#51 Posted by Rejizzle (466 posts) -

Persona 4 was great. Phantasy Star IV is a close second though. All those Phantasy Star games were ahead of their time in terms of story I feel.

#52 Posted by Nightriff (6213 posts) -

Persona fucking 4 is the only answer I will accept. Other are great but come on, P4 has it all.

Second place is Chrono Trigger and P3.

....that might be all the JRPGs I've played....that is sad really.

#53 Posted by Turambar (7149 posts) -

Final Fantasy VI and Persona 4, both games with only moderately strong main story lines, but offer amazing individual character story arcs.

#54 Edited by believer258 (12695 posts) -

@rongalaxy said:

I've never been big on JRPGS. I like the worlds and the story stuff, but the gameplay becomes such a chore after awhile. I do plan on muscling my way through Ni No Kuni and so far I've really loved the story in that. Same with Persona 4 Golden, but I lost my save after my vita memory card got corrupted (and I forgot to turn on cloud saving).

Question: is anything really gained from playing persona 4 on normal difficulty? All I really care about is the story/character stuff and the combat is definitely where it gets bogged down for me. Would I have a better experience playing on a lower difficulty?

Nah, play it on Normal. That will force you to switch up your tactics instead of just mash attack, at least. Not doing this will probably make it more boring, and you won't really be shaving off that much time. And if you really do get bored, then Persona 4's dungeons are excellent podcast gaming, or something to listen to music to.

Persona 4's mechanics are some of the best in turn-based RPG's anyway. You won't be able to make it through even the beginning dungeon by just mashing attack in every battle, you have to exploit weaknesses and use buffs and fuse up suitable Personas. Trust me, sticking to Normal is a good idea.

I played Golden on Hard earlier this year and never got bored of the battles.

#55 Edited by Jimbo (10178 posts) -

I liked 'The Upstreamers' vignette in Lost Odyssey.

That's all I've got.

#56 Posted by Flappy (2404 posts) -

Radiant Historia had me hooked from beginning to end. More people should play that gem on the NDS.

#57 Posted by chatmonchies (40 posts) -

Persona 3 FES. Nothing else comes close for me.

#58 Posted by TechHits (1483 posts) -

I would have to say Persona 4

#59 Posted by Brians (1514 posts) -

Earthbound,

Final Fantasy 4 ,

Chrono Trigger

#60 Posted by Shortbreadtom (930 posts) -

Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride. Super personal answer because it was the first JRPG I played and the story was doing stuff that young me had never even considered could be done in a video game. There's a certain time jump pretty early on that blew my fucking mind

#61 Edited by syz (257 posts) -

Atelier Totori.

#62 Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials (2525 posts) -

I remember Okage having good story elements, but it was very tongue-in-cheek. Which is probably what made it good.

Dragon Quest 8 had pretty good writing/localization and characters, though not a good plot or anything.

Persona 4 is the closest thing to a seriously good story I've ever seen in that genre, but its strengths are much more in the character study vein. I didn't love how the plot played out.

#63 Edited by EuanDewar (5143 posts) -

@hailinel: Doesn't Game of Thrones predate FFT by about a year or so?

#64 Posted by Sinusoidal (2200 posts) -

I really like the batshit craziness of Xenogears, and to a lesser extent, Xenoblade Chronicles. If you're going to make your game ridiculous, might as well be absolutely, ludicrously ridiculous.

And Phantasy Star 1 and 2 for nostalgic reasons.

#65 Posted by Chocobodude3 (964 posts) -

Final Fantasy X

#66 Posted by BoG (5387 posts) -

As much as I love JRPGs, they have pretty silly stories. I'm usually in it more for the characters than anything else. Final Fantasy VIII is dear to my heart, but I have a love/hate relationship with the story. Disc 1 contains some of the best few hours of gaming I've ever experienced. I loved the rivalry between Squall and Seifer. I found Seifer's motivations to be fresh for a JRPG, and very human. When I firs played the game, I easily related with Squall, as both of us had a tough time talking to pretty brunettes. Then disc two waltzes on in, throws in the whole GF making every character forget that they've known each other since childhood and now they've been reunited to save the world and time traveling witches and NORG. It's just awful.

