Butterfly clips, trucker caps, and Motorola Razr flip phones all scream the 2000s. While the decade of the 2000s had its own problems like every decade, recent years have shown people having nostalgia for the first decade of the millennium.
Whether it was 2000s fashions or movies, millennials are yearning for the days when they were kids and spent all day on dial-up internet. Something that was all the rage for kids and teens of the 2000s was online gaming. These websites are sure to bring back the 2000s nostalgia in the online gamer in everyone.
A smart and creative marketing tactic, the Post/Kraft company (the one behind everyone’s favorite cereals and mac and cheese) created a website in 2001 that had games featuring the cereals of the brand like Fruity/Cocoa Pebbles, Honeycomb, and Golden Crisp among others.
Some games included Bedrock Bobsleddin’ Blowout for the Fruity/Cocoa Pebbles cereal and Oreo O’s Creme Team Journey themed for the Oreo O’s cereal. Later on, cereal boxes would have codes called Postokens that could be used to unlock exclusive games, cheats, and extra levels.
For the Barbie Girl of the 2000s, Barbie.Com was the place to go for online games. On this Barbie centric website, users could play a game that allowed them to feed Baby Krissy or play a game that let them makeover Barbie. For anyone who is wanting to relive their Y2K Barbie nostalgia, the good people at Babe.net complied some of the games that were available to play on Barbie.com and provided links to the games themselves or how to reach the games. If one desires to immersive themselves in the Barbie fantasy before the exciting Barbie comedy movie coming out in 2023, Barbie.com is still up and running albeit different from its 2000s version.
A gaming website with an anime tilt, Gaia Online has gone through many changes in its time. Most 2000s gamers will recognize Gaia Online as a social gaming site that had a messaging forum. The site was insanely popular with over 7 million monthly users in 2008 as reported by Virtual World News.
On Gaia Online, users could create their own avatar and design it to their liking. When playing games, users could gain Gaia currency which they could use to buy things for their avatar or a gift for another user.
One of the world’s largest online fashion communities, Star Doll was the site to go to for dress-up games. On Star Doll users could dress up their favorite celebrities that were the celebrities du jour of the time. Also, users could style themselves according to the latest trends. This website no doubt inspired thousands of people around the World Wide Web to pursue a career in fashion, thanks to all the stylist and fashion games.
Targeted to kids from ages 6 to 15, starting in 2007, Poptropica in an online role playing game. Fun fact; the creator of Poptropica, Jeff Kinney, is the same man behind another staple of the late 2000s, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series turned movies. Many of the games on Poptropica are centered around problem solving. However, Poptropica made problem solving fun through game quest scenarios called “Islands” that players would have to engage in problem-solving skills to successfully navigate.
With numerous flash games to choose from, Miniclip was highly addictive. Some fun choices were On the Run, Dune Buggy, and Raft Wars. At the time, Miniclip was a website that ensured legitimate and safe games that were easily accessible without much search browsing. While the games on Miniclips’s browser site are no longer there, the games are available to play on mobile instead. Since mobile gaming became the gaming mode of choice, the removal of browser games on Miniclip was bound to happen. Much like how kids today would likely not recognize these browser games, there are forgotten gadgets of the 2000s that kids won’t recognize today.
With a wide array of games to choose from, it’s no wonder why this website is called Addicting Games. With several categories to choose from including action, funny, and strategy games, the website also offered a multiplayer option allowing friends to play together.
A great resource to go to for free online games, Addicting Games, launched in 2002, had a massive hold on the slew of online gamer population that was prevalent in the new millennium.
Released in 2001, Runescape was a free, fantasy role-playing online game that was multiplayer. Every LARPer who couldn’t afford a World of Warcraft subscription would flock to Runescape in the 2000s. In Runscape, players escape into the world of Gielinor, a medieval fantasy realm where users can cast magical spells, encounter monsters, and go on mythical quests with a customizable avatar. Further, players could interact in the game through trading and chatting as well as playing mini-games within Runescape.
This Finnish company, founded in 2000, Habbo Hotel expanded to over 150 countries, engaging teens and young adults all over the globe. On Habbo, players create their own avatar where they can do different simulation activities like design rooms and take care of virtual pets in addition to chat with others and create and play their own games. While Habbo Hotel may have enjoyed its peak in the 2000s, the site still enjoyed more than 800,000 monthly active users as of January 2021 according to Pocket Gamer.
Offering cool flash games such Stick RPG, Dad ‘n’ Me and Alien Hominid, Newgrounds also had interesting videos to watch. Often regarded as playing an important part in the internet culture of the 2000s and even 2010s, Newgrounds has been noted as the place where animators as well as independent gaming developers were able to showcase their work and gain a following for said work. Newgrounds is still up and functioning today, so those who wish to relive their 2000s nostalgia can check it out and see how the website’s been kept up to date.