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Thread: Top 3 favorite RPGs per gaming era/system

  1. #1
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Pink Grin Top 3 favorite RPGs per gaming era/system

    You can divide this up by either consoles or include era for people who prefer their PC games. You need 3 RPGs for each and you can pick and choose which ones you want to bother with. The only rule I may add in here is that only one version of the game counts, so while you can vote for FFXII:TZA or Pokemon Soul Silver, you can't then include the original FFXII or Poke Silver on your list. Only one version of the game.

    I would also appreciate if you wrote up a blurb on why you feel these games deserve to be on your list please.

  2. #2


    Atari - Didn't play any RPGs. Not sure if there were any.

    Sega Master System - Phantasy Star, I guess?

    NES - Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior. That's all I played.

    SNES - FFVI, FFIV, Secret of Mana

    PSX - FFVII, FFVIII, Suikoden II

    PS2 - FFX, Persona 3, Persona 4 (or maybe Suikoden V)

    Gamecube - Paper Mario Thousand Year Door maybe? That's the only one I played.

    PS3 - Meh. I don't know. Tales of Xillia? The fact that I'm even suggesting that just shows how much I can't really think of RPGs I played and really liked for PS3. It was kind of a bad era for RPGs. Most of the RPGs I played on PS3 were actually PS2 or PSX RPGs.

    PS4 - Persona 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, DQXI (maybe)

    Switch - too early to say.

    Really among these only SNES, PSX, and PS2 had enough RPGs that I played and loved to make this about selecting the creme of the crop rather than just thinking up what RPGs I played on the console. For SNES, PSX, and PS2 I'm actually excluding RPGs I love, whereas for the others I'm including RPGs that I don't necessarily believe deserve the honor.

  3. #3
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Final Fantasy - While incredibly basic for today's player, I appreciate the replay value and easier sequence breaking this game has over other JRPGs of its time.

    Final Fantasy III - Basically FFI on steroids, I love the new job mechanics and the fiercer difficulty.

    Dragon Quest III - Probably the best JRPG on the NES. It has my favorite setting and story twist within the DQ universe. It also has the strongest gameplay of the NES entries.

    Saga 2(FFL2)
    - It's everything I liked about the first game just more and packaged in a tighter and more interesting story.

    SaGa 1(FFL) - A surprisingly good, if really quirky RPG that changes how you really think about RPG mechanics. It's honestly well designed for handheld gaming.

    Pokemon Red/Blue - The games that started it all, it has the distinction of being the only entries in the franchise I ever really got into.

    Final Fantasy VI
    - Still my absolute favorite FF game that really changed my thoughts on gaming in general.

    Chrono Trigger - My favorite game of all time that I still feel has the closest overall perfect design.

    Secret of Mana - The game that really got me into RPGs. It's still my favorite Mana game and one of the rare Action RPGs I enjoy.

    FFTactics Advance
    - While I feel its a bit stripped down from its predecessor, the story for this game is phenomenal and underrated.

    Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories - Probably the last well written KH game. I love the more tactical battle system and the darker direction it took the series.

    FFV Advance - While I dislike the new classes and weaker audio presentation, FFVA has the best translation for this overall stellar game.

    Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
    - One of the most underrated of the pure SMT titles outside of maybe "if...". This game has one of the better narratives for the SMT franchise and strong gameplay despite dropping the awesome Press Turn System for something more conventional.

    The World Ends With You - One of the rare games built to tackle all of the DS gimmicks and somehow make it fun. A great story, cool aesthetic and OST work well with a quirky battle system that is unlike anything we've ever really seen since.

    Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride
    - A great remake of a great 16-bit RPG. I appreciate the fact the new content doesn't feel as intrusive as the ones for other DQ titles and instead just lets the game shine for its own merits.

    Xenoblade Chronicles
    - One of the most impressive games on the Wii period, the scale of its world combined with its user friendly quest mechanics and intriguing gameplay made this one of the great gems for this system.

    The Last Story - One of the more underrated games for the Wii as well as Mistwalker in general. While its main characters are cringy as hell, the actual plot is decent and is combined with really groundbreaking gameplay I'm sad that no one else really picked up on.

