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Which PS1 JRPGs Hold Up/Still Must Play Today?

CoachKevin

Member
Aug 27, 2009
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I totally missed the PS1 generation of JRPGs outside of Parasite Eve.

My question is pretty straight forward. 20ish years later, I am curious to see which JRPGs from the PS1 still hold up even if you hold no nostalgia today? Specifically with the mechanics and the frustration levels.

Would be even better if you yourself have recently played this generation of games for the first time.

On my Vita I currently have Xenogears, Suikoden I/II, and Chrono Cross.
 

entremet

Banned
Dec 6, 2008
85,467
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Suikoden 1/2

This is not available on PSN but still fit the bill of games still good today--Valkyrie Profile

I like FFVIII a lot.

VII and IX are better on PC, iOS, and PS4.
 

Jonneh3003

Banned
May 27, 2014
12,699
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Southampton
FF7 still holds up tremendously, played it for the first time last year. Couldn't get myself to play through 8 for more than a couple hours but 9 is simply amazing.
 

YankeeDonB

Member
Feb 24, 2015
4,143
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Suikoden II holds up extremely well I think -- very few gameplay frustrations, and the simple art-style suffers less from age than some of the more visually ambitious games.
 

CHC

Member
Aug 24, 2012
12,189
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0
Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX and Tactics are all still superb and endearing today.
 

mrmickfran

Member
Apr 13, 2013
10,955
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535
I'm having no trouble playing through FFVIII and IX at the moment.

Xenogears seems to have aged well for me as well.

I'll get started on Chrono Cross after I finish Trigger and see if that's playable.
 

depward

Member
May 3, 2007
2,547
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0
Vancouver, WA
Valkyrie Profile holds up in every way.

Graphics, gameplay, music. All superb.

Most RPGs on the platform are 3D, so they have the ffvii polygon looking going for the. Doesn't age well.
 

Golnei

Member
May 12, 2014
10,032
0
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Vagrant Story, if it counts
Vagrant Story is a difficult one to recommend here - the art, music, narrative and presentation absolutely holds up today; but while the systems are deep and fleshed-out, they were kind of frustrating and obtuse when they came out, and are just as offputting to learn now. Still, if they're okay with looking at a guide for the weapon types, it's still a fantastic game. Possible frustration would come from a very different place than typical JRPGs - it's also a manageable sub-20-hours in length, which could help.
 

Dark_castle

Junior Member
Jun 25, 2013
9,924
4
480
Uh, most if not all of the good ones?

Unless you mean graphically, then yeah games like FFVII and DQVII didn't age well. Even games like Xenogears and FFIX with long load times/slow combat are worth playing because they're great games in general.
 

Spieler Eins

Member
Sep 18, 2011
12,154
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530
I've played FF7 for the first time last year, great game. I recently finished Breath of Fire IV, which has amazing writing and presentation, but the battles in the first half can be a little tedious.

Vagrant Story I couldn't get into. Too complicated for its own good.
 

Footos22

Member
Mar 19, 2009
5,381
1
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All the PS1 Final fantasys hold up.

Breath of fire 3/4
Vagrant story
Front mission 3 (fuck i love this game)
grandias
Suikoden 2
Wild arms 1 Even does.
Star ocean 2 with its over the top magic attacks still looks great.
Legend of dragoon is great, very easy though, great music and cgi cutscenes.


Pretty much everything good tbh.
You know what you get with classic JRPG systems so unless your unfamilar with them then none of them are gonna feel too dated.
 

ubique

Member
Jan 1, 2010
692
0
540
Vagrant Story is a difficult one to recommend here - the art, music, narrative and presentation absolutely holds up today; but while the systems are deep and fleshed-out, they were kind of frustrating and obtuse when they came out, and are just as offputting to learn now. Still, if they're okay with looking at a guide for the weapon types, it's still a fantastic game. Possible frustration would come from a very different place than typical JRPGs - it's also a manageable sub-20-hours in length, which could help.
I completely agree. Even though I recommended it, I had a hard time adapting to the systems. Totally worth it for the aspects that held up, though.
 

Ivan Amiibo

Banned
Mar 14, 2015
4,652
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Should probably just buy a couple of the best ones and try to get through them. Otherwise you're gonna be inundated with about 50 games that are 80 hours each lol

Vagrant Story is a difficult one to recommend here - the art, music, narrative and presentation absolutely holds up today; but while the systems are deep and fleshed-out, they were kind of frustrating and obtuse when they came out, and are just as offputting to learn now. Still, if they're okay with looking at a guide for the weapon types, it's still a fantastic game. Possible frustration would come from a very different place than typical JRPGs - it's also a manageable sub-20-hours in length, which could help.
It's not too weird to manage. The problem is all the slow menuing once you learn how to play properly.
 

Mookie1515

Member
Aug 31, 2010
1,051
0
0
I know these have been said, but saying to reinforce.

