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Re: 10 RPGs You Must Play Before You Croak - Recommendations

by Jagosaurus Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:54 am

Man! Some awesome responses so far. I always appreciate the passion RPG fans bring.

Will give some additonal thoughts when I get a bit more time to dig in, but high level: surprised not to see Lunar SS or Lunar EB yet. Also fairly surprised to see Golden See twice already. I did beat the GS DS game and enjoyed it.

I own and/or have access to many of these. Several I've even played a few hours into, but got distracted. Keep them coming!

Yeah John, think I could've made your list :) but I wasn't aware Ogre 64 was essentially a reimaging.
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Re: 10 RPGs You Must Play Before You Croak - Recommendations

by noiseredux Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:26 am

I know that you want to focus on PS2 and earlier, but I can't even BEGIN to put a list together without Skyrim.
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Re: 10 RPGs You Must Play Before You Croak - Recommendations

by Ack Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:01 am

Hey fellas, I see a lot of great choices here, some of which I expect, and some of which surprise me. Truth be told, I'd back many of these choices in any top ten list of "Must Play" RPGs, be they the relatively common (Chrono Trigger) or the wonderfully achieved (Dungeon Explorer). Since I see a lot of the same choices over and over, I figure I will through out a few that are not mentioned. No, I won't have ten options, these are merely additions to the already great titles mentioned before.

Eye of the Beholder/Eye of the Beholder II - This is Advanced Dungeons & Dragons dungeon crawling in a tile-based environment at some of its absolute best. I include both of the first two because you can port a party between them, and II improves on the first immensely while still feeling like a near seamless transition. If you tackle the first, I suggest going to the second, but don't start with II. This is one of those games where you have to manage some of your resources and hope you're making the right decisions while solving nasty puzzles, slaying a wide variety of D&D classic monsters, and have to explore dangerous areas with potentially dwindling supplies. While supply loss can be mitigated, you'll need to know what you're doing.

Ultima Underworld - If you don't like tiles and want to roam the dungeon freely, Ultima Underworld is a great dungeon delving experience. More traps, more resources, more puzzles, and more monsters, this is a game that will test you mentally and test your character's might. I loved Ultima Underworld and recommend it to everyone. Try it today!

Fallout - We had a mention of New Vegas, but don't you want to wander an open wasteland, fighting giant scorpions and mutants while avoiding radiation and solving questions which will impact the lives of nearly everyone you meet? Fallout is for you! But if it's something you've done before, go play Wasteland instead.

Anachronox is what happens when western devs try out the Japanese RPG style, and you know what? It's great! There are quirky characters, a plot inspired both by the American noir tradition as much as any JRPG, a variety of locales and worlds to explore, and some ridiculous humor. It's unfortunate everything ends on a cliffhanger, but it's got to be seen to be believed. Plus one character is a planet. Seriously.

Shadowrun Returns - Yes, I know, this one came out in 2013, but as much as I love the early '90s Shadowrun games, this is a spectacular achievement that captures that cyberpunk/dark fantasy feel. It's also not that far removed from our current reality in some ways, albeit without all the magic. At its heart, it's a story driven adventure, but this is combined with a tactical RPG combat system which can be challenging but a lot of fun. If you take an interest in these titles, start here before advancing to Dragonfall or Hong Kong. But also play those '90s Shadowruns, even the SNES one. They're good primers on where you're going.

Did no one mention Rogue? Go play Rogue. Or Diablo if you want a prettier skin.
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Re: 10 RPGs You Must Play Before You Croak - Recommendations

by bmoc Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:43 pm

Really tough to limit this to 10 but here goes in no particular order.

1. Final Fantasy VI - Hands down the best retro entry in the series. Considered by many to be the best overall Final Fantasy.
Final Fantasy Runner-ups: Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy Tactics

2. Chrono Trigger - I don't think I can say anything that hasn't been said already. Play Chrono Cross too if you enjoy this one but go in knowing that is more of a side story (Gaiden) than a true sequel.

