RPGs - 4 up and 4 down

Here’s a topic that I’ve seen in other places but not here - each of us lists four RPGs that we particularly like (or consider very underrated) and four RPGs that we particularly dislike (or consider very overrated), with a brief explanation for each opinion. This gives everyone a peek into each of our own tastes and preferences within the genre and usually sparks a debate or two. You don’t necessarily have to pick your absolute favorite or least favorite RPGs, just eight for which you possess a cogent opinion. Ready, set, go.



One often-overlooked gem in the PS1 RPG library. Although the visuals aren’t brilliant and the voice acting is downright painful on occasion, Grandia is a very fun, very charming RPG that does a particularly good job of using a timing-oriented ATB-esque battle system and an entertaining cast of characters to its advantage.

Seiken Densetsu III

This game teamed up with Final Fantasy V and Tales of Phantasia to fuel my ZSNES obsession five or six years ago. SD III removes some of the diversity of weapon combos and spell learning systems of its predecessor and slows down the speed of combat just a tick, but the six playable characters, class branching options, plot branching options, and excellent SNES-era visuals make for a hell of an action RPG.

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

This was the first great strategy-RPG since Final Fantasy Tactics to find a great balance of storyline, stylistic, customization, and battle elements. This game is most definitely geared towards hardcore level-uppers and fans of strategy-RPGs, with hideously powerful hidden bosses and dauntingly long series of optional dungeons serving as the ultimate goals for a very entertaining and exploitable battle system and customization system. Definitely a must-buy for fans of the genre.

Tales of Symphonia

If you like RPGs and own a Gamecube, then you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t try this one out. While it isn’t my favorite of the Tales series (that honor belongs to the PS1 remake of Tales of Phantasia), Tales of Symphonia is an excellent blend of entertaining characters and storyline, solid audio and visuals, an intense battle system, an entertaining array of customization options, and a hell of a lot of sidequests. In the USA Symphonia is overwhelmingly the most popular game in the Tales series, and it’s not difficult to see why.


Wild ARMs 2

I really enjoyed the first game in this series, but its sequel even more loosely uses the American Old West as an inspiration and gives us less depth and attachment to its characters. The quality of the game’s soundtrack also goes down a significant notch. It’s no surprise that the original got a solid PS2 remake and this one didn’t.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

The two PS2 KH games have a ****ton of fans and that popularity is mostly well-deserved, but CoM bastardizes what makes KH so much fun, replacing it’s vibrant worlds, colorful characters, and entertaining battle system with a bland labyrinthine castle and repetitive card-based combat. No thanks.

Dragon Quest VI

The Dragon Quest games have one hell of a pedigree, but are often criticized for being too slow, too long, and too boring. DQ VI not only lives up to those criticisms, but delivers them in excess. DQ VI starts slowly, moves slowly, and doesn’t ever seem to end, and if that weren’t enough it also lacks DQ V’s entertaining storyline and character interaction, DQ VIII’s brilliant visuals, or DQ VII’s great characters. It gets props for bringing back a decent version of the DQ III class system, but it takes so long to get anything out of it that it only slows down the game ever further. If you want to get into the DQ series, don’t start with this game.


A God-awful Zelda clone. I don’t know if it even should be considered an RPG (only one playable character, very little freedom within the storyline), but it might be my least favorite game of all time. Avoid this like an STD.

The Grandia opening theme is fucking amazing. One of the best songs in all of videogaming if you ask me.

Speaking of opening themes, I heartily enjoyed Lagoon’s opening theme. But yeah, that games horrible.

Yeah, I shrined the damn thing and is it ever a terrible game.

I rather liekd Lagoon myself…

I like your “good” list. All deserving titles.

Well, I’m flattered that I’m hearing a mostly-positive reaction to my list, but the idea of this thread is for users to contribute their own 4 up and 4 down. So what’s keeping y’alls?

Honestly? I just don’t feel like writing up my reasoning. That’s all. :stuck_out_tongue:

Laz, it looks like nobody wants to play your game. That is unfortunate; I love to read what other gamers, particularly the members of this community, consider a bad or a good RPG.
Evaluating the battle system/story line/character’s depth/soundtrack/etc is not my forte – talk to me about P/E and P/S ratios, the book value, the dividend yield, and now we are cooking.

