If you hadn’t noticed already it’s 2010, which means that another decade has passed. What a decade it has been though, the ‘noughties’ has brought the next generation consoles, online gaming, downloadable content and most importantly some of the best gaming titles ever release. Take a look at what the Gamebrit Staff have decided are the best and most important 50 games of the last decade. First up 50-31.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
50 – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The biggest step up in the franchise since GTA 3, San Andreas saw you take on a much larger map with more detail, excellent voice acting, and a plot that actually made you care about the characters. As with all GTA games, this title was met with bad press due to the violent content, but this is still one of the pinnacles of the PS2 and an excellent game.
Platform: PS2 Developer: Rockstar North Year: 2004
Professor Layton & The Curious Village
49 – Professor Layton & The Curious Village
Professor Layton already had three adventures released in Japan before Nintendo brought him to the UK. This first title was a cross between a French graphic novel and a GCSE maths exam, but was strangely compelling all the same.
Platform: Nintendo DS Developer: Level-5 Year: 2008
Shadow of the Colossus
48 – Shadow of the Colossus
Team Ico knew it would take something ‘Colossus’ to topple their debut game, but spiritual sequel Shadows of the Colossus more than matched its predecessor. Bringing down one of the game’s 16 colossi was an exhilarating but strangely emotional experience.
Platform: PS2 Developer: Team Ico Year: 2006
God of War II
47 – God of War II
Taking all that made the original God of War so special, the developers dialled the action, puzzles and epic scale up a few notches. The result was even bigger environments to traverse, vastly improved graphics and brutal combat that even today is seen as a benchmark for hack and slash titles.
Platform: PS2 Developer: SCE Studios Santa Monica Year: 2007
46 – Fable II
Hyped as an RPG giving real consequence to your choices, Fable II fell short of that promise. Instead it offered immersion in a story polar to the familiar po-faced, Kung-fu-onion filled JRPG. The game allows you to fart and puppet theatre your way to popularity or infamy.
Platform: Xbox 360 Developer: Lionhead Studios Year: 2008
Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock
45 – Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
While Guitar Hero III wasn’t the title that brought the Guitar Hero franchise the acclaim it so rightly deserved it certainly brought the idea of being able to download additional songs to the masses on the next generation of consoles. That and you could play as guitar legends Slash and Tom Morello.
Platform: Multi Developer: Neversoft Year: 2007
Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker
44 – Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker
Nintendo took a big risk with the toon-shaded art style, but it paid off, as Wind Waker is still one of the most beautiful looking games ever. It may have been too short, too easy and had one of the most frustrating fetch-quests ever, but it still stands as an epic entry in the long-running franchise.
Platform: GameCube Developer: Nintendo EAD Year: 2003
The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
43 – The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
It takes the RPG of yore and puts flesh, bone and decent acting to the text adventures that enthralled so many way back when. ES:IV melded adventure gaming perfectly with FPS’s. Creating the path for genre crossing games like Fallout 3 and Bioshock, introduces RPG elements to FPS games and paves the way for COD: Modern Warfare.
Platform: Multi Developer: Bethesda Year: 2006
42 – Viva Pinata
Attracting piñata animals with sweet-based names to a garden in order to breed them – the concept of Viva Pinata in a nutshell. Rare’s weird and wonderful take on animal breeding provided one of the most unique gaming experiences of the last decade. Delightfully colorful, wonderfully charming and incredibly additive, gardening has never been so much fun.
Platform: Xbox 360 Developer: Rare Year: 2006
Grand Theft Auto Vice City
41 – Grand Theft Auto Vice City
Set in Miami with story components similar to those found in the Scarface films, Vice City offered an all-round action fest involving guns, drugs, and even rock and roll – depending on which station you listened to. You play as GTA III’s Tommy Vercetti who has just been released from jail and attempts a simple job for his old boss. Of course this simple job goes sour and you end up on a rollercoaster ride until you eventually become the top man of Vice City. Vice City is truly a masterpiece of sandbox gaming. “It’s time for the Lance Vance Dance!”
