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All My Favourites: RPGs

Welcome to the second edition of All My Favourites, the WKG team are back together to write about their favourite games in specific genres! After our first run of favourite game ever talk, I figured we could do a breakdown in each category of game type to bring you a sort of, best of the best games that really break the mould or push the boundaries of the industry.

Chris - @ChaosRiotZero
As I mentioned in the previous All My Favourites, Zelda has been my favourite game but I've never really classed that as an RPG, mainly because your character never develops during the course of the game. You gather items but everyone that plays a Zelda game has the same items so there's no individualisation to your game compared to anyone else's thus I've always put that in the action/RPG lite category, so for my favourite ever RPG, I'm going to have to go with...Pokemon!

Gotta catch em all? But there's so many and I don't wanna...
Shut up, it's not a kids game. Sure you always play as a 10 year old who's fresh to the Pokemon world but that doesn't mean you need to be 10 to enjoy it. Pokemon is an ever expanding world of catching cute monsters in tiny balls and then using those monsters to beat other monsters... sounds simple enough but when you throw in all the different types of creatures, the game start to develop a whole lot of depth and strategy to it. Seriously though, if you haven't played at least 1 of the Pokemon games that have been released over the last decade or so, then what the hell have you been doing?

While it all started off with the Red/Blue/Green generation, I really fell in love with the series when Pokemon Silver came out on Gameboy Color. That game had a good amount of Pokemon and the day/night cycle always had me playing at all hours of the day, mainly because some Pokemon could only be encountered at certain times, or evolved during night hours. Also the ability to hook it up to Pokemon stadium to get mystery gifts everyday, kept me going back to it daily for months on end.
The thing I really enjoy about Pokemon now is just the vast amount of different beasts you can have now, there's well over 600 Pokemon and while that seems like a ridiculous amount if you're going to "catch 'em all"  at least it means you won't run into the same teams every time you play against others. Here's another MiiVerse drawing I've done, this is my thing now so just accept it...

King of the Seas

Ben - @KingKicks
My love for RPGs began towards the end of the 90's when I tried a demo of Final Fantasy X. It left such an impression on me that I bought the previous 3 games only a week later, turning myself into a complete RPG fanatic. While I have immense love for VII, VIII and IX, I've got to single it down to just one overall favourite and I'll go with the one that I put more hours into then any other RPG I can think of....Final Fantasy IX.

Personally I have always felt that moving away from the futuristic styles that Final Fantasy VII and VIII were set in and instead being situated in a medieval setting helped to make IX stand out next to its predecessors. As a result of that, the world of Gaia/Terra treated players to some truly unforgettable locations such as the town of Alexandria, the advanced industrial city of Lindblum, the mysterious Memoria and my personal favorite, Burmercia: the realm of eternal rain.

While Cloud, Squall and Sephiroth are generally the characters that personify Final Fantasy, IX features one of the most interesting and well written characters in Final Fantasy's history...Vivi. A shy black mage looking for the meaning to his existence. It's a character that you truly feel for as you see him develop throughout the game, going through all sorts of emotions along the way.

Everytime I play through Final Fantasy IX, I feel like I am experiencing a truly grand adventure that I feel Square Enix have never been able to match with the closest being the Kingdom Hearts series.

Liban - @WKG_Liban
I like to consider myself a kind of all rounder when it comes to videogames, however the RPG genre has been one I've played a lot less off perhaps due to the overall length of the game and its chess like combat. The only ever Final Fantasy title I managed to finish was Final Fantasy XIII-2, not impressive... I know.

Amazing art style.
While my expertise on the genre is somewhat limited, there is one title that made me believe that RPG's can be classed as those games that deliver on every aspect, which in today's industry makes a singular title good and that game ladies and gentlemen is Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch by Namco Bandai. Even before its release, the game was seen to be the saviour of the JRPG and while I again mention that my experience with the genre is limited, I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.  

Lets start off with the obvious hook that brought my own and quite frankly a lot of people's attention to the title was the news that LEVEL-5 and Studio Ghibli were teaming up to make it. This in turn allowed for amazing story telling, interesting characters and a world that was both expansive and beautiful thanks to the 2D art style. You see the main character Oliver grow from that snivelling, indecisive child to a brave magician that doesn't back down from any challenge in front of him and protects his friends

Its an interesting mash up but lets say that its one title that has re invigorated my interest in the genre and I can only hope that it continues to develop games that brought out as much emotion as Ni No Kuni did. Also the satisfaction after defeating a boss for the third time... I mean come on JUST DIE!

