Best Games of The Year Before

This is certainly time for best of 2003 lists. All the major news sites are posting their favorites of the year and Tom was nice enough to share his as well (we’ll ignore for the moment the sad fact that his thread is now discussing console vs. PC, kiddie vs. adult).

What I am interested in is what games from last year (2002) are you still playing now? What couldn’t you put down? What still sits on the top of the pile, despite the fact a year has passed it by.

I’ll start:

Nascar Racing 2002/2003 Season

I know I’m probably alone in this but Nascar Racing 2003 Season is one of the finest racing games ever made. I may be breaking my own rules here since I believe 2003 was actually released in January but the yearly release was just a glorified expansion pack. I love my Project Gotham 2 on Xbox Live but there is no other game where I can race with 30 or 40 other people at the same time with every turn contested and, maybe, my last. I mourn the fact that Papyrus won’t be making one in 2004.

Battlefield 1942

I haven’t spent this much time with an online shooter since Quake 2. It was fun blowing away Nazis last year. It is still fun this year. I saw a quote from a game developer mentioning that he loved this game because every time he played it something special happened – a tank exploding from being hammered by a downed plane, a person launched in the air as a tank takes out their jeep. I couldn’t agree more.

Neverwinter Nights

I might not have thought much of this game on its release date – some friends had a lot of trouble getting a multiplayer game up and running and I still haven’t completed the single player game – but what a difference a year makes. This rose from the pile to try out one of the thousands of user made modules with a friend. Wow. My very first session goes down as one of the easiest times I’ve ever had setting up a multiplayer game. And we are still playing. Thank God for a cooperative game that lets you save your progress properly; it even gives you the option to save just your character data. With the help of a big community, Neverwinter Nights finally delivered on its promises. It just took a little while.

That’s it. I should mention that in a year where a vast majority of my new games were purchased for one of my three little boxes with controllers hanging from them, the games that stuck with me were all courtesy of my PC. Go figure. Maybe I need to go back and complete Grand Turismo 3.

My math is still a little screwed up from the year change. Here’s a key to figure out what I really meant:

Last Year == 2 Years Ago
This Year == Last Year
2 Years Ago == A Really Long Time Ago
Next Year == Some Undetermined Time in the Future

I hope that clears things up.

There haven’t been any games in the last year that I couldn’t put down. The only game in the last few years to show that kind of staying power with me is Morrowind, and it’s an on-again/off-again thing. Galciv was at least close, but ultimately was too dry for me.

I’d think I was burned out on gaming, but I still like a lot of older games and play them fairly frequently. And I enjoy many modern CRPGs, but for obvious reasons they have limited staying power.

Why not just use year numbers? :P

  • Alan

Come on now, be reasonable, that’s just oversimplifying way too much.

I never play the hot new games while they’re hot and new. So my list of best games of this year is out of the games I played this year.

  1. Diablo II after the patch. Still fun, still playing, though no one’s ever around. You’ve all moved on after going through two characters while I mosey through one.

  2. Icewind Dale. I likey the hackey slashy.

  3. Gladius for the Xbox. I don’t own it, but I play it over a friend’s house, four player. We call it “Blood Golf” because it’s just like golf games except with swords instead.

And that’s about it. I started Starcraft: Brood War but didn’t finish. I finished Skies of Arcadia for the Dreamcast, but thought it got repetitive in the last third. I finally pulled Giants: Citizen Kabuto off the shelf to play the other day because I was feeling lonely in Diablo II.

I guess I’m a casual gamer. (sigh)

Hmm lets see games im still playing released in 2002,

I guess Battlefield 1942 of course but I only play Desert Combat so hope that counts.

Medieval Total War.

what else came out in 2002?

Well I just saw someone on another board nominate Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri as game of the year for 2003.

Still going from 2002 on my machine:

Neverwinter Nights
Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin

What year did HoMM3 come out? I still play it as much as anything else.

Neverwinter Nights for me. Didn’t like it to much at first but it’s getting really good with the expansions and community-made modules.

I think it’s a true milestone in gaming. I wonder how they will make it evolve, make a new NWN 2? Evolve the engine during several years while selling extensions? There is a good commercial model in the waiting there. Sorry OT.

Metroid Fusion was good. Morrowind was good. Glove on Fight was awesome. So was Vantage Master.

But I haven’t played any of them in a while, for various reasons.

2002 was a better game year for me than 2003. I’d pick Ratchet and Clank 1 as the best game of 2002, with Vice City as a close second, even though it corrupted my save after I was 40 hours into it.

"Will no one rid me of these troublesome consoles?’’

Looking back at 2002 I’d have to say Battlefield 1942 - which never left my HD - and Gothic II. Finished that one in January '03 though, played it again when the expansion arrived. Warcraft III is also still sitting on my PC and experienced a revival through Frozen Throne. And then there’s also Mutant Storm.

Yes, oh Henry II. But then you risk martyrdom if they are slain.

I have to say tht BF 1942 is my game of the year for 2003. Nothing even came close to tearing me away from it for extended periods. I still play it at least an hour a night.

Medieval - Total War

I’m just gonna list the games I played most in 2003, not necissarily the ones that were released in 2003.

  1. Dark Age of Camelot (plus add-ons)
  2. Madden 2004
  3. Lock-On: Modern Air Combat
  4. Command and Conquer: Generals (plus add-on)
  5. Age of Mythology (plus add-on)
  6. IL-2 Sturmovik (plus add-on)
  7. Call of Duty
  8. Tiger Woods 2004
  9. Vietcong
  10. Galactic Civiliaztions

Lots of good playin’ there and this is my PC list of course. X-Box would be different.

Definitely NWN and its associated expansions and community created modules.

From 2003 and before that’s still being played:

Combat Mission 1&2
Medieval: Total War
Unreal Tournament (not 2003)

and just recently reloaded:

X-COM: UFO Defense

Amen! A real shame they have stopped continuing the series. NR2003 will be on my hard drive for a long time with GPL.

Battlefield 1942

I originally dismissed this game based on the crappy demo and having finally bought it in April 2003 I have become a convert. I was a big time DC player but have now reverted to Classic and find it a lot more fun. It’s nice to take a break from the insta-kill weapons in DC.

That’s it. I should mention that in a year where a vast majority of my new games were purchased for one of my three little boxes with controllers hanging from them, the games that stuck with me were all courtesy of my PC. Go figure. Maybe I need to go back and complete Grand Turismo 3.

PC games have better play longevity than console games ? :wink:

Overall 2003 has been a great PC gaming year. Mostly thanks to Russian game developers though. It’s a shame the US game market doesn’t have the balls to continue releasing combat flight sims. Only exception being of course the superb FS2004 - albeit a civvy sim.