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NeoGAF's Essential Rpgs (2011 edition)




I ran a similar thread to this almost a year ago, asking GAFers to highlight the 10 rpgs that they felt were essential to the genre. After tallying the votes, I posted the top 100 games by votes, and listed short summaries for the top 20.

Here was the original thread: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=387052

This is an updated version of that thread. As I said last time, I often find myself trying to pick up quality games that I have missed over the last decade, and game review aggregates (like GameRankings, Metacritic) do a poor job of assessing role playing games, especially the lesser known titles. Word of mouth consensus from GAF can be better, but you have to do more digging and (again) most discussion tends to be about the big franchises. In light of several major rpg releases this past year (FFXIII, DQIX, New Vegas, etc), and the re-release of several classic Rpgs on places like GOG.com and PSN, I asked people to once again list up to 10 rpgs that are either essential to the genre, or amongst their favourites. The results, pooled from the lists of 202 members, are listed below.

Top 40 by votes: (more to be added soon)

1) Chrono Trigger - 94 votes
Original Release: March 11, 1995
Platforms: SNES, PS1, Nintendo DS

Summary: Chrono Trigger was developed and published by Square, and follows a group of adventurers who travel through time to prevent a global catastrophe. Chrono Trigger's development team included Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of the Final Fantasy series, and Yuuji Horii and Akira Toriyama—two freelance designers known for their work on the Dragon Quest series. Chrono Trigger was praised for many of its features, including multiple endings, plot-related sidequests focusing on character development, unique battle system, and then detailed graphics.

2) Final Fantasy VI - 69 votes
Original Release: April 2, 1994
Platforms: SNES, PS1, GBA

Summary: Final Fantasy VI ( originally Final Fantasy III in North America) was developed and published by Square. Set in a fantasy world with a technology level equivalent to that of the Second Industrial Revolution, the game's story focuses on a group of rebels as they seek to overthrow an imperial dictatorship. The game features fourteen permanent playable characters, the most of any game in the main series. Final Fantasy VI was the first game in the series to be directed by someone other than producer and series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi; the role was filled instead by Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Itō. Yoshitaka Amano, a long-time contributor to the Final Fantasy series, returned as the image and character designer, while regular composer Nobuo Uematsu wrote the game's score, which has been released on several soundtrack albums.

3) Baldur's Gate II : Shadows of Amn - 53 votes
Original Release: September 24, 2000
Platform: Windows PC

Summary: Baldur's Gate II was developed by BioWare and is set a few months after the events of Baldur's Gate. The story opens with the player having been ambushed by assassins and taken captive into a mysterious dungeon under the control of the mage, Jon Irenicus. Based on the 2nd edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons role-playing system, Baldur's Gate II was praised for its epic story and well developed characters. Throughout the game, the player must make crucial choices, some of them vital to the character's development. Using Bioware's infinity engine, the game is played from an isometric view, and enemy encounters can be fought in both active and turn-based modes.

4) Planescape: Torment - 52 votes
Original Release: December 12, 1999
Platform: Windows PC

Summary: Planescape: Torment was by Black Isle Studios and takes place in Planescape, an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) fantasy campaign setting. The game's engine is a modified version of the Infinity Engine, which was also used for BioWare's Baldur's Gate. Planescape: Torment is primarily story-driven; combat is given less prominence than in most contemporary role-playing games. The protagonist is an immortal who has lived many lives but has forgotten all about them, even forgetting his own name. The game focuses on The Nameless One's journey throughout the city of Sigil and other planes to reclaim his memories of these previous lives. The game was not a significant commercial success but received widespread critical praise and has since become a cult classic. It was lauded for its immersive dialogue, for the dark and relatively obscure Planescape setting, and for the protagonist's unique persona, which shirked many characteristics of traditional role-playing games.

5) Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 - 44 votes
Original Release: July 10, 2008
Platforms: PS2

Summary: Persona 4 was developed and published by Atlus, and is chronologically the fifth installment in the series. Instead of the city locales of previous games in the series, Persona 4 takes place in a fictional Japanese countryside, where the main protagonist is a high-school student who moved into the countryside from the city for a year. During his year-long stay, he becomes involved in investigating mysterious murders while harnessing the power of summoning Persona. Combining high school simulation and traditional dungeon crawling rpg elements, Persona 4 features a weather forecast system with events happening on foggy days to replace the moon phase system implemented in the previous games.

6) Mass Effect - 41 votes
Original Release: November 20, 2007
Platform: Xbox 360, Windows PC

Summary: Mass Effect is an action role-playing game developed by BioWare for the Xbox 360 and then ported to Microsoft Windows by Demiurge Studios. The game takes place in the year 2183.Thirty-five years prior, humankind discovered a cache of technology on Mars, built by a long-extinct race called the Protheans. Studying and adapting this technology, humanity has managed to break free of the solar system and has established numerous colonies and encountered various extraterrestrial species within the Milky Way galaxy. As the elite human soldier named Commander Shepard, you travel the galaxy in an effort to uncover the motivations behind an attack on the human colony Eden-Prime by the Geth, an alien race of synthetic life-forms.

[tie] 7) The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - 40 votes
Original Release: May 1, 2002
Platform: Xbox, Windows PC

Summary: Morrowind is a single-player computer role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios, and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game takes place on Vvardenfell, an island in the Dunmer province of Morrowind, which lies in the empire of Tamriel and is far from the more civilized lands to the west and south that typified Daggerfall and Arena. The central quests concern the deity Dagoth Ur, housed within the volcanic Red Mountain, who seeks to gain power and break Morrowind free from Imperial reign. Morrowind was designed with an open-ended free-form style of gameplay in mind, with a lessened emphasis on the game's main plot.

[tie] 7) Final Fantasy VII - 40 votes
Original Release: January 31, 1997
Platforms: PS1, PC, Playstation Network

Summary: Final Fantasy VII was originally developed by Square and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. Set in a dystopian world, Final Fantasy VII's story centers on mercenary Cloud Strife who joins with several others to stop the megacorporation Shinra, which is draining the life of the planet to use as an energy source. As the story progresses, the situation escalates and Cloud and his allies face Sephiroth, the game's main antagonist. Originally planned for the SNES, and then the N64, Square moved development of Final Fantasy VII to the Playstation to take advantage of the larger storage capacity offered by cds over cartridges. The music was scored by Final Fantasy veteran Nobuo Uematsu, while the series' long-time character designer, Yoshitaka Amano, was replaced by Tetsuya Nomura. Noted for its graphics, gameplay, music and story, Final Fantasy VII is acknowledged as one of the most influential games of all time.

9) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - 39 votes
Original Release: July 15, 2003
Platform: Windows PC, Xbox

Summary: KOTOR was developed by BioWare and published by LucasArts. The game takes place 4,000 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire. Darth Malak, a Dark Lord of the Sith, has unleashed a Sith armada against the Republic. Malak's aggression has left the Jedi scattered and vulnerable; many Jedi Knights have fallen in battle and others have sworn allegiance to Malak. The game's battle system is based on Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Roleplaying Game, a d20 role-playing game derived from the Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. Combat is round-based; time is divided into discrete rounds, and combatants attack and react simultaneously. An alignment system tracks actions and speech to determine whether the player's character aligns with the light or dark side of the Force. Generosity and altruism lead to the light side, while selfish or violent actions will lead the player's character to the dark side, altering the character's appearance in the process.

