Best Games of 2002 - Mania.com



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Best Games of 2002

We hand out the Golden Thumb Awards

By James Stevenson and Troy Roberts     January 07, 2003


2002 was one heck of a year, filled with ups and more ups. There were so many games this year that deserve mention, but only so many awards to give out. In our truest Gamers' Thumb fashion, Cinescape hands out this year's Golden Thumb awards.


Best PC Game - WARCRAFT III - Blizzard Entertainment


Easily the best (and most addicting) PC game to come out this year, WARCRAFT III dominated the sales charts for weeks. The game introduces newly designed RPG-style characters and adds that to the already successful gameplay of the WARCRAFT series. Throw in free online support, and you've got the best PC game of 2002.


Runner-Up: COMMAND AND CONQUER RENEGADE


Best Console Game - METROID PRIME


Nothing grabbed our attention this year like METROID PRIME. It's beautifully immersive and atmospheric, and focuses on the exploration that made the series a 16-bit hit. The nostalgia alone would have sold copies, but surprisingly; METROID PRIME is the deepest game of the year, offering hours of play. With incredible graphics and Dolby Pro Logic II support, this is truly the best console game of the year.


Runner-Up: RATCHET AND CLANK


Best GameCube Game - METROID PRIME - Retro Studios


METROID PRIME won Game of the Year for Consoles, so it gets the GameCube award as well.


Runner-Up: ETERNAL DARKNESS


Best Xbox Game - MECHASSAULT - Microsoft Game Studios


MECHASSAULT is probably the best looking Xbox game released this year. MECHASSAULT is one of those games you can just pick up and almost immediately know what you're doing; the controls were designed to "pick-up-and-play." While the game does suffer from some slowdown, it isn't enough to detract from the explosively fun gameplay. And with Xbox Live support, MECHASSAULT is one of the best Xbox games yet.


Runner-Ups: STEEL BATTALION, SHENMUE II


Best Playstation 2 Game - RATCHET AND CLANK - Incog Inc.


RATCHET AND CLANK was a complete surprise.

METROID PRIME

Instead of taking the typical routes with a platformer, Incog introduced an entire weapon and monetary system that blew us away. The game while non-linear does have an elaborate design that pushes you through the story in a way where you don't feel like you're being pushed at all. The giant worlds and retro graphics are gorgeous and the presentation is top-notch. This is one of the best PS2 games yet.


Runner-Up: GRAND THEFT AUTO VICE CITY


Best Game Boy Advance Game - METROID FUSION - Nintendo


METROID FUSION brought us the continuation of the classic side-scrolling METROID gameplay. While the game was a tad on the short side, it's quest was compelling and encounters with the SA-X were scarier than hell. Never before has a Game Boy title gripped us so much, and that's why it gets our GBA Game of the Year Award.


Runner-Ups: THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK TO THE PAST, SUPER MARIO ADVANCE 3


Best Surprise of the Year - ANIMAL CROSSING - Nintendo


ANIMAL CROSSING looked to be one of the stupidest kiddie games we had ever seen. Hater-of-all-things-kiddie Troy almost wretched during the press conference where Nintendo

Metroid Fusion

showed it off, but as we watched, the gameplay looked oddly catchy. Upon playing the game, we found out that it was good in a strange "THE SIMS" sort of way. Next thing you know, James is an ANIMAL CROSSING E-Reader card addict, searching downtown Salt Lake City with a bunch of other journalists at a junket looking for another fix. All of this from a neighborhood of animals?


Runner-Up: STEEL BATTALION


Best Use of the LORD OF THE RINGS license - THE TWO TOWERS - EA Games


EA Games made the best of what they had (which was the movie license) and turned it into a really spectacular game. The game is action-packed, and covers both THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING and THE TWO TOWERS. Black Label Games came out with their own version, FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, but its game was based on the book. While not bad, the game was a makeshift RPG with characters not too believable (the voice-acting and the "eyes" turned me off). THE TWO TOWERS is definitely the LORD OF THE RINGS game to get.


Runner-Up: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING

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