GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2004 Awards kick off Friday

Our ninth annual awards countdown will honor the year's highs and lows in gaming.

Comments

With 2005 just around the corner, it is almost time once again for GameSpot's ninth annual Best and Worst of the Year Awards. The Awards begin this Friday night, with our Year in Review news roundup, and coverage of the finalists in the Dubious Honors, Genre Awards, Platform Awards, and Special Achievement Awards categories.

Then, starting this weekend, GameSpot will start handing out medals to the winners of the Special Achievement Awards (Saturday, December 18) and Dubious Honors (Sunday, December 19). Next week will see the winners in the Genre Awards (Monday, December 20) and the Platform Awards (Tuesday, December 21). GameSpot Live will be running exclusive video content showcasing the winners of each category.

Next Tuesday will also see the 10 finalists for the Game of the Year named. The following day, GameSpot will crown our 2004 Game of the Year across all platforms. The next day, it will be your turn to pick your favorite game of the year when the voting for GameSpot's Readers' Choice Awards begins. The winners in those categories will be named on Saturday, January 17 at 6:00pm PST.

A near-complete listing of categories and finalists is below. To discuss the finalists, categories, or anything else awards-related, go to our official GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2004 forum.

CATEGORIES AND FINALISTS

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS (FINALISTS):

Best Original Music
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (Xbox, PC)
Halo 2 (Xbox)
Katamari Damacy (PS2)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
Myst IV Revelation (PC)

Most Surprisingly Good Game
City of Heroes (PC)
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (PC, Xbox)
Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball (Xbox)
Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders (Xbox)
TrackMania (PC)

Best Licensed Music
Battlefield Vietnam (PC)
Def Jam: Fight for NY (Xbox, GC, PS2)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
Red Dead Revolver (Xbox, PS2)
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (PC, Xbox, GC, PS2)

Best Story
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (PC, Xbox)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
Myst IV Revelation (PC)
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GC)

Best Sound Effects
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (PC, Xbox)
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Halo 2 (Xbox)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
Myst IV Revelation (PC)

Best Graphics, Technical
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (PC, Xbox)
Doom 3 (PC)
Far Cry (PC)
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Rome: Total War (PC)

Best Voice Acting
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (PC, Xbox)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors (Xbox)
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Xbox)

Best Graphics, Artistic
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
Myst IV Revelation (PC)
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GC)
World of Warcraft (PC)

Best Expansion Pack
Call of Duty: United Offensive (PC)
IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles - Ace (PC)
Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots (PC)
Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed (PC)
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword (PC)

Best Game Based on a TV or Film Property
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (PC, Xbox)
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 (PS2)
James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (Xbox, PS2, GC)
The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth (PC)
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Xbox)

Best Budget Game
Colin McRae Rally 04 (Xbox)
ESPN NFL 2K5 (Xbox, PS2)
ESPN NHL 2K5 (Xbox, PS2)
Guilty Gear X2 #Reload (Xbox)
Katamari Damacy (PS2)

Best New Character
The Boss - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
Dog - Half-Life 2 (PC)
The King of All Cosmos - Katamari Damacy (PS2)
Kreia - Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Xbox)
Ryder - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)

Funniest Game
Alien Hominid (GC, PS2)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
Katamari Damacy (PS2)
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude (PC, Xbox, PS2)
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GC)

Biggest News
Acclaim shutters offices, staffers ushered off premises
Big Deal: EA and NFL ink exclusive licensing agreement
ESPN NFL 2K5 officially $19.99
PSP hitting Japan on December 12 for $185
Valve vs. Vivendi Universal dogfight heats up in US District Court

Most Innovative Game
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (PC, Xbox)
Feel the Magic: XY/XX (DS)
Full Spectrum Warrior (PC, Xbox)
Katamari Damacy (PS2)
Perimeter (PC)

Best Multiplayer Game
Burnout 3: Takedown (Xbox, PS2)
ESPN NFL 2K5 (Xbox, PS2)
Halo 2 (Xbox)
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow (Xbox, PC)
Unreal Tournament 2004 (PC)

Best Use of a Celebrity
James Woods (Mike Toreno) - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
Jean Reno (Jacques) - Onimusha 3: Demon Siege (PS2)
Samuel L. Jackson (Officer Tenpenny) - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
Vin Diesel (Richard B. Riddick) - The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (Xbox, PC)
Willem Dafoe (Nikolai Diavolo) - James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (Xbox, GC, PS2)

Best Original Game Mechanic
Burnout 3: Takedown (Xbox, PS2)
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (Xbox, PC)
Fight Night 2004 (Xbox, GC, PS2)
Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy (Xbox, PS2)
Halo 2 (Xbox)

Most Improved Sequel
Burnout 3: Takedown (Xbox, PS2)
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 (PS2)
FIFA Soccer 2005 (PC, Xbox, GC, PS2)
Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders (Xbox)
Unreal Tournament 2004 (PC)

DUBIOUS HONORS

Most Despicable Product Placement
Cy Girls (PS2)
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (Xbox, PS2)
Need for Speed Underground 2 (PC, Xbox, GC, PS2)

Worst Use of Celebrity Voices
The Bard's Tale (Xbox, PS2)
Catwoman (PC, Xbox, GC, PS2)
ESPN NFL 2K5 (Xbox, PS2)
Need for Speed Underground 2 (PC, Xbox, GC, PS2)
WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw (PS2)

Most Disappointing Delay
Forza Motorsport (Xbox)
Gran Turismo 4 (PS2)
Resident Evil 4 (GC)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (PC)
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (PC, Xbox)

Biggest Disappointment
Driver 3 (Xbox, PS2)
Doom 3 (PC)
Halo 2 (Xbox)
Fable (Xbox)
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (Xbox, GC, PS2)

