Best arcade video games of the 2000s that manage to stay on radar

No matter what nerds or the industry analysts may say, video gaming is primarily about having fun. And arcade games are here to prove it. Check some of the titles that, in our opinion, did their best in the aughts.

Super Mario Galaxy (2007)

If you for some reason have never helped the brothers save Princess Peach from Bowser, the Super Mario Galaxy is quite an occasion to do so. If you think this title is just an old platformer made in 3D, think again. The Nintendo designers, responsible for the franchise, skillfully implemented a whole galaxy of fresh ideas and twists to make the title’s gameplay even more captivating than the grasp of Bowser’s clutches.

Super Mario Galaxy (2007)

Dead Rising (2006)

You may wonder why we included this survival horror/action-adventure in the list of arcade games. Well, the answer is simple, because of its arcade gameplay. With a setting and plot usually associated with titles of Resident Evil or Walking Dead series, the Dead Rising offers the player different, more fun and arcade-like, approach to surviving the attacks of zombie hordes, which you can kill with numerous improvised weapons in various comical ways.

Dead Rising (2006) Midnight Club II (2006)

Following the trail of the original arcade-racing hit, the Midnight Club 2 by Rockstar offers you to drive through the streets of a city at night. While not being an exemplar of fidelity and precision in reсreating the vehicles (not only cars but also bikes, which debuted in this installment), the game features more detailed cities of Paris, Los Angeles, and New York. Add a multiplayer mode to those ingredients and you will get the midnight cocktail that has a lot of drive in it.

Midnight Club II (2006) Ninja Gaiden (2004)

In terms of chronology and plot, the Ninja Gaiden game released by Tecmo in 2004 for PS3 and Xbox is the prequel to the games, which we remember from the days of hack and slash platformers. However, this technically more advanced title provides a full 3D third-person view with more freedom in moving around the screen and cutting your enemies into pieces with your blazingly fast katana. Wall running and jumping are still there, of course.

Guitar Hero II (2006)

People at Harmonix gave millions of players around the globe an opportunity to feel how it is to perform songs that have true rock vibe without the necessity to play the guitar. Using the available controls and virtual guitar, you can have a thrilling experience of playing many legendary hits of the last century, as well as modern-day classics. However, the funniest part is that you can compete with other players in skillfulness of rendering legendary songs.

Guitar Hero II (2006)

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2003)

Do you remember the original side-scrolling action-adventure with many puzzles and realistic physics from 1989 that started it all? If not then you probably remember the Sands of Time title, which hallmarked an irreversible shift of the series’ gameplay from puzzle-solving to action-centric style. While that decision was controversial and not endorsed by many old-school fans of the prince adventures, the Sands of Time also featured much more freedom and fluency of movement with modern 3D graphics and mechanics that built on platforming gameplay.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2003)


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