Xenogears cover

For the past few months, I have compiled several ‘Top 1-5″ and “Top 6-10” lists chronicling nearly every genre from nearly every console around. Most of these lists have used Metacritic as the barometer for the ranking system. Today, however, I am feeling bold, and a bit biased.

So, I will risk the ire of our readers by listing my personal best JRPGs of all time. Basically, these are the best ten JRPGs that I have ever played up to this point in my life.

10. Star Ocean: The Second Story (1999)

Star Ocean
Star Ocean 2 (Star Ocean: Second Story) featured a 3D world map like FF7 and Xenogears.

What I like about it: Unlike most JRPGs (where story is the primary driving force), Star Ocean 2 feels like a different beast. Don’t get me wrong, Rena and Claude’s story remains the best that this series has to offer, but there is more to this game than a story.

The party based, action battle system remains entertaining and challenging to this day. The need to gain some sort of proficiency at the game’s item creation system remains an integral part of the experience, as some key items (like the bunny shoes) can mean the difference between seeing the end credits roll, or conversely, a game over screen after the epically tough final boss battle.

The other aspect about Star Ocean 2 that I loved, is that it is massive. The game features two fully realized planets (miniaturized in typical JRPG fashion, but still…it remains impressive), and slightly different endings for party members. There is also a massive optional dungeon (for the truly hardcore) to conquer that offers useful items for use in the main quest. Star Ocean: The 2nd Story is unquestionably the pinnacle of the Star Ocean series.

What I don’t like about it: The character sprites are squatty and ugly, and the game can be a tad too difficult. Other than that, the only thing that I don’t like about Star Ocean: The Second Story is that its presence in my shelf only serves to remind me of the low depths that this series sank to with every subsequent entry. Shame on you, Tri-Ace.

Why it deserves its ranking: 1999 was a star studded year for JRPGs. Final Fantasy VIII and Grandia were released within that very same year on the PlayStation… and neither game was as good as Star Ocean: The 2nd Story despite their larger budgets and production values.

Mont Cessna’s opinion (co-editor for NER):

I still have my copy of this game (and had a slight brush with death getting it an independent video game store because of some dirty road signs that confused an ancient four lane highway for a two-way road). It is honestly superior to Star Ocean 1, possibly, because of a smoother difficulty curve, the same engine basically running on the much superior PS1 hardware (this is a game you don’t need a 3x or 10x turbo button for in a remaster), and so much depth. Definitely top 10 JRPG material.

9. Final Fantasy VI (SNES)

Final Fantasy VI Scene

What I like about it: This is the most cinematic (no FMV use) 2-D RPG that I have ever played.  Final Fantasy was the most dramatic RPG that could be played prior to the PlayStation/Saturn era.  Final Fantasy VI is the first game in the series where I felt that the story was worth replaying more than once.

Apart from having one of the best plots of the pre 32-bit era JRPGs, Final Fantasy VI might have the best soundtrack in the entire Final Fantasy series, and as FF aficionados know, that statement is high praise indeed.

What I don’t like about it: The fact that a game is listed here does not mean that it is perfect. In my opinion, Final Fantasy VI is not perfect. The translation is pretty awful, and the game’s character dialogue is bare bones, if straight to the point material. Back in the mid 1990s I didn’t care, but today, I find that there a few “plot holes” here and there in the story, and the lack of depth of its written dialogue hurts the game’s character development a bit.

Usually, I wouldn’t be this harsh with a game made in the mid 1990s, but Lunar exists, and GameArts’ masterpiece has aged much better in terms of written dialogue though it was released years earlier.

Why it deserves its ranking: If I were stranded on an island, and was given a sheet of paper in which to list ten JRPGs to play while confined to solitude, FFVI would undoubtedly make cut. It is the game that took the FF series into the ‘dramatic’ territory, and it dealt with serious themes like suicide, and genocide while providing an unforgettable epic quest.

Mont Cessna’s opinion (co-editor for NER):

FF7 is just this engine ported to PS1 with some very, very rudimentary 3d animations slapped in. Without the PS1 three disks able to provide CD-quality sound over the SNES sound chip, a rational mind quickly realizes FF6 has more replayability, a better combat system, and is a more finished game. Don’t get me wrong, FF7 is great, because they took this game engine and put in a Hollywood story and orchestra music on real CDs.

Okay now that that rant is done, this is one of the greatest JRPGs ever made. Idk why Sam put it in spot 9, but this is his list and I won’t fault him for him–he was forced to play the PS1 version and I played the English patch of the original SNES version from Japan.

