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The Best RPG Series of All TimeTopic%20Title
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If you had to choose between all the RPG series you've played, which one would you select as the best one? Remember, I'm not talking about individual games, I'm talking about series. People apparently seem to praise Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
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Final Fantasy has nothing on the MegaTen series, IMO. Not saying all FF games are bad, but Shin Megami Tensei (and all of its spin-offs, including Persona and Devil Survivor) has the stronger concept/theme of the two franchises. They have things in common, but FF's fiction seems to be much more random, whereas Shin Megami Tensei is based on occultism, Jungian psychology and religious prophecies.

Also, I find a lot of FF games - the early ones, especifically - to be too light. Even when they are talking about tragedies, death or suicide, they sound too soft lol. SMT has a darker atmosphere. The darker the better, IMO. Well, at least, SMT is much more my thing than FF is.

I can't really say much about Dragon Quest, 'cause I've only played DQ IV and V.
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dangerousoffender wrote:
Final Fantasy has nothing on the MegaTen series, IMO. Not saying all FF games are bad, but Shin Megami Tensei (and all of its spin-offs, including Persona and Devil Survivor) has the stronger concept/theme of the two franchises.


It might, but I think SMT is getting a bit stale in how it portrays each portion. Demons and Lucifer/Satan are EVULZ and the Angels are, well, also evil, but in a different way. I know that SMT II had Lucifer actually appear more like a good-intended guy, who was trying to save humanity from the fucked up Angels, can't we have more grayscales than that?
At least DeSu 2 had gray scales for the Egalitarian and Meritocracy worlds.

Besides, you know what happens if things go too dark? You get The White.

C-A
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dangerousoffender wrote:
The darker the better, IMO.


in that case Shadow the Hedgehog is the best RPG
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I play a lot of RPGs, so I have a lot of answers to this question. The Mario RPGs come to mind, as do the Fire Emblem strategy RPGs. But there are two RPGs I play over and over, and those are Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and it's sequel, The Sith Lords, so that might be my favorite RPG series.
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Paper Mario.
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Close enough...

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The first two Golden Sun games are pretty amazing
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I don't think i have to explain it.
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Klonoahedgehog wrote:
I don't think i have to explain it.


Actually, it'd be appreciated if you did. Just saying "Series" isn't gonna cut it. It'd be nice to know why you think so.

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I'd probably have to say Earthbound. Or I guess the entire series but I've only played one so that doesn't really count. The battle mechanics are relatively normal, except for the rolling HP meter thing, but overall I mainly enjoyed the game because of how funny and weird it was. Not to mention managing equipment and stuff is fairly easy (because the main challenge is trying to store all your Peanut Cheese Bars in your limited space) so it was one of the few RPGs I could actually finish.

Also Kingdom Hearts, because I've been playing those for forever.
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Planetbox wrote:
I'd probably have to say Earthbound. Or I guess the entire series but I've only played one so that doesn't really count. The battle mechanics are relatively normal, except for the rolling HP meter thing, but overall I mainly enjoyed the game because of how funny and weird it was. Not to mention managing equipment and stuff is fairly easy (because the main challenge is trying to store all your Peanut Cheese Bars in your limited space) so it was one of the few RPGs I could actually finish.


Earthbound is pretty fun. I haven't played Mother 3 a whole lot, but the idea of getting more hits, if you press the A button in tune with the beats of the background music, it's a neat idea. (can be really annoying, though, if you are playing on mute or low volume)

As for my best RPG series... I honestly can't say. Out of the Zelda games I've played, I only like 2 and I don't think I can say Zelda would be best then. I enjoy SMT for its darker atmosphere or gray shades, at times, but it also is a little too black-and-white at times... sounds contrary, but it makes it boring when Lucifer = EVULZ and Angels = GUDZ, though if you look at the angels for a little too long, you realize they are just as fucked up.

I might call Persona a separate series on its own, but in that case, I'd say the stories tend to be good, but I feel like P3 was such a huge disappointment for me, that it would influence my judgement too much. (We'll see with P5, up to now it looks neat) And Final Fantasy... same with Zelda, I played majority of them and I only like 4 of them.

Tales... maybe, but same problem there. They have nice ideas, but I sometimes feel like they don't go all out with it.

I just... probably can't honestly say "this is 'best'".

C-A
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Thinking about it, I realized I usually play only one game in any given RPG series. Fire Emblem (Only played Awakening). Lunar (Only played Silver Star Story). Final Fantasy (Only played FFVII). Grandia (Only played Grandia II). Chrono (Only played Chrono Trigger). Golden Sun (Only the first). Tales (Only Symphonia). Xenosaga (Only the second), etc, etc.

