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2005 Reader's Choice Awards

Awards By Dana Massey on December 26, 2005

2005 Reader's Choice Awards
Which game offered the most pleasing visuals this year?

They say "don't judge a book by its cover", but history has shown that when it comes to games, we do it anyway. The visual presentation of a game is often a make-or-break feature and this award lets you vote on which game you feel did the best job of it in 2005. This does not mean that the game had to be released this year, simply that it had the best graphics of any game on the market in 2005.

EVE Online, CCP Games

EVE Online is the oldest game on our list. They launched in the spring of 2003, but continue to provide one of the best visual experiences of any online game. Set in space, they have the advantage of being unique and not having to render terrain, but the lighting, ships, textures and presentation simply make players feel as if they're in space.

EverQuest II, Sony Online Entertainment

Few games have received as much hype as the sequel to the original ultra-hit in the MMORPG genre, which hit shelves in later 2004. EverQuest II offers the best graphical technology available to run their game. The UI is second-to-none and their unique use of letter-boxing gives the game a cinematic feel. Technologically sound, the only question mark is if their art direction meets their technology. You be the judge.

Lineage II, NC Soft

Another sequel to a massive hit, Lineage II launched in the spring of 2004. The game sports an alluring anime-style, wonderful animations and inspired visual presentation. The company achieved a fantastic style that truly makes people feel as if they're living in a medieval fantasy world.

Star Wars Galaxies, SOE / LucasArts

Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts have suffered plenty of PR-headaches lately with Star Wars Galaxies. Yet, this cannot take away from the visual presentation of this title. The graphics, character models, landscapes and world feel like Star Wars. Age - the game was launched in the summer of 2003 - and change have not changed this fact one bit.

World of WarCraft, Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard did not go for technology. Their graphics are a bit blocky. If this vote asked you to consider only technology, World of WarCraft would not be nominated. Blizzard makes up for this with style, blazing performance and sleek user-interface design. Many have called World of WarCraft a perfected version of many MMOs that came before, and in terms of graphics this is no different. With a vibrant color-pallet and creative graphics, the game oozes style.

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