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Top 25 Games of the Decade (2000-2009) - Day 21

Top 25 Games of the Decade (2000-2009) - #5

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.

#5 Diablo II (2000)

 

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard North
Platforms: PC
GameZone Review: 8.5

Diablo II succeeded in an area that many other genre leaders haven’t – it set the bar so high that everything else has paled in comparison. Yes, that’s right. Every hack and slash and/or dungeon crawler is still being compared to the nine-year-old Blizzard title that hasn’t fallen from the position of being the king of the mountain.

Online gaming and Battle.net pushed Diablo II above and beyond the expectations of the hack and slash genre. The advancement of multiplayer is always a welcomed feature in the gaming industry and Diablo II did just that with a cooperative experience that gamers are enjoying still even to this day. Even Blizzard has realized this and updated the title earlier this year with a new patch.

Blizzard perfected their mistakes from the original with much larger world maps to explore, less loading, and adding even more longevity to the series. The longevity was beyond anything ever seen in the genre at the time with new role-playing aspects for increased satisfaction with deeper skill trees and strategies to learn and master due to new powers. Beyond that, gamers are tempted to keep playing in order to find and collect rare items.

 

Following the tradition that the original Diablo started, each and every class is powerful and are properly balanced. Add in controls that were simple to understand, combat that is addicting and a story that isn’t overly complicated, Diablo II is a perfect mixture of the genre’s best attributes.

Finally, and most importantly, Diablo II was an atmospheric title that made a gamer feel as if they were walking around the dark and shadowy dungeons hunting for treasure. The music was amazing and perfectly tailored for the title. It is dark, it’s moody, and the gruesome sounds of combat contributed to a flawless combination of audio.

Upon debut, Diablo II showed the gaming world how to hack and slash title is done. Nine years later and nobody has even come close to perfecting the formula as Blizzard has done. 

“The skill system is Diablo II's marquee offering, as it amplifies the otherwise action game's role-playing elements and sets Diablo II apart from any other computer role-playing game I've played,” Gil Alexander Shif, GameZone.

Previously announced …

#25 – Shenmue II. Find the story here.
#24 – Counter-Strike. Find the story here.
#23 –
Gears of War. Find the story here.
#22 – Guitar Hero. Find the story here.
#21 – The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Find the story here.
#20 - Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec. Find the story here.
#19 - Final Fantasy X. See the story here.
#18 - Ico. See the story here.
#17 - Bioshock. See the story here.
#16 - The Sims. See the story here.
#15 - Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. See the story here.
#14 - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. See the story here.
#13 - Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. See the story here.
#12 - Super Mario Galaxy. See the story here.
#11 - Halo: Combat Evolved. See the story here.
#10 - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. See the story here.
#9 Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. See the story here.
#8  Metroid Prime (2002). See the story here.
#7 God of War (2005). See the story here.
#6 Half-Life 2 (2004). See the story here.

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The first-person shooter genre has never been the same since our #4 title saw its release. Find out more by checking back tomorrow.

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