There are several powerful scenes in the game, backed up by perhaps the most masterful programming of a old-school (pre-midi) sound chip ever. This is one of the few games where if you don’t cry, several times, while playing it, you’re possibly a monster. (Full disclosure, Ultros bribed me to write that, and he’d like to point out that cephalopods are incapable of crying.)

8. Xenogears (PlayStation)

Xenogears is one of the more detailed looking PS1 RPGs.
Xenogears actually is one of the best looking 3D overworld RPGs from the era. You can fully rotate left and right with the DualShock controller in this view, which FF7 lacks as it’s not actually 3d (Mont says this)

What I like about it: Before story driven games like Horizon Zero Dawn, and The Last of Us came about, if you would have asked me to name the greatest story ever showcased within a video game, I would have said Xenogears.

To be fair, Xenogears might still have the most ambitious (and convoluted) story that the medium has ever told. That statement still holds true within JRPGs. Xenogears remains an unmatched work in terms of the scope of its tale.

Apart from its ground breaking story, Xenogears did a lot of other things incredibly well.  The game’s music is some of Yasunori Mitsuda’s greatest work, and its visuals (at least the 3-D landscapes and Mechs) were fairly impressive for the PlayStation, at the time (1998).

Xenogears’ turn-based combat is highly strategical, especially when battling with the Mechs/Gears (giant robots).

What I don’t like about it: The Second Disc. By now, you have probably heard or read about how the game’s second disc was a rushed mess, and that Xenogears deserved a sequel (or more time in development) rather than the second disc that we got. Well, even if I didn’t like the second disc, I am glad that we got it.

The reason for Xenogears’ disc 2 being rushed is quite simple: The developers were working on a tight deadline and Squaresoft wasn’t willing to give them more time and money to finish it. Instead, the development team (Monolith Soft) decided to deliver the second disc, albeit rushed, in order to bring much needed closure and clarity to the story. I am glad that they did.

Why it deserves its ranking: JRPGs are all about the stories that they tell (at least in my opinion), and none told a better (and longer) one than Xenogears. That statement continues to stand true today, as I have yet to find another JRPG (even within the Xeno series) that can match Gears’ epic scope and the ambition of its storyline.

Mont Cessna’s opinion (co-editor for NER):

The second disk lol. Cool story all around and amazing anime cutscenes (on par with Neon Genesis Evangelion) make this an easy choice for the top 10. However, the controls were clunky and it felt like a mid-tier SNES RPG in combat (harsh, but they tried to put some Street Fighter or Super Chinese Fighter stuff in the combat for combos and it is just bad, imo to the point where even a real DualShock controller in a real PS1 can’t keep up if you try to enter them as fast as you would in a real arcade fighting game). After playing Chrono Trigger, the combat system in this is just bad in comparison, imo.

Finally, the whole story is just a Japanese, Neon Genesis Evangelion (NGE) take on Plato’s Philosopher King, imo, but that’s an article for another day.

Overall though, yes, this game deserves to be here because of the animation sequences, story, still good gameplay, music, and sheer ambition.

7. Dark Souls (Nintendo Switch)

Dark Souls
Younglings won’t understand, but if you’ve played a classic text-adventure game, this is one of the first and easiest puzzles.

What I like about it: Its insane difficulty. No, really! There is something inexplicably satisfying about dying over and over again in an expertly designed masterpiece. Out of all the games listed here, Dark Souls is, by far, the most recent title.

Just when I thought that Japanese RPG development (except for Nintendo EAD) had fallen into the depths of oblivion, and beyond any measure of redemption, FromSoftware crafted game that rekindled my hopes (and expectations) for the land of the rising sun.

Dark Souls is as expertly designed as any Zelda game that you can think of. You are free to tackle the game in any way that you want. But, in every corner of its beautiful and haunting world (Lordran) you can sense that developers are cleverly guiding your adventure with an invisible, and often times, punishing hand.

Dark Souls is a game about repetition, and dying repetitively is part of the process. Stick with it, and you will find that beyond all of  the frustration lies an incredibly rewarding experience.

