We already published the list of best PS2 games of all time, now it’s time to discover the best PS2 RPGs of all time.
With amazing titles like the Final Fantasy series, Shin Megami Tensei series, and Kingdom Hearts series, the PS2 surely have a great collection of RPGs.
If you’re a fan of both PS2 and RPGs, I know that you want to know the best PS2 RPGs of all time.
Most of you will recognize (or even still play) some of the games mentioned on this list.
#25. Rogue Galaxy
The story starts off on a planet called Rosa, in the small town of Salgin.
Jaster returns to find his town being attacked by monsters.
Jaster is saved by a mysterious stranger, who hands him his sword and disappears.
It seems that during the chaos, two members of the Drogenark pirate crew spotted Jaster and the stranger, and seeing Jaster holding the stranger’s sword, they mistake him for the legendary bounty hunter “Desert Claw”.
This works out for Jaster, because he’s always dreamed of leaving his planet to explore space, and the Drogenark pirates are desperate for “Desert Claw” to join their crew.
Jaster, not about to miss a lucky opportunity, pretends to be the bounty hunter, and sets off on his space adventure.
Rogue Galaxy is a fantastic tale that’s equal parts swashbuckling pirate adventure, and part space opera.
The visuals are stunning, with great character animations, highly polished score and core RPG game mechanics.
It’s considered one of the greatest JRPGs to come out for the PS2, and is featured on many “hidden gem” and “underrated classics” lists on game blogs and games media sites.
The characters are endearing, the adventure is action-packed, and the stakes get raised to the point of galactic destruction.
If you want a solid story and a unique aesthetic, this game needs to be played.
#24. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
The game starts with Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil launching an attack on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.
Nick Fury sends out a call to any and all heroes for help.
After repelling the attack, Nick Fury is given permission to start a task force to confront the Masters of Evil.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is a gigantic game with over 20 characters that span the entire Marvel universe.
With a story that goes from New York to the halls of Asgard, there’s a ton of content to explore, optional missions and plenty of team configurations that reward you for knowing Marvel comic’s lore and the powers of the characters.
If you dream of a superhero team comprised of Deadpool, Iron Fist, Nightcrawler, and Venom, this is a game you don’t want to miss.
#23. Odin Sphere
The story takes place in a land called Erion, made up of 6 independent nations.
A prophecy states that the end of the world is coming, and it seems like it will be brought about by an ancient artifact that has already destroyed an entire kingdom overnight.
Will the artifact be contained, or will it bring about Armaggedon?
Odin Sphere is another underrated classic.
The story weaves the lives of more than 5 characters and shows just how deep and complex a narrative can be in a PS2 era game.
The art style is a beautifully rendered 2D storybook affair, with bold colors, detailed character models and fluid animation.
To say this game is a work of art would be an understatement.
The icing on the cake is easy to understand and deep gameplay.
It varies depending on which character you choose to play as, but the core is the same across all PCs.
This game is a masterpiece of design and storytelling.
You owe it to yourself to experience this game.
#22. Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra
An unknown alien race called The Gnosis is attacking human colonies across the galaxy.
Traditional weapons have no effect on The Gnosis, so the best and brightest of humanity have developed specialized weapon systems to defend themselves, and prevent The Gnosis from wiping them out.
To top it all off, there is no united front against the Gnosis threat, as the galaxies various organizations and governments have been embroiled with in-fighting, making the fate of humanity tenuous at best.
Xenosaga III: Also Sprach Zarathustra is the final episode in the long-running series, and concludes the dense and twisting story of humanity’s battle against the Gnosis.
The game’s combat system is straightforward and easy to understand and offers a few unique additions to the traditional JRPG with its “Break gauge” and “Boost gauge” which add a risk versus reward style to encounters.
If you are a fan of the series, you’d be crazy not to see how it all ends.
#21. Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2
After the events of the first Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga, the Embryon appear in the real world, which is slowly being destroyed by an anomaly called the Black Sun: the only ones able to survive the sun’s rays are those infected with the demon virus.
To find their lost friend, solve the mystery of the son, and uncover the intentions of the Karma Society, you must travel through the remains of the real world and confront the Karma Society on their own turf.
This sequel picks up from where the last game left off and hits the ground running, explaining more about the game’s world and characters, and adding new layers to the complexity of the narrative and offering just enough mystery to keep the player invested in the story and characters.
