The PlayStation is often referred to as the console that introduced RPG games to mainstream gaming. This is a well-deserved assessment. The revolutionary 32-bit graphics enabled gamers to interact with their characters in a way never possible with prehistoric consoles. They evolved from ugly pixels to organic images that interacted and expressed real emotions. The system’s processing capabilities allowed for a wide range of gameplay options beyond traditional side-scrolling titles like Super Mario or The Legend of Zelda.
These game-changing innovations have ushered in a new era of gaming that is dominated by great roleplaying games. We counted down the top five RPG’s for PlayStation One.
Square’s ambitious project Xenogears relied less on traditional RPG elements and more on rich storytelling to captivate players. It is a complicated experience that will require you to think for yourself. The plot is tightly written and shares many similarities with Japanese anime. Fei Fong Wong is the protagonist. He is a strong warrior who, despite his clichéd name, is an extraordinary and fascinating character. Fei is an amnesiac who has no memory of his past. A group of military insurgents are trying to steal a deadly robotic weapon called a “Gear.”
The beautiful graphics of Xenogears look almost like anime. You will be captivated for more than fifty hours. Although Xenogears is not as well-known as Final Fantasy, it deserves a place in any RPG fan’s library.
4. Vagrant Story
Vagrant Story, a game that is less well-known than others on this list, stands out because of its multi-genre appeal. It deserves to be recognized among the best RPGs of all time. Square’s attempt to create a dark, cinematically captivating game by combining the best elements of a Japanese RPG and the fast-paced styling and pacing of an action game was a huge success. Vagrant Story is basically a dungeon crawler, but Square makes up for it by creating an intelligent battle system that relies on combo attacks and user strategies. Vagrant Story is a challenging game that can be hard for new players. However, it offers an exciting gaming experience that no one else has.
3. Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII had much to live up to. Everyone expected VIII to follow the footsteps of its predecessor, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest games ever made. It did. Final Fantasy VIII was another fantastic achievement by Square and was as influential as its predecessors. The first Final Fantasy to feature realistically-proportioned characters, VIII also had one of the most mature and entertaining stories to be found in an RPG.
Squall, a moody and stoic teenager, is the protagonist. He is training at Balamb Garden in order to be a member of SeeD’s elite mercenary unit. As if that wasn’t enough, he also wields the Gunblade, one of the most potent weapons in gaming history. Final Fantasy VIII was a thrilling experience that deserves its place on this list.
2. Chrono Cross
Chrono Cross is a game that developers must have experienced equal amounts of anxiety and excitement. It was the sequel to ChronoTrigger, which quickly gained a following for the SNES in 1995. It was a massive success for the SNES, and it was difficult to follow up with a worthy sequel. Square-Enix rose to the occasion and produced a game that was, if possible even, better than the original.
It featured a unique storyline that included parallel worlds. The gameplay was exciting and fast, with a preference for on-field enemies over random encounters. Despite its immense popularity and critical praise, Chrono Cross has never seen a sequel. The developers likely decided it was impossible to duplicate perfection.
1. Final Fantasy VII
Shocking, isn’t it? Final Fantasy VII is a highly regarded video game. Its level design and artwork are inspiring. The graphics were also groundbreaking at the time it was released (1997). Again, the soundtrack is courtesy of Nobuo Uematsu, and it is absolutely magnificent.
An unforgettable cast of characters led by Cloud Strife (the brooding, iconic Cloud Strife) and Sephiroth (the nefarious counterpart Sephiroth) danced their way through an engaging and captivating story that has not been bettered in the thirteen years since. Although there were many imitations of the title, Final Fantasy VII is the only one.
Honourable Mentions – Grandia, Final Fantasy IX and Persona 2