Top 10 Video Games of the 00 Decade, Part 1

Seriously? A top ten list? Could I be any more cliche? Probably not, but the zero-zero decade brought us some fantastic games in spite of concerns many had that the gaming industry would stagnate. It is also the decade where 3D became the true standard for video games, and then retrograde to “classically” designed games one would expect to find on the NES and not systems capable of rendering extremely realistic three-dimensional detail.
Of course, my list is limited to the games I actually played over the last ten years.
10. Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Melee made an even better argument than its predecessor that players could enjoy beating down with their favorite Nintendo characters. Not only that, but I found I still prefer it to its sequel due to a slightly better physics engine and more responsive controls. It is still fun, furious, addictive, and the best party game I’ve played this decade.
9. Chrono Cross

Most either love or hate Square’s sequel to Chrono Trigger due to the minimalist connection it had with its predecessor as well as the drastically different battle system. But, to those willing to look at the game as its own game and not as a sequel, found a game that is definitely worth their time. One need only watch the opening cinema to know the game possesses one of the best soundtracks found anywhere. The game also has a very complex, emotional story with some fantastic character development. Finally, the game’s “real” ending was more mature and compelling than many developmentally more mature games that have come since.
8. Mega Man 9
Except for perhaps the New Super Mario Bros. games, Mega Man 9 is probably the most popular example of the retro trend that has become prominent in the last few years. It is very much an NES game, and that’s what Capcom intended. They even went so far as to make some horrible box art in the vein of the game’s twenty year old predecessors. Not only is the game novel, but it’s fun, difficult, hilarious, and completely addictive with its tough level design and fantastic 2 channel music. It is easily the best Mega Man game since the release of Mega Man X4, and for only ten bucks it is a bargain at that.
7. Fire Emblem
Fire Emblem was an anticipated release from 2003. Many gamer’s interests were piqued by the inclusion of Marth and Roy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Nintendo obliged everyone’s curiosity by releasing the seventh game in the Fire Emblem series internationally. What gamers found was a challenging turn-based strategy game with a huge, colorful cast. It also turned into quite the adventure for a Game Boy Advance game with around 30 hours of play time and tremendous replay value.
6. Riviera: The Promised Land

Riviera: The Promised Land was a fairly low-key title that shot under many gamers’ radars both times it was released, but I still find it to be the best the Game Boy Advance had to offer. The world is downright gorgeous as all of the environments and sprites were hand drawn and spanned from the gates of Asgard to the Underworld. The battle system, story, and characters were all top-notch, and the game even had some voice-acting in particular scenes and during battles. I’m still amazed the developer, St!ng, could fit so much awesome onto a Game Boy Advance cartridge.
That’s it for the first half of my list. I’ll post the other half within the next few days.
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