Cyril Lachel – Staff WriterStar Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox)
Although I'm not a Star Wars fan, I have to admit that Knights of the Old Republic is the best use of the property I've ever seen, and ultimately the most imaginative, and creative, game of the year.SSX 3 (PS2)
EA Big's newest snowboarding title, SSX 3, is just what the doctor ordered; featuring hundreds of things to do, great graphics, a fun online mode, and the best level (mountain) design of the year!SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs (PS2)
SOCOM II not only fixed every problem I had with the original (a better rank, the ability to mute players, friends lists, etc.), but manages to be the most addictive online console game of the year for me.
Matt Mirkovich – Staff WriterFatal Frame 2 Crimson Butterfly (PS2)
Any game featuring Gothic Lolita Maid outfits, as a hidden costume is A-OK with me. Actually though aside from that the game is a horrific spectacle worth every gaming dollar. The ancient Japanese village setting does well to disturb and evoke fear in the deepest corners of your mind and the excellent story just adds to the awesome experience of this game. Twin sisters trapped in a town where a ritual takes place to protect the village, a mysterious camera to see things that should be impossible, and an evil cackling girl in a kimono. Get ready for one hell of a fright fest.SSX 3 for PS2
Extreme sports games really don’t get much better than this. EA Big has managed to make a Tony Hawk killer, something that dethrones that rehashed success. You’ve got new courses, new characters, new tricks, and one of the best soundtracks in a new game this year. With the massive mountain peaks laden with challenges you’ve got plenty of game to tackle once you pick this up, it’ll take at least a good 20+ hours to unlock everything in the game, and once you manage to get that 100% completion rate for the entire mountain then you’ve got some serious bragging rights. Disgaea: Hour of Darkness for PS2
Strategy RPGs really don’t get much better than this. Atlus did wise to pick up this Nippon Ichi classic. A somewhat light hearted romp involving the Prince of the Underworld in his quest to become the Overlord and rule with an iron fist. With lots of comedy, a well acted cast, and some excellent localization, (Mr. Gency’s Exit, pure genius) and best of all, and incredibly deep fighting system that never gets old you’ve got one of the best tactical RPGs ever made, easily beating Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Fire Emblem. Be sure to pick this game up before it is gone forever.
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