The ability to play with others has been a huge draw in gaming, and it’s something that multiplayer titles have made possible.
Online functionality was still in its infancy in the early 2000s, especially on consoles, so multiplayer games weren’t as popular as they are today. Instead, the focus was on the local game.
The scene grew slowly but steadily to what it is today. Players often fondly look back on the golden era of multiplayer gaming, recalling nostalgic memories of heated matches and chaotic co-op games.
Now let’s take a look at the best games in the genre in the 2000s.
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the opinion of the author
Battlefield 1942, Call of Duty: World at War and 8 other legendary multiplayer/co-op games
1) Counterstrike (2000)
Counter-Strike, the first entry in the acclaimed tactical FPS series, started out as a mod for Half-Life.
The game allows players to take part in skirmishes between terrorists and counter-terrorists. Developed by Valve, it places a heavy emphasis on strategy at every step of the game, from purchasing weapons early in the round to challenging core gunplay.
It’s that learning curve that has managed to keep the original alive on PC to this day, when its competition is long forgotten.
2) Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)
Super Smash Bros Melee for the Nintendo GameCube, the second entry in Nintendo’s platform fighter series, is widely regarded as one of the best fighting games of all time. Not only was it a visual improvement over its predecessor, the Nintendo 64, but countless improvements and additions were made.
Featuring over 20 characters drawn from iconic Big N franchises like Mario and Pikachu, Melee is best known for its fast-paced combat mechanics. Combat is easy to understand but difficult to master.
The game keeps fans coming back to it thanks to its high level of skill and technical focus.
3) Battlefield 1942 (2002)
Developed by DICE, Battlefield 1942 is the first entry in EA’s long-running military shooter franchise. It’s a multiplayer FPS with a WWII setting where players can play as either Allies or Axis.
With a variety of unit types to choose from and huge 64-player maps, it was ahead of its competitors in many ways. From battles on foot to driving huge tanks and fighter planes, it’s an experience that truly captures the essence of its title.
4) Mario Kart: Double Dash (2003)
Another GameCube entry, Mario Kart: Double Dash is quite different from other entries in Nintendo’s arcade racer franchise.
The basic gameplay of racing on maps based on Nintendo franchises has been retained, but there are a few additions.
For one, the game creeps in in co-op mode with two players per vehicle. One drives, the other uses the objects. It’s also the only entry to date that does so.
It still uses the formula fans have come to love as they traverse treacherous maps and collect items to hinder other players and emerge victorious.
5) Unreal Tournament 2004 (2004)
One of the biggest PC franchises of the 90’s also spawned one of the best multiplayer games to come out in gaming: Unreal Tournament 2004.
Epic Games brought their best to the field with this legendary arena FPS. It’s packed with content for online gamers, from standard Deathmatch to vehicle-based Onslaught.
The movement is super smooth and the map design is very memorable. Skill-based gunplay is as crisp as it was 18 years ago, with fan-favorite weapons like the Flak Cannon and Blitz Cannon. Old-school arcade shooters don’t get any better.
6) Time Shard: Future Perfect (2005)
Released for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect is often overlooked in favor of its predecessor. That’s not to say it’s a bad game.
The game includes both single player and multiplayer modes, with the former featuring time-travelling Marine Sergeant Cortez attempting to travel back in time to save the future. The multiplayer, on the other hand, is fast-paced fun that makes this gem an all-rounder.
A brand new TimeSplitters is also currently in development under publisher Deep Silver.
7) War Devices (2006)
The first installment in the Xbox Gears of War series, the original entry paved the way for modern third-person shooters.
In the solo/co-op storyline developed by Epic Games, players try to save humanity from subterranean creatures called the locust. The fierce, gritty visual style that has always been a hallmark of the series is introduced here, as is the novel “magnetic” cover and active reload system.
Multiplayer was chaotic as well, allowing players to enjoy the bloody executions and thrilling battle with other players.
8) Crew Fortress 2 (2007)
Another acclaimed PC classic from Valve, Team Fortress 2 is one of the greatest multiplayer games of all time.
Compared to the Counter-Strike series, TF2 is more of a hero shooter. Players can choose between two teams and choose from a variety of classes such as Soldier, Heavy, and Sniper, each belonging to different categories. Signature Valve humor is also making a comeback.
Players can engage in different game modes with an interesting upgrade system for different weapons.
9) Call of Duty: World at War (2008)
Considered one of the best Call of Duty games of all time, World at War is arguably one of the most brutal entries in Activision’s FPS series.
With a single-player narrative anchored in World War II, particularly on the Pacific and Eastern Fronts, it featured gruesome wartime scenarios throughout its various set pieces.
The multiplayer was of course the highlight. It was loaded with ranked and progression elements that have become staples.
World at War also introduced the Zombies mode, where players could mow down hordes of undead in arcade fashion.
10) Left 4 Dead 2 (2009)
This popular co-op zombie shooter from Valve is another PC title that has far outlived its age. Players control one of four playable characters, choose their weapon of choice and make their way across each map to complete objectives.
Zombie mutants come in abundance, from the average shambler to the pesky jockeys and the scary witch.
With director AI, timeless atmosphere and attention to detail, it’s no wonder the game has managed to put even modern day survival horror shooters in the same vein.
#coop #multiplayer #games #2000s