The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2005!

  • I'm usually quite the advocate for so called hidden gems, but honestly, Psychonauts never truly impressed me back in the day. It's in no way bad mind you, but as a Tom Schaffer fan at the time, due to prior games he was involved with, I was probably expecting something meeting the same quality so it may have effected my overall opinion. I always considered it just an"OK" of a game.

  • 0_1653753673213_God of War.png

    #3: God of War - 16 points


    #1: 1 (Brannox)
    #2: 1 (Sentinel Beach)
    #3: 1 (DIPSET)
    #4: 2 (Crepe, bam541)
    HM: 0


    Release date: NA: March 22, EU: July 8
    Developer: Santa Monica Studio
    Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
    Genre: Action-adventure, hack and slash
    Platform(s): PlayStation 2


    GT Review


    Had I found this 17 years ago, my memories of this game might be more positive.

  • What a game. What a start for the series. The first God of War was honestly one of the only games that I slightly hesitated to ask my parents to buy as I was still under 18 back then. I mean I was 17, but still everything I had read and seen about the game up until that point told me that now we were dealing with something brutal and maybe even sickening.

    Well I did get the game and the rest is history. What an orgy of violence. <3

  • The original Psychonauts deserves a proper remake. That same exact game executed to the level of Psychonauts 2 would be amazing.

  • I think the original God of War was the first "mature" game I ever purchased that I called my own. There is a disagreement between me and my dad what my first game was (He says it was DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D, but I find it much more believable they scared me shitless as a 3-4 year old, so I say it was either Super Mario Bros. (or the Deluxe version for GameBoy Color), Pokemon Red/Blue, or Spyro the Dragon).

    Anyway, the original God of War was truly a spectacle for me, especially since I got it when I was 16. I fell in love with this interpretation of Greek mythology and it inspired me to go read about the "real" thing.

    The game's combat is satisfying to this day. I appreciated the Blade of Artemis changing up the combat to being a slow and powerful cleaver, the Blade of Chaos just had that iconic look, speed, and versatility of movesets that have them probably on my top list of favorite video game weapons of all time. While it might be a bit of a stretch because of how much of the game it is, but Pandora's Temple is easily the highlight for me. It's one giant puzzle, that's made up of so many other puzzles. So many combat sections, story revelations, and interesting areas. Every time I do a series replay (to which I'm looking to do soon. Just need that exact Ragnarok release date so I can plan out the timing), the original is one the highlights.

    I will say however, Hades, for the most part, is a fun area... But the pillars... The pillars SSSUUUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKKK. I hate those blades so much. I understand they were so rushed and crunched to ship the game on time they couldn't be properly QA'd, but if that was the case, it should've been cut. Another thing that I really don't like is the fight against Ares. The entire game is a hack-and-slash, but the climax is like it's ripped out of an obtuse fighting game. And I don't like fighting games (except the a singular exception as I've discovered over the past month and am still playing as of writing...). So the fact Ares switches up the mechanics at the end is irritating to say the least, despite him being an interesting character.

    Also, for how old it is, the game still looks good, not necessarily great, but I still think it has some charm. And the cinematics! On PS2, the God of War games had some of the best CG on the console, full-stop. I remember being awed when Ares realizes what's happening at Pandora's Temple, and throws the spire so many miles to bullseye Kratos into a bloody mess as he's pushing Pandora's Box and thinking, "Holy hell this looks incredible."

    All of this isn't even getting into the secrets! The concept art, the dev-docs, different costumes with buffs, and the Trials of Olympus are all great, but the absolute best are the two phone numbers. Granted, with the advent of YouTube, the magic of secrecy on these is completely lost, but the concept of developers putting in extremely hard-to-find Easter Eggs with tangible, meaningful rewards, ESPECIALLY rewards that are outside of the game itself isn't done enough. I don't know (and I don't think it is, but it might be) if this was a first in gaming, but rewarding players with a secret phone number to call for a message from the game's director and main actor is AWESOME.

    I have such fond memories of this game. If it wasn't for the reboot (and probably the coming Ragnarok), this would be my favorite of the entire franchise. As of writing, it currently sits at 29th on my top 100 games of all time and is my 2005 Game of the Year.

    And now, I'm CERTAIN of what are top two are... And if I'm right, they're games I'm not high on...

    Regardless, as always, massive shoutouts and thanks to my fellow voters @Crepe, @bam541, @DIPSET, and @Sentinel-Beach for getting God of War as high as the Bronze of our list!