10) Demon's Souls - 36 votes
Original Release: October 2009 (NA)
Platforms: PS3

Summary: Demon's Souls is a fantasy action RPG developed by From Software. The game is described as a spiritual successor to the King's Field series, and set in a dark fantasy world where an acursed fog brought forth demons that laid waste to humanity. Noted for its high difficulty level, Demon's Souls was released to nearly unanimous praise, winning year-end awards from several publications.

11) Final Fantasy Tactics - 33 votes
Original Release: June 20, 1997
Platforms: PS1, PSP, Playstation Network

Summary: Final Fantasy Tactics was developed by Square, originally for the PS1. Square-Enix released a moderately upgraded port of the game for the PSP featuring animated cut-scenes, new job classes, and a retranslated script. Directed by Yasumi Matsuno, the game combines thematic elements of the Final Fantasy video game series with a game engine and battle system similar to that used in Tactics Ogre (another Matsuno game). The game is set in a fictional medieval-inspired kingdom called Ivalice and follows Ramza Beoulve, a young highborn cadet who finds himself thrust into the middle of a military conflict called the Lion War, where two noble factions are coveting the throne of the kingdom.

12) Skies of Arcadia - 31 votes
Original Release: October 5, 2000
Platforms: Dreamcast, Gamecube

Summary: Skies of Arcadia was developed by Overworks for the Dreamcast and published by Sega. The game's story focuses around Vyse, a young pirate in a Jules Verne-inspired fantasy world, and his friends as they attempt to stop the Valuan Empire from reviving ancient weapons with the potential to destroy the world. Most of gameplay in Skies of Arcadia takes place in dungeons, and combat comprises two vastly different settings: those encountered in ship to ship combat, and character to monster combat. Sega released an enhanced port, Skies of Arcadia Legends, for the GameCube. Legends features slightly enhanced graphics, shorter loading times and some additional content.

[tie] 13) Fallout 3 - 30 votes
Original Release: Oct 28, 2008
Platform: Windows PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Summary: Fallout 3 is an action role-playing shooter developed by Bethesda Game Studios. The game takes place in the year 2277, 36 years after the setting of Fallout 2 and 200 years after the nuclear apocalypse that devastated the game's world in an alternate post-World War II timeline. The game places the player in the role of an inhabitant of Vault 101, a survival shelter designed to protect a small number of humans from the nuclear fallout. When the player character's father disappears under mysterious circumstances, he or she is forced to escape from the Vault and journey into the ruins of Washington D.C. to track him down. Along the way the player is assisted by a number of human survivors and must battle myriad enemies that now inhabit the area now known as the "Capital Wasteland". The game has an attribute and combat system typical of an action strategy game but also incorporates elements of first-person shooter and survival horror games.

[tie] 13) Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines - 30 votes
Original Release: November 16, 2004
Platforms: Windows PC

Summary: Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines is a computer role-playing game for Windows developed by Troika Games in 2004, and is set in White Wolf, Inc.'s Vampire: The Masquerade universe (also known as the World of Darkness). The game allows the player to choose one of several different vampire clans and progress through the game according to the different strengths and weaknesses of the player's character, as in its paper and pencil role playing origins. Bloodlines was infamous for gameplay bugs upon release, and receive mixed reviews from critics. However, it developed a popular cult following, and many of the glitches have been resolved through unofficial patches. The game is also notable for being the first game along with Half-Life 2 to use Valve's Source engine.

15) Final Fantasy IX - 28 votes
Original Release: July 7, 2000
Platforms: PS1, Playstation Network

Summary: Final Fantasy IX is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) for the PlayStation. Set in the fantasy world of Gaia, Final Fantasy IX's plot centers on a war between several nations. Players follow a young thief named Zidane Tribal, who joins with several characters in an effort to defeat Queen Brahne of Alexandria, who started the war. Final Fantasy IX was developed alongside Final Fantasy VIII, but took a different path to return to the style of the early Final Fantasy games with a more traditional fantasy setting.

[tie] 16) Earthbound - 26 votes
Original Release: August 27, 1994
Platforms: SNES

Summary: EarthBound was co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo. Despite being successful in Japan, the North American version was released to poor commercial response. Despite the poor sales figures, the game has been lauded by gamers for its humorous depictions of American culture and parody of the RPG genre, and has since become a cult classic. EarthBound takes place on Earth in the year 199X, and puts the player in control of four characters, Ness, Paula, Jeff, and Poo. Rather than using an overworld map screen like most console RPGs of its era, the world in Earthbound is entirely seamless, with no differentiation between towns and the outside world. Another non-traditional element is the perspective used for the world. The game uses oblique projection, while most 2-D RPGs use a "top down" view on a grid or an isometric perspective.

[tie] 16) Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne - 26 votes
Original Release: January 29, 2004
Platforms: PS2

Summary: Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne was developed by Atlus, and was the first Megaten game in the series to be released into the United States using the "Megami Tensei" name. The player takes control of a half-human half-demon silent protagonist. The protagonist is an average high school student with some interest in video games and in the occult. He becomes involved in the Conception, the end of the world, when visiting his teacher. Classic MegaTen games had a simple turn-based system where characters attacked in one round based on their speed rating. Nocturne has a different turn-based system in place called the 'Press Turn' system. In this system, the player is assigned Press Turns equal to the size of his party (although a special event allows the player to gain an extra press turn) and can re-use some of them by scoring Critical Hits or exploiting elemental weaknesses.

[tie] 18) Deus Ex - 25 votes
Original Release: June 23, 2000
Platform: Windows and Mac PC, PS2

Summary: Deus Ex is a cyberpunk-themed action role-playing game developed by Ion Storm Inc. and published by Eidos Interactive in 2000, which combines elements of first-person shooters with those of role playing games. Set in a dystopian world during the year 2052, the central plot follows rookie United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition agent JC Denton, as he sets out to combat increasingly prevalent terrorist forces in a world slipping ever further into chaos.

[tie] 18) Xenogears - 25 votes
Original Release: February 11, 1998
Platforms: PS1, Playstation Network (Japan only)

Summary: Xenogears was developed and published by Square for the Sony PlayStation. Xenogears follows protagonist Fei Fong Wong and several others as they struggle to survive in a world torn apart by war between the nations of Aveh and Kislev. The principles and philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Jacques Lacan, as well as various religious themes influence the overall plot and world of Xenogears. A major theme of the game is the nature of human memory: from the start of the game, Fei has memory loss, which colors his interactions with other characters. In addition, the struggle between man and machine is also central to the game's plot. Each of the playable characters can ride in giant mechs known as gears and can use them in battle. Xenogears gameplay features two-dimensional sprites overlaid on three-dimensional backgrounds and two different battle systems: the first uses the characters in combo-based physical combat and the second takes place in turn-based "gear" battles.

*Summaries adapted from game information on Wikipedia.org


[tie] 18) Suikoden II - 25 votes
Original Release: December 17, 1998
Platforms: PS1, PSP (jpn only)

Summary: Suikoden II was developed and published by Konami for the PlayStation. The game features a vast array of characters, with over sixty characters usable in combat and many more who move the plot forward. Suikoden II takes place years after the events of the original Suikoden, and centers around an invasion by the Kingdom of Highland of the City States of Jowston. The player controls a silent protagonist whose name is chosen by the player; he is the adopted son of Genkaku, a hero who saved the City-State of Jowston in a war against Highland years ago. The protagonist and his best friend, Jowy Atreides, each gain one half of the Rune of the Beginning, one of the 27 True Runes of the Suikoden setting, and become caught up in the intrigues of the invasion and the dark fate of those who bear the halves of that Rune.

[tie] 21) Fallout - 24 votes
Original Release: Sep 30, 1997
Platform: Windows and Mac PC

Summary: Fallout is a computer role-playing game produced by Tim Cain, developed by Black Isle Studios and published by Interplay in 1997. The game has a post-apocalyptic setting in the mid-22nd century, featuring an alternate history which deviates some time after World War II, where technology, politics and culture followed a different course. The game is sometimes considered to be an unofficial sequel to Wasteland, but it could not use that title as Electronic Arts held the rights to it; and, except for minor references, the games are set in separate universes. It was also intended to use Steve Jackson Games' GURPS system, but that deal fell through due to the excessive amounts of violence and gore included in the game, forcing Black Isle to change the already implemented GURPS system to the internally developed SPECIAL system.

[tie] 21) Fallout 2 - 24 votes
Original Release: Sep 30, 1998
Platform: Windows and Mac PC

Summary: Fallout 2 is a computer role-playing game developed by Black Isle Studios and published by Interplay in 1998. The game's story takes place in 2241, 80 years after the events of Fallout. It tells the story of the original hero's descendant and his or her quest to save their primitive tribe from starvation by finding an ancient environmental restoration machine known as the Garden of Eden Creation Kit. Although featuring an almost completely new game world, stories, and adventures that are several times larger than its predecessor, the game mechanics from Fallout remain mostly unchanged, with the majority of changes dedicated to fixing interface issues.

23) The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - 23 votes
Original Release: March 20, 2006
Platform: Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PS3

Summary: Oblivion is a single-player role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks and the Take-Two Interactive subsidiary 2K Games. Oblivion's main story revolves around the player character's efforts to thwart a fanatical cult that plans to open the gates to a realm called Oblivion. The game continues the open-world tradition of its predecessors by allowing the player to travel anywhere in the game world at any time and to ignore or postpone the main storyline indefinitely. Developers opted for tighter pacing and greater plot focus than in past titles.

[tie] 24) Final Fantasy XII - 22 votes
Original Release: March 16, 2006
Platform: PS2

Summary: Final Fantasy XII is a console role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2. The game introduced several innovations to the series: battles occur without a transition to a separate screen; a customizable "gambit" system automatically controls the actions of characters; and a "license" system determines which abilities and equipment are used by characters. The game takes place in the fictional location of Ivalice, where the empires of Archadia and Rozarria are waging an endless war. Dalmasca, a small kingdom, is caught between the warring nations. When Dalmasca becomes annexed by Archadia, its princess, Ashe, creates a resistance movement. During the struggle, she meets Vaan, a young adventurer who dreams of commanding an airship. They are quickly joined by a band of allies; together, they rally against the tyranny of the Archadian Empire.

[tie] 24) Mass Effect 2 - 22 votes
Original Release: January 26, 2010
Platform: Xbox 360, Windows PC, PS3

Summary: Mass Effect 2 is an action oriented rpg developed by BioWare Edmonton, with assistance from BioWare Montreal, and published by Electronic Arts. Mass Effect 2 begins in 2183, shortly after the end of Mass Effect. On patrol to locate and destroy any remaining Geth, the Normandy and its commanding officer, Commander Shepard, are attacked. This starts a cascading series of events that finds Shepard searching the Milky Way for a crew of specialists and commandos capable of facing the greatest threat the galaxy has ever known. Mass Effect 2 blends third person shooter gameplay with the world building and character progression that are staples of the rpg genre.

[tie] 24) Valkyria Chronicles - 22 votes
Original Release: April 24, 2008
Platforms: PS3

Summary: Valkyria Chronicles, known in Japan as Battlefield Valkyria: Gallian Chronicles, is a tactical role-playing game published by Sega, and developed by their Sega WOW division, for the PlayStation 3. The game is set in Europa, a fictional version of Europe, in 1935. Because of its abundance of Ragnite ore, which can be refined into a powerful fuel, the neutral nation of Gallia comes under attack from the East Europan Imperial Alliance, which is itself engaged in a war with the Atlantic Federation. Players take control of a militia squad of Gallian nationals, dedicated to repelling the invasion. The game's visuals, which utilize SEGA's CANVAS graphics engine, resemble a watercolor painting in motion.

[tie] 24) The Witcher - 22 votes
Original Release: October 24, 2007
Platform: Windows PC

Summary: The Witcher is a computer role-playing game for the PC developed by CD Projekt RED STUDIO and published by CD Projekt in Poland and Atari for the rest of the world. The game is based on the book series of the same name by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The Witcher takes place in a medieval fantasy world and follows the story of Geralt, one of a few remaining "witchers" — traveling monster hunters for hire, gifted with unnatural powers. The game's system of "moral choices" as part of the storyline was noted for its time-delayed consequences and lack of black-and-white morality.

[tie] 24) Shin Megami Tensei : Persona 3 - 22 votes
Original Release: July 13, 2006
Platform: PS2, PSP

Summary: Persona 3 was developed by Atlus and is part of the larger Megami Tensei series of video games. In Persona 3, the player takes the role of a male high-school student who joins the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (SEES), a group of students investigating the Dark Hour, a time period between one day and the next that few people are aware of. During the Dark Hour, the player enters Tartarus, a large tower containing Shadows, creatures that feed on the minds of humans. To fight the Shadows, each member of SEES is able to summon a Persona, a manifestation of a person's inner self. In addition to the standard elements of role-playing games, Persona 3 includes elements of simulation games, as the game's protagonist progresses day by day through a school year, making friends and forming relationships that improve the strength of his Personas in battle.

29) Dragon Quest V - 21 votes
Original Release: September 27, 1992
Platform: SNES, PS2, Nintendo DS

Summary: Dragon Quest V is a console role-playing game that was originally developed by Chunsoft and published by Enix Corporation. It has since been remade for the PlayStation 2 and for the Nintendo DS. Along with Dragon Quest VI, the original SNES release never reached North America. Dragon Quest V takes place over twenty years of the main character's life, in which he gets married and has a family. The title features a gameplay dynamic in which monsters from random encounters may offer to join the player's party.

