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Editor's Top 5 (Page 1) - Editor's Top 5 (Page 2) - Overall Top 10
Welcome to RPGFan's Games of 2003 feature. In order to come up with an overall list for RPGFan's games of the year, we have taken the top 5 RPGs of each editor and combined them to get an overall ranking. A game given 1st place by one editor adds 5 points, 2nd place adds 4 points and so on. By combining the scores each editor's top 5, we get an overall list of games. These scores are of course only based on the games that each editor actually had a chance to play, and as such, not every RPG was in the running for every person.

That said, check out each editor's top 5 RPGs of the year (plus Non-RPG Top Picks) and the Overall Top 10 list by using the navigation above.

Robert Bogdanowicz Mike Bracken Brian Cavner
Eve C. Jen Claudio Tim Duong
Eric Farand Patrick Gann Stephen Harris
Justin Hoeger Christopher Holzworth WooJin Lee
Liz Maas Ryan Mattich John McCarroll
Evan Michaels Mike Salbato Daniel Stringer
Damian Thomas Mark P. Tjan Jason Walton
Chris Winkler

RPGFan's Overall Top 10 RPGs of 2003
10) Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht (14 Points) - Xenosaga Episode I ended up - for many people - as one of those games that couldn't live up to the hype; and this game had more than most. It's safe to say that few RPGs released this year had as much anticipation as Xenosaga, outside of Final Fantasy titles. Unfortunately, while most of our staff agrees Xenosaga Episode I is good from a story-telling perspective, the bland and often repetitive (if not annoying) gameplay make this title more suited as a movie rather than game. Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht
9) Skies of Arcadia Legends (16 Points) - An update of one of the Dreamcast's best RPGs, Skies of Arcadia Legends didn't bring much new in the visual or audio departments. In fact, some feel the audio is of inferior quality in the port. Despite those little flaws, it's still the same game at its heart, and boasts a handful of new characters & side quests. It may have scored higher were it a new game, but SoAL is still a solid title. Skies of Arcadia Legends
7) Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (19 Points - tie) - One of many strategy RPGs to be released this fall, FFTA is not a continuation of the PSOne Final Fantasy Tactics as some hoped. It does share many factors with its 32-bit predecessor, though a deep, sinister, religion-heavy plot is not one of them. Still, FFTA is certainly an enjoyable SRPG, and one that will keep fans playing for a very long time if they wish to complete everything. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
7) Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (19 Points - tie) - Following the release of Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance by a mere 7 months, Aria of Sorrow not only proved to not have a rushed development cycle, but is almost universally agreed to be the greatest of the three Castlevania titles on the Game Boy Advance. With a massive inventory and weapon selection akin to Symphony of the Night, AoS improved on the previous two games in nearly every way, and for once, had a new and more interesting plot. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
6) Final Fantasy X-2 (20 Points) - FFX-2 is - to put it lightly - an oddity. As if being the very first direct sequel in the Final Fantasy series wasn't enough to earn such a title, the game's overall lighter atmosphere and new gameplay system make it nothing like the title it's following up. With much more frenzied battles and a deep, rewarding skill system, FFX-2 certainly is not lacking in the gameplay department. The frequent reminder of the lighter, sometimes J-pop-inspired atmosphere however, certainly turns off those who prefer their RPGs 100% serious. Final Fantasy X-2
5) The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (23 Points) - Possibly no game in recent history had such heated debates over its visuals as Wind Waker did. Most people seemed to detest the new look, especially after the original Spaceworld demo of Zelda, which showed a darker, serious battle between Link and Ganondorf. Those willing to look past this found that this was still Zelda, and the excellent gameplay was still intact, just in a different wrapper. While many things were carried over from past titles, there was still plenty of fun to be had, and fresh ideas that the game didn't feel anything like a rehash. Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
4) Final Fantasy XI (25 Points) - Ah, Final Fantasy XI. It may have taken well over a year to finally see the light of day in North America (though PS2 owners are still waiting), it was certainly worth the wait. As any of the many staffers playing the game will tell you, it's one of the best - if not the best - MMORPGs ever made, with few (if any) bugs. Some worried Square Enix would have troubles, this being their first MMORPG, but it seems they got the formula right, and are keeping players interested. And come on, killer Christmas Tree enemies? How many games can you say have that? Final Fantasy XI
3) Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (26 Points) - Another SRPG from the fall season, Disgaea easily has the most in-depth and rewarding battle system of them all. While the story and characters may have too much "Japanese" flavor for some, the rest will be entertained by them, proving that a story doesn't always need to be completely serious to be interesting. Regardless of these things, where Disgaea shines is the battles, as this is clearly what the developers focused on the most. Totally unlike most RPGs to see an English release, Atlus deserves kudos for bringing this one out. Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
2) Dark Cloud 2 (33 Points) - Well, this one almost came out of nowhere. The first Dark Cloud - one of the first RPGs for the PS2 - isn't exactly well-liked by... well, most gamers. Even developer Level-5 admits that the first was more or less an experiment. With that one down, they were free to create something truly great next time around, and as you can tell, they succeeded. Dark Cloud 2 drastically improved upon every aspect of the first, from the combat to the build-your-own-place Georama system. Coupled with the gorgeous graphics and music, spot-on gameplay, and mini-games & sidequests that can bring your game time past 100 hours, it should be no surprise that Dark Cloud 2 almost got first place. Dark Cloud 2
1) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (35 Points) - Despite facing stiff competition from Dark Cloud 2, Knights of the Old Republic is widely considered perhaps the finest RPG, or game period, on the Xbox, and came out ahead by 2 points. With its PC release in November, even more players got to experience it. When a game gets perfect or near-perfect scores from nearly every review outlet, you know the developer did something right. It seems to be a very rare specimen of person that managed to play KoTOR and actually didn't enjoy it. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic


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