gambling was a thing. From learning to wrestle a warthog to absorbing the all-time big grudge, playing Halo was a define experience of the ten .
3. Deus Ex
(Ion Storm, 2000) Photograph: Eidos/Square Enix Drawing on the bequest of formative role-playing classics Ultima Underworld, System Shock and thief : The Dark Project, Warren Spector and his team at Ion Storm created a sprawl, laughably ambitious sci-fi thriller about nano-augmented extremely agent JC Denton and his globe-spanning conflict against dystopian corporations. The game drew together real-life conspiracies and cyberpunk lore, then let players take share how they wanted, sneaking through the world or blasting it wide open. It redefined the wholly concept of an immersive video game venture .
2. The Sims
(Maxis, 2000) Photograph: EA/Maxis It was excellently dismissed as “ the toilet game ” during exploitation, because it required players to clean up their bathrooms as a key gameplay component, and Will Wright had to fight to get his life simulator taken badly. But its combination of inside blueprint kit and interactional soap opera enraptured a newly audience of players who had PCs at home but didn ’ t inevitably want to play Doom. The rise of world television receiver has since shown us that people are fascinated by the grubby minutia of normal lives manipulated into voyeuristic entertainment – but The Sims got there first base.
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1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
(Rockstar Games, 2004) Photograph: Rockstar Grand Theft Auto III provided the 3D blueprint, GTA : Vice City brought the tone of super-stylised movie-referencing anarchy, but it was San Andreas that gave us the ultimate formulation of Rockstar ’ s open-world gangster gamble series for the noughties. Channelling hip-hop music, the films of John Singleton and the Hughes brothers, and the Los Angeles riots into one narrative of revenge and rehabilitation, it was a stagger accomplishment, redefining the hale concept of open-world video games and providing alone exemption of formulation and experience to players .