Video games are still a young medium, even 30 years in. Developers are still working out the “universal language” that other media like comics and films have enjoyed for decades. That means that there are plenty of just plain weird games that release each year.
We went back all the way to 2000 and picked out the weirdest games, year by year. They might have completely off-the-wall stories. Or they might have some truly bizarre game mechanics. Their only commonality is the ability to make the player go “WTF?”.
Inclusion on this list doesn’t mean it’s the best game of the year, or the worst. This is a list of weird games, regardless of quality. We hope that it will help us decide once and for all what is the #1 weirdest game of this century, and indeed this millennium.
For if we don’t, then who will?
This is part 1 of our 2-part series. This installment covers the years 2000-2008. Want to see the rest? Check out Weird Games Showdown of the Century, Pt. 2!
Release Year 2000
Weird Game of the Year – Omikron: The Nomad Soul
Omikron squeaks into this millennium with its Dreamcast version releasing in 2000. Essentially an adventure game, Omikron was set in a dystopian city reminiscent of Blade Runner. It was an early project by David Cage, later known for Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain, and Beyond: Two Souls.
Like the better-known Shenmue, Omikron placed a heavy emphasis on worldbuilding and a fleshed-out setting. Players could freely explore, take jobs, and buy various foods and drinks. Omikron gets the nod in the weird games department is the ability to possess different characters within the game at will.
Also, David Bowie. David Bowie is in this game. He does voice acting for two characters and he performs an entire song. That’s pretty weird.
Dark Cloud – The dungeon crawler by Level-5 was notable for cramming in everything, including the kitchen sink. Fighting, crafting, fishing, golf, singing, it’s all here.
Blues Brothers 2000 – The very existence of this game is almost as weird as the existence of the movie that inspired it. As Wikipedia says, “it was released two years after the film of the same name but in the year the film was set.”
Shenmue – Yu Suzuki’s aborted magnum opus was the ultimate in feature bloat and in bizarre Japanese storylines. By the way, Shenmue 3 is on track to release next year, 15 years after it was first scheduled.