3. Super Mario RPG - Probably the last great SNES RPG. Charming and fun. Don't miss this one.

4. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - In my mind, the Xeno series has taken the mantle of top quality JRPG series from Final Fantasy. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the latest entry and probably the best so far. Play the first Xenoblade Chronicles before starting this one for maximum effect. Be prepared to sink 100+ hours per game. Look at Xenogears if you want something much shorter by the same people.

5. Suikoden II - The best entry in the series in my opinion. Once again, play the first game for maximum effect.

6. Wild Arms - This series doesn't get enough love. The first game is my favorite. There is a PS2 remake called Wild Arms: Alter Code F. Both are good but I prefer the sprite work of the original to the 3D polygon upgrade of Alter Code F.

7. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - A great balance of plot and gameplay. I enjoyed my time with this one immensely. So much so that I bought the two sequels and spin-off series Trails of Cold Steel. I haven't gotten around to playing those yet but I am looking forward to it.

8. Kingdom Hearts - I actually pulled an all-nighter gaming session of this one when it first came out because I was so enamored with it. The Kingdom Hearts storyline gets really convoluted in later games so I find it hard to recommend the later entries as much.

9. The World Ends With You - My favorite Nintendo DS RPG. It really takes advantage of the DS control scheme. It makes me wonder how successful the upcoming Switch port will be.

10. Blood Omen - If you can stomach the load times, Blood Omen is very worth it. The other Legacy of Kain games are more action-y than RPG but they are worth a look too. It is really shame this series hasn't seen a new entry since 2003. Nosgoth doesn't count...

Bonus Round: RPG franchises that I really want to play some day but haven't yet.

1. Dragon Quest
2. Shin Megami Tensei/Persona
3. Shadow Hearts
4. Ys
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Re: 10 RPGs You Must Play Before You Croak - Recommendations

by stickem Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:48 pm

finally someone mentions shadow hearts
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Re: 10 RPGs You Must Play Before You Croak - Recommendations

by Exhuminator Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:08 pm

1. King's Field: The Ancient City
2. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
3. Vagrant Story
4. Fallout
5. Phantasy Star
6. Final Fantasy XII
7. Final Fantasy VI
8. Phantasy Star IV
9. Skies of Arcadia Legends
10. Shadow Hearts

That's how I'm feeling today anyway. It's so tempting to put an Ys game in the list. The thing with Ys though is that none of the games' plots have ever made an impression on me. With better writing, I could see an Ys making it into my top 10.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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Re: 10 RPGs You Must Play Before You Croak - Recommendations

by Ack Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:14 pm

I'm really enjoying seeing the mixture of styles that are coming up. Not only JRPG versus WRPG, but action, strategy and tactics, dungeon crawlers, open world, fantasy and sci-fi, horror, so on and so forth. It's amazing how much variety we can come up with, and none of us are really saying our lists are the "definitive" list. Exhum makes a good point of stating his list is just how he feels today. Shoot, tomorrow we might see someone point out Arcanum, Betrayal at Krondor, or Star Ocean.
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Re: 10 RPGs You Must Play Before You Croak - Recommendations

by marurun Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:43 pm

Arcanum is TOTALLY worth playing. It's got such a unique approach to the world. But I'd be hard-pressed to draft it into a top 10 must-play.
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Re: 10 RPGs You Must Play Before You Croak - Recommendations

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:55 pm

Arcanum and Betrayal at Krondor are both top-10 WRPGs for me, but I'm way more of a JRPG guy.
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Re: 10 RPGs You Must Play Before You Croak - Recommendations

by isiolia Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:05 pm

I think most of what I'd put on a top 10 have been said. Real lack of Dark Souls though, which is certainly one worth having on there, and the one of the series I'd hold up if someone was only going to play one.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines would be another pick. Not that there aren't a number of FPS/RPG hybrids, such as Deus Ex, that'd be easy inclusions. However, most of them work as stealth/shooters too, and judged as an FPS, Bloodlines is terrible (unless you really max out gun skills). On the other hand, it shines for role playing. The clan you pick can change up your viable options entirely.

Personally, in the interest of a "short list" for the genre, I'd also say that an MMO warrants a place. There are certainly single player games modeled after them now, but even those aren't really the same experience. Not saying to play one for years and years, but, there's little else like one. Even if you just play by yourself, there's just so much more there to do, see, and manage.
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