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These are the results for the 2005 edition of the Best Game of the Year Tournament ran by Raven in early 2006. This would be the first Best Game of _____ tournament in what is now a long-running series. The 2005 tournament was notable for the Cinderella run by board favorite Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, which had upsets over We <3 Katamari and Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. The eventual contest winner would be Resident Evil 4, which had widespread praise across the board.

Best Game of Each Month in 2005, according to Board 8[]

Month Game of the Month
January Resident Evil 4
February Xenosaga Episode II
March Devil May Cry 3
April Jade Empire
May Fire Emblem 8
June Kirby Canvas Curse
July Killer7
August Advance Wars: Dual Strike
September We <3 Katamari
October Fire Emblem 9
November Dragon Quest VIII
December Final Fantasy IV Advance
 
Krauser Division Resident Evil 4
Kirby Canvas Curse
Resident Evil 4
Dawn of Sorrow
Resident Evil 4
Devil May Cry 3
Resident Evil 4
(1) Resident Evil 4
(16) Trace Memory
Resident Evil 4
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana
Resident Evil 4
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
(8) Star Fox: Assault
(9) Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana
(5) Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
(12) Destroy All Humans
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
God of War
(4) God of War
(13) Forza Motorsport
(6) Dead or Alive 4
(11) Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time
Mario and Luigi 2
Killer7
Mario and Luigi 2
Kirby Canvas Curse
(3) Killer7
(14) NBA Street V3
(7) Super Mario Strikers
(10) NCAA Football 06
Super Mario Strikers
Kirby Canvas Curse
(2) Kirby Canvas Curse
(15) Advent Rising
Trodain Division Dawn of Sorrow
Advance Wars: DS
(1) Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
(16) Rebelstar: Tactical Commando
Dragon Quest VIII
Makai Kingdom
Dragon Quest VIII
Dawn of Sorrow
(8) Timesplitters: Future Perfect
(9) Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome
(5) Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
(12) Star Wars Battlefront II
Dawn of Sorrow
Shadow of the Colossus
(4) Shadow of the Colossus
(13) Battalion Wars
(6) X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse
(11) Tekken 5
X-Men Legends II
Xenosaga Episode II
X-Men Legends II
Advance Wars: DS
(3) Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Bose
(14) Darkwatch
(7) Lumines
(10) Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Lumines
Advance Wars: DS
(2) Advance Wars: Dual Strike
(15) Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction
Sparda Division Devil May Cry 3
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney
Devil May Cry 3
Mario Kart DS
(1) Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening
(16) The Punisher
Devil May Cry 3
Psychonauts
Devil May Cry 3
Soul Calibur III
(8) Psychonauts
(9) Ultimate Spiderman
(5) Soul Calibur III
(12) Lego Star Wars
Soul Calibur III
Wario Ware: Touched!
(4) Nintendogs
(13) Wario Ware: Touched!
(6) Animal Crossing: Wild World
(11) Guitar Hero
Guitar Hero
Fire Emblem 9
Fire Emblem 9
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
(3) Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
(14) Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life
(7) Mario Superstar Baseball
(10) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Phoenix Wright AA
We <3 Katamari
(2) We <3 Katamari
(15) Dungeon Siege II
Red Wings Division Mario Kart DS
Fire Emblem 8
(1) Final Fantasy IV Advance
(16) Resident Evil Outbreak: File #2
FF4 Advance
Radiata Stories
FF4 Advance
Mario Kart DS
(8) Meteos
(9) Radiata Stories
(5) Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
(12) Call of Duty 2: Big Red One
Minish Cap
Mario Kart DS
(4) Mario Kart DS
(13) Wario Ware: Twisted
(6) Gran Turismo 4
(11) Indigo Prophecy
Indigo Prophecy
Jade Empire
Indigo Prophecy
Fire Emblem 8
(3) Jade Empire
(14) Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath
(7) Civilization IV
(10) Magna Carta: Tears of Blood
Magna Carta
Fire Emblem 8
(2) Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
(15) Suikoden IV

Interesting Facts[]

  • The Ultimate Loser in this contest was Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath

Zero's Final Thoughts[]

As some people who still post on Board 8 know, the 2005 tournament was the first one I ever did. It was initially going to be a one-and-done project with no intention of doing tournaments for 2006, 2007, and so on. Though in the end, the demand was there, and it would show in future tournaments as well.

In the initial tournament, obviously not everything was perfect, as my first mistake was making the top 3 seeds in each division those that were voted Game of the Month; that would soon be obvious when Killer7, Xenosaga II, and Jade Empire drop before round 3. Final Fantasy IV Advance and Dragon Quest VIII would be two #1 seeds that didn't even make the quarterfinals. Finally, 75% of the #2 seeds made it as far as the Elite Eight, with the exception of We <3 Katamari, which fell victim to Phoenix Wright - Ace Attorney in round 2.

Speaking of Phoenix Wright, I slightly credit his first game to the success of this tournament. Ace Attorney had just hit the DS in North America, and Phoenix had become the unofficial mascot/spokesperson of Board 8. His game responded by destroying Mario Superstar Baseball in round 1, upsetting We <3 Katamari in round 2, followed by beating another Board 8 favorite in Fire Emblem 9. It took a late comeback by Devil May Cry 3 to end Phoenix's Cinderella run, which was still only by one vote. PW/DMC3 combined for 35 votes that day, with the only match outdoing that being Guitar Hero vs. Fire Emblem 9 (which had 36 votes in 2 days thanks to overtime). Ace Attorney could have very well won the contest if it had gotten past DMC3, though Resident Evil 4 might have had something to say about that.

Resident Evil 4 was a huge deal in 2005. It changed the shape of the entire RE series, and not only did people call it the best game of 2005, there were those who called it a contender for the best game ever made. RE4 would eventually go on to win the GameFAQs poll for Best Game of 2005, so it's performance here wasn't surprising.

Another noteworthy performance worth mentioning was Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, which escaped with back-to-back overtime victories against Shadow of the Colossus and Dragon Quest VIII and then nearly getting 75% against #2 seeded Advance Wars: Dual Strike. Its run ended with a respectable 40% finish against Resident Evil 4 in the semifinals.

But the biggest surprise was that for a board that normally stands behind Nintendo, this tournament's main company wound up being Capcom, thanks to the likes of Phoenix Wright, Devil May Cry 3, and Resident Evil 4. In fact, it would be an all Capcom final as RE4 and DMC3 would clash for the championship, with RE4 winning 9-7 in its closest bout of the whole contest.

I would say the most disappointing thing of the contest was the low vote totals, but that is to be expected for a first-time contest. The amount of fodder in this was staggering, as we saw numerous games that were lucky to get even one vote, and five get shut out in the first round. Finally, if you were to ask me what the biggest snub of the 2005 tournament was, I'd say the original Call of Duty 2; it's arguably the best in the entire Call of Duty series, and this was way before the series became as hated as it is today on Board 8. This misses the tournament while its lesser-quality brother CoD2: Big Red One made it in and rightfully shit the bed.

In the end, it was work in progress, but it convinced me to run a 2006 tournament 12 months later.

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