Beyond Good & Evil is an action-adventure third-person video game by Ubisoft. The story follows the adventures of Jade, an investigative reporter and martial artist, who works with a resistance movement to reveal a planet-wide alien conspiracy. The player controls Jade and allies, solving puzzles, fighting enemies, and obtaining photographic evidence.
The player takes control of controls Jade, who is on her quest to investigate numerous installations in search of the truth about a war with an alien threat. Gameplay elements involve interacting with the environment and solving puzzles. Occasionally the player requires help from other, computer-controlled characters in order to advance in the game. A sequel titled Beyond Good & Evil 2 is said to be in the making.
Call of Duty is a World War II historical first-person shooter video game by Infinity Ward. The game simulates warfare of World War II. An expansion pack titled Call of Duty: United Offensive was released for the game in 2004.
Gameplay revolves around the American paratroopers, British paratroopers, and the Red army. Other versions were released for PC, including Collector’s Edition, Game of the Year Edition, and the Deluxe Edition (containing the United Offensive expansion). In 2006, Call of Duty: War Chest was released for PC, collecting Call of Duty, United Offensive expansion and Call of Duty 2.
Chaos Legion is a hack and slash video game by Capcom. The game revolves around Sieg Warheit, a Knight of the Dark Glyphs, who is on a quest to find his former friend who has stolen the forbidden book “Apocrypha of Yzarc” and stop him from releasing the evil spirit Azrail.
The evil spirit, if released would destroy the three planes of existence: The Celestial World, the Middle World, and the Nether World. Gameplay involves fighting and defending against numerous enemies. attack the player in waves, and progress to the next part of the stage often requires defeat of all enemies in the area. The main feature that lends originality to the game is the addition of the “Chaos Legion”, which are supernatural creatures that fight alongside the player.
Deus Ex: Invisible War is an action role-playing first-person video game by Ion Storm. It is a sequel to the Deus Ex game. The game is set in 2072, twenty years after Deus Ex, in a world being rebuilt after a catastrophic event called “The Collapse.”
Gameplay combines multiple game genres, including stealth, role-playing, and first-person shooter After a terrorist attack destroys the city of Chicago, the player takes control of Alex D, a trainee at the Tarsus Academy, whose support is sought by several organizations. As the game progresses, the player learns of conspiratorial factions which seek to drastically change the world. A prequel titled Deus Ex: Human Revolution was released in 2011.
Enclave is a third-person action role-playing video game by Starbreeze Studios. The game is set in a medieval fantasy realm in which players can choose to take on the role of either a “Warrior of Light” or a “Minion of Darkness”, complete with separate and unique missions reflecting the nature of that decision.
Enter the Matrix is an action-adventure video game by Shiny Entertainment. The game is based on The Matrix series of movies and its story follows that of The Matrix Reloaded, featuring over an hour of original video footage from the movie.
Players take the role of two characters from Reloaded and Revolutions, Ghost (Anthony Wong) and Niobe (Jada Pinkett-Smith), members of the same group of rebels as Morpheus,Trinity, and Neo, the protagonists of the series. Niobe is the Captain of the Logos, the fastest ship in the rebel fleet. Ghost is the ship’s first mate, weapons guru, and a deep-thinking, philosophical assassin. The game takes place at roughly the same time as the events in Reloaded.
Freedom Fighters is a third-person shooter video game by IO Interactive. A modified version of the Hitman 2: Silent Assassin game engine was used for the game. The game takes place in an alternate history where the Soviet Union has invaded and occupied New York City.
The player takes control of Christopher Stone, a plumber turned American Resistance movement leader. Christopher then sets out to fight the invaders. Gameplay involves navigating through the streets of New York with a controllable squad of teammates while fighting the occupying Soviet forces. Charisma points are gained by performing various deeds, such as capturing a base or destroying enemy supplies. The more charisma gained, the more squad mates the character can recruit, up to a maximum of twelve. The player can direct recruits by giving them simple orders such as follow, attack, and defend.
Galactic Civilizations is a turn-based strategy video game by Stardock. The game is a remake of a vintage series of games with the same title. An expansion pack titled Galactic Civilizations: Altarian Prophecy was released in 2004. A sequel, Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords was released in 2006. It is said that Galactic Civilizations III is in production.