  • 0_1653838880348_Shadow of the Colossus.png

    #2: Shadow of the Colossus - 27 points


    #1: 4 (JDINCINERATOR, Sheria, Phbz, bam541)
    #2: 0
    #3: 2 (Crepe, Tearju Engi)
    #4: 0
    HM: 1 (Sentinel Beach)


    Release date: NA: October 18
    Developer: Japan Studio, Team Ico
    Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
    Genre: Action-adventure, puzzle
    Platform(s): PlayStation 2


    GT Review

  • 0_1653838935755_Resident Evil 4.png

    #1: Resident Evil 4 - 33 points


    #1: 4 (Sentinel Beach, kindiman, Crepe, NeoCweeny)
    #2: 2 (JDINCINERATOR, bruno_saurus)
    #3: 0
    #4: 2 (Sheria, Tearju Engi)
    HM: 1 (Shoulderguy)


    Release date: NA: January 11, PAL: March 18
    Developer: Capcom Production Studio 4
    Publisher: Capcom
    Genre: Survival horror, third-person shooter, first-person shooter
    Platform(s): GameCube, PlayStation 2, PC, Wii, iOS, Zeebo, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Oculus Quest 2


    GT Review

  • Excellent. These went the right way around. Wonderful games, both of them. Well voted, people.

  • Here are my votes:

    1. Psychonauts
    2. The Warriors
    3. Fight Night Round 2
    4. Pokémon Emerald
    5. (HM) Resident Evil 4
    6. (HM) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
    7. (HM) Need for Speed: Most Wanted
    8. (HM) Jade Empire

    Resident Evil 4 and my two votes that didn't make the top 20:

    For some of my friends, Resident Evil 4 is among their favorite games of all-time but unfortunately, I could never get a grasp of the controls. A few years ago, one of my friends suggested I play it again but ignore using the right joystick for camera control. That sounded crazy, but I did what he said and it worked.

    I was finally able to enjoy RE4 for myself and it's now among the best Resident Evil games I've played. The story and characters are over the top, funny and entertaining. The game does a great job with it's combination of action and horror elements. It was great and I look forward to potentially playing it again with the rumored remake.

    Fight Night Round 2 is one of my favorite sports games and that's because of how much I enjoyed the career mode. You could build your character in different ways, with a slower stronger style or fight a faster defensive style. As your fighting your way up to the top, you also have the option to fight for three different titles in three different weight classes. I really enjoyed fighting and improving my boxer.

    There's this very relaxing feeling I would get when I was moving around in the ring, while perfectly punching, blocking and dodging. Then after every fight, my hands would be hurting badly because I was slamming every button on a tiny PS2 controller with my oversized hands! The Fight Night games are great fun and Round 2 was a strong GOTY contender for me.

    I played and finished Jade Empire for the first time this year back in January. I was curious about this game because it was made by BioWare and I'm a big fan of Mass Effect and Dragon Age. It definitely looks and feels like an old game, but they did a decent job with the martial arts combat and the mythological Chinese story was interesting. It's a good game, but when compared to BioWare's later games, it's missing a lot of what made them so special.

    My full 2005 GOTY rankings on GGApp:

  • My votes:

    1. Need for Speed: Most Wanted
    2. Myst V: End of Ages
    3. Psychonauts
    4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    5. Quake 4

    My number 4 and 5 are just games I’ve played. I also played Shadow of the Colossus (somehow I’ve missed it while making my list), but I didn’t enjoy its empty world and lack of story, so it would be my #5.

  • My list for 2005

    Shadow of the Colossus
    Fatal Frame III: The Tormented
    Xenosaga Episode II
    Resident Evil 4

    Haunting Ground
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
    Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy
    Jade Empire

  • I thought these would place top two, and I don't like either of them.

    Regarding Shadow of the Colossus: For context: I was so swept up in the E3 of Dreams and Sony's presentation back in 2015 with the Last Guardian, I decided to see what all the fuss was about by diving into Ico and this. And I despised my experience. I won't go off on Ico, beyond saying the thing across both games that's absolutely terrible are the controls. So when I started Shadow, I was already dreading it. Sure, the colossi themselves are spectacles of scale, but for me, the story was kind of barebones. Yet, the thing I have grown to hate is Argo. I can not stand that freaking horse. Having to be in the pixel perfect spot to mount him, the unwieldy way he moves/ran, and combat while astride him were so convoluted, I wanted to throw my controller. Hell, I wanted to throw my controller all the time because of the climbing/movement mechanics to being with. When the bridge fell, I cheered. When the credits rolled, I let out a guttural cry of anger. So of course it sits last, 13 of 13 of my list. (Disclaimer: My list actually sits at 14 games, but one game wasn't eligible. I'll get to that in a bit.)

