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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Runoff 2003, Game of the Year


2003, Game of the Year Runoff

Beyond Good and Evil 5 11.63%
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time 6 13.95%
Mario Kart: Double Dash 6 13.95%
Knights of the Old Republic 10 23.26%
Zone of Enders: The Second Runner 2 4.65%
F-Zero GX 5 11.63%
Tales of Symphonia 5 11.63%
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow 4 9.30%

The 2003 Game of the Year is Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
The runner up is Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.
The master thread for all of these contests can be found here.

We need to do a runoff vote for 2003.  Four old games remain and four new games enter the poll.  First the four that made the cut:

Beyond Good and Evil (PC/PS2/GameCube/XBox)
Michel Ancel, creator of the Raymond series, brought us this cult classic from Ubisoft.


Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (PC/PS2/GameCube/XBox/GBA)
This new take on the classic Prince of Persia series involves rewinding time to fix mistakes.  The console versions of this game all scored a 92 on Metacritic and sales have been over 14 million copies across all platforms.


Mario Kart Double Dash (GameCube)
A double pleasure is waiting for you in Mario Kart Double Dash including a kart with 2 characters and 2 power ups.  This 2 power-up mechanic would make a comeback in the ultra- popular Mario Kart 8 Deluxe version.  Double Dash would sell over 6.9 million copies on the GameCube making it the system’s 2nd best-selling game.


Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (XBox/PC)
This game took us back long, long ago to a galaxy far, far away.  Then it took us back another 4000 years before “long, long ago”.  It scored a 94 on Metacritic and has sold over 3.2 million units as of 2007.  Since then it has also been released on mobile platforms and the Switch.


Here are the four new games based on "Other" votes:

Zone of Enders: The Second Runner (PS2)
Kill stuff with your mech and listen to the killer OST.


F-Zero GX (GameCube)
This arcade racer was actually published by Sega in the arcades but by Nintendo on the GameCube.  F-Zero GX scored an 89 on Metacritic and has sold over 1.5 million copies.


Tales of Symphonia (GameCube)
GameCube fans managed to get this game a year before PS2 fans, with some declaring this to be the best RPG on the GameCube.  Tales of Symphonia has sold over 2.4 million copies across all platforms making it the best-selling Tales game of all time.


Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA)
Some Castlevania fans consider Aria of Sorrow to be the best in the series, even better than Symphony of the Night.  That is high praise indeed!  It also considered the best of the 3 fantastic Castlevania games on the Gameboy Advance, and it received a 91 on Metacritic which is rare for a handheld title.



Games that didn't make the cut:

Call of Duty (PC)
Final Fantasy X-2 (PS2)
Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando (PS2)
Viewtiful Joe (GameCube)
Fire Emblem (GBA)

The Runoff voting for 2003 Game of the Year will end on Saturday, Nov 4 at 11:59 PM, EST.

Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 05 November 2023

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Here are some other notable games from 2003:


Anno 1503 (PC)
SimCity 4 (PC/Mac)
Star Wars Galaxies (PC)
Devil May Cry 2 (PS2)
Dynasty Warriors 4 (PS2/XBox)
Eye Toy: Play (PS2)
Jak II (PS2)
Need for Speed: Underground (PS2/XBox/GameCube/PC)
Resident Evil: Outbreak (PS2)
The Simpson’s Hit and Run (PS2/XBox/GameCube/PC)
Silent Hill 3 (PS2/PC)
SSX 3 (PS2/XBox/GameCube/GBA)
F-Zero GX (GameCube)
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (GameCube)
Pokémon Colosseum (GameCube)
Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge (XBox)
Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising (GBA)
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA)
Warioware Inc.: Mega Microgames (GBA)
Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA)


I really do like Beyond Good & Evil. But also I literally played none of the other games from that year and played BG&E only much later. The time I fell off gaming.
Anyways, Beyond Good & Evil is a good game, even in comparison to games from other years.

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my greatest games: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

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bets: [peak year] [+], [1], [2], [3], [4]

Other - Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

Other - Tales of Symphonia

Not even close. My favorite game of all time and frankly a somewhat weaker year besides that (from what I've played), so it's a slaughter. I'll still do a top 5 tho:

  1. Tales of Symphonia
  2. Silent Hill 3
  3. Mario Kart Double Dash
  4. Rayman 3
  5. Ratchet & Clank 2
Last edited by UnderwaterFunktown - on 01 November 2023

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2024 OpenCritic Prediction Leagues:

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If these threads have shown me anything it’s that I really didn’t care for gaming till 2004.

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Some games that should be added to the list:
Max Payne 2
Aria of Sorrow
Tales of Symphonia
Jedi Academy
LOTR: Return of the King
Command and Conquer Generals
Freedom Fighters

For me it will come down to either Sands of Time or Double Dash. The two player kart gimmick didn’t add much, but it was the last time I was able to play 4 player local Mario Kart with any regularity.

Last edited by BonfiresDown - on 02 November 2023

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner. Easy!

This year has two major highlights for me. Major? No, gigantic highlights, so the final choice will nevertheless be easy. These two are high in my personal top 10, and one is one of my most played games ever. 2003 just because of those would score exceptionally high as a year already, but it still doesn't end there.