The combat system is the same as the original, taking advantage of the enemies’ weaknesses or scoring critical hits will net you an extra turn, while your opponents themselves can take advantage of the same system.
This game is a must for any Persona and Shin Megami Tensei fans.
#20. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The licensed game for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers follows pretty closely to the events of the movies themselves, so if you’ve seen the movies, you can be sure that those iconic moments are touched on in the game as well.
Starting from the battle of Helms Deep to and ending at the Battle of the Hornburg.
Most movie tie in games are fairly lackluster, either because the dev team is dealing with a shortened deadline, or the studio is trying to make a product as cheap as possible to make the most out of the guaranteed sales due to brand recognition.
Fortunately, this isn’t the case with the Lord of the Rings games.
The combat is a 3rd person hack and slash affair, with the ability to play through the levels as Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli.
You are awarded experience points by how well you do in combat, and you can get a bonus to experience earned while playing by filling up a meter on the bottom left of the screen.
#19. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
The world has ended.
There was no stopping it, but you and a few of your classmates survived Tokyo getting turned inside out.
You were given a special parasite that turned you into a demon/human hybrid and as a result, you can steer this new world in a direction of your choosing.
Make your way to the center of “The Vortex” and by the force of your will, create a brand new world.
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is not only one of the most beautiful games on the PS2, but it’s also one of the most challenging RPGs made.
The protagonist is the only member of your party that matters.
Any number of the monsters that you bend to your will can be knocked out of combat, but if you go down, it’s all over.
There is also an optional dungeon that you can traverse that ratchets up the difficulty even more than the main story.
With multiple endings, a ton of monsters to recruit and a deep narrative to explore the game has become a cult hit with hardcore JRPG fans, and it also helped spawn an even more popular offshoot of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, the Persona series.
#18. Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht
The Zohar, an artifact dating from the beginning of the universe which connects to the realm of god-like energy dubbed U-DO was unearthed by an archeological expedition.
The Zohar is key to enabling humanity to travel in space beyond the Solar System.
Over 4000 years in the future, humanity has left Earth behind to colonize the galaxy following a terrible event, resulting in Earth’s location being lost and the planet being dubbed “Lost Jerusalem”.
Humanity is now spread across 500,000 planets, with their governments forming the Galaxy Federation.
The Federation has come under attack from the ancient alien Gnosis.
As normal weapons are ineffective against them, a private corporation with interests in the Federations government, Vector Industries, develops two different weapon systems designed to fight them: humanoid mecha dubbed A.G.W.S., and the similar but more powerful KOS-MOS battle androids.
Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht is the first of three games that explores a grand vision of humanity’s future.
While science and technology flourish, mankind has lost connection with its ancient homeland, and the question of the nature of being alive, fate and other deep philosophical issues.
The story and setting are rich and complex, and the characters are likable and interesting.
While the game sports a traditional turn-based style, it does have elements unique to the franchise.
Actions that are taken during your turn use up AP, but AP can also be saved up to pull off harder hitting moves.
Some characters also have a boost gauge that can be filled up during combat that also allows you to take an additional turn while simultaneously removing the enemies from the turn order.
The other thing that makes this game awesome is access to mechs during combat.
Who doesn’t want to drive a giant robot and smash alien monsters?
#17. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria
The game is about two characters, Silmeria and Alicia, who are contained in the same body.
Silmeria was a Valkyrie, whose job it was to take brave warriors and deliver them to Odin’s hall, Valhalla, but she disobeyed Odin.
He reincarnated her in the body of Alicia, the Princess of Dipan.
Silmeria was supposed to remain trapped, but she awakens, which makes people think that Alicia is insane.
The king imprisons her and announces her death, but the king can’t bear to execute his beloved daughter, so he sends her to live in a small palace outside the city of Crell Monferaigne.
Odin, after finding out his punishment didn’t work, sends Hrist to take Silmeria’s soul back to Valhalla.
Alicia and Silmeria escape from Hrist into the wilderness and attempt to avert a catastrophe that could spark a war between the Gods and Midgard.
The game is separated between 2d exploring and puzzle solving, while the combat takes place in a real-time 3d battle arena.
While in combat, you use Attack Points to dash and attack, while regaining AP from defeating enemies, getting hit by enemy attacks, using the charge action, and also simply waiting.
The strategy is also deepened because of the fact that time stops when your character stops, allowing you to plot your next move and try to predict what your enemy will do next.
There is also a “Leader Assault” mechanic where you can take out the enemy leader to cause the rest of your enemies to flee.
