Britain's Olympians ended the 2004 Games having surpassed their medal haul in Sydney four years ago.
Team GB made off with 30 medals from Athens, two more than 2000, with nine gold, nine silver and 12 bronze.
The haul prompted British Olympic Association boss Simon Clegg to claim "mission accomplished".
"The target I set was to return with between six and nine gold medals and in excess of 25 in total and I'm delighted we've done that," he said.
In Sydney, Britain won 11 gold, 10 silver and seven bronze, and Clegg admitted it might be time to recalibrate the team's sights for Beijing in four years time.
"We understand we are judged by the performance of the team and the Great British public mean by that medals," he said.
"From an organisational point of view we need to scratch below that surface and we will undertake a full and thorough analysis of every performance out here.
"Not least of which is to determine whether we have set the bar at the correct level with a view to moving it up in the future."
Four-time Olympic rowing champion Matthew Pinsent added: "It's been a superb performance by the British team. For once we can say we have had a fantastic Games.
"It's great to be able to go back and give that feel-good factor. That gives us a buzz too. "
Golden girl Kelly Holmes, the Olympic 800m and 1500m champion, and the men's 4x100m relay winners put the gloss on Britain's success, followed by boxer Amir Khan, who added a final silver on the last day.
But it was in the sports of rowing, cycling, sailing and equestrianism that the foundations were laid.
And Clegg was adamant that despite the blistering finish to the athletics programme, the British track and field team as a whole disappointed.
"The gold medals did save them," said Clegg.
"Outside that and Kelly Sotherton's bronze, it's been a mixed performance by the track and field team and that's something I'm going to have to sit down with UK Athletics and do a thorough analysis of.
"On the surface of it there were far too many athletes not getting through the first rounds and being eliminated in early heats and that's something we are going to have to address in the future."
British athletics' retiring performance director Max Jones admitted the 4x100m gold was exactly how he would have written the script to his last days in the role.
"The high of these Games was definitely the 4x100m," said Jones.
"It was always my dream to end my career with our 4x100m boys winning the
gold medal and if I could have written the final chapter I would have had us
beating the Americans in the final by one hundredth of a second. I never thought
it would come true but that's exactly what happened.
"People don't know what we have gone through over the last six years, we have
had a constant coaching battle and have had so many highs and lows."
Jones acknowledged that his lasting legacy was boosted by Saturday's double-gold haul.
"At any major Games you live on a knife edge because it can go either way,"
"One gold medal can mean the difference between success and failure and we
were looking down the precipice last night because if things didn't go well it
would have been a failure."