Wednesday, August 20, 2008

GP and VFH's Top 10 RPGs

Here is the first installment of GamersPlatform's and View From Heaven's The Top Ten. This first segment is our Top Ten RPGs. While looking through these we'd like you to keep in mind that we've only chosen games that we've played a fair amount of, and we also limited it to one game per franchise. Enjoy!

10. Dragon Quest VIII (PS2)
The fact that Dragon Quest VIII is at the end of the list is really a testament to how many amazing RPGs there are now. Some could also say that it was proof that neither I nor Wade have played any other Dragon Quest games. This also would be true. But that doesn't stop number 8 from being completely amazingtastical. The beautiful graphics and amazingly refined gameplay just cannot be beat for what the game is, a truly classical styled RPG. The story is so-so, but the rest of the game is polished to perfection and addicting as hell. There's reason behind the love for this game, which is why we just had to include it on the list, even if at the number 10 spot.
- Nick

9. Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Golden Sun 2 spots in at number 9 on our list. While the game was basically a normal old rpg, it did have quite a good story, filled with some major plot twists. I found the game extremely hard, and got lost on more than one occasion. Usually this would just annoy and frustrate me, but for some reason it only made Golden Sun 2 more fun, which his why it is at our number 9 spot.
- Wade

8. Phantasy Star Online Episodes 1 & 2
As the second MMO on the list, PSO just couldn't beat Diablo, but seeing as Diablo's one hell of a game, that's not a knock against PSO, especially since PSO has all the basics of Diablo, and even improves on one key area. The combat. The combat aspect in PSO really helped keep interest in the game while repeating each level for the 9,000th time. That and the ever so sought after loot that is oh so plentiful in the confines of the PSO universe, and any other MMO for that matter. But the offline split-screen mode is really where the fun came from for me. Online, yeah thats cool sure, but split-screen is just a blast. This is one of my favorite Gamecube games to date, my friends and I even play it occasionally. It was a shoe-in for the list.
- Nick

7. Diablo II
Loot. That's what it's all about kids. Thats the single defining factor in Diablo games, it was in one, it is in two, and it will be in three. The combat is a pure click-a-thon. But god, the loot is just so awesome, you need more. You need the next skill, you need more skeletons, you need more. Through simple gameplay and expansive environments and items Blizzard created one of the most loved PC games of all times, still played regularly online and at LAN parties alike, the MMO style of Diablo gets more right than most MMOs. This is the definition of a classic, and just had to have a spot on the list.
- Nick

6. Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow
I don't care what people say. Pokemon is just as fun now as it was in the first grade. Pokemon was fun because of two basic ideas. Both of which are sung the original theme song. You “have to be the very best” and you “gotta catch em all”. Choosing from 150 different Pokemon and training them to beat all the gym leaders, the Pokemon league, and your real life friends was just plain fun. Not to mention how exciting it was when your Charmeleon became level 36, causing it evolve from a pansy little dinosaur, to a full out dragon ( I know you guys remember the feeling, don't deny it). These reasons, and more, make the original Pokemon games prime candidates for our number 6 spot.
- Wade

5. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
This one brings me back to my childhood days. Mario RPG was good then, and it's still good now. Proving that our little Italian plumber truly can do anything. But what makes Mario RPG so good? Perhaps it's because Bowser is actually on your side. Or maybe it's the simplicity, yet addictive, trait that the game has. Maybe it's the appearance of 2 new characters: Geno and Mallow. Maybe it's none of these things. Maybe it's all of these things. Whatever the case, Mario RPG was a great game, which is why it deserves the number 5 spot.
- Wade

4. Chrono Cross
As the sequel to the much loved Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross had a lot to live up to. When the game was released to the masses their where very mixed feelings. Some people hated it, some ignored it, and some loved it. I fall into the last category. The graphics were mind blowing at the time, the story is pretty interesting, and had a few pretty crazy moments that will really make the experience stick out among the rest. Alongside of the amazing battle system and a crazy big amount of characters, this is truly among the greatest RPGS, even games of all time.
- Nick

3. Final Fantasy X
I know what your all thinking right now. Why in the hell would we ever choose Final Fantasy 10 over Final Fantasy 7? It's simple actually. We just like Final Fantasy 10 better. Final Fantasy X is basically the same thing as all the other Final Fantasy games, with just a few changes along the way. One of the biggest changes is that it includes the puzzle element. Sometimes the group will find temples that they must enter. Throughout that temple you will have to place various gems in walls, to open up entrances to the end. Another change they made was the ability to customize what stats and abilities your teammates learn. Instead of going into a spell shop and buying spells, you now have a map of skills, if you want the spell fire: go right. If you want +100 hp: go left. Its very simple, yet makes the game much more enjoyable.
- Wade

2. Shin Megami Tensai: Persona 3
I find it a little odd, our top two on the list are unexpected mash-ups. One of franchises, and this one, my personal favorite, of an RPG and a Dating Sim. This sounds crazy at first, but trust me, the first time you advance through a social connection (in-game relationship) you'll realize how amazingly well this works out. I found myself entirely involved in most of the characters. The deep and touching stories have excellent writing, and a few of them really shake things up. In fact, I often skip over the dungeon crawling portion just to advance in the various side stories. Which is quite the statement considering that the battle mechanics are extremely fun and very speedy. With the combination of a selection of amazing stories, fun battles, interesting imagery, and one of the catchiest soundtracks this side of the Zelda series, this one definitely earned its spot.
- Nick

1. Kingdom Hearts II
Who would have ever though that Final Fantasy + Disney would equal the best RPG ever made? Not me, but damn, they pulled it off. There are two things that perfect Kingdom Hearts 2: Its battle system, and its storyline. While playing through the game you come across various questions such as: “Will Riku stay evil?” and “Did Goofy seriously die from getting hit on the head with a rock?”. This only makes the game more addictive, and nearly impossible to stop playing. The battle system is amazing (to say the least). I can't even describe how much fun it is to go into Sora's Final Drive form and hack and slash and enemy into the air, beat the crap out of him with your double keyblades, then finish the fight by pile driving the enemy into the ground.
- Wade

Honorable Mentions: Earthbound (SNES), Star Ocean: The Second Story (PS), Dark Cloud 2 (PS2), and Lost Odyssey (360)

Posted in collaboration with GamersPlatform

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