FFIX was good. The game focuses on each character and their individual struggles. I loved the way the game explores existence, with Zidane and Vivi having both been created.

Oh, and I'll throw out a curve ball: Paper Mario 2. Less for the main plot, which is the same as most other Mario games. I loved how each chapter of the game was a fun, self-contained story, each with its own quirks and names for Mario. There was also the subplot where the AI falls in love with Peach. TTYD is a seriously underrated game.

#67 Posted by Amafi (1014 posts) -

The least bad plots out of all the JRPGs I've played are easily in Persona 4 and Paper Mario TTYD.

#68 Edited by Karkarov (3662 posts) -

@oldenglishc said:

Phantasy Star IV. That game is a masterpiece.

Glad someone else knows this game exists. The Phantasy Star series would have been huge if it could have gotten off Sega systems.

That said .... @starvinggamer, no Xenogears was mind blowing and also the answer I would pick for the OP's question, it certainly is one of the few JRPG's I have ever played that had a story that did anything I didn't expect. I will forgive giant Chuchu though... cause it was funny. Vagrant Story is a nice honorable mention, as well as the criminally underrated Lost Odyssey. Final Fantasy Tactics (the original not the crap sequels) also deserves a mention.

Persona 2 Innocent Sin and Person 3 are the best Persona stories. I would rate 4 higher if it weren't for the fact that I figured out who the killer was halfway through the game.

@hailinel: Doesn't Game of Thrones predate FFT by about a year or so?

Yeah, it did. First book came out in 96, (Jesus, get off your ass and finish Martin) and Tactics hit in 97.

#69 Edited by Zirilius (835 posts) -

@oldenglishc: Finally someone who understands!!!!! Phantasy Star 4 is so gooooooooooood.

Final Fantasy 6 souls also be on there.

Ps4, FFXII, ans Suikoden 3 are all on equal footing to me.

#70 Posted by Loafsmooch (423 posts) -

Like others have said, I find it hard to decide what the overall best story is because of the complexity of the narration in most JRPGs. I'll just talk about my two favourite games when growing up.

Both FFVII and VIII have parts that are very heartwarming/heartbreaking. The side stories add a lot of flair and make the worlds feel alive, which felt unique at that time. But it's especially the character relationships that I remember the most. As a 14 year old playing those games I really "cared" about the characters. And that space part in VIII amahgad...

#71 Posted by gokaired (581 posts) -

The bet I've played so far, I'll short list to five

FF6 - a classic and well put together tale.

Xenoblade Chronicles - epic proportion.

SMT: Devil Survivor - my first SMT game, It's a very cool concept and has a very interesting mythos.

Knights in the Knightmare - a dark tale of Knights, Death and Demons.

The World Ends With You - I want a sequel like made! Dead people fighting to live again, like an upbeat Dark Souls or something.

M&L:Partners in Time get an honourable mention

#72 Posted by Superkenon (1552 posts) -

Wild Arms 3. The setting, the cast, the journey, the plot, and the wacky-ass turns. It's all great. Doesn't hurt that the game itself is fantastic.

#73 Posted by SunBroZak (1684 posts) -

I like the brand of crazy that is Disagea's story, but Persona 4 probably takes it for me. I can't say I'm a huge fan of the way Persona games end, but the characters are some of the best in video-games.

#74 Posted by Jazz (2322 posts) -

Personal best or best written?

Personal favourites would be:

  • Cavia's Drakengard and Neir series. Shame about 2.
  • Persona 2
  • Valkyrie Profile series
  • Suikoden 2 (oh Luca Blight)
  • FFVIII - I'm in the minority but I much prefered 8 to everything but 6..
  • Vagrant Story
  • Digital Devil Saga is also pretty good.

Best written? Neir.