30) The World Ends With You - 20 votes
Original Release: July 26, 2007
Platform: Nintendo DS

Summary: The World Ends with You (TWEWY) is an action role-playing game developed by Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts team and Jupiter for the Nintendo DS handheld console. Set in the modern-day Shibuya shopping district of Tokyo, TWEWY features a distinctive art style inspired by Shibuya and its youth culture. In the game, Neku Sakuraba and his allies are forced to participate in a game that will determine their fate. The battle system uses many of the unique features of the Nintendo DS, including combat that takes place on both screens, and attacks performed by certain motions on the touchscreen or by shouting into the microphone. Elements of Japanese youth culture, such as fashion, food, and cell phones, are key aspects of the missions.

31) Pokemon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow - 19 votes
Original Release: February 27, 1996
Platform: Gameboy, GBA

Summary: Pokémon Red Version and Blue Version are role-playing games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. Pokémon Yellow, a special edition version, was released roughly a year later. Red and Blue have subsequently been remade for the Game Boy Advance as Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, released in 2004. The player controls the main character from an overhead perspective and navigates him throughout the fictionalized region of Kanto in a quest to master Pokémon battling. The goal of the games is to become the Champion of the region by defeating the top four Pokémon trainers in the land, the Elite Four. Another objective is to complete the Pokédex, an in-game encyclopedia, by obtaining the 151 available Pokémon.

[tie] 32) Diablo II - 18 votes
Original Release: June 29, 2000
Platform: Windows PC

Summary: Developed by Blizzard North, Diablo II is a dark, fantasy-themed action rpg with elements of the hack and slash and "dungeon roaming" genres. The game was conceptualized and designed by David Brevik and Erich Schaefer, whom with Max Schaefer acted as Project Leads on the game. The story takes place after the end of the previous game, in the lands of Sanctuary where Diablo, the Lord of Terror, was defeated by an unnamed warrior. The storyline of Diablo II progresses through four acts, with each act following a predetermined path and list of quests. The player assumes the role of a hero from one of five different character classes. Players fight monsters through wilderness areas and dungeons in order to level-up their character and gain better items. Combat is in real-time, and shown from an isometric viewpoint. The game can be played either in single player mode, or in multiplayer through Blizzard's Battle.net service, or via a LAN.

[tie] 32) Final Fantasy X - 18 votes
Original Release: July 19, 2001
Platforms: PS2

Summary: Final Fantasy X was developed and published by Square for Sony's PlayStation 2. The game marks the Final Fantasy series' transition from entirely pre-rendered backdrops to fully three-dimensional areas, and is also the first in the series to feature voice acting. Final Fantasy X replaces the Active Time Battle (ATB) system with a new Conditional Turn-Based Battle (CTB) system, and uses a new leveling system called the "Sphere Grid". Set in the fantasy world of Spira, the game's story centers around a group of adventurers and their quest to defeat a rampaging monster known as "Sin". The player character is Tidus, a blitzball star who finds himself in Spira after his home city of Zanarkand is destroyed by Sin. During the game, Tidus, along with several others, aids the summoner Yuna on her pilgrimage to destroy Sin.

[tie] 32) Final Fantasy IV - 18 votes
Original Release: July 19, 1991
Platforms: SNES, PS1, Wonderswan Color, GBA, Nintendo DS, Virtual Console, Cell Phones, PSP

Summary: Final Fantasy IV is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) in 1991. The game's story follows Cecil, a dark knight, as he tries to prevent the sorcerer Golbez from seizing powerful crystals and destroying the world. Final Fantasy IV introduced innovations that became staples of the Final Fantasy series and role-playing games in general. Its "Active Time Battle" system was used in five subsequent Final Fantasy games, and unlike prior games in the series gave each character their own unchangeable character class. Final Fantasy IV is considered to be one of the first role-playing games to feature a complex, involving plot, and is thought to have pioneered the idea of dramatic storytelling in a JRPG.

[tie] 32) Mother 3 - 18 votes
Original Release: April 20, 2006
Platforms: GBA

Summary: Mother 3 is a role-playing video game developed by Brownie Brown, HAL Laboratory, and Nintendo SPD Production Group No. 3. It has only been released in Japan, and is the third video game in the EarthBound series. Mother 3 is a loose sequel to EarthBound. It takes place on the "Nowhere Islands", a series of islands on Earth, and stars several characters. The primary antagonist is the mysterious Pigmask Army, an army of people who wear pig-like uniforms, who suddenly invades the islands, subjugating its population. They create a variety of technologies, including Chimeras, creatures that consist of either multiple animals or machine-animal hybrids. The game switches perspectives between the main characters during several chapters. Although Nintendo of America have not announced plans to localize Mother 3 into another language, a fan translation group has released a patch to translate the game into English.

[tie] 36) Fallout: New Vegas - 17 votes
Original Release: October 19, 2010
Platforms: Windows PC, Xbox 360, PS3

Summary: Fallout: New Vegas is a role-playing video game in the Fallout series developed by Obsidian Entertainment (many employees of which worked for Black Isle Studios on Fallout and Fallout 2), and published by Bethesda Softworks. New Vegas is not a direct sequel to Fallout 3. Though the game offers a similar role-playing experience to Fallout 3 and a few events from the game are mentioned, no characters from Fallout 3 appear. However, the game marks the return of many elements found in previous Fallout titles, including Marcus, a super-mutant from Fallout 2, again voiced by Michael Dorn. It also incorporates plot lines and ideas that would have appeared in the first scheduled Fallout 3, codenamed Van Buren, for example Hoover Dam and the New California Republic's fight against Caesar's Legion to hold it.

[tie] 36) Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal - 17 votes
Original Release: November 21, 1999
Platforms: Gameboy Color, Nintendo DS

Summary: Pokémon Gold Version and Silver Version are the second installments of the Pokémon series of role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo. The games introduce 100 new species of Pokémon, and follow the progress of the central character, whose name the player may choose, in his quest to master Pokémon battling. Both games are independent of each other but feature largely the same plot and, while both can be played separately, it is necessary to trade between them and their backward compatible predecessors in order to fully complete the games' Pokédexes.


38) Chrono Cross- 15 votes
Original Release: November 21, 1999
Platforms: PS1

Summary: Chrono Cross is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) for the PlayStation video game console. It is the sequel to Chrono Trigger. Chrono Cross was developed primarily by scenarist and director Masato Kato and other designers from Chrono Trigger, including art director Yasuyuki Honne and composer Yasunori Mitsuda. Nobuteru Yūki designed the characters of the game. The story of Chrono Cross focuses on a teenage boy named Serge and a theme of parallel worlds. Faced with an alternate reality in which he died as a child, Serge endeavors to discover the truth of the two worlds' divergence. The thief Kid and many other characters assist him in his travels around the tropical archipelago El Nido. Struggling to uncover his past and find the mysterious Frozen Flame, Serge is chiefly challenged by Lynx, a shadowy antagonist working to apprehend him.

[tie] 39) Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King - 14 votes
Original Release: November 27, 2004
Platforms: PS2

Summary: Dragon Quest VIII was developed by Level-5 and published by Square Enix. Dragon Quest VIII uses cel-shading textures for the characters and scenery and is the first game in the series to have fully three dimensional environments. Despite the graphical update, the game retains most of the series' role-playing game elements, such as turn-based combat and the experience level system. Dragon Quest VIII follows a silent Hero and his party of allies as they journey towards their goal of defeating the wicked Dhoulmagus. Like all mainline Dragon Quest titles, battles are randomly occurring and turn-based. However, this is the first game in the series to not have battles shown from a first person perspective.

