For the first time ever, RPG Maker 2003 is officially available in English! This legendary game development engine is both highly affordable and easy to use, and it remains one of the most popular RPG Maker installments to date.
User reviews:
Very Positive (127 reviews) - 88% of the 127 user reviews for this software are positive.
Release Date: Apr 24, 2015

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Includes 6 items: RPG Maker VX Ace, RPG Maker XP, RPG Maker 2003, RPG Maker 2000, RPG Maker MV, RPG Maker VX


About This Software


For the first time ever, RPG Maker 2003 is officially available in English! This legendary game development engine is both highly affordable and easy to use, and it remains one of the most popular RPG Maker installments to date. It is the first engine in the series to employ a sideview battle system similar to the classic RPGs of the early-to-mid 90s. If you have always wanted to create a retro RPG with a third-person battle system, or simply are looking for an affordable but reliable game creation engine, then RPG Maker 2003 is for you!


  • Side-view Battle System
    Most titles in the RPG Maker series center on first-person, turn-based combat. RPG Maker 2003 breaks this tradition by offering an engaging sideview battle system that is perfect for fans of classic RPGs. Creating and managing your game’s combat is as easy as filling in a database and playtesting, with no scripting knowledge required! This departure makes RPG Maker 2003 an excellent alternative for game developers who are not particularly fond of front-view battle systems.

  • Straightforward Tools
    RPG Maker engines are designed to be as flexible as possible while still being user friendly, and RPG Maker 2003 is no exception. Virtually everything in the engine is managed through a simple point-and-click interface. All of your game’s characters, enemies, skills, animations, and equipment are created and stored in an easy-to-navigate database. An in-depth event system contains dozens of functions to help make your story and world come to life, such as custom messages, character movement, player choices, special effects, and more. Plus, RPG Maker 2003’s powerful map editor is extremely easy to master, allowing you to craft your world tile by tile with unprecedented efficiency!

  • Retro Presentation
    Relive the golden age of RPGs with RPG Maker 2003’s diverse selection of 16-bit default graphics. If you’re feeling especially creative, RPG Maker 2003 allows you to import custom 16-bit graphics, including character sprites, tilesets for your environments, battle animations, backgrounds, and more! The engine is also loaded with a variety of catchy midi tracks and sound effects for your game; custom MP3/WAV/MIDI tracks can be added as well.

  • Share Your Game!
    Want to share your creation with the world? You can export your creation in a portable file that can be played on ANY Windows system! Plus, games made with RPG Maker 2003 can be sold as long as you have the appropriate rights and have followed the registration procedure. With some hard work you could become the next great indie game developer!

System Requirements

    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP/Vista/7/8
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium®4 1.5GHz
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 1024x768 or better video resolution in High Color mode
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectSound-compatible sound card
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (127 reviews)
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102 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
101.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
Light, simple, efficient and versatile. The ultimate tool to create 16-bit era SNES-like RPG's!

Embrace the programation with the easy to follow and learn event system, from which you can make from things as simple as chest to complex menu systems! Everyone with a Window's PC will be able to enjoy your games (and with EasyRPG, even Android's Smarthphones users and from other platforms, too!), with none lag (unless you screw up the eventing, but it is easy to learn how to avoid that, too!).

In hurry of assets for a fangame? Worry not, as rips from your favorite old games are everywhere in the web. Do you want to make your own for a whole legal game to sell and stuff? Well, the game's resolution is just 320x240, and with that, with a whole set of assets easy to edit or make from zero, the smaller the size, the easier the work!

Finally the default systems such like animated side view battles, INNs, skills and stuff that are easy to manage are there ready for you to make a whole new game. It might be the same system, but you can make totally original RPGs with all kinds of differents moods and game styles with just that. Wanna a proof? Why don't try some games from for some inspiration?

If you're wondering what's the difference with other RPG Makers, well: 2000 is even ligther, but it does not feature the side scroll battling but a more old fashioned style and minor differences like such. XP is the heaviest from the family, with the higher screen resolution and also the engine with the higher potential, but it is also somewhat less friendly for novices (as you need to code a lot rather eventing for the programation). VX was an attempt to be a middle point between XP and 2003, but it was a sloppy release, so they released VX Ace which is effectively that, but well done. Finally MV is the last in the series and features the higher flexibility and versatility while retaining a decent easy use, but then MV's games have a tendency to lag in not-so powerful PCs or Smarthphones.

Anyway, I hope this little review has been of some use for you.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
191 of 206 people (93%) found this review helpful
13 people found this review funny
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 24, 2015
It's RPG Maker 2003. In my opinion, this is the best newbie game engine out there. You don't need to learn ANY coding language whatsoever. At all. Period. End of story. All the coding is done in-engine, you just select the pre-determined options via drop-down lists.

