2000 Was The Beginning Of A New Gaming Era

2000 Was The Beginning Of A New Gaming Era
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2000 was an important year for video games. Alongside a smorgasbord of critically-acclaimed releases, it also saw the launch of Sony’s PlayStation 2 and the birth of a new generation of games. The Sims, Majora’s Mask and Perfect Dark all celebrate their 20th anniversary this year, but they’re not the only games that made an impact in 2000.

While the PlayStation 2 was an exciting new console on the market, it didn’t have a massive impact on the best games of 2000. Instead, the landscape was dominated by solid Nintendo releases and late-generation PlayStation One games.

Mario had a fantastic year in 2000, with the release of Paper Mario and Mario Tennis on Nintendo 64 kickstarting two successful, still-running spin-offs for the iconic plumber. Nintendo also celebrated its 100 millionth Game Boy sold, marking one of their most successful years to date.

For PC, 1999 Was The Golden Year

We've had a bit of a discussion about golden years, particularly the massive string of games that dropped in the late '90s. But if you were a PC gamer in particular, there was one year that changed the shape of the market permanently.

Read more

Here are just a few of the best titles released in 2000.

The Sims

Screenshot: SimsVIP

The Sims was the beginning of an iconic franchise, and we all wasted many, many hours on this game as kids. The good news is it still holds up today!

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Screenshot: Games Database

Majora’s Mask was widely praised when it came out, and remains one of the most popular Zelda titles. It received an HD remaster for Nintendo 3DS in 2015.

Perfect Dark

Screenshot: NEPA Scene

Perfect Dark was an awesome shooter, and pushed the bounds of what the Nintendo 64 could do. Protagonist Joanna Dark remains a bad arse video game icon.

Diablo II

Diablo II built on the success of the original Diablo to become known as one of the greatest video games of all time. Long live Diablo II.

Final Fantasy IX

Final Fantasy IX is a beautiful storybook tale, and might just be the most underrated Final Fantasy game of all.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Do a barrel roll.

Hitman: Codename 47

The legend of Hitman started right here. While it didn’t quite perfect the Hitman formula, it went a long way towards making the franchise what it is today.


This first person shooter was a total blast.

Jet Set Radio

Jet Set Radio might’ve been the coolest game release of 2000. Everybody wanted to be the GGs.

Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Screenshot: MobyGames

How do you follow one of the greatest roleplaying games ever? With ease, apparently. Baldur’s Gate II was critically acclaimed when it released in 2000, and has often been noted as the best RPG of all time.

Resident Evil – Code: Veronica

Code: Veronica has often been called one of the greatest Resident Evil games. It earns the title.

Paper Mario

Screenshot: Mario Party Legacy

Paper Mario has since received multiple sequels across the GameCube, Wii, Wii U and 3DS.

Skies of Arcadia

Skies of Arcadia was a fantastic turn-based RPG that should never be forgotten.

Vagrant Story

Another fantastic RPG, this time with dragons.


Banjo-Tooie was so good that we definitely deserved a Banjo-Threeie.

Deus Ex

Deus Ex is still a fantastic game, and its sequels had a hard time topping it.

Spyro: Year of the Dragon

The best Spyro hands down.


The original Spidey-swinger.

Mario Tennis

Mario’s sporting career has gone on so long he must be super fit by now.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 improved everything about the original game, and remains one of the best games in the crossover franchise.

Icewind Dale

Icewind Dale is another stunning RPG from the team at Black Isle/Interplay. It received an Enhanced Edition in 2014 with remastered graphics.


The original and the best. It released alongside the PlayStation 2 and was praised for being a standout launch title.

WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role

The Rock smells one of the greatest wrestling games of all time.

Dark Cloud

This dungeon crawler/hack’n’slasher was a breath of fresh air in the RPG genre.

Thief II

The original Thief franchise remains a high point of the stealth genre. Unfortunately the reboot didn’t live up to the quality and fun of the original games.

Phantasy Star Online

Screenshot: GameFabrique

Can you believe this MMO is still running, 20 years later? While the official servers were discontinued in 2010, fans have kept it going since shutdown.

Wario Land 3


What were your favourite games from 2000?


  • That is a really good year. Of course, Diablo 2 introduced me to jerkass Devs nerfing fun classes in favour of ‘the right’ way of playing. RIP Jabazon.

    • “We actually want you guys to be forced to micro-manage more and click more buttons, so we are nerfing the fuck out of barbarian’s whirlwind AGAIN, until you GET THE MESSAGE AND PLAY IT RIGHT. Laziness and one-button wins will not be tolerated!”

      Me, using trainers: aggressive double-middle-fingers.

  • The year 2000 was the year I went to university and my freshman ass was introduced by the seniors to the mind-blowing world of 0 day Warez.

    Some of the engineering guys left the residential college to form the ultimate nerd sharehouse, with limitless newly-rolled-out bigpond cable internet. They are probably directly responsible for the invention of data caps.