[tie] 39) World of Warcraft - 14 votes
Original Release: November 23, 2004
Platforms: Windows and Mac PC

Summary: World of Warcraft, often referred to as WoW, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainmen. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994. World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth, approximately four years after the events at the conclusion of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. With more than 12 million subscribers as of October 2010, World of Warcraft is currently the world's most-subscribed MMORPG, and holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG by subscribers. In April 2008, World of Warcraft was estimated to hold 62 percent of the MMORPG subscription market.

Games ranked 41-94 (Everything else that got 4+ votes)

41) Grandia - 13
41) Mario Rpg - 13
41) Secret of Mana - 13
44) Fire Emblem - 12
44) Panzer Dragoon Saga - 12
44) Ultima VII - 12
47) Lunar - 11
48) Final Fantasy 8 - 10
48) Grandia 2 - 10
48) System Shock 2 - 10
51) Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter - 9
51) Dark Cloud 2 - 9
51) Disgaea - 9
51) Tales of Symphonia - 9
51) Terranigma - 9
56) Final Fantasy 5 - 8
56) Paper Mario - 8
56) Phantasy Star - 8
56) Phantasy Star 4 - 8
56) Phantasy Star Online - 8
56) Valkyrie Profile - 8
62) Dragon Quest 9 - 7
62) Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer - 7
62) Paper Mario 2 - 7
62) Shining Force 2 - 7
66) Arcanum - 6
66) Breath of Fire 3 - 6
66) Dragon Age Origins - 6
66) Dragon Quest 4 - 6
66) Gothic 2 - 6
66) Tales of Vesperia - 6
66) Ultima IV - 6
73) Baten Kaitos Origins - 5
73) Golden Sun - 5
73) Gothic - 5
73) Legend of Dragoon - 5
73) Mario and Luigi 3 - 5
73) Nier - 5
73) Shadow Hearts: Covenent - 5
73) Star Ocean 2 - 5
73) Suikoden - 5
73) Wizardry 8 - 5
73) Xenosaga 3 - 5
84) Anachronox - 4
84) Diablo - 4
84) Dragon Quest 3 - 4
84) Jagged Alliance 2 - 4
84) Kingdom Hearts - 4
84) Lost Odyssey - 4
84) Lufia 2 - 4
84) Mario and Luigi - 4
84) Suikoden 5 - 4
84) Tales of the Abyss - 4
84) Vagrant Story - 4


Final Fantasy 6: best RPG I've ever played
Chrono Cross: most memorable game of the PS1 era for me, still love this game
Final Fantasy 5: job system<33333
Final Fantasy 9: return to form after the two mediocre PS1 FF games
Earthbound: fucking classic

that's all I got.


People seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks.
1. Star Ocean: The Second Story - Customization was awesome, and I loved the space drama theme.
2. Suikoden II - I love the castle building (plus recruiting 108 people). Plus the drama behind city wars. - TWO POINTS
3. Earthbound - Quirky and charming
4. Final Fantasy VI - Fantastic game. See my avatar.
5. Chrono Trigger - I love the whole time traveling theme.
6. Xenogears - The awesome philosophy of this RPG, not to mention the futuristic-apocalypse theme.
7. Parasite Eve - A fantastic horror RPG. I love the science horror theme.
8. Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete - A very lite RPG. One of my favorite quirky and charming RPGs.
9. Persona 4 - One of the few RPGs that have fantastic characterization. I love the entire cast.
10. Ys: The Oath in Felghana - A fantastic action RPG, although short it has immense replayability.

*Changed 8. From Tales of the Abyss to Lunar.

*Edit 2: Honorable mentions: Tales of the Abyss, Persona 3, Final Fantasy IX, Ys Seven, Secret of Evermore, Super Mario RPG, Star Ocean: First Departure, Suikoden, Grandia, Wild ARMs, Kingdom Hearts, Valkyrie Profile II, Chrono Cross, Alundra, Final Fantasy X, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Phantasy Star IV, Lufia II, Breath of Fire III, Breath of Fire II.
When I read "2011 edition" I thought I was gonna get another chance to sing the praises of the upcoming Tactics Ogre(AKA best PSP RPG of all time). :(

Oh well, I'll be back later with my list.


Oh GAF, first two post and nothing but JRPGs....

Truly, you are unrepresentative of the current state of gaming and RPGs.

I will post my list in a little while.


People seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks.
DennisK4 said:
Oh GAF, first two post and nothing but JRPGs....

Truly, you are unrepresentative of the current state of gaming and RPGs.

I will post my list in a little while.

Sorry but I didn't grow up with WRPGs, nor do I really like them.

Different tastes for different folks ya know.


Can we add a system to the voting?

some of those in the other thread I am unfamiliar with and wouldn't know in what format they are available. :)


1. Baldurs Gate II (two votes) - best tactical gameplay ever.

2. Mass Effect - Sci-fi techno-optimist visual design. Childhood dream game come true.

3. Fallout 2 - atmosphere and do-anything gameplay.

4. Ys: The Vanished Omens

5. Two Worlds II - most beautiful open-world RPG

6. Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

7. Phantasy Star - my first JRPG, it was a revelation.

8. Bards Tale 2 - so, so hard and challenging.

9. Morrowind - Betshedas best game. Massive open world to explore.

10. Risen - hardcore openworld exploration RPG.


Skilletor said:
Can we add a system to the voting?

some of those in the other thread I am unfamiliar with and wouldn't know in what format they are available. :)

Some games were released on 5-6 different systems (Final Fantasy IV is a good example) and I dont want to start segregating votes by port/remake, etc. However, I think you raise a good point. In the final list, I will try to include available systems for the entire top 100. Maybe even include links to DD Stores seling the title for the PC games. Several of the the PC classics are on GOG.com now.


-Demon's Souls - A revolution of old school game design and new school online integration, Demon's Souls dares players to push just a little harder toward an ever-elusive goal.

-Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - An excellent use of the Star Wars license, and a well-rounded adventure full of personalized character management, immersive dialogue trees, humor, and intrigue.

-The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind - A massive game if there ever was one, explore and upgrade to your heart's content, absolutely demolishes the amount of content in most games.

-Final Fantasy 6 - An RPG well ahead of its time, still very playable today, very intuitive battle system and moving story.

-Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King - Classic turn-based battling meets tons of great animation and fun quest/character interaction, you'll come for the 80 hour quest and stay for the monster battles, a must play.

-Dark Cloud 2 - What other game lets you golf, fish, take pictures, build a house, and kill monsters? A triumph in converging gameplay concepts and resource management.


  • Paper Mario: An excellent RPG, that is great for beginners too.
  • Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon: An excellent entry into this fantastic series of strategy.
  • RPG Maker VX: No game like your game.
  • Civilization III: A classic that will make you feel like the world is in your hands.
  • Sid Meier's Railroads!: Not the deepest in the series, but accessible and fun to play. Never gets old.
  • Star Wars: Empire At War: The definitive real time strategy RPG for a Star Wars fan. All the features of the best in the genre, plus the Star Wars license.
  • Final Fantasy 7: Although not the best in the series, it is the one to play if you want to be in the know.
  • Chrono Trigger: All the love for the game is deserved.
  • Lord of the Rings Online: Free to play, and full of content and very fun.
  • Flyff: Excellent to play with people you know, thanks to it's straightforward gameplay.


