A recent topic discussing Ni No Kuni's battles has me thinking about my favorite battle systems in RPGs. I wanted to ask all of you, what are your favorite battle systems?
A few of my favorites, all from JRPGs:
Active-Time Battle from Final Fantasy: I don't think any discussion of JRPG battles is complete without mentioning the ATB system. From what I understand, it was a bit of a revolution when it was introduced in FFIV. Clearly it's a good system, as Square used it for six games. Having completed the six games that use the system, it is my opinion that it's a lot of fun. It's real-time, forcing you to think on your toes, but character's static positioning doesn't make it unwieldy.
Conditional Turn-Based from Final Fantasy X: I was initially in doubt of this system, as I didn't see how it was anything but a turn based system with something thrown into the HUD to indicate who would attack next. I was wrong! The battles were fun because you could see how your actions would effect turn-order. This added a layer of depth to your attack strategy. Furthermore, the game allows you to switch your characters at any time. Most enemies are weak to a certain type of physical damage, so swapping on the fly would allow you to take them out in the most efficient way possible. It's a shame that the CTB system was only around for one game, it was a lot of fun.
Press-Turn from Shin Megami Tensei: The great system introduced in SMT III is a whole lot of fun. The emphasis with this system is weakness. You must protect your party's weaknesses and exploit those of your enemy. Doing so will grant you additional actions, allowing you to pummel the enemy. If you're not careful, your enemies can exploit your weaknesses and punish you. Different games in the franchise applied this in different and fun ways (like GB's beloved Persona games).