The 2000s were a decade that redefined what games were capable of. It began with the Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox, but also within the same time period, advanced to the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii. This was an area that also sparked the great lunchtime controversy with friends of whether the PS3 or Xbox 360 was better. Agh yes, this was a simpler time. Regardless, all of these consoles in their own way were groundbreaking and pushed what graphics, gameplay, and storytelling could offer.
It really was a period of time where we saw games coming out that had something new and exciting to offer. It was also a period of time when some of gaming’s biggest staples make a name for themselves. Games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Grand Theft Auto launched onto the scene and thrived into the great franchises we still play today. These game developers are now notable names in the gaming scene and often aren’t given enough credit. This is why we have ranked the top five game developers that dominated this crucial decade for gaming.
5. 2K Games
Before the 2000s, sports games didn’t have much to offer compared to opposing titles. Most of the time, sports games were fun arcade-like games that you put down after a couple of hours. However, with the advancement of gaming consoles, came the advancement of 2K and its sports games. Bought out by Take-Two Interactive in 2005, 2K is a developer with a long list of subsidiaries companies that helped develop its many titles.
It is because of 2K’s accessors that they dominated the sports genre in NBA, NHL, and NBA. For sports fans, and sports gamers, 2K took over the scene, but that didn’t restrict 2K from also releasing their own unique story title. That game is Bioshock, and it was 2K’s most anticipated title at the time. This showed the gaming community that 2K was a developer that could succeed in any genre. The great success 2K found across these games led it to be one of the best game developers of the 2000s and into a million-dollar franchise today.
4. Treyarch & Infinity Ward
As most of you would expect, I couldn’t leave out Treyarch and Infinity Ward for their installments to the Call of Duty series. Within the 2000s both companies developed great Call of Duty games, but three titles stood above the rest. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: World at War, and the best for last, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. It was these games that really showed that both companies had what it took to dominate the FPS genre in the 2000s.
I mean seeing the Infinity Ward logo again just gives me chills. It throws me back to every day after school when I would toss my backpack into the void of non-existence and play Call of Duty all afternoon with my friends. These were simpler times but also one of the best eras of gaming, and Call of Duty dominated it, with credit going to both developers.
3. Rockstar North
One video game series that quickly grew to stardom in the 2000s was the Grand Theft Auto franchise. You probably know of their publisher, Rockstar games, but the real brains are credited to Rockstar North. The company produced three monumental titles in the decade with Grand Theft Auto: III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City & San Andreas, and of course Grand Theft Auto IV. These games alone put Rockstar North up on the podium as a game developer that dominated the era.
What skyrocketed Rockstar North in the 2000s was their release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, for the PlayStation 2. The title became the highest selling game in the history of the console and branched the franchise out to where it is today. It really makes me want to find my old cheat-sheet list and rip around Los Santos again.
2. Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard is a game-developing giant that has claimed fame to many successful titles over the years. One game stands out above all the others on Blizzard’s list, as it swept the 2000s. Can you guess it? That game is World of Warcraft. One of the most played games of all time, one of the most sold games of all time, and the game that once held the most amount of time spent in a video game (That was until Fortnite). Regardless if they have lost some of these records, they were monumental in the 2000s, and if you don’t call that domination, then what is?
The crazy part is, that isn’t Blizzard’s only substantial release in the 2000s. You also saw Diablo II which was one of the best-selling computer games at the time. Even now, there are still people playing this game two decades later. The company only released these two games throughout the decade, but they were some of the most substantial in gaming history. Any company that can accomplish a feat as great as that was one of the powerhouse game developers of the 2000s.
Yes, it’s everybody’s favorite video game developer, Nintendo. There are a few reasons this game developer took over as number one of the 2000s. The company has its infamous Game Boy Color, which was also the first platform to kickstart my gaming career. You also had the Nintendo 64 which was still in good standing until it was taken over by the GameCube in 2001. The company also released the Nintendo DS, and Wii which were both revolutionary hits.
Nintendo not only dominated the gaming platforms but the video games as well.
The company has many notorious titles, like Zelda, Metroid Prime, and an insanely long list of various Mario and Pokémon games. Nintendo actually released so many titles I would need to do a whole top 10 list just to scrape the surface. Without a doubt, Nintendo took over with their platforms and many exclusive titles.
If one company can dominate both platforms and games, then it has single-handedly dominated the 2000s decade.