The 2000's gave us so much as gamers. We watched as the sixth and seventh generation of consoles took the world by storm. People went from buying discs to buying access codes and the age of information gave us new ways to connect and share our views on gaming. Gaming still goes from strength-to-strength, more so now than ever before, like a metaphorical technological snowball, getting bigger and bigger, better and better.
I first started gaming in the late 1990s and grew up alongside the technology of the 2000s. I managed to get my hands on quite a bit of stuff in this list, how many entries bring back memories for you? I am proud to be alive in these times, the feats that human-kind have made in the gaming and entertainment sector are something to be extremely grateful for.
So come and join me as I take a trip down memory lane from the last decade. Whether you play on PC, Console or Handheld, this list will have something to tug on your memory strings. Looking at items and objects that gamers used to consider the cornerstone of their experience. What items make your list? What gaming things make you think of the 2000s? No doubt this list will hit you right in the feels, so what are you waiting for? I'll see you at the bottom! Let's get nostalgic!
26 PlayStation 2 Start-Up Screen
The PlayStation 2 console came from Sony in 2000. Been the first to appear in the sixth-generation, the above image is about as high a resolution you could expect from the PlayStation 2. ushered in a new wave of consoles, far more powerful than their predecessors. Going up against the likes of the Xbox and Nintendo GameCube, the PlayStation 2 had a wide variety of features that made it so popular, one of these was incomparable to the others. The start-up screen! Sounds like this, they make the hairs on the backs of our necks stand tall.
25 Transparent (Epic) Consoles Were Too Cool
The Crystal Xbox was a variant of the original Xbox system that provided users with a see-through casing on the console. This casing allowed people to see into the Xbox's hardware and infrastructure. This inspired a cult following of console modders, who went on to make some of the most beautiful consoles and controllers in existence.
Special thanks to Microsoft for the Crystal Xbox!
Of course, Nintendo did something similar with the Game Boy, but it was the Xbox Crystal that made the biggest dent in the modding community's imagination bank. This reminds us of where it all began!
24 Getting To Disk 2 Felt Like An Epic Achievement
Looking at the massive games of the past (Sims, Comand & Conquer, Stronghold etc.), it's easy to forget the multiple installation discs it would take to actually play the game. There was a time when uninstalling and reinstalling games was like a life-changing decision. It could take the best part of four hours for the installation process to reach 98% and show an error. Hands down, these games were some of the best of their time, and well worth the frustration. Don't even get me started on the unique serial number used to activate the process in the game manual - how times change.
23 Instruction Manuels Were The Best Bathroom Reading Material...
Everyone remembers Gaming Manuals. You know, that little booklet that you'd get with the game when you purchased the hard copy version from stores. Not only was this book great reading material whilst sat on the porcelain throne, but it was also jam-packed full of tips and tricks to help you get to grips with the game. I miss gaming manuals, it always gave me something to read on the way home from the store after purchasing a game. From that "new game" smell that crept from every page to that establishing section of the introduction that hyped us to play the game. Now you're lucky to get three pages of pointless advertisements, never mind a booklet full of in-game information.
22 Collector's Editions Used To Mean Something
Fallout was always a subtle title, until the third installment of the franchise. When Fallout 3 came to our consoles, the publisher Bethesda decided to get behind the hype and give us some bang for our buck. This collector's edition brings back memories of navigating the wastes of Washington DC for the first time. It also brings on the wave of Nostalgia from when Fallout became a shining title in its own rights. Coming with a Pip-Boy Alarm Clock, this pack was well worth the pre-order.
21 GameFAQs Was The Only Walkthrough We Needed
For those of us who may have had Internet, a quick search on Gamefaqs could bring up any answers you might have sought. Faqs themselves are like walkthroughs, they all come in the same script style look (usually downloaded) and do their best to get you to 100% completion. They remind me of playing Banjo-Kazooie and reading a faq from notepad at the same time. Although they aren't my preferred method of gaming assistance - nor anyone really today - they symbolize long hours of reading and gaming for some players that will stay with you for life.
20 Guitar Hero Nights Were Still Fun (And In Demand)
The Guitar Hero game was the biggest push of the last decade to combine gaming and music into one big experience. The Guitar Hero games became massively popular quickly after release, even today the game goes strong with Guitar Hero Live. One particular entry in the series was Guitar Hero World Tour.
Get the band back together, it's time to tour the world!
This entry gave us equipment that let us sing, drum and play the guitar with our friends - all be it for a hefty price. These gaming controllers changed the face of musical gaming, forever. Seeing the iconic interface of Guitar Hero brings back memories of slaying the hardest rock anthems with friends.
