Definitely Diablo II, but I don't think it's a JRPG OP
Just a fantastic game. Played it the whole year and almost nothing else until Lord of Destruction came out in 2001 and made me play that the whole year too. God I must have put in several thousand hours into this game over the years and play it yearly to this day.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, but this was that high school period of time for me when I did not play a ton of video games. My mom bought me a Ps1 and this game in 12th grade to encourage me to not go out and smoke pot every night. Turns out staying in, playing video games and smoking pot is pretty fun too.
Majora's Mask love the world design in the game and how the days/masks works. Just the right complexity to get a hang of it all.
Cleopatra: Queen of the Nile played that game to death and the balance was so good for a management/city building games. Still the quests/history in Zeus: Master of Olympus was so much better so i would go with that.
Played through the Cleopatra from gog like a year ago and it's still great. The way you must plan you cities ahead of time in detail at the start of the mission to succeed. Restart after restart on a mission and it still feels like learning is the way a city building game story mode should be like.
One of the truly toughest years to pick just one or even a few. A dozen or more of these could be top favorite of the year, split equally between Dreamcast and PS1. Everything from commonly favorited rpgs like Skies of Arcadia and FFIX to those personal favorite action-tilted sequels, Dino Crisis 2 and Parasite Eve 2.
DC was so great at this time though, including with Skies of Arcadia, JGR, RECV when they were truly new and fresh.
There was nothing like it at the time, and arguably, there still isn't (no, Yakuza doesn't count). Although it was way eclipsed by Shenmue II's refinement of systems and pacing, the original Shenmue is still a unique experience that has a lot to offer.
Shenmue is one of the few games I go back to revisit each year/year and a half. It's like seeing an old friend, but occasionally it'll surprise me with something new I haven't seen before.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Weird, dark, unconventional. A great left turn from the Zelda formula that was establishing itself after A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time.
Didn't release in Europe until 2001, but a friend's grandparents bought both of them from America for his birthday and I got to borrow one. Probably my joint-favourite Pokemon Generation with 5.
I forgot Quina defends like that. I played the following from this year:
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Marvel vs Capcom
Final Fantasy IX
Is that supposed to be Jet Set Radio???
Mario Party 2 (Maybe?)
Resident Evil: Code Veronica (Just a little bit)
Street Fighter III: Third Strike (Just a little bit on PS3)
Threads of Fate
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 (Maybe?)
Dino Crisis 2
Damn, some pretty good shit this year.
1. Final Fantasy IX
2. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
3. Threads of Fate
4. Tekken Tag
5. Dino Crisis 2
6. Marvel vs Capcom
It's interesting for me looking at this because at the time, much of my playtime was with Perfect Dark and WWF No Mercy. So, so, so, so, so, so, so many hours. I was waiting all throughout the GC gen for Perfect Dark Zero; THAT'S how much I loved that. And the No Mercy story mode, with all the titles and all the split paths in the story, was so freaking good.
Also, while I played it the next year, Dynasty Warriors 2 blew me away at the time. I had never played a game with that many people on the screen. I also couldn't believe that I actually had allies! I felt like a badass anytime I swarmed into enemy HQ with a hundred allies behind me. Guan Du burning no matter what when I played as Yuan Shao's forces? One of my most upsetting moments in the game. xD~~
Chrono Cross and FFIX were games I played YEARS later. Looking back, and after playing all those 2000 games down the line... Chrono Cross may very well be my favorite. I fell in love with the Arni Home theme. In fact, the minute I heard it, I fell in love with the game. I also loved the battle system, the non-linear nature of it, all the side quests with so many of the characters... it blew me away 11 years after it released!
Diablo II I played years later along with its expansion, and it is a fun, fantastic game.
But yeah, Chrono Cross is probably the game I think is the best of that year and one I look forward to playing again when I get the feeling. But I gotta say that I'm impressed with how Dynasty Warriors 2 has held up, even if the gameplay is dwarfed by most, if not all, of its sequels.
Just something for fun, though there's a possibility I may tally them down the line. I feel this would have to be stickied for a bit for the votes to have a representative tally, and I'm not sure GOTYs for earlier years would earn a sticky.