The Top 5 RPG’s…of all time.

The concept of the role-playing game has been around since before the inception of the video game as we know it today. To say that the RPG experience has been merely expanded upon and transformed by this form of entertainment is truly doing a disservice to the immeasurable distance it has taken the genre forward. The addition of compelling visuals, sound tracks, voice acting, cinematics, and multi-tiered avenues of character customizability have come to define the gripping realism of the modern RPG which allows the player to suspend his or her disbelief and become immersed in the experience. The following five titles are ones (mostly turn-based) which I consider to have accomplished for both the gamer and the genre all that an RPG can achieve, resulting in sensational successes that repeatedly stand the test of time.

5. Lunar: Silver Star Story
Lunar

Lunar: SSS’s biggest strength is its powerful and compelling storyline. The plot, while not the most complicated the player will ever encounter, develops seamlessly and fully engages the player in the world of Lunar, adding a sense of urgency at just the right times. Lunar is what the classic turn-based format is all about. Relative to the RPG’s of today, there is less room to customize your characters, but this made up for by the strength of the story and the development of the characters with respect to themselves and their companions. The gameplay, although not incredibly innovative, is flawlessly executed. Battles are both enjoyable to command and fun to watch. The visuals and audio are extremely well done, with beautifully drawn backgrounds, impressive cut scenes, compelling voice acting, and all-around solid sound. All in all, Lunar: SSS provides the gamer with an incredibly memorable experience. With the current emphasis on powerhouse visuals that the industry is facing, Lunar: SSS is a reminder that flawless presentation can only be achieved from balanced and careful attention to all the elements of which a complete game is comprised.

4. Final Fantasy Tactics

What can be spoken of Final Fantasy Tactics aside from the sheer magnitude of ass it refuses to stop kicking. Even if the story were not as complex and well-developed as it is, the mere strength of the gameplay this title offers would place it on my all-time top five. Add an amazing soundtrack, simple but beautiful visuals, and some of the most memorable and satisfying sound effects I have ever encountered, and you have the best strategy RPG ever made. Building, improving, and customizing your characters through the multitude of awesome job classes available results in a perfectionist euphoria similar to that of Pokemon on angel dust.

3. Suikoden III

Suikoden III (Genso Suikoden III in Japan) is a behemoth of an RPG. I cannot speak any higher praise of this game. Not only does this title offer near perfection in all the essential elements of a solid RPG, it also adds a unique touch to the storytelling in its “Trinity Sight System.” While a few other RPG’s (such as a Wild Arms title here and there) have tackled the use of multiple main characters, none in the history of the genre has done it as masterfully and thoroughly as Suikoden III. The game is comprised of several chapters that can be played through the eyes of three main characters, each equipped with his or her own unique and engaging background. While this may sound fairly unimpressive to some, the way it is executed offers a gripping experience that goes above and beyond most linear RPG’s. With each character’s chapter you gain a new and eye-opening perspective on the unraveling plot – and you can be sure there is plenty of surprise, intrigue, conflict, backstabbing, and heroism to go around for everyone. Also, the 108 stars of destiny (108 playable characters – yes that is truly an admirable assload) are put together especially well in this title as are the special battlefield episodes encountered throughout the game. My only complaint is that Konami didn’t bring back the absurdly fun Iron Chef-style kitchen battles that was everyone’s favorite minigame from Suikoden II. This title is an absolute must for any fan of the genre.

2. Chrono Trigger

Ah, Chrono Trigger…Shall I count the ways I love you? Or perhaps the disgusting and shameful amount of times I have played you from start to finish? Nay, I think I shan’t. At any rate, any RPG whore such as myself will tell you this game is truly the most awesome journey through time travel they have ever been privileged to embark upon. With an incredible story spanning several millenia, some of the best character design that has ever been pieced together by a development team, a great soundtrack, and a sweet ass battle system, Chrono Trigger is everything an RPG wants to be. What other title is bad ass enough to kill off the main character and make you not rue the day you ever trusted those bastards with your emotions? Any RPG that offers the player so many great endings as well as so many great ways to beat the game deserves the respect of gamers everywhere. As I am sure many others have experienced before me, I sometimes wake up in a cold sweat, unable to allow the scene of Robo’s dejection from his robot brotherhood to haunt me any longer. Cheers to you, Chrono Trigger.

