Disgaea is one of the most unique JRPGs out there and one of the longest-running, with a dedicated fanbase to boot. These games are hundreds of hours long, and it can be hard to choose which to play. To help you decide, here are the best Disgaea games, ranked.
Ranking the Best Disgaea Games
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
The first game in the series is still one of the best. Disgaea: Hour of Darkness remains a beloved classic among fans. It introduced us to the Netherworld and Laharl, the sarcastic and iconic protagonist. Brash, rude, and fiercely confident, Laharl was a far cry from the Chosen One trope often leaned on in the genre.
This title’s signature feature is its deep and intricate turn-based strategy combat system, where you can create characters, level them up to unthinkable numbers, and perform incredible special attacks. The game also introduced the Item World, a randomly generated dungeon within every item, providing plenty of optional content and tough battles for those who love a good challenge.
Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories
Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories took the baton from the first game and ran with it, improving on it in every way. It introduces new characters and mechanics while maintaining a high level of challenge and over-the-top humor to keep fans on board. The game’s anti-hero, Adell, is a nice change of pace from Laharl, who’s a lot to handle over the long adventure.
Adell’s quest to defeat the curse afflicting his family isn’t the most original tale out there, but it’s done with a lot of heart, and the side characters along the way add life to this world of the dead. Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories didn’t rewrite the rule book on the series, but it stands as one of the better entries, and its charming art style stands the test of time.
Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten
Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten shifts the focus to Valvatorez, a Prinny instructor dedicated to his craft. He has a dark secret, though, and it mixes with his kind demeanor in an interesting jumping-off point for a good story. The game presents a satirical and political narrative with a cast of memorable characters.
The Cam-Pain HQ system offers a unique take on the series’ gameplay, allowing us to essentially hold court, changing the laws of Netherworld, and gain combat advantages based on our choices. The addition of Evilities gives you a unique customization system that can turn the tide of battle in an instant. The series’ signature humor is here, as well, so fans of the series will be satisfied as Valvatorez embarks on a quest to get all of his Prinny students their sardines.
Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless
As the most recent game in the series, Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless brings the series into the next-gen. Your main character this time around is Fuji, and he feels as if Laharl grew up a bit and stopped being so edgy, which is a welcome bit of fresh air to fans who have grown up alongside the series.
The gameplay is mostly the same and easy to access. New systems such as Hell Mode and Jumbification add brand-new layers, and playing with a controller allows you to feel your strikes more than ever before. The voice acting, art, and character designs are all top-shelf, making Disgaea 7 one of the very best the series has to offer.
Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance
The best in the series is Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance. Here, we take the role of Killia, a character on a mission for vengeance against the Emperor, Void Dark. The game enhances the core gameplay with mechanics like the Revenge Mode, which grants interesting and super powerful to characters when your party takes damage.
The Squad System lets you assign characters to squads for bonuses and strategic advantages. You can create a party that capitalizes on different makeups and allows for unending customization, considering the countless classes available. There’s also a substantial amount of postgame content and DLC that will keep you busy for hundreds of hours if you want it to.
Those are the best Disgaea games, ranked. For fans of anime, JRPGs, or strategy RPGs, it’s one amazing rabbit hole to go down, and maybe this list will give you a shove in the right direction.