Half-Life 2 (PC) won it!!
sure .. i love hl2 but wat about doom 3 ?
"""Even without the drama surrounding the leak of its source code, the postponement of Half-Life 2 was easily the year's biggest letdown. Just by virtue of being the sequel to the wildly popular Half-Life, Half-Life 2 was already the object of intense interest. Thousands of nongamers knew the name Gordon Freeman and knew of the interdimensional debacle at Black Mesa. Hundreds of thousands more had heard the din of Counter-Strike LAN battles echo through office cubicle mazes after hours.
Promises of hugely improved graphics and more intense carnage had stoked the fires of interest smoldering around Half-Life 2 throughout its five years in development. However, the tipping point came when Valve founder Gabe Newell screened footage of the game at E3 in May. The 23-minute presentation started out small, demonstrating the game's detailed visuals and remarkably realistic 3D engine. The sinister G-man returned to show off an array of ultrarealistic facial expressions and give an impromptu Cantonese lesson.
However, it didn't take long for the gunfire to start. Excitement became frenzy as a rapt audience watched Freeman storm a fortified position and a disturbingly believable alien tentacle skewer a commando. Once the now-famous crowbar made its appearance, the deal was sealed. Everybody in the room wanted to play Half-Life 2 as soon as humanly possible, and they couldn't wait until the game's September 30 release.
Four months later, the excitement was reaching a head. The hype machine was starting to rev up, with ATI helping promote the game by bundling it with its new chipsets. With no Grand Theft Auto hogging the road, it looked like Half-Life 2 would easily be the hottest game of Q4. Doom 3's delay had removed its biggest PC competitor, while Halo 2, the only other shooter generating buzz comparable to HL2's, wasn't due until April 2004.
Then came the code theft.
After the conspiracy rumors had evaporated, the damage had been assessed, and the delay announcement was made official, gamers were left with dashed expectations and only a handful of games on their holiday shopping list. It was a sad capper to what many experts are calling one of the weakest game years in recent memory. Newell summed up the situation perfectly in a post on Valve's forums with just three words: "Well, this sucks."