best RPGs of all time


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OK the rules are simple. In order to be listed as one of the best RPGs of all time it must simply meet the following criteria:

1. The monster battles were at least tolerable.

2. The game told a story that was interesting and kept you playing.

3. The game had an ending that really made you feel like you had COMPLETED something (i.e. you didn't feel hosed by a wowzer game with a 2-second crappy ending that makes your scream at having played so long just to get THAT ending)

My nominations are:

Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Game Boy): OK so Zelda's only a quazi-RPG but it DID have a stellar ending!

Phantasy Star IV: One of the most In-depth stories I've ever played through and one of the most satisfying endings of ANY video game I've EVER played!

Shining Force II: The ending was okay, but the in-game story was good and monster "chess" style battles were really neat

Xenosaga Episode I: Fur Wille Zur Macht: Quite possibly the closest thing to playing a movie I've ever done. Had great cutscenes (even if Shion has a MASSIVE codependency problem.) Even had the coolest "To be continued" ending I've ever seen-like straight out of a movie! You know it's a good RPG when you get that type of ending and still feel a sense of closure for the time played.

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue: Another great cutscene RPG. The battles were tolerable at best but I don't think I'll ever get tired of the music from it. Both main plot and the many subplots interwove extremely well (the "bad guy redemption" subplot was particularly well done)

Ones I would NOT nominate:

Chrono Cross: Somewhere in the last two hours or so of gameplay, the original crew working on this game were sacked by terrorists and replaced with interns (I swear!) As such, the game has a great beginning, middle, and story replay value...but the last two hours throws storyline continuity out the window and pumps out an ending that was confusing, lame, and awful.

Final Fantasy X: Okay I know I'll catch flack for this but read the above review and tell me it doesn't fit this game as well. the last X number of hours become some stupid "Forget Yuna's story- Tidus' obsession with hating/loving his father and going out in a blaze of glory is MUCH more important" plot. Even the Tidus/Yuna love thing becomes a subplot to the endless "This is MY [Tidus'] story" phrases he repeats countless times in the last few hours of gameplay. Granted, the ending seems like less of a Hosing now that they've developed X2, but nevertheless I STILL felt hosed when I beat it the first time. There's no sense of closure and god forbid you complete the side quests--Sin is a pushover if you even finish HALF of them.

Ok...those are my picks. What are yours?

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Xenogears, Xenosaga Episode I, and Final Fantasy X.

Xenogears was brilliant all around. It had the greatest story in any video game ever. Period.

Xenosaga--people complain about the cutscenes, but I thought they made it all the more enjoyable.

FFX--goofy at points, but it was a damn good game.

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FF 6

This is why you kick ass. FFVI hands down.

I also want to say Chrono Trigger but it doesn't really count. I like to see every little thing a game has to offer, so when I finally made Lavos my bitch it wasn't the same knowing I had at least another dozen endings to view.

As for those that do count, FF IX and Suikoden 2.

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Crystalis (NES)

Preach JCC!

My nominees are...

Super Mario RPG (SNES): I couldn't stop playing the damn game...

Legend of Zelda (NES): I really felt like I had accomplished a feat when I beat the game without a player's guide.

Dragon Warrior (NES): This game was fucking awesome. I hope someone can come in here and back me up

Kingdom Hearts (PS2): The ending wasn't the best, and the camera control wasn't up to super awesomeness, but the game was so freaking addicting. Not to mention, I mark for Winnie the Pooh.

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There's no sense of closure and god forbid you complete the side quests--Sin is a pushover if you even finish HALF of them.

I'm right with you about Sin being a piece of cake if you've done anything even remotely resembling a sidequest, but dude... how can you see that ending and not get closure? I hated that they had to cut to an unecessary scene of Tidus swimming somewhere after the credits, but aside from that I thought the story wrapped itself up tremendously. Everybody had a logical conclusion, even if they weren't all happy ones.

Anyway. My games:

Star Ocean: The Second Story. I will never stop praising this game. Incredibly addicting gameplay, a story that's more than solid, dozens of different playable characters and endings, and a step away from the tired old "everybody take turns hitting each other" RPG cliche.

Final Fantasy VIII. My favorite FF. The best characters, the most interesting sidequests, the most original gameplay. Great graphical direction, and characters that aren't just cartoons: they're human beings, complete with personality flaws.


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