Published on February 17th, 2015 | by Chris Scott2
Ten Must-Play RPGs From Last Console Generation
With the current generation now well underway, it seems like a perfect time to look back and explore some of the best titles from the last generation of consoles. To kick things off, I decided to explore one of my favorite types of games: the RPG. While there are a lot of great titles that did not make this list, in my opinion, the below represent the ten games any fan of roleplaying games should try and fit in to their play history.
10. The Last Story – Wii
If you like Final Fantasy and were disappointed in the series output last generation, The Last Story is a fine replacement for that style of game. And it should be, considering it comes from some of the creators of Final Fantasy. Featuring an interesting combat system, a simple-yet-engaging story, a beautiful art style, and a fantastic soundtrack, The Last Story is a great RPG experience from top-to-bottom.
9. Xenoblade Chronicles – Wii
The fact that I did not like Xenoblade Chronicles might make you question why it made this list at all, let alone ahead of some other games I really enjoyed. But from its 80+ hours of gameplay, pushing of the Wii hardware, and obvious influence on Square’s upcoming Final Fantasy XV, there is no denying the amazing scope the game had and the influence the game has seemingly had on JRPGs since it released.
8. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – PS3
A collaboration between the famed Studio Ghibli and Level-5, Ni no Kuni was a charming visual masterpiece. Featuring one of the best narratives of any RPG last gen and a wonderfully deep combat system, Ni no Kuni was a treat to play and shouldn’t be missed by any RPG fan.
7. The Witcher 2 – PC
When it comes to mindshare of traditional western-styled RPGs, Bioware’s Dragon Age rules the roost. But CD Project Red’s The Witcher 2 is a better game all-around than any of Bioware’s Dragon Age entries. It tells a better story. It has better characters. Its combat, while more challenging, is flat out better. And let’s not get started on how it also looks better than any Dragon Age game released, including the newest one. The Witcher 2 is something special and deserves to be played by all RPG fans.
6. Dark Souls – PS3/Xbox 360
There are so many infuriating things about Dark Souls, like the fact that the game revels in your misery from its unyielding challenge. But what it gets right trumps all its problems. Dark Souls is tense, more so than any horror game from last gen, and the use of this tension to deliver a true sense of accomplishment when defeating even the simplest of enemies is unique in games. It might not fit everyone’s fancy but Dark Souls is a game that truly stands alone as something different in a generation filled with so much of the same.
5. Diablo III – PC/PS3/Xbox 360
Diablo III is not Diablo II. This fact alone made so many people mad that they quickly dismissed the game. But Blizzard continued to work, and refine the title, to the point where now it is a masterpiece in its own right.
4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – PC/Xbox 360
I’ve played every Elder Scrolls game and, while all were amazing open-world experiments, it wasn’t until Skyrim that everything finally clicked together perfectly. Skyrim was massively beautiful, it had a story that felt like it actually mattered, and its side quests were no slouch either. The game’s success has influenced everything since and is one of the best games of last gen period.
3. Lost Odyssey – Xbox 360
Coming from the creator of Final Fantasy, Lost Odyssey was Microsoft’s attempt to infiltrate the Japanese market. It failed miserably, which is a shame because it was the best JRPG to release last gen. I’ve spent years declaring it the best Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy X and I continue to stand by that proclamation. If you love Final Fantasy or JRPGs, you owe it to yourself to play Lost Odyssey.
2. Fallout 3 – PC/Xbox 360
I’ll admit I was super apprehensive about Fallout 3. Before 3, the series had always been an isometric RPG, and Bethesda wasn’t exactly known for delivering incredibly polished experiences (and they still aren’t). But they nailed it with Fallout 3. They captured the idea of a nuclear wasteland in and around Washington D.C. to a tee. And few game experiences last gen match up with leaving the vault for the first time. Fallout 3 is a special game that has nearly everyone salivating in anticipation of a Fallout 4.
1. Mass Effect 2 – PC/PS3/Xbox 360
The Mass Effect series is arguably the most influential series of last gen. The blend of classic RPG elements, shooter mechanics, and player choice has had an impact on everything from Call of Duty to The Walking Dead. And you know what? Mass Effect 2 is the high point of that series. Minus the giant terminator boss thing, Mass Effect 2 gets nearly everything right. It is an amazing piece of gaming.
What other RPGs do you think everyone should play?