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 RPGamer Awards 2003 2003 Results  
   Overall
   PS2
   Computer
   Online
   GameCube
   GBA
   Xbox

   Graphics
   Story
   Fun Value
   Battle System
   Music
   Gameplay
   Localization

   Letdown

Music
Best...

A game can usually have many appealing sides that make us spring up in joy, but one category of RPGs are often overlooked. We know the names of the companies, we know the names of the artists, and we even know the names of the guys that designed a few characters; but rarely are RPGamers knowledgable of the names and styles of the multitude of RPG music composers. You're sure to know who Nobuo Uematsu or even Yasunori Mitsuda, but how about the countless other artists? Well, we know their music that's for sure. Those are the albums that rank this year on the 2003 Best Music list for RPGamer staff members.

1st
Final Fantasy XI

The controversial jump to the MMORPG genre for the latest installment of the Final Fantasy series has not only been proven a successful venture, but its even been heralded in the realm of original music. Final Fantasy XI's world is brought to life by a collaboration of three of the more well-known known composers in the RPG business -- Naosha Mizuta, Kumi Tanioka, and Nobuo Uematsu all banded together to bring a score of majestically beautiful music for the online world of Final Fantasy XI's Vana'diel. While Mizuta is reported as having written a good bulk of the music, Tanioka's talents are heard predominantly on the theme songs for the females of the Vana'diel races. These three pull off a delightful score that helps pull the player into melting pot world of Vana'diel in a fun, addictive MMORPG.

  2nd
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The Zelda series has often managed to find its way onto the Best Music list for staffers, and this year is no different with the much loved The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Longtime Nintendo composer Koji Kondo, who has arguably created some of the most memorable melodies for staff members and readers alike, takes another step in securing his place into the hearts of all RPGamers with the score from the GameCube's Wind Waker. The arrangement of instruments used on Wind Waker includes a wide range of instruments from guitars and whistles, to the more extravagant orchestra instruments. The playful themes that seemed to compliment the cel graphics seemed to contradict with some deeper themes within the game, but when such a powerful score it just wasn't enough to make RPGamer staff members leave this Zelda off their lists.

3rd
Final Fantasy Tactice Advance

Although you may not see that other Final Fantasy sequel game on the staff's Best Music list this year, RPGamer staff members certainly were still able to enjoy the music from the largest known name in the RPG genre. With it's fantasy setting, and even more fantastical story, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance's musical score showcases the talents of Hitoshi Sakimoto and the widely known and loved Final Fantasy music guru Nobuo Uematsu. With a crisp, clear, and often jaw-dropping score that comes clear through the Game Boy Advance speakers, Tactics Advance certainly amazed the staff with a clear and fitting musical score. Tactics Advance is certainly a game to be heard and appreciated for the hard work, and RPGamer staff members think so as well; giving Tactics Advance the bronze in Best Music 2003.

  4th
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

Coming in fourth place is a game that readers and staff seemed to disagree with across the board this year. While readers didn't exactly give Disgaea: Hour of Darkness much in the way of credit or awards, the RPGamer staff members seem to think of Disgaea as a great game for many reasons. A part of those reasons is its musical score, and although the music of Disgaea isn't exactly an epic masterpiece aurally, the score is still certainly still respectable. While the music of Junichi Nakatsuru may not exactly suit the readers, the highly-enjoyable score of carnival-like synthesized themes makes Disgaea a game to enjoy. Disgaea's score is one that fits the environment of the hellish battle of Laharl in Disgaea and for that RPGamer staff members give this often overlooked game the fourth place for Best Music.

5th
Dark Cloud 2

Finishing up the list for Best Music of 2003 is yet another game that didn't register on the radar for readers, but staff members certainly have an eye and an ear for good games and good music. Adding yet another sequel to the long list of them this year the strategy-action-simulation RPG Dark Cloud 2 managed to grab the attention of RPGamer staff members as a score of great fantasy music. With a score that often ends up being a catchy, Tomohito Nishiura managed to create a score that was fitting, and interesting at the same time. RPGamer staff members even caught themselves humming tunes and loving the sound of this game, so giving it the final spot in the list of the Best Music RPGs of 2003 was a no-brainer.

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