Top Ten Best Xbox Games of 2003

Here are our picks for the best original Xbox games that were released in the year 2003.

01
of 10

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

What We Like

  • Very well written storylines.

  • Decisions and actions change story direction and outcome.

  • Great replayability.

  • Excellent voiceovers.

What We Don't Like

  • Graphics are not amazing, even at the time of its original release.

  • Some issues with crashing.

Arguably the best Xbox game ever, Knights of the Old Republic merged RPGs with Star Wars to create something special. The open gameplay, great story, amazing Jedi powers, and the fact you get to wield a lightsaber make KOTOR easy to love. Your actions towards good and evil also affected the storyline making multiple playthroughs a necessity.

02
of 10

Project Gotham Racing 2

What We Like

  • Play against others online.

  • Excellent graphics and sound.

  • Plenty of unlockable cars and a variety of racetracks.

What We Don't Like

  • No optional mode to practice driving.

  • AI for computer drivers is mundane.

PGR2 improved on every aspect of the original PGR that launched alongside the Xbox in November 2001. Better graphics, smoother gameplay, more cars, more tracks, better soundtrack,– PGR2 had it all.

03
of 10

Soul Caliber II

What We Like

  • Features Todd McFarlane's Spawn!

  • Supports 5.1 Dolby Surround and 720p HD.

  • Ability to toggle to original Japanese character voiceovers.

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't innovate much over its predecessor.

  • New and special characters look inconsistent with the game's style.

For a long time DOA3 was the only real fighter on the Xbox. And then Soul Calibur II came out and showed everyone what a real 3D fighter is supposed to be like. Soul Calibur II featured great gameplay along with a large cast of fighters (including Xbox exclusive Spawn).

04
of 10

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

What We Like

  • Exceptional visuals and graphics.

  • Forgiving gameplay that avoids being boring.

What We Don't Like

  • Character progression is minor and somewhat obscure.

  • Appearance of enemies can become predictable.

At the time it was released, Sands of Time was completely new and innovative. The graphics were gorgeous and the acrobatic, time altering, exploration heavy gameplay was a welcome change from the hack and slash bore-a-thons most action titles had become.

05
of 10

Crimson Skies

What We Like

  • Flying and air battles are exhilarating.

  • Multiplayer mode is fun and exciting.

  • Great graphics and cool plane designs.

What We Don't Like

  • Full 16-player online game can lag a bit at times.

  • Loading times can be lengthy.

Crimson Skies made airplane combat fast, furious, and easy on the eyes. It is extremely easy to get into and dogfighting on Xbox Live is a blast.

06
of 10

Beyond Good and Evil

What We Like

  • Graphics and environments are rich, evocative, and impressive.

  • Main character's expressions of emotion are amazing.

What We Don't Like

  • A bit shorter game than others.

  • A few minor visual inconsistencies in shadows.

Beyond Good & Evil will probably go down as the most under appreciated game in history. After lackluster initial sales, Ubisoft slashed the price of the game in only a few short weeks. Thrifty gamers picked it up for cheap and it quickly became a cult classic. To the non-hardcore, however, BG&E is still largely unknown which is a shame because this game is amazing.

07
of 10

Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis

What We Like

  • Satisfying to build your park.

  • Appealing god's-eye view of your work.

What We Don't Like

  • Graphics are average.

  • Not quite equal to other games in this genre.

A personal favorite of mine, Operation Genesis gave you complete freedom to create your own Jurassic Park. It was a real time sim game where you built a park, cloned dinosaurs, and tried to attract visitors. The best part is that you could just sit back and watch your dinosaurs which is a real thrill. Or, you could knock down the fences and let your critters go wild on your visitors.

08
of 10

Marvel vs. Capcom 2

What We Like

  • Action is fun and familiar.

  • Offers online gameplay, though with limits.

What We Don't Like

  • No Xbox Live online support.

  • Graphics quality is low, particularly for characters.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 still stands as one of the best 2D fighters ever. The gameplay is fast and frenetic and the graphics and animation are some of the best you’'ll find in a 2D fighter.

09
of 10

Panzer Dragoon Orta

What We Like

  • Excellent graphics.

  • Fast action.

  • Challenging to master.

What We Don't Like

  • Rail shooter gameplay style is dated.

  • Some maneuvers take a little getting used to.

Panzer Dragoon Orta is a gorgeous looking “on rails” shooter that had you riding a dragon and blasting everything in the sky. It is known for its difficulty but it is also extremely satisfying when you see it through to the end. Well worth playing for any Xbox owner.

10
of 10

Voodoo Vince

What We Like

  • Great puzzles to make you think.

  • Unique character and story.

  • Fun gameplay, and funny.

What We Don't Like

  • Gameplay can be challenging.

  • Doesn't bring anything new to the familiar mechanics of the platformer genre.

Voodoo Vince is a 3D action/adventure/platform game that traded most of the platforming for some great puzzles. The main character is a voodoo doll so, as you can imagine, his best offense is to actually hurt himself in order to hurt others. This creates a lot of funny and cool situations that make the whole experience unique and really enjoyable.