But don't let pre-determined lists put you off, because you are still in full control of your game. Thanks to code like variables and switches, the sky is the limit. I use to use this years and years ago, I'd consider myself an expert at using this engine, and I began not knowing a single thing about it but within a few weeks - to months - I was hooked and had alot of the engine forged into my brain.

If you're looking to make a classic RPG with a side-view battle system then look no further because RPG Maker 2003 especially comes default with that classic side-view, all you have to do is draw the sprites and background (or use the vanilla assets).

Honestly, this is still my favourite engine because of how user-friendly it still is, and the fact you literally don't even need to know a single line of code and you can make games like Final Fantasy 6 without spending thousands of dollars at college and university.

Would I recommend? Hell, I'd recommend this over XP, VX and any other 2D game maker out there!
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112 of 117 people (96%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 26, 2015
Be Aware of what you're buying.

As a fan and supporter of the RPG Maker series, I recommend this engine for people that want to make old-school SNES FInal Fantasy Style JRPG's due to it's 2D battle engine and simplicity of use.

However, you have to be aware that all you're getting for your purchase is a 30MB bare bones program. There's not alot of content present for tilesets / level design assets. What this engine does have alot of is monster / battler graphics that you can use as is or customize to suit your needs, and the 2-D battle animations and battle skills designer are decent as well.

Yes, I get that making a "True" project should mean that you're supposed to import and design all your own assets from scratch, but having a strong selection of premade materials would help you flesh out your ideas faster only to be changed at a later time.

Again, just be aware that you're going to have to search and import a lot of external assets in order to have a decent, core toolset before you start making a project.
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106 of 114 people (93%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
26.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 24, 2015
This software is probably my first reason why i have been into game developing so much.

It has been hard at the beginning with absolute no knowledge about anything, but after some easy tutorials on you-tube where some basics were explained i've really understood fast how to use all these wonderful functions of this software. I did experiment a lot with it until i could figure out how to realize everything on this software what my mind is looking for.

It's a very old software of course , where the license was even forbidden at the beginning but now you can even purchase the english version on steam with modified functions which makes your work easier and more well arranged than before.

This program is a "MUST HAVE" for sure if you want to start with 2 D Game Making. i would also recommend the newer version but this one is simply the grandfather of all. After so many years i'm really surprised about the release here because it was sure a nice dream for people who already know this software for years and i can tell that it took so many years and it's still unbelievable:
The community is still active, i guess it's even boosting the activity right now by this release.

I can guarantee that you DON'T NEED ANY KNOWLEDGE OF PROGRAMMING/CODING or anything else , just buy this software watch some tutorials or read the manual which is included and then start being creative on your own.


Let me sum up your advantages of this software:

- No knowledge of programming
- Very easy to understand how to use it
- Very effective and stunning when you make your first experiences
- Still active community after so many years and many helpful tutorials
- If you are an artist you can make your own resources and import them easily
- there are so many possibilities to be creative with this program

Negative aspect:

The only point i remember right now is :
of course there are some limitations since it's a game maker software for 2D Games, but still if you are creative enough with the commands, you shouldn't have many limits.
Any other questions might be answered by the community on their website or on the steam community discussions.

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53 of 61 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 24, 2015
I can't believe it's 12 years already.
I remember downloading this when Don Miguel's blotchy, but incredible translation first came out.
We were all amazed at this tool and how it improved over rm2k, and how it was never beaten by any other maker that came after it.
This is the one you want to use if you're looking to make simple RPG games, learn or just fool around a little bit. 12 years of this being used for making amazing games can't be anything but a good indication that you're in good hands.

This piece of software is one of those things that mean something so important to someone on a spiritual level. Some people have a CD, Movie or Book. To me, it is RPG Maker 2003. You have no idea how important it is to me that an official English release finally came out, I remember yearning for it for years on end, just to realize that it was never going to happen. I own the Japanese version, but this closes a cycle. A wish finally come true.
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41 of 43 people (95%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 27, 2015
It's sad but I felt a little emotional seeing this pop up on the Steam front page.

My first experience with RPGMaker was actually '95, but although i have alot of nostalgia for '95 I have no wish to see it re-released. Same goes for 2000, a great engine but not one i feel has much relevance nowadays. 2003 is different, i have been wanting to see this rereleased for a LONG time, as it is definetly the most unique iteration of the RPGMaker series and one you should buy right now :)
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37 of 38 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
45.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 6, 2015
While this version of rpg maker does not have as many options as vx ace. It is the only version I know of that lets you have your characters appear on the battlefield without any scripting. So it's up to you. If you want to make a rpg without any scripting, but has your characters appear on the battlefield go with this version. If you want options and the ability to script then go with vx ace. 2003 is better for beginers while vx ace has better tools for advanced design. Either way I approve of this software.
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29 of 30 people (97%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
214.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 25, 2015
I waited 12 years for this day, this is the best piece of news I've seen in years.

