RPG Recap: My Top 10 Favorite RPGs.

NuMetalManiak
So now that I've gone and done up to 50 of these games from start to finish, I think it's time for me to try something new right? Well no, I'm not ending my reviews anytime soon. I'll just randomly play what's on my mind and all that. Ever since I got into emulation I've been willing to try out those games that I missed, or those games that never made it to North America. I found that RPGs were the easiest to handle out of these, as I'm not pressing a load of buttons like some fighting games or what not. No offense to those who like fighting games though, it's just not my genre. And strangely enough, with the possible exception of Secret of Evermore, all of my RPGs played are eastern RPGs, which tend to be the most famous. I sometimes got some suggestions, such as Elder Scroll games and such. I also tend to classify some of the other games that have gameplay similar to RPGs. Like I don't actually consider Zelda games to be RPGs as they play quite differently and such.

Anyways, enough ranting here, I think I shall do myself a favor and look back on the 50 or so games I went through, and I'll look at what I think the 10 best RPGs are. These are graded by a number of factors. They would have a good story and characters, not necessarily great, but good. Their gameplay has to be decent enough. And perhaps the most important factor would have to be replayability. I especially like the games that are fun to play not once, but twice, maybe more than that. I will not take my Overall Grades in my reviews into account here, mostly because I actually regret some of my grading and such. But anyways, here's my Top 10 RPG countdown in a post format. Expect a few surprise spots along the way. Also if a game you adore isn't on here, either I didn't like it as much or I never played it. Remember this is my subjective opinion.

Or we can go ahead and start with an honourable mention, why not. By the way, the numbers in parantheses correspond to the review number I did for each one.

Lufia: The Legend Returns (#36): This was the third game in the Lufia series, and the only one on Game Boy. But it managed to be decent, as opposed to the very first entry in the Lufia series which I hated. I was actually quite surprised with this one, with up to nine characters to put into battle, IP skills to use, and every single dungeon in the game being a randomized dungeon. It was an interesting concept first scene in the second game's Ancient Cave, but it's here and now. And this game had a Retry mode which is like a New Game+, and many games on the list will have a similar feature. It was quite a long one, and a rarity, so it ends up being an honourable mention. Now onto the countdown itself.

10: Sailor Moon: Another Story (#37): I told you there'd be surprises. Here's not just a completely anime RPG, but one that played rather well. It's quite typical, especially considering it's source material, but it's not a game that takes place in a Sailor Moon season but somewhere in between seasons, so there's a few new ones around. This was actually quite a replayable gem mostly because it was one of the shorter RPGs I've played, having beating it in about a week from the start. For the SNES, this game had some very clean graphics, it's just a shame it never got a North American release.

9: I'll be honest, Breath of Fire 2 (#11) has the worst gameplay of the four games I played. That's my opinion. But I absolutely cannot deny the storyline of this game. I got drawn into the Breath of Fire games as they were typical RPGs and I was new to them at the time. The fact that almost every playable character is an animal and the main character can become a dragon is real cool. What BOF2 does with it's plot is make it outstanding. But not in a fun way, oh no, this game was utterly heart-wrenching. It's one of the saddest games ever. We see several character deaths happen, especially with the corrupt church plot, and the fact that the ending moments can just make you cry so hard. Other games sure had their sad moments too, but BOF2 had more than the rest of them combined for me. It wasn't the best in gameplay, but it always stuck in my mind, so it lands on this list above the others in the franchise.

8: Chrono Cross (#40). Another surprise. Obviously, being the successor to Chrono Trigger, the ones with high expectations were smothered by many moments of it. Indeed, it's storyline isn't all that good. But you know what? The gameplay was actually quite nice. We get a unique battle system with unique ways to go through the game, a good amount of sidequests to detract from the main plot, and a very memorable plot moment where the villain switches bodies with the hero. And of course, it can't be a Chrono game without the New Game+ feature. Basically speaking, I had a lot of fun playing Chrono Cross, even if I payed little attention to the story and the multitudes of characters within. Speaking of multitudes of characters...