Gameplay takes place in the future, where humankind has made contact with the 5 other major alien races. Space travel is risky and expensive, requiring huge jump gates which only permit travel between two specific points. Due to the high difficulty of space travel, the galaxy remains mostly uncolonized. The humans discover hyperdrive, which permits fast travel between any two stars. The discovery is shared with the other five major races. All communication stops. The humans consider that sharing their discovery may have been a mistake. Now that the galaxy is open for exploration, there is going to be a rush to claim all the uncolonized worlds.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is an open world action-adventure third-person video game by Rockstar North. The game has a 1980s theme and it is the sixth game to be released in the Grand Theft Auto series. It is the sequel to Grand Theft Auto III.
Gameplay takes place in an open world environment, where Vice City is based on Miami. The player can freely explore the city and interact with their surroundings. The game is set in 1986 within the fictional city of Vice City. The player takes control of Tommy Vercetti, a Mafia hitman who is released from prison. After his involvement in a drug deal gone wrong, Tommy seeks out those responsible while building a criminal empire and seizing power from other criminal organizations in the city.
Halo: Combat Evolved is a sci-fi first-person shooter video game by Bungie. Originally released for the Xbox game console, a PC version of the game has been released in 2003.
Gameplay takes place in the 26th century, with the player taking controlling the Master Chief, a cybernetically-enhanced supersoldier. The player is accompanied by Cortana, an artificial intelligence who occupies the Master Chief’s neural interface. Players battle various aliens as they attempt to uncover the secrets of the eponymous Halo, a ring-shaped artificial world. The game has been praised for its story.
Homeworld 2 is a real-time strategy video game by Relic Entertainment. It is the sequel to an earlier game titled Homeworld, featuring enhanced graphics and audio.
The story concerns Hiigara’s response to a new enemy called the Vaygr. Gameplay takes a new direction. In contrast to the closely equivalent Kushan and Taiidan forces of the original game, Vaygr and Hiigaran spaceships differ significantly in design and application. Homeworld 2 shares the movement system and three-dimensional play area of its predecessor. Units are moved three-dimensionally using a combination of mouse movements and key presses to modify the z-axis of the destination position.
Hulk is an action third-person video game by Radical Entertainment. The game is based on the 2003 movie titled Hulk and acts as a sequel to the movie, being set about 1 year after the events of the film.
The game begins in a dream sequence where a man named Bruce Banner transforms into a large and powerful monster dubbed the Hulk and destroys waves of soldiers and tanks sent by the military to attack him. Upon awakening, Bruce Banner is contacted by his old mentor Dr. Crawford who explains that he has developed a cure for the Hulk called the Gamma Orb. Unfortunately, military troops led by the corrupt General John Ryker have raided the lab.
I.G.I.-2: Covert Strike is an action stealth-based first-person shooter video game by Innerloop Studios. It is the sequel to the earlier game Project I.G.I.: I’m Going In. The sequel added multiplayer online play and limited save game capability. Chris Ryan, a former Special Air Service operative best known for being the lone successful escapee of Bravo Two Zero, served as a consultant to the game.
The player takes control of David Jones, an agent working for the Institute for Geotactical Intelligence and former British SAS operator. He is sent to the Carpathian mountains to recover a set of EMP chips stolen by a group of Russian mafia from a high-tech US facility. The game’s plot features a rogue Chinese General, “Wu Xing” as the primary antagonist. Xing orchestrates various events in order to get electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weaponry on a space rocket that he has launch control over. The game was banned in China because it was perceived to damage the Chinese army’s image.
Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb is an action-adventure third-person video game by The Collective. The game is a new adventure of fictional archeologist Indy. The story takes place in 1935, between the events of Indiana Jones and the Shrine of the Sea Devil and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
The game begins in the jungles of Ceylon, where Indiana Jones is searching for the idol of Kouru Watu. After retrieving the idol, Jones meets a Nazi named Albrecht Von Beck who also seeks it. Jones defeats Von Beck’s henchmen and takes his leave while Von Beck is attacked by a giant albino crocodile. Back at school in New York City, Chinese official Marshall Kai Ti Chan and his female assistant Mei Ying inform Jones of the “Heart of the Dragon”, a black pearl buried with the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi. The Heart is said to grant the wielder immense magical power, and Kai wants Jones to retrieve it before it falls into the wrong hands. Mei Ying breaks open the Ceylon idol to find the first piece of the “Mirror of Dreams” inside it, an artifact that will help navigate through the Emperor’s Tomb and reveal the entrance to Huangdi’s crypt.
