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Reader Results > Staff Results

The GameCube has often suffered in the past from a lack of solid games, especially in the RPG department. 2004, however, kicked that premise square in the shin with a delicious serving of more than a dozen games for the RPGamers crying for a quality title on the system. With so many to choose from, it must have been difficult for the readers to narrow it down to a top 3 in their minds. However, a trio did emerge in the end and their qualities easily shine through. Namco was certainly listening to those crying for superior quality when they released their game, Tales of Symphonia.

Best GameCube 2004 Winner
Tales of Symphonia

Rarely do we see a Tales game released in North America, and so their releases are highly anticipated with many waiting with bated breath. It seemed to be a good choice to release this particular one, and readers gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up, voting it first place in the GameCube category. Tales of Symphonia has many strong points going for it. It has an engaging storyline, which while filled with clichés, still manages to entrance many who pick up the game.

It also has a unique style of action-packed battles that keep the player involved in a way that a simple menu system can't. With many different characters from a variety of lifestyles and geographical locations, there is generally at least one each RPGamer can relate to as the game unfolds. Beautiful graphics and stunning musical scores will be appreciated even by the pickiest of gamers, and Tale stands out in many ways. It's not much of a surprise that it ended up as the top choice for the reader category.

Second Place - Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

For their second choice, the readers voted up the fun-filled Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. The sequel to the Paper Mario game that was so overlooked at the tail end of the N64's life, this particular Paper Mario comes in at a good time for the GameCube and is a positive addition to the system's lineup. With crazy battle mechanics, including an interactive audience and stage, it's hard not to laugh through most of the game at the crazy antics of Mario and his new crew of friends. The storyline, however, starts out very slowly and doesn't pick up until halfway through the game. In addition, there were many people who felt the graphics did not live up to the GameCube's potential. All in all, though, Paper Mario 2 is certainly deserving of its silver placing for the readers.

Third Place - Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean

Next on the reader's side is Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean. Long subtitles aside, Baten Kaitos is a fascinating game with gorgeous graphics and a soundtrack that makes audiophiles simply squeal in delight. The biggest drawback of Baten Kaitos is its dragging storyline, and the idea of a card-based battle system leaves people shuddering. Those RPGamers that braved the idea, though, soon found a novel battle system that works exceptionally well and sets the game apart as card battles done right. With the potential for up to 60 hours of gameplay, it's not hard to see why readers enjoyed it as much as they did, and it definitely stands out as one of the top three games for the GameCube this year for the readers.

by Anna Marie Whitehead

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