What I don’t like about it: Too Addictive, and time consuming. Dark Souls is not a game that you can just put down, and come back to it a few months later and resume the experience like nothing happened. Timing, and know how are a must. In order to stay sharp you must dedicate many hours of consistent play to it. The Nintendo Switch was the perfect machine for me in that regard. The fact that Dark Souls 2, and 3 have yet to be ported to the system is the only major negative thing that I can say about this game (I need more of it) series, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

Why it deserves its ranking: While Demon’s Souls came first, and everybody continues to rave about Bloodborne these days, it was Dark Souls that truly raised the profile for FromSoftware as a developer. Dark Souls turned the development studio into one of the most successful and respected  game developers in the world.

Mont Cessna’s opinion (co-editor for NER):

This is a top tier RPG and gave me deep Shadow of the Colossus vibes. The whole West vs East rpg debate is null and void from this game. Japan can make “Japanese-Western RPGs” (I call them Japanese Gothic” up there with the best. Worth playing for anyone. Japanese seinen manga and anime fans will appreciate this. If you like this game, make sure to check out Berserk (manga and anime versions) if you haven’t already.

6. Final Fantasy IX (PlayStation)

Who can forget Princess Garnet, and FFIX’s epic introductory sequence.

What I like about it: This is the most polished Final Fantasy entry…ever. In fact, I voted it the greatest Final Fantasy game of all time on a previous NER list, because I feel that it is. FFIX has the best translation (and consequently) the best written dialog in the series (at least for the first 9 entries). On top of that, it has an awesome cast. Every single character in the game is likable and relatable (okay, maybe not Quina). The game’s music is fantastic, and its visuals were top class during its PS1 days.

Perhaps what I like the most about FFIX is its fantasy atmosphere (even if I didn’t like it as much as the former steampunk settings), and its simple, return to basics, progression system. The simplistic nature of Final Fantasy IX’s gameplay was a welcome change after FFVIII’s needlessly cumbersome draw spell, and junction system.

What I don’t like about it: It is not my favorite Final Fantasy. It just isn’t, it is my second favorite, I actually preferred (by slightest of margins) FFVI-FFVII’s steampunk industrialized settings than I did FFIX return to the the flying wood ship era. I didn’t like its card game as there weren’t any substantial prizes for investing time in it, unlike FFVIII’s, where key cards could be turned unto useful items.

Why it deserves its ranking: Remember when Final Fantasy used to be great? Not just good, but legitimately great? Yeah, it has been two decades already, many of our readers hadn’t even been born yet. Tragic. There is an entire generation of gamers that has never played a great Final Fantasy game.

FFIX, is perhaps, the last great entry in the series (and Hironobu Sakaguchi’s love letter to the series). That fact alone merits the game’s position here.

Mont Cessna’s opinion (co-editor for NER):

The most polished FF until X perhaps, I just couldn’t get into the cartooniness and super-deformed anime styles (ok, semi-deformed, technically, but this felt like the slap in the face that was Teen Titans Go after the genius of Teen Titans, imo). Definitely worth playing at least once though, especially on a “flat” Sony Trinitron at 480p native via component or S-video cables. The game actually looks very muddled on a cheap or even older model CRT. I recommend using a real PS2 slim with a real component output cable and setting the PS2 to 480p mode to make it look good on a 720p or 1080p with full component video native instead of that expensive upscaler stuff they try to sell. 480p mode is real in the PS2 slim with even some 3rd party cables without any adapters, as GoW 1 and Resident Evil 4 are made for it and that is how they are meant to be played if on 720p or 1080i via component.

5. Alundra (PlayStation)

Alundra
Not the best screenshot, but the game runs in a different mode on PS1 to keep the FPS at max.

What I like about it: In my humble of opinion, Alundra is the best 2-D JRPG of all time. Yes, better than A Link to the Past, and Link’s Awakening. Truly, Alundra is a clone of the former two games, but my God! What a clone it is!

Alundra doesn’t have all of the complex lore that The Legend of Zelda has (partly because there is only one game set in its universe), but it has an incredible storyline, all the same. Alundra’s story is full of death and sorrow, and its dialogue pulls no punches. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the PG version of Action-RPGs (in terms of story), but Alundra is the R rated version of the genre (or at least was in the 1990s).

However, what I like the most about Alundra are its polished 2-D visuals, and controller breaking difficulty. Most Zelda games can be easily conquered with or without a strategy guide on hand, the same cannot be said for Alundra’s timed puzzles, and hellish boss battles. Alundra required gamers to execute certain tasks with professional perfection, over and over again until Melzas’ demise was assured.

What I don’t like about it: That we never received a proper sequel (Alundra 2 doesn’t count). Consequently, this wonderful universe was forever lost to gaming (joining the likes of Skies of Arcadia ) in franchises that ‘could have been’.

Why it deserves its ranking: Anything that can stand (even surpass) against Nintendo’s A Link to the Past deserves an all time great ranking. The only bad thing about Alundra is that it ends, as it is easily one of the few 2-D games that I would still recommend in a heartbeat to newer ‘3-D only’ gamers.

Mont Cessna’s opinion (co-editor for NER):

I’ve never played this game and Sam would never consider letting me using his copy lol so I’ll have to take all the videos and reviews I’ve read at face value. It’s The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for people older than 12 that have a slight streak of masochism. Lots of clones on PC but this is what you should try if you haven’t as the story is very very good.

4. Lunar: The Silver Star Story (Complete)

Lunar Dragon

What I like about it: Lunar (and the Lunar series) is the reason why I play JRPGs. Linear, but entertaining story (filled with humorous moments), and that unmistakable (and now long gone) feeling that you just saved a living breathing world when the end credits roll.

Lunar is a game that gets funnier the older I get, which is as much a credit to the original writers as it is to Working Designs’ translators who understood what appealed to western gamers, and what didn’t, to perfection. Unlike Final Fantasy VI, which I can still replay while finding its dialogue as something that I have to accept and overlook in order to enjoy the overall experience, Lunar has no such issues. I would still replay this game just to enjoy the game’s script all over again.

What I don’t like about it: The game is too short and simple. This wasn’t a problem in the 1990s, and it shouldn’t be a problem today. But I think Lunar’s achilles’ heel is that it was too simplistic in contrast to its contemporary Final Fantasy entries which were meaty games that captured gamers for dozens upon dozens of hours based on their gameplay system’s alone.

Why it deserves its ranking: Lunar: The Silver Star is a 1992 game, but its dialogue, and audio/visual presentation standards were far ahead of its time. Back in those days, Final Fantasy IV was the standard bearer for “decent storytelling” in JRPGs (and perhaps gaming in general), but Lunar blew it out of the water a short year later. The only reason many don’t talk about Lunar today in the same breath that they do the SNES FF entries is that only two people owned the Sega CD in early 1990s.

Mont Cessna’s opinion (co-editor for NER):

There’s a strong reason there is a clamoring for a proper 3rd version or a full remaster or even full remake of these two games. Just the FMV music video aspects done to make the game a technical JRPG musical, along with the character development, make this a must play and must own. The original Sega CD version is supposedly the best according to the most hardcore fans, but there is a PS1 rerelease that is somewhat censored.

3. Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation)

Aerith praying to Holy in Final Fantasy VII
The face that launched a thousand ships to invade Sparta

What I like about it: The mind bending epic story? The (at the time) impressive visuals? The amazing original soundtrack? The Materia system? The insane amount of side quests and side diversions? Pick one! Final Fantasy VII has my favorite storyline of any JRPG, and it is also the one that I have played the most, even if it was while wasting hours away in the surprisingly decent Snowboarding game, and the rewarding Chocobo breeding game.

Final Fantasy VII was also bold. It brutally murdered its princess/love interest character…in front of gamers’ eyes, complete with the mandatory sad music and awesome murder cutscene. Mario and Zelda would not dare to even up the score…

What I don’t like about it: The 3rd disc felt rushed, but perhaps the part that I dislike the most about FFVII is that the FFVII Compilation (of which I assume FFVII Remake is a part of) ruined the original’s excellent universe and storyline with ‘canon’ material that more often than not, makes zero rational sense within the context of the original work.

There were plenty of Fan Fiction writers (back in the late 1990s) that did a (much) better job than Square Enix has done on both, the events that took place before FFVII’s start, and its aftermath. I feel that FFVI is held to a higher sacred standard than FFVII thanks to Square Enix falling for the allure of prostituting the latter game’s good name for the past two decades.

Why it deserves its ranking: This is the JRPG that opened the gates for other JRPGs to gain bigger budgets and to make their way into Western territories in the late 1990s. It turned JRPGs into one of the popular genres of the day, and probably aided Sony establishing its long running console hardware dominance. FFVII still has one of the most incredible universes and storylines in gaming (if we forget that any FFVII themed media exists beyond the original game).

