“Top 10 RPGs of This Generation”

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A ranking attempting to list the top 10 RPGs of recent years has recently been circulating, 6 of which turn out to be Japanese.

The list and accompanying selection rationales, published by a western gaming site and covering RPGs released from 2005 onwards, and presented in alphabetical order:

Demon’s Souls

Demon’s Souls, brought to you by From Software, was one of 2009’s biggest surprise hits. The gritty atmosphere, extremely challenging combat, and inventive online elements found a widespread appeal the developers never saw coming.

Dragon Age: Origins

BioWare has been on a roll this console generation, creating two of the top Western RPGs as of late – Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Dragon Age: Origins is a refinement of the classic BioWare formula. While this list is primarily focused on consoles, by all accounts the PC version is the only way to play Origins.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Second only to BioWare, Todd Howard’s team over at Bethesda Softworks represent the other half of top tier Western RPGs – Elder Scrolls and Fallout. The fourth iteration in the Elder Scrolls series, Oblivion, was the first real taste gamers got this generation of what an RPG could be in the HD era.

Fallout 3

Fallout 3 is the revitalization of the revered Fallout series of RPGs on PC. Bethesda brought the franchise to a new audience that was captivated by its moral choices, post apocalyptic setting and successful implementation of first-person shooter mechanics – a steady stream of downloadable content didn’t hurt.

Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy has been a staple of RPGs since its inception over two decades ago. Final Fantasy XIII had the burden of carrying the fate of the Japanese RPG, experiencing declining popularity in the West. The game was praised for its gorgeous presentation and robust combat system, while criticized for its slow progression and strictly linear design. In the end, XIII was a commercial and critical success.

Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core

A prequel to Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core on the PSP struck a chord with fans hungry for more from VII’s universe. The game pushed the processing power of the PSP, producing fluid combat and impressive graphics. Unlike other Final Fantasy VII spin-offs, Crisis Core did its source material justice.

Lost Odyssey

Lost Odyssey received a great deal of attention when it launched on Xbox 360 in 2008 largely thanks to the involvement of Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of Final Fantasy. Fortunately, the game (for the most part) lived up to expectations with a moving story and high production values. Some of the shamelessly traditional combat mechanics were less well received.

Mass Effect 2

Another BioWare epic, Mass Effect 2 represents the pinnacle of what an action RPG should be. The combat mechanics were refined from its predecessor, making for a much more user friendly experience. Coupled with the well though out and engaging characters, dialogue options and major plot points, Mass Effect 2’s execution was masterful.

Tales of Vesperia

Tales of Vesperia at first glance appears like it took every JRPG trope out of the book for its story, but for fans of the genre, Tales of Vesperia (and the series in general) excellently de-constructs them in a way which feels incredibly unique. The game’s action-based battle system, a mix of traditional RPG elements and fighting game aspects such as the publisher’s Tekken franchise, also help to create a very impressive game.

Valkyria Chronicles

Much like Demon’s Souls, Valkyria Chronicles was a sleeper hit in the West – so much so that Sega didn’t have enough copies to meet demand. The game’s unique graphics engine, which was able to produce a watercolor art style, was very appealing. In addition, the inventive turn-based combat system was able to successfully implement realtime actions, making for an experience unlike anything in the genre.

Fortunately, originality is evidently not a prerequisite for success as as a “top” RPG – although some might contest the inclusion of JRPGs in the same genre as western style RPGs, not least Bioware.

Several of the titles did attract significant criticism in spite of their undeniable success – Oblivion for its terrible monster auto-levelling system, Final Fantasy XIII for its corridor marathon gameplay, and Fallout 3 for turning a beloved non-linear tactical RPG into Oblivion with guns.

The list’s only notable omission would appear to be the Persona series – strangely absent in its entirety.


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    Comment by Anonymous
    08:17 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow, what an awful list. Seriously.

    Though considering the lack of good RPGs available this gen, I suppose it should be somewhat expected.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:50 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No Persona? I am dissapoint

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:18 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Persona isn't this generation, stupid.