    Which leads me to Resident Evil 4, sitting one spot higher at 12th. Admittedly, it's the one game on my list I haven't played, but I've watched a playthrough a couple times. I've stated several times how Huber has made me a casual fan of the franchise, but this was an RE game as a viewer I just didn't like watching (for comparison, by the time I first watched this playthrough, I had seen VII, 2 Remake, REmake, and 3make). As a viewer, this game drags on for a WHILE, plus aside from Leon, none of the other characters were interesting to me (to say nothing of Ashley). I also don't like scenarios where you have to survive for an undetermined amount of time (which is why I think Village's first combat encounter is the worst part of the game as a viewer), so the beginning is annoying.

    I do commend RE4's efforts in mixing up the enemy types (especially Las Plagas), and perhaps my favorite thing about this game is the inventory management (Tangent: If you haven't seen the recent Easy Update where Isla and Huber play a game on Steam called 'Safe Room' where someone turned the inventory management into a puzzle game, it's awesome. I hope the indie-dev can get some budget, polish it up a bit, and put it on console. It's RAD.) Also, mixing up the locations between the village, castle, island, and others keeps it environmentally fresh (though a lot of the castle seems annoying to playthrough). Overall, I don't regret watching it, and yes, because Huber has me on the hook, if the rumor is real and this is being remade, I will watch a playthrough of that, but unlike VII (and currently debating for 2 Remake), it's not a game I want to own, much less rewatch beyond what I just stated.

    As for our countdown, my votes, with comments on what didn't show, countdown style:

    GOTY: God of War
    2.) (NOT ELIGIBLE) **Final Fantasy IV: Advance
    3.) Star Wars: Battlefront II
    4.) Mario Kart DS
    5.) (Would've been an HM if FF IV: A was eligible) Gran Turismo 4
    6.) (HM) Ratchet: Deadlocked
    7.) (HM) Pokemon Emerald
    8.) (HM)LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
    9.) (HM) (Wouldn't have made the cut if FFIV: A was eligible) Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
    10.) (DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT) Star Wars: Republic Commando
    11.) (DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT) Burnout Revenge
    12.) (DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT) Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
    13.) (DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT) Psychonauts
    14.) (DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT) *Resident Evil 4
    15.) (DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT) Shadow of the Colossus

    Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is actually the most recent addition to this list as I played this for the first time on Vita either last year or the year before. And it's not a great port. I went in-depth about my time on a Community Showcase, but the short version: Saw it talked about on old school G4's Cheat! back in the day and loved the concept of playing as a bounty hunter with wacky ammo being animals, but the reality didn't feel great. I like the concept, but the story wasn't for me, plus how it handles the 1st/3rd person modes are not intuitive. I only need to beat hard mode to unlock the Platinum, but it's going to be some time before I ever feel like going back to it.

    Star Wars: Republic Commando is another VERY recent game as I played the PS4 port after watching the Allies stream it some time back (I think it was a group stream). On its surface, it's interesting. As time as gone on, I've become more and more interested in having a clone/stormtrooper game as opposed to a Jedi one because, while lightsabers are rad, it's by far the more focused on thing. And while the game has it's moments, the uninspired level design, borderline moronic A.I. of your fellow troopers, the immense difficulty, and very short runtime all hold it back. It still makes me hope for a Star Wars FPS game where it's all about being a trooper/soldier and having a dedicated campaign going to multiple worlds and having multiple battles without the need of playing as a Jedi/Sith.

    Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves is easily the least fun of all the Sly games (if it wasn't for Sanzaru inexplicably not putting in a remapping function in Thieves in Time to get around the mandatory Sixaxis, I would put it last in my personal rankings of the series. Seriously, if you play Thieves in Time with a controller without Sixaxis support, one of the early main missions requires it, thus making it impossible to progress). Don't get me wrong, there are some neat things about Sly 3: The dialogue options, Holland and the Caribbean being standout locations, and an interesting concept of Sly building a gang to get into his inheritance of his family's vault on a long forgotten island, but beyond that, there are many things I don't vibe with: I dislike the third recasting of Carmelita (I'll never understand why one actor couldn't play her throughout the whole series), I don't like the levels in Australia or China, the "3D" implementation is a gimmick that never worked, I was bummed they got rid of the clue bottles and safe concept, and I disliked how the story ends (which leads me to other gripes about Thieves in Time, but that's another game...). I'll still play it when I do a series replay, but it's the one I look forward to least. Also, whenever the question, "What would be your dream announcement" gets asked around this time of year, I hardly ever have an answer because most things are in the works already, but Sly is a franchise that has become my answer. Will it ever return? No. And that makes me sad.

