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staen
Member
(10-12-2017, 02:43 AM)
Age of Decadence
I've put in over a hundred hours and have done five different playthroughs but still feel like there's a lot in the game I have yet to experience or discover. Unlike other RPGs where role-playing involves providing many ways to tackle a single problem, AoD opens up entirely different problems to tackle depending on what type of character you're role-playing. AoD gives so many different branching paths with so many different scenarios depending on character build and faction. Even among the different factions,which all completely alter the way the story unfolds for the player, there are major branching paths to choose from depending on your character build and choices. Add in a fantastic and brutal tactical combat system, an interesting and harsh post-apocalyptic world inspired by a fallen Roman Empire, and I think I can safely say Age of Decadence is one of the crowning achievements to rise out of the new age of crpgs.

Mount & Blade: Warband
A medieval sandbox rpg that strikes a great balance between giving the player freedom and giving the sandbox some structure as to not feel devoid of life or goals. Combat in the game is a combination of real time action with its own physics system and army and troop building management. Most battles involve around 100 or more troops(depending on settings) fighting at once in real time so it can get pretty hectic but still has some intricacies to its combat and strategy. The main draw of the game though are definitely the mods. The game was designed with mods in mind as even the base game is a considered a selectable mod upon booting the game. Fantasy universes like Star Wars, Middle Earth, Game of Thrones, Warhammer or different time periods ranging anywhere from 16th century Southeast Asia to 7th century Britain to the wild wild west in the 1860s are just a few examples of total conversion mods available for Warband. I was astonished by the amount of effort that fans put into some of these mods changing the entire feel of the game visually, aurally and mechanically. The Star Wars Conquests mod is probably my favorite Star Wars rpg I've ever played and it isn't even my favorite mod. That's a testament to how great some of the mods are. The game is pretty notorious for fans hitting the over 1000 hours played mark for a reason.

Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
By far one of my favorite settings in RPGs, Arcanum takes place in a fantasy world, with the expected inclusions of elves,dwarves, orcs and magic, but occurs during the time of the industrial revolution. This leads to an interesting clash of new age technology vs old world of magic. The concept is very well realized in both the game's intricate world and its excellent character building options. Invest too much in technological skills like building firearms, explosives,or electrical devices and magic spells and enchanted pieces of equipment will be far less effective if usable at all. The character creation system also allows a huge number of role-playing options with fantastic reactivity. People will comment on your race, gender, whether you are technologically or magically inclined, your alignment,your personal relationship, whether or not you're wearing clothes and your reputation among other things throughout the game. Quests also provide a wide variety of options as there are always multiple ways to solve them based on your own character's knowledge, build or choices. The game's combat isn't stellar and can be very imbalanced, but I honestly didn't care just because of how fun making and living as a character in this world was.

Genforge 1
I love monster collecting/raising games like Pokémon, SMT and Dragon Quest Monsters. I also love CRPGs. When I heard that there was a CRPG where your only party members are creatures you've created, it instantly piqued my interests. Though it wasn't exactly what I thought it'd be, it does feel different from most RPGs of its kind since all your party members are disposable creatures you've given life to. You can choose to invest in your creations to make them stronger in attempt to create a more permanent party member, but the game tends to favor treating them like the disposable tools they are in the game's world. Combat is fun but nothing special. The combat is turned based with action points very reminiscent of Fallout 1+2. The story and its world are the real reasons for playing the game. They're so well done,it makes glossing over the lackluster visuals very easy. The game isn't much of a looker. It's a low budget indie game and it shows. Aside from the title track, the rest of the game doesn't even have music! The strength of the game's writing alone kept me engaged and desiring more. I jumped to the second and third games almost immediately one after another before finally taking a break. The series spans five games and even though the other games are better mechanically and visually, the first game easily captured the feeling of mystery and intrigue best.


Fallout
The first CRPG I tried involved learning some basic DnD terminology and rules but as a teenager I lacked the attention span to learn them and decided to move on. Many years later I finally gave the first Fallout a try. It was far more accessible, had a straight-forward turn based combat system with satisfying death animations, an interesting post-apocalyptic setting with its own distinctive characteristics and still had all of the core elements that make CRPGs so great. Being weaned on JRPGs, the flexible character creation system that allowed a good mixture of various combat builds and role-playing options, reactivity from its inhabitants based on choices in and out of dialogue and choices that actually affect the outcome of the story was a delightful new experience. Fallout 1 was a great gateway CRPG for me. It's accessible but with plenty of depth and a great aesthetic style that few RPGs can match.


Chrono Trigger
It's hard to explain why this is one of my favorite games of all time. It doesn't have any particular unique or standout features but all of its components come together so perfectly and it is so well paced that it somehow bests other games that have done some of its features better. I feel like all the RPGs that Squaresoft and Enix made prior culminated into this perfect dream project to reach the pinnacle of 2D RPGs of its era.

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Every RPG fan should play at least one Shin Megami Tensei title and if they only play one, it should be Nocturne. It has all the features that make SMT fun: demon fusion and skill inheritance,press turn battle system, post-apocalyptic world overrun by demons, actual dungeons and multiple endings based on your choices. But it has one standout feature that other SMT games have been unable to match: its atmosphere. In other SMT games, the setting may be bleak but humanity still exists. In Nocturne, humanity is dead. There's this great sense of desolation and isolation in the world that none of the other games possess.


Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber
People often think of Tactics Ogre when they hear Ogre Battle, but the original real time strategy rpg series offers an experience that a lot of other RPGs don't. Most RPGs focus on a smaller group of individuals that you can directly control but Ogre Battle 64 had you focus on controlling entire squadrons that you had indirect control of in combat. How you geared your troops, the squad's formation, the squadron leader, and their set tactics determined how well they would do. The game had a more serious tone than most Japanese RPGs, offered branching paths, had a reputation system based on actions and a number of companions to recruit that would alter the ending you received. I may have a slight bias for OB64 over the original simply because the N64 was pretty scarce for RPGs and this was my oasis in that desert.

Xenoblade Chronicles
After playing the game for 30-40 minutes the first time, I decided to drop the game because I couldn't wrap my head around why anyone would want to combine MMO like gameplay with the structure of a jrpg. After seeing raving reviews I decided to give it another shot and finally something clicked. Xenoblade is by no means an open world game, as it has a linear story, but it manages to capture the feeling of one because of how open everything is to explore. The game encourages exploration by not penalizing the player for dying and constantly rewarding the player's curiosity with experience for discovering new areas, new items to fill out your collectopaedia or unique monsters to kill. XC is a beautiful blending of open exploration and structured story.

Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals
I can't really think of any jrpgs that have puzzles as good as Lufia II's. I'm not even much of a puzzle fan, but the puzzles really made the dungeons in the game a lot more enjoyable than most. It wasn't just about trudging through one monster encounter after another with the occasional puzzle thrown in. The puzzles were an integral part of the dungeon design and often times more important than any of the monster encounters. Of course, for the traditional dungeon crawling fan there was also the amazing Ancient Cave, which almost feels like a game in itself. Forcing the player to start at level 1 each time they entered the 100 floor dungeon with none of his gear or abilities available was a really challenging and rewarding dungeon crawling experience.

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Age of Decadence
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Mount & Blade: Warband
Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
Geneforge 1
Fallout
Chrono Trigger
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals
Xenoblade Chronicles

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Secret of Evermore
Earthbound
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

--VOTE INFO END--
Robert at Zeboyd Games
Banned
(10-12-2017, 04:11 AM)

Originally Posted by staen

Xenoblade Chronicles
After playing the game for 30-40 minutes the first time, I decided to drop the game because I couldn't wrap my head around why anyone would want to combine MMO like gameplay with the structure of a jrpg. After seeing raving reviews I decided to give it another shot and finally something clicked.

That's very similar to my own story - played Xenoblade Chronicles for a few hours, thought it was decent, but not great. Forgot about it and came back 6-12 months later & restarted. Turned into one of my favorite games of all-time.
MoonFrog
Member
(10-12-2017, 04:16 AM)
MoonFrog's Avatar
Perhaps I should go back to XB then. I had a decent time with it. Liked bits a lot; but was overwhelmed by sidequests and the party play was somewhat disappointing to me. Particularly the former led to my effort towards it petering out and being forgotten to time.

Maybe I'd have a more glowing experience going back too.

But really, I have a hard time managing "too much" side content when I also want to press the main story. Really I should be able to just move past that when I don't really care about the side content (like here) but it eats at me.
kswiston
Member
(10-12-2017, 04:22 AM)
kswiston's Avatar
There's a day and a half left in the voting.

I might start counting complete ballots a bit early, so PM me if you make last minute changes.. I will leave ballots that look incomplete until the end.


Here's our "reserved a post but never came back" wall of shame

LambdaTeos - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...68&postcount=9
PhilipDoesMatter - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...6&postcount=10
MomoQca - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...2&postcount=14
SatoAilDarko - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...8&postcount=15
Vris - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...4&postcount=17
MidiPour - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...8&postcount=21
phaeta - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...6&postcount=27
SamNW - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...0&postcount=59
exmachina64 - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...&postcount=202 (started with some titles)
timothyonfire - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...&postcount=278

If one of those is you, get your list up before Friday morning, or edit out the reserved part! If you ended up voting in a different post, you can mention that as well.

I was actually expecting more unused reserved posts based on how many we had on the first day, so good work to those who actually went back to complete their posts!
Iva Demilcol
Member
(10-12-2017, 04:27 AM)
Iva Demilcol's Avatar
Xenoblade got into my top 20 too, but to me the game went from something amazing to less and less. The combat mechanics were a little bit overwhelming at first, then the combat clicked at some point but as the story progressed and the sidequests became too many, the novelty of the combat wore off. In terms of presentation though, the game is wonderful.

I made a LTTP about it too: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1328434
texhnolyze
Banned
(10-12-2017, 05:11 AM)

Originally Posted by kswiston

There's a day and a half left in the voting.

I might start counting complete ballots a bit early, so PM me if you make last minute changes.. I will leave ballots that look incomplete until the end.


Here's our "reserved a post but never came back" wall of shame

LambdaTeos - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...68&postcount=9
PhilipDoesMatter - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...6&postcount=10
MomoQca - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...2&postcount=14
SatoAilDarko - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...8&postcount=15
Vris - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...4&postcount=17
MidiPour - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...8&postcount=21
phaeta - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...6&postcount=27
SamNW - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...0&postcount=59
exmachina64 - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...&postcount=202 (started with some titles)
timothyonfire - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...&postcount=278

If one of those is you, get your list up before Friday morning, or edit out the reserved part! If you ended up voting in a different post, you can mention that as well.

I was actually expecting more unused reserved posts based on how many we had on the first day, so good work to those who actually went back to complete their posts!

SatoAilDarko
Member
(10-12-2017, 05:13 AM)
SatoAilDarko's Avatar

Originally Posted by kswiston

There's a day and a half left in the voting.

I might start counting complete ballots a bit early, so PM me if you make last minute changes.. I will leave ballots that look incomplete until the end.


Here's our "reserved a post but never came back" wall of shame

LambdaTeos - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...68&postcount=9
PhilipDoesMatter - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...6&postcount=10
MomoQca - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...2&postcount=14
SatoAilDarko - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...8&postcount=15
Vris - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...4&postcount=17
MidiPour - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...8&postcount=21
phaeta - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...6&postcount=27
SamNW - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...0&postcount=59
exmachina64 - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...&postcount=202 (started with some titles)
timothyonfire - http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...&postcount=278

If one of those is you, get your list up before Friday morning, or edit out the reserved part! If you ended up voting in a different post, you can mention that as well.

I was actually expecting more unused reserved posts based on how many we had on the first day, so good work to those who actually went back to complete their posts!

Oh I'm simply waiting for the 12th in a few hours. I'm weird like that.
boybrushdRED
Member
(10-12-2017, 09:06 AM)
boybrushdRED's Avatar
1. Final Fantasy XII - Back in 2006, I thought this was the best game ever made. It is a story about war and politics. I loved every bit of it. I love the combat, the Gambit system, the license board. Voice acting and sound are great. I haven't revisited the game via the HD Remaster yet but I don't think it will change my opinion about this great game.

2. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Logged in about 3000+ hours on this game, spanning 5 Seasons. This is the most recent game that I've been competitive with. It is a time sink, but the loot system is generous in my opinion.The story campaign is ok, but the meat of the game is in the Adventure Mode end-game that was introduced in the Reaper of Souls expansion. Community is also great. Lots of helpful people on Diablo III Gaf and on Reddit.

3. Marvel Ultimate Alliance - X-Men Legends was great, but this game upped the ante. It is a Marvel fan service game. I am not an avid comic reader, so this game introduced me to a lot of Marvel Comics characters that I'm not familiar with. Great cast of playable characters. Even if you're not an avid comic reader, you will still find lots of characters that are familiar, at least if you watched some cartoons and movies. Gameplay is good, easy to pick up and play. Story is decent. Voice acting and dialogue are also great.

4. Final Fantasy X-2 - After the sad game that is Final Fantasy X comes this great sequel with a kind of an upbeat vibe. Loved that intro. Job system is great. Gameplay-wise, it is one of the best games I've ever played. Waifus.

5. Planescape: Torment - I've only played this recently with Beamdog's Enhanced Edition. I enjoyed my time with it. This game is great but really hard to recommend. It is boring to watch someone play this on Twitch. But when I'm playing, I love every second of it. I loved getting lost in this world. Lots of reading but its worth it. One of the best stories ever.

6. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Great Star Wars story. Plot twist was cool. Great music. I did not understand much of the combat but the story kept me going.

7. Pillars of Eternity - This was my first CRPG experience. Hard to learn but very rewarding. I cheesed some battles and I felt good about them.

8. Mass Effect 2 - One of the best intros in gaming. Great cast of characters. Became more of an action game compared to the first game, but still very enjoyable.

9. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - One of my favorite PSP games. Game has a lot to offer. Good story, good amount of sidequest and rewards. Spent a lot of my time crafting materia until my character became overpowered.

10. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Great story, great amount of side content. I also just love playing games where my character can be overpowered so I can steamroll the rest of the game.