    We played so many great and garbage games. The college network was perfect for Counterstrike 1.6. Unreal Tournament. Homeworld. Shogun: Total War. I miss those days… no-one was at work during the day, and weren’t often even at the uni. Always someone to get a match with who you actually knew.

    There was some seriously good stuff worth buying with real money, though.

    Deus Ex was a revelation, the definitive ‘how to’ on offering multiple paths through levels and calling back late in the game to early decisions.
    Diablo 2 elevated the original in pretty much every way.
    Homeworld Cataclysm redemeed the series from its frustratingly disappointing sequel.
    Hitman: Codename 47. ‘NUFF SAID.
    Icewind Dale. One of the greats in Black Isle’s glory period, may it last forev– oh. Dang.
    Jet Set Radio was the only title to make me jealous of my friend’s dreamcast.
    Majora’s Mask isn’t the best Zelda, but a weird number of people keep insisting that it is. But I like the loop. Novel!
    No-One Lives Forver… but the hunt to revive this classic might take forever.
    Thief 2 has never been equalled. I appreciate what Deadly Shadows and thi3f tried and accomplished, but there’s a reason it’s the community’s favourite.

    Then there were the little guys that maybe some folks forgot but that I didn’t.

    Dark Reign 2. Back when the only competition was Total Annihilation… Finnicky but fun.
    Giants: Citizen Kabuto was just so lovably weird in that special MDK way.
    BEACH HEAD 2000!!1 Look, it was basically sharewareworthy crap but the loop was infinitely fun.
    Daikatana was, er… more ‘memorable’ than good.
    Ground Control was one of the first RTS’ishes to have me treasuring and protecting my units.
    Invictus had this crazy satisfying progression system, and that RPG/RTS blend that needed to take off but… didn’t really.
    Majesty was similar to Invictus in its hybrid RPG/RTS blend but the sequel was better.
    MDK2 didn’t have the bleakness of the original, but was still stuiably weird.
    Mechwarrior 4 was a worthy return from the disappointment of Microsoft’s 3. (MW4 Mercs was better. Better even than MW5, sadly.)
    Messiah was so novel! So interesting! So flawed… but still so great.
    Nox didn’t match up to the Black Isle games, but it had so much heart.
    Sacrifice was just so INTERESTING. That mecahnic was so novel, even if the thing was ugly.
    Sea Dogs… was probably responsible for Sid Meier’s being revisited to such success.
    Soldier of Fortune – again, bringing it with the 2000 era dismemberment/violence!
    Star Trek/Star Wars: Each released a fuckload of crap in one year with 15 titles between them. Trek ‘wins’ by virtue of having released more. It was all awful, though. Even Force Commander.
    Starlancer was… almost Freelancer! Let’s all use that as an excuse to remember how good Freelancer was.
    Tenchu 2 – the best of the tenchu games. The quinessential stealth ninja game.
    Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption. Idiotic title. Great RPG. Introduced me to the World of Darkness, which led down a deeeeeep, daaaark MUSH rabbit hole.

  • 2000 was a dry year for me games-wise. I was playing my existing library and bought plenty of PSX demo discs to whet my appetite, but I didn’t get any new games. My strongest gaming memory of video games in 2000 was me lusting for the PS2. I remember pouring over the March issue of the Official Australian PlayStation Magazine when the PS2 launched in Japan. From March 2000 until July of 2001 I was yearning to get my hands on a PS2. ‘Twas a very painful wait.

  • Definitely my favourite games of 2000 from 20 years ago are Nintendo and CAMELOT SOFTWARE PLANNING’S Mario Tennis along with The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask which not only having three days to save the land of Termina from becoming a disaster but transforming myself by putting on a powerful mask and aaaaaah! suddenly I’ve turned into a Deku a legendary Goron hero named Darmani and an underwater Zora guitarist known as Mikau.
    Spyro Year of the Dragon was definitely a great Playstation game that I’ve been playing since Insomniac Games is not just the developers who brought us this game Spyro’s licensing were originally owned by Universal Pictures themselves but now 20 years later times have changed Spyro the Dragon’s licensing rights now belong to Activision.
    Never played Banjo-Tooie but at least we got Banjo and Kazooie as our added DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

  • Great inclusion having Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and phantasy Star. Mvsc2 is having a comeback with being announced for evo

  • Fair bit of Dreamcast game love present for an article that does not mention the Dreamcast at all.

    Whilst Quake 3 just falls out of 2000, the Quake 3 DC port was released in 2000. Interestingly, it offered PC/DC crossplay.

    • Dreamcast did some great things and deserved to survive. However, by the time they killed support for it, I couldn’t justify spending that money I didn’t have on a machine that could only play 60 games.
      “But Transient, the wiki article for Dreamcast says that there were 620 gam–“

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