The times I do play more games within a series, is usually only when I happen to purchase more of them together (for example: Suikoden 1 + 2 PSP release, the Mother 1 + 2 GBA release). Sakura Wars (all five), Mother (all three), Suikoden (the first two, and SIV), Dragon Quest (IV, VII, VIII) Paper Mario (until SPM), Pokemon (one per generation, I think) are the only RPG series of which I've played more than two titles, I think.
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Why in the world would you only play the second Xenosaga? I can understand most of the others, since they're more or less standalone titles, but Xenosaga's parts all tie into each other.
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TheDoctor wrote:
Why in the world would you only play the second Xenosaga? I can understand most of the others, since they're more or less standalone titles, but Xenosaga's parts all tie into each other.


And arguably the worst one too :gant: (actually, aside from the gameplay, the drastically different character designs, and goofy pop tunes, it wasn't too bad)
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Jean Descole wrote:
TheDoctor wrote:
Why in the world would you only play the second Xenosaga? I can understand most of the others, since they're more or less standalone titles, but Xenosaga's parts all tie into each other.


And arguably the worst one too :gant: (actually, aside from the gameplay, the drastically different character designs, and goofy pop tunes, it wasn't too bad)

One thing I found kind of interesting about the first one was its complete lack of music during most of the overworld exploration. I still haven't finished the second one though. I need to, just so I can get to the third.
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TheDoctor wrote:
Why in the world would you only play the second Xenosaga? I can understand most of the others, since they're more or less standalone titles, but Xenosaga's parts all tie into each other.

Xenosaga 2 is the only one in the series to have a PAL release.
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Ah, that would explain it, I guess. Shame on the developers for only releasing the second one there.
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Does it connect to the first game in any way? Because if it does that seems like a completely stupid desicion.
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It's part of a tightly wound trilogy. You'll understand the second one a lot better if you've played the first one prior.
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TheDoctor wrote:
Jean Descole wrote:
TheDoctor wrote:
Why in the world would you only play the second Xenosaga? I can understand most of the others, since they're more or less standalone titles, but Xenosaga's parts all tie into each other.


And arguably the worst one too :gant: (actually, aside from the gameplay, the drastically different character designs, and goofy pop tunes, it wasn't too bad)

One thing I found kind of interesting about the first one was its complete lack of music during most of the overworld exploration. I still haven't finished the second one though. I need to, just so I can get to the third.


I kind of preferred that to much of the BGM in XS2's cities. Places like MOMO's subconscious domain and Labyrinthos were decent, though, as was the music during the cutscenes. Apparently there were two composers for the game, but fortunately, the lady who did the cutscene music returned for the third game (I didn't even mind that some of XS2's tunes returned).

The third game is probably my favorite, even though the English translation seemed a bit rushed (not surprising, as the game was released only a couple of months after the Japanese version).

Ash wrote:
TheDoctor wrote:
Why in the world would you only play the second Xenosaga? I can understand most of the others, since they're more or less standalone titles, but Xenosaga's parts all tie into each other.

Xenosaga 2 is the only one in the series to have a PAL release.


Oh, now that's just mean of them.
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TheDoctor wrote:
It's part of a tightly wound trilogy. You'll understand the second one a lot better if you've played the first one prior.

That's just freaking stupid.
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Klonoahedgehog wrote:
Does it connect to the first game in any way? Because if it does that seems like a completely stupid desicion.


It's Europe. We've been reamed up the ass in terms of what gets localized for decades.

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CatMuto wrote:
dangerousoffender wrote:
Final Fantasy has nothing on the MegaTen series, IMO. Not saying all FF games are bad, but Shin Megami Tensei (and all of its spin-offs, including Persona and Devil Survivor) has the stronger concept/theme of the two franchises.


It might, but I think SMT is getting a bit stale in how it portrays each portion. Demons and Lucifer/Satan are EVULZ and the Angels are, well, also evil, but in a different way. I know that SMT II had Lucifer actually appear more like a good-intended guy, who was trying to save humanity from the fucked up Angels, can't we have more grayscales than that?
At least DeSu 2 had gray scales for the Egalitarian and Meritocracy worlds.

Besides, you know what happens if things go too dark? You get The White.

C-A


CatMuto wrote:
Earthbound is pretty fun. I haven't played Mother 3 a whole lot, but the idea of getting more hits, if you press the A button in tune with the beats of the background music, it's a neat idea. (can be really annoying, though, if you are playing on mute or low volume)

As for my best RPG series... I honestly can't say. Out of the Zelda games I've played, I only like 2 and I don't think I can say Zelda would be best then. I enjoy SMT for its darker atmosphere or gray shades, at times, but it also is a little too black-and-white at times... sounds contrary, but it makes it boring when Lucifer = EVULZ and Angels = GUDZ, though if you look at the angels for a little too long, you realize they are just as fucked up.

I might call Persona a separate series on its own, but in that case, I'd say the stories tend to be good, but I feel like P3 was such a huge disappointment for me, that it would influence my judgement too much. (We'll see with P5, up to now it looks neat) And Final Fantasy... same with Zelda, I played majority of them and I only like 4 of them.