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Final Fantasy XII
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
Final Fantasy X-2
Planescape: Torment
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Pillars of Eternity
Mass Effect 2
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Legend of Legaia
Fable
Bastion
I am Setsuna
Breath of Fire III
Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout 3
Pokemon Silver
X-Men Legends 2
Parasite Eve

--VOTE INFO END--
Htown
STOP SHITTING ON MY MOTHER'S HEADSTONE
(10-12-2017, 10:41 AM)
Htown's Avatar
Chrono Trigger - I love basically everything about this game, from the combat to the music to the story to the characters to the visuals. Still the pinnacle of the JRPG after all these years. If you want to get somebody into the genre, this is the game you give them.

Dark Souls - A fantastic game set in a crumbling medieval world, Darks Souls nails the "action" part of the Action RPG like no other game ever has. The game has a well-earned reputation for its difficulty, but manages to (almost) always be fair about it.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - I never thought a Mario game would be one of my favorite RPGs, but they nailed this one. The timing-based combat is fun, the writing is genuinely funny, it's just great!

Fallout: New Vegas - This game is great for always giving you a ton of options about how to approach a situation. I also love the setting of a world that's just far enough beyond the apocalypse for society to begin rebuilding itself, and how that brings different factions and philosophies into conflict.

Mount & Blade: Warband - Basically an upgraded version of the original Mount & Blade with more stuff. It's entirely a sandbox, and the only story is how you build your army and gather followers to make your mark on the world. Looks and feels clunky, but the combat is great once you get the hang of it, and having legitimate army-on-army battles isn't something you see very often in RPGs.

Xenoblade Chronicles - It's a fantastic RPG with MMO-style combat. Yes, both of those things can be true.

Final Fantasy VI - The best of the long-running FF series. It's got a good cast of characters and a really good mid-game plot twist.

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance - Nintendo's best strategy series had a really great entry on the Gamecube. My favorite SRPG series.

Skies of Arcadia - You get to be a sky pirate and have awesome adventures. Play it.

Valkyria Chronicles - Another take on the SRPG, this time with a kind of real-time/turn-based blend, set in fake anime world war 2.

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Chrono Trigger
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Mount & Blade: Warband
Dark Souls
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Fallout: New Vegas
Xenoblade Chronicles
Final Fantasy VI
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Skies of Arcadia
Valkyria Chronicles

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Xenoblade Chronicles X
Dark Souls 2
Tales of Symphonia
Fire Emblem
Final Fantasy VII
Lord of the Rings Online
Dragon Age: Origins

--VOTE INFO END--
Orgen
Member
(10-12-2017, 02:08 PM)
Orgen's Avatar
Skies of Arcadia Legends: Best game (not only RPG) related to the pirate world. Pretty long, rewards exploration and one of the best "sense of adventure" games ever. Play the GC version if you want to avoid a lot of random battles (there are still a lot, mind you).

Chrono Cross: Still holds up today graphic wise, plenty of supporting characters (>40) and the best soundtrack ever gracing a videogame. Don't expect a Chrono Trigger II and you'll enjoy one of the finest RPG experiences from the PS1 era.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Exploration the RPG. Huuuuuuuuge world to explore (and rewarding with experience to level up, wonderful vistas and/or the strongest enemies in the game). The story is pretty standard for an JRPG but the mentioned exploration, combat and amazing soundtrack encourages you to keep going.

Mass Effect 2: Perfect blend between RPG and TPS. Even being inferior to Mass Effect story wise (but not by much) it's much better gameplay wise. Your decisions still matter (unlike ME3) and the story makes you feel you're part of an epic sci-fi adventure.

Golden Sun: Best portable RPG period. Perfect length (15-20h), great cast and perfect for short bursts. One of the bests Sakuraba works (being Baten Kaitos his best).

Seiken Densetsu 3: 3 different paths/stories, best sprites for an Snes RPG, multiplayer, classes... if you liked Secret of Mana you'll probably love SD3.

Tales of Eternia: Almost everyone knows about the great Tales games (Symphonia and Vesperia) and the worst ones (Legendia) but in the middle there's a myriad of Tales titles that people didn't play or even know they exist. From all of them I'd suggest Eternia: great cast, graphics and gameplay. I'd say it's the best 2D Tales game out there (I haven't played Destiny 2).

The World Ends With You: One of the few games that elevate the DS as a hardware machine. Great soundtrack and battle system in an action RPG based on the modern days and with Nomura designs.

Illusion of Time/Gaia: Probably is nostalgia speaking but I'll always save a soft spot for Illusion of Time for being the first localized RPG in Spain. Even not being the prettiest Snes game or even having a great cast, the sense of adventure is almost unparalleled for an Snes RPG. Besides, the transformations of the main character are awesome!

Baten Kaitos: When everyone was raving about Tales of Symphonia on GC there was another RPG that appeared on the console and didn't have much fanfare as ToS. Baten Kaitos is one (if not the most) prettiest RPG out there based only on its amazing pre-rendered backgrounds. Gameplay is a Little confusing at first with its card battle system but it gets clearer and better along the way. Best work by Sakuraba and also has one of the best twists for an RPG.

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Xenoblade Chronicles
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Baten Kaitos
Skies of Arcadia Legends
Chrono Cross
Mass Effect 2
Golden Sun
Seiken Densetsu 3
Tales of Eternia
The World Ends With You
Illusion of Time/Gaia

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Nier
Tales of Symphonia
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Tales of Vesperia
Kingdom Hearts
Terranigma
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
Chrono Trigger

--VOTE INFO END--
ranmafan
Member
(10-12-2017, 02:51 PM)
ranmafan's Avatar
Wow, this was hard. So many games to choose I kept going back and forth. I looked back at my post in the original thread many years ago and I don't even agree with my opinion then anymore. Especially how I left one game out of the top ten and in the honorable mention. That gets changed this time. Heres my list:

1. Final Fantasy VI - Whenever I list my favorite games of all time, or the most important games for me, FFVI always reigns supreme. Its the one title that I compare every other game to. FFVI contains a fantastic story, combined with one of the greatest casts ever seen in any RPG. Every character is meaningful and the stories you experience along the journey impacts you in so many emotional ways. Add to that a fantastic soundtrack, graphics that pushed the boundaries of the SNES, and wonderful gameplay makes this a RPG that no one should pass up. Even with the passage of time the game still is as impactful today as it was then, and even its flaws never really hurt it. A great RPG, a great game all together.

2. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE - The best games Ive ever played are the ones that impacted me greatly at times of need. #FE came along at a time where I needed a fun and joyful game. Its lighthearted ness, combining the best of Atlus RPG styles with the Fire Emblem world, as well as mixing it together with a JPOP estestic brought forth not only a fantastic playing game, but one that really stood out as unique and quite magical. It also contains one of my favorite, it not most favorite soundtracks ever. Still one of the best gaming experiences I ever had playing through this game way back on Japanese launch.

3. Sakura Taisen - A game that melds many genres, and brings in so many great RPG elements into it. One with one of the finest casts ever assembled in a game. Great voice actors, great music, great designs, fantastic story, and overall a great game that set the stage for a series that spawned not only numerous sequels, but so many other projects from anime, to live shows, and more. As a game, its top notch! While many gamers who have had the opportunity to play the game (especially considering the lack of a translation) love it, its still quite underrated I think by western gamers. Fantastic game!

4. Persona 5 - Taking everything they’ve done from the previous games, Persona 5 is such a polished wonderful experience. Great gameplay, stylish in every way. They made the right decisions in every way. Such a fantastic game.

5. Demon’s Souls - The first souls game is still the best in my opinion. The first time you play it, it felt like playing a type of game you never had before. And beating it was such an achievement. All the souls games are great, but this one stands above all of them in my eyes.

6. Final Fantasy X - FFX is very special. Mixing a great turned based combat system, a world and characters you want to learn more about, and a story that tugs at your emotions, its the starting off point from the final fantasy games of old vs the multimedia heavy experiences we have now. And it mixes both sides beautifully.

7. Final Fantasy XII - Brought together, everything about this game is a wonderful package. The world of Ivaliace is fantastic to explore. A unique battle system thats fun to experiment with. And so much more to love.

8. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - For me, one of the finest open world RPGs Ive played. Just exploring that world for hours on end was a joy. Such a great experience.

9. Xenogears - The first of all the many “xeno” games, and still my favorite. A great story and a blast to play. And while the second disk is a bit of a bummer considering how it turned out gameplay wise, it still is a great game worth checking out for its fantastic story/

10. Dragon Quest XI - The newest title in the series has quickly shot up to be my favorite of all Dragon Quest games. Particularly the PS4 version (although the 3ds one is fantastic as well). As you would expect in a DQ game, you have a great cast of characters, that classic gameplay with some nice fine tuning to make it slightly more modern while not going to far to remove the nostalgic feels of the series. And so many great stories to experience in the game. Truly a fantastic game.

Honorable mentions.

1. Dragon Quest VIII - My previous favorite DQ game before XI. Still a fantastic experience.

2. Front Mission 3 - One of my all time favorite SRPG games. So much content and a great battle system.

3. Super Robot Taisen Alpha - Take a great SRPG system, and combine it with almost every major super robot anime series from the 70s thru the 90s, and you have this classic title. The entire “alpha” series is great but if you only played one, you still have an amazing experience.

4. Shadowrun SNES - My introduction to the Shadowrun universe and western RPGs in general. Loved the cyberpunk experience the game gives you. Just a blast

5. South Park The Stick of Truth - The funniest game I’ve ever played, and a fantastic RPG to boot too.

6. Final Fantasy VIII - While viewed not as favorably by many others, FFVIII has always been a game close to my heart. I’ve always loved just about everything in the game, from the characters to the story, and its great soundtrack. Really underrated Final Fantasy.

7. Vagrant Story - Challenging, unique, great example of deep and gameplay. And a great story too. Even though I still have trouble with the game today its still a classic for me.

8. Nier Automata - A game that surprised me at every turn. Wonderful ARPG with a fantastic gripping story.

9. Persona 3 - My first persona game and what a game it was.

10. Persona 4 Golden - Like persona 3 but improved even more. Again another great experience.

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Final Fantasy VI
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Sakura Taisen
Tokyo Mirage Session #FE
Persona 5
Demon's Souls
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy XII
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Xenogears
Dragon Quest XI

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Dragon Quest VIII
Front Mission 3
Super Robot Taisen Alpha
Shadowrun - SNES
South Park The Stick of Truth
Final Fantasy VIII
Vagrant Story
Nier Automata
Persona 3
Persona 4 Golden

--VOTE INFO END--
coregroupnegative
Junior Member
(10-12-2017, 03:17 PM)
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Highlight - Pokemon Heartgold

Pokefection. Takes the best set of mons, the most expansive region and storyline to date and gives it an update that is much more than a new coat of paint.

Underrated - Etrian Odyssey IV

For my money the best first person dungeon crawler of the last 10 years. Excited to see if V tops it. Great UI, the core game play hook and loop is brilliant and the potential for experimenting with party set-ups, combos and so on is very satisfying.

The rest, in no particular order:

Planescape Torment: had played nothing quite like it before or since. Throws you into a disorientating world and doesn't really let up. The dialogue is up there with the best ever, and the characters and setting will stay with you forever.

Darksun: the shattered lands: this is a very personal choice for me. I'd never experienced the level of freedom this game gives the player before. It felt like doing things incorrectly was not only allowed, but accompanied by real and meaty side stories and consequences for the characers and world.

Shadowrun (SNES): I'm a sucker for this sort of setting. Felt so edgy compared to other console RPGs of the time. But it also had loads of style, particularly the music. Turned me on to noir and cyberpunk more generally.

Final Fantasy Adventure: my first JRPG. Blows me away they fit such a cool action rpg onto a gameboy cart. Still the standard by which I judge the genre.

Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga: the original and best M&L game. Wouldn't it be great if turn-based battles had a rhythm element? Yes it would. My favourite JRPG combat system ever guarantees this makes my top 10.

Baldur's Gate: tough not making this my highlight. Play it every year. The sequel may be more expansive but I prefer the concise original. Just the best characters, richest environments and gorgeous fantasy art. The real time turn-based action is also brilliant. Ready that space bar!

Fire Emblem GBA: it's become routine given the accelerated release schedule, but when it came out the high stakes permadeath was a revelation. I also love the sprite art in this game, and the music.

Dragon Quest VIII: our first Dragon Quest in Europe. As someone generally turned off by the melodrama in most JRPGs, I really appreciate the light hearted sense of humour and whimsy DQ brings. VIII may not he the best story in the series, but it has the most immersive world and graphics of those I've played (all except 10 and 11) and is a game you can fully lose yourself in for hours and hours.

Looking forward to seeing the final list so I can get some pointers for filling gaps in my knowledge!

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Pokemon Heartgold
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Etrian Odyssey IV: legends of the titan
Planescape: Torment
Darksun: The Shattered Lands
Shadowrun
Final Fantasy Adventure
Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga
Baldur's Gate
Fire Emblem (GBA)
Dragon Quest VIII: journey of the cursed king

--VOTE INFO END--
Robiin
Member
(10-12-2017, 03:41 PM)
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Dark Souls - I had played Demon's Souls before it, so I thought I knew what to expect with it's successor in all but name, right? WRONG. The evolution into an open world completely changed how I approached the game. Finding shortcuts and mapping the world in my head was some of the most satisfying video gaming of my life. The bonfire/estus flask system completely changed how I planned my encounters and raised tension greatly. It dips in quality at the half-way mark, but the fact that it is still one of my favorite games of all time says something about the connection I made with this game.

Mass Effect - The first Mass Effect was a rough diamond gameplay-wise, something that the developers polished in time for the successor, but the universe it explored and started was already incredible. To set up a main plot that is as interesting as a Hero-saves-the-universe-tale can be, and at the same time set up a universe with politics, races, history and believability is an incredible feat in my eyes. I've always loved Science Fiction, and this was the Sci-Fi-game I had always wanted.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - I spent over 140 hours with The Witcher 3. In a game that long, content usually blends together in your head - especially when there have been many games played between then and now. But I can remember specific details, specific lines, specific side-quests to this day. I will probably never forget Princess the goat, drinking with the vikings in Skellige nor unravelling the tale in A Towerful of Mice or The Bloody Barron questlines. The atmosphere, the characters, the quests are all superb, and yes, I even liked the gameplay. You get insanely overpowered if you build right, but getting there still takes some thought and mixing decoctions and potions was satisfying to me.

Demon's Souls - The game that started one of my favorite series ever. It may not have aged very well, due to the quality of life improvements made in each successor, but this game has atmosphere that still hasn't been matched (apart from maybe Bloodborne). I will never forget beating the first level for the first time, after many unsuccessful hours. That was the moment I was hooked, and it made me pre-order all other Souls games as soon as possible. What a way to set a standard!

Bloodborne - What if you take everything that made the Souls games good, introduce a fresh new universe, and introduce a faster paced combat system? Well, simply the premise for one of the greatest games of all time. The only reason I rate Dark Souls ahead of it is because of replayability. The game felt a bit too short and not as flexible with building your own character. But it stays consistent, something that no other Souls game does, which gives it the title of second best Souls game and I desperately hope for a sequel.

Divinity: Original Sin - Quirky humor and very original combat made me a fan of this game. And Larian's approach to fan interaction and improvement through openness has made me very excited for the sequel. However I have yet to play it, so the first game will take the spot. The turn-based systems driven combat is truly best-in-class. Throwing an oil barrel at an opponent and then setting fire to him will never not be fun. I burned out on the game a bit into the second area because I tried to do everything so I have actually never played through the whole thing, but that is not a fault with the game.

Pokémon Gold/Silver - Probably the coolest postgame in a video game ever. Especially at a time when surprises in games could still be kept. I played this at launch with all my friends at school, and the first one to beat it started mumbling about Kanto, and I racecd to finish the Elite Four. Travelling back to the region from the first game was probably the first time in my life I felt nostalgia about something. Meeting Red on the top of the mountain was so cool.

Golden Sun - Great little RPG on the Gameboy Advance. Probably the first JRPG I ever played (I'm young okay) apart from Pokémon, and it blew me away. I still remember trekking through the desert, and the gauntlet dungeon at the end.

Nier: Automata - Shows that games can tell stories that other mediums can not. The interactive storytelling in this game is the best I have ever seen.

Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction - This was so much fun back in the day. I think I spent two full years of my life playing Diablo II and sitting in Ventrilo with friends. Just doing Baal-runs over and over. Levelling up new characters, trying out new builds, trying to get that awefully rare Stone of Jordan. Good times.

--VOTE INFO START--

<FULL POINT GAMES - 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT - 3 points}Dark Souls
Mass Effect
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Demon's Souls
Bloodborne
Divinity: Original Sin
Pokémon Gold/Silver
Golden Sun
Nier: Automata
Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction

--VOTE INFO END--
PaulSane
Member
(10-12-2017, 04:20 PM)
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I'll start with a little preamble which should make it clear why my list looks like this and why some titles you might expect to be there are missing. I'm almost exclusively a PC gamer, and have been since early 90's. I wasn't playing many RPGs back then, my time was spent mostly with shooters and strategy games instead. The few RPGs i did try at that time haven't left much of an impression on me - these titles include Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, Might and Magic VI and some others. I haven't even finished neither of these games, which remains true even now. Yeah, i know... I was in my teens at a time, and my tastes did differ greatly back then - i was even playing racing games from time to time, and i haven't touched those for more than 15 years now.

The first RPG i did stick with was Diablo 1, maybe because it was nothing like the ones i've played before (and some might not even consider it an RPG). Next came Rage of Mages, another game that wasn't purely an RPG. But the turning point in my gaming preferences did not happen until early 2000's, and it was when i played:

1. Deus Ex


Approaching this game as "just another shooter" made the game leave an even bigger impression on me. I never knew i wanted this kind of freedom of choice in my games. The ability to tackle any mission in a variety of ways based on how you've upgraded your character was a definite highlight for me. The game's atmosphere reinforced by the excellent soundtrack was another high point.

After playing Deus Ex, i started looking for games that provide more freedom of choice, which led me to:

2. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind


This game was devouring my life - i was so engrossed with it's bizarre world, unprecedented freedom it provided. This is also the game i had some of the best gaming moments in, which i still remember clearly up to this day, even though almost 15 years have passed since i played it. Like finding a scroll that increased the acrobatics stat so high that i was able to jump inside the volcano to where the final boss resided, he was immune to my damage at the moment, but i managed to drop him down into the lava, and when i arrived to battle him once more after i got the means to defeat him, he was still in the lava, and just died there without me having to fight him. Or getting overencumbered in one of the many dungeons, having to leave some of the stuff on the ground, and many hours later getting a main quest to retrieve an item, which i have apparently already gotten before - and it was one of the items i left in that damn dungeon. I didn't remember which dungeon it actually was at that point, which made me retrace my steps for several hours to finally find it.

There was another game released in the same year as Morrowind which i also spent a lot of time with, but unlike Morrowind, this one is much less known, especially outside of its country of origin (which happens to be my country of origin as well :) ):

3. Space Rangers


This one is pretty hard to categorize: it has a lot of genres mixed into one package, including RPG, space sim, real time strategy, twin-stick shooter and text adventure. Surprisingly, i think this mix works really well, since each genre is represented in that part of the game that makes sense for it. You have your space travel\combat\trade\make-friends-and-enemies segment (the main bulk of the game), where you have your RPG with turn-based combat, space sim and twin-stick shooter elements. Then you have your battles on the planet surfaces, done as a real time strategy. There are also a lot of quests you may do on different planets, which are done in a style of text adventures. If you take a critical look on every element of the gameplay, they don't appear outstanding in any way, but they work really well together. Couple this with a nice soundtrack and good writing (some of which might unfortunately be lost in translation), and you have a very nice package. The game also has a very flexible customizable difficulty, and you may even opt out of some of the gameplay elements if you don't feel like doing those ever, like the RTS portion, for example.
This game was originally a doulogy, but you can only get a remake of the second one (which is pretty much stand-alone and is an evolution of the first one) on Steam or GOG now i think. Still, i can't recommend this game enough, it remains one of my favourites even now.

I might be a bit biased here, since the next two games were also made in my country, which is probably the reason they were popular here, and why i even got to play them in the first place. Make no mistake though, i genuinely love these games, and not just shilling for my fellow countrymen developers here :p

4. Rage of Mages


This game is probably more strategy than RPG, but it does have enough RPG elements to warrant it being on this list i feel. This game can be described as a "small squad RTS", your characters can be equipped with a variety of items you can get on missions or buy in town, they can also learn new skills as the game goes on. You undertake different main and side missions to progress through the game, there is some freedom of choice during those missions, but the game is pretty linear for the most part. You can choose the game's difficulty, and the game is HARD on the hardest one - be prepared to load very often, old-school style :) It also had some very nice graphics for its time (Rage of Mages released in 1998), and i think its art style holds up even now, which i know from experience since i replayed this game not too long ago.

This game was also given a direct sequel, Rage of Mages 2: Necromancer, but i'm not including it in this list, since it was basically more of the same. It then got another sequel, which was different enough, and therefore made it on this list:

5. Evil Islands


This game, while similar to Rage of Mages in some aspects, introduced several gameplay systems that improved upon the old formula. This time, you have 3 "worlds" which you can (almost) freely explore from the start - you may encounter enemies that are literally impossible for you to beat at a time if you venture too far. You can also choose to go through the game alone without adding additional characters to your party, which is viable since the experience is shared between all party members. This game also has one of the best crafting systems i've seen (especially for its time) - you can customize your equipment and even magic spells in a variety of ways. Some aspects of the combat system you rarely see in modern games - the game is real-time with pause, there is stealth mechanic combined with an ability to backstab enemies (which isn't that rare), as well as the ability to target specific body parts for extra effects (this one you don't see that often). You can target head for increased damage, but your hit chance suffers as a result, you can damage enemies arms to lower their accuracy, casting and attack speed, you can damage their legs to lower their movement speed. All of the above applies to your character as well, taking an unlucky hit to your arms in the beginning of a battle might spell your doom right away. This game also has adjustable difficulty, and it's pretty tough even on the easiest one. Again, be prepared to load often :p

The next two games are here because of my newly acquired taste (spanning only several years) for japanese games, and Falcom games in particular. I'll start with a better known one:

6. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky


So, Trails in the Sky. The main reason i looked at this game at all was this very forum, Steam community thread, to be exact. And i'm very grateful for that - Falcom games have quickly become some of my all-time favourites. And the favourite of them all is definitely Trails in the Sky series - and that's coming from a person who hasn't even completed the second game yet (getting pretty close though). The worldbuilding in this game is exceptionally well done, this is probably the first game where i was sometimes looking forward to talking to NPC characters more than to advancing the story and seeing what it has to offer - and that's not because the story is bad, mind you. Some of the NPC stories (that progress alongside the main story) were very interesting, and in case of some NPCs not to be named, i felt like i interacted with them more than with some of the playable characters over the course of the game :) I'm pretty sure at least half of the time i spent with this game was dedicated to getting to know all the characters in the game's world. These were the highlights of the game for me, and that's saying a lot considering that the battle gameplay is very well done, and the main story itself is very interesting. I can't recommend this game enough.

The second Falcom game on this list is, unfortunately, much less talked about, even though i feel it deserves to be better recognised. I'm talking about:

7. Xanadu Next


This action RPG was the surprise hit of 2016 for me, the game i had almost no expectaions going into. And once again, this might be the reason i enjoyed the game so much - atmosphere, story, music, level design, and even simple but neat combat system were right up my alley. Speaking of level design, some people say that this is the game that influenced Dark Souls. I haven't played Dark Souls myself yet (have only watched other people play it), but the level design in Xanadu Next is very well done, it was a pure joy to explore the world. Unfortunately, this game didn't sell well at all on Steam (and probably GOG too, i'm not really sure on that one), which is a shame - some people might be turned off by its dated looks, or the art style - don't let those fool you, the game FEELS good despite it looks (personally, i really like the art style, but the game does look dated). It also doesn't hold your hand at all - you are free to make wrong choices in your character build, in how you approach certain encounters etc. It had this sense of discovery, which i really liked as well.

To finish off this list, here are 3 older titles which i haven't touched in a long time, so my impressions of those might be painted over by a little bit of nostalgia :) Xanadu Next is also pretty similar to the first one in some aspects, which might be another reason i liked it. The first game is:

8. Diablo 2


This is the game that established my fondness of action-RPG games, i spent a lot of time playing it back in the day, trying different characters and builds. I'm not sure if there are many people here who don't know what this game is, so i'm not going to describe it in detail (just like i didn't do this for Deus Ex and Morrowind for the same reason). I'll just say that this game's atmosphere and difficulty (with the "players 8" command) have definitely influenced my tastes that i have today.

Next game, although released before Morrowind, has come to my attention a little bit later. The reason was the already mentioned "search for the games that allow more freedom", and there weren't many games at a time that allowed as much freedom as:

9. Gothic


This is another one of the old-school games that offers some neat features like "actual difficulty" and "no-hand-holding mode" (which is the only mode). It's an action RPG which allows for "some" player choice, and also allows the player to venture off the beaten path to be subsequently beaten by enemies out of their league. It was also one of the first games (at least in my experience) to introduce seemingly unimportant things like the ability to interact with different objects in the world for no real gameplay benefit - it might not have added anything to the gameplay mechanically, but it surely made the world feel more alive at a time.

And last, but by no means least, the game that i still fondly remember for it's atmosphere and a sense of dread and mystery it invoked. It is, of course:

10. System Shock 2


Still the "best Bioshock game" to date, unsurpassed by its successors in any aspect, except graphics and probably gunplay :p An actual RPG in a form of a shooter, the game that probably still holds the top spot in the atmosphere department for me. This is probably the only game that actually managed to creep me out (i don't play horror games, so that might be also the reason it's the only one :p). After i started writing about this game, it dawned on me that i actually remember very little of how it played - i remember looking for audio logs to uncover the overarching mystery, getting materials to analyze unknown objects, and that the game shared the engine with Thief 2 (another one of my favourites, but not an RPG, so it's not on this list :p), down to some animations being the exact same :) But i still remember how i felt playing that game, which i think speaks volumes.

And this concludes the <FULL POINT GAMES> portion of my list. The HIGHLIGHT award goes to Deus Ex for being the most influential game that actually changed my gaming tastes. UNDERRRATED award goes to Space Rangers (with Xanadu Next being very close second), in hopes more people will experience this wonderful mish mash of genres that somehow works :)

Also, it turns out this post was too long, so i have to split it in two. I hope this doesn't go against the rules :p

END PART 1
PaulSane
Member
(10-12-2017, 04:21 PM)
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PART 2

And now, for honorable mentions - i'm not going to write much about those, since i've already spent like 3 hours on this post, and i'm getting pretty tired :) I'm also going to post Steam store page links for these instead of GOG's, since unlike the first part of the list, most of these games are on Steam and some are not on GOG (it was the other way around for the first part).

HONORABLE MENTIONS

So, the first one is another game by the developers of Space Rangers, it's:

11. King's Bounty: The Legend


An RPG that happens to have a turn-based tactics as its combat system, similar to Heroes of Might and Magic games and, unsurprisingly, to the old King's Bounty game. Includes some very nice aesthetics, soundtrack, and overall very enjoyable gameplay loop. Recommended to play on the highest difficulty for maximum enjoyment :)

Next, we have a trio of action RPGs with a "loot threadmill" element :p (I'm sorry, i really like this genre). The first one is considered by many the worst of the three:

12. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls



The long-awaited sequel to Diablo 2, this game was met with a really mild response - and it was quite deserved, to be fair. Some questionable design decisions have led to changes in the game staff, and to basically complete overhaul in a form of Reaper of Souls expansion - now, it's a much better game, as well as a solid aRPG overall. But it is still not viewed as a spiritual successor to Diablo 2.

The game that does feel more like Diablo 2, especially in atmosphere, is:

13. Grim Dawn


A very atmospheric aRPG, with tons of customization, loot, and content. It has just recieved an expansion, which i haven't tried yet, so can't really comment on that. The base game was very fun for me, but a little time consuming at a time i was playing it, so i had to postpone my playthrough to a later date, which should probably come very soon in the light of this new expansion. This game is also heavily discounted at the moment on steam (the discount will last another day from the time of this post), so it's a good time as any to check it if you are interested in this kind of games.

Although Grim Dawn has many fans praising it for being "better Diablo 3 than Diablo 3", it is actually more like a sequel to a different game:

14. Titan Quest


While very different in atmosphere and feel, this game is very similar to Grim Dawn in terms of mechanics - which shouldn't come as a surprise, since both games are done by the same developer. Just as Grim Dawn, its predecessor offers a lot of customization options for your character build, and it also has a pretty unusual art style and setting for this type of games. I can highly recommend both of these games to any aRPG fan, or if you like seeing shiny loot drops (let's be fair, who doesn't like that to some extent? :p)

Next game is a sequel to Gothic, and it is considered by many a better game than the original. I like both games a lot, and i feel like the first one is more "essential" since you kinda have to play it first before starting:

15. Gothic 2


This is the case of sequel being "more of the same, but a little bit shinier". Improving in some areas over the first game, Gothic 2 (and it's expansion) offers the same tested gameplay and exploration.

I've already mentioned that i didn't really get into some old RPGs that used the D&D rules like Baldur's Gate - one of the reasons for that was that i really don't like D&D rules :) The only exception where i looked past this was:

16. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic


The only game that made me forget my dislike for D&D ruleset, at least for the time i was playing it :) A really well-presented and well-written RPG, with a lot of choices that matter. I know that KOTOR2 is considered a better written game, but when i first played it, it had a lot of technical issues, so i didn't finish it. I know that there are means of "fixing" the game via some fan patches, but i couldn't find time to try those, i guess it's one thing to consider for the future, when i inevitably going to replay KOTOR1 :)

And now, for something completely different. A game that is probably one of the main reasons there are a lot of japanese games on Steam now, the pioneer, it's:

17. Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale


This is another game with a mix of genres - it's a shop management game paired with dungeon crawler RPG. You get items for your stock in dungeons or buy them from other shops\people, you then proceed to make a profit by selling the items to your customers. You pay adventurers some measly sums of money so that they go to dungeons and fight (and sometimes die) for your profits. You then proceed to rip those same adventurers off by selling them items they can use inside dungeons. You stock food items when the harvest is plenty, and charge three times more when there is draught and people are starving to death. So, it's basically a very accurate representation of what it's like being a cute little girl running a shop.

If you want to play as a cute big girl running on high heels instead, you may want to take a look at:

18. Nier: Automata


A character action game with RPG elements, offering great soundtrack, a story that some might find great, a very fluid and responsive combat system, some exploration, and a lot of Yoko Taroness.

And yet another game where you play as a girl, but this one actually (actual spoiler inside) eats people. It's:

19. Tales of Berseria


This is actually the first Tales game i played - i've seen gameplay of other games in the series, and i've actually watched a full LP if the previous one, Zestiria, so i went into this game kinda knowing what to expect. And let me tell you this - i can't vouch for how gameplay in Berseria feels compared to other Tales games, but the story was definitely better, and better presented than in Zestiria. Overall, it's an RPG with an interesting story, great characters, good combat system, and tons of content. Highly recommend this one.

And the last of the honorable mentions has to go to one of the best RPGs in the recent history, and probably the best one from a mechanical standpoint (it might have been topped by its sequel, which i already own but haven't played yet). Of course, i'm talking about:

20. Divinity: Original Sin



This is the game that i imagined when i thought to myself playing other RPGs "How could the combat system be improved? What if you could have a lot more interaction during combat?" etc. Upon starting the game, i immidiately felt that i've been waiting for this kind of gameplay since forever. On top of the stellar gameplay, it also offers an option to play it co-op, which is also a huge plus for me. I could also ramble about this game a little bit more, but i'm pretty sure it's unnecessary.


This concludes my essential RPG list, as i've mentioned in the beginning, i'm missing some games that would probably be here if i had played those at the right time, or if i played them at all, like Witcher series, i just can't find the time to play these, and i'm a big fan of the Witcher books. But i'm pretty sure for the purposes of this thread, it is even better to bring some of the more obscure titles to the light - i know i wouldn't come to this thread to read recommendations on playing Witcher 3, that game is big enough already, let people know about games they might have never heard about instead :)


--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Deus Ex
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Space Rangers
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
Gothic
Evil Islands
Rage of Mages
System Shock 2
Xanadu Next
Diablo 2

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
King's Bounty: The Legend
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls
Titan Quest
Grim Dawn
Nier: Automata
Gothic 2
Tales of Berseria
Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
Divinity: Original Sin
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

--VOTE INFO END--
Kyonashi
Member
(10-12-2017, 04:51 PM)
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#1 [HIGHLIGHT] - NieR Automata
Despite never having played a Yoko Taro game in the past, and only having very tangential knowledge of his work, I *somehow* knew this game would be special when it was announced as Nier New Project. The character designs and forest atmosphere, the cryptic minimal teaser, and the dripfeed of concept art just hooked me despite having no history of the series into a day-one preorder. And boy did that pay off. This is a special game, rich and deep, daring to explore metaphysical and philosophical ideas that other games attempt and only achieve superficially. I think I'm paraphrasing the team at Waypoint when I say this (and I'll probably butcher the quote), but I believe they said that whereas many cyberpunk-style stories attempt to discuss whether robots can display humanity, this game asks whether humans can display humanity. The moral questions raised within didn't feel like just lip-service to some grand illusion of depth but dared to go some truly dark places, and yet amongst all the nihilism NieR manages to spark a hope within you as you stare into the void; clasping hands with those around you, to stare it down together.
(n.b. I urge anyone with an interest in this game to see it through to the end, the 'multiple playthroughs' are a bit of a misnomer and you're missing out on a lot of unique content if you don't play every route.)

#2 [UNDERRATED] - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
MMOs were never able to grab me in my teen years: I dabbled in Guild Wars along with friends (and bought all the expansions!!) and only put about 20 hours or so into it while they maxed out characters. I didn't want to pay the monthly subscription for WoW, (as I was 12 at the time and that was a lot of cash!), and I thought big single-player stories were more my thing. Due to a love of the FF series I did apply for access to play the Realm Reborn beta and had fun with it, but I didn't consider myself to have the time, inclination, or cash to get into an MMO, even though this one did seem pretty cool. It was only an extended time of unemployment post-graduation where I made the commitment and jumped in. It was a period of turmoil, having lost the structure education offered me I was at a bit of a loss in the 'real world', my housemates at work all day, my finances in shambles, and the constant pressure of the job market chipping away at my sanity. In XIV I found some calm, some structure, and yes, some escapism which I honestly credit with helping me get back on my feet and into the more stable situation I am now. MMOs can *absolutely* be a dangerous trap for the lost and demoralized, but I truly believe in them as a tool to help reintroduce a feeling of accomplishment to the defeated for whom the pressures of the world can feel insurmountable. This game is special to me (as I'm sure anyone who ever got deeply into an MMO will attest, they take on a magic power of their own) and its fantastic expansions have only built on the strong foundations of story, music, gameplay, systems, and polish this game has. I understand not everyone has the possibility to introduce an MMO into their life, but for that unfortunate reason this is absolutely an underrated game in the FF series and RPGs as a whole. It's my most played videogame of all time and if it receives new content for as long as FFXI did, I look forward to the hundreds of hours I will spend in Eorzea over the coming years.

#3 (TIE) - Persona 4/Persona 3
I'm separating these out for the tabulation but I honestly can't split the two and pick a favourite. I started with 3 (Portable vers. on PSP) and I would strongly recommend to any new Persona/SMT player to play 3, then 4, then 5 (which I haven't finished yet, hence its exclusion on my list). 3 retains more of the 'dark + shadowy' feel of the mainline SMT series whilst 4 is the closest I think any game has got to a playable anime, both feature wonderful casts of characters and fantastic writing. My gateway drug into my now-favourite RPG franchise of all time, the Shin Megami Tensei series.

#5 - Final Fantasy X
My first Final Fantasy game, which I think influences most people's favourite. After watching the neighbours kids play VII & IX on their PS1, I was psyched to own one and devoured all coverage in the PS2 magazines at the time. This was the first non-Pokémon videogame I ever went out to buy on its day of release. Though I was stuck on Sinspawn Gui as a kid, I revisited it with the recent HD remaster and finally finished it. It's a melodious, warm game with bittersweet veins running through it and it hits all of its emotional marks. Phenomenal soundtrack too.

#6 - Shin Megami Tensei IV
My deeper foray into the SMT series post-Persona, SMTIV has way more of the mystic religious cyber-tech apocalypse trappings that Persona shedded in favour of the school anime feel. Fantastic game with one of the best 'big moment' scenes in videogames. For my money, this is the best looking game on the 3DS, I'm still impressed by the full-3D overworld visuals on such a small machine.

#7 - Dark Souls
What is there left to say about one of the most-discussed games of the past decade? After bouncing off this a couple of times, once I got my teeth stuck in this game really hooked me. A masterpiece in world-building, character design, and the weighty clarity of purpose behind every attack in the game. Dark Souls is overwhelmingly hopeless, but it will spark your desire to rage against the dying of the light.

#8 - Bravely Default
Bravely Default is an absolute anomaly in my gaming history. I'm not a huge fan of traditional fantasy settings, I bounce hard off games that don't respect your time, and I don't have much nostalgia for pre-PS2 era Final Fantasy. And yet I sunk a solid 80 hours into BD and I don't even hold any hostility toward the oft-maligned decision to have you repeat through areas in the back-half of the game. I think a big part of that is the options the game gives you to change encounter rate and battle-speed, which I would *absolutely* copy-paste into pretty much every other JRPG ever.

#9 - Final Fantasy XV
God this is a weird one. I actively *hate* parts of this game (a battle system that never clicked with me and felt messy, the absolute underdevelopment and waste of Luna, that goddamn Leviathan fight), so how the hell did it end up on my Top 10 list? Because whilst it's a total mixed bag, there are parts of FFXV that feel earnest and sincere and lovely. It's not a bitter or sarcastic game, it doesn't feel like a cash-in despite being rushed out with its sordid development history, there are real moments of love in this game. Both on the development side and between the characters. Despite being flawed as hell, moments of this game absolutely made me tear up and it ended beautifully. I really really wish development had gone a bit more smoothly and this had the time it needed, but as it stands its a bit of a diamond in the rough.

#10 - Fallout 3
F3 has this great atmosphere that makes it the ideal game to play in the late hours of the night/early hours of the morning. The wasteland is easy to get lost in in the best way, and whilst some of the writing may not be as strong as the other entries on this list in my opinion, overall it's one of my favourite open worlds I've explored in the genre.

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} NieR Automata
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
3) Persona 4
4) Persona 3
5) Final Fantasy X
6) Shin Megami Tensei IV
7) Dark Souls
8) Bravely Default
9) Final Fantasy XV
10) Fallout 3

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Undertale
Diablo III
Yakuza 0
Dark Cloud
Golden Sun
Final Fantasy XIII
Fire Emblem Awakening
Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy Type-0
Jade Cocoon 2
--VOTE INFO END--
MomoQca
Member
(10-12-2017, 05:04 PM)
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I have finally updated my post. Pardon my lazy writing.
weemaster
Member
(10-12-2017, 06:29 PM)
I haven't played a lot of 'must play' RPGs as I've started playing them by the end of last gen which is why i am quite excited to see the final list and see what I missed. Anyways this is my list:

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Persona 5
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Disgaea 4
Bloodborne
Trails in the Sky
Trails in the Sky : Second Chapter
Dark Souls
Nier Automata
Yakuza 0
Persona 4 Golden
Final Fantasy IX

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Persona 3 Portable
SMT: IV
Trails of Cold Steel
Demon's Souls
Etrian Odyssey IV

--VOTE INFO END--
Opa-Pa
Member
(10-12-2017, 10:06 PM)
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It's a shame that I can't post something with cool headers like I initially planned, but I ran out of time and I ended posting this on mobile (I know...) but I definitely wanted to participate so here goes! There are many more RPGs I consider essential, but I wanted to focus on the absolute best (not to mention it'd be way too hard to decide the rest).

5.Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey has an incredible atmosphere, tone and music and all combined make for a very otherworldly game that's unlike anything else. This and the usual SMT goodness, plus an interesting alignment system that affects combat make it a great experience that at the time felt extremely refreshing to me in an RPG... It kinda felt like playing a Super Metroid-like RPG in terms of atmosphere, which should give you a good idea of how effective it is.

Ultimately the game is an extremely unique experience that made me fall in love in DRPGs and rekindle my love for punishing, oppressive RPGs as well since the game has a very interesting difficulty curve that keeps the challenge more or less high for the entirety of the game, never letting you be outright OP, which felt very fresh to me at the time.

There is a remake in the works at the moment and while I'm reasonably excited, I know it'll probably fail to capture all the elements that made the original a masterpiece in my eyes.

4.Dark Souls is absolute perfection in ARPG form in my eyes. I'm currently replaying it and I'm seriously shocked that it remains as good, if not better than the first time.

The fantastic, weighty combat coupled with top notch enemy design makes almost every single encounter in the game an enjoyable experience, and the different builds make for very interesting replays. I first played this as an agile thief like character and now I'm full heavy armor, max poise knight and the experience is so different, it feels like playing a different game, and yet it's equally as fun as the first time.

The atmosphere, world, interconnected map, lore, and the stories stuff like items, architecture and enemies tell is so incredible to me, it may be my favorite way to tell a story in a video game... I think I prefer Bloodborne in almost all accounts, but Dark Souls feels more like an actual RPG to me, so it's my pick from the Souls series.

3.Undertale is similar to the next game in places, but has its own identity and embraces its premise and themes in ways I never expected from a game. I mean, it's easy to claim you have an RPG where non violence is a viable route, but to take that concept and base your entire game around, going as far as making non violent "combat" that's inventive, hilarious, but most importantly extremely fun, like Undertale does takes skill and commitment.

This game has been hyped to death and I realize sometimes it gets annoying, but it can't be overstated how special and good it is and it absolutely deserves all the praise.

2.Mother 3 is the most perfect closure to a series, with wonderful writing, music, and very fun and ingenious combat. Fantastic art direction and scenario writing that makes the most out of a relatively simple art style.

It's a real shame that the second game gets much more exposure in the west, not to mention the tragedy of it never coming over, because this game is absolutely brilliant (much unlike EB, IMO), and a lot of its great qualities like its soundtrack and rhythm based combat get overlooked in favor of its admittedly wonderful writing. It sucks that so many play this without having played EB too, and in even more cases, playing EB only and not Beginnings, because even though it must be a great standalone experience, as the finale of a trilogy it's GLORIOUS.

1.Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is magnificent in just about every aspect and it'd take an entire thread to describe all the reasons why... The aesthetics, the music, the tone, the subtle but effective writing, the great balance between challenge, character progression via magatama system, combat based on equality of chance between player and enemies (for the most part) and its addictive demon fusion system... It's all sublime.

Bonus points for introducing to the series my favorite combat in an RPG ever. Nocturne is simply one of the finest games out there.

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Mother 3
Undertale
Dark Souls
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

--VOTE INFO END--

Also, not to be rude or anything but yikes... Reserving posts shouldn't be allowed anywhere, let alone threads like this.
Fou-Lu
Member
(10-12-2017, 10:16 PM)
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Wow, talk about a last minute rush.
longlivegaming
Member
(10-12-2017, 10:16 PM)
I actually didn't notice this thread until yesterday so my list descriptions won't be as detailed or coherent as I would've liked since I had limited time to spend on this post.


Planescape: Torment - This RPG is one of the best written games I've every played, especially with it's philosophical questions that it presents. While the combat gameplay isn't anything to write home about but the story and atmosphere more than makes up for it.

Gothic II - Despite the jankness of this series In my view this game represents the ideal open world RPG. You can tell that it has a hand-crafted world and exploring every nook and cranny feels satisfying. Gothic I-II had many features you'd expect from today's games like full voice-over, NPC schedules and day/night cycles. Also, I enjoyed the fact that the game world isn't too large in comparison to Elder Scroll games.

Deus Ex - This game is great in that it gives you multiple ways to complete your objectives and it certainly has its charm. Deus Ex is the type of game that you can replay several times and get something new out of it.

The Witcher 3 - While the open world aspect of this game isn't the greatest, content-wise it manages to achieve a decent balance between quality and quantity. There's enough decent quests in this game to offset the amount of "filler" content in my opinion. I also liked that the main plot is relatively low-key all things considered.

Fallout 2 - It took me a few tries until I really got into this game and at some point I couldn't put it down. The gameplay generally felt slow but the game world is very immersive and there's just something satisfying about the death animations. Great quests and writing.

The Age of Decadence - This is basically Choices and Consequences: the game and I love it. It's a great game that doesn't require too much time investment to complete a single playthrough (from 5-12 hours) and you can easily get a different experience each time you replay it (distinct questlines).

Mount & Blade: Warband - I remember when I first laid eyes on Mount and Blade and thought this game looked terrible but when I actually played it for a few hours I eventually got addicted to the army-building aspect of it. The game also had a decent combat system especially in regards to mounted combat. Why there haven't been any games that copies this formula is baffling to me.

Chrono Trigger - A JRPG classic that holds up well today due to its great 2D art, soundtrack, story and game length (not too long). I also greatly enjoyed the time-traveling aspect of this game. Overall, it's a well-balanced RPG.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC - The sequel to FC which pays off in a big way. The first game basically felt like one big tutorial to this game. While not particularly unique to SC, all of the Trails games benefit from great world-building. NPCs have a lot of unique dialogue and generally have new things to say while you progress through the game.

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne - Simply put, like all SMT games you catch/fuse demons in your party and exploit weaknesses of enemies during combat. I really enjoyed the eerie atmosphere in this game and the soundtrack fits the vibe perfectly. It's basically my favorite SMT game.


--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
Planescape: Torment
Gothic II
Deus Ex
The Witcher 3
Fallout 2
The Age of Decadence
Mount & Blade: Warband
Chrono Trigger
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Persona 5
Fallout New Vegas
Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
Dragon Quest V
Ys Origin
Knights of the Old Republic II
Nier: Automata
Final Fantasy VI
Dark Souls

--VOTE INFO END--
Aters
Member
(10-13-2017, 12:22 AM)
Aters's Avatar

Originally Posted by MomoQca

I have finally updated my post. Pardon my lazy writing.

Without Xenoblade, your list looks a lot like what I'd write years ago. For a very long time, videogame and Pokemon are interchangeable concepts in my mind.
dancrane212
Member
(10-13-2017, 01:10 AM)
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Well, left this till the last minute again so I didn't write as much as I should have let alone play half the titles I was hoping to before this thread came around again, but here's my vote anyways. For context: I went with the same no repeats in a series (aside from spin-offs) personal rule as last year.

#1 Mass Effect 3
Talking about why I put Mass Effect 3 at the top of my list again is always a bit...odd. No matter how highly I regard the game it feels like there must always be an acknowledgement of the issues that have been discussed since it released. I fully understand where folk are coming from when they say the ending or other story beats weren't satisfying but ME3 was, for me, an incredible sendoff for the series.

The couple months where I spent playing ME3 an hour or two every night or so is some of my favorite gaming I've done with an RPG. Some nights I'd just bum around the Citadel picking up little quests and up equipment while others I'd start picking at the story missions bit-by-bit. Having put almost 100 hours into the series leading up to the third game I had sizeable investment in the world/characters so the tone the game hit of this, one way or the other, being the end really clicked with me. From the title screen alone you knew things were going to get pretty heavy and it followed through on that.

To see decisions from previous games come up in big and small ways put a lot more weight on my actions in ME3. Moments like the Geth/Quarian conflict where I knew that getting my desired resolution might be completely out of my hands thanks to what I had done in previous games had me on edge through those final decisions in a way few other, if any, games ever had. Toss in the fantastic combat (first time I didn't roll a solider) and Citadel DLC and you end up with something I can't honesty say isn't my favorite RPG I've played.

#2 Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
I had delved into the Fire Emblem series before Path of Radiance but this was the game that got me hooked in a big way. I enjoy a good challenge but playing through PoR on Hard mode with the intent of not losing a single character was a whole new level for me. Having to pay an extreme amount of attention to what was going on with both my army and the opposition could be extremely frustrating when I lost a character and had to restart but even more accomplished when I completed the level. The levels had a great variety that constantly kept me on my toes.

Beyond the combat system the world and characters played off my success and made things all the more rewarding for keeping everyone alive. Rather than party members disappearing into optional support conversations for the majority of the game I was able to talk to select members in-between missions to try and get intel on what was upcoming in a future encounter and to flesh out the world. By the time the credits rolled it was bittersweet to see the roll call of all the characters and listen to the little blurb they had to say. Path of Radiance was so good that, despite it, I have not played Radiant Dawn. It is something I like to think I’m saving for a special occasion but, in all honest, I don’t know if I can provide the dedication I put into that PoR run I assume I'll need to play Dawn.

#3 The Banner Saga
The Banner Saga is a game I had initially followed the kickstarter campaign for, but at that time I was very interested in Tablet gaming so I held off on backing it to wait for the, discussed but excluded form the campaign, mobile port. Once that version of the game arrived table gaming had fallen out of interest with me and the game passed me by. I always had the intent to pick the PC version, later the very delayed console port, but it was one of those things that always slipped by me.

It was actually a book that got me to finally get around to playing the game. It was PAX 2015 where the publisher of The Banner Saga was giving out physical copies of a prequel novel that they had commissioned and the subsequent reading of which that finally got me to sit down with the game. Getting my foot in the door of that universe so to speak was finally enough to get me to sit down an d play the game. Even thinking back on that playthrough I'm amazed at how much the game's develop, Stoic, was able to do with the resources it had. The game is able to convey so much with so little (at least in comparison to other story heavy games). From the out-of-nowhere introduction of the serpent with the destruction of mountains off in the distance to the utter chaos of the multi-day siege defense of Einartoft the whole game has this fantastic sense of dread that continues to develop as you progress and party members die (often by your own choices). The fact that you have to balance the need to travel as fast as you can to outlast your resources with the development and maintenance of your party really helps sell the state of the crisis moreso than other games that try to go for the same vibe.

The game's sequel also knocked it out of the park but between the two I'll put the first one on this list as it was the more surprising experience for me. Can't do wrong with either though and I'm sure the 3rd will be right up there with them. Even if not I won't regret backing the Kickstarter campaign at a higher level; the price I paid for those first two games is so small to what I actually got out of them. They come highly recommended to anyone ever interested in RPGs especially where they don't seem to get much attention nowadays.

#4 Chrono Trigger
Chrono Trigger was a game I always wanted to like. First seeing the game when I was younger and heavily invested in Dragon Ball Z it stood out to me for obvious reasons. While I did not own a SNES the release on PS1 had me excited to finally give the game a shot but, on a rental from Roger's Video, the technical hurdles were a huge turn off. Waiting 30+ seconds just for a menu to pop up was grating enough that I stopped after getting the Masamune and returned the game. It wasn't until the DS release and hearing that the version was an excellent port that I gave the game another shot and it finally clicked. For a game released so many years prior the combat, soundtrack, characters and design held up so well I couldn't put it down. It’s easy to see why the game is so highly regarded.

#5 NieR
An utterly bizarre but memorable experience. NieR was a game that kept on surprising me long after the credits rolled for the first time. Kicking myself for not playing the second one closer to release before a fire had both the game and my PS4 placed in storage; it's definitely something I plan to play ASAP when everything is back in my hands.

#6 Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
Before Strange Journey I had no interest in traditional DRGPs. Games where I was likely to get lost while getting plagued by random encounters sounded completely out of my wheelhouse but on a whim I picked the game up on clearance and was surprised. Here was a game with a militaristic tone that had fast gameplay, interesting systems and a plot that wasted no time getting rolling. Wish I knew of more DRPGs like Strange Journey; nothing in the genre has connected with me like that game did.

#7 Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
An hilarious and fun adventure that is well worth anyone's time. Each chapter has standout moments and just a great pace to them that you have a great sense of progression the whole way through.

#8 Golden Sun
I was not a stranger to JRPGs before Golden Sun. As someone who grew up in the 90s I had plenty of experience with the first two generations of Pokémon games and had dabbled in some other handheld releases like the portable release of Dragon Warrior but, aside from Pokémon, I could never get over the random encounter nature of those classic style games. Golden Sun, with its simple systems and great visuals, clicked with me and got me over that hump of disliking turn-based games. I made sure to complete 100% in time for the sequel (which was the first game to get me to delve into import impressions online due to my excitement of it).

#9 Knights of the Old Republic
It’s Star Wars but you can make choices” – All it took for to purchase, and love, the game. Getting to spend more time in the Star Wars universe (even one a bit removed as KOTOR is, timeline wise) in something other than a shooter was a blast.

#10 Persona 3
Chipping away at this game on my PSP was a highlight of the system for me. There was something fun about running through the routine knowing that it was all leading up to the big battle with each eclipse.

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
Mass Effect 3
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Banner Saga
Chrono Trigger
NieR
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Golden Sun
Knights of the Old Republic
Persona 3

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
The Last Story
Dragon Age: Origins
Demon's Souls
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Fable: The Lost Chapters
Jade Empire
Lost Odyssey
Pokemon: Silver/Gold
Tales of Symphonia
Xenoblade Chronicles

--VOTE INFO END--
Tyaren
Member
(10-13-2017, 01:10 AM)
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Alright, fully updated my post too according to the rules:
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...2&postcount=87

Hope I'm still on time...
Eolz
Member
(10-13-2017, 02:30 AM)
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I unfortunately didn't have time to write much, but still wanted to vote despite that, so sorry about the lack of details :/
If I still have time before the deadline, I will try to add more comments later.


1. Chrono Trigger
The best JRPG ever. Both for veterans and newcomers alike, this is the best of Square at the time, and arguably even now.

2. The Witcher 2
Way better in terms of gameplay than the first one, still keeps the same atmosphere, and while it's more linear than 3, its focus allows it to deliver a more interesting experience.

3. Planescape Torment
I honestly think that this is the best written video game ever. It is fantastic in terms of narration, atmosphere, details... Sadly, even at the time, some of its mechanics already felt dated, but it's still unique and unrivaled on some aspects.

4. Ultima Online
Revolutionized the genre, and still extremely interesting to look if you're a game designer. If you like sandbox MMOs, you have this game to thank.

5. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
The Mario RPG that started it all, and is still in my opinion the best of them all. Lot of humour, lots of strange moments, a project and team that surprised everyone, and key gameplay elements that came back in that franchise.

6. NieR:Automata
Dream team. That was my reaction when the announcement was just a series of names (Taro, Yoshida, Platinum, Okabe...). And boy did they deliver on nearly every level (the difficulty balancing was weirdly awful for a Platinum game. Just play it on normal).

7. Dark Souls
Still the best game out of the franchise, and I count Bloodborne. Fantastic level design and atmosphere, memorable bosses and characters, great mechanics and surprises.

8. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
My choice for most underrated, which hopefully will push some people to try the remake coming in just some months. Unique setting for both an SMT game and an RPG, this is a hard and rewarding game on multiple levels.

9. Fallout 2
Didn't age well in terms of gameplay, but still a unique atmosphere and the best of the series. Great mechanics, writing, and possibilities.

10. Mother 3
Nintendo please localize it. The fantranslation is awesome, but the number of people that played is way too low. Similar to the other Mother games, yet a lot more memorable than Earthbound. Will likely make you cry several times.

HONORABLE MENTIONS (no order):

- Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
Unique setting, music, writing... It might look dated, but if you love rpgs, it won't be dated for you.
- Icewind Dale II
Really polished game, and while compared to Baldur's Gate, its story can be disappointing, the narrative is still really well done, its setting as well, and its mechanics are really well done.
- Fallout New Vegas
Nearly as good as Fallout 2, the terrible engine forbids it from going in my top 10. Shame, since the writing is glorious.
- Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
The best Pokemon experience. Fantastic remake with lots of nice additions (even with the pokewalker!).
- Muramasa Rebirth
Some other Vanillaware games count, and this one is them at their best. Nice writing, fantastic art, and great gameplay. Hope they'll port it to bigger platforms at some point.
- Titan Quest
More than a simple Diablo clone, it's both old-school like it, and adding a lot of really interesting mechanics. A setting pretty much unused on top of that.
- Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door
Paper Mario at its best, not much more to say about it really.
- Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
The best M&L game in my opinion, adding Bowser's story was a great idea and a lot of fun.
- Yakuza 0
Arguably the best Yakuza game (until Kiwami 2?), the two playable protagonists help deliver a fantastic story with a lot of emotion. As usual, the OST and optional quests are memorable.
- Bravely Default
Sadly often getting over-exaggerated criticism, Bravely is a fantastic love letter to old school Final Fantasy games, both in good and bad. Love the art and the OST, got a really nice sequel, and hopefully will get a third main game at some point...

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
Chrono Trigger
The Witcher 2
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Planescape Torment
Ultima Online
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
NieR:Automata
Dark Souls
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
Fallout 2
Mother 3

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
Icewind Dale II
Fallout New Vegas
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
Muramasa Rebirth
Titan Quest
Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Yakuza 0
Bravely Default

--VOTE INFO END--
JCX
Member
(10-13-2017, 03:59 AM)
JCX's Avatar
--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Persona 4 Golden
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Xenoblade Chronicles X
Chrono Cross
Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal
Bravely Default
Baten Kaitos Origins
Breath of Fire 4
Fire Emblem Awakening
Phantasy Star Online Episodes I &II
Paper Mario


<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Legend of Mana
Vanguard Bandits
Paper Mario
Xenoblade Chronicles
Persona 5
Tales of Symphonia
Final Fantasy X-2
World of Final Fantasy
Pokemon Sun/Moon
Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep


--VOTE INFO END--
Sherlock00
Junior Member
(10-13-2017, 04:48 AM)
There's still so many more I haven't played yet, that I'm sure if I had that I could add to this list, BUT... from what I have played here are mine:


1. Chrono Trigger - To me the quintessential RPG, perfect in every way. First game that I played that had implemented active or wait battle system; multi-party abilities; amazing soundtrack; memorable characters; and it was just long enough to not be too short, and just short enough to not be too long. Having multiple ending options and New game + were just extra amazing parts. Best RPG of all time IMO. I replay it every year at least

2. Final Fantasy VII - A genre changer of its time, yes the graphics haven't aged well but theres still something so timeless about the polygon faces and sharp angles. Memorable music and gameplay, it does have its flaws, but its strengths are so strong, that it makes it one of the most memorable experiences I've had in gaming. Amazing music and storyline, and the Antagonist is one of the best ever.


3. Persona 4 Golden- THIS game took me by surprise. I am not an Anime fan, and I do not like the Japanese Pop music. Thats how I know this game is so amazing, because despite all of that, the game was INCREDIBLE. The characters were so beloved, and I became so intertwined with them, its one of those games I don't want to finish because.. I just don't want it to end. I still have it saved right before the end, and can't bring myself to finish it because it will feel like a chapter closing in my life. Absolutely love the story and gameplay, it was a nice refresher to be able to choose when I fight. I wish that everything wasn't completely revolving around timing your Social links, then maybe I would have loved it just that bit more to maybe put it as 1b.

4. Mass Effect 1 - Amazing story, Amazing setting, great world development. If you like sci-fi and storylines; this is the game to play. ME2 seems to be most peoples highest rated Mass Effect game, but this one is hands down the best to me. It has more of a RPG feel with its story, and the depth of world building with the different races and planets. It had so much potential to build even more off of options on the different planets, but the scope was probably too big in too little time. It had its share of glitches and if you tried to do all the side planets it became tedious, but the main story of the game... Top notch.

5. KOTOR - Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic - Its Star Wars; Its RPG; it was definitive and amazing for its time. I haven't played it again, but I need to, because I remember it being amazing when it first came out, and just haven't made it back to it yet. If I had, it might be higher in my list

6. Final Fantasy Tactics - Such an amazing tale told in the tactical RPG genre. I watch the intro trailer everytime, and the deep dark story told, much more mature than one would think, keeps this game as one of the best games ever. I absolutely adore this game, and its challenging to boot. High rewards and high losses if you let your characters die. Amazing score once again, to go along with story

7. Secret of Mana - Loved the realtime battle system, and another great music score. Square could do no wrong at this time. Loved the story, characters, and feel.

8. Chrono Cross - amazing score and story, though hard to follow at times. Its unappreciated more than it should be because its a terrible sequel, but an amazing game on its own. If you expected Chrono trigger 2 you would be disappointed; but if you opened your mind and expectations it was a memorable experience in its own right.

9. Suikoden - I will name the first one, even though Suikoden II is better, because of how memorable it was with Gremio, and the music, and the battles, auto battles galore, and it was just a fun RPG. It introduced a new feel to the RPG genre at the time, and love this entire series.

10. World of Warcraft - WoW - What else needs to be said. This could actually contend for my number 2 or 3 spot, but wasn't sure if it qualified. I have played since beta, off and on, and I have SOOOOOOOO many memories, great memories, of its evolvement, and wasting hours upon hours with RL friends and virtual friends. I couldnt even know where to begin to talk about its positives.


--VOTE INFO START—



<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT - 3 points} Chono Trigger
{UNDERRATED - 4 points} Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy VII
KOTOR
Persona 4 Golden
Mass Effect 1
Secret of Mana
Chrono Cross
Suikoden
World of Warcraft


<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Final Fantasy 3 - I wanted to put this in top 10 but couldnt figure out what to take out
Super Mario RPG
Xenogears
Earthbound
Paper Mario: The Thousand year door
Skies of Arcadia
Xenoblade Chronicles (Haven't played past first hour, but I need to desperately)
Bravely Default
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Wild Arms 2 - Vastly underrated game. Maybe the wild west theme didnt sit well?

--VOTE INFO END--
texhnolyze
Banned
(10-13-2017, 05:13 AM)

Originally Posted by PaulSane

4. Rage of Mages


This game is probably more strategy than RPG, but it does have enough RPG elements to warrant it being on this list i feel. This game can be described as a "small squad RTS", your characters can be equipped with a variety of items you can get on missions or buy in town, they can also learn new skills as the game goes on. You undertake different main and side missions to progress through the game, there is some freedom of choice during those missions, but the game is pretty linear for the most part. You can choose the game's difficulty, and the game is HARD on the hardest one - be prepared to load very often, old-school style :) It also had some very nice graphics for its time (Rage of Mages released in 1998), and i think its art style holds up even now, which i know from experience since i replayed this game not too long ago.

This game was also given a direct sequel, Rage of Mages 2: Necromancer, but i'm not including it in this list, since it was basically more of the same. It then got another sequel, which was different enough, and therefore made it on this list.

Holy shit, I think I've played this game before as a kid. Not actually this one though, probably the sequel.

Haha wow.
Jigorath
Banned
(10-13-2017, 05:19 AM)
Mandate of Heaven got a grand total of 6 votes including my own.

I uhh, just hope that's more than last time.
Robert at Zeboyd Games
Banned
(10-13-2017, 05:34 AM)
If over 200 people qualify for the free Cosmic Star Heroine Steam code, I'll probably toss in a few extra to try to cover everybody. So get in those last minute lists!
Fou-Lu
Member
(10-13-2017, 05:43 AM)
Fou-Lu's Avatar
I never did decide which game to highlight. It's too hard to put one game above the rest in that way.
MoonFrog
Member
(10-13-2017, 05:47 AM)
MoonFrog's Avatar

Originally Posted by Fou-Lu

I never did decide which game to highlight. It's too hard to put one game above the rest in that way.

I used it as a second under-rated vote tbh. Sort of sat on the fence between using it for need and desert. Although, I think DQIV fits both ideas.
kswiston
Member
(10-13-2017, 05:50 AM)
kswiston's Avatar
I have about 10 lazy ballots in my PM inbox, so not all of the points are in this thread. M&M6 got at least 1 more point in one of the lazy ballots! :P


Everyone has about 12 hours left to get their vote in.
FiveSide
Banned
(10-13-2017, 05:56 AM)

Originally Posted by ranmafan

2. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE - The best games Ive ever played are the ones that impacted me greatly at times of need. #FE came along at a time where I needed a fun and joyful game. Its lighthearted ness, combining the best of Atlus RPG styles with the Fire Emblem world, as well as mixing it together with a JPOP estestic brought forth not only a fantastic playing game, but one that really stood out as unique and quite magical. It also contains one of my favorite, it not most favorite soundtracks ever. Still one of the best gaming experiences I ever had playing through this game way back on Japanese launch.

I really need to play this, seen it mentioned a surprising number of times ITT. I still have my Wii U and everything, and the game is still decently cheap (at least compared to what I thought the price would be by now).

Originally Posted by Fou-Lu

I never did decide which game to highlight. It's too hard to put one game above the rest in that way.

Just looked at your list again, I'd give it to Mother 3!
Screaming_Gremlin
My QB is a Dick and my coach is a Nutt
(10-13-2017, 05:59 AM)
Screaming_Gremlin's Avatar
Honestly not too much change in my list since the last time we did this list. I stick with a rule of not voting for a game until it has been out for a year or so. That way I have a bit time to come off the high and reflect on what I played. Anyway, my list in no particular order, with the exception of Planescape (my favorite game of all time).

Top Ten

Planescape: Torment – After replaying this game a few years ago, it has become not just my favorite RPG, but favorite videogame. It shows that games can have stories that rival other mediums. But the game is more than just a fantastic story. It contains one of the most unique worlds in RPG history and some of the most interesting characters. While the game is certainly not perfect (while combat is serviceable, I wouldn’t call it fun), it provides an experience few other games can even hope to match.

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn – Baldur’s Gate II doesn’t have a story as good as Planescape, or combat as fun as Icewind Dale, but as a total package it is still one of the most well put together RPGs ever made. It certainly is still Bioware’s crown achievement. There are a myriad of areas to explore, all packed with content. Athkatla is still probably one of the best designed cities in an RPG. The companions have depth, and unlike later Bioware games, the relationships were interesting to explore. Finally, the encounters were well designed, with some of the optional dragons being especially memorable.

Fallout: New Vegas – Honestly, this could easily be switched out for Fallout or Fallout 2. The replay value of this game compared to other RPGs is nearly unparalleled (the first game I would compare it to would be Obsidian’s underrated Alpha Protocol). Almost every quest has multiple ways to approach and resolve them, and better yet will actually provide real consequences to your decisions. There are a variety of technical flaws inherited with the Gambryo engine, but thankfully many of them could be fixed with mods.

Divinity: Original Sin – This is a game that took me by surprise. I had heard about Dragon Commander, but knew nothing else about the franchise or developers. But seeing some of the reactions to Divinity on GAF sold me on the game and I am glad it did. The combat is what makes this game. It is both extremely tactical, with just a bit of nonsense thrown in when the elemental effects light off. I have just started playing the sequel and I can only hope that it lives up to its predecessor.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines – This is a very flawed gem, but one that I can’t help but love. It is very much an example of game that the whole is better than the sum of its parts. The atmosphere maintains a fairly constant level of creepiness, with a few occasions slipping into the horror genre (I might just be a pansy, but the Ocean House Hotel still creeps me out). While the overall story is just fairly good, the dialog is just amazing. You have to play as a Malkavian, as it least once. It is just a shame the combat is mediocre at best and toward the endgame is forced way too much.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 – For a game I never would have paid attention to in the first place if it wasn’t for the Giant Bomb endurance run, I ended up loving Persona 4. The atmosphere and store could push both melancholy and happiness depending on what was happening. Your companions were fun to be around and the game did a fantastic job of showing the friendships that were developed throughout the game. I bought a Vita just to play this and I don’t regret it at all.

Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of The Betrayer – Vanilla Neverwinter Nights wasn’t a terrible game, but it wasn’t particular good either. For the expansion, Obsidian decided to follow that up be releasing an expansion with the best story since Planescape Torment. The companions are better, the visuals are more varied, and the quest design is improved. The only real negative is that it is still constrained by the Alpha engine, so you will have sports where you spend more time fighting the camera than you do enemies.

World of Warcraft – I played WoW from Beta to the beginning of Cataclysm and to this day it is still the only MMORPG that I have loved. Honestly thinking back to the amount of time I put into this game when I was younger is sort of embarrassing. That said, some of my best gaming memories come from WoW. The first time I entered Westfall (my favorite zone) of my guild’s first Ragnaros kill are still vibrant in my mind

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – I think I put Pillars of Eternity above this game when I did my top ten list back in 2015. But since that time, Witcher is the game I continue to remember fondly and wish I had time to replay. CDRP crafted a beautiful world and more importantly, filled it with things to do that were actually fun. Many of the side quests, were just as interesting and well written as the main story. They also get bonus points for creating a mini-game that is actually fun in Gwent.

Mass Effect - I am a sap for pulp scifi/space opera. So saying that, I loved Mass Effect. The game has a ton of issues; the inventory system is broken, the Mako was not fun to drive, the random worlds had way too many mountains, and there was too much copy/paste in the environments. Still, the game overcame those issues. The universe it established was fantastic and just sucked me in. I beat the game on Xbox almost 5 times (one of the few games that I have every achievement for), and then went back and beat it a few more times on PC.

Honorable Mentions

Alpha Protocol – I consider this to be one of the most underappreciated gems in videogames. For everyone who complains that games don’t provide enough consequences to your actions, they have to play Alpha Protocol. It features unparalleled nonlinearity and reactivity. The approach they took to character interactions is unmatched. You aren’t forced into playing nice with everyone for stat bonuses, in fact in some cases it actually benefits you to go tell someone to fuck off.

Skies of Arcadia - I honestly have no idea why I like this game. I hate random battles with a passion and this game has them in such frequency that it is sickening. Despite that, I couldn't stop myself from playing this game. The world it created and the sense of adventure was just so enjoyable.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords – This is both my favorite Star Wars game (well, tied with Tie Fighter) and a bad Star Wars game if that makes sense. Its story and dialog actually is more of a deconstruction of the Star Wars universe. Unfortunately, LucasArts forced Obsidian to rush it out the door before it was finished, so the last chapter of the game is a complete mess.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut – I felt Shadowrun Returns was an interesting and successful game. I loved the cyberpunk atmosphere and felt like the overall mechanics were solid. It was just missing a few pieces that held it back from being, namely the lack of a save anywhere system and overly linear story. Dragonfall took the basic structure, fixed the majority of the issues from Dead Man’s Switch, and then kicked everything into high gear. The story was engaging, the characters were interesting, and Berlin was a much more compelling setting.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – CD Projekt’s follow up to immensely satisfying Witcher 1. Instead of improving on the combat system for the first game, they instead implemented a new one. It led to combat being more challenging, but at times felt like it focused on just a couple of techniques. The WItcher 2 has an engaging story and again has an amazing dark fantasy world. Outside of an Obsidian game, it also has some of the weightiest consequences in a videogame, where the entire middle section of the game is different depending on a choice you make in an earlier chapter.

Fallout – Compared to its sequels, Fallout is a shorter game, but contains a more tightly focused plot. The atmosphere established by the 50’s retro-futuristic look would become iconic. Combat could be simple, but was still satisfying thanks in no part to the amusing death animations.

Fallout 2 – It was a larger world with more stuff to do compared to the first Fallout. Useless skills were made to be less useless and the faction mechanics were better. Unfortunately, that larger world sometime resulted in the game being a bit like a “Theme Park” which is was something that Bethesda ramped up even further in Fallout 3. Also, the pop culture humor at times could be a bit much. Still it was a fantastic RPG, it just wasn’t quite at the same level as the first game.

EarthBound – This was one of the few RPGs on consoles that pulled me in when I was a kid. The varied locals just oozed charm. I couldn't wait to see what the next zone would offer. While the combat was nothing special, the game had several memorable (as well as insane) enemies. It still drives me crazy that Nintendo never brought Mother 3 over to the US.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind – Morrowind is still my favorite of the Elder Scrolls games and it appears to be something that Bethesda isn’t interested in going back to. The sheer amount of freedom this game gave to you was amazing. Sneaking into Daedric shrines before you had any business being in those areas, just so you could swipe some armor that would make you a god. Taking advantage of the game mechanics (thanks alchemy!) to break the game in ways the developers never intended was especially fun. It is a shame that instead of embracing this in future games, they just stripped abilities and systems out of the game. Luckily, with the robust modding community on PC you can still make the game look as nice as most current RPG

Baldur’s Gate – Generally considered being inferior to its sequel, Baldur’s Gate is still a very good RPG. While not exactly open world, it contains a massive number of locations. Despite being constrained with how boring low level combat can be in AD&D, it still manages to be entertaining. You really can see the building blocks for Shadows of Amn being laid down.



--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Planescape: Torment
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
Fallout: New Vegas
Divinity: Original Sin
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of The Betrayer
World of Warcraft
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Mass Effect

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Alpha Protocol
Skies of Arcadia
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords
Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Fallout
Fallout 2
EarthBound
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Baldur’s Gate

--VOTE INFO END--
MoonFrog
Member
(10-13-2017, 06:09 AM)
MoonFrog's Avatar
#FE is great. It was my gateway to Atlus tbh (and yes, I have played a lot of Atlus games in the year+ since).

The FE crossover is really bad. The idol fluff trappings were a bit much. But...the combat is good, the dungeons are good, and the characters are decent. I also like the approach to support conversations even if their content tended to be lacking. The relationship simulation is handled in a more quest-based, more "do it when you want to," and less extensive manner than Persona.

Looking back at it, in terms of structure, it feels like pre-Persona 3 SMT spinoffs to me but with a minor helping of relationship side-content.

Wrt tone and battle system it is its own thing.

Really glad I took GAF up on it being a good RPG. I wanted one but was repulsed by the outer coating of this one.
bpfd
I <3 MICHIGAN
(10-13-2017, 06:13 AM)
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I have not played many of the games I have seen listed in this thread but I found myself adding games to my wishlist on steam as I read through it. The Legend of Heroes games are at the top of that list. I look forward to the many hours of enjoyment.

I'm not much of a writer so I apologize if my list is not as eloquent as others here and I am not sure I can add much to what others have said, but I will give it a try.

As for my list:

Full Point Games

Persona 5- This was my first entry into this series and my mind was blown away. A visually stunning game with a fun story and combat system and a soundtrack second to none that I have experienced. There are a lot of thing to do besides the main quest (home run derby for hours), and the social aspect of the game was perfect.

Ni No Kuni- As another poster said previously about this game, I can not believe it is eligible for underrated status. This game came and stole over 100 hours of my life away and I don't regret it one bit. The graphics are great, and I really enjoyed the monster collecting aspect. Looking forward to the sequel.

Nier: Automata- The second game from 2017 on my list and I really struggled with deciding which of the two should get my Highlight vote. I went with Persona 5 but could have easily given it to this game and not have lost any sleep over it. The story and the combat system are the stars here. Both are stellar. The story had enough twists and turns to keep me interested through all the endings. The credit sequence is unbelievable. I repeat the credit sequence is unbelievable.

Mother 3 I don't know if this was the first game to make me cry, but I hope it was. I remember skipping an office party to stay home and play the end of this game. Tears streaming down as I fought the final boss. I was a wreck after. The emotions this game made me feel are the reason it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Bloodborne- After trying Dark Souls 2 this was a much more fluid game then I was expecting, with great visuals. It was a challenge but not overwhelmingly so. Besides the great core game it has the best DLC I have ever purchased.

Skies of Arcadia- Ah the Dreamcast. Probably the most underrated console of all time. I could go on for hours about anything from NFL2k online leagues to marathon ChuChu Rocket sessions but that is another thread. The ship battles, getting all the crew members, finding all the discoveries, all kept me playing this game for hours.

Tales of Symphonia- My all time favorite Tales game. Why did I put over 200 hours in this game? To put it simply, it was just a lot of fun. Other games in the series may have better combat systems, or story, but this game to me was the best overall.

South Park - The Stick of Truth- Relatively short compared to most of the games on my list but not short on quality. It was like playing an episode of the show. Funny and fun.

The Secret of Mana- What can I say about this game that hasn't already been said. I still have the original strategy guide. Co-op was fun. I have fond memories of this game and am looking forward to the remastered version.

Final Fantasy 4- I pretty much grew tired of this series when it became more cinematic and haven't played a game in the series since VII (which i feel is overrated). VI gets a lot of hype, and it is a great game with a great villain and that opera scene was awesome. My vote goes to IV because I just liked it better. I played the original version at a time in my life when I needed to escape from reality and the opening scene on the airship hooked me.


Honorable Mentions:

Dragons Dogma: Dark Arisen
The Illusion of Gaia
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Chrono Trigger
Final Fantasy VI
Tales of Graces F
Tales of Zestiria
Tales of Destiny
Alundra
Xenogears- I've watched the opening cinematic for this game a billion times.



<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Persona 5
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Ni No Kuni
Nier: Automata
Mother 3
Bloodborne
Skies of Arcadia
Tales of Symphonia
South Park: The Stick of Truth
The Secret of Mana
Final Fantasy IV

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Dragons Dogma: Dark Arisen
The Illusion of Gaia
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Chrono Trigger
Final Fantasy VI
Tales of Graces F
Tales of Zestiria
Tales of Destiny
Alundra
Xenogears

--VOTE INFO END--
More_Badass
Member
(10-13-2017, 06:25 AM)
More_Badass's Avatar
My first time posting in one of these threads, hope I'm doing it right

The Age of Decadence: Age of Decadence shows that limiting freedom is in fact perhaps one of the crucial aspects of role playing, in that through encouraging to build your character decisively and make decisions that logically suit their role and build, you can delve deep into wildly divergent nuanced paths and possibilities. Yes, you won't be able to see and do everything, but by challenging you to play with the same mindset as your character, Age of Decadence immerses in its low fantasy world and makes your choices feel important and satisfying. The surprisingly complex and tactical combat complements the dialogue heavy role playing.

LISA: Bleak and brutal, surreal and sad, whimsical and melancholy, engrossing and disturbing, clever and funny, Lisa is many things. Behind that unassuming retro aesthetic lies a compelling journey through a twisted and pathetic post-apocalypse that hides a gripping narrative behind pitch-black oddball whimsy.

Planescape Torment: I only finally played Planescape last year, and its world is just as entrancing and fascinating as it must have been 18 years ago. The world is so grand and compelling, with lore and excellent prose and flavor text at every turn, pouring from the mouths of NPCs in exquisite detail. And of course the other complexities, like tattoos and eyes, and the amazing companions you can get, just further cement Planescape as something special.

Dark Souls:Demons' Souls holds a special place among games for me, for being the game that shattered my perception of challenge in video games, and Dark Souls took that masterful design and elevated it to new heights. From the grotesque enemy designs (well, until Bloodborne) to the gorgeously decrepit architecture and the skillful combat, Dark Souls was a revelation.

The Witcher 3: The Witcher 3 is the RPG I remembered Skyrim being, taking that memory of grand and sprawling fantasy and making it reality. The grim medieval fantasy storytelling and atmosphere is compelling and complex. The landscapes are sprawling and vibrant, with those dense dark forests and trees swaying in the wind and the misty swamps and rolling seas. The lively settlements feel medieval: cramped and muddy and clustered around pitted dirt roads, a perfect juxtaposition to the towering majesty of the cities. Geralt, and the role of a witcher in general, is fascinating, and how he's treated in the world, among locals and otherwise, makes every conversation and quest compelling, If anything, it made me want more open world RPGs with defined characters; it's so much more engrossing than playing a create-a-character blank slate.

Battle Brothers:It can sometimes by shocking how much sound design can elevate an experience. Battle Brother's deep tactical skirmishes are light on animations, your warriors don't even have limbs, but you feel every blow. Every cleaved shield, every mace to the skull, every battered face and crushed ribs. Battle Brothers' strategy is brutal and scrappy, a game of positioning and managing lines and managing personalities and warhammers to the face. The dynamic simulation outside of combat makes every mercenary campaign feel unique and enjoyable.

West of Loathing: The turn-based combat isn't exactly that deep, but the world and story is what makes West of Loathing shine. Mainly because it's so charming and fun. The world is often one of the most exciting part of the RPG, be it a modern open world game or a classic cRPG. West of Loathing's world is its biggest strength, because every corner is packed with clever jokes and clever writing. No area of the game escapes its wit, from interactions to stats and items. A good time RPG

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl: STALKER and the next game are ones I'd consider "role playing games". Quite literally "role playing", where the thrill is inhabiting your character's boots and living that life and role and mindset. The bleak and beautiful world of STALKER calls to you, and exploring its mysteries and its factions and its sense of life is near unparalleled.

Crusader Kings II: Another "role playing" game, perhaps the ultimate one in all the genre especially since actual common RPG elements were added to further individualize characters. There's nothing quite like CK2, in how you can play any role large or small, a single cog in the massive machine that is Europe politics and empires. Simply playing role and molding your fate and the fate of generations to come for better (but probably worse).

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} The Age of Decadence
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} LISA
Planescape Torment
Dark Souls
The Witcher 3
Battle Brothers
West of Loathing
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
Crusader Kings II

--VOTE INFO END--
Robert at Zeboyd Games
Banned
(10-13-2017, 06:32 AM)

Originally Posted by MoonFrog

#FE is great. It was my gateway to Atlus tbh (and yes, I have played a lot of Atlus games in the year+ since).

The FE crossover is really bad. The idol fluff trappings were a bit much. But...the combat is good, the dungeons are good, and the characters are decent. I also like the approach to support conversations even if their content tended to be lacking. The relationship simulation is handled in a more quest-based, more "do it when you want to," and less extensive manner than Persona.

Looking back at it, in terms of structure, it feels like pre-Persona 3 SMT spinoffs to me but with a minor helping of relationship side-content.

Wrt tone and battle system it is its own thing.

Really glad I took GAF up on it being a good RPG. I wanted one but was repulsed by the outer coating of this one.

Yeah, it feels a lot like a PS2-era SMT spinoff to me. Not a fan of FE games in general so the lack of FE feel didn't bother me at all. Really enjoyed what I've played and would probably have included it in my list, but I'm in the middle of playing it and wanted to hold off in case the second half changes my opinion.
Mattakuevan
Member
(10-13-2017, 06:36 AM)
Mattakuevan's Avatar
Oh god, almost missed the deadline on this.

Here's the goods:

Top Ten

Bloodborne - The combat is so expertly executed that I've had issues playing other games with action-oriented gameplay since. The art direction, level design, and overall focus is sublime.

Chrono Trigger - One of the most consistantly above-average JRPGs out there. While it doesn't reach the highs of many others on this list it definitely has some of the best pacing and consistancy.

Demon's Souls - The atmosphere was unparalled until Bloodborne came to be. Still fantastic even now.

Final Fantasy 6 - This was my first real RPG, and even after all this time it still stands out. It set my standards pretty high for what a game should be and it is considered to be one of the defining games of the SNES era by most.

Final Fantasy 9 - My personal favorite final fantasy. It ranks as the quintessential fantasy adventure with its only flaw being the tediously slow battle system (which was fixed in the PC/PS4 release).

NieR Automata - I'm still wrapping my head around how I feel about this game, but I honestly think its one of the most important gaming experiences I've ever had. The final ending (E) was possibly the most powerful thing I've seen in gaming and unlike its prequel, it was actually fun to play.

Persona 4 - Some of the more “real” characters I've ever in a game. While not necessarily a stunner plot-wise, its a wonderful experience with fantastic writing and dialogue between the characters.

Persona 5 - The pinacle of the series gameplay-wise. I had a few problems with some of the content and character motivations, but its easily the most polished game Megaten has ever put out.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - I love this more than the M&L games or the Paper Mario games. It's probably nostalgia, but I absolutely adore the look and feel of everything.

Undertale - This was easily my GotY 2015. Fantastic writing, fantastic soundtrack, and one of the few legitimately touching games I've played in a long time.

Honorable Mentions

Dark Souls - Wonderful gameplay and world. Also, its influence over the industry is titanic: everyone knows what this is whether they want to or not. Pure quality in all aspects (except technical).

Deus Ex Human Revolution - Fantastic game with a fantastic setting. Stealth RPGs are a rare thing so this stands out. OG is better than the directors cut imo.

Disgaea 5 - Best game in the series. Its a bit of an aquired taste, but if you actually like grinding there's no series that's more rewarding.

Divinity: Original Sin - This game was a total surprise, probably has the best turn-based battle system I've played. I'm loving the sequel even more, but its too early to give it a rating imo.

