The 2000s was a great decade for gaming all around. From technological advancements to new consoles and classic games, the decade had it all. Looking back, though, it’s crazy to see just how much the gaming industry has changed since then. In a way, it’s much of the same thing happening over again, as technological advancements continue to be made and there’s still a steady flow of great games coming out.
For those that are more accustomed to how things are now, it may be hard to picture what 2000s gaming was all about – as will be the case in another ten years. With that in mind here are 10 things about 2000s games kids today won’t understand.
10 Graphical Improvements
It seems that the bar is constantly being raised when it comes to game graphics. Gamers have come a long way from pixilated sprites. While certain titles choose to go with a more retro look as a stylistic choice, most big budget games favor a more realistic and life-like look.
The 2000s saw a lot of graphical changes made, as the transition was made from the fifth generation of consoles to the sixth and finally seventh – all within the same decade. It was certainly something to see – with drastic changes in quality years after year.
9 Buying Physical
Yes, physical copies are still a thing. No, they’re probably not going away anytime soon. But now players have the option to go digital, something gamers just couldn’t do fifteen years ago.
While it’s easy to see why people would prefer buying a game digitally, many older gamers still enjoy going out and being able to actually purchase a title physically – especially if it’s a special edition. It feels as though people don’t really care all that much about which way they acquire a game now, so long as they can play it.
8 How Big Steam Was
Even those who game exclusively on consoles have probably heard about Steam. It’s impossible not to know about the digital distributor as they’ve become a massive presence in the industry, and have recently begun attracting more competitors.
Though it’s something many can’t picture the industry without now, back when it started Steam gradually turned into a massive presence that changed how PC players bought and interacted with games.
7 SEGA & The Console War
The term “Console War” is a pretty vague one, as you can generally look at the competition between any consoles within a given generation and call it that. Though most people refer to the SEGA vs Nintendo throughout the '90s, SEGA was also dealing with issues from Sony and their PlayStation later on in the decade.
There’s a reason SEGA isn’t in the console market anymore. Sony is still alive and kicking, while younger gamers may not even be able to name you a single SEGA console. The early 2000s really played into that and established the current status quo.
6 Local Multiplayer
Again, this is something that’s still around, but has been largely replaced in favor of something more convenient. When you buy a multiplayer game today it’s expected to have fully functional online capabilities.
But not all that long ago, getting a multiplayer game meant actually getting together with said players. You knew who you were playing with, and even if you didn’t you could talk to other players face to face. Funny enough, this ended up being way more interactive than what online gaming has become today.
5 Rhythm Games
While Rhythm games are still a thing, they’re nowhere near as popular as they were during the early and mid-2000s. At one point, it seemed as though titles like Guitar Hero and Rock Band were taking over the market. Things were that oversaturated.
These types of games still exist, of course, and maintain a fairly large though niche following. But it doesn’t seem like the genre will reach the same levels it did in the 2000s any time soon.
4 LAN Parties
Though certainly something that was more prevalent in the '90s, LAN Parties were still happening in the 2000s. One thing that happened as consoles started to be aimed more and more towards online play was the move to console LAN Parties.
It’s the exact same concept as your standard LAN party except with – you guessed it – consoles instead of desktops. Though still part of the gaming landscape, LAN parties as many once knew them are a thing of the past.
3 Buying The Guide
With the internet, you have so much access to virtually any bit of knowledge you so desire. In the case of game walkthroughs and guides, this has led to an abundance of choice for players. Between YouTube videos, fan-made walkthroughs, and gaming websites publishing their own guides, the physical guidebook is no longer relevant.
It wasn’t always like this obviously, and there was a time when buying the guide was just something some players could do if they needed help or wanted to better acquaint themselves with a given game. Looking back at it now, knowing what’s available today, it may be hard for some people to understand.
2 Console Exclusivity
Though this is certainly still something that’s going on, console exclusivity is changing little by little. There are still first-party titles that are bound to a given platform, but gamers are seeing more and more exclusives brought over to other consoles and more frequently, PC.
But if you rewind about two decades console exclusivity really meant just that. Games weren’t being ported all that often and in the case of exclusives, would force gamers to commit to buying a certain console.
1 Gaming Magazines & Publications
Another aspect of gaming that was changed with the internet being more and more prevalent in people’s lives has been the way gamers consume game related news and media. Gaming magazines are pretty much a thing of the past, and many older publications have branched out and now focus on broader pop culture topics.
Though it’s understandable as to why things changed the way they did, it was nice to be able to read through and collect various gaming publications. It brought a certain kind of excitement and satisfaction that’s been replaced with a 24/7 news cycle.