RPG Recap: General difficulty ratings of RPGs.

So I said I was gonna do this post eventually, guess I might as well get it out of the way right now. And heck, I haven't been doing recaps in order haven't I? The very first one was how minigames suck, that was back before review #22, while recap #2 was right after my 50th game (and I plan to do a full rating of 100 of these things when or if I reach #100). Meanwhile, I haven't started with my 80th RPG yet and I'm doing a recap. Where's your order? Or who cares?

So while playing Dragon Warrior II (#79), I was stumbling around GameFAQs and discovered several ratings, such as overall ratings (basically how users thought of the game), the length of games, and the difficulty ratings. I'm gonna focus on the list of games running down from hardest to easiest, in accordance to each platform each of the games were on. I will be listing only the games that I've played, as well as their rankings, plus a few bold names for RPGs I haven't played but want to try some time. Also some of the ones I've played, if I haven't played any other games on that platform, I will skip it.

Master System:
Phantasy Star (4)
Golvellius (8)

Thoughts: Not a whole lot here, only 9 games found. Golvellius was way too hard honestly, so it shouldn't be second easiest even if it was an action RPG. Then again, the overall difficulty of all the games listed here was more than 3.

Phantasy Star II (10)
Shining In The Darkness (14)
Phantasy Star III (33)
Phantasy Star IV (34)
Crusader of Centy (40)
(these next few games are in the strategy genre)
Warsong (9)
Langrisser II (20)

Thoughts: PSII being the most difficult out of these makes sense, while CoC being the easiest also makes sense. I don't necessarily agree with the two in the strategy genre, they should be flipped.

Game Boy:
Great Greed (40)
The Final Fantasy Legend (45)
Final Fantasy Legend II (48)
Final Fantasy Legend III (59)
(this game is on GBC)
Lufia: The Legend Returns (75)
(these games are on GBA)
Breath of Fire II (59)
Breath of Fire (92)
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (95)
Sword of Mana (114)

Thoughts: Lufia: TLR at 75 out of 119, okay. 138 GBA games listed, I guess they're not so tough, although the two BoF games were technically ports. Great Greed being ahead of all three SaGa titles was a shock, but then again, that game was tough. If I were to rate these SaGa games though, II would be the toughest, not the first one.

Playstation 2:
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter (16)
Odin Sphere (28)
Valkyrie Profile 2 (31)
Wild Arms 3 (112)
Suikoden III (117)
Grandia III (126)
Wild Arms: Alter Code F (141)
Grandia II (162)
Wild Arms 4 (167)
Suikoden 4 (174)
(these games are listed under the strategy genre)
Phantom Brave (74)
Soul Nomad & The World Eaters (75)
GrimGrimoire (80)
Suikoden Tactics (85)
La Pucelle: Tactics (92)
Growlanser II (93)
Growlanser III (124)

Thoughts: Well that's a lot of tactical games I want to try out. Thanks Soul Nomad for getting me to want to play these. A few of these I don't have on my to do list, but whatever. Seeing Growlanser III near the bottom of the strategy list is a surprise, as well as seeing Odin Sphere not even cracking the most difficult 25. One day I might play that Breath of Fire game, but if it's as tough as they say it is...

Zelda II (19)
Hydlide (31)
Faria (32)
Ys (41)
Dragon Quest II (42)
Earthbound Beginnings (43)
Final Fantasy II (53)
Final Fantasy (55)
Dragon Warrior (66)
Final Fantasy III (86)
Crystalis (118)
Majin Eiyuuden Wataru Gaiden (127)

Thoughts: The NES is the bearer of most Nintendo Hard RPGs, but I was not expected Zelda II (which actually is an RPG by the way) to be at the top spot. Maybe it's because more people have heard of it? Then again, there are other surprises here. The recently played Dragon Quest II is just behind Ys, and also behind both Hydlide and Faria, while just in front of Earthbound Beginnings. I know FF2 would be the hardest, but FF3 the easiest? I don't know about these ratings. And the first Dragon Warrior should be higher, not as high as its sequel, but still higher.

The 7th Saga (4)
Shin Megami Tensei (13)
Romancing SaGa 2 (16)
Romancing SaGa 3 (21)
Brain Lord (36)
Shadowrun (42)
Romancing SaGa (55)
Dual Orb (57)
Paladin's Quest (60)
Mystic Ark (69)
Tales of Phantasia (74)
Final Fantasy V (85)
Earthbound (93)
Lufia and the Fortress of Doom (94)
Secret of the Stars (107)
Terranigma (112)
Secret of Mana (113)
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story (118)
Star Ocean (119)
Final Fantasy III (120)
Final Fantasy II (121)
Lufia II (122)
Robotrek (139)
Chrono Trigger (140)
Soul Blazer (141)
Super Mario RPG (147)
Mahou Kishi Rayearth (165)
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (168)
(and for some reason Live-a-Live is a strategy game)