With an engaging and well thought out story, in addition to the tightly designed combat, Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria is a unique and enjoyable gaming experience.
#16. Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance
The game starts out like any good D&D campaign, three unrelated adventurers are attacked by a group of thieves.
Before the thieves can kill them, fate and the city guard intervene.
The guards take the party to an Inn to recover, and the tavern keeper, feeling pity for the penniless adventurers, decides to allow them to partake in the time-honored tradition of cellar rat slaying for some coin.
This ends up spiraling out into a massive adventure that takes the party from the sewers all the way to the Marsh of Chelimber.
Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance is an action RPG based on the 3rd edition of the Dungeons and Dragons system.
It’s reminiscent of the Diablo franchise in basic combat mechanics.
You can play either single-player or co-op, and you can customize your character’s attributes each time you level up.
The story is wonderfully tropey in all the best ways D&D can be, and if you’ve ever played a tabletop RPG, this game will put a smile on your face.
#15. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Since the game was released before the movie premiered, the developers at EA were very careful to not directly spoil any of the performances by including actual footage, so only enough plot was mentioned to give the player context for their actions.
This doesn’t diminish the enjoyability of the game, and when paired with the film, fills in some details that couldn’t be seen on the big screen.
Much like the previous game, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King is an action style game that awards experience based on how well you do in combat.
The story itself is told through three different arcs, The Path of the Wizard which follows Gandalf through his journey to the end, The Path of the King which follows Aragorn and his friends, and The Path of the Hobbit which follows Sam and Frodo.
Since the staff of the movie was directly involved with the production of the game, character models, stages and sound design all ring true to the film and if you loved the movie series, you’ll be delighted to guide Gandalf the White, Aragorn and Sam through their journey to finally destroy the One Ring, and end Sauron’s reign for good.
#14. Final Fantasy XI
The game takes place in Vana’diel, created as a playground for the Gods and their children.
Eventually, hubris drove the children to construct a pathway to the Gods.
The Gods were not pleased and struck them down for their insolence.
The Goddess Altana, filled with sadness after her children’s destruction, wept five tears that gave life to the five races of Vana’diel.
The God of Twilight, Promathia, condemned her weakness, however, and cursed the five races with eternal conflict amongst themselves.
He created the Beastmen, commanding them to forever fight the people of Vana’diel, so these children would never try to build a pathway to paradise again.
Final Fantasy XI is SquareEnix’s first foray into MMORPGs.
The game is incredibly ambitious, especially for a PS2 era game.
The game allows you to solo or party up during the main course of the game, but if you want to level and survive more effectively, party combat is essential.
The job system also features heavily as well.
Job classes can be leveled and when you change your job you can also combine it with another job to add more variation to the role you fulfill in combat.
And additionally, with a bevy of minigames that include fishing, gardening and even raising Chocobos, there is an amazing variety of things to enjoy in this huge and well thought out MMO.
#13. Champions of Norrath
Your hero is tasked with helping the elves repel an orcish incursion.
The orcs have teamed up with goblins, an unprecedented event in Norrath, which hints at an even more dark conspiracy behind the attacks.
It’s up to you to slay the orcish leader and uncover the truth.
Champions of Norrath is set in the EverQuest universe and uses a lot of that franchise’s lore to establish the setting and ground you in the narrative.
You create your champion by choosing your race, appearance, and class.
The gameplay itself is based on the Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance game engine.
There’s a lot of customization options for each class that really gives you the ability to build a character that fits your style and make your hero truly yours.
The game also has the option of playing with a friend on the same system, or with a network adapter, you can play online with a larger party and dish out justice.
#12. Suikoden III
The Grasslands, a section of the world controlled by a loose coalition of 6 tribes, is undergoing peace negotiations with the merchant nation of Zexan when something horrible happens.
The chance for peace is gone, and the Grasslands are under attack by the Zexans from the west and the nation of Harmonia from the east.
You see the conflict from the three perspectives from each side in the conflict and find that the situation is less black and white, and instead, murky grey.
Suikoden III offers a plot full of twists, turns, and political intrigue.
Someone behind the scenes is pulling the strings, starting a war and the gameplay hinges on the story being told from the three different sides in the conflict to uncover the truth of this new war.
The combat has a good variety to it, using a more traditional turn-based 6 party member setup and occasionally dips into a turn-based strategy game when large armies clash.
The multiperspective story, 108 possible characters to recruit and varied combat make this game a must for people who enjoy a deep story and unique gameplay.
