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What are the essential RPGs?

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What are the essential RPGs?

Post by SanAndreasX on Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:18 pm

Well, since this was brought up in another thread, I think I'll have a go at this.

What are some essential RPGs? I'm pretty inclusive on the topic of RPGs. Eastern, western, turn-based, action, tactical, online, what have you.

For me, here are my essential RPGs:

1. Final Fantasy VII - the game that elevated the genre from a niche genre into a mainstream genre.
2. Pokemon - not much needs to be said about the most wildly successful RPG series ever.
3. Dragon Quest VIII - The pinnacle of this series, a fantastic game all around, and one that might help ease people put off by the somewhat austere presentation of the earlier games into the series.
4. Valkyria Chronicles - the pinnacle of strategy RPGs
5. Final Fantasy Tactics - in many ways, despite how beautifully done VC was, this is still a gold standard for SRPGs.
6. Fallout: New Vegas - much as I enjoyed the atmosphere of Fallout 3 and the settlements of Fallout 4, New Vegas is my favorite because it does such a great job of combining the RPG interaction mechanics of Fallout 1 and 2 with a somewhat more modern game engine. This is my favorite western-made RPG.
7. Tales of Symphonia - the standard-bearer for that series.
8. Earthbound - This game is wonderfully fucked up.

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Re: What are the essential RPGs?

Post by volvocrusher on Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:36 pm

Pokemon- It is the most iconic RPG series for a reason. The customization options are unparalleled in JRPGs.

Kotor 1 and 2/Mass Effect trilogy- I'm lumping them together based on whether you want more traditional RPG combat or a shooter. These games do a great job of letting you see the cause and effect of your actions, with the latter doing so directly between games and the former getting more philosophical about it for game two

Skies of Arcadia- My idea of the pinnacle of the FF/DQ epic adventure style of JRPGs. Great characters, fun world, varied combat thanks to ship battles. Just a really well made game

Fallout 3/New Vegas/Skyrim- Again, based on what you want from your sandbox RPG. If its just exploration, then Fallout 3 or Skyrim depending which setting interests you more. If you want to see yourself change the world, then New Vegas is the best one.

Chrono Trigger- Square's best game IMO. Combat is simple yet holds just enough depth while the time travel plot works very well and the game has a great beat it at any time idea which adds a ton of replay value

A Mario RPG- Because there probably the best comedies gaming has to offer. Paper Mario is more joke based while Mario and Luigi is more slapstick but both offer great humor and fun combat that offers a neat twist on the formula

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Re: What are the essential RPGs?

Post by SanAndreasX on Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:22 pm

And for a bit of historical perspective, here are some other RPGs which are important but would be a very tough sell to today's gamers. Not sure I'd call them "essential" but they laid out some of the fundamentals of the genre

Ultima III - one of the first, if not the first, to depict graphical multi-person party combat. Had a huge impact on the look and feel of RPGs due to popularity in both the US and Japan.

World of Warcraft - I forgot to include this one, but as far as MMORPGs go, this is a pretty essential game, to put it mildly, due to its popularity and the fact that it's a mechanically solid game.

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Re: What are the essential RPGs?

Post by volvocrusher on Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:27 pm

I'd put Fallout 2, the original Deus Ex, and Baldurs Gate 2 on the historical list. They laid the foundation for every WRPG made today.

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Re: What are the essential RPGs?

Post by SanAndreasX on Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:29 pm

volvocrusher wrote:I'd put Fallout 2, the original Deus Ex, and Baldurs Gate 2 on the historical list. They laid the foundation for every WRPG made today.

Good choices, dude. I actually wish someone would redo Fallout 2 with a modern engine. The RPG mechanics are great, but I hate the mouse-based interface. But again, New Vegas. Smile

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Re: What are the essential RPGs?

Post by volvocrusher on Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:13 am

I think a loot based RRG should be on the list too. Personally I'd go with Phantasy Star Online but Diablo 3 would get the edge if you want couch co-op. Monster Hunter I feel could be an option too, but that series' appeal seems a little too esoteric IMO

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