RPG of the Year

After 2000 was a year in which developers tried to push RPGs beyond their conventional borders, 2001 saw a shift towards slightly more traditional RPGs. While innovation is still a goal of most developers, the best games of the year ended up being those which borrow from the best, time-tested elements the genre has to offer, and combined this with stunning leaps in technical achievement and some innovative elements to form new games with a slightly older feel to them.

Perhaps the best example of this is Final Fantasy X, both the reader and staff selection for RPG of the year for 2001. The game innovates in many ways, adding voice acting, fully 3D environments, an engaging new combat system, a deeply involving ability system in the Sphere Grid, and the added novelty of having not one, but three composers providing the score for the work. On the other hand, there are many of Square's tried-and-true elements inherent in the game: gameplay that doesn't disappoint, absorbing mini-games, beautiful graphics, and top-notch sound, combined with a deeply involving storyline and an endearing cast of characters.

This is truly the mark of a great game from a great series; the ability to completely change the face of RPGs while at the same time retaining enough familiar elements to create a sense of attraction. This is the mix that Final Fantasy X offers, and it more than delivers on its promise. Everything down to the translation shines, and the game deserves every bit of praise it has garnered.

Second place sees another of the cornerstones of the RPG world get recognition from the staff reviewers, as Dragon Warrior VII gets the nod. Readers also recognized this game's goodness, rating it third overall behind the much-maligned, but evidently highly-thought-of Final Fantasy Chronicles. Dragon Warrior VII features more old-school goodness combined with new innovation, as Enix has gone all out in crafting the latest gem in their series. With up to one hundred hours of gameplay, a deep story, and an addictive mini-game, Dragon Warrior VII is a whole lot of gaming goodness.

The staff selection for third place went to Golden Sun, the first real RPG to be released for the Game Boy Advance in North America. Featuring very nice graphics and a well-conceived battle system, Golden Sun is perfect for those long car rides, and a whole lot of fun wherever you end up playing it. Featuring some of the best music to show up on the Game Boy Advance to date, and a decent storyline, it's easy to see why this game made the vote.

What's in store for 2002 is anyone's guess, but one thing is for sure. If the games are half as good as they've been in 2001, RPGamers will have neither very much to complain about, nor very much spare time.

RPG of the Year
Final Fantasy X Reader
Final Fantasy X
Staff Runner-Ups
Dragon Warrior VII Golden Sun Reader Runner-Ups
Final Fantasy Chronicles Dragon Warrior VII

<- Back
© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy