IGN is starting their list of the top 100 RPGs. Given that this is my favorite gaming genre, I am going to guess I’ve played most of them. Let’s take a look at the ones I’ve tried in the 100-81 listing.
Shadow Hearts – Covenant (98). I think this was better than 98 if only for the coo game innovations it brought. The judgment wheel brought an “action” feel to the RPG. The story was kooky yet quality. Once of the best PS2 RPGs.
Final Fantasy VIII (97). The story was pretty cool, futuristic and all. The combat was atrocious. The worst of the FF games, by far. Perhaps this was linked to 7’s extremely high bar and 9’s return to RPG roots. Still, most people remember Squall, even if they didn’t play the game. Sword guns are cool.
Phantasy Star (96). Lots of groundbreaking done in this game, especially for the console. It has aged poorly but then again, most groundbreaking things do.
Legend of the Dragoon (95). I played the crap out of this game. This was more action than RPG and was well ahead of it’s time. The story and setting were really amazing too.
Diablo 3 (92). A new-age RPG, with next to no “R” to speak of. I don’t think I would have put it in the list at all. Especially not ahead of the rest of the games in this list so far.
Fable 2 (91). The anti-thesis to Diablo 3, Fable changed the way we looked at RPGs on consoles. Nearly a sandbox RPG, I put a hundred hours in this game just to see the various outcomes. Wife and kids, an amazing dog companion, a compelling (but short) story, decent combat. And the crucible. Oh the crucible. My favorite of the series.
Fallout: New Vegas (89). A more open concept Fallout than the 3. It started out more like an expansion pack but the deeper you got into it, the more details you found. Each town had character and story and challenge. The idea of redemption/revenge is also pretty cool. The game’s weakness (so much to do), was also its strength.
Final Fantasy 9 (88). A back-to-roots FF game after the risk of 8. The game was very simple, probably closer to 6 than any other. While it took no risks on the gameplay front, it provided an amazing story, until the last 5 minutes.
Lufia 2 (87). A weird game that was at times easy and hardcore. The internal systems (IP leveling) was a continuous tradeoff. Not a big fan.
Breath of Fire 3 (85). A simple RPG. I think it’s more popular because it was the first on the PS. No real weakness to speak of but nothing stands out.
Kingdom Hearts (84). I had original worries with this game but in typical Japanese RPG fashion the story was lovingly complex. The mechanics were solid and built a good foundation for one of the best RPG series of all-time.
I did play a few of the other games but none really stand out as worth mention. That some games are in the 90s and have sold millions while some in the 80s are clearly niche is odd but that’s the nature of these lists. I was kind of hoping to have more PC rpgs in the list but I guess that’s for later. After all, that’s where the CRPG started.