The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2002!

  • I've played Kingdom Hearts in all-in-one collection a few years ago. It was brutally difficult - I had to restart on easy after playing 4 hours on normal and still had a lot of problems. Also locations felt too small. I still had some fun in the end, so placing it at #2 seemed fine.

    My list:

    1. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
    2. Kingdom Hearts
    3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Not a great game, not even a good one, but I've played it.
    4. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2. I'm not even sure I've played it.

  • I remember playing many hours of GTA Vice City each time I would visit my cousin who had the PS2 version. Unfortunately I've never finished it and I really need to add it to my list of completed games. Even with my limited experience with the game, the beginning hours of Vice City and the great soundtrack were enough to rank it #4 on my list.

    My 2002 GOTY list:

    1: RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
    2: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
    3: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4
    4: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
    5: (HM) Metroid Fusion
    6: (HM) Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
    7: (HM) Mafia
    8: (HM) Super Mario Sunshine
    9: Law & Order: Dead on the Money
    10: NHL 2003
    11: Salt Lake 2002
    12: Emergency 2: The Ultimate Fight for Life
    13: The House of the Dead III
    14: Conflict: Desert Storm

  • @shoulderguy NHL 2003 had an amazing soundtrack. I'm sure @DIPSET would approve, as I most certainly do.

  • The King of Fighters 2002
    Star Fox Adventures
    Resident Evil
    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
    HM. The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind
    HM. Metroid Prime
    HM. Medal of honor: Frontline
    HM. TimeSplitters 2

    I'm playing through Morrowind for the first time right now and I'm quite impressed about what it managed to do for a 2002 game. It has a really amazing sense of atmosphere and the world building is also great. It cuts a lot of stuff from Daggerfall but I think it's overall a much more impressive game.

    GTA Vice city is just awesome. The main story missions are easily the best in the franchise. I love how much freedom there is no how non-linear it is. Pretty much most of the main missions are actually optional. It has a huge list of improvements compared to GTA III eventhough it was only made one year later. The soundtrack is superb and the side quests are really good also. My only big complaint with the game is Vice City itself. This is one aspect where the short development cycle is noticable. It feels very rushed. The map is very small and the downtown area especially feels unfinished. GTA III's map feels so much bigger eventhough it's about the same size and is extremely well made.

  • My 2002 GOTY Top 8:
    1.GTA: Vice City
    2.TimeSplitters 2
    3.WWE Smackdown! Shut Your Mouth
    4.The Getaway
    HM: Burnout 2: Point of Impact
    HM: Madden NFL 2003
    HM: TOCA Race Driver
    HM: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4

  • #1: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
    #2: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
    #3: Medal of Honor: Frontline
    #4: Sly Raccoon
    HM: Battlefield 1942
    HM: Kingdom Hearts
    HM: Mafia
    HM: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4

  • 2002 was a really good year for gaming IMO. Our list is pretty solid. NHL 2003 and THPS4 are some of my all time favourite games. Just a blast to play.

    Vice City is undeniably great although I never played it in 2002. Kinda shocking that GTA III was 2001 and Vice City was 2002. Like... how did they do that in 1 year? I can't even imagine it because they had to take feedback from GTA III into account on Vice City right? Or did they just start work on the sequel ahead of time and hoped for the best? Crazy to think about.

    My 2002 GOTY list:

    ​1. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4​
    ​2. NHL 2003​
    ​3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers​

    1. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City​

      ​Resident Evil Remake​
      Medal of Honor: Frontline​
      ​Spider-Man: The Movie​
      ​​Legends of Wrestling II​​

  • I've said all I can say regarding GTA elsewhere.

    Moving onto my personal 2002 GOTY, Kingdom Hearts. To kick it off, this is what I said about it during the top 100 countdown years ago:

    "I did not know much about this game for a long while after it released. I was turned on to it overhearing some classmates on the playground as it were discussing a strategy about some tasks you need to do in Wonderland. I asked what they were talking about, and they told me: Kingdom Hearts. I little while later, I was in a Wal-Mart and remembered them talking about it. It was $20, had Disney characters on the cover and the guy on it was holding a key FOR A SWORD. Now my 5th/6th grade mind was BLOWN.

    As evidenced by the info above, this is my (2002 GOTY) and not only that, (it's currently my 7th favorite game of all time)... I find the fusion of Final Fantasy and Disney to be BRILLIANT (albeit ludicrous, but c'mon, that's part of the fun!)...

    I'll never forget I COMPLETELY screwed up my first playthrough (Didn't get far into Monstro before I backed out, went to Halloween Town instead of Atlantica, and couldn't defeat the Oogie Manor with a Level 43 Sora who chose a staff and sacrificed the sword and answered the questions for a slow level up.) That's different now.

