RPGamer Awards 2003 2003 Results  

   Fun Value
   Battle System



Many games can be graphically gorgeous, it can be perfectly conceived with a in-depth storyline, and it can be full peppy music made to get RPGamers off their feet. However nothing can ruin a game like playing and not having a bit fun the entire time. After all, what else are games for if not for gamers to sit back for a few hours and have a laugh at a silly story, a cry when your favorite character meets their end, or even disgust at the ultimate villain? Without these kinds of feelings games cannot be truly fun to play, and without some sense of having fun all you have is a really expensive coaster called a video game case and a really small frisbee for the dog.

Final Fantasy X-2

When RPGamer asked their readers just what is fun to them they replied, and with a resounding voice they told us Square Enix's latest installment to the classic Final Fantasy series was the winner. Final Fantasy X-2, the first true sequel to a Final Fantasy game was the answer, and with so much to do it comes as no surprise why they think so. With a full selection of unique and interesting sidegames, a character for every personality, and a sometimes side-splitting dialogue; very few games can top the fun found in Yuna's adventure in the world of Spira. However, if you thought that was all the fun that was to be had you would be mighty wrong as there is mountains of customization, tons of replay value, and even the return of a classic game in the much-loved and much-hated Blitzball and new-comer Sphere Break.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

With the GameCube receiving so few RPGs this year, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker came thundering in, and the readers chose to grace it as the second most fun game this year. Perhaps it's because of the graphics that things just seem to make RPGamers smile, but more likely the enjoyment is rooted in many other things. Much of the game, like previous titles, is free for exploration although each dungeon must be tackled in order to obtain the required items for Link to move forward. At sea, anything can happen - from a giant squid attack to laying waste to a fort guarded by cannon towers and enemy boats, to sending the crane down for sunken treasures of all varieties. There's always a subtle level of excitement and ancipiation to any action Link performs with the various tools at hand, and with a constant influx of new items to master, it's no wonder that so many people enjoyed Wind Waker to its fullest potential.

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

Netting the bronze slot for the fun value category this year is Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. The recipient of many awards this year, it's no surprise many of those votes have come in because the game is exceptionally fun. With the ability to summon many demons to a council to vote on important matters such as 'Better Monsters', it's hardly surprising they can be bribed; this is Hell, after all! Perhaps it's the fact that the more you get hurt and need to heal, the more you'll receive prizes from the hospital. It's also possible it could be the battle system, including an 'Item World', where souls can be unlocked from an item and transferred into new items, giving them greater potential. Or it could be for the much-lauded script, which flawlessly sucks the player deep into a world of hilarity, where anything goes. Now, if only Midboss had known that before he taunted Laharl...

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

When you start a game with something as frivolous as a snowball fight, how can it possibly not rate high on the fun value scale? Apparently, the readers agree: with the second installment of the Tactics series, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance netted the fourth place vote. With a wide array of gameplay and battle features brought over from the first, and much beloved Final Fantasy Tactics title, there's little left to reason as to why readers chose this game as one of the most fun this past year. While it was one of a half-dozen handheld TRPGs, it shone through the rest of the crowd and attracted many readers to pick it up and find out what a gem it truly was. With unlockable race-specific classes, turn-based tactical fighting at its finest, and an intriguingly different storyline spanning upwards of 40 hours or greater, Tactics Advance was well deserving of accolades according to the readers.

Xenosaga Episode I

Winding up the fun in the fun value category is a game that you wouldn't really think of as one of the most fun; after all it's a giant movie. Namco's very own cinematic RPG saga known as Xenosaga Episode I: Der Willie zur Macht captured the hearts of RPGamer readers with its cinematic storyline, and even threw in a little anime flare. However, the delivery of story isn't the only feature of Xenosaga which could find itself on fun radars. With four different sidegames to choose from, RPGamer readers were left busy choosing between an in-depth trading card game, a money-sucking casino that probably gave more headaches, a high-impact virtual mech game in you're, or drilling giant holes everywhere. There's nothing more fun than gambling money, trading cards, and shooting things in your mech while drilling a hole in the ground.

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