Top Ten JRPG Franchises Where the First Game is Not the Best

It should be pretty obvious, but the first game in a franchise is usually not the best. There are only a few exceptions to this rule, such as Valkyrie Profile. However, many other franchises do not follow this pattern.
The Top Ten
1 Final Fantasy

So many games in this series, but the first one is not just standard, but also crude. Later entries with many game changes were a lot better.

2 Dragon Warrior

If anything, the first Dragon Warrior was awful, with too much grinding just to get better.

3 Ys

Although I've only played the first Ys so far, the games are supposed to be pretty decent for action RPGs. The combat systems suggest otherwise though.

4 Suikoden

Somewhat debatable because the first Suikoden game is actually my favorite. However, most people obviously say Suikoden 2 is where the best of the series lies.

5 Breath of Fire

I enjoyed both the PlayStation Breath of Fires over the SNES/GBA Breath of Fires. The first one is fairly traditional and somewhat boring.

6 Phantasy Star

Another one that can be debatable. It's agreed that Phantasy Star is the best game bar none on the Sega Master System. However, many people think Phantasy Star IV is the best of the series instead. I'm inclined to agree with that sentiment.

7 Mother

Well, duh. Mother spawned Earthbound, which was the second game, but the first one with Ninten as the protagonist was a complete Dragon Warrior clone.

8 Wild Arms

I'd say 3 is the best. The PlayStation Wild Arms are okay but fairly traditional, while 3 is pretty good, and 4 and 5 are a lot more unique.

9 Tales

Somewhat difficult to judge. I've only played Phantasia and Destiny, but with plenty of games in the Tales series, and Symphonia being perhaps the most remembered, I'd say that Phantasia (the first one) isn't as good as that.

10 Star Ocean

Again, I've only played the first one. Many say the second one is the best of all of them though.

The Contenders
11 Pokemon

There have been constant improvements with each passing generation that there really should be zero reason to prefer Generation 1 games over all others.

Generation one was full of glitches. Later generations fixed those.

12 Lufia

A franchise of only four games total (plus one remake). Most fans can tell you right now that the best is the second game.

13 Arc the Lad

Currently on the second game, which is much more fleshed out than the quick first game. However, I have to say Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits, the fourth game or so, is the fan favorite.

14 Digimon World

I played all four games, and they can all get convoluted. The first was a hybrid and was part pet simulator but required a lot to do, while the second and third are more in line with other RPGs and were better.

15 Mana

The Mana series includes Final Fantasy Adventure (called Sword of Mana in its remake), Secret of Mana, Trials of Mana, Legend of Mana, and Children of Mana. These are the main games, and of them, Secret of Mana is easily the most well-known and loved, compared to FFA, which was what Sword of Mana was called at the time.

16 Grandia

Okay, this one is actually debatable, but the best game in the short-lived Grandia series is either the first or the second game. To me, the second game is an improvement. The characters are more relatable, the game feels somehow more classic, and there's substantially less grinding for anything you need. Grandia 1 is good but not at the level of Grandia 2. At least both are better than the third game.

17 Persona

How many times have I heard how good Persona 5 is? Plus, the main character there is a Smash character now.

18 Yo-Kai Watch
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