Madden NFL 2004 is a sports simulation American football video game by EA Tiburon. New features in the game include a new owner mode option that allows the player to control a franchise, allowing the player to take on all the responsibilities related to owning a professional football team. From regulating hot dog prices, to team relocation, to hiring and firing the coaching staff. Another new feature is the ability to edit a historic team. Additionally, a new training camp mode which helps players progress faster by putting him through mini-camp drills.
Master of Orion III is a turn-based strategy video game by Quicksilver Software. It is the third game in the Master of Orion series. The game is the sequel to Master of Orion II.
The player discovers that the planet called Antares in Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares was actually a forward base, “ConJenn”. Following the events of Master of Orion II, the Antarans retaliated and defeated the young races of the Orion Sector, enslaving all of the people on every planet, and destroying all research and military centers, effectively making any retaliation impossible. A thousand years later, the Antarans mysteriously disappeared due to an outbreak of their “Harvester” bioweapons program, which wiped out 98% of the population living in the Antaran sector. Survivors were left primarily on only two planets: Antares itself, and the Antarans living on the planet Orion ruling the Orion Sector from Master of Orion II.
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne is a third-person shooter video game by Remedy Entertainment. It is the second game in the Max Payne series. A sequel titled Max Payne 3 was released in 2012.
The player takes control of Max Payne, a former DEA agent for the New York City Police Department and a fugitive framed for the murder of his best friend and fellow cop Alex, by the corrupted agent, B.B., in New York City during the events of Max Payne. Two years after the events of the first game, Max has cleared his name and is now an NYPD detective. He reunites with Mona Sax, whom he met in the previous game, as they set out to resolve a conspiracy of death and betrayal, finding the Inner Circle in the center of it all.
Midnight Club II is a racing video game by Rockstar San Diego. It is the sequel to Midnight Club: Street Racing, which unfortunately was not released for the PC platform.
Gameplay involves the players racing through open world city environments based on Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo. The game also had an online multiplayer feature. Players race through a series of checkpoints, represented by columns of light. In most races, the order in which the checkpoints must be cleared is prescribed. The game features many cars the player can choose to drive and race. The cars resemble real-life vehicles but have subtle differences to their counterparts, such as different headlights or tail lights.
PlanetSide is a massively-multiplayer online first-person shooter video game by Sony Online Entertainment. PlanetSide chronicles the efforts of three factions as they fight for territorial control over ten different continents on the planet Auraxis. The game can be played in both a first-person and third-person perspective.
Players take control of soldiers fighting for one of the three factions within the game. The soldiers can specialize in various fields such as combat vehicle crewman, infantry, invisible infiltrator or a variety of combat support roles such as combat medic or combat engineer. Battles can involve hundreds of players in a single fight and concern control over territory and strategic points. A sequel titled PlanetSide 2 was released in 2012.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a third-person action-adventure video game by Ubisoft. The game is a reboot of the classic video game series Prince of Persia.
Gameplay focuses on acrobatics, agility, and combat. Throughout much of the game, the player must attempt to traverse the palace by running across walls, ascending or descending chasms by jumping back and forth between walls, avoiding traps, climbing structures and jumping from platform to platform, making other types of well-timed leaps, solving puzzles and using discovered objects to progress. Due to the game’s success, three followups were released: Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (2004), Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (2005) and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (2010).
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is an action-adventure platform video game by Ubisoft. It is the third main game released in the Rayman series and the sequel to Rayman 2: The Great Escape. It tells the story of how Rayman stops an evil lum from taking over the world with his army of soldiers.
Rayman can now find special “Laser Washing Powder” cans containing one of five temporary power-ups. The Vortex allows Rayman to fire mini-tornadoes instead of punching, the Heavy Metal Fist increases Rayman’s strength and allows him to break down certain doors, the Lockjaw gives Rayman extendable claw weapons that can be used to latch onto and electrocute enemies or swing across gaps, the Shock Rocket allows Rayman to fire a remote-controlled missile, and the Throttle Copter provides Rayman with a special helmet that allows him to fly vertically for a limited time.
Red Faction II is a sci-fi first-person shooter video game by Volition, Inc. It is the sequel to the amazing game Red Faction. The game is set on future Mars in the year 2080.
