January 14, 2003 - Two weeks ago, the world marched meekly into the year 2003. In between the fireworks and mouth-kisses from Tal, we took a little time to mark the passing of yet another great year for PC games. To celebrate this year (and fulfill our employment contracts thereby ensuring another year working on the mother ship at the IGN compound) we decided to post our picks for the best games in each category.

We'll be revealing a few of these awards each day this week. First up we'll announce the genre awards, spotlighting our picks for best action, best strategy and best roleplaying games as well as our picks for all the rest of the categories. We'll also be bringing you our choices for best graphics, sound and story. Finally, on Friday we'll announce our pick for best PC game of the year. This Friday we'll also start running a poll for the best game across all platforms before announcing our pick the following Friday. Clear enough? Well, we have it all written down on a big white board somewhere, so if you really need to get it straight, just swing by and we can show you the board.

Alongside our choices we'll also spotlight the games that you, the readers, voted on over the weekend. While in most cases there's a slight difference in the overall winners, the fact that the same three or four games showed up in the nominations clearly indicates that this was a strong year for games.







Editors' Choice: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Developer:
KnowWonder Digital Mediaworks
Publisher: Electronic Arts

Why it rocked: Say what you want about the boy, but this British brainchild of J.K. Rowling deserves a game that lives up to the hype of the series. As Harry makes a slightly darker turn, EA has responded by offering up an uncomplicated but nevertheless demanding game. Dismissed by some as a kid's title, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets nevertheless held us spellbound with a great use of the license and some top-notch production.

Runner-Up: Syberia







Readers' Choice: Syberia
Developer:
Microids
Publisher: Microids

Why it rocked: Adventure games are still in a depressed state compared to a few years back, but we can always count on Dreamcatcher and Microids to fill the void. Adventure gamers have had to make do with only one or two truly great releases every year, from Grim Fandango to The Longest Journey. While we didn't rave about it as much as some, there's no denying that the story of a young woman in a slightly sinister town run by toys is damn compelling and well worth your vote as adventure game of the year.

Runner-Up: Silent Hill 2