NieR - A clunky, cheesy, wonderfully deep and powerful narrative with an amazing soundtrack to get lost in. It isn't for everyone, but I love it. Playthrough A is interesting for the most part, but B-D left me speechless.

Shadowrun (SNES) - While clunky, I feel that this game captures the 'feeling' of shadowrun better than even the newer games. Super fun game.

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne - Nocturne represents a close-call for me. The first time I played Nocturne was post-P3. As such I was uninterested and decided the game “sucked” due to it being nothing like P3. Around 2 years later (and having played through the other PS2 SMT games) I picked it back up to give it another try. I was absolutely hooked. Nocturne demanded a certain mindset and mood from me, but it was all worth it. Few RPGs on my list can provide the pure RPG experience that Nocturne does. While Chrono Trigger provides a perfect view of what RPGs probably should be narratively/pacing-wise, Nocturne provides the opposite spectrum where pure gameplay supersedes all else. I'd recommend it, but with some hesitation due to its a-typical focus.

Valkyria Chronicles - Easily my favorite SRPG. It's such a fun and hassle-free take on the genre.

Witcher 3 - Easily the best open world game I've played, a fantastic conclusion to Geralt's story.

Xenoblade Chronicles - Few games I've played has handled world building with the same care as Xenoblade. Memorable characters, music, and the setting make for a modern classic. Can't wait for the (true) sequel.

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} NieR Automata
Bloodborne
Chrono Trigger
Demon's Souls
Final Fantasy 6
Final Fantasy 9
Persona 4
Persona 5
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Undertale

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Dark Souls
Deus Ex Human Revolution
Disgaea 5
Divinity: Original Sin
NieR
Shadowrun (SNES)
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Valkyria Chronicles
Witcher 3
Xenoblade Chronicles

--VOTE INFO END--
kswiston
Member
(10-13-2017, 07:25 AM)
kswiston's Avatar
By my (prone to be a bit off) count, we have 217 participants so far, not counting the people submitting quick and lazy votes.

I think that we are now at the highest participation level that I have had in these threads since the first one back in 2010 (which was basically a list thread, with the majority of people not backing up their choices).

Thanks to everyone who has participated so far.

I have to update the spreadsheet, but we ARE NOT past 200 people eligible to receive Cosmic Star Heroine yet. And if we edge past that in the next 10 hours, it looks like Robert from Zeboyd Games has generously offered to do a small top up of his original 200 key donation if necessary.

If you would like to receive Cosmic Star Heroine, you are not too late. Just keep in mind that voting closes in a bit more than 10 hours.

Thanks again Robert for your help in getting this thread going after the slow start!
MoonFrog
Member
(10-13-2017, 07:39 AM)
MoonFrog's Avatar

Originally Posted by Robert at Zeboyd Games

Yeah, it feels a lot like a PS2-era SMT spinoff to me. Not a fan of FE games in general so the lack of FE feel didn't bother me at all. Really enjoyed what I've played and would probably have included it in my list, but I'm in the middle of playing it and wanted to hold off in case the second half changes my opinion.

Also, I really like the boss design of TMS#FE.

An advantage it has over Persona is that the Session system carries over to bosses better than the All-Out-Attack system. It's more like Press Turn, in that respect, which also keeps the weakness exploitation going strong on bosses.

But I also just enjoyed the tactical situations of the bosses.

...

As to the ending, personally I think the combat at least does peak before the end. Session links get a bit rote when you have so many connectors. But I don't think it falls off a cliff in that regard.

Generally, I think it's solid all the way through. Hope it pans out that way for you too!
An-Det
Member
(10-13-2017, 07:40 AM)
1. Persona 4 Golden - Endearing cast, great writing, fun combat, amazing music. It's fucking good and replaying it ahead of Persona 5 has reminded me just how good it was. 

2. Dark Souls - Same with this, after the Steamworks update and rexperiencing a bunch of the game again reminded me quite how much I loved it. Tough but fair, fantastic combat and awesome boss music. 

3. Pokemon Silver/Gold/HeartGold/SoulSilver - Formative rpg's for me. A lengthy campaign, lots of new pokemon (but not an overhelming amount), new types, options, and Kanto on top of it. Newer games have a bunch of great improvements over these, but this set of games remain the ideal for me.

4. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - Really glad more people have experienced it, with the pc and new console releases. The story for most of the game is a wash, but it turns up to 11 near the end and the combat is so fucking good. 

5. Mass Effect 1- The worst combat in the trilogy, but the best rpg elements and it had a bit more of the classic Star Trek vibe than the others. It was the sci-fi rpg I always wanted.

6. Might & Magic 6: The Mandate of Heaven - A huge world, decent combat with loads of options, loads of monsters to kill and places to explore. It's not the prettiest game, but it provides so many things in a huge world to explore. 

7. The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind - The quintessential game of Bethesda's style to me. Once it clicked I loved it and was hooked.

8. Chrono Trigger - Solid music, combat, and cast, it's really fucking good and remains a classic for good reason. I first played it on the DS version and was super impressed with how well it held up.

9. Fallout: New Vegas - Lots of the same problems as Fallout 3, but it adds in Obsidian writing that elevates it. 

10. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords - Basically the same situation as New Vegas, building on a solid core while adding superior writing.

11. Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines - I didn't like the combat, but the world they built within the WoD setting, the characters and the atmosphere is fantastic.

12. Deus Ex: Human Revolution - A fantastic update to the franchise, really solid combat that for the most part let's you play however you'd like. The sequel is also great, more people need to play it.

13. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Fucking amazing story, beautiful to look at, really solid rpg mechanics, and decent combat. I got fucking lost in that world, and Geralt is perhaps the best realized rpg main character I've played. 

14. Persona 3 FES - I felt that it had a better story compared to Persona 4, though P4 improved on everything with the gameplay. This was my first experience with Persona and SMT and I was blown away.

15. Bloodborne - Amazing aesthetic and a fantastic speedier version of the Souls combat. Great bosses and world. 

16. Nier Automata - I never played the first game, but I goot hooked on this. Solid combat that gets a bit tedious, amazing soundtrack and story. I was so happy to play more and platinum the game.

17. Persona 5 - great game and a huge improvement for gameplay and narrative in the franchise. It's too new for me to put it higher, since 3 and 4 are so entrenched for me and the numbers don't matter past 10 anyway.

18. Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne - Fantastic SMT combat in a desolate, depressing world. It's really good. 

19. Guild Wars 1 - A really big world that I sunk over 1000 hours into. Really good combat that prioritized customizing your attacks and strategy over constantly grinding for the next level of gear. It had a lot of really solid updates and improvements and expansions. I really wish Guild Wars 2 had clicked with me. 

20. South Park: The Stick of Truth - Really good combat and great script, it was way better than it had any right to be, and knew not to overstay its welcome. A bit lower now that after reflection, but still really good.

My 2015 list and my 2016 list for future reference. I really need to spend some time to play some of the major ones I see in these each year, there's definitely a few on my shame pile.

Honorable Mentions:
Demons Souls
Fable: The Lost Chapter
Lost Odyssey
The Elder Scrolls 3: Skyrim
Final Fantasy 12
Mass Effect 2
Pokemon Red/Blue/Fire Red/Leaf Green, also ORAS
Kingdom Hearts
Chrono Cross
Destiny 2
Prey


--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Might & Magic 6: The Mandate of Heaven
Persona 4 Golden
Dark Souls
Pokemon Silver/Gold/HeartGold/SoulSilver
Mass Effect
The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind
Chrono Trigger
Fallout: New Vegas
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Persona 3 FES
Bloodborne
Nier Automata
Persona 5
Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne
Guild Wars

--VOTE INFO END--
Aters
Member
(10-13-2017, 09:34 AM)
Aters's Avatar
Damn talk about a last minute (day) rush. Looking forward to the final result.
Robert at Zeboyd Games
Banned
(10-13-2017, 09:40 AM)

Originally Posted by MoonFrog

Also, I really like the boss design of TMS#FE.

An advantage it has over Persona is that the Session system carries over to bosses better than the All-Out-Attack system. It's more like Press Turn, in that respect, which also keeps the weakness exploitation going strong on bosses.

But I also just enjoyed the tactical situations of the bosses.

Yeah, the boss fights have been a highlight.
Eolz
Member
(10-13-2017, 10:16 AM)
Eolz's Avatar
I really wanted to vote for Stalker (CoP rather than SoC) but it seemed like I would have been the only one and there's too many contradicting opinions about its genre online (I think it counts when I see some other votes) ...
Nice to see that someone did a vote for it at least!
zanderace64
Junior Member
(10-13-2017, 11:18 AM)
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Just saw this so a bit rushed. Will try and update with expanded comments.

My list:

1. The Elderscrolls 3: Morrowind My all time favourite Elder Scrolls game and the first proper open world game that I played. Bethesda did an incredible job of making the world come to life and I remember spending countless hours exploring it. Morrowind was also my introduction to modding on the PC.

2. Breath of Fire 2 One of the games I enjoyed most on my GBA growing up, especially the ability to grow your own town.

3. Diablo 2 My first introduction to ARPGs and still a game I go back to. I remember my Grandparents buying a desktop computer around 1999 or 2000. It came with several game demos and Diablo 2 happened to be one of them. I think it only had the 1st Act, but that didn't stop me from playing it over and over again.

4. Golden Sun Another favorite on my GBA. Loved the Djinn system and the graphics at the time

5. Chrono Trigger Only got round to playing it a couple of years ago and it definitely holds up well today. I couldn't put it down from start to finish.

6. The Witcher 3 A fantastic game with some of the best quests and side quests that I've ever experienced.

7. Final Fantasy X My avatar might give this one away. First ever Final Fantasy game and the graphics blew me away on the PS2 when it first came out. In my opinion, subsequent Final Fantasy games haven't come close.

8. Person 4: Golden The reason I bought a Vita. Enjoyed the mix of social interactions in the town and dungeon crawling.

9. Fallout New Vegas In my opinion the best Fallout game to date. Enjoyed the story and the different ways of approaching the game.

10. Dark Souls One of the best designed game worlds there is with perfectly balanced difficulty.

--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind
Breath of Fire 2
Diablo 2
Golden Sun
Chrono Trigger
The Witcher 3
Final Fantasy 10
Persona 4: Golden
Fallout New Vegas
Dark Souls

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Deus Ex
Divinity: Original Sin
Valkyria Chronicles
Xenoblade Chronicles
Dragons Dogma: Dark Arisen
--VOTE INFO END--
Pepboy
Member
(10-13-2017, 11:54 AM)
Pepboy's Avatar

Originally Posted by Robert at Zeboyd Games

Yeah, the boss fights have been a highlight.

Originally Posted by MoonFrog

Also, I really like the boss design of TMS#FE.

An advantage it has over Persona is that the Session system carries over to bosses better than the All-Out-Attack system. It's more like Press Turn, in that respect, which also keeps the weakness exploitation going strong on bosses.

But I also just enjoyed the tactical situations of the bosses.

...

As to the ending, personally I think the combat at least does peak before the end. Session links get a bit rote when you have so many connectors. But I don't think it falls off a cliff in that regard.

Generally, I think it's solid all the way through. Hope it pans out that way for you too!

I just wanted to say bless you guys (and others) for contributing to the discussion and keeping this from being a pure list thread. I've been reading the comments in between lists (and the lists themselves of course) and it's been interesting to see so many perspectives.
SatoAilDarko
Member
(10-13-2017, 12:42 PM)
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I've finish my voting post here:

Originally Posted by SatoAilDarko

--VOTE INFO START—

--VOTE INFO END--

Apologies for the lateness.

I may add more to the write-up for one game but no changes to the votes.

I need to play more RPG's. I'm actually in the midst of several right now.
ShiroAmakusa
Member
(10-13-2017, 02:26 PM)
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I'm very late to this voting and I'd love to do a more in-depth depiction of my votes but I really need to address at least some of my picks:

First of all, my highlight:



If confronted with the choice to play only one of the RPG on my list for the rest of my life, I'd stick with Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen. Tough call to make, since I believe I could also play Dark Souls 3 until I drop dread without getting bored but in the end, Dark Arisen has the edge of DS3. As far as I'm concerned, it has a near flawless story which gets better with a good grasp of philosophical teachings and the replay value is, at least for me, very high. Also Magick Archer!

My choice for the most underrated RPG:



This pick must really baffle some of you, with Dennis Dyack's rather bad reputation and some of Too Human's technical shortcomings, but let me explain!

First of all, the whole "Cyber-Valhalla" setting is great and it's a pity we won't get more of it. That alone is reason enough to check it out.
Now the combat is something you really have to get used to, but once it clicks with you, you'll be slaying! When you die, you don't return to some checkpoint but get resurrected on the spot instead. The animations takes a long time but besides "git good", there is nothing to add here. I prefer it over checkpoints anytime.

Where this game really shines is the multiplayer!
4-player Co-op on the hardest setting was the most infuriating, tough and yet most satisfying and amazing experiences I've ever had. And I've done a lot of challenging stuff in (cooperative) gaming. This is the one game for my Xbox 360 I will never sell (especially since a Remaster as veeeeeery unlikely (not after that whole Unreal Engine fiasco).



--VOTE INFO START—

<FULL POINT GAMES – 2 points>
{HIGHLIGHT – 3 points} Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen (Xbox 360/PS3/Xbox One/PS4)
{UNDERRATED – 4 points} Too Human (Xbox 360)
Alpha Protocol (Xbox 360/PC)
Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Fallout 2 (PC)
Persona 5 (PS4)
Dark Souls 3 (Xbox One/PS4/PC)
Final Fantasy Tactics (PS)
Nier (Xbox 360/PS3)
Nier: Automata (Xbox One/PS4/PC)

<HONORABLE MENTIONS – 1 point>
Jeanne D'Arc (PSP)
Fallout: New Vegas (Xbox 360/PS3/PC)
World of Warcraft (PC)
Terranigma (SNES)
Star Ocean: Second Evolution (PSP)
Ni no kuni (PS3)
Parasite Eve (PS)
Southpark: The stick of truth
Final Fantasy 6 (SNES)
Mass Effect (Xbox 360/PS3/PC)

--VOTE INFO END--

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