    For a long time, I preferred the second over the original. (But after a few years) there's something about KH One that (I've grown to) like more. I can't put my finger on it... Maybe its the keyblade roster, or nostalgia for that sense of wonder (world selection or narrative being its simplest). Or it could be that Olympus Coliseum, the FIRST iteration, is my favorite overall KH world because of the tournaments."

    And while I made some adjustments as evidenced by parentheticals, I could keep going, but I'll refrain for now. We have another thread/initiative where I can do that...

    Anyway, massive props/thanks to fellow voters @Sentinel-Beach, @ffff0, @Sheria, @bruno_saurus, and @bam541 for deeming it worthy of making the list!

    As tradition, my ballot with words on the games that didn't make it, countdown style:

    GOTY: Kingdom Hearts
    2.) Ratchet & Clank
    3.) *Metroid Prime
    4.) Sly Cooper and the Thieveus Racoonus
    5.) (HM) *Resident Evil 0
    6.) (HM) *Resident Evil Remake
    7.) (HM) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4
    8.) (HM) Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly
    9.) (DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT) Super Mario Sunshine
    10.) (DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT) Star Wars: Jedi Outcast
    11.) (DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT) Ty the Tasmanian Tiger

    Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is a completely forgettable game. To the point all I remember was being gifted it (I THINK as a Christmas gift), trying it out and didn't get far because I was SUPER bored. And for an 11/12 year old at the time, that's pretty damning since I was the target demographic.

    Believe it or not, I'm currently in the middle of a first playthrough of Jedi Outcast. And my GOD have I absolutely soured on this set of games. To briefly revisit a comment I gave on the Community Showcase a while back: Tried Dark Forces on PS3, but with no analog support, it was a TERRIBLE experience and the crouch function just didn't properly. Watched the sequel on YouTube and was unimpressed. Started a playthrough of this and there has been times where level design/gameplay mechanics are just bad. As of writing, I'm at a part where I have to go into a room with an enemy who can cloak, jump around, and uses a lightsaber, and the bastard is HARD. Every time I pick up the game to try and chip away at making progress, I'm constantly reminded how this series, without a doubt or contender, is by FAR the single worst aged set of games I've ever experienced, full stop. I have no clue if/when I'll finish.

    When it comes to Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, I remember really trying to like it and be into it, and I remember an island themed level had a really awesome song that played when exploring. But good GOD is the level design uninspired, the ending/post-game is non-existant, and worst of all the game is glitchy and buggy as all hell. That island level? If you go in reverse to explore/try to find missed gems, it wouldn't reload. And that's just one example. Horrifically ugly character models, poor story, and being not as engaging to play all combined to kill the franchise for me until the Reignited Trilogy.

    When I gave my comment on REmake, I refrained from referencing RE 0 because I knew it wouldn't show. Now, I hold the same exact criticisms for both games, and 0's absolutely awful drop and pickup item system is BAFFLING. Even the story premise is worse. But I have it slightly above REmake. The reason being is, and this could be entirely because of the stream, but as a watch, I enjoyed it a little more (though said enjoyment could be best described as lukewarm). Again, with how the franchise has evolved, there's no way I would ever play either, but I don't regret taking the time to watch the whole thing.

    And to close, as I always must do, massive heartfelt thanks to @shoulderguy for handling this.

    And I could use the reminder: Were we in agreement 2001 would be the last we do for individual years? Because there's one more idea we could do after that, but I just wanted to be sure...

    Regardless, thanks for reading and great lists everyone!

  • @dipset It started after GTA III and was made in 9 months. It's an insane feat but not uncommon for the time.

  • My list.

    Resident Evil Remake
    Kingdom Hearts
    Fatal Frame
    Eternal Darkness

    Super Mario Sunshine
    Resident Evil 0
    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
    No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.'s Way

  • GOTY 2002 Recap


    • 14 people from the community voted and nominated 47 different games
    • #1: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is the third GTA game to win the EZA community's GOTY. San Andreas (2004), Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
    • #2: Kingdom Hearts is the highest ranking Kingdom Hearts game in these GOTY elections. #6: Kingdom Hearts II (2006).
    • #3: Resident Evil is the 8th Resident Evil game to make the EZA community's top 20/25.
    • #4: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is the third Elder Scrolls game to make the top 20/25. #1: Oblivion (2006), #3: Skyrim (2011).
    • #5: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 joins #5: Tony Hawk's Underground (2003) and #5: Rocket League (2015) as the highest ranking sports games.
    • Publishers with the most games in the top 20: Nintendo (4), Sony (3), Eidos Interactive (2), Electronic Arts (2).