    Lego Star Wars: The Video Game is where the craze of stellar Lego games started and I remember putting in a lot of time into it, but I can't remember much more. Courtesy of the recently released Skywalker Saga, I had been debating whether or not I would want it because it's been so long since I've played Lego Star Wars, but I just can't quite commit. I can't remember why I fell off, nor can I explain why I don't feel the pull towards it. But still, it was fun in the moment, at the very least.

    Ratchet: Deadlocked is another fun game for what it is. It's super short and not much of an investment (if anything, I would say it's the least critical of the "necessary" games to play in the overall R&C story). I think it's biggest downside of being a six to eight hour game of running obstacle courses over and over doesn't do quite enough to recommend to anyone who isn't a fan of the franchise already. However, if you are a fan of Ratchet & Clank, I DO recommend it for at least a single try, and I still enjoy it whenever I replay it.

    I think I put more time into Gran Turismo 4 than any of the other GT games (and I stopped playing the series at this point). I remember being so struck how realistic the game was on PS2 and being addicted to the license tests. But I discovered an exploit where, there was a particular rally race/qualifier you could run on a very hilly track with a lot of 180, sloping turns stacked on top of themselves. In this rally, if the game registered if you hit the wall, it was an insta-fail... Well, if you hit it head-on that is. But saying on the gas and using the wall at just the right angle to fly through turns quicker than expected, you could EASILY beat the clear time. And every time you did it, you were awarded a car worth over 229,000 credits (which, at that point in the game, is the most expensive prize you could get, and get continuously). By winning, selling the car, and repeating, I racked up so much money I could buy anything I wanted and take on races much sooner than the game planned for. I guess that's where I lost interest because I figured since there wasn't anything for me to chase, I didn't have any reason to keep playing.

    And the final game that didn't make it is the one that could not be eligible: Final Fantasy IV: Advance. I had been wanting to play FF IV for the first time for a while several years ago, but didn't know which version to get. I don't own the original's hardware, the DS's models look outright ugly to me, and I heard/read a lot of negative things about the After Years. So the GBA is where I went. And I LOVED it. I've only played through it twice, but I was really taken with the plot, really enjoyed both Cecil and Kain as characters, the worlds (Regular, underground, and the Moon) were interesting, and it has perhaps one of the absolute best themes of the franchise. It's currently my fourth favorite in the series and my 42nd favorite game of all time.

    WHEW! That was a lot (as I often write). So I'll end it here by thanking you for reading if you chose to, to everyone who participated, and for @Shoulderguy for leading the charge. Until the next one!

    1. Resident Evil 4
    2. Devil May Cry 3
    3. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
    4. F.E.A.R.
      HM) Jak X
      HM) Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
      HM) Kirby: Canvas Curse
      HM) Ys VI The Ark of Napishtim

  • 5 pts - Burnout Revenge
    4 pts - Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved
    3 pts - Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
    2 pts - Star Wars: Battlefront II

    HM - Nintendogs

    All my main picks got in, nice. :)

    Nintendogs was an honorable mention in the most literal sense; I haven't played it, but it was a unique concept that had a wide impact.

  • #1: Resident Evil 4 (5 pts)
    #2: God of War (4 pts)
    #3: Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction (3 pts)
    #4: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (2 pts)
    HM: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (1 pt)
    HM: Shadow of the Colossus (1 pt)
    HM: Star Wars: Battlefront II (1 pt)
    HM: TimeSplitters: Future Perfect (1 pt)

    Sad to see I was the only one voting for Mercenaries. It's my favourite game from Pandemic Studios, one of my favourite studios. I can't even describe how much I enjoyed the sandbox and the way the whole card deck system worked with the targets you were after. To see this game remade for PS5, what a dream...

  • #1.Shadow of the Colossus
    #2.Resident Evil 4
    #3.GTA: Liberty City Stories
    #4.Condemned: Criminal Origins
    HM: WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2006
    HM: Shadow of Rome
    HM: Need For Speed: Most Wanted
    HM: Burnout Revenge

  • @brannox said in The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2005!:

    I will say however, Hades, for the most part, is a fun area... But the pillars... The pillars SSSUUUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKKK. I hate those blades so much. I understand they were so rushed and crunched to ship the game on time they couldn't be properly QA'd, but if that was the case, it should've been cut.

    Jaffe recently confirmed that the end of the game didn't have enough QA time and they shipped with some balance and tech issues. It completely validated me not being able to beat Aries unless on Easy Mode.

    I echo everything you said. God of War is probably the best game of 2005 but not my favourite nor the one I played the most. I played it on the PS3 Remaster in 2009 and the game blew my mind and I was hooked on the series since.