#11. Shadow Hearts: Covenant
The game is set during World War 1, you play as Karin Koenig, a lieutenant in the German Army and Yuri Hyuga, the main protagonist of the first Shadow Hearts.
Following the events of Shadow Hearts which culminated in the death of his lover Alice Elliot, a depressed Yuri buries Alice in Domrémy-la-Pucelle, taking it upon himself to defend the town from the War.
Karin and Yuri clash, and in that conflict, they uncover a plot that will twist the fabric of reality itself.
The story is set in a fictional version of our own.
There’s a unique blend of historical fiction and Lovecraftian cosmic horror.
The themes in the setting also bleed into the combat mechanics, adding an interesting and satisfying experience.
In addition to the regular hit point and skill point system, there is also a Sanity point system in place.
As you fight, you fill a sanity meter.
Once that sanity meter is filled, you lose control of that character, making combat a risky proposition if it drags on too long.
There is also something called Judgement Ring that not only effects attacking, skill use and item use, but also things outside of combat as well.
The Judgement ring essentially dictates how effective an action you take is, either greatly boosting the effectiveness or completely canceling it out.
If you like occult elements and turn-based combat that requires your full attention, Shadow Hearts: Covenant is the game for you.
#10. Final Fantasy X-2
The threat of Sin has finally been eradicated, and the calm that was only temporary is now permanent.
The culture of Spira is swiftly changing now that Sin is gone.
Machines are seeing wider use, the leisure industry is booming, and a new type of adventuring group known as Sphere Hunters has grown in popularity.
Two sphere hunting groups have risen to prominence in the two years after Sin’s defeat.
The cutthroat Leblanc Syndicate, and the more benevolent Gullwings.
Yuna, trying to find a way to bring Tidus back, joined her cousin and Riku to work with the Gullwings.
In her quest to reunite with Tidus, Yuna has to fight against the Leblanc Syndicate and unwind a plot that could threaten all of Spira.
The story for the sequel to Final Fantasy X is considerably more lighthearted, and was designed to reflect Japanese pop culture to really reflect that the people of Spira no longer have a terrible fate looming on the horizon.
And additionally, many of the gameplay elements from the previous installment were swapped out for mechanics that were prominent in previous entries to the Final Fantasy series.
The ATB gauge is back, as well as a version of the Job system.
The party only consists of three characters, so the job system was a way to replace the character switching mechanic found in Final Fantasy X.
Instead of earning points to move around the sphere grid, traditional leveling has returned as well.
The new stuff revolves around Garment Grids. Garment Grids allow you to equip the jobs you want your party members to switch to during combat.
Each job offers a variety of features to unlock as you play and give combat a dynamic feeling as you progress and learn more skills.
With a robust new set of systems and the continuation of Yuna’s story, Final Fantasy X-2 is a must for any fan of the franchise.
#9. Kingdom Hearts
You play as a 14-year-old boy named Sora, who is separated from his friends Riku and Kairi when their home is consumed in darkness.
When all seemed lost, Sora obtained a weapon called the Keyblade that allowed him to fight the Heartless, creatures that originate from the Realm of Darkness.
Sora then wakes up in another world, Traverse Town, where he meets Donald Duck and Goofy, two emissaries from Disney Castle sent to find the Keyblade wielder.
Sora and his new friends must travel to different worlds to defeat the Heartless and discover how they can save the universe.
Kingdom Hearts is a beloved franchise, and the first game in the series is a large part of that.
Combining Disney Characters and SquareEnix’s design talents seemed like a strange fit at first, until people actually played the game.
Game history was made when those two things were blended together, and now we live in a world where the original idea seems like a matter of course.
The gameplay is action-oriented, with a sub-menu system used for casting magic, using items and summoning.
Battles are fast-paced and involve on the fly decision making to succeed.
There are a ton of familiar worlds to visit and engaging sidequests to complete, all to peel back the mystery of the Heartless, and why the universe is in danger.
This is the game that started the phenomena that is the Kingdom Hearts franchise, and is a must if you want to enjoy the other games in the series.
#8. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
In a Japanese city called Iwatodai, several experiments carried out ten years ago created the Dark Hour, a period of time that exists between one day and the next.
Most people are unaware of this phenomenon, however, there is a select group of people who are.
Gekkoukan High School is no normal building, during the Dark Hour it morphs into an ever-shifting dungeon called Tartarus.