    Exclusives (At the time):

    • 4: PlayStation 2 (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Kingdom Hearts, Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus)
    • 3: GameCube (Metroid Prime, Resident Evil, Super Mario Sunshine)
    • 2: PC (Mafia, RollerCoaster Tycoon 2)
    • 2: Xbox (Jet Set Radio Future, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell)
    • 1: Game Boy Advance (Metroid Fusion)
    • 1: Neo Geo AES (The King of Fighters 2002)

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

    • 3 Points: MechAssault, WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Fatal Frame
    • 2 Points: Resident Evil 0, Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions, Animal Crossing, The Getaway, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, Eternal Darkness
    • 1 Point: Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, Burnout 2: Point of Impact, Madden Football 2003, TOCA Race Driver, Spider-Man, Legends of Wrestling II, Battlefield 1942, Syberia, Tiger Woods 2003, No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, Blade II, Mega Man Zero

    Thanks to everyone who voted!

    I'm going to take a short break from creating these community elections until we start our 2022 GOTY and then I'll make the 2001 GOTY election after that. In the meantime, follow @JDINCINERATOR and @bruno_saurus to participate in their community elections.

    As for the 2022 GOTY, I don't think we need to delay voting past January since many of 2022's big games have already been delayed to next year. I'll start accepting votes on January 1st and February 1st will be the last day to vote. So go play some new games and build that GOTY list!

  • @sheria said in The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2002!:

    No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.'s Way

    Still want to try this series. I think it's made by Monolith and I love their work on FEAR and Condemned.

    I listened to a podcast very recently where they discussed the original game being delisted and the studio doing the System Shock remake got a cease and desist to stop development on a remaster of No One Lives Forever after the IP switched hands in a buyout.


  • I tried out Kingdom Hearts for the first time last year, I played alongside a couple folks from this forum here in a mini book club thingy, very fun experience. As somebody new to the franchise I'm surprised that it holds up pretty well. The combat is pretty fun, and I'm excited to see where they take the combat mechanics in the next games. The most obvious quality of the game for me is the vibes, seeing the Square Enix and Disney characters interacting with each other is just a very unique thing. It doesn't get old and there's some really memorable and wholesome moments too (looking at the entirety of Thousand Acre Woods). Exploring the Disney worlds are such a pleasure, even if they can be too limited at times. Oh, and did you guys know that the game has phenomenal music? Anyways I still need to start the newer games, sooner or later it'll happen and I'll catch up to the entire series.

    I admit I forgot about Vice City, although it would get only a HM for me because I never got past the first few hours of the story. I did mess around a lot in the first island back in the day. Once again it's a game with lovely vibes. All these neon lights makes you think that Rockstar kinda wanted to make a Cyberpunk themed game, eh? Also, the radio song selection in this game might be the best in the entire series, or at least in the Top 3.

    My list:

    1. Kingdom Hearts
    2. Resident Evil Remake
    3. Mafia
    4. Splinter Cell
      Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
      Star Wars Bounty Hunter
      Blade II
      Mega Man Zero

    Thanks to Shoulderguy for running this whole thing and also to everyone who participated. Always fun to see this sort of thing everytime I visit this forum.

    @DIPSET the silver lining of the sad state of the NOLF games is that they're abandonware, so you could get them easy since there's a website archiving it. I got it on my PC but haven't started it yet, I feel like it could be a potential fav of all time for me.

  • @shoulderguy said in The EZA Community Top 20 Best of 2002!:

    As for the 2022 GOTY, I don't think we need to delay voting past January since many of 2022's big games have already been delayed to next year. I'll start accepting votes on January 1st and February 1st will be the last day to vote. So go play some new games and build that GOTY list!

    Yeah, as speaking for myself, this past week kicks off a constant barrage of releases that I'm going to chip away at for awhile, starting later today. I hope to have completed everything by the time a 2 week paid vacation from work at the end of the year comes to a close, as it will be when I have by far the largest chunk of uninterrupted time to play catch up. As of today (to include games not quite yet released), I have SIX 2022 games to play and 1 1/2 I want to fully watch (I'm sure you can guess those).

  • @bam541

    Oh well that is really good to know. It's funny you say it's abandonware because somebody didn't want a remaster to get made (whether they're the "rightful" owner of the IP or not).

    For once, I feel like blockchain technology could singlehandedly eliminate a lot of these issues. You either own something or you don't. When mergers happen, you know exactly what you inherit without years of legal paperwork.

    Then again, life isn't that binary and probably never will be.

  • @dipset I think Warner and Activision don't want to invest the time into researching whether or not they own the IP. Both are afraid to publish a remaster because they can get sued by the other if they don't fully own the IP.

    I believe the only reason why Nightdive filed the trademark is to see if one of those two companies would respond to it.

    NOLF is a fantastic game imo. It really deserves better. The sequel is not that great if you ask me.