1. Pokemon Silver/Gold
2. Chrono Trigger
3. Final Fantasy 6
4. Paper Mario
5. Persona 4
6. Dragon Quest 9

Did one per series or else it would have been Pokemania
Panzer Dragoon Saga
Vagrant Story
Final Fantasy XII
Skies of Arcadia
Phantasy Star II
Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne
Chrono Trigger
Dragon Quest V


WRPG is my favorite genre. However there is no way i am going to be able to put a top ten list. So many games, so many different aspects.

Although i can say Vampire the Masquarade: Bloodlines, Fallout 2 and Morrowind would be on it, Mass Effect and Witcher wouldn't even tho i enjoyed them.

Also i have to mention i loved Persona 4. I'm not a big JRPG person tho.


DennisK4 said:
Oh GAF, first two post and nothing but JRPGs....

Truly, you are unrepresentative of the current state of gaming and RPGs.

I will post my list in a little while.
WRPGs suck.

Different strokes, etc.


DennisK4 said:
Most be hard being a close-minded gamer who disregards so many games.

Hard to take you seriously now.
Really? All I've played in the past two months is Black Ops, Madden 11 and NBA 2k11. Weeaboo games, totally. PS I hate anime.

Take it back.

_dementia said:
I don't know really, generally I get bored of them after a few hours. I've tried Dragon Age, BG2, Mass Effect, etc. I can't stay interested past a couple hours in.


1.Chrono Trigger
2.Plane Scape Torment
3.Final Fantasy 6
4.Demon’s Souls
5.Balders Gate 2
6.Knights of the Old Republic
7.Dragon Quest 5
8.Fallout 2
9. Final Fantasy Tactics
10. Nier


Lets not turn this into a JRPG vs WRPG fight.

I think it is obvious why jrpgs tend to dominate these lists. NeoGAF is console-centric (like most game sites) and until recently, wrpgs didn't have much of a presence on consoles.

If people are upset that wrpgs are not making the list, then vote for them.
My personal top 10 in no certain order:

• Final Fantasy VI (SNES/GBA):
It's still my favorite game in the entire series.

• Chrono Trigger (SNES/DS):
Another timeless classic.

• Ultima Underworld 2 (PC):
This game was my first "first person rpg". I was completely immersed in the world and dreaded turning every corner because of what may come next.

• Dragon Warrior V (DS):
Another series pinnacle for me. The story scenario is top notch and emotionally engaging.

• Fallout (PC):
I loved the freedom this game offered in the player's ability to progress through the game in their own way.

• Fable (Xbox/PC/Mac):
Yes, it was hyped to hell and didn't live up to certain promises. But the original game in the series has a special charm.

• Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic:
This the very first BioWare game that I ever played and it's better follow up to the original films than all three prequels combined.

• The Witcher (PC):
I only recently played through over the summer and I was fully engrossed in the game's storyline. Can't wait for the sequel

• Diablo II (PC/Mac):
Blizzard's masterpiece from 2000. I constantly played this throughout my college years.

• Torchlight (PC/Mac):
Developed by some of the minds that created the Diablo series. An amazing game that'll run on nearly any modern PC.

Obviously I'm missing certain classics like the Baldurs' Gate series, the Icewind Dale series and Planescape Torment. I simply have never played them. But I plan to do so soon thanks to GOG and their current sale!
Planescape: Torment (2 votes, please) - Simply the greatest story ever told in game form

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions - Incredible saga of deep political intrigue, with awesomely addictive battle and character growth systems attached

Xenogears - The ultimate in Japanese Deicide nonsense

Diablo - The Progenitor of the click-em-up loot genre, and the only truly essential entry in the genre

World of Warcraft - The pinnacle of the MMORPG in it's current form

Final Fantasy VI - The greatest entry of this storied and reknown RPG franchise

Chrono Trigger - Perhaps the most inventive and progressive Japanese RPG from an era when they flourished

The Witcher - An awesome dark gothic fantasy action-rpg with an irresistible protagonist and more social themes than supernatural ones

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - An epic open world, free form RPG that exposed the genre to millions who may not have played, otherwise

Mass Effect - A great classic sci-fi take on the genre, with excellent character definition on the part of the player and good shooting action
Wizardry 8

Transformed a genre I liked into a genre I LOVE, perfect game in every single way. I won't even mention any other games because they're all boring by comparison, and enough boring people will mention them anyway! Not so with lovely, lovely Wizardry 8, so it gets my double vote.


1. Skies of Arcadia this game gave me a great sense of discovery.
2. Dragon Quest 5 good use of foreshadowing in a story that spans multiple generations.
3. Final Fantasy 6 the only Final Fantasy game that did everything right.
4. The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind most immersive RPG I've ever played.
5. Chrono Trigger for the epic timetraveling.
6. Fire Emblem GBA the game where I actually cared for the characters.
7. Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door best use of quicktime events in a game.
8. Dragon Quest 4 for how the backstories of characters eventually piece together.
9. Secret of Mana still great in 3-player coop.
10. Etrian Odyssey brought back the first-person RPG for me.


Jew Gamer
1. Secret of Mana -> The perfect mix of 2D Zelda & Final Fantasy style game where the less-is-more approach works perfectly.

2. Final Fantasy 6 -> The series reached its pinnacle at this moment. It has only come this close once again with...

3. Final Fantasy 9 -> I am halfway through replaying this title and I must say, Zidane is one of the best leads in a game in a LONG time. Endearing characters and a neat level up system.

4. Nier -> A new title, will probably go down and up over the years until it gets its new place in my heart settled in perfectly. Definitely top-10 worthy though.

5. Chrono Trigger -> Does this one need an explanation? It is fantastic!

6. Dragon Quest V -> The title that has finally made me love the series. An AMAZING game. Going to be re-trying #4, playing #8, and waiting for #6 and #10 to be released. #9 is garbage though, hate that one completely... almost went back to "Dragon Quest really isn't for me" because of 9 then played #5 and fell in love with the series.

7. Alpha Protocol -> Same as Nier this is a really new title so it might move up or down it is hard to tell right now but it is definitely my favorite of the WRPGs that I have played.

8. Valkyria Chronicles -> Loved this title. Really wish they didn't do... what they did with #2. My first serious venture into SRPGs which led me to discovering and loving...

9. Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon -> It turns out I was playing Fire Emblem wrong when I tried it once before (on Gamecube). Taking risks, actually continuing if a character dies instead of resetting, that made this game SO much more enjoyable for me.

10. Lost Odyssey -> Short stories. I don't really feel I need to say more about this title.
Chrono Trigger
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy Tactics
Valkyria Chronicles

Disclaimer: I have yet to play any WRPGs, and there are still many JRPGs that I have yet to play/finish. Regardless, I think there is merit to the titles that I have listed, some more so than others.