    Except the DS ones. But they're not that great.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:19 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Persona isn't on DS, stupid. They're just SMT.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:28 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    FFXIII? Seriously? That game is one of the worst I've ever played.

    I'm not crazy about Crisis Core being on there either.

    Avatar of Fox89
    Comment by Fox89
    09:02 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree with pretty much that entire list actually! Especially bearing in mind RPGs this generation have been relatively thin on the ground. It isn't like we've had 3 FF games, 2 Dragon Quests and a bunch of Personas.

    Avatar of Unlimitedbladeworks
    Comment by Unlimitedbladeworks
    09:32 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    In general I approve of this list with the exception of Lost Odyssey and Crisis Core. I really didn't like either of those. Very happy to see Valkyria Chronicles on there though.

    Avatar of Zelnick
    Comment by Zelnick
    09:43 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Demon's Souls, both the FF games, and Senjou no Valkyria are not RPGs. What the fuck are these people smoking?

    I haven't played Lost Odyssey or Tales of Vesperia so I don't know if they count.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:42 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Crisis Core got in, but not The World Ends With You?

    Avatar of Dummy00001
    Comment by Dummy00001
    08:48 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    IMO even western RPGs in decline. After the first Neverwinter Nights and the Morrowind there were really nothing new or gamechanging. (Probably due to the advent of the MMORPGs.)

    Judging by presence of the Dragon Age on the list, dumbification and graphics overload are the current trends industry takes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:48 08/09/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dragon age graphics and overload?
    That game has horrible graphics

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:38 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "originality is evidently not a prerequisite for success as as a “top” RPG"

    Yes because anyone would have thought of a fictional WWII SRPG known as Valkyria Chronicles.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:33 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Tales of Vesperia makes the list and Zelda does not?! That's fucking bullshit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:13 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    FF13 wtf ? If it was about including a ff game released after 2005, it'd have better been FF12...

    And P4 and Magna Carta 2 definetely deserve a place in the top 10 (at least, they're in mine)

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:46 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    so from what i read in the comments its like star ocean the last hope never existed ....

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:33 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    AS IT SHOULD BE.

    Anyone who actually enjoyed the chracters, plot, and cutscenes of that game need to reconsider their tastes. A battle system cannot carry an RPG on its own!

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    06:30 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    There's more, Ar Tonelico, Totori no Atelier, Agarest Senki...

    But no, FF XIII is on that list.

    Avatar of DP
    Comment by DP
    08:18 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Seems you´re frustrated about the fact that Ar Tonelico and Totori no Atelier are not on the list. .^_^

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    06:30 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    There's more, Ar Tonelico, Totori no Atelier, Agarest Senki...

    But no, FF XIII is on that list.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:35 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You like spamming those names, huh?

    Totori isn't out in English. We don't even have Rorona yet!

    Ar Tonelico 3 isn't out in English either, and the list obviously isn't for PS2 games.

    Agarest Senki has a number of issues with its monotonous and bland battle system, which frankly can drain a lot of the fun out. Idea Factory needs better battle systems!

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:44 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Seriously, where the fuck's Persona 4?

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:49 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Too early for a top 10. Xenoblade, quite frankly, is better than everything there save for Valkyria Chronicles and Demon Souls.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:44 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fallout 3 is not a revitalization of Fallout. That game should not have the name Fallout. Either that or be honest and call it "Oblivion: Post Apocalyptic"

    Their attempts to capture the attitude of Fallout were heavy handed and often hilariously misguided. Bethesda is shit.

    Avatar of BisayaBoi
    Comment by BisayaBoi
    05:23 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Switch FFXIII with Persona and we have a perfect list.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:35 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow, a report based on a report about the list already has more attention than the list itself. Four comments at the moment. Why didn't you just link the "western gaming site" directly?

    http://www.gamingunion.net/news/top-ten-rpgs-of-this-generation-so-far--2586.html

    This is nothing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:06 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What a shitty generation this has been if those are our top ten. Only half of those will go down as fondly remembered classics, and perhaps only one will go down as a masterpiece that actually helped to change the genre for the better.