I treat my RPGs like I treat my women – they have to look pretty, being smart could be an asset, but not a prerequisite. Obviously, by rating this way, the pre-PS2 era games are being discriminated by yours truly. Well, they can always get some extreme makeover/plastic surgery, and then we’ll see.
I’ll appraise two RPG’s just to give you a glimpse of how my rating system might work.

Underrated/ Good

Xenosaga is the best game bar none (there are 3 XSs, but I’ll combine them into one; the way some film trilogies à la Matrix or LOTR could be repackaged). She is so hot: you’re a getting a hard-on just looking at her. And she is a dynamo when you play her – tagging Xsaga as a nymphomaniac, wouldn’t be an exaggeration. She wants you to watch her playing with herself, while you are recovering between multiple climaxes.

Overrated /Bad

FF VII - this nerdy girl, she wears black framed glasses, with lenses thick as a beer bottle bottom, she never puts on a makeup, her hair look like a wet mop, and she always wears that ugly sweater with a cow’s head logo.
But what a personality! She is smart, funny, kind and you can talk for hours non-stop; you have so much in common. Oh, if only she would fix herself up… with better graphics.

Let’s see:


Mega Man X6 - It really isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. It has some problems (such as the great randomness of the levels), but the gameplay is solid and it is still fun.

The Urbz - Surprisingly good. It is different from the Sims, but still manages to be unique and good.


Super Mario Sunshine - Very disappointing. The water pack reuins the Mario parts (I love the parts where he loses the pack). I wasn’t expecting it too be as good as Super Mario 64; I just wanted a fun 3d platformer.

Resistence: Fall of Man - It is an average shooter. It isn’t really anything special. It could have been good if it used it’s time period theme (such as actually looking like the era and having weapons from the era). It seems like it is the PS3’s launch game because it is the best exclusive the system has, which is somewhat sad.

Metroid Prime: Hunters - Not really a bad game, but the controls just make it hard to play for any extended period of time.

That’s all I can think of at the time. I’ll add more as I think of them.


Bahamut Lagoon.
Simply cause I don’t heat about it enough. While it never got released with an official translation and such (a shame) It’s still a fun tactical rpg with some very nice customization and interesting concepts of party building. Actually effecting the map with spell (destroying bridges with lightning, setting forests on fire with fire[troops take damage while inside the inferno], making bridges of ice) add an extra dimension not too often found in strategy games.


Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (GBA)
…Please don’t make me bring up the horrible memories of playing this. Imagine the worst rpg possible. Then slap the original (book not movie) Storyline to it, and you may have this.

Lufia: The Ruins of Lore
First things first, this game was clearly rushed. There are lag points and such in multiple spots, and the music is usually more annoying than not. There is also an incrediably annoying glitch that makes it so that enemies only drop thie gold some of the time. So maybe 50% of the time, you get gold after a battle. THe monster catching system tends to be more annoying than anything, yet nessesary cause you need the extra psrty members to survive. Yet these extra party members also further divide up the precious precious exp, and in order to make them really good you have to spend an unnessesary amount of time breeding and training them and searching and feeding them the proper food and so on. Human party members (with a couple exceptions) learn skills through apprenticing to appropriate guilds, such as swordmaster, thief, mage, etc. As you level up in your guild rank, you learn new skills. However they never tell you how exactly you level up, and as far as i can see it may very well be after you’d battled more than a nessesary amount of fights. In closing, biggest waste of my money I’ve spent yet.

I might add the other 3 and 2 at another point but these were all i could think of at the moment.

SG: You don’t care to give us your opinion, but you care enough to tell us you don’t care?

Anyway, I’m game. Here I go:


Persona 2: This game has one of the most orignal concepts I’ve ever seen in an RPG (Urban Legends become true if enough people believe in them) some shockingly realistic details (serial killings), spooky undertones (You have to make pacts with- DEMONS? Though it isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds, in fact it’s pretty funny :stuck_out_tongue: ) and best of all, a Romance that must be sacrificed to save the world. Truly unique.

Saga Frontier: A game that features it own, original MULTIverse and the chance to play everything from a vampire to a robot to a superhero! If not for the awful graphics and the fact the stories are unbalanced in lenght (the game was rushed out before it was finished) this would be the best RPG game ever.

Wild Arms 2: I really don’t get why people here dislike this game. Is it because it wasn’t a real sequel to WA1? Because its western elements were only superficial? (So where the ones in #1.) Because it dialogue was translated poorly? (Happens all the time in RPGs.) Or because they found the ending presumptuos (I loved it!) I think it had a great story that featured both realistic elements (politics getting in the way of saving the World) and fantastic ones as well (the ultimate menace is… a LIVING UNIVERSE?? YIKES!) The characters were great and the graphics were MUCH better than in WA1. Definitely my favorite RPG.

Grandia II: In many ways a typical RPG of its kind, but I still liked both the revelation that the religion the characters followed was false, and that one of the main characters was actually part of the Ultimate Evil (though she got spared in the end.) The graphics were awful, but otherwise, not as bad as people say.


Final Fantasy Tactics: Too many political manipulations, too many betrayals, not enough stuff on the main characters to make us care much for them. Add graphics too cute for such a serious story and a truly horrible ending, and this would be the worst game ever, except for the great Job System- I played the game twice just to play around with creating or recruiting characters. (But I STILL don’t get the whole Lion War thing.)

Xenogears: A good game marred by twists out of the left field (wait- the bad guy was a SPLIT PERSONALITY of the hero??) and concepts too far out even for me (the entire human race was fabricated as spare parts for a huge biocomputer??) not to mention the obviously-rushed ending. It had is great parts- I liked the Animal-Voltron robot, the giant fuzzball, the android girl, etc; but in general the tone was too dark and absurd for my taste.

Dragon Quest 7: Maybe this game is good, maybe it isn’t. I don’t know because I could never finish it the two times I tried playing. The first time I had a seizure (probably due to playing the thing over 100 hours in one week- and I still didn’t get anywhere near the ending!) the second time I was just bored by how long it took me to catch up to where I left off (I lost my original save) plus the repetitiveness of the story. The graphics didn’t help.

FF Tactics Advance: You know a game is bad when even I get bored and stop midway thru the first playthru. Maybe I was just not comfortable playing such a game in a Game Boy. Or maybe it was the feeling that the story didn’t really matter because in the end the whole thing snaps back to reality. But more than anything, it must’ve been how long it took to master all the jobs.

OK, what can we tell about me from these games? Well, it seems I hate pessimistic games (unless they are wel written, like Persona 2) as well as ones that are too long. And, despite my love of superheroes and other such high fantasy, there’s stuff even I can’t swallow, like the whole premise of Xenogears. I DO love original ideas, however, and stories were the goodness of the characters is key to victory (GO WA2!!!) :smiley:

Alright, I’ll give this a whirl. And to make things interesting, I’ll talk about RPGs I haven’t gushed/bashed to death yet. But I can only think of 3 up and 3 down at the moment.

Good/underrated RPGs.

Seiken Densetsu 3: I had my doubts. I hated Secret of Mana (AKA SD2) and Evermore, but I downloaded it anyways, and I came to love it! SD3 is my second-favorite Squaresoft game behind only Chrono Trigger. What’s great about SD3 is it’s replayable; you can use six very different characters, and use many different character classes. And it’s a lot of fun to play. And it’s incredibly beautiful. And it has a good soundtrack. Need I say more?

Paper Mario: The first Paper Mario is one of my favorite N64 games. It’s been a long time since the last time I played it, but I remember it was good fun. Sure, it was really easy, but the battles were a lot of fun; having to time button presses, much like in the other Mario RPGs, (They also good/underrated RPGs.) adds a whole new dimension to battles that I enjoy. Paper Mario is also silly without being too silly, and quite funny too. Good, silly fun, the way I like it.

Final Fantasy 5: FF5 is often overlooked for having a weak story by FF standards, but it is still great in its own right. The job system alone makes it worth at least one playthrough. You could play forever just mastering the many different job classes. There’s many sidequests to do, lots of challenging monsters to fight, a lot of fun times to be had! If you play RPGs for the actual game, not for graphics, story, music, etc., give FF5 a whirl. You’ll like it.