Mont Cessna’s opinion (co-editor for NER):

Don’t get me wrong, FF7 is a great game. I just felt kind of let down with Sephiroth as the protagonist or antagonist, depending on how you receive and interpret the story (or Cloud or Zack now??? with the Remake) and by, how poorly shoehorned Vincent was slapped in the game and how Red 13 got shafted when he should have been one of the most important characters. After playing Final Fantasy 6, Star Ocean 1 (hacked), and Chrono Trigger first (after dozens of very good, Western PC RPGs) I thought this was going to be on par, but was disappointed by the bad editing of the story, simplified combat, and a desire to make things “cool” (for who, a 7 year old?) over substance and themes.

The awful Final Fantasy: Spirits Within movie I managed to drag my entire family to at the theater on release, followed up by the original release of the Advent Children movie, made me realize how much Final Fantasy was a complex collaboration until that point, not just the work of one talented writer, and wouldn’t be replicated again for quality with the current staff, imo.

2. Chrono Trigger (SNES)

Chrono Trigger fire
An image that fills hearts with joy

What I like about it: The best SNES ever? Yes! Believe it. Chrono Trigger is the peak of traditional-turned based JRPG gaming. When you gather some of the greatest minds in the history of the JRPG genre (Sakaguchi, Horii, Toriyama, Kitase, Kato, Mitsuda, Uematsu) you end up with glorious perfection.

Chrono Trigger is that perfection, even for some one like me (who has grown tired of turn-based games), Trigger’s brand of turn based battles and character progression is swift and enjoyable, even within the grinding stretches.  The fact that you have to replay, and will want to replay this game numerous times in order to discover all of its endings and nook and crannies makes Chrono Trigger an outlier. CT is a  turn-based JRPG that is as enjoyable on its 3rd and 4th replay run as it was in its initial play-through, and that is a hard thing to achieve, but Chrono Trigger pulled this feat with ease.

What I don’t like about it: There is nothing to dislike here, save for the fact that we have only received two entries within this series (Trigger, and Cross) and Square Enix is intent in keeping the series on its rear view mirror. However, given the track record of the last decade and half of Square Enix’s JRPGs, it might be for the best that the Chrono series remains as is… firmly entrenched in the shrine of unblemished great franchises.

Why it deserves its ranking: Go into a room full of JRPG fanatics and scream at loud: “Chrono Trigger is the GOAT!” That statement is likely to bring less condemnation and backlash than any other game in its place (as your GOAT). There is never a general consensus in subjective matters like favorite games, but Chrono Trigger is as close any traditional turn-based RPG has gotten to being a general choice for the genre’s best game amongst JRPG fans.

Mont Cessna’s opinion (co-editor for NER):

This is the JRPG GOAT. Idk how anyone can reasonably argue against it lol. This game tops JRPG, RPG and general best games ever lists (up there with Tetris, Doom, and Super Mario Bros., imo)

1B. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (Nintendo 64)

Majoras Mask
We’d not have Skyrim without this masterpiece

What I like about it: Ah! I can see it now! The rage! The cursing, “Samuel! You deceitful bastard! Zelda is not a JRPG and even if it was! You can’t have two of its games at number 1!?” But, I can! After all, it is my personal list, and within my personal list, I am allowed to have two games as #1.

Remember this isn’t a list with with impartial judgement taken into account, it is MY FAVORITE TOP TEN JRPGS LIST. As the title implies, my heavy bias towards Zelda games plays a part here. If you want unbiased (okay, maybe a little biased) content, seek out our top FF list or our Top Zelda list, where I did take into account overall critic perception in the ranking of the games.

This is a special case, however, because replaying Majora’s Mask on the 3DS made me remember why I can’t quite shake the feeling that Majora’s Mask is the second greatest video game that I have ever played, only behind its flawless predecessor, Ocarina of Time.

Ocarina of Time is, by far, and I mean BY FAR, the greatest game that I have ever played…and MM was more of the same, but different enough to be its own unique thing. But I wanted to avoid needless controversies by having two Zelda games taking up the top two spots. So instead, I might have created an even bigger controversy by having two Zeldas ranked at the top spot.

But fear not, I did not rank Twilight Princess on the list, as it would have created a monopoly at the top 3 spots (all ruled by Zelda games).

That said, Majora’s Mask eerie alternate dimension to Hyrule (Termina) is flawlessly executed, and the game’s 3-day cycle (a mechanic not equalled since) provides for some of the best scripted NPC behavioral patterns and unique sidequests that you will ever see…in any game.  Majora’s Mask even allowed gamers to turn into a Goron, a Deku and a Zora, complete with physical transformations and abilities. All of the aforementioned things makes Majora’s Mask, in some ways, the ultimate Zelda game.

