We've reached the end of the week, congrats! TGIF, as they say. This week was also a big one for the team at USG, because our RPG podcast Axe of the Blood God reached its 200th episode!
For the occasion, Kat and Nadia went over what they believe are the best RPG soundtracks, stories, developers, and more. Oh yeah, and they reached the end of the Top 25 RPGs countdown they kicked off last summer. It's been a long time coming, but they finally reached number one: Chrono Trigger! To listen, you can tune into the embedded episode above.
To many, Chrono Trigger isn't a shocking pick. It's long been celebrated as one of the best RPGs of all time by fans. Maybe to you it isn't (or it is), but we're still curious. What do you think is the best RPG ever made? (And you can't pick Chrono Trigger!) Let us know in the comments below.
That's a real hard question for me, because while I enjoy Chrono Trigger, I don't think it's the best RPG of all time. The things that I look for in RPGs, a wide-variety of choices, directions the story can go, and interesting characters, are only partially addressed by Chrono Trigger. It's a work of great craft, but it doesn't sit at the top of the heap for me.
It's a toss-up. The Witcher 3? It told an excellent tale and laid some interesting situations at the feet of Geralt, but its combat was just okay. Divinity: Original Sin 2? Definitely a strong contender overall, with excellent systemic combat and an interesting supporting cast. Fallout: New Vegas? Amazing as an RPG, but also buggy as hell. Mass Effect 2? I slightly miss the more KOTOR-like combat of the first game, though the second's story and cast was much better. And that's only if I don't count MMOs.
I'll go with Divinity: Original Sin 2.
I'm more of an action-adventure game guy, but if I had to pick a favorite RPG it'd probably be Atlus' Persona 4. I still remember the entire summer I spent in front of the TV with a PS2 controller in hand trying to solve a murder-mystery with my Japanese teen friends. Honestly the summer I spent in Inaba was one of the best summer vacations ever.
To this day I haven't been interested in playing another 100-hour RPG unless it's from FromSoftware or Persona 4. Not even another Atlus JRPG has been able to sink its claws into me the same way Persona 4 did way back then.
This one's easy for me, because, shockingly, I've never played Chrono Trigger. (Calm down! Stop gasping!)
As you all probably know by now, Persona 3 is one of my favorite games ever made. But is it the best RPG ever in my opinion? Well, it's up there, but it still has fatal flaws that can't be ignored. So I'm going with a more recent entry, one that landed actually quite high on our own Top 25 RPGs countdown: The Witcher 3.
No other RPG has gripped me like The Witcher 3, and unlike most other RPGs, I felt as if I was truly roleplaying as Geralt of Rivia. I shaped his personality; I pursued Gwent cards to idiotic ends because in my mind, Geralt needed a break from all the beast slaying. I wooed Yennefer, initially only because I found her hot, but then I too fell for the warmth beneath her icy exterior. I prepared for every battle by... reading in-depth bestiary descriptions about a monster's history. (Then I put the correct oil on my blade, obviously). In the past decade, it's easily not just the best RPG, but maybe the best game I've ever played.
My honorable mentions include Persona 3 (if Persona 3 were ever remade with the battle system and polish of Persona 5, it would probably be the best RPG), Nier: Automata, Ni No Kuni, and Final Fantasy 9. My young age probably shines so bright right now. I'm sorry. I turn 30 in a few years.