RPGamer Awards 2003 2003 Results  

   Fun Value
   Battle System


Best RPG

It has often been said that the Baldur's Gate series single-handedly revived a dying PC RPG market. If this is true, then a debt of gratitude is owed to BioWare's Infinity Engine and the genius game design of Black Isle; because without their fantastic revival of the PC as a RPGamer's paradise, we might not have gotten games as fantastic as those we hail today. From Final Fantasy embarking on the long road of the MMORPG, to Star Wars showing us the precursor legacy to the epic movie septology, PC RPGs look better, sound cleaner, and have more overall technical potential than any of the current consoles. In part because of the myriad variation of the computer hardware scattered about the homes of RPGamers, sometimes the best games aren't always the newest ones, but the ones with the greatest heart.

Final Fantasy XI

No RPGamer worthy of the title can say they haven't heard of Final Fantasy. Having spawned a nearly limitless number of stories, spanning just as many different worlds, the series is constantly at the forefront of the genre in terms of gamer recognition, graphical quality, and innovation. Final Fantasy XI brings a new twist to an otherwise familiar setup: fully online MMORPG play. The game not only pushes the bounds of the most high tech computer hardware out there, but it is fully capable of absorbing you into the world of Vana'diel. With countless quests to undertake, a vast world to explore, the wonderful job system the series has come to be known for, and a huge array of skills, items, and spells to buy, use, and uncover, Final Fantasy XI proves that the series really can go anywhere and still maintain the level of quality it has always been known for.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Of all the science-fiction epics fit to craft an RPG from, Star Wars apparantly holds a special allure to the hearts of RPGamers. With its clever pseudo-real-time battle system with tactical elements, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a tirelessly fun run through many classic Star Wars locales as well as an intruiging look at new planets. Featuring fantastic graphics that can truly push the ticket on top-of-the-line nVIDIA and ATI video cards, a wonderful soundtrack compiled by long-time PC RPG composer Jeremy Soule, and the power to choose which side of the Force you want to represent, Knights of the Old Republic masterfully sets the tone for the Star Wars saga. Now, the choice to do good or be truly and disgutingly evil has been brought straight to the reader's keyboards, and they've shown their appreciation with awards for the game in several categories.

Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of Underdark

The original Neverwinter Nights was surrounded by so much hype that its eventual release was almost seen as the second coming of the RPGamer prophet. Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark expands yet again on the dark plot and amazing construction set of the previous two installments by giving high-level characters another vast world to explore and conquer. The real-time battle system utilizes the Dungeons & Dragons: 3rd Edition rules set which, in turn, makes for a marvelously huge amount of variation to each character, every event, and all areas in the game. In short, Neverwinter Nights is one of the few extremely hyped games that actually lives up to all its promises, even more than a year after the original's initial release.

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