RPGamer Awards 2003 2003 Results  

   Fun Value
   Battle System


Best RPG

Every year countless awards are given out to countless games. However, no award sums up the idea of the best game like the Best Game Overall category. Fighting against every game released within that year can prove to be a feat, but every year 5 games are showcased by the readers as the best in the RPG genre. Gameplay, graphics, music, replayability, localization all are parts that make a great game. This year was a very close year for voting with many great games. One game has to take the top honors though, and much like last year's Kingdom Hearts this year's winner is sure to boast the full package.

Final Fantasy X-2

Very few games stacked up in reader's minds like Final Fantasy X-2. Despite complaints of re-used graphics courtesy of it's previous installment, the game still managed to amaze many both in graphics as well as in gameplay. Focusing around the ex-summoner Yuna and her Al Bhed cousin Rikku, Final Fantasy X-2 retraces the steps of the young heroine and her party of guardians throughout the world in a search for spheres, memories which may help to bring back someone very important to Yuna. Although the music was not up to par in the minds of many, the readers of RPGamer were heard loud and clear when it came to the Square Enix namesake. With a plethora of amusing and challenging mini-games, dozens of side quests, and unmistakable emotional attachment, Final Fantasy X-2 soared ahead of the competition and takes the top bid as RPGamer Reader's Role Playing Game of the Year.

Xenosaga Episode I

As Namco rejoices and Square Enix kicks themselves, readers seem to have much reason for celebration this year with the second place being captured by none other than Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht. The hi-tech, futuristic series that brought the much beloved Xenogears (Episode 5 in the grand scheme of things) went back to its roots to bring out Xenosaga with resounding success. The first of two similarly named games, Xenosaga boasted an in-depth battle system as well as a secondary battle type in large mechanical robots, called A. G. w. S. Oddly, many characters in the game weren't human, though the game takes a good hard look at humanity. Though the ending of the game turned out to be not exactly a typical ending - leaving many open questions for the next installment to answer for - Xenosaga fans turned out en masse to make this game the silver choice in best RPG of the year.

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Although the GameCube lacked in any solid number of RPGs this year, one game stood out among the field of otherwise average entries for the readers. With a cel-shaded environment, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker captured the bronze spot on this year's list. Scoffed at first by many as having a childish look, it isn't until one sits down to play the game that why so many readers enjoyed it shines through the graphical prejudice. Giving players connectivity with another Zelda game, allowing "helper" players which can be vital to unlocking some great secrets, and many other unique gameplay properties made Wind Waker one of the most sought after games of the year. Travel to a world where the Hyrule of previous chapters is only a mysterious legend; however, don't think you'll be seeing land anytime soon as Wind Waker finds itself set on a world made almost completely of water!

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Square Enix storms back into the line-up of best RPG for readers with the second installment of the Tactics series, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Gracing the Game Boy Advance for a second heaping helping of strategic feasting, Tactics Advance follows the story of a young man named Marche and his schoolyard friends as they search the country far and wide for not only treasures, but also to help others out. Though each character's goals are different, March must make a difficult decision as to what's more important: happiness for some, or a return to reality for all. After all, when you're sucked into a game called 'Final Fantasy' by a fantastical book what else are you going to do but battle for good against foes, all the while being watched by a militant judge who can send you directly to jail without passing Go and collecting 200 gil?

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Rounding out the RPG of the Year category is a newcomer to the RPG genre, courtesy of the not-so-new movie genre. Having conquered the action/adventure genre several times over on multiple mediums, Star Wars simply couldn't help but take a shot at the RPG area of the gaming world, and apparently they did something right: with the sci-fi hit Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, many readers took up their light sabres and trudged forward in a surprisingly good game. Taking the player back to the age before the infamous Darth Vader, you must bring your fledgling Jedi up through the ranks and fight a new, but somehow old menace in the known universe. Four distinct classes, fifty powers between the Light and Dark sides, and countless hours of quality time spent in a galaxy far, far away made the Old Republic a choice for greatest RPG of the year 2003.

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