Tales... maybe, but same problem there. They have nice ideas, but I sometimes feel like they don't go all out with it.

I just... probably can't honestly say "this is 'best'".

C-A


Yes, there isn't much nuance about how DMT presents each side of the story. But that is how religious thought and symbolism works IRL. Total duality, "good and evil", right and wrong. The first Devil Survivor was pretty much about this, but at least the characters questioned the reasoning behind each group. Besides, as it happens in most MegaTen games, the player could choose the path the protagonist would take in the end, regardless of the path's moral implications. That sounds good to me, because in most games you can't join the "bad guys".

Another thing. SMT games are generally based on the real world. A lot of JRPG games are based on imaginary worlds. The concept of a setting similar to the real world is more interesting to me than a game totally based on a fantasy world. A lot of these games begin with themes and concepts that I see as ordinary, or innocuous. Like "this young man born in some fictional village must get this sacred object to prove himself worthy or to achieve X goal". I see this kind of thing as the product of a weak imagination, lol. Don't get me wrong, some of these games turn out to be fun and I can spend many hours playing them. But they aren't as impactful as SMT, IMO. SMT is very metaphysical and transcendental, while still keeping the concrete and relatable factor of the contemporary/urban setting.
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Maybe it's me, but I feel like SMT isn't all that realistic with some of its stories, either. Say, SMT II is very religious and almost artificial, imaginary world based; majority of it takes place in Eden, after all, and the archangels are the ones governing in the name of YHVH and all that. Or even SMT I. Suddenly, some nuke happens and demons and angels roaming the world? Feels a little too out-of-there for me to consider it realistic.

Now, Devil Survivor was very realistic in its setting. Simply stuck in Tokyo's Yamanote Line locations. Sure, again with demons, but for the most part it was played pretty realistically. What happens, when a chunk of the population is stuck and isolated from the rest of Tokyo? Shit's gonna go down. Fast. And bloody. That's what I really liked about Devil Survivor, that part was really frightening.

Though one thing that bugs me with these Karma Meter games is... majority of the time, your choice BARELY makes a different. Sure, the end game is different, depending on whom you align with. But even that is similar. Like in DeSu, you still have to fight the rest of the Bels (except on Atsuro's path) and the Tower of Babel. SMT IV, you still go through the Monochrome Forest and you either go to Purgatory to defeat Merkabah or you go to Lucifer's Palace and kill him. Barely any difference. It really bites into the replayability of those games.

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SMT isn't realistic. Realistic isn't exactly the word I'm searching for... I'm having trouble verbalizing this, but I think the game is more "tangible" in the sense that even the spiritual elements of it are based on concepts that exist IRL. Eden is a Christian concept that everyone is familiarized with. The series has a strong conceptual, theoretical basis. Other games I mentioned take place in fantasy worlds, with total random elements and imaginary religious organizations. Take Final Fantasy IV as an example. It is an okay game, but it basically tells the story of a guy who ends up discovering that he has a blood relationship with humanoids who live on the Moon with crystals. It has no "roots", no conceptual strenght whatsoever. Where did the idea of the game come from? lol.

I like the way you think about the Karma Meter stuff, though. To be honest, as much as I like them, some endings do seem half-assed or too rushed. Each ending should be unique, with a different flavour. It is not very exciting to play another route if it is too similar to the same to the one you played before.
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Trails of, end of discussion.

That series has the best music, story, characters, world-building. And it has ruined my ability to enjoy pretty much any other JRPG series ever again, simply due to me always thinking "If Trails can do it, why can't you?"
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Trails?
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Ow...

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Are you asking what they’re referring to? I think it may be the ‘Trails in the Sky’ games. I’ve heard someone speak about those recently.
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CatMuto wrote:
Trails?


The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky,
Trails to Zero/Azure, Trails of Cold Steel, etc.
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Cyrus de Killer wrote:
CatMuto wrote:
Trails?


The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky,
Trails to Zero/Azure, Trails of Cold Steel, etc.


I thought you were referring to the "Tales of" series for a hot second there. Never heard of the Trails series, but it certainly looks interesting.

As for myself, it's hard to not go with Persona here. There's a lot of great RPG franchises that I considered (Xenoblade and Valkyria Chronicles being the next in line) but I have yet to see any franchise put together as complete of a complete experience as the Persona games, especially P4G and P5.
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I'm currently watching Chuggaconroy's LP on Xenoblade Chronicles... one of the things I have learned about that game did not make me happy. And the second thing I learned about it made me even less happy. And yes, it all concerns that one character early on. I'm assuming people will likely know which one I'm talking about...

Persona and SMT are good on their own, though I could pick both of them apart in ways that I could easily say another series did much better. Especially when it comes to the writing, particularly when I look at Persona 5. That game is pretty good with several things, but I feel like the writing has suffered or it wasn't as well planned out as the other games. I do love how both games give information on demons. In much more compressed, but interesting ways than school might.
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