If you (like me) grew up in the 2000s, internet games were probably a part of your childhood. The internet was (and still is) this big, developing thing, and since we were developing right along with it, we took advantage of every minute. I remember kids playing internet games in school, of all places – presumably because the public school system hadn’t yet figured out how to block certain websites on school internet servers. In any case, these games (most of which are still online and absolutely playable) were great time wasters and usually tons of fun.
All of the games on this list are games I personally played. They may or may not have been the most popular games out there, but these are the ones I remember really enjoying, whether by myself or with friends. So, here they are: these are my picks for the Top Ten Internet Games from the 2000s.
10. Rainbow Sphere
This is a kind of weird one, and most probably wouldn’t consider it very fun. It involves moving this ball from colored platform to colored platform using the arrow keys and spacebar. The tricky part is the ball has to be the same color as the platform, or you lose and have to restart the level. There are these little glowing dots that change your color so that you can jump to the next platform. It’s actually really hard, and I don’t think I ever made it very far in the game. I think what I liked about this one so much was the music – on the first level it starts out as this calm, relaxing piano riff, and then once you get to a certain level the music turns sinister and mocks you as you play, telling you you’re about to die. Which you usually are. Perhaps not the most well known but it does stick out in my memory.
You can play Rainbow Sphere here.
9. Star Island
What I remember most about this game is how visually appealing it was. I loved playing it as a kid because the colors were so bright and happy and pretty looking. The object of the game is pretty simple – you have to go through each level and collect all the stars before you can go to the next one. The trouble is that there are currents, squirrels with nuts, rolling boulders, and other things that are all out to get you. In general, this is a really fun, creative, and cheery game. Not much to say about it except that it could always get me in a good mood.
You can play Star Island here.
8. The Impossible Quiz
Ah, yes. The Impossible Quiz. Everybody – and I mean everybody – at my school was playing this game. It makes no sense, some of the questions and/or answer choices verge on weirdly inappropriate, and for the most part it’s full of completely random nonsense that no one in their right mind would ever put on an actual quiz. But that’s kind of the point. The only way you could really beat the quiz was by literally memorizing all of the answers.
The quiz went beyond just “click on the right answer choice.” It often had you move your mouse out of the game screen, click on the dot of the “i” in the actual question, etc. I remember on one of the levels you had to right click and move your mouse cursor along the “settings” option just so you wouldn’t touch the pink. Despite it being a pretty immature game overall, it was also clever at the same time.
You can play The Impossible Quiz here.
7. Territory War
Sometimes, we just needed a little badass epic awesomeness. This game is the epitome of badass, epic, and awesome. I mean, just look at the title screen. It looks pretty badass, doesn’t it? And even though you can’t hear the music, you can still see that the song playing is called “Speeding Rampage.” That gives you a pretty good idea of how badass this game is, right?
Basically, the game goes like this. You have a team of stick figures, a 3 person team, if I’m not mistaken. You can either go against another person or the computer. Basically, each member of the team gets the chance to move a certain distance before they have to throw a grenade, use a rifle, or give the other player the boot. It’s not quite as violent and bloodthirsty as it sounds, I promise (they are stick figures, after all). It’s a great game for whenever you want to make something explode.
You can play Territory War here.
6. Ultimate Flash Sonic
This game is colorful, fast-paced, and addicting. It’s pretty much your basic Sonic game, downgraded for a flash format. You have to collect all the rings and avoid spikes, monkeys, and evil owls. Eventually it gets fairly difficult, but you don’t care because you’re just having so much fun!
I’m not sure what to really say about this one; it speaks for itself. Just start playing it and watch your afternoon go by.
You can play Ultimate Flash Sonic here.
5. 4 Second Frenzy
I try to refrain from using a lot of profanity on this blog, but FUCK THIS GAME.
I’m serious. This game is evil. It latches onto your brain the second you begin playing and won’t let go. In fact, this list probably would have been posted a lot earlier if I hadn’t spent so much time trying to beat this thing.
