The Twenty Best-Rated Games Of The Decade

Lost slightly amidst all this "end of year" review business is the fact this is also the end of the decade. Which means it's time to take a look back and what the best games of 2000-2009 were.

According to review aggregation site Metacritic, the top twenty games of the past ten years are...well, pretty damn surprising. Games like GTAIV, Halo and Super Mario Galaxy are up there, as you'd expect. But some of the others, including the top-rated game of the decade, are coming straight out of left field.

Here they are, courtesy of MCV, with only the highest-ranking score of a multiplatform game included.

1. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 – 98 (Activision) 2. Grand Theft Auto IV – 98 (Rockstar) 3. Perfect Dark – 97 (Nintendo) 4. NFL 2K1 – 97 (Sega) 5. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 – 97 (Activision) 6. Halo – 97 (Microsoft) 7. Metroid Prime – 97 (Nintendo) 8. Grand Theft Auto III – 97 (Rockstar) 9. Super Mario Galaxy – 97 (Nintendo) 10. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty – 96 (Konami) 11. Half-Life 2 – 96 (Valve) 12. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker – 96 (Nintendo) 13. Resident Evil 4 – 96 (Capcom) 14. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – 96 (Nintendo) 15. BioShock – 96 (2K Games) 16. The Orange Box – 96 (Valve) 17. Out of the Park Baseball 2007 – 96 (Sports Interactive) 18. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – 96 (Sony) 19. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn – 95 (Interplay) 20. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past [GBA]– 95 (Nintendo)

Wow. I mean, I liked the second Tony Hawk game. It was a blast. But better than Half-Life 2? Better than Halo? That's questionable.

Same for NFL2K1. Yeah, it was a pioneering sports title, but an aggregate score of 97? I think some review outlets were being a little generous around the turn of the millennium.

Top 20 Games of the Decade [MCV]


    Tony Hawk? NFL? Twilight Princess? A RErelease of LoZ:LttP?Baseball?!?

    Come on, where are Majora's Mask and Ratchet and Clank (the original, the second and Crack in Time)? Assassin's Creed? GTA: San Andreas? Super Smash Brothers: Melee? Modern Warfare?

    This isn't a listing of the best games, this is a listing combined of glorified games and games that were amazing for a week. And what is a rerelease doing there?

    *calms down*

    Sorry, I just get in a huff when someone glorifies sports games or games that shouldn't have been brought into our world from the netheregions of hell.

      The problem is a couple of things, first of all, the internet 10 years ago is nothing like it is now, it was still really young and there simply weren't alot of review sites compared to today.

      Secondly, some games aren't reviewed by everyone.

      Both these rules are shown in the below 3 examples

      NFL 2K1 - 22 Reviews
      Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 - 19 Reviews
      Out Of The Park Baseball 2007 - 5 Reviews

      Now look at the Blockbusters...

      GTA IV - 86 Reviews
      Halo - 68 Reviews
      Uncharted 2 - 106 Reviews

      Not trying to discredit the first 3 games, I've personally only played one (THPS2) and it's a great game, but perhaps they should have looked to include games that had at least a certain amount of reviews.

      It's easier to get 98% off 19 scores than it is to get 98% from 86 scores...

      The list is solid though and I've had the opportunity to play the majority of them and alot that didn't make it... These lists can never be totally agreed upon.

    Baldur's Gate 2 is there, that's all I care about. :D

    Surprised Tony Hawk's 3 is there.

    I don't think anyone would disagree with me if I said this list is LoL.

    But still I agree with Metroid Prime being better than HL2.

    Tony Hawk being number 1 is actually fair enough. Now that I think about it that game sticks out as being one of the most fun games I ever played back when I was in primary school...

    Putting a link to the past which was a ported superninteno game is bit much. As mentioned Baldur's gate II deserves to be there. Actually it deserves to be a lot higher than 19th. Games like baldur's gate are always rated a lot tougher than sports games etc

    Mr Spoon has only played 8 of these. Mr Spoon needs to stop getting out of the house and play more games.