1. Final Fantasy VII

Perfection. Motherf*$#ing perfection. Plain and simple. This game and this game alone was the reason I purchased my PlayStation that fateful day in 1997. Final Fantasy VII draws you in from the very beginning and never lets you go. This title has probably the best and most memorable characters in any RPG to date, a ridiculously solid soundtrack, the sweetest villain in a video game ever, the most epic death of a main character ever, an incredibly fun battle system, a ground-breaking and intriguing system of learning abilities (materia), awesome cutscenes (for its time), a plethora of side-games that are actually entertaining, a fantasy-world Las Vegas, and a multitude of plot-developing events that are actually fun to do (i.e. attempt to pass off Cloud for a two-dollar hooker). For many gamers, this is the only RPG they have ever played – that is how much ass it kicks on an hourly basis. This title is a true giant and a supermodel for RPG success.

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Honorable Mention: Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Final Fantasy VI, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

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14 Responses to “The Top 5 RPG’s…of all time.”

  1. I agree except i’ve never played Suikoden III or Lunar: Silver Star Story. Ocarina of Time definately needs to be on here somewhere, even though it was less of an rpg and more of an action/adventure.

  2. PubBasher Says:

    i just have to say i do not agree with this at all. Final fantasy 7 is quite possibly the most over hyped game of all time and i agree chrono trigger belongs at number two. Suikoden i’ve never played so ill leave that alone. I think something more like this:
    5 Lunar
    4 Final Fantasy 7 (still skeptical)
    3 Zelda Ocarina of time (if this isnt simply considered action adventure)
    2 Chrono Trigger
    1 Final Fantasy 3 (6 in america??)

    final fantasy 3/6 is the game that got me, my mom, and basically my entire family to play video games. It had just the right amount of everything and if you have yet to play it i HIGHLY suggest it. Amazing game. The reason everyone likes final fantasy 7 is because it was the first easily accessible ff in america and also was the first to be on a big graphic console. Also i suggest playing the original japanese version (it is translated to american flawlessly, it is the SNES one) over the much easier playstation version.

  3. Seems like you agree with it more than “not at all” given the similarity between our lists – but at any rate yeah FF6 (3 in US) was really good, I’ll agree with that. I’m aware of the opinion that FF7 is overhyped/overrated etc, but I think you guys should provide more substance to back up that claim. I’ve been aware of that opinion for a long time and don’t consider myself a FF7 fanboy – I really just was impacted the most by that RPG and find it has the longest replay value by far. At any rate, I’m currently playing through Chrono Trigger again, and man is it excellent.

  4. Brain6464 Says:

    Any list that has both FFT and FFVII is a good list if you ask me.

  5. its more i didnt agree with final fantasy 7’s placement at all, phrased poorly. I played final fantasy 3 through and through at least 10 times not even kidding its an amazing game. FF7 i played twice, once in japanese and then again in english. It was fun but not nearly as good as 3, full of secrets and fun bosses. The newer final fantasy’s (IE ffx) has some rediculous secrets but i think sometimes its a little over the top whereas 3 all of them were accessible just with stuff you read through the game and little hints it gives you. 7 was a good game sure, but not nearly as good as 3, and i doubt its even better then 2 (another game i HIGHLY suggest)

  6. What did you think of FFXII? I personally liked it but found the story really confusing.

  7. i liked it, i hated the yiazmat tho, the last 10mill hp i took down w/o saving and then i renewed myself on accident and it went back to him and healed him back up to full.. i cried. I think 12 had alot of neat new things to it but i rank it a little below FFX a little above FFX-2

  8. sorry cant edit, i regard FFX pretty highly, everything but the ending especially the BS 100% endings of hte FFX/2 series

  9. agh im very sorry but one LAST for the triple post. Materia to me seems like a slightly less interesting esper from FF3. By ff3 btw i mean the one with Locke, Sabin, Terra, Edgar etc.. By ff2 i mean the one where u go underground with the dwarfs and theres kain and stuff

  10. Ya espers were pretty cool. Overall I like the materia system more but they are both awesome for sure. As for FFXII I got to the final area but got bored and quit – I will probably finish it some day…FFX was incredible I agree – my only complaint was the ridiculous ending (as is most everyone else’s complaint)

  11. Brain6464 Says:

    Why do you guys not give the love to FFT?? It is possibly my favorite RPG of all times. Addicting job system, great story line, unique battle system, and a fairly challenging game. Give it some credit people.

  12. It’s on my list. I couldn’t agree with you more Brain. Did you like the war of the lions port?

  13. Brain6464 Says:

    Honestly I don’t remember specific parts that late in the game. I have beaten it once and started it a few times, when I get the time I will have to go back to that part.

  14. GHOSTGHOST4YA Says:

    someone posted this on the dxd forum but i completely agree with them..

    final fantasy VII is great and everytime i hear it dubbed “overrated” it is supported by a poor argument.

    pokemon on gameboy is top 3 for obvious reasons. it started a CRAZE. i am 19 years old and i still occasionally bust out the gameboy (when no one is around). so many options, it immerses you in a world of fantasy.

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