    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Hell yeah I'm counting this, if anything, so I can have three entries. Easily my favorite game on the Wii and my favorite of the 3D Zelda titles.

    - With a plot ahead of its time, Xenogears pretty much destroyed my expectations for narratives in this genre.

    Vagrant Story
    - Probably Matsuno's true masterpiece, VS is a quirky but engaging game that combines interesting gameplay with a stirring narrative.

    Suikoden II - An awesome expansion from the criminally underrated first entry. The game is the other well known RPG about two friends being torn apart by war and finding themselves on opposing sides of the conflict. Expanded gameplay and a more cohesive storyline that isn't as guilty of dipping too much into RPG cliches made this a fan favorite for sure.

    Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne
    - My favorite SMT game and the title that made me fall in love with the franchise. I still feel its one of the most engaging entries and best game out of Atlus.

    Persona 3 FES - Probably the best Persona game in general that rebooted the franchise and turned it into a powerhouse. It still has the best design of the series.

    Suikoden V - Easily the most underrated entry of the "good" Suikoden games. SV takes everything that was good about the series and puts it together in one package. At least Suikoden fans can agree that the mainline series left on a high note.

    Demon's Souls
    - This game had been on my radar since it was causing a stir in Japan. One of the most innovated RPGs on the system that really deserved a remake treatment over its spiritual predecessor.

    Dark Souls
    - Taking the great core concepts from Demon and ironing out all the bugs, it is no surprise to me that DS1 was such a phenomena for this generation. It made difficult games hip again and helped propel the most engaging aspects of its predecessors to a more mainstream audience.

    Dark Souls 2 - While it may be the black sheep of the franchise, DS2 is still a pretty solid game overall that just gets a bit bloated in a few places. yes, I'm a fanboy now...

    Persona 2: Innocent Sin
    - The most underrated entry of the franchise, P2 is really where we get to see this franchise flex its narrative muscle and I still prefer its more punk aspect compared to the streamlined anime styling of its successors. It's just a damn shame that Eternal Punishment wasn't ported over either.

    Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
    - A real cool game that deserved better than to be on the PSP, I still feel this game should have been KHIII.

    Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
    - The best FF game on the PS1, this game takes the narrative points from Tactics Ogre and turns it into an engaging character study that is combined with one of my favorite Tactical RPG battle systems. The PSP version adds a bunch of cool features, but I feel the new translation is the best part.

    - Easily my favorite of the Souls-like titles. Bloodborne takes the elements I love from Dark Souls and merges it with faster and more aggressive combat and a better setting based on Lovecraft. In fact the Lore based story-telling and bleakness of the setting works well for a Lovecraft inspired gem. Happy hunting good hunters indeed.

    Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - While the graphical update wasn't really special for this game considering the original still looks stellar, finally getting a hold of the superior Zodiac Jobs version of this game helps to smooth out a lot of the gripes on the gameplay side of things. The gameplay changes honestly help make this feel like a different game which is much appreciated for someone who poured a lot of time into the original. Still love the plot and cast too!

    Persona 5 - A stellar RPG that showed people that turn based combat can still be fun and engaging. P5 feels like a proper sequel to P3 that largely fixes major problems from the previous entries like way better dungeon design, more challenging combat, a more engaging social link system, and a story that feels more hard hitting and will make you walk away from it thinking more about your life. It is one of the rare sequels in development hell that was actually worth the wait.
    Last edited by Wolf Kanno; 01-30-2020 at 09:58 AM.

  4. #4
    The Alpha and the Omega WarZidane's Avatar
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    Final Fantasy 1, 2 and 3 - As you can tell by the fact FF2 is also my worst NES RPG in the other thread, these are the only thee RPGs I played on the NES.
    That said, there is of course merit to them even without competition. They were generally enjoyable and the foundation of many RPGs.

    Secret of Mana - My first RPG, naturally it holds a special spot for me. This may seem odd given my comments on the remake in the other thread, but context matters, and in the context of SNES games, I'm still perfectly okay with Secret of Mana's issues.

    Final Fantasy VI - One of my favorite FF games, certainly my favorite SNES FF. Not much to say here, really, it's FFVI.

