It's often said that the PC is both the best platform and the worst.
Often hindered by the hardware of the player, the PC platform has not
only a huge amount of promise, but can also constantly adapt to the
latest and greatest hardware and games. This year saw many ground-breaking
PC games, and the readers seemed to both prefer familiar names as well
as new kids on the block.
It's really not a big surprise that World of Warcraft came out on
top this year. After all, with a series as successful as Warcraft, what
could go wrong? Well, a lot HAS gone wrong up to this point, but
obviously not enough to dull true fansí enthusiasm towards its refined
MMORPG-gameplay and familiar, yet new, world. It's not just popular
because of its name, though. Blizzard put a lot of effort in to making
the game function, and their work is very commendable. Although the
servers have seemingly been hit with problem after problem resulting in
lag and increased downtime, it only gave players more time to head here
and vote the game in to first place.
So how did WoW earn this honor? What sets it apart from the rest? In
truth, the game is very similar to a lot of other MMORPGs in some
respects, but Blizzard has tuned their system so well that even despite
not breaking any new ground graphically, fans apparently respect it
above all other PC RPGs. With quests, a stable game economy, and so much
to do, it's really no wonder that World of Warcraft has taken first
place for last year, despite only being out for a little over a month
before 2005 came upon us all.
Coming in second is the ever-present Final Fantasy franchise.
With a very popular online game already released on consoles, it was only a matter of time before expansion packs hit the shelves for the PC. Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia was not only an expansion pack, but it was also the second available for the PC. With the new expansion pack come many new areas to explore in the world of Vana'diel, as well as a new, deep story to unravel. Although it boasted many improvements, Chains of Promathia was not invincible. One of thethe major disappointments for players was the lack of certain new jobs for the players. Overall, however, Chains of Promathia has been widely praised as a
great addition to the vast world of Vana'diel and the PC gaming library for many readers.
Neverwinter Nights has, in truth, been over for well over two and a
half years already; but I guess all that means is that the game can
stand the test of time, eh? Or perhaps most voters decided there wasn't
anything better to vote for. Regardless, Neverwinter Nights: Platinum was
released in 2004 adds both of the official expansion packs to the
original game package. It's a good value for someone who hasn't gotten
the chance to explore the Forgotten Realms in all its 3D goodness yet.
by Brian Hagan & Mikel Tidwell