25 Best Video Games Of The 2000s

24. Mass Effect

Sci-fi or fantasy? Lord of the Rings or Star Wars? The Elder Scrolls or Mass Effect?

Each past medium from page to celluloid has put forth their champions, and although gaming dabbled in brilliantly realised sci-fi worlds like Super Metroid and Half-Life before, Mass Effect took things to an entirely new level of immersion through character portrayals, branching narrative and the feel of an entire galaxy at your fingertips. Pitting you as a customisable Captain Shepard aboard the thoroughly badass Normandy, you were out to stop a rogue alien agent, Saren, alongside proving humanity's worth to a galaxy of races all predisposed to chuck us to the bottom of the political food chain.

That helped Bioware give birth to one of the finest mythologies and introductory setups in gaming history, one fraught with intense race-relations pitting you as the 'illegal alien' for a change, before letting you rank up various 'magic'-style powers in the form of Biotics, everything converging when you found out the real reasons behind the Saren's apparent betrayal. It would be the second Mass Effect that really nailed everything the team were going for first time round, but this landmark instalment remains the only sci-fi masterwork epic enough to easily hang with the likes of Star Trek, Star Wars and anything else you can throw at it.

Gaming Editor
Gaming Editor

WhatCulture's Head of Gaming.