7: I love the Suikoden series. You take up to a whopping 108 characters to recruit for your castle and fight war battles against your enemies. It's quite a trip. Now, I've only played the first three games, so this will definitely be a contest. I gotta admit, 2 had some of the best moments ever, sad or heartwarming, but it was quite an unpolished game. While 3 was pretty lean with three main protagonists with different views and pulling everything together, it was a very long journey. Therefore, Suikoden I (#27) gets to be here. It started the series, basically setting the stage for the rest. I loved its main protagonist more than the others, and it's plot was very nice. And of course, the characters, with loads of options to choose from there are endless party combinations. Now don't get me wrong, the other two do good jobs too. I just think the first game did it best.

6: Another series I loved was the Wild ARMs series. Wild Western-themed JRPG? Sure why not, most of the others I've played are just fantasy-related. Again, I've played only the first three games, so I'll judge accordingly. To be frank, the first was actually quite bleak, the only Western reference was because Rudy was the gun-wielder, while the world was, actually quite fantasy-like. Wild ARMs 2 upped the ante a bit on the setting, with at least one town having a Wild West theme and a saloon, but it too had its generic RPG cliches. Wild ARMs 3 (#35), gets the #6 spot though, as it had a fantastic storyline AND it gets the Wild West setting spot on. Down to the point of having a sea of SAND. The whole thing actually felt quite like a Western here, and it's characters were all strong. It's got its sidequests too, of varying difficulties. And it's battles can be won well with great strategy, of which this game employs well. Perhaps the only reason it isn't higher is because of the recurring boss fights, you seem to fight the same guys just a few dungeons apart and they would run off each time. Then again, that's sort of how Wild ARMs does it with most of the bosses in the franchise, but it's rather blatant in this title. Still, I liked this game the most of the three I played.

5: As we reach the top 5 expect a few familiar RPG names, as despite some of these games being overrated they WERE fun, and that's what matters most. And heck, the last game I mentioned is the only one that's on the PS2, while two SNES games and two PS1 games made the cut. Sadly, the next four will be SNES games, so expect some overrated stuff here. But not Live-A-Live (#49), oh no, this came off as a complete surprise with how good it was. I enjoy having to play multiple scenarios, and Live-A-Live had eight of them. They were all distinct too, each within respective time periods and such. These were all replayable scenarios as well. And it's got a unique combat system which is very much wonderful too. There was just so much to do in this game it felt quite open. But it really shines in one of the characters in the game, Oersted, a knight who seems like he's on top of the world and sinks to the bottom, and his story could actually be relatable. Yes, Live-A-Live was definitely a great game, sadly it is very much overlooked since it never got a North American release.

4: I think it's time for a Final Fantasy game don't you think? Alright, Final Fantasy VI (#45), you're up. This is definitely the best in the series, right before the PS1 classic Final Fantasy VII made everyone fall in love with the series and such. They should have fell in love with this. Strong characters, any of which could be defined as main protagonists, a decent use of Active-Time battle system, lots of sidequests, and one great villain in Kefka. This game offered a lot of tweaking for the characters, and many unique plot ordeals. Sure it's not entirely perfect (who knew a combination of Vanish and Doom would break the game's bosses?) And of course, I'm not gonna mention this game without leaving out my favorite moment ever, getting Sabin to suplex the Phantom Train as his party runs from it. Heck, I pretty much won that fight doing just that alone.

3: Whenever I look at "greatest SNES RPGs" list or video I often look to see if Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (#23) is in a good position. Most of the time, it isn't. Sometimes it never even makes a cut. But I say differently in that this game was amazing. It had numerous sub-plots, but many strong characters, and the battles were alright. But then again, the random encounters are done away with in dungeons, magic was easier to learn, and IP skills can turn the tide for battles. And the puzzles in the dungeons definitely stood out. Puzzles are much more fun than mini-games or being completely lost without clues. This game was the one to introduce the randomized dungeon known as the Ancient Cave, with very good rewards and such. The Retry mode is a type of New Game+ but with better level gains. There really isn't much else I can say about this, other than it being a great game altogether. This has been the one RPG I've played the most amount of times thus far, playing it right now in fact. Yes, while making this list.

