Most Popular Games of the 2000s

Playing is an important aspect of children’s development and growth. It is crucial for the expansion of learning, broadening imaginations, and improving interpersonal relationships. Before technology took over, everything that children played implied vigorous physical activity and real-time social connections. Looking back in the times when technology was slipping fast and steadily into our lives, we can see outdoor games and playtime fading and video games taking over.

However, card and board games, along with video games, are also deemed crucial for children’s development. Some games stimulate young minds, force them to think logically, and involve higher brain functioning, which is essential for teaching problem-solving, adherence to social norms, deeper interpersonal connections, and conformity to the group.

If you are an avid fan of video, board, or card games of the 2000s, this article is for you. This article can bring back loads of great memories for the people whose childhood memories are from the 2000s. So, let us straight away dive into enlisting and describing the most popular games of the 2000s.

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Popular Board Games 

1. Puerto Rico (2002)


Published by Rio Grande Games in 2002 and designed by Andreas Seyfarth, this game is suitable for up to 5 players. It is an intricate board game that was designed for children above 12 years. The game aims to assign each player a role, which is then used to construct things, such as buildings. Each turn requires the players to choose one role from the several options present, such as mayor or captain.

In correspondence to the role chosen, the players then attain certain powers to carry out tasks, such as exporting goods or building things. The most efficient performance by the role earns victory points for the player. Puerto Rico board game has also won several awards, such as the 2002 DeutscherSpielePreis award, International Gamers Award for Multi-Player Strategy Game, and Meeples Choice Award.

2. Ticket to Ride (2004)


Specifically designed for children over eight years, this board game was designed by Alan R. Moon and published in 2004 by Days of Wonder. The game’s main goal is to plan and build railroads across Canada and the United States, entailing while not letting your opponent do so. This game calls for many strategic choices by the players forcing them to stimulate their thinking, contemplating their moves, and making tactical choices.

3. Hero Scape (2004)


This board game is best played with 2 to 4 players aged eight years and above. It was designed by Stephen Baker, Craig Van Ness, and Rob Daviau and published by Milton Bradley/Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro. If warriors belonging to different eras interest you, then this is the ultimate board game for you. It is subtitled, HeroScape: The Battle of All Time.

The name does justice to the game as it involves an intricate battlefield set by the players, interlocking in wars and utilizing draft armies such as robots, samurai, airborne troops, and more. The battle is intense, and the board game is highly engrossing.

4. Pandemic (2008)


This fun board game was designed by Matt Leacock and published by Z-Man Games in 2008. It is suitable for ages ten and above and is perfect for 2 to 4 players. It is a mind-boggling game stimulating children’s higher mental capabilities by requiring problem-solving skills. The game’s core aim is to curb the spread of four different pandemic diseases that have taken over the world.

The players have to take various roles such as the Scientist or Operations specialist – and perform respective responsibilities in controlling the diseases. There is a time limit to finding the cure and stopping the spread of the diseases, and the failure to do so results in all the players losing the game.

Top Card Games of the 2000s

1. San Juan (2004)


This card game is one of the most popular ones, released during the 2000s. It is based on the board game Puerto Rico. There is a deck of 110 cards in this game entailing various production buildings, such as indigo, sugar, silver, coffee, and tobacco. The violet cards are for earning special points and powers. Each round of the game has a seven-card limit, used to build or buy other buildings belonging to your opponent. On the other hand, the deck cards are left face-down and represent goods manufactured by the buildings.

Players gain points by building as many buildings as possible. As soon as any player manages to put up twelve buildings, the game ends, and that player wins.

2. Babel (2000)


It is a two-player card game based on ancient civilizations and warfare. Playing Babel involves a high level of strategic planning and organization. The game’s central aim is to build the tallest temple while destroying your opponent’s army, people, and temples.

The game cards are categorized into five ancient civilizations: Medes, Sumerians, Persians, Assyrians, and Hittites. The cards in hand represent the various civilizations, while the deck cards are used to build temples on the board.

3. Balloon Cup (2003)


Designed by Stephen Glenn in 2003, Balloon Cup is an engrossing card game related to aviation. It is a two-player game in which the players have to take balloon flights and collect cubes corresponding to the colors of the balloons. Four cards with two different landscapes are placed in the center, and upon each of the card, a matching cube numbered 1 to 4 is placed. With the cards in hand, the players have to cross the landscapes to the other side.

Numerous variables, such as winds, mountains, and the value of the balloons, hinder in crossing the landscape, which is an interesting aspect of the game. Strong winds can sometimes favor your opponent as they can get more balloon rides than you.

Top Video Games of the 2000s

1. Minecraft (2009)


Minecraft is an exceptionally popular game released in 2009 following the release of an experimental game by Zach Barth, known as Infiniminer. This game has an attractive Lego-like construction based on blocks. The final version of the game came in 2011, wherein two different modes of the game were introduced. The main aim of the game is to battle zombies while mining resources. The survival mode includes players tackling giant spiders in addition to the zombies while looking for avenues to mine resources.

The other mode is called the creative one, as it involves only the construction of various ambitious projects using a vast inventory of glass, stone, blocks, and wooden materials.

2. Half-Life 2 (2004)


This is probably one of the most interactive games that came out in the 2000s. Though most video games involve invasions, Half-Life 2 takes a fresh and interesting take on the invasion by combined forces. As Gordon Freeman wakes up to find the world under full domination by the enemies, a resistance force must be made and trained.

Filled with intricate puzzles and ingenious ammunition such as the famous gravity gun, the game gathers all your senses and engages your mind in numerous problem-solving and strategic planning schemes.

3. Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)


If the idea of shooting aliens made people laugh, it is the same idea that made Halo every player’s favorite game. With extremely awe-inspiring visuals and some highly improbable ammunition that can wipe off a dozen aliens, Halo was one of the most popular video games. Numerous versions of this game have been released over time since the early 2000s, increasing its popularity by many folds with every release.

4. Bio Shock (2007)


Designed in the backdrop of a utopia under the sea that is doomed to an irreversible extent, this game had some serious sci-fi inspirations. Players in BioShock are primarily shooters but also role-playing. They have to survive a haunting quest involving a nearly impossible escape from Rapture. The animations of the game and the futuristic genetic modifications illustrated in the game are jaw-dropping.

5. World of Warcraft (2004)


This game has not only been an immensely popular video game but has also impacted the lives of children so much so that it has been set as wedding themes! This adventure-based game is a multi-player game combining all the features of the previously popular games such as Everquest and Ultima Online. The challenging quests and excellent illustrations of this game have created a fan base that has followed it through numerous updates and add-ons.

6. Resident Evil 4 (2005)


Though the original game entailed a challenging rescue of the US president’s daughter from an evil Spanish cult, this version of the game took every aspect to the next level. The story and quest took the scariest of the turns as Shinji Mikami, the creator behind the popular horror stories of Capcom, designed the structure of the game.


No matter which era you were born in, games and playtime contribute significantly to boosting confidence and increasing sensory capabilities. We listed the top games of the 2000s in terms of popularity. If you think the best games have been around only lately, you cannot be more wrong. The video games of the 2000s were also as engrossing as today’s addictive online and video games.

While some might evoke sweet childhood memories after reading this article, others may have no idea what these are, except probably the ones that are still being released with updates. So, which game you love the most?

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