Most Baditude
Need for Speed Underground 2 (PC, Xbox, GC, PS2)
NFL Street 2 (Xbox, GC, PS2)
Outlaw Golf 2 (Xbox, PS2)
Pocket Kingdom (NGE)
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (PC, Xbox, GC, PS2)

Most Light Bloom
Def Jam: Fight for NY (Xbox, GC, PS2)
Fable (Xbox)
Hitman: Contracts (PC, Xbox, PS2)
Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders (Xbox)
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (PC, Xbox, GC, PS2)

Worst Use of a Good License
Bad Boys: Miami Takedown (Xbox, GC, PS2)
Fight Club (Xbox, PS2)
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (Xbox, GC, PS2)
Seven Samurai 20XX (PS2)
Spider-Man 2 (PC)

War of the Year
Vietnam
[The War] on Terror

Best Game No One Played
Codename: Panzers, Phase One (PC)
Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors (Xbox)
Silent Storm (PC)
TrackMania (PC)
Wade Hixton's Counter Punch (GBA)

Flat-Out Worst Game
Apocalyptica (PC)
Bad Boys: Miami Takedown (Xbox, GC, PS2)
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (PC)
FBI Hostage Rescue (PC)
Space Raiders (GC)

GENRE AWARDS

Best Action Adventure Game
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (PC, Xbox)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GC)
Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)

Best Shooter
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Halo 2 (Xbox)
Far Cry (PC)
Painkiller (PC)
Unreal Tournament 2004 (PC)

Best Fighting Game
Dead or Alive Ultimate (Xbox)
Def Jam: Fight for NY (Xbox, GC, PS2)
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 (PS2)
Guilty Gear X2 #Reload (Xbox)
Mortal Kombat: Deception (Xbox, PS2)

Best Platformer
Kirby & the Amazing Mirror (GBA)
Jak 3 (PS2)
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (PS2)
Sly 2: Band of Thieves (PS2)
Sonic Advance 3 (GBA)

Best Adventure Game
Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly Director's Cut (Xbox)
Law & Order: Justice is Served (PC)
Myst IV Revelation (PC)
Silent Hill 4: The Room (PC, Xbox)
Syberia II (PC)

Best Driving Game
Burnout 3: Takedown (Xbox, PS2)
Colin McRae Rally 2005 (PC, Xbox)
NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup (Xbox, PS2, GC)
Rallisport Challenge 2 (Xbox)
TOCA Race Driver 2: The Ultimate Racing Simulator (PC, Xbox)

Best Puzzle/Rhythm Game
Feel the Magic: XY/XX (DS)
Dance Dance Revolution Extreme (PS2)
Karaoke Revolution 3 (PS2)
Katamari Damacy (PS2)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA)

Best Role-Playing Game
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (GC)
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GC)
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (PS2)
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Xbox)
Tales of Symphonia (GC)

Best Massively Multiplayer Online Game
City of Heroes (PC)
EverQuest II (PC)
Final Fantasy XI (PS2)
World of Warcraft (PC)

Best Traditional Sports Game
ESPN NFL 2K5 (Xbox, PS2)
ESPN NHL 2K5 (Xbox, PS2)
Fight Night 2004 (Xbox, PS2, GC)
MVP Baseball 2004 (Xbox, PS2, GC)
World Soccer Winning Eleven 7 International (PC, PS2)

Best Alternative Sports Game
Mario Power Tennis (GC)
NBA Ballers (Xbox, PS2)
NFL Street (Xbox, GC, PS2)
Pool Paradise (GC, PS2)
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (PC, Xbox, GC, PS2)

Best Strategy Game
Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders (Xbox)
Rome: Total War (PC)
Sid Meier's Pirates! (PC)
Silent Storm (PC)
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (PC)

PLATFORM AWARDS

Best N-Gage Game
Asphalt: Urban GT
Colin McRae Rally 2005
FIFA Soccer 2005
Pathway to Glory
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm

Best Game Boy Advance Game
Astro Boy: Omega Factor
Kirby & the Amazing Mirror
Metroid: Zero Mission
Pokémon FireRed Version / Pokémon LeafGreen Version
Sonic Advance 3

Best GameCube Game
Mario Power Tennis
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Pikmin 2
Tales of Symphonia

Best PlayStation 2 Game
Burnout 3: Takedown
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
World Soccer Winning Eleven 7 International

Best Xbox Game
Burnout 3: Takedown
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
Halo 2
Ninja Gaiden
Rallisport Challenge 2

Best PC Game
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay - Developer's Cut
Half-Life 2
Rome: Total War
Unreal Tournament 2004
World of Warcraft

GAME OF THE YEAR (FINALISTS)
To be announced on Tuesday, December 21 (11:00am PST):

GAME OF THE YEAR (WINNER)
To be announced on Wednesday, December 22 (11:00am PST)

READERS' CHOICE AWARDS (Voting Begins Thursday, December 23, 11:00am PST)

PC
Best Action Game
Best Adventure Game
Best Driving Game
Best Role-Playing Game
Best Simulation
Best Sports Game
Best Strategy Game
PC Game of the Year

Xbox
Best Action/Adventure Game
Best Driving Game
Best Role-Playing Game
Best Sports Game
Xbox Game of the Year

GameCube
Best Action/Adventure Game
Best Driving Game
Best Role-Playing Game
Best Sports Game
GameCube Game of the Year

PlayStation 2
Best Action/Adventure Game
Best Driving Game
Best Role-Playing Game
Best Sports Game
PlayStation 2 Game of the Year

Portable
GBA Game of the Year
DS Game of the Year
N-Gage Game of the Year

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

  •   View Comments (0)
    Join the conversation
    There are no comments about this story