Thoughts: Well there's a lot here, and a lot I kind of want to play. Unsurprisingly, The 7th Saga is among the top 5 hardest, even though there are still NES games harder than it. Haven't played a SMT game yet, but again, if it's as hard as it says it is, I'm gonna have a rough time. RS2 is pretty much correct, but RS3 in front of RS1? Sailor Moon RPG needs to be much lower, while both Lufia games need to be much higher. Final Fantasy II and III correlate to FF4 and FF6 by the way, the actual Japanese versions of these games are actually higher. I didn't put the Breath of Fire games since I mentioned them in their GBA formats. And Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is dead last! (there's some Chrono Trigger music thing at the very end, but it doesn't count)

And finally, the PS1:
Vagrant Story (18)
SaGa Frontier (20)
Valkyrie Profile (63)
Star Ocean: The Second Story (71)
Legend of Legaia (83)
Xenogears (87)
The Legend of Dragoon (98)
Brave Fencer Musashi (103)
Lunar II: Eternal Blue (104)
Breath of Fire III (106)
Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (107)
Breath of Fire IV (113)
Jade Cocoon (114)
Chrono Cross (117)
Wild Arms (118)
Final Fantasy VII (119)
Wild Arms 2 (120)
Tales of Destiny (127)
Threads of Fate (128)
Suikoden II (129)
Grandia (130)
Suikoden (134)
Legend of Mana (135)
Thousand Arms (139)
Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (157)
(Kartia is on the strategy list)

Thoughts: I guess it stands, the PS1 is the greatest platform for RPGs given the rankings I've seen here. Apart from Vagrant Story and apparently SaGa frontier, the rest of these are really close to one another that they all are...pretty much mild. The harder ones, of course, are much higher.


More Posts on This List

RPG Review #98: Star Ocean: The Second Story
RPG Review #97: SaGa Frontier
RPG Review #93: Tenchi Muyo! Game Hen
RPG Review #92: Phantasy Star IV
RPG Review #91: Phantom Brave
RPG Review #90: Skies of Arcadia
RPG Review #87: Treasure of the Rudras
RPG Review #86: Dual Orb II
RPG Review #84: Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure
RPG Review #83: Romancing SaGa 3
RPG Review #82: Shining in the Darkness
RPG Review #80: Legend of Legaia
RPG Review #78: Romancing SaGa 2
RPG Review #77: The 7th Saga
RPG Review #74: Growlanser III: The Dual Darkness
RPG Review #73: Langrisser II
RPG Review #71: Phantasy Star III
RPG Review #70: Vagrant Story
RPG Review #69: Thousand Arms
RPG Review #68: Terranigma
RPG Review #67: Star Ocean
RPG Review #64: Paper Mario
RPG Review #63: Kartia: The Word of Fate
RPG Review #61: Romancing SaGa
RPG Review #59: Brave Fencer Musashi
RPG Review #58: Jade Cocoon
RPG Review #56: Warsong
RPG Review #53: Hydlide
RPG Review #51: Illusion of Gaia
RPG Recap: My Top 10 Favorite RPGs.
RPG Review #49: Live-A-Live
RPG Review #48: Magic Knight Rayearth
RPG Review #47: Great Greed
RPG Review #45: Final Fantasy VI
RPG Review #42: Soul Blazer
Old RPG Review #40: Chrono Cross
Old RPG Review #39: Tales of Destiny
RPG Review #38: Suikoden III
Old RPG Review #37: Sailor Moon: Another Story
Old RPG Review #36: Lufia: The Legend Returns
RPG Review #35: Wild ARMs 3
RPG Review #34: Odin Sphere
Old RPG Review #33: Suikoden II
Old RPG Review #31: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Old RPG Review #30: Xenogears
RPG Review #29: Wild ARMs - Alter Code F
Old RPG Review #28: Breath of Fire IV
Old RPG Review #27: Suikoden
Old RPG Review #26: Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete
Old RPG Review #25: Valkyrie Profile.
Old RPG Review #24: Wild ARMs 2 *Part 1*
Old RPG Review #23: Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals
Old RPG Review #22: Wild ARMs
Old RPG Review #20: Chrono Trigger
Old RPG Review #19 Majin Eiyuuden Wataru Gaiden
Old RPG Review #18: Tales of Phantasia
Old RPG Review #16: Phantasy Star II
Old RPG Review #15: The Guardian Legend
Old RPG Review #14: Sword of Mana
Old RPG Review #13: Breath of Fire III
Old RPG Review #11: Breath of Fire II
Old RPG Review #10: Secret of Evermore
Old RPG Review #8: Crusader of Centy
Old RPG Review #7: Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete
Old RPG review #5: Crystalis
Old RPG review #4: Final Fantasy IV
Old RPG review #3: Phantasy Star
Old RPG review #2: Final Fantasy
Old RPG review #1: Threads of Fate.

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