14 Oct


We absolutely love RPGs here at Elder-Geek. Thanks to the massive delay in Alpha Protocol‘s release, you may be getting the itch to play even more quality RPGs. After all, Dragon’s Age will only tide you over for a little while.  Here they are again in no particular order: Ten More RPGs That Are Still Worth Buying… And Playing.


Planescape: Torment (PC)

Planescape: Torment Intro Video

Following the success of Fallout and Fallout 2 and using a modified version of Bioware’s Infinity Engine from Baldur’s Gate, Black Isle developed and Interplay published Planescape: Torment in December of 1999.  The game was a massive hit among critics and gamers and has been hailed as being one of the best RPG’s ever created, but at the time of its release, it fell short in terms of sales.  Putting you in control of the Nameless One, a comparatively evil character considering the standard protagonist of many RPG’s, you were allowed to shape his journey as you saw fit.  One of the many innovations was the fact that your character was immortal and had led past lives.  Upon dying, you’d be resurrected but some character in the world would perish, leaving his spirit to seek revenge upon you.  Remembering a past life would yield new insight into the plot and new skills.  If there ever was a more underrated and underplayed RPG, it is Planescape: Torment.  Unfortunately, copies are quite rare and unlike many of its contemporaries, it has not seen a reissue in the decade since its original release.


Seiken Densetsu 3 (Super Famicom)

Seiken Densetsu 3 Intro Video

Once upon a time, developer Squaresoft (now Square Enix) had the Midas touch.

Seiken Densetsu 3 (“The Legend of the Holy Sword 3″) is considered by many to be superior to its predecessor, Secret of Mana (known as Seiken Densetsu 2 in Japan). The story was lengthy but rewarding. It also gave players a huge range of classes to modify the six main characters as the game progressed. Sadly, the third title in the Mana series was never localized.  Featuring a similar real-time battle system with multiplayer capabilities and the ‘ring’ inventory system, Seiken Densetsu 3 also had a time progression element where certain skills and abilities would be enhanced at different times.

The game was met with excellent reviews and in 2000, a fan translation of the ROM into English was released on the internet.  So there’s no excuse not to play it.


Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game Cube)

Lord of the Rings: The Third Age Trailer

The makers of this one definitely played some Final Fantasy X during dev time because the battle system is practically identical but that’s not exactly a bad thing.  You play Berethor, a Gondorian soldier who, en route to meet Boromir in Rivendell, is attacked by Ringwraiths and promptly saved by a female elf named Idrial in true Arwenian fashion.  You’re then guided through the events of the trilogy by cutscenes narrated by Gandalf the Grey, which will lead you to all of the hot spots seen in the movies and have you interact with all of the main characters.  The experience is best described as a voyeuristic ‘behind-the-scenes’ type venture that allows you to see the fellowship’s journey from a slightly different perspective.  If you’re in need of a Middle Earth fix and would care to sate your desire for a solid RPG at the same time, then look no further.


Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II (PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game Cube)

Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II Trailer

Do not attempt to compare these two titles to their PC counterparts for to do so will result in immense disappointment.  Instead, treat them as a pair of standard hack’n’slash console RPG’s.  Both have relatively simplistic combat systems but both allow for a degree of customization.  The original has you beginning your quest in the heart of Baldur’s Gate, allowing you to choose the Human Archer, Elf Mage, or Dwarf Fighter.  Each has a distinct play style and some unique quests, as well.  Upon completion, you can play through the game again on Extreme Mode by using one of your pre-existing characters and doing so will unlock the legendary drow elf, Drizzt Do’Urden (you are not geeky enough unless you know this name and the fear it instills into the hearts of the wicked in the Forgotten Realms).  The game ends on a cliffhanger and the sequel picks up immediately afterwards.  In addition to bringing the overarching story to a close, Dark Alliance II gives you more playable characters, more side quests, and an item modification/creation system.  Both titles are excellent for console RPG’s and if played with a friend, they’re even more enjoyable.


Lufia and the Fortress of Doom and Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (Super Nintendo)

Lufia and the Fortress of Doom Intro Video

Imagine being an RPG on the SNES.  Now imagine being an RPG on the SNES that wasn’t developed by Squaresoft.  Right about now you should be imagining Lufia and Lufia II, a pair of fantastic RPG’s developed by Neverland and published by Taito (Lufia) and Natusme (Lufia II).  This is one series that was forgotten pretty quickly, despite having sequels on the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance and it’s truly a shame because they were fantastic games.  In the first title, you play the hero on a quest to rid the world of evil with three fellow travelers, one of whom is the titular Lufia, your childhood friend and love interest.  It’s not exactly the most original approach but there’s a reason it’s standard.  You’ve got monsters, caves, prophecies, and kids with crazy colored hair.  The game takes place about a century after four warriors vanquished the evil Sinistrals.  And naturally, the Sinistrals are back, leaving four more warriors to vanquish them again.  The only design flaw I can detect playing it so many years later is the fact that if two characters target an enemy and the first one kills it, then that second one is gonna swing at the air.  Lufia II puts you in the shoes of the original four warriors during the rise of the Sinistrals and is very similar.  Either way, both games are excellent and if you ever find copies for reasonable prices, get them.  Or if whoever owns the rights would give us a collection or at the very least a PSN version or PSP/DS remake, then that’d be fantastic.


Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (PlayStation 2)

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne Trailer

You might as well just put every Atlus RPG on this list because the sheer number of titles that they bring over from the land of the rising sun is baffling.  The most well known titles in the Shin Megami Tensei series are those in the Persona sub-series, which rose popularity with the release of Persona 3, Persona 3 FES, Persona 4, and Persona PSP.  Released in 2004, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, the third official title in the main Shin Megami Tensei series is definitely one of the best RPG’s ever created.  But it’s not for everyone.  Unless you’re willing to invest at least 80 hours of your life in a philosophical storyline with an emphasis on the occult and demonic, then don’t bother.  But if the heavy anime-style plots and characters of the Persona series are unappealing, then Nocturne is the perfect alternative.  And it’s recently been reissued so you can find this brand new for $29.99 at many stores.


Final Fantasy V (PlayStation, Gameboy Advance)

Final Fantasy V Intro Video

Yep, believe it or not, a Final Fantasy title qualifies for this list.  But not just any FF, Final Fantasy V was never localized and only saw a US release on the PlayStation Final Fantasy Anthology in 1999; a full seven years after its original release.  It was later ported to the Game Boy Advance alongside IV and VI.  The game has many standard elements of the series with 22 classes to choose from and the Active Time Battle system controlling the combat.  You’ve got five playable characters with a four character party system, one of whom is the tomboyish Faris, who Yoshitaka Amano says is one of his favorite creations next to Terra from VI. And while there have been waves of rumors about DS and PSP remakes of the game, if you really want to play it, Final Fantasy Anthologies is readily available brand new for under $20 and you get Final Fantasy VI with it as well so there’s no reason not to.


Odin Sphere (PlayStation 2)

Odin Sphere Trailer

Sometimes described as a painting in motion, Vanillaware’s 2007 PS2 RPG, Odin Sphere, is one of the most unique RPG’s of its generation.  With the gameplay of a side-scroller and the advancement of a typical RPG, it’s about as far away from turn based as you can get before going all-out action RPG.  Featuring an excellent storyline and gorgeous visuals, it’s one of the many gems on the PS2 and definitely an RPG you might have missed.

For the original “Ten RPGs Worth Playing…” click here!

16 thoughts on “Ten More RPGs You MIGHT Have Missed But Are Still Worth Buying… And Playing”

  1. The Third Age wasn’t that bad of a game, Sauron is way too over powered though. I am at the end and he just inflicts crazy status ailments on you so you can’t beat him, plus I can’t go back and grind where I am at, GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Great game otherwise.

    1. I hate it when that happens. Always grind before the point of no return. In fact, well designed RPG’s don’t have save points around the point of no return.

      1. The thing is, I didn’t know that was the point of no return, it doesn’t tell you that it is the point of no return, usually a game will tell you when the end is.

      2. no, great RPG’s don’t make you do pointless grinding just to be able to fight some bosses in the first place. many JRPG’s need to catch light of this.

  2. Yeah, I never finished Odin Sphere… the game gets too hard when it gets to the final book. In fact, I can’t beat the first boss (Cerberus) in that book with any of my characters.

    Grim Grimour is another Vanilla-ware game that got passed over… and I love that games story.

    Yet again… another great list!

  3. nicely done eliot. planescape torment is easily one of the best RPG’s ever made, every RPG fan should play it atleast once. nice to see the dark alliance games mentioned aswell, i get the feeling if they weren’t called baldur’s gate people would treat the two games much more fairly, i enjoyed them a lot for what they were.

    lands of lore, gothic 1 and 2, wizardry 8, bloodlines and arcanum all deserve mention aswell, brilliant games. i think the SMT games are finally getting the recognition they deserve tbh and aren’t really the best choice for these sort of lists anymore. not final fantasy like recognition, but a lot.

    1. Mmmmmmm… Wizardry 8!

      You know what game I almost put in the first 10? Ultima IX: Ascension. Even though that game was super buggy, I don’t know why, but it always held a special place with me.

      IGN actually said it best when they said: “I’m sorry, but what else are you going to give a game that plays like a slide show, has so many bugs at ship that it can’t be finished, and turns its back on the genre it created? The game’s actually pretty linear, and the only reason it takes a long time to finish the first time is its poor performance.”

      I remember I had a beast of a machine at the time, too and it still had issues. I’m glad I didn’t put it in. Now that I’m reminiscing about it, I can recall how frustrated I got with it 10 years ago. It was just one of those games that I REALLY REALLY wanted to be good.

      1. lol don’t get me started with that one, i agree with IGN. damn shame though.

        also, suikoden 1, 2 and 3 should be on one of these lists if you decide to make another one. truly some of the best JRPG’s ever made, especially part 2.

        1. Yes, the Suikoden series was definitely underrated and overshadowed. Suikoden 2, however sells for a ridiculous price. I don’t know if I’d buy a copy for that price, but if I had a copy, I’d definitely sell it.

  4. Lists like these are great for a person like me. Due to overrated junk like Legend of Dragoon, I found it hard to play non-Square RPG’s for a while.

    I definitely want to try Lufia and Odin Sphere though.

    Also, do not get FFV for PSX. It got an awful translation, long load times, and is just not a very good version with the little extras you get. Same with FFVI on Anthology.

    The GBA ports from 2006 and 2007 are much better, with new content, classes, and dungeons. Plus, they are portable!

    1. Well said, UB.

      The load times were what really brought down Chrono Trigger on PS1 as well. Thank goodness that made it’s way to the DS. My battery pack on my SNES cartridge died last year.

      1. I’d prefer long load times on the PS1 to a bastardized re-translation on the DS–don’t get rid of your original SNES cartridge–that battery can easily be replaced.

    2. i find it funny how legend of dragoon is considered somewhat a “cult classic” nowadays simply because it didn’t have final fantasy on the box, which it might aswell had. terribly overrated game.

      1. I haven’t played it–my factory sealed copy is on my display shelf, though. But I can tell you I’d rather play Vagrant Story or Xenogears.

        1. So true… those games blow all Final Fantasys out of the water (maybe not 6… but they are probably better IMO).

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