When people think of 2000s gaming, it’s hard not to think of many of the decade’s worst ideas. The obsession with motion control gimmicks and all the gray and brown games from the early HD era are the first thing some people think of. Missteps aside, there was a lot more to the gaming era of the 2000s.
As gaming entered the HD era, the industry started to grow in terms of offering more complex games and telling more complex stories. It was a good time for the industry, where every console publisher saw huge success in one way or another. And although not each trend should return to the same level, it’s time for at least some of them to make a comeback.
10 Portable consoles are common
The 2000s were the pinnacle of the power of portable consoles. Between consoles like the Game Boy Advance, later the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable, the idea of carrying a console in your pocket has never been more beloved. Although Nintendo was supposed to release the 3DS in early 2010, it never reached the popularity of the original console.
Meanwhile, the PlayStation Vita is one of those cult classic consoles like the Dreamcast that only true hardcore fans are passionate about. The 2010s mostly left consoles for phones, but given the popularity of the Switch Lite and Steam Deck, it’s clear that portable consoles could be making a comeback.
9 3D fighting games with a gaming presence
Everyone thinks fighting games have been revived with the release of Street Fighter IV in 2008. But in the early 2000s, fighting games were still constantly being released; it’s just that most of them were in 3D.
The Tekken series and soulcalibur both ran the fighting game world during this period, and it felt like 3D fighters were the future for a while. And while those days are long gone now, it would be nice to get to a point where 3D and 2D fighters were equally viable, rather than 3D fighters being more of a gimmick.
8 Rock out with friends to classic rock songs
Activision released both Guitar Hero and Rock band in the 2000s, introduced a world of virtual karaoke where friends could shred to their favorite songs with their friends. Unfortunately, they also continued to release these games, complete with their expensive extra accessories, long after the rock banding was over.
But it’s not like there wasn’t an audience; they were just over-served. Nowadays it is quite possible to serve this audience by adding songs. This would be much cheaper than making a completely new game every year and expecting people to spend money on a new fake guitar.
7 Sports games beyond the realistic titles
Remember when sports games were more than just NBA and NFL simulations? At some point, Electronic Arts and 2K Games took over the sports market, and now everything is just a replica of sports fans who can already watch the season.
But in the 2000s, sports games could be creative. Fans can get titles like NBA Street and NFL Street, which gave the sport a more arcade-like character. Games like this could still be successful today, as long as the developers embraced that they wouldn’t be that big.
6 The presence of Open City Games
Rockstar took gaming to new heights when they came out Grand Theft Auto III in 2001. The open world game suddenly became a household name for gaming, alongside titles like Mario and Sonic. The series’ popularity and critical success even resulted in a series of open world city games trying to copy Grand Theft Cars style.
Most successful were the developers at Luxoflux, who developed the Real crime franchise off the ground by distinguishing itself from GTA. Today, the only company trying to move in the same orbit is Ubisoft with watchdogsa franchise that is inconsistent at best.
5 Local multiplayer is expected instead of a bonus
In the 90s and early 2000s, split screen co-op was the best way to do multiplayer on console. It’s amazing that this was so successful, considering how many smaller TVs averaged back then, but multiplayer games were huge anyway. Today, however, far too many developers are abandoning local multiplayer to focus on online.
That’s understandable, because adults often have friends all over the country. But players shouldn’t convince developers to include local multiplayer in PvP games. It should be standard in every game for kids and couples who like to play together.
4 AAA level simulation games
In the 2000s, simulation games had their own place within the AAA space. The Sims became a huge hit among casual and hardcore fans, while titles like Deus Ex even BioShock were some of the most acclaimed titles of the 2000s.
Today, while there are many sim games, most exist in the indie space. While this means sim fans still have a place to turn, it would be great to have sim games with the level of brilliance that the average AAA title gets.
3 Shooters who weren’t afraid to be realistic
During the 2000s, PlayStation and Xbox launched a large number of first-person shooters. The popularity of Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare inspired developers to create their own games, which caused all the brown and gray shooters. While no one wants that dull color palette to return, it could be a little more realistic.
Today the most popular shooters are like Fortnite or Apex Legendsof Duty usually do the realistic FPS. However, there is room for at least one other solid shooter that doesn’t involve double jumps and warp pads.
2 The presence of colorful 3D platformers
The early 2000s were the last time 3D platformers abounded in the AAA space. Mario and Sonic were still at the top of their game, but franchises like Spyro and How came by too. Platformers have been a mainstay of gaming for decades, but as gaming got more “serious,” the cartoon mascots were somehow forced to disappear.
Today the platform genre is on the rise due to indies and a few titles like Insomniac’s Ratchet and Clank or the latest from Activision Crashbut it’s not enough.
1 Developers have their own kart game
Racing games in the 2000s were about more than just creating a realistic driving simulator. At that time, there was room for all kinds of racing titles, from arcade racers to kart games. It’s this kind of variety that racing fans would undoubtedly love to see make a comeback.
Games like Rocket League have already proven to be a market for more with cars than just racing sims, and even Forza Horizon 5s Hot Wheels DLC is highly anticipated. But the more variety there is in gaming, the better gaming can be for other gaming fans.
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