What I don’t like about it: I have to admit, 2 out of the 4 major dungeons were a bit pedestrian by Zelda standards, but those standards were ridiculously high. Other than that, the game suffered from being released right in the middle of the PlayStation 2’s launch period 21 years ago, which certainly affected some of its appeal at the time.

Why it deserves its ranking: Majora’s Mask had the toughest act to follow for a game sequel in history. MM had to step into the shoes left by Ocarina of Time which was critically hailed as greatest game of all time during those days (and continues to be Metacritic’s champion 23 years later).

Majora’s Mask was never meant to storm the industry in the way that Ocarina did, but it provided that game with a worthy direct sequel, refined mechanics, and visuals, and most importantly, an eerie world populated by familiar faces for those of us who thirsted for more ‘Ocarina of Time’ after having invested hundreds of hours in Ocarina of Time’s Hyrule.

Mont Cessna’s opinion (co-editor for NER):

Personally, I didn’t like it much by the time I played it at my cousin’s in like 2000. Ocarina of Time blew my mind on launch; this felt like a cheaper, full-priced expansion bogged down by the N64 hardware after playing Tomb Raider II on my original iMac with a GPU that cost more than a PS1 and ran 480p 60fps locked. A fun, interesting game, but hard to play because of the awful N64 controller setup (perfect for Star Fox 64, Knife Edge, Mario 64, Mario Kart 64 and Glover, though) and not very interesting for the plot if you played real, albeit very expensive with the hardware needed, adventure games or first-person shooters rated M already.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64)

Ocarina Nintendo 64
The greatest game of the 32-64 bit generation, might also be the greatest game of all time.

What I like about it: Everything. Really, I should end this section on that statement. However, in the interest of professionalism (if you guys think that I have any) I won’t.  Where should I start? Back in 1998, this was the greatest looking game that I had ever played up to that point. From the very start, the game’s magical Kokiri Forest came alive with fireflies dancing on the evening’s breeze, and it bluish cool waters nourished the greenish fields and gigantic ancient tress that populated the Forest’s region.

There was nothing that was not magical of every single moment that I spent living in Ocarina of Time’s Hyrule. Notice that I wrote “living”, because that is exactly how it felt to 13 year old me, at the time. That is feeling that no other game has been able to match since. My first Hyrule Field’s sundown moment, remains a watershed instance for me in gaming.

I could keep ranting on the greatness of OoT, but the following statement will have to suffice: Ocarina of Time was not just an amazing gaming experience, it was also spiritual trip, and a state of absolute Nirvana for a mind that was at the peak of its imaginative powers.

What I don’t like about it: Nothing. Well, that Unreal 4 Remake making the rounds on Youtube…I wish Nintendo would make a remake of this game….that looks like that.

Why it deserves its ranking: Ocarina of Time is not just my favorite JRPG of all time (yes, I consider it a JRPG), but my favorite game and media based (yes better than any film, series, music or book) entertainment product of all time.

The outcome of this list was never in question for me. There hasn’t been a more revolutionary game at the time of release than Ocarina of Time was in 1998, and I fear that until games go into the 4th dimension/Virtual Reality there will never be anything that compares to the experience of playing it for the first time.

Mont Cessna’s opinion (co-editor for NER):

I have a very fond memory of playing this for the first time at Toys ‘R Us as soon as the demo units came in. At launch it was groundbreaking for 3rd person 3D and action-action/action-RPG. The greatest game in history? Idk about that, though it deserves a place forever in the top 20, at least, just for all the innovations

The greatest game to-date when it launched? Yes, if you didn’t like some other genres. Definitely the technical marvel of the time though. Never understood the hate for people calling it an RPG as it was heavily advertised and even my young mind assumed it was the future of RPGs. We wouldn’t get that until Breath of the Wild or Oblivion though, really. This is probably both the first and last game where consoles surpassed consumer PCs for a game in the graphical department. It was also heavily copied after launch for numerous things like day/night, rain/sun, and all the things we take for granted now in games that aren’t even widely consider RPGs.

The GOAT? I’m not 100% convinced, but the majority of gaming publications say and have said since its release that it is, Sam says it is, and yes, we wouldn’t have half the games we do now without it setting new standards that won’t be surpassed until true VR gaming is here with tactile feedback.

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By Samuel Rivera

An avid video game player and book reader, Samuel has been playing video games for the last 31 years. He has played nearly every PS1 JRPG known to man, and loves Ocarina of Time more than any other game.