Shadows roam the halls, feasting on the consciousness of their victims.
The Shadows leave them in a catatonic state in the waking world.
To investigate and learn about the Dark Hour, Shadows, and Tartarus, the “Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad”, or SEES, was created.
SEES are the only ones capable of this, because their Personas are the only thing that can fight Shadows, and put them down permanently.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 is an excellent game worthy of being an entry in the Persona series.
It’s the first game in the franchise to introduce the Social Link system, where you gain bonuses in-game and flesh out the story of your schoolmates.
This system allows the story room to breath and really get to know the underlying themes of the narrative.
The game’s supporting cast is compelling and finding out more about them is a reward in of itself.
The gameplay is just as addictive and fun as any other entry in the Shin Megami Tensei series.
With the massive dungeon Tartarus and multiple endings, this is a game that will keep you coming back for more.
#7. Kingdom Hearts II
You are Roxas, a happy young man who enjoys spending time with his friends in Twilight Town.
Everything is normal until Roxas is confronted by enemies and gains the ability to summon a Keyblade.
What is Roxas and his connection to Sora? Why is he a target for the forces that seek to envelop the universe?
Kingdom Hearts II is the much-anticipated sequel to the original.
The gameplay has been further refined based on fan feedback, and new systems were put in place for combat specifically to make battles feel more dynamic than ever.
There is the new “Reaction Command” that allows the protagonist to counter-attack, avoid damage and even defeat certain bosses.
There is also the “Drive Gauge”.
The drive gauge allows the protagonist to boost himself during combat or make use of summons.
Summons are more than just one-off attacks as well, having their own sub-menu to perform actions and combo with the protagonist.
With these combat mechanics and the continuation of a story that captured the imagination of its fans, it’s easy to see why people love this series.
#6. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES
After the main story of Persona 3 ends, the SEES members suddenly find themselves trapped in the school dorms.
A new foe emerges and a new set of dungeons are found beneath the dorms.
The questions are piling up, and the answers lie somewhere at the bottom of the dorms.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES is the epilogue of the original story.
New wrinkles are revealed to the themes and philosophy discussed in the main game.
The gameplay remains the same and is just as satisfying as it always has been, while the characters you know and love from the main game get a satisfying payoff to their stories.
#5. Dark Cloud 2
You play as Max, a young inventor who lives in the town of Palm Brinks.
At the beginning of the game, Max gets a ticket to Flotsam’s Circus Troupe and excitedly rushes to see the show.
While there, he accidentally overhears a conversation between Flotsam and Mayor Need about the “outside world”.
Discovering that Flotsam has been extorting the mayor, Max runs from Flotsam and his clowns who try to take the pendant that Max’s father left him.
Max escapes, concerned about Flotsam and the mayor’s conversation about the outside world, a place he previously had no knowledge of.
The story of Dark Cloud 2 revolving around the two main protagonists is a lighthearted adventure that involves time travel, and the mechanic of rebuilding towns that have a direct impact on the events in the world’s future.
A major part of the game is rebuilding and populating the towns with support NPCs.
To get the parts you need to rebuild and progress through the story, you need to battle through randomly generated dungeons.
The story is fun, the characters are rich and complex, and the town rebuilding mechanic offers a nice change of pace to dungeon crawling.
The graphics and art style are vibrant and cute and offer a charming take on the 1950s aesthetic.
#4. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
The court jester of the kingdom of Trodain, Dhoulmagus, has betrayed the king by stealing an ancient scepter and casting a spell on Trodain castle.
The spell turns the king, the princess, and the rest of the castle’s inhabitants into various creatures.
The only one left unaffected is a Trodain guard the story’s protagonist.
The guard, with the royal family in tow, set out on a quest to track down Dhoulmagus and break the spell.
What drove the jester to betray the king?
What evil plans does he have in store for the rest of the world?
Will the guard break the spell that has bewitched the royal family?
It’s up to you to guide him on his journey to save the king and his family.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is another entry in the storied franchise and features a beautiful world and characters designed by the master manga artist Akira Toriyama.
The release of a Dragon Quest game is an unofficial holiday in Japan.
There’s always a record number of people who call off to celebrate the release, and binge play the game as soon as it comes out.
There is a good reason for that as well.
Dragon Quest is one of the longest-running JRPGs in Japan, and the gameplay is like slipping into a warm bath.
Traditional turn-based combat, familiar enemies and a fun adventure are synonymous with the Dragon Quest franchise.