    Tales of Phantasia - The first Tales game, and it still holds up well too. Laid the foundation of one of the long-running RPG series I really like, and also just a very solid game.

    Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - An excellent RPG, it's also my favorite Mario game. It took what I liked about the first Paper Mario and just improved on all aspects.

    Skies of Arcadia - Just an entertaining sky pirate romp wrapped in RPG gameplay. Solid, fun game.

    Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean - This interesting little gem was actually developed by Monolith Soft, of Xeno fame. Rather than being the protagonist, you're actually a guardian spirit that guides the protagonist and the protagonist even interacts with you. The battle system used a deck of cards that you customize yourself. Overall I really enjoyed the game.

    Xenoblade Chronicles - While I never finished it because I burnt myself out on the stupid amount of tiny fetch quests (which I still think is the worst part of the game, I know it's optional but hey, I don't decide how my brain works ), it's still a great game. I enjoyed the combat, the music's great and the world's locations are just incredible.

    Muramasa: The Demon Blade - A fun little RPG by Vanillaware, who also made Odin Sphere. It's about what you'd expect from those developers, very entertaining 2D side-scrolling RPG action. I didn't think it was as good as Odin Sphere, but a good game regardless.

    The Last Story - Much as I like to make fun of this game's story and its laughable romance, I did like the gameplay a lot.

    Xenoblade 2 - As with the first Xenoblade, I still enjoy the combat (moreso, even). It also wasn't bogged down by as many pointless fetch sidequests, instead having fewer but more interesting sidequests. Most people bash on the Blade system in this game for its random-ness, but I can live with that, it never really got in my way. Locations are just as great as in Xenoblade 1 and I liked the story as well.

    Octopath Traveler - Overall an enjoyable game, with gameplay similar to Bravely Default. Not an especially intriguing story, but it's sufficient. My biggest issue with this game is that it's just not very compatible with my playstyle, which is to hoard items and MP. This game's random encounters won't really let you do that unless you vastly outlevel enemies, which makes playing this game a not so relaxing experience for me, constantly having to against my instincts.

    Fire Emblem Three Houses - After two Fire Emblem games that I disliked, this entry took the series to a place that I enjoyed again. The battles are pretty standard Fire Emblem fare of course, with the addition of a rewind function that's convenient to have. Good music, story's not that great but serviceable. It did start to wear on me a little near the end, where I started to just skip weeks to get to the next story section.

    Xbox 360
    Lost Odyssey - An amazing RPG that deserved more success than it ultimately got. Interesting story, gameplay similar to Final Fantasy X and great music. If you're able to play this game but haven't, do eet.

    Mass Effect 2 - My favorite entry in the Mass Effect franchise. It streamlined and polished a lot of the things I had issues with in the first game. Also, shout-out to the Suicide Mission, which to this day is still Bioware at its best.

    Resonance of Fate - A very solid RPG with unique gameplay. The overworld consists of hexagons that you have to fill in (with various effects) before you can traverse them, and the combat is a semi-turn-based run and gun system, where you can pick a location to run to, and as the character is running there you can jump and/or shoot enemies and set up combinations with multiple characters. The game's only sin is the tutorial, which is just walls of text that make no real sense until you actually try things in combat.

    Trails in the Sky FC - A great game on its own, but also the foundation of an even greater overall series. Music, story, characters and worldbuilding are all great. Combat wasn't quite up my alley yet in this entry because it's a bit slow and punishing, but it was still enjoyable combat.

    Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep - Still possibly my favorite KH game. I love the command deck, the tragic story and the combat. Having to go through the worlds with each character could at some points be a drag, but it was overall fine.

    Persona 3 Portable - Persona 3, but with female protagonist. What more is there to say?

    Playstation Vita
    Ao no Kiseki/Trails to Azure - This game's pretty high up there in my ranking even among Trails games. Great story with some incredibly intense boss battles, and well, everything else is also great as usual.

    Zero no Kiseki/Trails from Zero - Less intense than above entry, but almost just as great nonetheless.

    Ys: Memories of Celceta - My second-favorite Ys game. Just a quality action RPG. Fun combat, great music.