Basically, the game goes like this. You have a series of tasks which are completed using the arrow keys and spacebar, and you only have four seconds to do them. They range from filling up a balloon to putting sunscreen on a guy to destroying the planet. Some of them are easy, others are extremely hard. You only have a certain number of lives before you die completely.
This was another game I remember everyone at my school playing. It was almost like a contest; people tried to see how much further they could get in this game than everyone else. Some were good at it and others weren’t, but everybody tried.
You can play 4 Second Frenzy here. (Don’t click on the link if you value your precious time.)
4. Castle Cat 3
There are few games on the internet more bizarre than Castle Cat 3. Now, I never played Castle Cat 1 or 2, so I don’t know how they compare. I was never really interested in finding out, anyway. There’s just something about this game that is so…odd it’s honestly kind of captivating. You play Castle Cat, a gray cat with, well, a tower-looking thing on his head (what?!) and run through deserts with aliens and snakes, fight a monster in Las Vegas, avoid these cute, creepy little bouncing Venetian things, and battle a giant, rolling Sphinx. Yeah. It’s bizarre.
But what I liked best about Castle Cat 3 was the music. The music is weird as hell, and somehow perfectly matches with the wacky tone of the game. It’s really a game that can only be experienced. I really encourage checking it out.
(And yes, I did play this game before I saw The X-Files, so I didn’t get “the truth is out there” reference. But now that I do, I love Castle Cat 3 even more.)
You can play Castle Cat 3 here.
3. Raft Wars
Looking back on it, Raft Wars was kind of the ultimate internet game for kids. The protagonists, after all, were children with tennis ball guns. They weren’t army captains or racers or weird magical creatures, they were kids that wore diapers and floated on floaties and had to protect their precious treasure from the world of adults (that came in the form of pirates, vikings, neighbors, bikers, and weird masked people).
Perhaps there’s a deeper meaning to Raft Wars, and maybe in the future I’ll spend some time to uncover it. But for now, all I can do is say that this game probably took up way more time than I ever had as a kid and I don’t feel much regret.
You can play Raft Wars here.
2. Fancy Pants 2
It’s hard to imagine an internet game with a more defined style than Fancy Pants. All three games are tons of fun, but if I had to pick the one that wasted the most of my time, it would definitely be Fancy Pants 2. And why not? The game is just creative. The backdrops are awesome, the movement is unique, and Fancy Pants Man himself brings a whole new meaning to the concept of “stick figure.” It’s just a unique, creative, and often pretty game with awesome graphics. Definitely worth a checking-out.
You can play Fancy Pants 2 here.
But even after the stick figures, after the crazy cats, rolling stars, bouncing rainbow balls and vengeful children, there can only be one victor: Bloons.
Bloons was the only internet game that I saw people still playing in high school. And not Bloons 2 or Bloons Tower Defense, either; just the good, original Bloons that we all know and love.
What makes this game so appealing? Well, for one thing, anyone can play it. There’s no blood, no violence, not a whole lot of strategizing, just throwing darts and popping balloons. As a monkey. And boy, did we love it.
I played Bloons in between studying for high school finals. I played Bloons while on vacation. I played Bloons yesterday.
It’s just a great game, and that’s why it’s #1.
You can play Bloons here.
Special Mention: Coma
This one unfortunately didn’t make the list because it came out in 2010, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. Coma transcends the world of mere internet flash games. It’s a work of art. It’s the most visually striking, interestingly made, unique internet game I have ever played. It’s also the strangest by far. You know how I joked that Raft Wars could have a hidden meaning behind it? Well, Coma actually does. I won’t ruin it because you really should check this one out. It’s absolutely breathtaking and by far the best game I’ve ever come across on the internet.
You can play Coma here.
Well, that’s my list. What internet games do you like to play? Comment below and have fun!
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