Five years after the events of Red Faction, the nanotechnology developed by the head scientist of the Ultor Corporation prior to its fall has been claimed by the Earth Defense Force (EDF). With this technology, the EDF commences a reorganization of the Ultor Corporation with a particular focus on enhanced supersoldiers and suitable weaponry. However, the research that was done by Capek in his laboratories has been consequently stolen by other militant groups and assorted terrorist organizations. This has gone on for years; the research has changed hands in the criminal underworld many times. The player takes the role of an explosives expert (codenamed Alias) as he embarks on a special operations mission to claim the research data for the Republic of the Commonwealth.
Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy video game by Big Huge Games. The development of the game was led by the game designer Brian Reynolds, of Civilization II and Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri.
The game features 18 civilizations playable through 8 ages of world history. Any of the game’s nations can be played during any age, regardless of that nation’s fate throughout actual history. Each of the 18 civilizations in the game has 4 to 8 eight unique units. Gameplay involves gathering resources, building or repairing damaged buildings. The game was re-released in 2014 titled Rise of Nations: Extended Edition, with improved graphics and including its expansion.
Silent Hill 3 is a survival horror third-person video game by Konami. It is the third game released in the Silent Hill series and a sequel to Silent Hill 2. The game’s themes are continued from past installments.
Gameplay in Silent Hill 3 is very similar that of its two predecessors. The three main gameplay elements are combat, exploration and puzzle-solving The game is set 17 years after the events of Silent Hill in which Harry Mason defeats the god of the town cult and is given a baby girl to care for. The game focuses on Heather Mason, a teenage girl raised by Harry in Portland. She discovers that the cult plans to use her to birth their god, and becomes caught in a conflict within the cult.
SimCity 4 is a city-building simulation video game by Maxis. It is the fourth game in the SimCity series and the sequel to SimCity 3000. An expansion pack titled SimCity 4: Rush Hour, adding extra features to the game was released. SimCity 4: Deluxe Edition was also released, combining the original game and Rush Hour expansion.
Gameplay involves creating a region of land by terraforming and then to designing and building a settlement which grows into a city. Different areas of land can be zoned as commercial, industrial, or residential developments, as well as building and maintaining public services, transport, and utilities. For the city to succeed, players must manage its finances, environment, and quality of life for its residents. Night and day cycles and other special effects are introduced for the first time in the SimCity series. The game was followed by SimCity Societies (2007) and SimCity (2013).
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is an action first-person (and third-person) shooter video game by Raven Software. The game was re-released with the other Star Wars: Jedi Knight games (Star Wars: Dark Forces, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith and Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast) in 2009.
The game is set in the Star Wars universe. The player takes control of Jaden Korr, a student at the Jedi Academy under the tutelage of Kyle Katarn. The player must complete various missions assigned to them by Katarn and Luke Skywalker. Players have access to a variety of firearms from that universe, as well as lightsabers and Force powers which can be used for combat. A multiplayer mode was also featured in the game.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a role-playing video game by BioWare. A sequel titled Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords was released for PC in 2005.
The story takes place approximately 4,000 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire. Former Jedi Darth Malak, a Dark Lord of the Sith and Darth Revan’s former apprentice, has unleashed a Sith armada against theRepublic. Malak’s aggression has left the Jedi scattered and vulnerable, which caused many Jedi Knights to fall in battle and others have sworn allegiance to Malak. In addition to the standard gameplay, there are several minigame events that come up as the game progresses.
The Simpsons: Hit & Run is an action-adventure video game by Radical Entertainment. It is based on the animated TV series The Simpsons. The story and dialogue were crafted by writers from The Simpsons and all character voices are by the actual cast.
Gameplay revolves around the Simpson family, who witness many strange incidents that occur in Springfield city such as security cameras, mysterious vans, crop circles, and a “new and improved” flavor of the popular soft drink Buzz Cola (which causes insanity!). When the family takes matters into their own hands, along with the help of Apu, they discover numerous shocking secrets, and soon realize these incidents are part of a larger alien conspiracy. The playable characters in the game are Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge and Apu.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield is a tactical shooter video game by Ubisoft. The Rainbow Six video game series are based on a best-selling novel of the same title. An expansion titled Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword was released in 2004.