I'll add my opinions and reorder them later. :3


No time for reasons, but here is my list (I'll edit later if I remember):

EarthBound (SNES)
Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Dragon Quest III (Game Boy Color)
Dragon Quest V (Nintendo DS)
The Bard's Tale (PC)
Planescape: Torment (PC)
Ultima IV: Avatar (PC)
Phantasy Star (Sega Master System)
Final Fantasy IV (SNES)
Final Fantasy VI (SNES)
Skies of Arcadia ; A great high standard for high adventure.
Planescape: Torment ; Sets the standard for quality in terms of creating a weird fiction game world.
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness ; The answer to the quetion of how over the top can an RPG system get and be fun.
Jagged Alliance 2 ; Not many games with an RPG campaign do gun fights very well.
Dungeon Master ; Iconic first person dungeon crawl game.
Battletech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception ; This was one of the first RPGs I really got into. There is just something about the mechs and exploration that is really appealing to me.
Wizardry 8 ; Nice RPG system. Really nice RPG system.
x2 Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines ; Best conversation writing around. Double points for the swearing.
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup ; Prince of the roguelikes.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind ; The strange, arcane and brutal world of Morrowind is one of the most memorable in gaming.


Dragon Quest V

Had the best story of any Dragon Quest game, the new "monster catching" mechanic was really fun and made me want to keep playing the game over and over. It also had an unexpected twist that was very welcome considering how these games ussually end up being a small variation of the same story over and over.

Mario & Luigi Bowser's Inside Story

It's the more compelling game to me regarding the mario universe. It has some of the funniest dialog ive read in a Nintendo game and one of the most fun and better executed battle systems ive seen.

Mother 3

Earthbound was the game that sold me on videogame dialog, storytelling and sense of adventure. This game refined it for me. It took it up a notch and it worked even better. The new way to perform combos in battles was also an unexpected and appreciated addition.

Final Fantasy IV DS

Nicer graphics, a better translation, the augment system, new game plus..
This is how you do a remake, FFIV is my favorite Final Fantasy, and this was before this version came out, all i can say is that nostalgia goggles off, this is a real treat to the fans.

Pokemon SoulSilver

I was gonna list Crystal but that would just be nostalgia kicking in. This game basically remade the best games on the franchise adding all that made Crystal my most played Pokemon game ever. Granted, it wasnt the best Pokemon experience for me given how i had played the original games so many times. But seeing it objectively it definetly deserves a spot as an essential RPG, and the best and most complete Pokemon game of them all (so far).

Persona 4

One of the few RPG games that still take the RP part seriously. IMO its a revolutionary game for many reasons. Besides refining what was already presented in Persona 3 (the Social Links wonderful mechanic, the division between two sides of gameplay), this game introduced what is yet to date the best representation of a character trying to find it's own identity. I dont want to spoil anything so im just gonna say that much.

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Its huge, it's addictive, the combat was completeley refined after the frustrating and cheap Baldur's Gate I. One of the few games that truly require some strategy thinking. The plot, besides being great itself was wonderfully done, and really made you feel like you were living the events presented in the game, like you truly were making a difference with what you were doing in the game's world.

Mass Effect

As a fan of Sci-Fi in general this game was my dream game coming true. It's just a step forward in video games in general (even when the franchise took a couple steps back with its sequel), the big an immersive worlds, the highly detailed and worked characters, the decisions you make, even if there are few that matter and are strictly scripted (enough to be retold in a short digital comic), really made you feel the diference. You actually cared. The high production values make it a different experience than your usual text-heavy sci fi game, this time you get all the immersion you would expect, plus a beautiful game with gameplay that youre familiar with.

Fallout 2

While the core mechanics are basically the same as the first game, the improved graphics, the interface, the better dialog, the more interesting story are enough to make it much better than its predecesor. The true king of non-linear gameplay. At that point in time it really seemed to me that i could tackle any situation in any way i wanted, there was no true black and white, it was just a story that you could shape in real time to fit your liking. It gave the player a sense of immersion and independence that is hard to match even today.

Chrono Trigger

The best RPG ever made. At least in regards of what i expect from a game in this genre. Everything from the music to the visuals to the way the story's presented, the way it starts, just makes you feel like you are in for the biggest adventure ever. The sense of wonder discovering the new worlds, meeting new characters, exploring their story, the feeling of acomplishment you get from starting so small and ending up so powerful. Going by core game design i can say that it has the best represented JRPG battles in any game ive played. The interface is timeless, its easy to understand, the way it "tricks" you on putting the battles right there with no transition, the clear specific character advantages, the combination of attacks, and i could go on forever. This game truly made me feel like every RPG should, i was a normal guy, i had a task, i had to complete it, and as the game progressed i had all the motivation to doing so. It was nothing specially revolutionary or NEW about it, it was just WAY better executed than any other game before it (and after it). It doesnt get more refined than this. Everything about this game just felt too fuckin good.

edit: Diablo II isnt an RPG guys.
I don't play many RPGs but here goes.

  1. The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion (awesome open world, go wherever you want and do whatever you want gameplay)
  2. Dragon Warrior/Quest (my first RPG. Probably defined RPGs on consoles)
  3. Dragon Quest VIII (beautiful world and characters, great music, excellent story)
  4. Risen (rough around the edges but engaging story, character and world that are more interesting than your average D&D fantasy type game)


In order:

Final Fantasy 6 (2 votes)
Chrono Trigger
Mass Effect 1
Planescape: Torment
Fallout 3
Final Fantasy 12
The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind
Secret of Mana
Final Fantasy 9
The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
DennisK4 said:
Most be hard being a close-minded gamer who disregards so many games.

Hard to take you seriously now.
"you don't like what i like, you must be close-minded. the sheer clarity of truth behind my opinions cannot be denied."


1. Baldur's Gate II - Sorry, if you put ANY Final Fantasy above this, you're out of your Goddamn mind. "Personal preference" has nothing to do with it. Don't argue, you're wrong.
2. Gothic 2 Gold
3. Planescape: Torment
4. Fallout
5. Guild Wars
- does this count?
6. Star Wars - KotOR - not nearly the best RPG, but it's amazing for Star Wars.
7. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
8. Mario & Luigi 3
- fuck your Super Mario RPG.
9. Final Fantasy IX - because it took them 3 PS1 games to stop being stupid. <3
10. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind


No particular order:

1. Fallout
2. Fallout 3
3. Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines
4. Planescape: Torment
5. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
6. Chrono Trigger
7. Mario & Luigi: Bowser Inside Story
8. Silent Storm
9. Jagged Alliance 2
10. Deus Ex

Descriptions and screenshots below

1. Fallout - the game was fugly (even back then), but the open ended quests blew me away. Additionally, I learned my English improved a lot after I played it (I was 12 at the time).

2. Fallout 3 - this game has the best exploration in any open world game. The destroyed Capital Disctrict is really immersive, you may find really interesting things and quests and you can travel between visited locations fast. VATS and gore never got old for me.

3. Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines - I love the setting, the story, writing and characters are great. Fantastic facial animation for its time.

4. Planescape: Torment - great story. You spend more time reading stuff then actually playing it, but that's the charm of it.

5. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer - from the creators of P:T. NWN2 was a great game, but this expansion has a much better story and writing.

6. Chrono Trigger - possibly the best JRPG. Excellent pacing (usually JRPGs fall short in that regard), decent story, likable cast of characters, simple but fast battle system.

7. Mario & Luigi: Bowser Inside Story - hillarious game that really mixes things up a lot.

8. Silent Storm - fantastic strategy RPG. You command a squad of Allied soldiers during World War 2. As you fight Nazis you discover they hold some secrets. Possibly the first game to feature destructible environments (2003), it really impacted gameplay a lot.

9. Jagged Alliance 2 - another fantastic strategy RPG. Conquering Arulco back from the hands of evil is one of my most memorable experiences in games ever. Deep,

10. Deus Ex - blends open ended narration with open ended gameplay. Incredible experience from the first to the last minute.



Damnit. I had a nice big post with descriptions and everything and then I accidentally closed it. *mumble mumble*

Will remake later.
In Order

1. Baldur's Gate 2
2. Planescape Torment
3. Mass Effect 1
4. Chrono Trigger
5. Final Fantasy Tactics
7. The Witcher
8. Mass Effect 2
9. Final Fantasy 3
10. Final Fantasy 7
My answer hasn't really changed since last year.

1. Final Fantasy VII
2. Chrono Trigger
3. Final Fantasy VIII
4. Pokemon Gold/Silver
5. Suikoden 3
6. Chrono Cross
7. Skies of Arcadia
8. Grandia 2
9. Persona 4
10. Lunar


1.Fallout II
2.Baldur's Gate II
3.Phantasy Star
4.Mass Effect
5.Final Fantasy 6
6.Deus Ex
7.Tales of Symphonia
8.Persona II
10.Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines


1. Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines.
2. The Witcher
3. Mass Effect
4. Planescape Torment.
5. Final Fantasy tactics.
6. Kotor.
7. Alpha Protocol (what i liked it :lol ).
8. Fallout
9. Suikoden 2.
10. Jagged Alliance 2


1. Fallout *2 votes
Rebirthed the RPG genre with a unique setting, quest design that allowed for more than the use of combat skills, and a non-linear experience that rivals even its contemporaries.

2. Fallout 2
Doesn't hit the same storytelling and setting beats as the first game, but expands the gameplay and breadth of the world tenfold while making quests even more complex and increasing the amount of choice and consequences.

3. Gothic 2 + Night of the Raven
The very first quest in the game is very simple-- get inside the town. Gothic 2 offers you roughly seven different ways to accomplish this task. An open world RPG that allows for open world "outside of the box" thinking. Features an incredible and hardcore combat system that punishes your every misstep and rewards patience and strategic defense over clikka-clikka-clikka-clikking. The expansion adds a third overworld, more quest solutions, and a lot more punishment.

4. Fallout: New Vegas
The true successor to the Fallout series over the dire Bethesda-produced Fallout 3, though it is more in line with the seamless, emergent nature and faction politics of the Gothic series than anything else. Introduces numerous hardcore roleplaying features, but never comes across as suffocating. In an age of handholding, New Vegas is a lone standout in the battle of asking the player to think for themselves. Superb world building, well-realized characters, and some of the best considered quest design the genre has seen to date.

5. Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magicka Obscura
Makes the quest design of all the above appear pathetic under its thumb. A brilliantly subversive take on the decaying corpse of the fantasy genre with a character building system that is unmatched in its breadth of options. It's a shame that so much of the more overt features of the game such as combat and some mechanics are unbalanced and, well, rubbish.

6. Planescape: Torment
Speaking of the decaying corpse of the fantasy genre... Less a well-made game than it is a well-written story in game form. Still, unravling the sordid pasts of your sidekick companions and studying the nature of the self is more interesting than dungeon diving and killing Kobolds, anyway.

7. Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
Creates a world that sucks you in with its character and an extremely clever plot arc that teases the player with threats of falling into cliche traps only to deftly avoid them. The quests and mechanics suffer somewhat, but the "people" you meet along the way are unforgettable.

Shigesato Itoi plays with game mechanics in the same way that John Lennon played with song lyrics. Expresses more raw feeling with three frames of animation, 72-pixel sprites, and combat "bark text" than the likes of Bioware could ever dream of with millions of dollars worth of CGI and full body motion capture.

9. Gothic
Everything I said for Gothic 2, but slightly less-so and with a much more convoluted control scheme. Still, being the progenitor of the modern open world RPG is nothing to scoff at. In some ways better than its sequel, however, with its otherworldly prison colony setting acting as a perfect justification for your typical RPG Hero shenanigans.

10. The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind
Actually a pretty terrible RPG... it's mechanics are so easily exploitable and so overpowered that within a few hours it is likely for the player to become an invisible, levitating, fireball spewing death machine. Still, the game makes up for this by allowing the player to become an invisible, levitating, fireball spewing death machine. The action is mindless comfort food, Vvardenfell is a cool location, and there's a million bazillion things to do. Compare that with the game's much more popular sequel, Oblivion, where you can't levitate, the mechanics are much less exploitable (and much less fun), the location is anodyne and typical, and there are roughly five things to do over and over and over again. Here's hoping that Skyrim is much more... oh wait, it's going to be about dragons and barbarians. Don't see enough of those in fantasy games, I tell you.


charsace said:
1.Fallout II
2.Baldur's Gate II
3.Phantasy Star
4.Mass Effect
5.Final Fantasy 6
6.Deus Ex
7.Tales of Symphonia
8.Persona II
10.Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
I like this list a lot.

I didn't put Deus Ex in mine because I don't think of it as an RPG which I guess is silly because I did put Mass Effect in my list.

Bonus points for Phantasy Star.

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
1.)Planescape: Torment (finally played it, its everything people said. Best atmosphere and one of the most engrossing stories ever)
2.)Final Fantasy VI (the best story and overall the best FF I've ever played. A definitive JRPG if there ever was one)
3.)Chrono Trigger (Complementary to FF VI. Also a definitive JRPG)
4.)Fallout 2 (Another true classic in the WRPG genre)
5.)Geneforge (Yes, hardly anyone has played it, but I consider it criminally overlooked for how good it is)
6.)The World Ends With You (inarguabley one of the most innovative RPGs ever released, with a fantastic style and story to boot. Also really can't be classified as W or JRPG)
7.)Pokemon Gold/Silver (The Pokemon games are good, deep, fun RPGs. And these were the best)
8.)Earthbound (Completely unique in tone and story, and with some great innovative ideas like auto-kill low level encounters)
9.)Morrowind (I just got around to playing it this year. Definitely got its issues, but its also a definitive "giant fucking world" RPG)
10.)KoToR (I'm not a huge Bioware fan. But Knights is a pretty damn good game)


bhlaab said:
1. fallout
2. fallout 2
3. gothic 2 + night of the raven
4. fallout: new vegas
5. arcanum
6. planescape torment
7. vampire the masquerade bloodlines
8. mother 3
9. gothic
10. elder scrolls 3: morrowind
Since we were restricted to 10 entries, I had to leave out classics such as Gothic 2, Arcanum and Vampire.
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