Off the lists in OP, besides the two 'big ones', my other favourites are Call of Duty and Anno 1503. The original Call of Duty is great. It is a very accessible first person shooter without too many complications. And I don't like complicated things, I just want to go in and have fun. It has a great campaign mode, but it even had me play a lot of multiplayer matches and there aren't a lot of games where the multiplayer interests me much if at all. The sequel to this is also great, but I lost interest in the series when they moved away from the World War II setting. Then Anno 1503, which built upon predecessor Anno 1602, one of my all-time favourite games. 1503 wouldn't reach it's height, but it still included many elements I wished had been included in later entries in the series; like the small church building becoming fancier when there are higher class houses within its range, or parks and beautification being an actual necessity. Next to those I also played Mario Kart Double Dash quite a bit, but it wouldn't grow to be one of my favourites, and like Mario Sunshine and The Wind Waker, I'd see it as inferior to it's N64 predecessor. The two character mechanic is essentially useless and I never liked as many of the courses. Still, fun times were had, particularly with my cousin.

2003 was also the year of the rts's Age of Mythology, Command and Conquer Generals and Rise of Nations and action games Enter the Matrix, LotR Return of the King and Star Wars Jedi Knight Jedi Academy. Other things this year include the GBA port of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Warcraft III's The Frozen Throne expansion and two games we already covered in 2002; the European release of The Wind Waker along with the so-called 'Collector's Edition' which included ports of Zelda 1 and 2, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask to GameCube and the great console version of SoulCalibur 2. All these would get plenty of playtime from me, the PC games in particular. Star Wars Jedi Knight Jedi Academy and Age of Mythology deserve an extra mention here, especially the latter. While Jedi Academy was great, because more Jedi Knight is great, I would always prefer Jedi Outcast. Age of Mythology is already great as an rts by the maker of Age of Empires, but the mythological aspect with magical heroes and gods really interested me beyond that, and it added depth and made the game much more replayable for me. It remains one of my all-time favourites, but it would however be the last new rts I'd really be into, because my interest would shift to a different style of strategy game soon.

All these games however, are dwarfed by juggernauts SimCity 4 and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic and these would pretty much doom my interest in console gaming altogether for the next half decade.

SimCity 4, to start, was a game I anticipated greatly and it was the first game I ever pre-ordered. I had already played previous SimCities to death and was ready for more, more and better. It was all I wanted, and basically the perfect city builder. What I especially liked was the way your cities were connected to each other via a 'region'. Basically the screen to select your savegames on as you saw your cities as if from a plane, but I would go out of my way to make the region one coherent country with a 'capital' (imaginary, it wasn't like you could really designate something as such), rural areas, a port city and whatever else I could come up with. I spend hours, days, months, years, no, decades on them. One day I found out that you could manipulate the shape of a region (which initially is just rectangular) and the position and amount of the different city sizes in a region by fiddling with a certain image file. Of course, at that point all bets were off. Luckily I still have most save files and regions, later ones including loads of custom assets, so I can revisit all my work.

Then lastly, at first I was hesitant about Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic when I saw it. It looked slow paced, while I was accustomed to flashy action with things like Jedi Outcast, and its story took place thousands of years before the movie-era so there were no familiar characters or even locations for the most part. My mother however tried it out, by illegally downloading it at first of course, and watching her play, I was quickly sold. This game would grow to become my second favourite video game of all-time. A game with the best story, dialogue and twists, amazing areas and locations, memorable characters and the greatest villain, great music and backdrops, loads of content both main and side and actually plenty of action. It is the best rpg I ever played, the best Star Wars game that probably will ever exist, and almost the best video game I ever played. When I completed it for the first time, I was bummed it was over, and immediately started another playthrough. Really, you should play it at least four times through anyway, because it matters whether your character is male or female, and light or dark. So I did just that; a light male, a dark male, a light female and a dark female. And then, I played through some more without a plan just to see where I'd end up with.

If it wasn't clear, my vote easily goes to Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, even SimCity 4 can't beat that.

Also, include Knights of the Old Republic in your Top 50 list for mZuzek's thread. It is criminal it wasn't in the top 100 last year.

Double Dash!! is still my favorite Mario Kart game and is probably the game I spent most hours playing. Me and two of my brothers saved up and bought a gamecube toghether. It was new and came with Mario Kart Double Dash!! packed in as well as with the Zelda collectors edition. It was the best new game console deal ever. Set us back about 120$ for the brand new console and two game discs for a total of five games, three of them some of the greatest ever.

Double Dash!! is the most fun game in the series for a few different reasons. The luck is still present with getting items, but both red and blue shells can be avoided with skillful driving. It is also possible to do some "sneaking" but it is not as viable and mandatory as in Mario Kart DS. The characters not only change what karts you can drive but also what special items you can get adding more strategy to the character selection. This combined makes for the Mario Kart with a higher skill ceiling that I like.

Mario Kart on gamecube have my second favorite battle mode as well as my most favorite battle mode from the series packed in the same game. Balloon battle is present, but we never play it since Bobomb Battle and Shine Thief is much more enjoyable. Balloon Battle in Double Dash!! is not even good imo. But the other two battle modes incorporates a design that I wish could come back. No fixed time limit. As long as someone hit the star carrier or the hit leader in bobomb battle the battle will continue.

I LOVE Mario Kart Double Dash!! and will vote Fire Emblem. I think that game tops it for me for the simple reason of me being a loner who prefers playing and replaying the same thing over and over by myself instead of laughing around with... with.... *shivers* Other people. Oh the absolute horror.