Bad/overrated RPGs.

Tales of Legendia: Oh man, don’t even get me started on TOL. I’ve only played three Tales of games in my life so far, (Phantasia, Legendia, and The Abyss.) but I can safely say TOL is by far the worst. The battle system in TOL is not as good as in the other games, and the game itself is way too easy; the lack of difficulty and a decent fighting system makes the dungeons a boring drag. Also, the game’s story starts off good, and I really like the characters that are Chloe Valens and Jay the Unseen, but that’s all ruined by the ending. TOL has one of the worst endings in the history of ever. It will leave you thinking, “That’s . . . it!?” And many, many questions are left unanswered. TOL could’ve had a great story, it was certainly shaping up to be one, but it ends on a completely sour note. All this and mediocre graphics, music, and voiceovers too. And the most annoying female RPG character ever. (Damn you, Norma Beatty. Damn you to Hell.)

Earthbound: I still don’t get why everyone who played RPGs during the SNES era acts like EB is a classic. It is not. It wasn’t even good when it first came out. It’s too hard, it’s boring, it’s doesn’t have good production values, (graphics, music, etc.) it’s got almost nothing going for it. It does have one thing; it is very funny. It has very good quirky humor, I’ll give EB that. But the game itself is a huge Dragon Quest ripoff that will frustrate you to no end. I know it frustrated me.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: What do you get when you take one of the best games ever made, but redo it with a slapdash feel and none of the greatness of the original? KOTOR 2. Okay, the good stuff: it has decent graphics, decent music, a few new abilities, a higher level cap, and the superb voiceovers and dialogue of the original, but that’s it. The level design is crap; none of the new planets stood out in my mind like in the first KOTOR. Also, the new characters, Bao Dur notwithstanding, are completely forgettable. Nothing like the cast from the first game. The story itself never picks up like in the first KOTOR, and eventually dissolves into nothing by the end. The sidequests aren’t as well thought up like in the first game, and . . . I could go on almost forever. KOTOR 2 could’ve been a great game, but it was too rushed; it even feels rushed as you play it. Oh well.

Whoa, I just realized my passages for the games I don’t like are a lot longer than the passages for the games I do like. I need to lay off the hate . . .

Fallout 2: FO2 is more than good and I’ll consider it underrated until people start erecting statues in the name of the Vault Dweller. Fallout 2 allows you to choose your way of interacting with the post nuclear West Coast, while having an overarching story so that you can get some closure when you decide to beat the game. Do you want to sweep in, guns blazing and kill everyone you don’t like? Check. Do you want to stealthily kill the bad guys and give their money to the poor (who won’t do anything with it)? Check. Be a leader of the Mob? The Lone Ranger? Want to play an orator named Demosthenes and win the game without spilling a drop of blood with your hands? Check, Check, Check. Your character is customisable and you can control his reactions and the way he talks (back) to the other people. No more cookie cutter heroes if you don’t want to. The funny thing is, I’m not on Black Isle’s payroll.
P.S. The game so damn enjoyable. Bethesda, FO3 now.

Shining Force: It doesn’t have a real story. The royal advisor, whom you drag with you for the whole game looks funny. The story is highly innovative; take your [STRIKE]ragtag army[/STRIKE] Shining Force, beat the bad evil guys, chit-chat in between and show the world what the mighty hero, Max, is made of. That may not sound so good but the game is a whole lot of fun, has interesting battles and when the going gets tough, Mighty hero Max –hero is his class btw ^ ^- can strike a couple decisive blows and save the day. There’s also a GBA remake titled SF:Resurrection of the Dark Dragon which apparently is the same game with better graphics. I’ll play that sometime too.

Zelda: Link’s Awakening: I fancied going on a rant about the awesomeness of ALTTP but then I remembered everyone has already played this*. LA was a great game even when I didn’t know it was hard to cram all that stuff into a game boy cartridge. It’s replayable and if you still got your game boy you can take it with you on the road. I especially liked the way they successfully used obstacles to make the game areas feel bigger. Plenty of items and dungeons, light-hearted at times –you can jump on goombas- and a quite fun and deep -for the GB- game. No character development of course.

