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What the hell were we thinking?!?!

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Another year that proved popular around the GR offices. Think the lack of '80s years in these features is shocking? One of them could have made it, but our Nintendo editor looked at the blistering pace Nintendo set in 2002, and this later year won out. This was a magical point when the diminutive console still had powerful third-party support and fresh takes on well-established series - a true banner year for the Cube and a fresh beginning for all three consoles.

Metroid Prime brought space huntress Samus Aran back from an eight year absence, thrusting players into a pulsating, breathing planet coursing with secret passages and wildly vicious creatures. Eternal Darkness and two exclusive Resident Evils proved the candy-colored console could scare the life out of you, while Super Mario Sunshine and Star Fox Adventures pulled you back into a blue-skied, smiley faced world packed with platforming goodness.

Ramping up the cuteness was Animal Crossing. Millions were lured into the daily chores and materialistic madness of those adorable forest creatures. Then you could tear all kinds of ass in the Cube-only Smuggler's Run: Warzones, bringing a much-needed adrenaline rush to slower-paced gamers. The seven people who took the GameCube online no doubt wish Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II would have caught on, though fans of bringing cities to their knees were too busy with Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee to notice.

But it wasn't just Nintendo's year - the sales from Kingdom Hearts and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City could put one of each in every single New York City apartment. The PS2 love continued with Ratchet and Clank, Rez, Sly Cooper and Suikoden III, while the Xbox brought Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind to the console crowd. Xbox owners also got to throw metal monsters at each other with MechAssault and Steel Battalion. Electronic Arts threw down the gauntlet with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (so under-rated) and Medal of Honor Frontline, and Burnout made its modest, pre-smash-hit debut courtesy of Acclaim.

The PC saw Battlefield 1942 blow the top off of online, team-based combat, and Neverwinter Nights remains the best Dungeons & Dragons game to date. WarCraft III further immersed us in the world of Azeroth by adding heroes, creeps and robust online features as well.

As the consoles fought each other, the Game Boy Advance rocked the handheld world with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Breath of Fire II, Phantasy Star Collection, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance and Metroid Fusion. Key franchises began to rise in 2002 as well (TimeSplitters 2, Splinter Cell ), so really sit back and think about how good you had it back then. We sure did.

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4 comments

  • xDxP - March 28, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    I can't believe the vast number of these games I've played through. Thanks for the memories guys, beautiful.
  • garnsr - March 27, 2011 5:50 p.m.

    Has there ever really been a bad year in games? 1984, I guess, but twelve months is a long time, and several great games always make it out in that much time.
  • chilarome - March 27, 2011 5:23 p.m.

    Oh controversy... I love you, because that means I can read more articles!
  • ruben9700 - January 25, 2009 12:49 a.m.

    First

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