When it comes right down to it, RPGs are my favorite video game genre. I have been playing them for as long as I can remember, and many of my greatest gaming memories come from these games. From the characters, the music, the stories, and the game play, I love everything about RPGs.
This is a list of what I consider to be some of the best RPGs that I have played, and are titles that I would recommend to anyone looking to get a RPG fix.
I had picked up Fable II on a whim. I had heard of the first Fable, and decided to give the second game a chance. What I got was a RPG that I felt was both deep and enjoyable.
There is a wealth of content in this game. There is much to see, jobs to perform, families to raise, and missions and quests to undertake. There is a lot to find, and it can take awhile before you see everything. The story follows the "chosen hero" path, yet fits in some great moments and twists that keep the story from feeling too cliche.
There is also a lot of player choice. Your actions will affect the appearance of your character, as a noble hero will be fair with a clear complexion, while a corrupt hero will be pale with a flawed complexion. Even your stats will effect how your hero looks, allowing you to twist and shape your character even more. It also effects the people around you (such as your dog companion), and can encourage you to go down a certain path.
Tales of Graces F
I picked up Tales of Graces F because I liked the overall art style. Sometimes when I do this I am left a little disappointed, but that was not the case with this game.
Of course, the art work is great, but the game offers much more than just that. This is especially true of the combat system. Combat is where Tales of Graces F shines through, and while seemingly simple, can be deep and rewarding.While the story does start slow, it picks up, and moves along nicely. This is especially after the prologue, which picks up steam at the end of that segment.
Tales of Graces F is a solid RPG for those who want a great JRPG to play.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
When I think of big games these days, I always think of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. With a huge open world and so much content, it is hard to complain that you cannot find anything to do in this game.
While the story is intriguing, I found myself lost in the huge world that is Skyrim. From raiding dungeons, battling dragons, and taking the long way to a destination, there is a lot to do. Along with a great battle system and game mechanics, Skyrim is a solid game. It is hard to say that you have done everything in this game, and many will not have a problem with that.
I remember first picking up my first Pokemon game. It was a gift from a friend, and it became one of my favorite handheld titles.
While the mechanics of the series have evolved over the years, I consider Pokemon Red and Blue the best in the series. Back then, I had no idea what to expect from the game, and everything that I discovered felt more and more magical.It is what established what has become one of the greatest franchises ever, and is a game that every Pokemon fan should experience at least once in their gaming career.
Kingdom Hearts II
I was curious when I heard that Square Enix was making a game that combined both the Final Fantasy series and the Disney universe. The result was Kingdom Hearts, a series that definitely stands out above all the rest.
While Kingdom Hearts is a great series, Kingdom Hearts II is the best entry so far. Just about everything in this game is amazing. Combat is deep and rewarding, and the story is great. Kingdom Hearts takes a lot from Final Fantasy and Disney, yet keeps its own personality.
The story finds a way to work its way into many different Disney worlds, yet stays on track and moves at great pace. The music is also great, with some memorable pieces, and the characters keep their respective personalities from their established franchises. Kingdom Hearts II is an amazing game overall, and appeals to more than just Disney and Final Fantasy fans.
Mass Effect 3
Few game series get progressively better with each entry, with the newest game passing over its predecessors. Mass Effect is one of those few series.
Mass Effect 3 took everything from the previous Mass Effect games and improved on them. The combat was refined, and feels tight and entertaining. Anyone who loves shooters will find that combat matches that of other action games, while differentiating itself with the use of powers and great use of third person. Game play is almost flawless, and anyone can jump in and be able to enjoy the action going on.
While the ending was controversial, the rest of the story is great. Your choices do have weight; events will play out differently and character's fates will change depending on the actions that you take. This can make you think, as you try to keep everyone alive, or try kill off the characters that you do not like. Mass Effect is a great series for RPG and shooter fans alike, and Mass Effect 3 is definitely the best of them all.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
I have played a good number of The Legend of Zelda series. While they are all great games, none stood out to me like Twilight Princess has.
Everything about The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is amazing. The art style, combat, music, and the story all scream great, and can be considered some of the best of the past console generation. The ability to become a wolf stands out from the rest of the Zelda series, and leads to some great segments.
The story itself also shines in its own right, and helps push the game along at a great pace. The atmosphere for this game is a bit on the darker side, separating it apart from most of the other Zelda titles. I would consider Twilight Princess to be the star of the Zelda series, and an amazing experience for those looking for a great RPG, or a great game in general.
Persona 4 Golden
Persona 4 Golden surprised me. I had heard of the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series before, but had never played the series. I went in not knowing what to expect, as I picked up the game looking for a new title for my PS Vita. What I jumped into was one of the greatest gaming experiences I have ever had.
The story, the characters, the battle system, and the music all shine through, creating a tight game that has a lot to offer. Being the "Golden" edition, much is added from the original version of the game, and helps to create a more solid title.
The story is a great murder mystery, which will take a few twists along the way. All the characters have their own quirks, and are all likable. The music is poppy, yet fits the many different moods that you will come across in the game. Those moods are also refreshing, as the game lets players take breaks from the seriousness and have some lighthearted fun.
With characters you care about, a story you want to see through, and a battle system that keeps fresh and entertaining throughout, Persona 4 Golden is one of the better RPGs from the last decade, and a must own title for all Vita owners.
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy is easily my favorite game series. It was the series that got me into RPGs, and has easily consumed the most of my time out of any series. While many of the Final Fantasy titles are amazing titles, the one I hold dearest to my heart has to be Final Fantasy VIII.
Final Fantasy VIII stands out from the other titles in the series through the Junction and Draw systems. Summonings are equipped to characters, and magic is stockpiled rather than having a traditional mana pool. Abilities are given to characters through the equipped summonings, and magic can be applied to the characters stats, giving them much needed boosts. This helps Final Fantasy VIII stand out from the rest, and gives the game its own character.
Maybe it is the romantic in me, but I also love the story that Final Fantasy VIII presents. It is a love story first and foremost, and helps lead to some awesome set pieces. Overall, this is an amazing game, and has always been one that stands out to me among all other RPGs.