19 Pokémon Cards! (Gens 1-4)
Pokémon Cards came to us in the late 90's, the ones we are specifically talking about are generations two through to four. These were the cards of the 2000s and shine brightly as the cards that helped reinforce the name Pokémon in our homes. Even if you weren't or aren't a gamer, chances are you at least owned a small amount of Pokémon Cards. Going for crazy money now online, some of these cards (mainly legendaries) could be a gold mine in your attic. You had them, your friends had them, even your teacher had them! - The Poké-Power nostalgia is hitting home hard with this entry.
18 When Brain Age Came Out And We All Held Our DS Sideways...
The last decade brought shovel-loads of new ideas and innovation, Nintendo acted as one of the pioneers for gaming innovation in the 2000's and brought us the handheld console: Nintendo DS. This system is still massively known to every gamer as a popular choice for portable gaming.
Put the DS up there with the Lightbulb and the Automobile.
The touchpad and stylus system that came with the DS offered gamers a new way to play. Titles such as Brain Training and Nintendogs sold massive units as they complimented the DS's controls. Seeing any form of DS takes me back to my first chunky DS system and the dawn of touchscreen gaming.
17 Untangling Wires For Two-Player
Another ancient gaming thing that brings on major nostalgia is actually plugging our controllers into our consoles. Wired controllers used to be the norm for gamers, now it's nothing more than a choice. The first wave of decent working wireless controllers came with the seventh generation of game consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii) and it changed the way we game forever. No longer were we constrained by the length of our controller's wire, now we could sit anywhere within the living room and play. No more tripping over wires or annoying tangled wires! Nowadays, wired pads are more the choice of the professional, this is because there is a slight delay between input and output with wireless controllers that wired controllers didn't have.
16 We Actually Cared About Achievements And Trophies...
The decade that brought us the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 also brought us the reward systems known as Achievements and Trophies. Finally, gamers had something to show to their friends, to prove they beat the game on its hardest mode or collected all the collectibles. These rewards would pop up on our screen with a satisfying jingle, reward title, and a cool little image. I remember being shocked to see this feature on the Xbox 360 when I played Halo 3 for the first time, shocked and amazed. A decade later, the rest is history.
15 Showing Your Grandparents The Wii Was Amazing...
The commercial success of the Nintendo Wii will echo down the gaming halls of fame forever. It brought a variety of new games for people to play in a whole new way. The Wii generation also broke the gamer walls down, a mainstream audience had never been so big before the Wii was popular. Thanks to the simple family titles like Wii Sports (that came free with the console) and Wii Fit, now gamers as young as two or three years old were playing with their grandparents who were in their seventies. If there was any games console that would recolor the face of family gaming, it was the Nintendo Wii. Say what you like about Nintendo gamers, but they sure are accommodating and diverse.
14 That Master Chief Helmet That Everyone Had...
This recreation of Master Chief's helmet from the Halo series brings on nostalgic feelings of playing Halo for the first time. More specifically, Halo 3. This helmet cam as part of the Halo 3: Legendary Edition. The collector's piece came with a hefty price tag for a pre-order bonus. The helmet shines as a bastion of good gaming bonuses. It brings on feelings of heated head-to-heads with friends on local split-screen. Or stopping the covenant with our friend of choice on Legendary mode.
13 That One Guy Who Played Runescape...
It's easy to say that World of Warcraft is one of THE best MMO experiences on the planet, but it isn't free. I bought WOW expecting to be able to play something, but it slammed me straight away with a subscription fee - demanding my money from me practically at gunpoint. As a kid, this was a no go. Runescape offered players a free MMO experience, with optional premium pass content. As a result of these, you most likely knew at least one guy who played Runescape, here's to them! Seeing the game's logo takes me back to secondary education when I knew more than one guy who played it. To this day, Runescape still plows on strong.
12 Seeing Minecraft For The First Time
The globe-spanning phenomenon that is known as Minecraft came to us in 2009 and has been growing strong ever since. This image or any kind of image of the game reminds me of watching the screens of some of the quieter and nerdier kids at school as they built their worlds.
Who needs Lego?
You never forget the first time you see Minecraft been played, it presents so many questions to us as gamers. Easily one of the best past-times for many gamers, Minecraft continues to grow from strength-to-strength. This image helps me in remembering my first steps in my first ever world.
11 Wii Zapper (And When The Wii Still Seemed Like It Could Be Great...)
Link's Crossbow Training was released in November 2007 and quickly become lost in the Wii's vast library. The controller modification (Wii Zapper) that it supplied with Link's Crossbow Training is what we're looking at here. This controller mod could be used with various other games and provided a crossbow style feel to how we held our control system. Nostalgic feelings of playing games that are rated too high for the majority of Nintendo gamers to play. Strong memories race through my mind of blasting my way through enemies whilst using the Wii Zapper.
10 The Birth Of High-Definition
This is when gaming got real. Well, a darn sight closer. After HD unveiled itself to us, the levels of realism came full-circle graphically. Looking back on games that lay beaten before us, we begin noticing the serious change in graphical quality. HD was just that for me, a chance to look back at older games like: "wow, I'm sure it looked better than this when I first played?". Those graphics just keep getting better and better folks, soon we won't be able to tell the difference between reality and the Matrix! Bing on the HD Remasters!