The supporting cast is the real draw for Dragon Quest VIII in particular.
Each party member you recruit has a memorable personality, and character arcs that make you fall in love with each of them.
It’s truly a classic representation of why people love JRPGs.
#3. Final Fantasy XII
The game takes place in the land of Ivalice, the same land that Final Fantasy Tactics was set in.
The empires of Archadia and Rozarria are waging an endless war.
Dalmasca, a small kingdom, is caught in the middle.
When Dalmasca is annexed by Archadia, this king of Dalmasca is assassinated.
Years after Dalmasca is occupied by Archadia, Vaan, a street kid with dreams of becoming a pirate decides he’s going to steal something from the royal vault.
He manages to actually do it without being immediately caught but is confronted by a real pirate, Balthier, and his partner Fran.
The guards finally notice something is amiss, and Balthier decides that the only way to escape alive was to steal both Vaan and the treasure at the same time.
This is the start of a grand adventure that spans the continent, uncover’s a massive plot by the Archadian Empire, and the gods themselves.
Final Fantasy XII is the first big departure from the normal Final Fantasy formula.
The most noticeable change is the license system.
Instead of setting roles for your characters, you gain license points that give you access to equipment, magic, and skills as long as you can afford to pay the unlock cost.
This allows you to essentially be able to wield any power you want.
This is also the first Final Fantasy that foregoes the random battles and lets you see your enemy before you decide to engage them.
Next is the gambit system, allowing you to program your allies’ behaviors and what abilities they use if certain conditions are met.
The game itself is gorgeous, with detailed backgrounds and tons of optional content that will take you all over Ivalice.
The highlight of the side quests is monster hunts.
These hunts earn you rewards for taking on special monsters who are more dangerous than average monsters, and some even rival the bosses you encounter.
With all this gameplay and story-driven content, this is one of the biggest Final Fantasy games on the PS2.
#2. Final Fantasy X
Tidus a famous Blitzball player is in the middle of a title match when suddenly Zanarkand, his hometown, is attacked by strange monsters.
As he watches his home get destroyed, he’s approached by a friend of his estranged father.
Auron tells Tidus that he needs to follow him if he wants to survive, and hands him a sword.
The two battle their way to the source of the monsters.
Sin, a massive whale-like entity is raining destruction all around them, and before Tidus knows it, he and Auron are pulled into Sin, and everything goes dark.
Final Fantasy X is set in Spira, a land troubled by a large monster that can only be defeated by a Summoner who makes a sacred pilgrimage.
The game’s story and the world are detailed and the characters have depth and personality.
This is the first Final Fantasy that took advantage of voice actors, and the production values and performances really make the narrative shine.
The influence for the designs is based on Japanese and Polynesian mythology and this combination makes this Final Fantasy stand out even more against the broader mythological stance the previous entries used.
The Sphere Grid also stands out by tying character advancement to items called spheres that are used to unlock nodes on the board.
Each character starts off with their own section on the sphere grid, but with the right spheres, they can branch out into other character’s sections and broaden their skillset.
Characters can also be swapped out mid-battle, so there is an added element of strategy that can be employed during enemy encounters.
There’s just enough old and new mixed together that makes this Final Fantasy accessible, yet still innovative.
#1. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
In the sleepy town of Inaba, a series of unexplainable murders is taking place.
While this is happening, there are also rumors of a TV station that appears at midnight during rainstorms.
As a transfer student, suspicion falls on you, but after you and your accuser are sucked into the TV world, a deeper mystery tied to the deaths is revealed.
It’s up to you and your friends to get to the bottom of it and catch the real killer before something even more terrible happens.
Persona 4 is possibly the most popular of all the games in the Persona series.
The story and characters draw you into the mystery of the strange occurrences in Inaba, and the bonds you form with your classmates are some of the best-realized characterizations in the franchise.
There is also the RNG element of the TV world and the nearly infinite variation to the dungeons that keep things from getting stale.
The combat system is familiar to anyone who has played a Persona game, which keeps fans from suffering from whiplash when jumping into it for the first time.
The art style pops with a life all its own, and the murder mystery plot has immense crossover appeal.
This game keeps new players interested, and long-time fans hooked. It may be the best Persona game ever made.
Are your favorite games on the list? Leave a comment below!
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Deciding the best PS2 RPG is no doubt a little bit late since this legendary console has been around for almost two decades, but thanks to emulator and remastered games, it’s still exciting!