I’m getting a little happy with the lists lately, but honestly, we have a few games that are highly underrated for how good they are– I know people have played them and love them, and I suppose they’d earn the title of Cult Classic in some ways, but the mainstream gamers rarely have a chance to taste the deliciousness of these games, and honestly, I feel that’s kind of a travesty. So that’s why this list has been devised, to give people an idea of what to purchase for themselves the next time they have a bit of cash, or in some cases, a lot of cash.
Such a couple of other series on this list, Grandia‘s sequels did surprisingly better than it did, and while that’s fine and good for them, people are missing something unique here in the game, and it follows the same type of play-style that Grandia II did, but the story somehow was more easy for me to fall into– there was something all too lovable about Justin as a character, and Sue’s entire presence in the game seemed to be almost just begging to break your heart at some point– the underlying story might seem a bit strained, but the characters and interactions are strong enough to draw you in and make up for that– everyone will find a favourite character in this series, and if you don’t adore Leen and Feena, you’ve lost your mind at least somewhere along the way. It’s worth at least a play through, to get an idea of where the series was born.
Most people have at least played Earthbound, or heard of it from one of their fanatical friends, but it surprises me how little exposure this series gets in the States, given that it has one of the most unique play-style and storytelling systems you’ll ever see– while the game is laced with puns and seemingly idiotic points of game-play, you’ll find yourself immersed in a story you didn’t realise was as amazing as it was before you started. A mediocre concept of saving the world is taken to whole new levels through the series’ several games, and while I’ve only had a chance to play Mother 2(Earthbound) and Mother 3, I feel that the series needs more exposure than it has, because the message is there, and the game plays like a story.
Contrary to the idea that the sequels did better than the original, Xenosaga is the sequel, or prequel, here, and most people write it off as the “best anime they ever watched”, which is hilarious– I understand that the beginning of the game is a bit long-winded, but the story is building into something far more compelling that most people can understand– it has one of the longest, yet most beautiful beginning cut-scenes ever, and foregoing that because you don’t want to sit through it all and you want to blow shit up means you should probably be playing an FPS and not an RPG ((I’m not denigrating FPS’, I love them, but this list is about RPGs, so)). I absolutely adore the way they did the combat system in this game, and through each of the subsequent sequels it gets harder and harder to master, so you’ve always something fresh to try and learn, and as said, the story is amazing.
I cannot stress enough how much the entire series of Suikoden deserves to be touted as one of the greatest in the world– the only reason it’s at number 2 is because I honestly feel like it has a bit more exposure in the mainstream than the top game, but it still needs more– the game should be on it’s billionth sequel, because contrary to Final Fantasy as the story goes, it gets more compelling ((barring 4 which was an oddly mistimed misstep)), and you want more of them through the story. You want to find out more about these characters and where they’re going, and you honestly find someone in nearly ever game that you can relate to from a previous game, someone you’ve loved develops a new personality, or you find out more about their past, and it’s amazing. The fighting style is one of my favourites of any game, feeling a bit more customisable than most as you can set up people with different runes and fight styles through their rows– also it warrants mention that the secondary combat system through the Wars is one of the most unique you’ll see, and I do mean in all the games. It tends to shift style with each game, but you’ll never find yourself bored with the game in any measure of the word.
The original of a long-standing series, Wild ARMs doesn’t seem to attract near as much attention as its sequels, and I find that to be utterly sad, considering it started the series, and in its heyday, it was one of the most unique RPGs of its time. While trying to avoid spoilers, I will say that any game that starts the way Wild ARMs does, deserves at least a bit of attention ((those who have played it will know exactly what I mean with the real beginning)). I honestly find myself more attracted to this one than its sequels, I find the characters more lovable and the story much more… easy to follow in its complexity. You find yourself sympathising, or at least empathising, with the ‘villains’, and sometimes you wonder if you’re on the right side. Also, it needs noting that Rudy Roughknight is one of the most amazing characters ever for a silent protagonist. It was touted enough to get a remake for the PS2, but somehow it still feels under appreciated for what it is. Great game.
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Five seems like a small number for underrated RPGs, but there becomes a point when you realise that your favourite series’ are more than a little under appreciated for whatever reason. Do any of you have cult favourite games? Or games that no one but you seems to like?