2: Yes, I know it's one of the most overrated games in existence, but honestly, I cannot deny how well Chrono Trigger (#20) plays. It has the great concept of time travel, great characters, amazing plot, strategic semi-turn-based battles, and was just fresh for the SNES. Multiple endings could be unlocked, upon beating the best non-human RPG villain around which is Lavos. And it basically introduced the New Game+ to the RPG franchise. The game even killed off a main character in a very memorable manner that for me overshadows Final Fantasy VII's memorable death scene. And you can even beat the game without that character. And like its successor Chrono Cross, it had loads of sidequests and such. There's really nothing bad I can say about this one either. Man the SNES really is great for these games.

1: The SNES was quite a powerhouse for great RPGs, but so was the Playstation. After all, the memorable classic games are on both consoles. Underrated gems also existed on the consoles as well. The Lunar remakes and Wild ARMs games were quite underrated in comparison to FFVII for the Playstation, while Soul Blazer and a few other RPGs fall out of favor for the other memorable games like the ones I mentioned above. But the number one RPG I've played has to go to Valkyrie Profile (#25) for the Playstation. This takes Norse mythology into RPGs, not uncommon, but gives players one of the coolest battle systems around, cutscenes showcasing character deaths (in this game, a character's death makes them join your party), and the amount of characters means there's a ton of possibilities for how to get around things. The platformer aspect in dungeons is alright too. More importantly, the game expects you to play it in a certain way, do things in a set time period over 8 or so before the ending comes. I sure as hell loved everything about this game once I got used to it, and its uniqueness and fun value linger on.

So there, after having played 50 RPGs I finally reveal what I thought of as the best games I have played. This doesn't mean the rest of them suck though, they're just not as good as the ones on this list. I like most of the games I play though, and I will continue to play at my discretion for as long as I want.

Comments

Chrono Trigger's my favorite RPG for sure. Those who call this game overrated are the same who hate Ocarina of Time to be edgy. There's a reason why the game's been remembered since it first came out.
As for your number one, I remember seeing the game at a Blockbuster. My brother wanted to get it but decided to get Tomb Raider instead. So, I've never really seen much about it. So seeing you, probably the most knowledgeable user when it comes to RPGs (and Nu Metal), I might look into it. Always a fan of the genre and always welcome for new games to play. - cjWriter1997

Blockbuster's still around? WHERE? - NuMetalManiak

Oh no, sorry I worded that wrong. I meant when I was younger. Like just a little kid. Oh god, if there are still Blockbusters around I could actually live in peace. - cjWriter1997

No offense, but I can name quite a bit of proof behind Chrono Trigger being overrated; for one thing, gameplay-and-especially-story-wise, it was basically just a dumbed-down baby version of Final Fantasy VI that somehow managed to completely overshadow the real thing based on its flashy graphics and admittedly beautiful soundtrack alone - xandermartin98

@Xander With enough dedication you could find ways to see almost anything as overrated. This comment is rather old anyway, I still love CT to death but I'm a bit more aware of the criticisms than I was before. Same for OoT. I can safely say I prefer the 3DS remake than the original as it controls awkwardly due to the N64's horrible outdated controller. Plus 3DS is portable. - cjWriter1997

Just to be clear, an overrated game is not necessarily a bad one. Before playing Chrono Trigger, I always wondered about the hype for it. You can say the same for games like FF6 and FF7 too. Since I've played them, I can figure out why they are overrated, because they play VERY GOOD and have a VERY GOOD PLOTLINE.

Yep, this is an old post alright, I made it near the beginning of this year, a lot of it is quite obsolete given the more recent games I played. Some of the more recent ones I've played like Terranigma and Vagrant Story probably could be on this list. Maybe when I get to my 100th RPG things can get much more interesting. - NuMetalManiak

Good Post, Even though I only heard of chrono cross, final fantasy 6, and chrono trigger - VideoGamefan5

Rpg? WHATABOUT THESE?

|”””’|””::::===O=[∙∙∙∙·▫▫ᵒ'ᵒ▫ₒₒ▫ᵒ'ᵒ▫ₒₒ▫ᵒ'ᵒ☼)===> - mattstat716

Nice unicode sis, too bad I cannot figure out what that had to do with anything. - NuMetalManiak

'twas a joke about RPG's and rocketlaunchers.

Was supposed to be a rocketlauncher firing a missile.

Never played Chrono Trigger, but it seems interesting. Ima try it someday. - mattstat716

My favorites are Fire Emblem: Awakening and Xenoblade Chronicles. - LarrytheFairy

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