    That list isn't worth my time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:49 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No Resonance of Fate (End of Eternity)? I'd certainly put it above FFXIII, Vesperia and Valkyria. But it didn't even make it to the Honorable Mentions list.

    I suspect most sites didn't spend much time with it because they were burnt out by FFXIII.

    Avatar of Zanosuke_Kurosaki
    Comment by Zanosuke_Kurosaki
    06:43 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No Chrono Trigger? No Final Fantasy IV, VI-IX? The Mother/Earthbound series is left out entirely? The Super Robot Wars series doesn't even get an honorable mention? Not a word about Fire Emblem?

    This list obviously doesn't represent my generation, and so deserves to be slammed for being so imprecise in it's usage of "this." FAIL.

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    06:50 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Too bad Persona 3-4 didn't make it on the list.

    Avatar of brningpyre
    Comment by brningpyre
    07:08 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    With FF XIII and Lost Odyssey on there, I can't take this list seriously.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:13 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    FFXIII and Crisis Core? No P4? What a joke.

    Lol, shit list is shit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:31 31/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Final Fantasy XIII is a movie, not a game.

    List fails.

    Avatar of Sandalphon
    Comment by Sandalphon
    13:57 31/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Several of the titles did attract significant criticism in spite of their undeniable success..."

    Doesn't matter how good a game might be, faults are always present.

    Words to keep close to heart and mind. A lot of us get awash with nostalgia for a memorable game from days gone by every now and then, but nostalgia also makes us forget the faults we experienced in our playthrough.

    That said, I find myself mostly in concordance with ToV, FFXIII, Demon's Souls and ME2. Fallout 3 I could never get myself to play beyond the 15 hour mark due to the little appeal I found in F3's universe.

    The other exception is Dragon Age:Origins, as the gameplay made me feel like I was playing WoW. The other's I never got around to playing them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:40 31/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "by all accounts the PC version is the only way to play Origins." O.o wait, the people writing these articles actually know their shit?

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:07 31/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    JRPGs are not RPGs. Their name is an illusion. I wish people would some day realize this.

    Avatar of RaspberryKisses
    Comment by RaspberryKisses
    00:28 31/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i agree with this list. but didn't like F3 and Demon’s Souls.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:40 31/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Heck, Final Fantasy 12 deserves to be more on that list than the latest one.

    Mmmm, Penelo and Fran...

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:37 09/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    No Persona? No Mother 3? No The World Ends With You? No Dragon Quest IX? The only game on this list I approve of is Demon's Souls. Everything else, no.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:05 18/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow, I am not walking in your taste of games, might stick to my shoes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:29 17/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Mass Effect's on here, and Mother 3 isn't? Lmao that's hilarious, but seriously where's the real list?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:23 08/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So this generation is more or less free of real RPGs, is that the summary?
    What a decline.. :S

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:12 07/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Crysis core and FF13? The most interactive movies I've ever seen are considered games now?

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    23:22 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where's The Witcher? Where's Neverwinter Nights 2? Where's Knights of the Old Republic 2? Wait.. Final Fantasy XIII? Are you kidding?

    Avatar of RaspberryKisses
    Comment by RaspberryKisses
    00:32 31/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i liked FFXIII and it's one of the best rpgs i'v played in this generation. Neverwinter Nights 2 is purely PC game thats why it's not considered through i like this game very much too. Old Republic 2 was overshadowed buy a awesomeness of first one and again it's not this generation game i believe Old Republic 2 was on original xbox.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:52 08/09/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    NVM games had always horrible singleplayer .
    Their strengh is in multiplayer worlds created by players and thats probably problem.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:43 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    SHADOW HEARTS SERIES = A MUST HAVE

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:17 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No Persona...
    Indeed, tis curious.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:25 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    All I play is RPGs, and not one of my favorites is listed.

    Final Fantasy XIII? Blow me!

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:41 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Final Fantasy XIII can hardly be considered an RPG.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:31 30/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Vesperia and Demon Souls sucks ass the others are okay to good.








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