The 10 best videogame releases of 2002. Don't know which give the most bangs for your bucks? Here's our list

By Noah Robischon
December 06, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

1 GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY
(Rockstar Games, PlayStation 2, Mature) The reason ”Vice City” blows every other game away isn’t that it’s a driving, shooting, action, or simulation game, but that it’s all four combined into a criminally stylish package. Riding around on a hog in a Don Johnson suit listening to Wave 103, or one of the six other ’80s radio stations, is as much fun as figuring out how to defend Tommy Vercetti’s mansion from rival mobsters. Granted, it’s not ”The Sopranos” — even ”Scarface” had more emotional depth — but a visit to Vice City is sure to keep you out all night. — Noah Robischon

2 ETERNAL DARKNESS: SANITY’S REQUIEM
(Nintendo, GameCube, Mature) With a revolutionary ”camera” that captures the action with the visual flair of a James Cameron movie, and a combat system that combines an arsenal of period weaponry with an impressive book of magic spells, ”Eternal Darkness” makes for a unique experience. And if playing through a murder mystery that spans 20 centuries and involves a dozen playable characters sounds daunting, well, it is. But to ignore this adventure title is to miss out on one of the most thoroughly immersive and challenging games of the year. — Wook Kim

3 WARCRAFT III: REIGN OF CHAOS
(Blizzard, Mac/PC, Teen) Steeped in story and majestically crafted, ”Warcraft III” has all the trappings of an epic. Available only for computers, this strategy game pits four warring factions against each other in huge fantasy battles with dozens of troops. You’ll need to use your noggin to win, but the rich visuals and deep gameplay leave a lasting impression. And when the massive single-player game is finally over, there’s more: You can go head-to-head against friends in online multiplayer skirmishes. — Geoff Keighley

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