    THPS2 is definately one of the greatest skateboarding video games ever.

    still THPS > THPS2.

    Definatly Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2. It wasnt just a skateboarding game that bogans played, its simply the best 'sport(?)' game of all time and everyone should play it. It was fun, addicting, had excellent graphics, creating your own skater was a first at the time. Who ever disagrees simply hasnt played it. It was basically perfect. I dont even like sport games!

    At least it wasn't RIDE. Am I right people?

    *crickets chirp*

    ...and this is why I don't trust Metacritic - too many cooks spoil the review broth. These games were reviewed by different critics, at different times, and in different moods, to say nothing of the community scores that end up being counted in the metascore.

    I find it's better to actually read the words the reviewers write, rather than the somewhat arbitrary scores given. This is why I like the Kotaku review style, the "Loved/Hated" format encourages a straightforward appraisal of the game's strengths and weaknesses while discouraging spoilers. And no scores, they just confuse the issue.

    Thats a pretty comprehensive list... I'd rate THPS2 as one of the all time best games.

    I think I've played just about every game in that list (except for wind waker and twilight princess), so I'd like to think I'm doing alright.

    Its funny how people panic at lists like these and automatically think that because they rank above some of their favourite games, they are better than them.

    You cannot compare a game like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 to a game such as Half-Life 2. The reviewers are giving their score judged purely on how the game plays. One is a sports game, another a FPS. They are going to review them differently and I understand where Luke is coming from but at the same time, he should know how lists like these work out.

    Look at GTA III, it ranks above San Andreas and Vice City. I knew it had a better score on Metacritic & knew it would make this list before them, but you have to look at this way. The reviewers at the time looked at GTA III as something revolution. It changed sandbox-genre games in a 3D aspect. It also blew away sale charts too. So for Vice City and San Andreas which are by far more superior (even to GTA IV), they knew what they were going to expect.

    But i do have one problem with Pro Skater 2 being on the top of the list - and thats making Activision's ego even larger that what it already is.

    I was nearly going to rant on about WHY Perfect Dark would rank higher than GoldenEye but realized it was for the past decade. It makes GoldenEye seem so old - but still so much fun when you play it 10 years+ later.

    Hah, THPS2 made the top of my list too. I put more time into that than any other game on that list.

    Interesting to see that sequels to some of those games aren't listed; how teams weren't able to reinvent their games. The Resident Evil series losing its way, Metal Gear Solid not impressing any more (even though I thought 3 was amazing and 4 improved the controls immensely), the Tony Hawks becoming tired and broken and the Perfect Dark sequel being a complete embarrassment (I am still baffled that they made her American.)

    I'm baffled to not see Oblivion and Fallout 3 on the list. Sure you can say F3 is just "hurr durr Oblivion with guns", but it's been one of the most enjoyable games I've played in a while.

    I agree with the rest of the list, though, but I would probably have reordered some of them.

    Oook...considering the nature of this list, I'm probably going to ignore it for the most part.

    Top "anything" lists will never be unanimously agreed upon. If one of your favourite games are there, then be happy.

    Bioshock is up, so I am :D

    It looks like a diverse list, but really the majority of them share the smae scores.

    They should've used GameRankings or something.

    And Mario Galaxy should've been higher.

    It’s sad when you think about the huge fall from grace that the Tony Hawks Pro skater Series has had. To go from the #1 game of the decade to a game series that people would rather just miss. I personally think it’s because they didn’t really add much to the series after TH3, after that the series really went downhill, it tried to include some weird features and sometimes was really buggy. And now, TH wasteland?, TH ride?, none of them are games anyone wants to play. The last Tony Hawks game I was the first TH Underground game. It was fun, but i don’t think I’ll be buying anymore after that.

    But yea I also agree that this list isn’t accurate, they should do some Adjusting for Review inflation.

    *nostalgic music*
    Great times with this game...great times indeed.

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