9 When Sonic Was Still Cool
This Sonic Adventure figurine comes from a time when Sonic was still pretty cool. This figure of Miles 'Tails' Prower brings memorable times to zipping through the coastline and fighting Eggman & Chaos.
These collector's toys are still very popular today.
Sonic Adventure was one of the last great Sonic the Hedgehog games, coming to us in the late 1990s (98), it wasn't until early 2000 that these toys came to the manufacturing line. Looking at these figures brings memories of a time when it was cool to be blue - or yellow, Tails was pretty nifty.
8 Gaming Magazines Were Still Awesome
Before the days of common internet access, one thing I always looked forward to was the monthly issue of Official Xbox Magazine. It's good to know that the magazine is still going strong in 2018. This particular magazine had demo disks for the Xbox 360.
Every time I see this magazine I get really hyped!
I remember getting an update on the monthly disk for the 360 when the avatars came out, I didn't feel as left out then. It's contributions to the community gaming magazines made that made them stand out. PlayStation Official Magazine, Official Nintendo Magazine, and Game Masters are but a few other notable titles I enjoyed.
7 The Gamer's Bible
Gaming Magazine's also offered their readers cheatbooks. Not only did you have a magazine full of up to date news, you now had the ability to cheat, however possible in whatever game you wanted, all for the price of a magazine. Some cheatbooks also offered players walkthroughs and strategy guides to specific games. Cheating is less popular, even frowned upon in the modern gaming scene - especially in an online environment, some players finding themselves with a strike from the Banhammer! The eventual rise in popularity with Achievements and Trophy systems only aided the decrease in cheating - with some achievements and trophies been disabled when the player activates cheats.
6 Demo-Discs. Bring. Them. Back. (Or Just Demos)
The last major selling point for a majority of a game magazine was its addition of a Demo Disc. As discussed in the entry "Gaming Magazines", Demo Discs offered us a lot more than just the newest games to play. So discs came with give-away arcade games for free, meaning free achievements and trophies, hazar! The tech and content of the disc are what made them so sought after, especially in days of less common internet access. These discs go on as a relic of the gamers past, our children will look at these discs with confusion as we try to explain what life was like before downloading and uploading was so mainstream.
5 Video Game Plushies Were Rare
2000s gamers will know all about the wave after wave of beanie plushes we received. Some of these were beyond belief. But a few of these plushies were a work of art in their own right. This Banjo & Kazooie plush is an example of well-made plushies, it represents all the good cuddly toys we used to hug at night based on our favorite game characters. Not only is this particular plush well made and holds a striking resemblance to its digitalized counterpart, but it's also worth a small fortune. This plush alone is thought to be between the $100-$150 bracket!
4 Wii Are Fit As A Fiddle
The Nintendo Wii came with many great, groundbreaking titles that changed the way we game forever. One such title was Wii Fit, this game came with an accessory known as the Wii Fit Board and when you coupled the game with the board, the results could be compelling. Wii Fit aimed at getting people fit, from their living room. Various success stories began to flood the media of people who'd lost massive amounts of weight with the Wii Fit. This entry represents the nostalgia we get from seeing this board every time. Also a perfect family game, Wii Fit will be remembered as the push Nintendo made to keep people fit and entertained all at the same time.
3 Rise Of E-Sports
E-Sports is the name given to the real-life competition for gamers to go head-to-head for big cash prizes. Putting some of the biggest gaming titles on a podium and letting the best of the best players go against one another. Many stars have risen from the foundations of E-Sports and many lives have been changed forever. It all started in the last decade. This decade has seen a massive following of E-Sports fans blossom, who knows what the next decade holds? Some gamers run away from home and responsibilities with the hope of being the next big star for their favorite titles. That's dedication!
2 Split-Screen Was Still Standard (And We Miss It)
The days of Split-Screen gaming are now passed us. Most of us play from home with people on other systems. Games that used to include split-screen have new installments that don't feature split-screen anymore - looking at you Halo 5: Guardians. There used to be a time where family members could indulge in head-to-head matches with one another or co-operative campaigns. Seeing any form of split-screen gameplay takes me back to the 2000s when split-screen was mainstream and seen as necessary for a game's survival.
1 When Nintendo Was Still Too Ridiculous
The Nintendo GameCube and Nintendo Gameboy were pioneers of the early 2000's for Nintendo. But did you know you could connect both of these systems together? I got my GameCube as part of the Pokémon Colosseum bundle. This bundle came with a GBA to GameCube link cable as well as Pokémon Box: Ruby & Saphire. This gives the player a chance to transfer Pokémon from Colosseum to Ruby & Saphire and vice-versa. The link cable also worked with other games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker where the player or a second player uses the GBA to control Mr. Tingle.