Everyone else is doing it! It’ll make you feeeel goood. Don’t you want to be cool? Well, then join me on the bandwagon and make a top-somethingorother of 2003 list. I know you’re just itching to. Plus, your friends won’t like you anymore if you don’t. So, without further ado, here are my favorite games of the past year in alphabetical order…
- Amplitude – Frequency refined plus intensely good good online modes including cutting heads? Oh yes!
- Beyond Good & Evil – Non-Barbied female lead, multicultural cast, cool game world, and Max Headroom styles real-time reporting intrigue and stealth make this game exceptional.
- ESPN NBA 2K4 – Another upgrade, yes, but one that pushes the envelope for sports games. Who thought you could combine Animal Crossing and a hardcore sports sim. Apparently, Visual Concepts did; and it works!
- F-Zero GX – With spot on Nagoshi-san control, intensely inventive tracks, gorgeous visuals, and a clever story mode, GX breathes new life into a once proud franchise.
- Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga – Turning battles in an RPG from watching tiresome stats scroll up the screen into engrossingly interactive events is enough to get this game on the list. Add to that a compelling story and a clever control system that allows one player to control two characters at the same time and you’ve got something very special.
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – Okay, it’s not Ico, but PoP is impressive in its own right. Particularly impressive is how the game incorporatees action (scaling walls, swinging from poles, and a myriad of attack moves) into the formula that Ico established while telling a more accessible story. Did I mention “the girl” kicks butt now, too?
- SSX 3 – I wasn’t expecting much from this one, especially since Tricky was really just SSX with tweaked tracks, but SSX 3 really takes the series to the next level. With its wide open tracks, numerous event types, seemingly infinite unlockables, and online play, I think EA Canada is going to have a bit of trouble figuring out how to top this one.
- Viewtiful Joe – It’s just a beat-em up adventure; nothing new. Just a beat-em up with the most satisfying combo system I’ve seen, a very clever time control mechanic (paying attention Blinx and Max Payne?), impeccable art direction, and inventive level after inventive level. Nope, nothing to see here at all…
- Wario Ware, Inc: Mega Microgame$ – How could a bunch of extremely simple games put together somehow equal more than their sum? Ask Nintendo. This game is magic and, even when the main game is over, there are enough unlockables that you keep getting drawn back in.