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.
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
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