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Final Fantasy VI - PlayStation
See, 2D RPGs CAN be great. I laughed, I cried, I was entertained in an epic fashion.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES - PlayStation 2
Oh yeah, this is the best dungeon crawler ever created. Stylish, addictive, entertaining, interesting, and heartbreaking all at once. I can't give it enough praise.
Pokemon: Red Version - Game Boy
I have enjoyed every generation of Pokemon games, and this first one will always hold a special place in my heart. It's also the game that I've played through the most (at least 20-30 times).
Final Fantasy VII - PlayStation
I don't care if people think it's overrated. It's got its flaws, sure, but it's still one of the most interesting and most emotionally engaging games that I've ever played.
Final Fantasy VIII - PlayStation
Although it's a bit silly at times, I enjoyed the overall plot and LOVE the soundtrack. Even the junction system started to grow on me after a while.
Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht - PlayStation 2
Even though only Episode 1 one is on this list, the number four spot actually goes to entire Xenosaga trilogy. I was surprised at how much I loved this series after I finished it. Allen's speech at the end of Episode 3 has to be one of my favorite scenes in video game history.
Xenoblade Chronicles - Nintendo Wii
Just when I thought JRPGs were dead, just when I thought I would never be as entertained by current gen games as the games of old, this game came along and showed me the error of my ways. Xenoblade Chronicles captured my attention, and captured my heart.
Kingdom Hearts - PlayStation 2
If Square-Enix made a hundred Kingdom Hearts games, I would play them all and love them all. I liked KH 2 more than KH 1, and I adored the handheld KH games.
Final Fantasy Tactics - PlayStation
I've played it multiple times and I'm still trying to wrap my mind around all the plot intricacies. To date, it is the most involved (console) tactical RPG that I've ever played. Also, +1 for semi-random final boss dude.
Fire Emblem - Game Boy Advance
All the Fire Emblem games are great, but this GBA one is my favorite by far. Entertainment FTW!
Golden Sun - Game Boy Advance
These games are so cute! My favorite aspect of GS 2 was that you could "transfer" your saved characters and items from your work in GS 1. This is such a fantastic way to tie-in two different games that I'm surprised that more games haven't done it.
Chrono Trigger - Super famicom and SNES
Hailed by many as the greatest RPG ever created, Chrono Trigger doesn't fail to disappoint. I don't have it higher on my list because I found the other games more entertaining, but this is still a fantastic game.
The World Ends with You - Nintendo DS
Although the plot is a bit superficial, I LOVED the overall presentation of the game, including the translation / localization, artistic style, tight controls, and soundtrack. Actually, maybe I should list "soundtrack" first because this game has THE best soundtrack of any handheld game.
Mother 3 - Game Boy Advance
Although this game was never released outside of Japan, the entire Mother series (including M2, or EarthBound) has a huge cult following outside of Japan. In fact, two guys hacked the ROM and spent 2 years translating THOUSANDS of pages of text so English-speakers can enjoy this title. This game has a mature story and a high amount of humor.
Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete - PlayStation
This is by far the silliest and cheesiest game ever created, but that doesn't stop it from being a blast to play. I had a silly grin on my face through most of the scenes.
Earthbound - Super famicom and SNES
The beginning of this game was a bit of a surprise. It starts out extremely slowly, and doesn't pick up the pace until many hours into the game. But, once it picks up the pace (and increases the quirkiness factor), it becomes one of the best things ever created.
Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - PlayStation Portable
Isn't Zack and Aerith's relationship sweet? I must have had a silly grin on my face whenever those two had a scene together. However, the grin was quickly wiped away at the ending shenanigans.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - Super famicom and SNES
When Square and Nintendo partner up, the result is absolute GOLD. Why haven't they made a sequel?!?
Final Fantasy X - PlayStation 2
At the time, I loved playing FFX so much that I beat it in about a week. In retrospect, I realized that the romance was a bit forced and that most of the side characters were pretty bland. Still, I loved inhabiting the world of FFX and was touched by the conclusion of this father-son tale.
Shadow Hearts - PlayStation 2
I loved playing this horror RPG, especially since it had a combination of some of my favorite RPG elements: turn-based combat, prerendered backgrounds, and historical fiction.
Final Fantasy IX - PlayStation
This game doesn't get enough respect. I appreciated the fact that Square was making a FF that was "for the fans" of all the previous games.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - GameCube
This is an extremely entertaining and fun game to play. I like this one better than the other Paper Mario games.
Final Fantasy IV - Super famicom and SNES
Great story, great characters, great fun. What more needs to be said? This fantastic gem deserves to be played by anyone who's even remotely interested in 2D RPGs.
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness - PlayStation 2
Disgaea is the epitome of weird, random Japanese humor at its finest. Oh, and the game is fun to play, too.
Final Fantasy XIII - Xbox 360
People love to hate on FFXIII, and you know what? The hate is justified as this game has many flaws. However, I personally found FFXIII to be engaging, lovely, and even a bit heartbreaking.
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies... - Nintendo DS
The entire Dragon Quest series is great, but I really like this one because they fit so much content on such a small, portable DS cart. It's such a shame that this fun game doesn't have an epic storyline or a constant cast of engaging characters.
Final Fantasy XII - PlayStation 2
FFXII tries very hard to have an interesting plot with political intrigue, and mostly fails on this account. However, the huge world to explore and the MMO-like gameplay had me glued to the screen for hours on end.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance - Game Boy Advance
FFTA is much like Final Fantasy Tactics, but without the interesting twists and turns of the mature FFT storytelling. All the fun of the battles are here, though.
Final Fantasy III - Nintendo DS
It's not the best remake ever, and it has a bland plot, but I really enjoyed playing this one. I can't say the same for every RPG I've ever played...
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