FF Tactics
Breath of Fire III/IV
Suikoden 1 and 2 (2 more than 1, but 1 is super short, so play it!)

I don't disagree that the FF games stand up, but really, play the PC remakes with the cheat engines. Fun games, but they take sooo long to get through these days. Maybe that's just me.
 

maxcriden

Member
Sep 15, 2013
34,165
1
715
www.neogaf.com
Alundra, since it's 2D/isometric it still holds up.

I also like Legend of Dragoon.
Alundra is a Zelda-like. Are we finally allowed to call these RPGs? I've wanted to for a long time but I keep getting shot down.

P.S. I'm interested in hearing about more action RPGs for PSX if they're out there.
 

shark sandwich

tenuously links anime, pedophile and incels
Jun 9, 2012
3,866
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Xenogears IMO holds up the best.

Legend of Mana still looks gorgeous and has an amazing soundtrack. Very underrated and still fun to this day.

FF Tactics is also still god tier but it's better on iOS/Android.

FF VII - play it on PC or mobile instead. Same with IX

Star Ocean 2 is still great although it's coming to PS4 soon.

FF VIII - I love this game but I'm not sure how much was nostalgia.

Grandia - fun game although the high encounter rate and long spell animations get tiresome.

Honestly that's all I can think of. Sadly most JRPGs of that era have faults we would not tolerate today. Excessive random encounters, loading times, long drawn-out animations (had to show off the awesome power of PSX after all), horrible balance issues (either mash X to win, or lots of grinding necessary), etc.
 

Ultimadrago

Member
Jan 19, 2012
26,629
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580
Funny, I came here to say that Digimon World 2 didn't age well.
Yeah, neither World 2 or World 3 hold up very well.

That said, I still really enjoy Digimon World 2 and World 3 has a nice evolution system that was expanded upon in the DS games/Cyber Sleuth.

And before/after people say Alundra. No, not Alundra. I do wish more JRPGs would attempt giving their town NPCs a semblance of personality like it does, though. Out of games I've played recently, only TiTS has managed to have been exceptional in this remark.
 

Jellzy

Neo Member
Sep 6, 2011
254
0
0
I see the usual suspects so will add in Jade Cocoon. Interesting story, interesting mechanics and a little different from your standard JRPG or 'Monster Caputure' game.
 

Makareu

Member
Jul 17, 2014
881
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Out of all the awesome JRPG of the PS1 era, I feel like FFT and Chrono Cross hold up the best. That being said, this is very subjective.
 

MrDoctor

Member
Jan 3, 2009
1,080
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many of them aren't available in english. for those that slipped through the cracks, there's threads of fate, alundra, king's field, wild arms, and jade cocoon.

Valkyrie Profile holds up in every way.

Graphics, gameplay, music. All superb.
hands down my favorite game on psc

And before/after people say Alundra. No, not Alundra. I do wish more JRPGs would attempt giving their town NPCs a semblance of personality like it does, though.
this is true when thinking about it, but it's an excellent game regardless

...and somehow i forgot eternal blue
 

Kijof_San

Member
Aug 5, 2015
55
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Xenogears
Suikoden I II
Grandia
Valkyrie Profile
Front Mission 3
Final Fantasy Tactics
Lunar 1 2
Legend of Mana
SaGa Frontier 2
Alundra
 

Saoshyant

Member
Jan 29, 2016
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I see the usual suspects so will add in Jade Cocoon. Interesting story, interesting mechanics and a little different from your standard JRPG or 'Monster Caputure' game.
I played this in 2001 and back then I already thought it hadn't aged well. Can't imagine that it would keep anyone interested nearly twenty years later, especially when all it had going for was the Pokemon aspect, which has since been better done elsewhere.
 
Jun 28, 2013
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Breath of Fire III is like *the* prime example of a standard great jrpg and visually it has aged like fine wine (unlike those psx games that attempted full 3d).
 

OniBarubary

Banned
Jul 5, 2013
9,206
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Anyone who says Legend of Legaia or Legend of Dragoon are trying to sell you something.

...maybe a copy of Legend of Legaia or Legend of Dragoon from their eBay store... >_____>
 

englandprevails

Neo Member
Jan 8, 2014
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FF Tactics, Xenogears and Suikoden 2 are must plays on PS1 but really, the list of great JRPGS on that system are staggering.
 

Hugstable

Banned
Aug 3, 2012
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Merced, CA
Valkyrie Profile
Breath of Fire 3+4 (3 just come out on PSP/Vita)
Final Fantasy Tactics
Vagrant Story
Chrono Cross
Valkyrie Profile
Tales of Eternia
Lunar Silver Star Story Complete
Lunar Eternal Blue complete
Suikoden 1 and 2

There's alot of quality games in that list, and many of them are still perfectly playable (at least to me)

Seeing what you got listed, go for Breath of Fire 3 on PSP/Vita for sure. The rerelease just came out, and it looks great on the Vita screen. Really enjoyed the spritework