    Gameboy Advance
    Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation 2 - One of my favorite entries in my favorite SRPG franchise. While most Super Robot Taisen games are crossovers of various licensed mecha series, the Original Generation games take original characters from these crossover games and make *them* crossover with each other in its own original premise. It's actually a pretty good story, but of course the main draw is the mecha battles wrapped in an enjoyable SRPG combat system with great music.

    Golden Sun - A solid RPG overall, but what made it stand out to me was its dungeons, carefully designed, interesting and filled with puzzles.

    Golden Sun: The Lost Age - The sequel to Golden Sun, and no less impressive. I'd say this one's even better.

    Nintendo DS
    Radiant Historia - A great RPG with a sort of grid-based turn-based combat system and an interesting time travel story filled with characters I liked.

    Ys 1 & 2 - That's right, I actually played the DS version of Ys 1+2, which rather than the bump combat had a more standard "press this button to swing sword" combat.
    Again, just an enjoyable action RPG.

    Dragon Quest V - One of my favorite Dragon Quest games. The combat is your standard DQ fare, and the story ultimately isn't super intriguing or anything, but something about the way it covers the protagonists childhood, teenage years and adulthood stuck with me.

    Nintendo 3DS
    Shin Megami Tensei IV - Possibly my favorite mainline SMT game, hard to tell if it beats Nocturne. Either way, it's a great RPG that takes the familiar SMT gameplay and streamlines it a little bit further.

    Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers - Not as good as SMT IV, but very enjoyable still.

    Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance - Not exactly my favorite Kingdom Hearts game, but it's still a solid action RPG.

    Playstation 1
    Xenogears - Still one of my all-time favorite RPGs. The story was completely beyond anything else at the time and the combat was fun too.

    Final Fantasy IX - My favorite single-player FF.

    Legend of Dragoon - I really enjoyed the combat and how your attacks got stronger depending on how well you performed the timing aspect of it. Also, as campy as the story and characters were, I loved it anyway. The music was great too.

    Playstation 2
    Ar Tonelico - The game that changed my view on game music and how intertwined with the game's story and themes it can be. It's also just a really good RPG.

    Ar Tonelico 2 - Even better than the first game (and future installments), this game was just damn amazing. I loved the music, the story, the characters and the gameplay. Just thinking back on the game puts me through an emotional rollercoaster again.

    Super Robot Taisen Alpha 3 - Honestly, I could put a dozen other RPGs in this spot. All of them were great but none really left that lasting impression on me like the above two entries. Anyway, this game, as I said previously in this post, is a cross-over game with a bunch of mech series wrapped in SRPG gameplay. You want to see Gunbuster, a plethora of Gundams and Evangelion units fighting space bugs side by side? Then this is your jam. It's definitely mine.

    Playstation 3
    Trails of Cold Steel - A big step in the evolution of Trails, this game streamlined the combat a lot and also made the step to full 3D. Again, the world, story and characters are great.

    Trails of Cold Steel 2 - See above, but I liked this one even more.

    Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star - The (sadly) final entry in the Ar Tonelico universe, it's just as great as the Ar Tonelico games. Again, amazing music, fun combat and a good story. Again, thinking back on it is like an emotional rollercoaster.

    Playstation 4
    Trails of Cold Steel 3 - My second-favorite Trails game. I feel like I don't really have anything to add on top of what I said about previous entries on this list.

    Trails of Cold Steel 4 - And my favorite Trails game (also, y'know, my all-time favorite game), acting as a big climax and wrap-up of many of the story elements of the first three Trails arcs (which serve as the "first half" of the series overall, hoo boy). A pretty massive endeavor and I loved every minute of it, including the ending that actually completely nails it in my opinion.

    Ys VIII - An amazing action RPG and a step above even other Ys games. It's just pure fun to play and even delves into the story and characters more than previous entries.

    Deus Ex - A game that completely blew away my expectations and still stands as the pinnacle of western RPGs for me. It very much changed my view on certain aspects of RPGs.

    Trails in the Sky SC - Well, at this point I've gone through enough entries in this series throughout this post. All that stuff applies here too.

    Trails in the Sky the 3rd - And again. although this one has a very different structure (more a dungeon crawler with some long text-heavy sections inbetween), I still love it.

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