Feeling nostalgic? How about taking one of the classic games for a spin once more?

In case you’ve got trouble deciding which one to pick, here’s a list of arguably the best PC games of the 2000s.

Fable

Release date:2014-09-12
Genre:RPG
Developer:Lionhead Studios

First on the list is an epic journey in a fantasy world full of dangerous creatures, magic, and loot.

Fable is a beautiful RPG and such a pleasure to look at, but the game’s selling point is its morality system. As you play, you can make various choices that will have consequences, affecting the whole gameplay in certain ways. Depending on whether you’re doing good or bad, NPCs will take your deeds into account. What you wear may also affect your interactions, not to mention the titles you may be holding, which greatly boosts immersion. One can’t also forget about the narrator and a bit of humor and satire in the narrative.

Key features
  • Unforgettable adventure in an immersive fantasy setting
  • Partially open-level design
  • Meaningful moral choices
  • Multiple ways to build the character, which adds some replayability

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Release date:2002-10-29
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Rockstar North

Enter the fictional Vice City, rise to the top as a mobster, and enjoy the 80s vibe.

Vice City remains one of the most appreciated Grand Theft Auto games up to date, even though objectively it may be not the best game in the series. The studio perfectly nailed the atmosphere, giving players a unique opportunity to travel back in time and feel like they’re a part of a classic American crime film. The unparalleled freedom, top-tier songs, and a captivating story with charismatic characters; there’s everything you need and more.

Key features
  • An open-world environment that can be explored freely
  • Incredible atmosphere heavily influenced by the 80s
  • A wide selection of weapons to choose from
  • Excellent soundtrack

Resident Evil 4

Release date:2014-02-27
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Capcom Production Studio 4

A mind-controlling parasite is causing people to go full berserk and you find yourself in the middle of madness.

Resident Evil undoubtedly shaped the horror genre and RE 4 is often considered the peak of the franchise. Rescue the president’s kidnapped daughter and carry out the given tasks as you fight your way through hordes of intelligent zombies that can dodge, use weapons, and coordinate their actions as a group. A survival horror in its most intense form, where action is just as important as fear-inducing environments.

Key features
  • Classic survival horror experience
  • Tense atmosphere with vivid visuals
  • Puts more emphasis on action
  • Challenging difficulty level

Diablo II

Release date:2000-06-29
Genre:RPG
Developer:Blizzard North

Behold one of the greatest games of all time.

Diablo 2 is the pinnacle of the classic isometric hack-and-slash genre. Games that could be considered to have surpassed the king are still few and far between, even today. Slash through hordes of demonic creatures, obtain rare loot, and customize your hero the way you want. And don’t forget about the Lord of Destruction expansion pack that makes an already perfect game even better. Alternatively, you can try Diablo II: Resurrected, a classic D2 experience with modern graphics and various quality-of-life improvements.

Key features
  • Several unique character classes to choose from
  • Randomly generated maps and loot for increased replayability
  • Thrilling soundtrack that perfectly fits the theme
  • Hardcore mode with permanent death for those who need an extra challenge

Mafia

Release date:2002-08
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Illusion Softworks

There’s probably no better game series focused on the Mafia than Mafia itself.

When talking about old computer games from the 2000s, one can’t forget about Mafia. Non-linear third-person gameplay in a setting inspired by the USA from the 30s combined with a praise-worthy story and a more serious tone when compared to its main competitor, GTA, was a recipe for success. The two series were often compared, but Mafia managed to stand out enough to be considered a timeless masterpiece of its kind.

Key features
  • Perfectly captured the spirit, atmosphere, and architecture of the 30s
  • Linear and more focused on the movie-quality story
  • Realistic vehicle behavior
  • Can be relatively challenging but in a fair way

World of Warcraft

Release date:2004-11-23
Genre:MMORPG
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment

The king is present as well.

As hard as it may be to believe, WoW still manages to keep millions of players engaged and logging in on a regular basis to complete their tasks, beat challenging raids, talk to friends, or just explore Azeroth and other realms. That’s an astounding feat considering the game was initially released in 2004 and runs on a subscription-based business model.

Key features
  • The ever-growing adventure in a carefully crafted epic fantasy world
  • Highly customizable characters with tons of upgrades and growth possibilities
  • Incredible raids that serve as both a test of skill and a platform to socialize with other players
  • Can be incredibly challenging but rewards those who can master the game’s mechanics

Half-Life 2

Release date:2004-11-16
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Valve

For a game representing the first-person shooter genre, look no further than HF 2.

Half-Life 2 revolutionized the gaming industry in a variety of ways and you could mention narrative design, facial expressions, or atmosphere here, but what made the biggest difference was how well the game handled advanced 3D physics that made environments feel more believable and interactive. Even if you take dated visuals into account, the game aged like wine and is still a worthy play today.

Key features
  • Innovative first-person shooter that was created way ahead of its time
  • Extensive use of physics, including simple physics-based puzzles
  • Top-notch facial expressions
  • Smart AI, great atmosphere, and satisfying gunplay

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Release date:2002-04-29
Genre:RPG
Developer:Bethesda Game Studios

Jump right into Tamriel and write your own story as you save the world from a demigod usurper.

Even after the release of absolutely fantastic Skyrim, Morrowind is still considered by some the best Elder Scrolls game ever made and it’s not purely for nostalgia reasons. If you can get through the retro graphics, there’s still a lot of fun to be had. A huge open world and open-ended gameplay that incentivizes exploration will easily steal hours upon hours of your free time. Can be a bit difficult for newcomers, though, but that’s part of the game’s beauty.

Key features
  • Epic role-playing adventure in a high-fantasy world
  • Massive open-world environment
  • Open-ended gameplay that doesn’t force you to do anything nor does it hold your hand
  • Impressive character progression and customization features

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Release date:2007-11-12
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Infinity Ward

CoD 4 brought a breath of fresh air to FPS, freeing players from being constantly stuck in WW2 or sci-fi settings.

People have a personal bias when it comes to naming the best CoD game in the franchise, but you must admit that MW brought a change the players desperately needed. Gameplay in CoD 4 favors a more arcade approach and sacrifices realism for added fun. You can still feel like a soldier on a modern battlefield, but it’s not as punishing as a real simulator would be and forgives many mistakes, making the title more approachable, especially for newcomers.

Key features
  • Addictive, high-quality single-player campaign
  • Accurate models of modern military equipment
  • Relatively simple – low entry barrier
  • Gets even better in multiplayer

BioShock Remastered

Release date:2016-09-15
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:2K Australia

If a classic FPS is not what you’re looking for, perhaps a scary one with added superpowers would grab your attention.

The final game on the list is a spiritual successor to System Shock and will take you to the underwater city of Rapture, the elitist utopia inspired and heavily influenced by 1930s architecture and Art Deco. Although the game is not strictly a horror game, it can give you an occasional fright but not in the form of a cheap jump-scare. Grab your gun, ready your superhuman plasmids, and find your way out of this god-forsaken place.

Key features
  • Underwater setting with the 30s aesthetics and captivating story
  • A number of unique weapons and superpowers to utilize during play
  • Stunning sound design
  • Great, unsettling atmosphere

Conclusion

The early years of the current millennium brought tons of astonishing video games, some of which turned into timeless classics we still love to return to. Hopefully, with the help of our list, you’ll be able to find some of the top games you missed.

It’s never too late to pay respects to the games that shaped the industry, so pick your favorites and savor every moment as you play.