With Halo, GTA: Vice City and Metal Gear 2 being released the year before, 2002 would be a hard act to follow but 2003 was the year that Nintendo brought out the big guns with new Zelda, Metroid and Mario Kart all being released.
Ubisoft also enjoyed a good year with Prince Of Persia and Beyond Good & Evil hitting the shelves whilst a little known franchise called Call Of Duty was also just starting out.
The Runners Up
The Call Of Duty series is one of the best in gaming history and it got off to a good start with its debut on PC but it has since been trumped by the mighty Modern Warfare games so it just misses out.
The brilliant Beyond Good & Evil was a great game that failed to capture the public's imagination but many gamers recognise it as something of a lost classic. Metroid Prime saw Samus return in style in a glorious 3D adventure while Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time also gave new life to an old series. Finally, Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic is a wonderful RPG that let you play on the dark side and was arguably the last great Star Wars game.
The Winner: Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker
Metroid ran it close but Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker is our winner. It's incredible now to think that so many gamers had doubts about Link's new direction when Wind Waker was unveiled to an angry press at SpaceWorld 2002. After the unrivalled majesty of Ocarina Of Time and the twisted genius that was Majora's Mask, many gamers were expecting a continuation of the series on Nintendo's new console and their appetites were whetted when Nintendo teased fans with a new realistic Zelda at SpaceWorld in 2000. Instead they got a cartoon.
But what a cartoon! When Wind Waker was released in 2003, the sceptics soon realised that they should have known better than to doubt Link. This incredible adventure got 10/10 in CVG and while the reviewer got a bit carried away by claiming it was the best Zelda yet, we can't argue with his closing comments. "As magical as you'd hope, this really has that epic feel. Pulse-racing battles, soul-warming humour and always a great sense of mystery."
It certainly was an epic and although some complained that they would have liked more dungeons and less sailing, Nintendo left gamers wanting more. And they got more in 2006 when Phantom Hourglass was released for DS.
Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker
Okay we've told you ours, now you tell us yours! Your top five, overall winner most importantly, why in the comments field below please.