View Full Version : Best RPG Battle Systems

Wolf Kanno
09-21-2017, 11:19 PM
Found this amusing GameTrailers video on YouTube and thought I would share it.


I also wanted to use this time to discuss which battle system stood out for you personally while gaming in this beloved genre?

09-21-2017, 11:53 PM
That's about JRPGs, not just RPGs. Which are we answering about?

#1 RPG combat system: Divinity: Original Sin 1 & 2

Wolf Kanno
09-22-2017, 12:05 AM
That's about JRPGs, not just RPGs. Which are we answering about?

#1 RPG combat system: Divinity: Original Sin 1 & 2

Any RPG, I don't see any reason to limit ourselves.

Chibi Youkai
09-22-2017, 06:39 AM
I'm so glad they mentioned Shadow Hearts. Came here to mention it when I saw the thread title. You really had to be on the ball to do well with it. Tried to play it once after having my wisdom teeth cut out, let's just say that it didn't end well. Magna Carta: Tears of Blood also had an interesting battle system, playing off the terrain and weather, if I remember properly.

09-22-2017, 09:30 AM
For JRPGs, probably SMTIV, though most MegaTen games probably qualify. This one probably has my favorite version of the press-turn system with smirks and a bunch of other stuff. It's also really quick, so the battles go by fast!

For WRPGs, the Witcher 3. I've heard it be compared to the Souls series, but I haven't played though so I can't comment on that. It's fast and fluid and, most importantly, very lore-appropriate. Everything about it is just such an accurate representation of the character from the books and prior games that it really feels satisfying. Though I prefer turn-based systems in general, this is probably my favorite action-RPG system.

09-22-2017, 02:29 PM
I appreciate that they went with Graces f for the Tales series, though i vehemently disagree with Star Ocean 4 :p

Anyway, some battle systems that have stood out for me:

Wild Arms 4 & 5's HEX battle system: I haven't played these in ages, so i don't know how i'd feel about them now, but back then I really enjoyed this battle system

Divinity: Original Sin 1 & 2: My favorite WRPG battle system, the amount of ways you can use elements and terrain during combat is great, and it's relatively fast compared to other turn-based WRPG systems.

Trails of Cold Steel 1 & 2: Overall, this honestly looks pretty similar to your standard turn-based JRPG combat, but I feel like the ability to interrupt the turn order using special attacks (S-Breaks) and turns having random effects (100% critical, status effect added to your attack, heal, etc) sets it apart enough. Like a few other JRPGs, character positioning is also a thing in this system, being able to walk out of AoE spells before they go off (since they take turns to charge) and such.

Resonance of Fate: Because running and jumping across the battlefield while simultaneously shooting enemies is great. Once you get the hang of the battle system, anyway. Downside is that the tutorial for this battle system is 20 walls of text.

Rocket Edge
09-22-2017, 04:12 PM
FFXII's has to be up there. I know the Junction system is broken as hell in FFVIII but I enjoyed it a lot.

09-22-2017, 07:47 PM
I actually really like Diablo and sort of jumping around and casting spells in real time.

Wolf Kanno
09-22-2017, 07:53 PM
I prefer SMTIII's version of the Press Turn system over IVs, only because other factors outside of the battle system (stat progression and fusion mechanics) made it feel far more rewarding whereas the loss of the defense stat and the ability to pick and choose your fused demon skills have certain drawbacks in places.

I would probably add Breath of Fire V's combat system which made you a stickler for range and had a great combo system. I also really loved Vagrant Story's combat once you get comfortable with the Risk system.

09-23-2017, 07:20 AM
SMT, Vagrant Story, & Dragon Quarter are probably my favorite JRPG systems and I literally came in to post the same, toss in Final Fantasy X and Grandia and I think that's my personal faves.

Jade Empire, Wizardry 8, and Wasteland 2 are really good but the best WRPG system is Divinity: Original Sin. My only complaint is that I wish you could have larger parties, but I think that's more a testament to the game than anything.

09-25-2017, 11:21 PM
I felt like what Tales of Graces did well the Tales of Destiny Remake did better... but that's a game that never crossed the pond, so I wouldn't expect people to talk about it.

It's an honorable mention in the thumbnail, but I've always enjoyed Valkyrie Profile 2's battle system. While I prefer the original game as a whole more, the sequel made combat a lot more interesting.

Though it isn't perfect, I like the idea of Chrono Cross's Element system, specifically the idea you start with a set number of magic charges and unlock more as combat goes on. Stronger spells cost more charges, and the set of spells a character possesses is completely up for customization. It's a shame combat feels so incredibly tedious in that game.

Beyond that, I agree with the previously mentioned games, particularly Grandia, SMT3, Vagrant Story, FFXII and X.

Would we count the original Parasite Eve as an "Action RPG?" if not, I really enjoy combat in that game as well.

10-02-2017, 05:24 PM
I actually like FFXIII's battle system *dodges tomatoes*
Tales of Xillia was really good
Trails of Cold Steel I&II are solid with the linking and everything
Grandia II was really good as well
Bravely Second and Default were good
Points to FFX-2 for tranformations and a smooth, well paced system
Eternal Sonata had the nifty light/dark aspect to its battles

10-05-2017, 01:01 AM
I don't hate FFXIII's battle system either. It would just be nice if different enemies had different stagger requirements so combat didn't feel SO repetitive.

12-08-2017, 07:14 AM
I swear I replied to this thread back when it was new, but maybe I just thought about it and never actually did it

I think the insane fun and ridiculousness of Tales of Xillia probably wins it for me. Its one of the few JRPGs where I thought getting into one more fight was a great idea. I loved fighting in that game

Ever since Legend of Legaia I've wanted a JRPG where the battle system was basically a fighting game. And Xillia pretty much gave it to me. Granted, they took it to Marvel Vs Capcom levels of crazy, but I liked it

Speaking of Legaia, I wish that game got more than one sequel to explore that style. And sadly I never got to experience the sequel to see if they made it better or worse, but I thought the first one was good enough to explore a couple of games with. It'd be nice if it survived into a newer era where it could have a better art style, and potentially better writing to go with it. And I'm surprised nobody else tried a similar style

Bravely Default and Resonance of Fate definitely deserve a mention. As far as random encounters and regular turn-based style. Bravely floored it in execution

Resonance of Fate was so ridiculously different, but well executed in what it wanted to be. And almost too well executed. It deeper than it actually has any right to be. And once you get past all the quirks and learn how to break the system, you're basically a Jon Woo action hero