The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2003!



  • If 2003 wouldn't have been so heavy, I might've voted for Soul Calibur II. Enjoyed it a lot when I was younger. The Adventure mode I recall being a fun and a challenging time! I had Soul Edge as a child and I don't know if I realized the two were connected, but maybe that's why I was drawn to getting it. Wasn't a big Nintendo kid besides Pokemon, so I doubt it was Link. Even though I do recall getting the Gamecube version!



  • 0_1660331407866_Mario Kart Double Dash.png

    #13: Mario Kart: Double Dash - 6 points

    Votes

    #1: 0
    #2: 1 (E_Zed_Eh_Intern)
    #3: 0
    #4: 0
    HM: 2 (bruno_saurus, Axel)

    Information

    Release date: EU: November 14, NA: November 17, AU: November 19
    Developer: Nintendo EAD
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Genre: Kart racing
    Platform(s): GameCube

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia


    0_1660331420018_Beyond Good & Evil.png

    #13: Beyond Good & Evil - 6 points

    Votes

    #1: 0
    #2: 1 (ffff0)
    #3: 0
    #4: 0
    HM: 2 (Shoulderguy, Sentinel Beach)

    Information

    Release date: NA: November 11, EU: November 14
    Developer: Ubisoft Pictures, Ubisoft Milan
    Publisher: Ubisoft
    Genre: Action-adventure
    Platform(s): PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox, GameCube, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia



  • I finished Beyond Good & Evil for the first time about a year ago. Camera control was a little frustrating, but the great story, gameplay, and characters made it worth playing to the end.

    Double Dash is one of my least favorite Mario Kart games. It's still a fun time though, and it introduced some good tracks that I enjoyed playing more in other Mario Karts.



  • Double Dash introduced probably my favorite track, Baby Park. So that's enough for me as an Honorable Mention



  • Soulcalibur II's pretty phenomenal. It's a surpisingly deep game with its characters and all of their weapons. Lots of variety there. My main was Kilik with his staff, long-range filth I was. :) The Adventure mode was also cool af! Fighting games didn't generally have anything like that at the time.

    Beyond Good & Evil gets an HM from me for being a neat little game with a clear vision of its own. A recognizable style and atmosphere. It's not a cult classic for me as it is for some people, but it's an enjoyable little adventure.



  • Of the 11 games I've played from 2003, Double Dash places 9th, so it JUST misses getting an Honorable Mention from me.

    For the brief time I had a Gamecube, I think I played this the most (with the Wind Waker being 2nd). It took getting used to having two characters per kart, but I raced endlessly on the tracks. I'll always hold a special place in my heart for Baby Park and Yoshii's Circuit, which are probably my favorite tracks in the entire series. With Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, I have no desire to ever replay Double Dash (Especially since my favorite aforementioned tracks have been brought forward to the game), but still, for a time, this was a heavily played game from me.

    As far as Beyond Good and Evil, I've taken a look at some screenshots and a story synopsis a time or two, wondering if this is something I could get into. The Beyond Good & Evil 2 rereveal at Ubisoft's 2017 E3 close grabbed a hold of me for some time, but in light of Ubisoft have all the issues it has, plus the fact BG&E 2 is absolutely vaporware (I mean, they JUST hired their main narrative writer?! NOW?! FIVE YEARS after the rereveal?! That game's never coming. But hey, I never though Skull & Bones would ever come, but here we are...), has me become very averse to both Ubisoft and the BG&E brand for the time being.



  • I will only start playing BG&E when the sequel resurfaces. See y'all in 10 years



  • I'm a bit astonished that both Beyond Good & Evil and Mario Kart: Double Dash languish outside the top 10. I know I didn't vote for either because I only loosely played BG&E and never played Double Dash, though my younger brother bought a GameCube that came with it, but unfortunately it went missing so never got a chance to play it; however I feel both games were very highly regarded. It's good that my top pick hasn't come along yet though because that's definitely going to be in here.



  • I've played Beyond Good & Evil in 2011. I liked it. That's all I remember.



  • 0_1660421993633_Final Fantasy X-2.png

    #11: Final Fantasy X-2 - 6 points

    Votes

    #1: 1 (Sheria)
    #2: 0
    #3: 0
    #4: 0
    HM: 1 (Brannox)

    Information

    Release date: NA: November 18, 2003
    Developer: Square Product Development Division 1
    Publisher: NA: Square Enix, PAL: Electronic Arts
    Genre: Role-playing
    Platform(s): PlayStation 2

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia


    0_1660422005024_Command & Conquer Generals.png

    #11: Command & Conquer: Generals - 6 points

    Votes

    #1: 1 (ffff0)
    #2: 0
    #3: 0
    #4: 0
    HM: 1 (Sentinel Beach)

    Information

    Release date: NA: February 10, EU: February 14
    Developer: EA Pacific
    Publisher: EA Games
    Genre: Real-time strategy
    Platform(s): PC, Mac OS X

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia



  • They could never make generals in this political climate lol



  • I've never played a Command & Conquer (much less any RTS), so I can't comment on it.

    Final Fantasy X-2 on the other hand, I certainly can. I have it 5th of the 11 games I've played from 2003, and honestly, I'm actually a little shocked not only to see it make our list, but that it's so high.

    Brief context: FFX is one of my absolute favorite games so needless to say just how fundamentally different the sequel is will always leave me mixed. I remember walking in my local Movie Gallery (does anyone remember those?) and seeing this cover and thinking, "Wait, there's a SEQUEL?! And why does Lulu look so DIFFERENT?!" (Granted, being a kid, I had no idea what was happening with this.) But, the store was actually selling it as opposed to renting (so the business was about to die I would imagine), and so it was bought, sight unseen as to its quality.

