Many people have varying votes for the "best game ever," but instead of saying exactly that, I'm going to count down the top five in my personal opinion. Which, in my case, are all going to be anime-style JRPGs, because I am a loser like that. For people who don't know what a JRPG is, it is a "Japanese Role-Playing Game."
Okay, let's begin:
5. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
The story will keep you quite entertained and the ending is pretty dang good, but there's nothing that blows you out of the water. You play as Fayt who starts off as just kind of a geek in an advanced civilization, and end up a bad-ass that goes on adventures to a ton of different worlds
It's pretty dang good for PS2, but sometimes there are frame rate issues and monsters look kind of tacky. However, what is nice is how colorful everything is, and the game's battle animations.
The music in this game is to die for, as well as the system sounds and SFX. Crisp and clean, there are no problems aside from repetition of certain sounds. The voice acting is fantastic as well.
The characters in this gem are all wonderful and you end up loving (or hating) the entire cast of heroes and villains. Fayt is the main character and has quite the unique personality.
For the PS2 era this game has quite an active combat system that's truly rewarding, but at the same time can become quite tedious. Also, players take control of one character whilst the other 1or 2 are controlled by A.I.
4. Disgaea 2
The story of Disgaea 2 follows the main character Adell, and is the best in my opinion of all the Disgaea series. A serious yet hilarious plot will keep you hooked the entire time.
Disgaea 2 has graphics that could easily be on PS1, but that's kind of the point. The gameplay, characters, and story are what Disgaea games are about. Every character is basically just a little tiny sprite, but in cut scenes it will give a full portrait.
Sound-wise this game is pretty good, aside from the awful English voice actors and the repetition of combat voices. The music itself gets very old as well, but is good background noise.
The characters in Disgaea 2 are the best part of it all. There will be times when you will laugh your ass off because of the characters' personalities or they will be just super bad-ass. Every character is distinct, and you'll come to find your favorites very quickly.
What's amazing about the gameplay and combat is the fact that you can make an army of any character you want in the game as long as some conditions are met. Not only that but the combat itself will keep you hooked with a level 9999 cap on how strong you can get.
3. Tales of Xillia
Tales of Xillia has one of the most refreshing and heartwrenching stories ever. You can choose to play as Jude Mathis or Milla Maxwell at the beginning and go on an awesome adventure. The basic story is the kingdom of Rashugal has been experimenting with a powerful device that has been draining the mana from the world. Realizing the harm it is inflicting on the world, Milla and Jude set off on a journey to destroy it and restore the mana back to the world.
Graphics wise, Tales of Xillia is beautiful for the PS3 and couldn't look any better! Whether it's the anime style cut scenes or just how the characters look in general, you won't be disappointed.
Everything from the voice actors to the music is great! The only downside is the fact that the music can get quite repetitive and all has the same general theme.
You will love every single main character in the game. Each of them have such unique personalities and just feel so lively and refreshing.
The combat and movement around your environment is phenomenal. You begin combat by touching an enemy and then havoc begins with a 4 person team vs. your enemies. You control any one of these characters while the A.I. controls the rest.
2. Radiata Stories
Story-wise this game starts off kind of stupid and annoying, but once you get past the first hour or so it becomes such splendor. With two different endings, this game will make you play it at least twice. You play as Jack Russell, whose father was a very famous knight. Jack goes off to become a knight in his father's footsteps and succeeds until something goes very wrong.
Radiata Stories's world is incredibly detailed and cartoony, and very cel shaded, yet it still feels real. They took cel shaded visuals and transformed them into this artistic, very warm, and very vibrant style that just looks amazing; it takes cel shaded art to an entirely new level, that makes it look like a fairy tale. The character designs are impressive, and the facial expressions are very well done.
The music in this game is so fantastic and lively! The voice actors were pretty damn good and cheesy at some places, which was the point. There is a ton of voice acting in this game and all of the VFX fit perfectly with one another. The only downside to the sound is the constant "Power, Power, Power, Power, Power" sound that Jack makes when he uses certain attacks. It gets very annoying very quickly.
The characters are absolutely out of this world. There are over 100 characters you can recruit in your party of 4, each with very unique personalities. Whereas they don't make much of a difference to the story, each character has their own strengths and weaknesses. Every character has their own schedule during the day and night, whether you're in town or elsewhere, which in turn can reveal how to recruit them.
Gameplay is fantastic mainly because of the running around town, dungeons, and the combat is so great. You can basically kick anything you want and fight any character that has a name. Combat itself consists of you controlling Jack while the A.I. controls the others. You can customize what attacks you want to unleash and can use an arsenal of spears, 1- or 2-handed swords, or an axe. One unique thing about this game is when you equip new armor it actually changes what you look like, unlike most JRPGs.
1. Persona 3 & 4
These two games were so amazing I had to choose both. In both games you follow the main hero, who you get to name, and have to fight demons, or as what they call "shadows." You have the power to summon a "Persona", and that's how you fight most battles. Throughout both games, you will traverse labyrinth-like dungeons and go on one hell of a ride filled with ups and downs. To become stronger technically, you must become friends with people and strengthen those bonds. One thing's for sure is that both games will mess with your mind and keep you on your toes.
Both games display the PS2 at its finest, and contrast each other. Persona 3 is a lot more dark and subtle, whereas Persona 4 is a lot more bright but more mysterious and bewildering.
All the Persona games have the best soundtracks I have ever heard in a game. Not only that, but all the voice actors are absolutely fantastic and there's never a problem with repetition.
The one huge selling point is the characters in these games. All the characters that have portraits in the game can become friends with you, for the most part, and each of the main characters has a deep bond with the other, which is built by them having to go through many traumatizing events together.
What's so nice about Persona 3 and Persona 4 is how simple, yet in depth, the combat system is. It's turn based, and you use your Persona or your weapon of choice to battle. You can make new Personas by fusing all the ones you collect from battle. Also, every enemy has a weakness and every Persona you control has a weakness which in turn becomes your character's weakness as well. When you're not in combat you will be in school, hanging out with friends, going to the beach, going on dates, and time actually does pass day-to-day.
All of the games on this list are in my persona-l (get it?) opinion are the greatest JRPGs of all time and have such amazing stories.
What's you favorite JRPG?
Let's discuss in the comment section below! Also, let me know if you think I missed any, and thanks for reading!