An elite multinational counter-terrorism task-force Rainbow finds itself investigating a series of attacks by neo-fascist terrorists against South American oil interests and European financial institutions, which threaten the rest of the world. Rainbow is enlisted to discover the neo-fascist terrorists’ location and found out who is organizing and funding the attacks. Rainbow eventually traces the source of the attacks to Argentina.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell is a stealth video game by Ubisoft Montreal. The story follows the activities of NSA Black Ops agent Sam Fisher.
Gameplay primarily focuses on stealth with heavy emphasis on light and darkness. The player is encouraged to move through the shadows for concealment whenever possible. The game displays a “light meter” that reflects how visible the player character is to enemies, and night vision and thermal vision goggles to help the player navigate in darkness. The use of stealth over brute force is heavily encouraged throughout the game.
Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness is an action-adventure third-person video game by Core Design. It is the sixth game in the Tomb Raider series and acts as a sequel to Tomb Raider Chronicles and Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation.
The story follows Lara Croft as she attempts to clear herself of murdering her former mentor Werner Von Croy while investigating the activities of a black magic cult. Players take control of Lara Croft through the majority of the game. Most of Lara’s basic moves are carried over from the previous game, such as walking, jumping, climbing, swinging on ropes and standard gunplay. Her new moves include a back-flip, a small hop, army-crawling, hand-to-hand combat and a “super-jump” that can be performed whilst running. The game also features new weapons such as a K2 Impactor stun gun and upgraded versions of weapons like the shotgun.
Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun is a real-time strategy game by Paradox Entertainment. It is based on the Victorian period (1837-1901) and beyond, specifically 1836-1920 for the main game, and extended until 1936 if the expansion is installed.
Gameplay focuses on internal management, economy, covering the industrialization and social/political changes in a country. The main goal is to end the game with most Victory Points. To get victory points, the layer needs to score in three categories: Industry, Prestige and Military. The winner of the game is determined by the combined score of the three categories. An expansion pack for the game titled Victoria: Revolutions was released in 2006.
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is a real-time strategy video game by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the expansion pack to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and requires the game to be played.
It includes new units for each race, two new auxiliary races, four campaigns, five neutral heroes (3 more heros were added in 2004). Players are also able to build a shop and various other improvements such as the ability to queue upgrades. Sea units were reintroduced; they had been present in Warcraft II but were absent in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.
Wow was making this best PC games list of 2003 hard! As you can see, we had to include a ton of games on this list as PC gaming in 2003 was pretty stacked. In this summary, we are going to touch on some of the games that really impressed us.
The original Call Of Duty was released in 2003 and many gamers were already saying that it was going to be tough for the Medal Of Honor series to compete with it. Halo was released on PC and was certainly one of the top PC games of 2003. The PC version had better graphics and a flamethrower. Another big first person shooter was Planetside which is an online shooter that is still popular to this day.
2003 in PC gaming was a big year for third-person action and adventure games as the whole first-person shooter craze had not really taken hold yet. Freedom Fighters was a fantastic action game that was clearly inspired by the movie Red Dawn. Another top action game was Beyond Good And Evil from Ubisoft which featured an incredible story and even to this day, hardcore fans are desperate for a sequel.
The second of the 3D Grand Theft Auto games was released in 2003, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. This is still one of the most popular GTA games with it’s 80’s setting it feels like you are in Miami Vice! Another fun open world game, but without all the blood, cursing and hookers was The Simpsons: Hit & Run. This game clearly took inspiration from Grand Theft Auto and even now over a decade later, people say that this is the best Simpsons game ever made.
The Prince Of Persia series was given a 3D makeover and it actually went very well. The Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time was met with critical acclaim. It featured wall running and the ability to turn back time which was actually a new innovation back then. One of the most underrated games of the year was Chaos Legion. This was a hack and slash game with RPG elements from Capcom. The game was a lot of fun, but for some reason, it has been pretty much forgotten about these days.
Two games that are on our best PC games of 2003 list that just scraped through are Enter The Matrix and Tomb Raider: Angel Of Darkness. These were two of the most hyped PC games of 2003 and they actually sold incredibly well, but the games had clearly been rushed to market and many felt with a few more months of development time these could have been two incredible games.
One game that we want to give special mention to is Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic. Set many, many years before the movies. This Bioware RPG was just incredible and it is still regarded by many as one of the best games Bioware has ever made and also one of the best Star Wars games ever made.
As you can see we had to miss a ton of games out in this best PC games of 2003 summary, but have a good look at our full list as there are some awesome games on there!