Platform: PS2 Developer: Rockstar North Year: 2002
40 – Metroid Prime
Nintendo took a big gamble giving one of their greatest franchises to Retro Studios, but the Texas-based studio more than delivered. The moody atmosphere of the SNES title was recreated perfectly in 3D, as were all the other series’ staple elements, like epic bosses and unique alien worlds to explore.
Platform: GameCube Developer: Retro Studios Year: 2003
Super Smash Bros. Melee
39 – Super Smash Bros. Melee
Nintendo’s curious N64 beat-em-up was fully upgraded for the GameCube’s release, with over twenty of the company’s mascots fighting in themed arenas that took in nearly every facet of their illustrious history. Brawl may have expanded on every aspect of Melee, but this is by far the purer title.
Platform: GameCube Developer: HAL Laboratory Year: 2002
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
38 – Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars games have always been hit and miss, but Bioware turned Knights of the Old Republic into one of the greatest RPGs of the last generation. Taking place a thousand years before the films, KOTOR took players on a whistle stop tour around that galaxy far, far away, during a great Jedi/Sith conflict.
Platform: Multi Developer: BioWare Year: 2003
Assassin's Creed II
37 – Assassin’s Creed II
A thrilling continuation of the story of Assassins versus Templars, and a great step up in terms of gameplay. Following the usual sequel formula of bigger equals better, Assassin’s Creed II gave players more abilities, weapons and variety as well as a more personal story. While not perfect, it still eclipses its predecessor at almost every hurdle.
Platform: Multi Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Year: 2009
Pokemon Gold & Silver
36 – Pokemon Gold & Silver
The original Pokémon games were both brilliant – but that wasn’t enough for Game Freak and Creatures Inc. Not only were 100 more monsters to catch added, the now essential Poke-gear, dark and steel types and the breeding concept were included in what was the most revolutionary (and thus seminal) title of the franchise.
Platform: Game Boy Colour Developer: Game Freak Year: 2001
35 – Ico
Fumitsa Ueda’s haunting title remains the pinnacle of the PS2’s library. With minimalist story telling, Ico’s world told its own tale as you escaped from the mysterious ancient castle with kidnapped princess Yorda. This is quite rightly lauded as one of the most beautiful games ever made.
Platform: PS2 Developer: Team Ico Year: 2002
34 – Mass Effect
Where other RPG’s have offered a nuclear war hit Washington DC or a fiction version of the Earth as their setting, Mass Effect gave us the entire Universe as a playground, all of it. Well almost. Bioware’s RPG combined the traditional RPG elements with a solid third person action adventure to create one of the most epic and adventurous titles ever made.
Platform: Xbox 360 Developer: BioWare Year: 2007
Halo: Combat Evolved
33 – Halo: Combat Evolved
A title which undeniably secured the future of the Xbox as a gaming platform. Launching alongside the system it was instrumental in the consoles initial success. Offering an engaging storyline that drops you right in the middle of a war. You battle on as humanity fights for its survival against the Covenant. In many gamers eyes, Halo is what made the Xbox what it is today as its flagship title in showing what the Xbox was really capable of at its launch.
Platform: Xbox Developer: Bungie Year: 2002
32 – Animal Crossing
Shigeru Miyamoto’s unique ‘communication’ title was originally released for the N64 but retooled for the GameCube for a western audience. It took two years to make it to the UK after the US release but the wait was definitely worth it. Few games in the last decade managed to soak up player’s time so effortlessly.
Platform: GameCube Developer: Nintendo EAD Year: 2004
Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess
31 – Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Nintendo set out to surpass Ocarina of Time and very nearly succeeded. Twilight Princess was still a magnificent adventure in its own right, combining an epic world with an engaging story and featuring some of the best puzzles in the series.
Platform: GameCube & Wii Developer: Nintendo EAD Year: 2006
So there you have 50-31 of the 50 best games of the decade. Agree or disagree with out our choices let us know over at out forum. Next up positions 30-11. If you want spoilers go straight to the top 10.