Warcraft III: The hero feature in my opinion butchered the strategy factor compared to Starcraft. However it allowed for some custom maps which are small rpgs in their own right; the get XP, better stats, bash monsters still doesn’t fail to attract. Here’s to you, underrated map makers.

*I hope.


Wild Arms: I liked the premise of the game but it was s…l.o…w…, the graphics seemed to serve more as eye candy rather than the gameplay and I got frustrated in the process. Too bad.

Shining Soul 1: Ridiculous leveling required. Even cheating, it was sometimes still hard.

I can’t bother remembering bad games, so you get only two.

I thought Final Fantasy Tactics and Secret of Mana were really overrated. FFT has a good story, and unlike Wilfredo I actually like the ending. However, the script is just atrocious. It’s not just the mistranslations. The dialogue is horrible. Everybody talks in abrupt bursts with multiple exclamation points after each sentence. And Secret of Mana has no story to speak of. There are characters, sure, but very few cutscenes, so you never really see any dialogue except the bare minimum necessary to advance the plot.

Hmm under and overated games. Alot of the games i feel are over and under were already mentioned so lets if i can add anything new to the list.


Grandia - This game has already been mentioned but I LOVE THIS GAME!!! I’ve beaten it 3 times. As already stated the visuals and voice acting leaves some to be desired, but the story and characters are just amazing. Also the gameplay is very inovative. I enjoyed the magic and special move system, it was such a nice change from just leveling or buying items to learn new abilities.

Xenogears - Xenogears has one of the most amazing stories I’ve ever played. On top of that it has one of my favorite characters of all time. CITAN UZUKI I LOVE YOU!!! Granted the gameplay can be very linear, but I just cant get over all the biblical refrences and philisophical themes. Granted I may just love that asspect because I’m a history major. Not to mention the music is pretty good as well and the graphics are nothing special but there not bad either. I just feel this game is far to under played.

Phantasy Star 4: End of the Millennium - I love this game its simple and fun with lots of great characters. From what ive seen this game is often overlooked. Good story, good characters and good gameplay. I love the way they did the cutscenes, it was comic book -esqe the way the would have the still pannels overlap and stuff I though that was cool. Nothing extremely special about the game i just found it to be a really solid game that didnt let me down.

Tales of Symphonia - A great game with a fairytale like feel almost. This game is visualy beautiful and has a really good cast of characters (with exception of collete, COLLETE JUST DIE…sorry anger slip). Not to mention great voice acting. This game was just done wonderfully and was a solid play all the way through. A little less serious than I would have liked at times. I felt it lacked some of the more serious feel that “Tales of Phantasia” had, which is why I feel alot of people will over look it. But none the less I highly recomend it.


Grandia 3 - This game was such a let down it almost made me cry. The character development was crap. The Grandia series is known for having great characters and great deveolpment. Also the plot was oddly familiar, which wouldnt have been bad if the characters had been less superficial and more original. The game was so entirly average and Grandia 1 and 2 were amazing with such memorable characters. This game was almost as big a let down for me as Xenosaga 2.

Parasite Eve 2 - Know I loved the first Parasite Eve it was an original game with a really cool story (actually its based on a japanese novel). The second one was no more than resident evil with magic i was so dissapointed in it. Not to mention the story was nothing really special either.

Kingdom Hearts 2 - Another sequel that I feel fell very short of its full potential. Basically it comes down to the pacing was horrible. Also they was no real purpose for visiting the disney worlds over, I fealt alot of them were teidious. Not to mention they turned it into a hack and slash it was way to easy. I’m not saying its a bad game, beacuse I did enjoy it. I just feel its overated and didnt reach the expectations of alot of fans.

Sword Of Mana - Oh my god this game was one of the worst games I have ever played. I was expecting a “Secret of Mana” style remake of Seiken Dentetsu 1. Nope just a piece of crap and a waste of money.

Thats really it as far as games that I feel are under played or that just made me cry. There are probably others for both catagories but thats all I can think of off the top of my head.

Xenogears-Amazing music, characters, and once you understand it, brilliant story, way ahead of it’s time. This game is filled with nostalgia for me, I’d love to play it again one of these days.

Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete- Again, one of the best soundtracks (I still listen to that CD that came with it), I’ve heard in an RPG, memorable characters. The story is pretty derivitive, and now, I’m certain they took plenty of liberties with the the script, but fuck if it isnt one of the best written scripts. Still funny as hell. The sequel took a nosedive, however. :frowning:

FFT: Look, by now you can tell what I’m judging these on. Plotwise, this is the most mature RPG I’ve seen yet.

Suikoden II. I got the shitty ending, but everything upto that point was nothing short of amazing. I sold my copy. What the motherfucking fuck was I thinking. NO way in hell am I ever gonna be able to buy it back again. Not if it goes for some 200 bucks on Ebay.

I dont want to say FFVII, thanks to the way those assholes at Squenix fucked up its legacy for a profit, but it still remains one of the most memorable games I’ve ever played. Plus it still holds a lot of sentimental value, not just the time spent on the game, but that time in my life too.

I did five, cos who the fuck does 4?

Evolution Worlds- It’s not ‘bad’ it’s just not good. It’s sooooooooooo cliche soooooooooooooo simple and soooooooooooo short. You fight monsters, level up gain new attacks, repeat. Like the game was made in the early 90s. The oddball attacks and goofy cast made it worth slogging through.

KHII the exact same reasons the previous poster mentioned. The pacing is so uneven. First you’re some doofus named Roxas, then it goes into some fucking psychobabble, then you’re goofying around with Goofy and Donald, going through (much much shorter) disney worlds, then it gets serious again, then you’re fucking around underwater, then more seriousness… What a joke. Most of the drive forms were useless; that shadow form was fucking bullshit. It was just a chore.

Lunar Eternal Blue- Look at my ravings regarding LSSS. Now insert the opposite here. The soundtrack is still fun to listen to.

Xenosaga II. The game itself is maybe 18 hours. So how do they create length? Add 5 hours of cutscene and make the rest of the game a motherfucking fetchquest.

Phantom Brave, La Pucelle, etc. When you tell someone “I’m going to go WORK on this game” does it make it fun? They were fun at first, but all the level and stat building ended up making it a chore.


Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords: The first KOTOR was better, to be sure, but considering the shit that went on with this game’s production (being shipped to a much smaller and younger developer, being given less than half the development time of the first game, etc.), I still feel this was a pretty good game. I actually enjoyed the story for the most part, the characters weren’t as god-awful annoying as the first game (coughCarthcough), and the new Force powers and skills were equally useful. Unfortunately, the ending goes straight to hell (because the game was rushed for a Christmas market), and there are numerous glitches (Nar Shadaa will forever be cursed in my mind), but besides that, I felt there was a good game mired underneath piles of crap.

Besides that, I can’t think of any at the moment, so let’s get into the games that are…


EarthBound: I hate this game. Seriously. Everything about it makes me want to vomit. The graphics look like FF4, or at least late NES. The music and sound made my ears bleed. There was no real plot to speak of. I didn’t even find the game funny! sees everyone preparing their torches and pitchforks The fact is, there are INFINITELY better RPGS out there for the SNES, and this game has gotten FAR too much praise for what it actually is: a low-tech game that has to rely on toilet humor to keep its audience.

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: Alright, I have a confession: I’m one of those guys that can’t handle total nonlinearity. Morrowind often left me wondering what the hell I was supposed to be doing, as I wandered from one dirt-brown region to the next. The actual storyline is somewhat decent, but even if you WANT to do any of its missions, it’s a nightmare to find the people you have to talk to, OR the tombs and ruins you have to ransack. Furthermore, I can’t think of a game that bored me more; having to walk endless miles between cities because the ONE means of quick transportation doesn’t stop there can drive a person insane. Fortunately, Oblivion was a MUCH better game.

Okay, that’s it.

New Age Retro Hippies, d.

Earthbound is overrated yet has a certain charm. The Blues Brothers-like band, beating enemies with a bat, the music, [strike]the insanely boring leveling up.[/strike] No accounting for taste.

Basicly I see Earthcound as a novelty item. Its has its moments and quirks which make it fun. Everything stated above made it quirky, it was a nice change from the classic knights clerics and wizards. But thats about it.

Yes and the hippies were quite funny.