    I completely agree that the art style and graphics hold up well today.

  • My 2005 GOTY List:

    GOTY 2005

    1. Tony Hawk's American Wasteland
    2. SOCOM 3 U.S. Navy SEALs
    3. God of War
    4. Need for Speed: Most Wanted

    Call of Duty 2
    Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
    SSX on Tour
    Burnout Revenge

    Tough Cuts:
    Battlefield 2
    Battlefront 2
    Resident Evil 4


    If we're looking back to 2005, one glaring omission from our list is Call of Duty 2 and Battlefield 2. Both games were pretty ahead of their time and sent their respective franchises either to the moon, or into orbit.

    COD2 was one of the first mind blowing next-gen games out there. The quality of life improvements over COD1 were amazing (throwing back grenades sounds small by todays standards but it was awesome back then). The plot respected the many groups of people who made the sacrifice in WWII with a wonderful globetrotting Campaign mode. The online MP had the usual awesome COD gunplay but with more fluidity and great diverse maps.

    BF2, however, was way ahead of it's time. It was essentially a next-gen game before next gen existed. It didn't have crazy HD textures but the maps were big, the gunplay was probably the first modern warfare game that actually felt fluid. The squad based tactics just worked so well in a modern setting and the idea of an open map modern combat sandbox was huge and way ahead of the industry treads by 2-3 years.

    Honestly, a lot of the credit for what BF2 did goes to COD4 MW, but BF2 did all of this first in 2005:

    • modern warfare setting
    • detailed mini-map
    • weapon unlocks
    • badges and medals for performance
    • upgrade progression for each class.
    • the ability to record your gameplay to a server which led to a ton of online videos about the game (that's how I learned about it).

    I didn't vote for BF2 because the gunplay doesn't hold up by today's standards like COD2's MP / Campaign do. But this game was the future of video games. Imagine an online MP game in 2022 without an upgrade progression. BF2 in 2005 was the spark, COD4 in 2007 was the match, and modern war MP blew up.

  • GOTY 2005 Recap


    • 15 people from the community voted and nominated 53 different games
    • Resident Evil 4 is the second Resident Evil game to win our GOTY. Resident Evil 2 (2019).
    • Three racing games made the list this year (Mario Kart DS, Burnout Revenge, Need for Speed: Most Wanted). The most racing games to make the top 20/25 before 2005 was in 2008 with 2 (Mario Kart Wii, Wipeout HD).
    • #6 Need for Speed: Most Wanted is also the highest ever ranking racing game. Previous was #12 Forza Horizon 5 (2021)
    • #9 Pokémon Emerald is the third Pokemon game to make the top 10. Previous games #9 Pokémon Sun and Moon (2016), #7 Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (2010).
    • We had a six-way tie in this countdown. Very unusual since we never had more than 2 games involved in a tie.
    • Publishers Capcom, Sony and Nintendo all have three games in the top 20. Tied for the most.

    Exclusives (At the time):

    • 5: PlayStation 2 (SOCOM 3 U.S. Navy SEALs, Fatal Frame III: The Tormented, Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, God of War, Shadow of the Colossus)
    • 3: Nintendo DS (Advance Wars: Dual Strike, Mario Kart DS, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney)
    • 2: PC (Myst V: End of Ages, SWAT 4)
    • 1: Game Boy Advance (Pokémon Emerald)
    • 1: PlayStation Portable (Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories)
    • 1: Xbox 360 (Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved)

    Score totals for games that didn't make the top 20:

    • 4 Points: Condemned: Criminal Origins, Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction
    • 3 Points: Call of Duty 2, Fight Night Round 2, Star Wars Republic Commando, Super Mario Strikers, Xenosaga Episode II
    • 2 Points: F.E.A.R., Gran Turismo 4, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Jak X Combat Racing, Ratchet: Deadlocked
    • 1 Point: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Haunting Ground, Guitar Hero, Killer7, Kirby: Canvas Curse, Lego Star Wars: The Video Game, Mario And Luigi: Partners in Time, The Matrix Path of Neo, Nintendogs, Pokemon XD Gale of Darkness, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, Quake 4, Shadow of Rome, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, SSX on Tour, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2006, Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim

    EZA Community GOTY ranks for franchises that started in 2005:

    • #3: God of War, #8: God of War II (2007), #14: God of War: Chains of Olympus (2008), #18: God of War: Ghost of Sparta (2010), #5: God of War III (2010), #1: God of War (2018).
    • #4: Psychonauts, #4: Psychonauts 2 (2021).
    • #7: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, #17: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney − Justice for All (2007), #11: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations (2007), #22: Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (2010).

    Thanks again to everyone who voted!