Matt - LZR_ATK
Final Fantasy X. No, not the game I'm going to be talking about because you already know about that game. If you don't, you probably wouldn't be reading this article, right? Moving on to something a little bit lesser known, is another one of my favourite RPGs...

Coming out on Wii U soon.
Earthbound is one of the few full blown RPGs in Nintendo's back catalogue that isn't a Final Fantasy game. It's also an entirely different feel, while retaining the classic staple of turn-based battles.

You are Ness, a young boy who awakes to find strange goings on in his hometown and soon finds himself blessed with psychic powers. You and your friends you meet along the way travel around the world to try and save it from chaos when an evil alien force lands on Earth, threatening the existence of humanity. The storyline is actually one of the most unique you could possibly come across in a videogame. With music inspired by The Beatles and an assortment of pop culture references actually give this a more light-hearted feel than your usual fantasy adventure. Don't let that lull you into a false sense of security though - this game has it's more emotional moments and is infamous for giving players a strange sense of emptiness and mixed feelings of sadness and happiness after you finish the final boss, Giygas, who is also extremely infamous in his own right for being one of the most terrifying and eerie end bosses in gaming history. Earthbound is actually known in Japan as Mother 2. The game's predecessor, Mother, was never released outside of Japan but the series was given new life when Ness was included in the Nintendo beat-em-up Super Smash Bros.

Nik - CaptainCortez
Growing up with the likes of Final Fantasy 7 onwards really left its mark on me. FF7 was a great title, 8 had a great concept but left me underwhelmed towards the end and Final Fantasy 9 is one of my all time favourite games. Then came FF10 which was a bit of a strange departure from the previous three entries, but still held the glory of a true Final Fantasy branded title.

However, ignoring the release of the "pay to play" subscription based Final Fantasy 11, my favourite RPG of all time has to be Final Fantasy 12.

So how many Final Fantasy games are there now?
Although seen by many as a wildcard in the series, Final Fantasy 12 offered a unique experience that was fresh at the time for RPG's. The design seamlessly integrated combat into the exploration of the game, with load times vastly lowered due to the absence of transitional combat sequences and a new character progression system was put in place, under the name of "The License Grid".

Looking like an abstract Chess Board, the License Grid consisted of a large number of squares, where each of which held an ability that cost a certain amount of LP (License Points). Players would have to purchase both the item and the license in order to use abilities of their choice, but any character could wield any weapon, though some of which were more suited to specific types than others.

I think it comes down to personal taste, but grabbing a license point from each enemy you killed was great, because it made grinding feel more rewarding  and when you finally filled out the entire grid, not only were your characters incredibly powerful, but you knew deep down that your job was done. The only thing I would have liked to have seen would have been a License Point shop, where for example you could spend your excess LP's on curatives or items that would aid you along your journey across the lands of Ivalice.

Will Vaan and Balthier ever return? It's unlikely, but I for one would
love to see a sequel to this fantastic title!
For me Final Fantasy 12 is one of the greatest RPG's out there. The art design is great, the battle system and challenge is fun but massively rewarding, and whether it's down to Vaan's first kills in his gripping battle against the three dire rats, Balthier and Fran's entrance or the announcement of Basch Fon Ronsenberg of Dalmasca's survival, each character had a lot of charm and will undoubtedly be continued to be remembered by many fans of Final Fantasy and RPG's alike.

So there it is folks, Final Fantasy was a given to show up at least once but twice?! Just goes to show that it really does have what it takes to be top of it's genre. So what's your take on the others? Got a favourite RPG that wasn't mentioned here then let us know in the comments section below!


  1. Ni No Kuni was created by Level 5 :)

    In terms of RPGs I've spent the most time with; either Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, Fallout 3, Mass Effect 2 or Kingdoms of Amalur (so underrated).

    However, if I had to pick my fav RPG, I would probably go for Fallout 3. It was so different, with an atmosphere that emphasises despair rather than hope (unlike most JRPGs), while remaining beautiful in its own way. That and all the cool weapons and equipment made it fun to explore every inch of the map :)

  2. Great Article! Liban you have to finish FFX when you get a chance some
    of the dialogue and acting hasn't aged well but it's still a great game.

    And if you like level 5(and if you can be bothered)try Dragon Quest journy of the cursed king, your probably a busy man so I recommend you get a steady job, pay all you bills, do all your chores and make sure you have nothing planed for the summer before you play. it's no skyrim but the story is around 80 hrs long.