The 15 Best Games Since 2001, Part 1

Brian took a poll of the best games of the 21st century, and the early results…are here.

I know, I know, I just did something a lot like this. I’ve got a lot of thoughts in my head, man. Need to get them out, you know.

Anyway, the impetus for this little project was a similar list made by someone, somewhere on the internet, sent to me by a friend. It sparked a neat idea for me. Instead of having something so stupendous as an entire 15 year cycle for an entire medium judged by a handful of people, why not open things up for anyone who wants to respond?

So I posed the question to whowever of my three thousand-odd twitter followers felt like answering, eventually expanding out to my Facebook acquaintances and a few select close friends lucky enough to not have a social media presence, and came up with 40 respondents. The rules were simple: whatever your #1, end-all be-all game from 2001-2015 ended up being received five points. Games 2-5 received four points. 6-10 received three, 11-15 received two, and any honorable mentions, games you just couldn’t in good conscience neglect (up to five entries), received one point. This is less any one person’s list and more the amalgamation of the gaming careers of three dozen-plus people.

In that same spirit of populism, I’ve decided not to write the entries for why each of these 15 games managed to accrue so many votes, or what makes them special. Some of them I haven’t even played. To that end, I’m hoping to get some input for Part Two of this. from some of the esteemed panel — really whomever felt knowledgeable and passionate enough to write a bit on why whatever game they chose resonated so much with them.

So without further ado, let’s kick things off with a quick listing of the 88 (!!) games that received more than one vote but failed to make the top 15, from least points received to most. Consider this a preliminary post to the main event.

 

#102 Diablo III. 2012, Blizzard Entertainment. 2 points, 2 votes.

#101 Super Mario Sunshine. 2002, Nintendo EAD. 2 points, 2 votes.

#100 MVP Baseball 2005. 2005, EA Canada.  3 points, 2 votes.

#99 Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. 2005, Pandemic Studios. 3 points, 2 votes.

#98 Rayman Origins. 2011, Ubisoft. 3 points, 2 votes.

#97 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. 2006, Nintendo EAD. 3 points, 2 votes.

#96 Madden NFL 2007. 2006, EA Tiburon. 4 points, 2 votes.

#95 Dragon Age: Inquisition. 2014, BioWare. 4 points, 2 votes.

#94 FTL: Faster Than Light. 2012, Subset Games. 4 points, 2 votes.

#93 Soulcalibur II. 2002, Project Soul. 4 points, 2 votes.

#92 Devil May Cry. 2001, Capcom. 4 points, 2 votes.

#91 Dragon Age: Origins. 2009, BioWare. 4 points, 2 votes.

#90 Journey. 2012, Thatgamecompany. 4 points, 2 votes.

#88 Dead Space 2. 2011, Visceral Games. 4 points, 2 votes.

#89 Mass Effect 3. 2012, BioWare. 4 points, 2 votes.

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#87 L.A. Noire. 2011, Team Bondi.  5 points, 3 votes

#86 Madden NFL 2004. 2003, EA Tiburon. 5 points, 2 votes.

#85 Call of Duty: Black Ops. 2010, Infinity Ward. 5 points, 2 votes.

#84 Street Fighter IV. 2009, Capcom.  5 points, 2 votes.

#83 Sid Meier’s Civilization IV. 2005, Firaxis Games. 5 points, 2 votes.

#82 Gears of War 2. 2008, Epic Games. 5 points, 2 votes.

#81 Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. 2004, Obsidian Entertainment. 6 points, 4 votes.

#80 Borderlands 2. 2012, Gearbox Software. 6 points, 3 votes.

#79 Deadly Premonition. 2010, Access Games. 6 points, 3 votes.

#78 Psychonauts. 2005, Double Fine. 6 points, 3 votes.

#77 Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. 2001, KCEJ. 6 points, 3 votes.

#76 Kingdom Hearts II. 2006, SquareEnix. 6 points, 2 votes.

#75 Battlefield 2. 2005, DICE. 6 points, 2 votes.

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#74 Braid. 2010, Number None. 6 points, 2 votes.

#73 Golden Sun. 2001, Camelot Software. 6 points, 2 votes.

#72 Pokemon Black/White. 2010, Game Freak. 6 points, 2 votes.

#71 StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. 2010, Blizzard Entertainment. 6 points, 2 votes.

#70 Deus Ex: Human Revolution. 2011, Eidos Montreal. 7 points, 4 votes.

#69 Mass Effect. 2007, BioWare. 7 points, 4 votes.

#68 NBA 2k11. 2010, Visual Concepts. 7 points, 3 votes.

