Kingdom Hearts was the selection for Best Battle System of 2002 by the readers, and with its adventure-style real-time combat, it kept many RPGamers active. While the plot of Kingdom Hearts may have been dismissed by some as childish, the battles of the game were most certainly not. Some veterans were pleased to see that the battles provided a significant challenge as opposed to some of the more newbie-friendly titles in recent years.
The staff veered from this decision slightly and went with Konami's epic title Suikoden III as the best in the battle system category. Besides providing traditional opportunities to level-up as in many console RPGs, other options were available (and necessary) in battle as characters would duel enemies one-on-one or spar with squads in large campaigns. This, and the fact that over 100 characters could be used in the game provided for excellent combat.
Suikoden III was also a favorite with the readers as it gained their second pick, while Grandia II took third place honors. Originally for the Sega Dreamcast, Grandia II was ported to the PlayStation 2 and PC last year. The series has always been known for its unique battle systems, and Grandia II is no exception to this, as it improves on one of the more frenetic real-time battle systems ever to grace a console.
RPGamer's staff picked Tactics Ogre: The Knights of Lodis for the Game Boy Advance as its second favorite battle system. Tactics Ogre proved the critics that claimed the GBA was a dumping ground for rejected SNES titles wrong by bringing its classic battle system and multitude of classes and skills to Nintendo's handheld. Not to sway too far from the readers' selections, the staff rounded out their picks with Kingdom Hearts taking the third position.