RM2K3, along with RM2K, is where it all began and where it all still lives. Truly the best of the RPG Makers together with RPG Maker 2000, its slightly older sibling. <3
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28 of 31 people (90%) found this review helpful
19.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 29, 2015
Fantastic engine for learning basic game creation mechanics.

- Easy to learn, no coding necessary
- Sideways battles (best RPG maker battle system)
- Easy to make your own tiles and sprites, as they are all 16x16
- Decent vanilla resources available
- Engine still holds up well, even after more than 10 years
- Very cheap

- UI has not been updated, so it still looks like it belongs on Windows XP
- Like other RPG Maker engines, it is pretty limited as to what kind of games you can make. It truly is an RPG maker, and that's it.
- Tiles are limited to 16x16, which may cause some distress for those who like to make pretty art.

Overall, a fantastic engine for the game creation newbie. Better than VX Ace in my opinion (Not to mention a lot cheaper!)
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22 of 23 people (96%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
78.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2015
This is one of the most significant aspects of my childhood. I've probably dished in almost a thousand hours on this. Of course my projects were of poor quality, but at the age of like 8~10 I was starting to make advanced in-game events and variables.

Right now it's like $4 so if you're the type of bloke who likes creating games / mods and RPGs and classic programs, just dish in the 4$ and f!@$%%ING buy this!
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Recently Posted
0.4 hrs
Posted: October 21
This is my first time with 2k3 I started on VXa and moved to MV. However I decide to get 2k3 because of how much it varies from the other RRPGmakers, and I must say I am pleased to have purchased this. It has a great amount of options some not even in MV and a decent 2003esc layout. OO and I HATE MV's its chibi ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥t.... these retro graphics are a LOT better. Worth a buy I say full price or on sale
Helpful? Yes No Funny
20.4 hrs
Posted: October 20
its pretty good. a little buggy but still good
Helpful? Yes No Funny
499.8 hrs
Posted: October 8
YES!! YES YES YES YES YES!!! FINALLY, someone has made an easy to use yet EXTREMELY advanced at-the-same-time piece of software for making games! Took me 4 days to learn, but when I did, it was so worth it. This is by far my most favourite piece of software out of my games/software list.
11/10, GOTY
Helpful? Yes No Funny
235.6 hrs
Posted: September 18
I try opening the product and it just have a window saying "preparing to launch RPG Maker 2003 that closes, reopens, and closes again till I close it myself, I let it do this for 15 minutes straight to see if it's normal and nothing happened, what do I do?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.3 hrs
Posted: August 25
This is a good software. I like the graphics and interface very much, but this one just isn't my favorite. I also have rpg maker vx ace and xp, and while this one is much better than xp I personally prefer vx ace. a lot of things are the same in each rpg maker title so whatever one suits your personal quirks best. I still give this one 9/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
54.2 hrs
Posted: August 25
This software is amazing,it is worth more than 30 bucks.It allows you to create great games
in a much easier way than coding,although making animations and importing graphics can be a bit of a hassle,this software is great.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
61.3 hrs
Posted: August 19
Almost endless possibilities
It can be used for both professional projects as well as personal ones . Of course you'll also find its newer versions useful, but you might want to consider checking out this one if you start off as a newbie to these kinds of softwares and don't want to use scripts yet.

  • Does not require any programming knowledge
  • Lots of online resources such as video and text-based tutorials, free tilesets, and more
  • Fully customizable and powerful story-telling features
  • Professional-looking tools and results (it can get you into a video game design school if you can present some decent game prototype, or just show off your skills in your portfolio)
  • A friendly community ready to help you and share their own experience
  • Its low price when on sales

  • Some missing tool to let us use scripts
  • There should be a "follow" event feature in order for one event (i.e character here) to follow another one. Let me explain below:

The most complicated is to make a character/group of characters follow an NPC.
Exemple: In your story, a friendly NPC will be the guide to your hero(es) for some time. This NPC (let's call him A) will thus lead them from a location to another. You have to set up his multiple variables with coordinates and move routes. Once you're done, you repeat the commands process with the character immediately following him, B. Base B's moves on A's (since B follows A), then C's on B's, etc until everyone following A the NPC has received their commands, if that makes sense. Few people master this and tutorials about this method are rare and long to read.

And yes, you can add some moving clouds to your game with "move picture". Just watch some Youtube videos and check out the web to give you an idea of the full potential of RPG Maker 2003.

This software is a little gem that will make your creativity burst!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
That one sad hoovy
10.5 hrs
Posted: August 18
This thing is awesome. love it. but whenever I try to get into the game it says "set party position not set." like WTF? I made my party but i have no idea what set party position not set means. can someone explain to me what it means please and how to do it? I would love the help.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sans stop
44.0 hrs
Posted: August 5
Product received for free
This is one of my favorite rpg maker games it gives me a retro feel to me and the sound track is absoulutely perfect although i wish my game is able for cloud save since i dont have a laptop at the momment either way i recommed this to everyone whos into retro
Helpful? Yes No Funny