    I want to focus on the positives first: Mostly, the thing I really love about the entire game, is kind of the free-flow nature of going to most of the locations right at the start, as Yuna internally narrates how the world has changed since the conclusion of FFX. I really enjoy how many areas and just society as a whole evolves and changes what with Sin no longer a threat. Granted, there are drawbacks to this, such as Lake Macalania being removed with the exception of the inn tied to O'aka's quest and Bevelle only being at best a small place with the game's toughest dungeon to at worst being completely locked off dependent on a critical choice you make in Chapter 2. It's also a bummer you don't revisit Baaj and the Omega Dungeon, but how Djose, Zanarkand, Gagazet and especially Kilika are further built (literally in the latter's case) gives the world a wonderful sense of progression.

    Another positive is how flexible the combat is with the dressphere system. I have my favorite loadout (Dark Knight, Alchemist, Berserker), but I really appreciate how, if I wanted to switch to the Gun Mage, Lady Luck, Warrior, Thief, Gunner, Black/White Mage and so on, I can build my Garment Grid and switch mid-fight if I so choose. I also love how each character has a unique design and weapon for the same dressphere. Like the Samurai class using three of Auron's most iconic weapons and the girls dressed a little differently, or the Trainer using three recognizable pets from the world. It gives me a complete sense of ownership of playing how I want with so many possibilities that, while ultimately overwhelming, still demonstrates the viability of these systems.

    However, my criticisms are pretty significant. Primarily, I do not like the story at ALL. I'm not too thrilled Square decided to make Yuna a pop-star as her career of choice post-Summoner life, but beyond that, aside from seeking out if Tidus is out there somewhere, the main narrative is kind of a drag. Some recurring characters who are pretty interesting in FF X are pretty irksome here, such as Isaaru and Cid. New characters, like Nooj and Baralai have promise, but have a couple of things that hold them back from being decent. And don't get me started on LeBlanc and her goons... While I like the crew of the Gullwings for the most part (except for Brother. He annoys me), the ship itself is pretty sweet, and being able to bring different side characters aboard is fun, but they ultimately aren't enough of a make-good with the mostly eye-rolling main plot.

    And another thing I actually don't like is surprisingly the soundtrack. While FFX's tunes are some of my favorites and quite memorable, the only song I actually from X-2 is the main menu's before starting the game. I can't recall off the top of my head any other song from the game.

    The final dislike I'll mention is the Story Percentage system. I greatly dislike how, in a game with many choices and outcomes to quite a few scenarios, you basically need to get the exact right outcome in EVERY scenario to even have a shot at the 100% ending (Granted, since there's YouTube, I don't sweat getting a 100% run anymore, but still, it's the principle). You NEED a guide to manipulate things juuuuuuuuuuust right like pinning the Mi'ihen mystery on Rin or having the knowledge before hand giving a particular sphere to New Yevon permanently keeps you from reaching 100% at all. This kind of thing is infuriating sometimes and I"m happy games don't do this anymore.

    All of this novel said, Final Fantasy X-2 DOES have its moments. I was even (serendipitously enough) looking at some trophies I lack about a day or two ago and thinking how I could get them if I made another New Game Plus run (which will admittedly be a very long time. I've built up enough of a backlog for myself.) Overall FFX-2 is something X fans should at least go through once, but it's a game I can't in good conscience recommend to anyone else.

    To conclude, I want give props to @Sheria for not only giving it a vote, but it being their GOTY for 2003, thus getting it on our list!



  • Late 90s - early 2000s was a time when I knew only about 3 video game franchises: Doom/Quake, Need for Speed and Command & Conquer. I do not remember anything about Generals specifically, but I think it was still good. Since I've played only 5 gamse from 2003 and remember none of them, I've put Command & Conquer: Generals in my 1st place.



  • Oh man... It's been almost twenty years since Generals? Feels like yesterday when I played it with my brother. Actually he ended up playing it more in the end, but it was still just a super fun game to watch as well. We still quote some lines from Generals from time to time, just as stupid inside jokes between brothers, you know. "Shh, I sense danger may be near..."



  • 0_1660503452367_SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom.png

    #10: SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - 7 points

    Votes

    #1: 0
    #2: 1 (Capnbobamous)
    #3: 0
    #4: 1 (bam541)
    HM: 1 (Sentinel Beach)

    Information

    Release date: NA: October 31, EU: November 28
    Developer: Heavy Iron Studios
    Publisher: THQ
    Genre: Platform, action-adventure
    Platform(s): PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Advance

    Links

    Trailer
    Wikipedia



  • This is the one Spongebob game I consistently hear is the best of ANY SB game, but since I'm averse to the character/IP for a multitude of reasons, I steer clear of it.



  • @brannox Just out of interest and curiosity-what makes you averse to Spongebob?



  • I based my vote on mostly my memories of the OG game on PS2, and also partly on how much fun I had with the recent remaster release. The remaster itself had a few screws loose and made the game more uneven than it is, but I still had a ton of fun with it. The Spongebob IP is just a gold mine for jolly vibes, and that is the part the OG game nailed the most, which is still very much the case in the remaster despite the problems it had. Getting to explore various well-designed Bikini Bottom levels, having entertaining interactions with familiar faces along the way, and listening to the very underrated soundtrack, it all blends to a solid game that is more than successful at translating the IP into videogame form.



  • Mario Kart, Beyond Good & Evil and Spongebob were all potential honorable montions for me. All good games but not "good enough" I guess.

    FF X-2 and C&C Generals I have yet to play.

    Final Fantasy doesn't really count anyways because @Sheria 's real number 1 is Double Dash.



  • @jdincinerator Inside the show, for me, it's a bit too stupid and many characters feel one note. Outside the show, it's tangled up in some childhood memories I try to forget, and that's all I say on it.