news\ Sep 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Top 25 Games of the Decade (2000-2009)

Top 25 Games of the Decade (2000-2009)

GameZone celebrates the end of a glorious decade of gaming

The end of the decade is upon us and it’s time to revisit the landscape of gaming that began in 2000 with the launching of the PlayStation 2 and is now ending in 2009 with three viable console platforms in the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii.

Over the next 25 days, GameZone will be bringing our readers the “Top 25 Games of the Decade.” Considering how many games released in the past ten years, it was an exhausting process to narrow down our initial list of more than 200 games to the top 25.

Factors that played a large part for titles that made the cut included: initial impact, lasting impact, longevity, “standing the test of time”, popularity, advancements in the genre, and much more.  It wasn’t easy picking and choosing between our favorite children, but we feel the games that made our list are representative of the decade that was.

#25 Shenmue II (2001)

Publisher: SEGA
Platforms: Dreamcast, Xbox (2002)

GameZone Review: 8.7 

The legendary Yu Suzuki was ahead of his time with Shenmue II. Following the footsteps of Ryo Hazuki, Shenmue II was one of the most ambitious titles on the Sega Dreamcast that was unfortunately overlooked.

Immediately picking up right where the original left off, Shenmue II is a story-driven title that has players hunting down the villainous Lan Di, a man who murdered Hazuki’s father. Set in Hong Kong, Shenmue II is centered on two things: martial arts and Hazuki’s desire for revenge.

While Shenmue II didn’t strike gold with sales on either the Dreamcast or the Xbox, its reputation as a sequel that took what the original did and expanded on what worked helped place it within the “Top 25 Games of the Decade.”


For being such an unwavering title that tested how cinematic a video game could be, Yu Suzuki was able to create an entertaining experience that revolves around: street fights, a hard-boiled investigation, performing simple jobs or gambling to earn money, and several other factors to keep it as close to a real-life experience as possible.

On top of that, the Quick Time Events returned and only furthered the series panache for keeping the player in mind with interactivity; basically, the cut-scenes never created a feeling of alienation for the gamer and often kept them in the loop of deciding the fate of Hazuki.

Shenmue II provided a world that was definitely inviting to any gamer that was open for exploration. It’s a grand adventure that is grossly underrated and disregarded – it’s too bad that there isn’t a fitting end in sight as the fabled Shenmue III and Shenmue Online have been both cancelled countless times due to fear of another sales bomb at the retail.

Whatever comes of its inevitable future, fans of the series should never feel cheated out on the first two extraordinary entries in the Shenmue franchise.

- “Shenmue II is a sweeping epic with a story that will hook you with its great characters and Ryo’s transformation from schoolboy to a man with a destiny he cannot comprehend,” Natalie Romano, GameZone.Com

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Come back tomorrow to find out what game will be revealed as our #24 game of the decade.

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