Top 10 Video Game Consoles of the 2000s


The first video game console ever made was the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972. It came equipped with board game-related items such as cards, paper money, and dice to elevate the user experience. But, nowadays, the console landscape is completely different and has elevated the space dramatically as technology evolved.

I’ve been fortunate enough to experience the best of the best, especially with how far the games industry has come in the last two decades. With that said, here’s my list of the top ten video game consoles of the 2000s.

10. Nintendo DS

The Nintendo DS is a handheld video game console released globally between 2004 and 2005. Its innovative dual-screen integration which introduced touchscreen controls and more accessible ways for players to experience video games opened up the industry to fresh eyes.

On offer, there were a large array of games that catered to wider and varying audiences. For example, titles like New Super Mario Bros, Pokemon Diamond, and Pearl, and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass attracted casual and hardcore gamers alike. These memorable titles and more provided a gaming experience like no other taking full advantage of the DS’s capabilities. 

9. Game Boy Advance (GBA)

The Game Boy Advance, another handheld video game console made by Nintendo was released in 2001 to raving reviews across the board. It proved to be a viral sensation with gamers that wanted to game on the go. With improved graphical fidelity and backward compatibility for Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, the user experience was significantly improved.

Alongside it, came beloved titles such as Super Monkey Ball Jr., Mario Golf, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past with Four Swords, and Metroid Fusion all in hopes to increase the value of the console. What made this handheld console stand out is its portability which made room for it to be the optimal choice for the widest possible demographic of gamers. 

8. PlayStation Portable (PSP) 

The PSP, a portable handheld console juggernaut at the time was released in 2004 in Japan, and later in 2005 in North America. It became the first line of portable handheld consoles for PlayStation. Little did they know that it would turn into more than just a gaming console.

Multimedia functionality and support were included allowing users to watch movies, play music, and enjoy video games while on the go. The PSP became one of the most sought-after products on the market for gamers because it didn’t compromise on graphical fidelity and quality. Video games such as God of War: Chains of Olympus, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker became fan favorites amongst those who owned the PSP. Gamers wanted to bring the traditional console experience outside of their homes and the PSP delivered. 

7. Sega Dreamcast

The Sega Dreamcast was released on September 1999 in North America and later discontinued in 2001 due to a lack of identity and rising opposition from other competitors. But, it’s important to recognize that it was the first console to include online functionality and capabilities.

Innovative titles like Sonic Adventure, Soulcalibur, Shenmue, and Crazy Taxi revolutionized games as we know them opening up doors for what developers were able to create. Despite its short life span, it managed to make a dramatic impact on the gaming landscape that many manufacturers like Sony began to take note of. 

6. Xbox

The Xbox released in 2001 was Microsofts first attempt at creating a video game console. It would propel the series Xbox to come and lay the foundation for online gaming as we know it. It introduced Xbox Live, a new service that allowed gamers to play online in a multiplayer setting. Utilizing the powerful hardware, developers were able to create long-lasting immersive gaming experiences. Titles like Halo 2, Halo: Combat Evolved, Fable, and Project Gotham Racing established the home console definitively as a fierce competitor in the market. 

5. PlayStation 3 (PS3)

The PlayStation 3, the successor of the PS2 was released by Sony in November 2006 to a slow start due to its high price point of $600. Eventually, it was able to pick up steam as people took notice of price reductions which allowed gamers to get hands-on. Blu-ray playback, an introduction to the PlayStation Network, and motion sensor technology support were all innovative measurements of the hardware’s capabilities at the time.

Its major exclusives also beneficially impacted the game’s medium by including more narrative-driven titles in its lineup. Titles such as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, The Last of Us, and Ratchet and Clank brought the PS3 to the forefront of the gaming space, especially in the later years of its life cycle. 

4. Nintendo Wii 

Who would’ve thought that a gaming console had the power to bring friends and families together; Nintendo certainly envisioned that reality when they released the Wii in 2006. With its accessible motion controls, it allowed people to play a revolutionary video game like Wii Sports right out of the box. This family-friendly approach catered to a large audience, regardless of their past experience or knowledge of video games. Additionally, titles like Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl became staples in almost every household revolutionizing the way the world not only perceived but played video games. 

3. Nintendo GameCube

The GameCube was released in 2001 becoming instantly beloved by gamers for its compact design, portability, and unique games lineup. Despite the poor sales figures, in comparison to their competitors, it was one of the most memorable gaming experiences to date. Many gamers, like myself, even brought the console to friends’ houses and the console design was intended to be used in such a way. From the system start-up to playing countless hours of Metroid Prime and Luigi’s Mansion, gamers across the world were able to create unforgettable experiences alone and with friends. 

2. Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 released in 2005 became a powerhouse in the console market as it faced pressures from Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Wii to reinvent the wheel. With its jump into online gaming, a leap in graphics, and a phenomenal lineup of exclusive titles to the platform, almost everyone wanted one. Out of the box, it even came with a microphone for everyone to utilize the game-changing party chat systems which brought online gaming to the forefront of the industry. Titles such as Gears of War, Halo 3, and Mass Effect made it a must-have for gamers to connect with their friends and compete with others around the world in an online setting. 

1.  PlayStation 2 (PS2)

The PlayStation 2 was and still is regarded as the king of all consoles ever since it was released in 2000. The console went on to sell over 155 million units worldwide, making it the best-selling video game console of all time. Iconic titles such as God of War, Shadow of the Colossus, and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty made such a prominent groundbreaking leap in quality that they set the bar for future games. The PS2 had changed the way games were being made and developers strove for nothing but the very best which positively evolved video game culture. 

The 2000s were the pinnacle of the video games industry, which brought a slew of excellent video game consoles and titles that built upon what gamers are so accustomed to nowadays. From the iconic PS2 to the Game Boy Advanced, each console was able to advance the capabilities of the technology to the point where every gamer feels like they’re part of a community greater than themselves. Whether you’re a casual or hardcore gamer, there was something for you to enjoy during this era of gaming. And, as some may look back to the past, it’s undeniable that the impact is still being felt today and has confirmed why so many fell in love with video games in the first place.