#67 Fire Emblem: Awakening. 2013, Intelligent Systems. 7 points, 3 votes.

#66 Bloodborne. 2015, From Software. 7 points, 3 votes.

#65 Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. 2004, Intelligent Systems. 7 points, 3 votes.

#64 Burnout Paradise. 2008, Criterion Games. 7 points, 2 votes.

#63 Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. 2008, Atlus. 7 points, 2 votes.

#62 Sleeping Dogs. 2012, United Front Games. 7 points, 2 votes.

#61 Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. 2011, Naughty Dog. 7 points, 2 votes.

#60 Mario Kart 8. 2014, Nintendo EAD. 8 points, 4 votes.

#59 Grand Theft Auto III. 2001, Rockstar North. 8 points, 4 votes.

#58 Star Wars Jedi Outcast: Jedi Knight II. 2002, Raven Software. 8 points, 3 votes.

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#57 Fallout New Vegas. 2010, Obsidian Entertainment. 8 points, 3 votes.

#56 Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots. 2008, KCEJ. 8 points, 3 votes.

#55 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. 2003, Ubisoft. 8 points, 2 votes.

#54 Just Cause 2. 2010, Avalanche Studios. 8 points, 2 votes.

#53 Star Wars Battlefront. 2004, Pandemic Studios. 8 points, 2 votes.

#52 Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos/The Frozen Throne. 2003, Blizzard Entertainment. 8 points, 2 votes.

#51 Xenoblade Chronicles. 2012, Monolith Soft. 8 points, 2 votes.

#50 Kingdom Hearts. 2002, Square. 9 points, 4 votes.

#49 Guitar Hero 2. 2006, Harmonix. 9 points, 4 votes.

#48 The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. 2011, Nintendo EAD. 9 points, 4 votes.

#47 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3. 2001, Neversoft. 9 points, 4 votes.

#46 Sid Meier’s Civilization V. 2010, Firaxis Games. 9 points, 3 votes.

#45 Team Fortress 2. 2007, Valve Corporation. 9 points, 3 votes.

#44 Dishonored. 2012, Arkane Studios. 10 points,  5 votes.

#43 The Walking Dead. 2012, Telltale Games. 10 points, 5 votes.

#42 Dota 2. 2013, Valve Corporation. 10 points, 2 votes.

Witcher 3

#41 The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. 2015, CD Projekt Red. 11 points, 4 votes.

#40 Destiny. 2014, Bungie. 11 points, 4 votes.

#39 Paper Mario. 2001, Intelligent Systems. 11 points, 4 votes.

#38 Super Mario Galaxy 2. 2010, Nintendo EAD. 12 points, 5 votes.

#37 Batman: Arkham Knight. 2015, Rocksteady Studios. 13 points, 5 votes.

#36 Halo 3. 2007, Bungie. 13 points, 5 votes.

#35 World of Warcraft. 2004, Blizzard Entertainment. 15 points, 4 votes.

#34 Dark Souls. 2011, From Software. 15 points, 4 votes.

#33 Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Blizzard Entertainment. 15 points, 4 votes.

#32 Assassin’s Creed II. 2009, Ubisoft. 16 points, 6 votes.

#31 Grand Theft Auto IV. 2008, Rockstar. 17 points, 6 votes.

#30 Star Wars Battlefront 2. 2005, Pandemic Studios. 19 points, 6 votes.

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#29 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. 2007, Infinity Ward. 20 points, 8 votes.

#28 Gears of War. 2006, Epic Games. 20 points, 7 votes.

#27 Super Mario Galaxy. 2007, Nintendo EAD. 20 points, 6 votes.

#26 Batman: Arkham Asylum. 2009, Rocksteady Studios. 21 points, 7 votes.

#25 Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. 2004, KCEJ. 21 points, 7 votes.

#24 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. 2004, Rockstar. 21 points, 6 votes.

#23 Final Fantasy X. 2001, Square. 22 points, 6 votes.

#22 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. 2006, Bethesda Softworks. 24 points, 7 votes.

#21 Fallout 3. 2008, Bethesda Softworks. 24 points, 7 votes.

Wind Waker.

#20 The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. 2003, Nintendo EAD. 25 points, 7 votes.

#19 Resident Evil 4. 2005, Capcom. 26 points, 9 votes.

#18 Grand Theft Auto V. 2013, Rockstar. 30 points, 12 votes.

#17 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. 2009, Naughty Dog.  32 points, 10 votes.

#16 Portal 2. 2011, Valve Corporation. 32 points, 10 votes.

 

For Part 2, with the Top 15 with commentary, click here!

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