Introduction:One thing I've got to specify right off the back, I'm only counting turn-based RPG's. If you're thinking, "why didn't you specify in the title," it's because you can't put dashes in the title and it bothered me way too much without it. Well, I mean I got it to work via copy & pasting but I didn't know if that would register when I post it so I deleted it.
Ignoring that, [turn-based] RPG's are among my favorite games of all-time. Probably my second favorite genre of video game besides 2D platformers (just got two new list ideas). Only one game per franchise but otherwise anything goes.
No, I have no idea what that translates to and I don't care. This game nailed it in pretty much every category. The graphics are great and I personally loved the anime-esque designs. The story, albeit just set-up, was really memorable and intriguing. It also wasn't super fast paced, we got a lot of time just seeing the characters breathe & interact. Developed their relationships together. This game had about 8 hours worth of cutscenes and I loved them. It really got me attached to the characters but what about the gameplay? It was really good too, not the best battle system on the list, not even the best of the series (though it has the best leveling up system, so it's could go either way I suppose) but it has a very solid one that's fun to play and increase. It's one of the games that struck the biggest chord with me and even though the excessive amount of grinding I did made the final boss a pushover, it didn't stop the game from ending as my favorite RPG (the start is really slow though).
This has the best battle system on the list. The entire reason Disgaea 4 is so high on the list because simply put, when it comes to gameplay, nothing tops it. I haven't played the newest one and that actually seems like it could beat it but for now I have to go with 4. It's also a grinding game and grinding half the of the fun for me when it comes to RPG's. In fact, games that don't allow me to grind kind of kill my interest in them. So, why isn't in number one. Partially because I haven't beaten the main game yet (too busy having fun grinding) so I can't experience the full story if it gets better, partially for nostalgia & mostly because, as previously implied, the story isn't that good. Neither are the characters, I like Valvatorez, Fenrich & Vulcanus but the rest are just so annoying. The story, it has it's moments but there are several moments that are supposed to be taken seriously that are impossible for me to. It's not as huge as a problem as you'd think,
Oh, hello nostalgia. They say that the newer games have much improved upon from Silver. They say the series has finally became balanced, more skilled. They say the added much more options, allowing a great diversity. They say that most people still saying this is the best of the series are wearing rose-tinted glasses. They say it's you, nostalgia, that people still claim the Gold/Silver/Crystal games to be the peak. To them I say, I haven't played a Pokémon game since those games and the one I spent the most time playing was Silver. I played put more time into Silver than I have any other game I've ever played with the possible exception of Animal Crossing. I don't think I have to explain the appeal of the Pokémon games but I loved it way back when and I'm eventually looking to revisit my former love with Pokémon X down the line.
In what is arguably my favorite Mario game (I may do a list of that down the line but I missed a lot of good ones [Galaxy for example] so probably not), we also get my fourth favorite RPG. I love the story of this game, I love the characters (except Mallow, he's alright I guess) from the fun bosses to the awesome character of Geno (hope he's in the new Smash game). The gameplay/battle-system is extremely simple but that's kind of a staple of Mario games. They never get complex, they are just simple mechanics used brilliantly. Not trying to bash it, simplicity works wonders here and it's great fun. Also, love how the special moves have you do different things like repeatedly pressing a button or just holding one and letting go at the right time to achieve higher damages. It's a small thing but adds for a variety in the battle system. Just an all around great game from the most notable face in gaming.
I'm not getting into the story because I honestly don't pay attention to it. I'm not going to talk in-depth about this like the others (actually, I didn't for the others, I left a ton out of the Disgaea one for example) but I will talk about why I like this game, the gameplay. The gameplay is essentially a predecessor to Disgaea's. I'm sure Tactics didn't create the grid-base style they have but they were the first I've played and certainly one of the first that nearly perfected it. Why is it so low (outside of just liking other games better) well, after playing Disgaea 4, I don't really have the drive to play this one as much anymore. Don't get me wrong, Disgaea 4's gameplay isn't just a better version of Tactics, they completely make it their own thing and add a few more layers to it. Going back in playing this one just doesn't feel as rewarding anymore. Still, one of my favorites, beat out a few good/great games for this spot on the list and I'm proud to have it represent my Final Fantasy choice (not that I've played any of the others at length though).
There you have it, my top five favorite turn-based RPG's. What are your favorites, let me know in the comments!
select one here...