#75 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

@hailinel: Doesn't Game of Thrones predate FFT by about a year or so?

Now that I look it up again, yeah, you're right. Still prefer FFT to Game of Thrones, though. :P

#76 Posted by ToTheNines (981 posts) -

Persona 3 didn't have THAT great of a story, what it did have was an ending that blew me away. I adore that game.

Honestly cant think of a JRPG with a great story, but I haven't played that many to completion either.

#77 Posted by Jay_Ray (1203 posts) -

Persona 4, FF XII, and I have a soft spot in my heart for Valkyria Chronicles (despite it not being a good story or well written)

#79 Edited by eternalshades (106 posts) -

Personal favorites

  • Xenogears (if only disc 2 wasn't rushed...)
  • Breath of Fire 2
  • Final Fantasy 10
  • Final Fantasy 9
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Chrono Cross (though maybe it's just my fondness for its music making it memorable)
  • The World Ends With You (corny for sure, but very well executed)
#80 Posted by Jeust (11376 posts) -

@jimbo said:

I liked 'The Upstreamers' vignette in Lost Odyssey.

That's all I've got.

That is a great short story! I don't know if you read the other ones or know about this, but if you haven't you should look at this site:

http://lostodyssey.wikia.com/wiki/A_Thousand_Years_of_Dreams/Dream_Trigger_Locations

it has all the dreams's transcripts.

Personally I loved The Upstreamers, and also The Bread of Granma Koto, The Queen's Loneliness, and In the Mind of a Captive.

#81 Posted by computerandy9 (37 posts) -

This is a really tough question.

But I think I'd say my favourite is Trails in the Sky closely followed by persona 4 and the last story.

Trails in the sky just had an amazing world filled with great characters and all the NPCs felt like real people. Everyone had a story and the game was overall fantastic.

The last story was also really good. It was a short and sweet and had a very mature storyline without teenaged characters. Without doubt the swan song of the Wii in my eyes. (Unfortunately I could never really get into xenoblade.)

I've played both persona 3 and 4(golden) and I'd have to say between the two 4 is far better IMHO. I just found the characters to be much more likeable and overall the game featured far more story elements and events to keep me interested. Whether as persona 3 seemed kinda shallow in comparison but still good. (Note I did play 3 after 4 so maybe that had something to do with it I'll never know.)

#82 Edited by natetodamax (19418 posts) -

I haven't played many JRPGs, but Persona 4 is definitely the best one that I have played. I really enjoyed the story in Final Fantasy XIII, perhaps to the chagrin of many, but nothing comes close to P4. It has the best characters I've ever seen in any game and a wonderful setting. The quality of the writing is so strong that even though I watched the entire Endurance Run before playing the game myself, I still had a fantastic time with it.

Playing it without knowing the entire story like I did is no doubt a better experience, but I'm just glad that the site introduced me to this game.

#83 Posted by MadsWare (46 posts) -

Chrono Trigger, Persona 4 and Ni No Kuni. I strangely remember that i also loved Eternal Sonata´s story, but i cant remember much of it.

#84 Posted by Excast (1157 posts) -

Can I nominate the first disc of Xenogears?

#85 Posted by Dasacant2 (243 posts) -

@lawgamer said:

For JRPGs? FFXII, hands down. The characters had multiple facets to their personalities and followed defined, reasonable arcs through the story. Square also actually took the time to give the game universe a sense of history and geopolitics as opposed to just coming up with some dumb sounding buzzwords that get repeated ad nauseum, like in XIII.

(Sample conversation from FFXIII: "L'cie focus focus. Fal'cie Pulse Cocoon focus. L'cie fal'cie? Focus Pulse fal'cie Cocoon Pulse!")

It's XII for me too. Vayne is my favorite villain in the final fantasy series and I think they handled the empire as a whole really well. I just wish that it was paced a little better, especially in the middle.

#86 Posted by csl316 (10666 posts) -

Action-RPG, Vagrant Story.

Traditional RPG, Valkyrie Profile: 2.

Both had very unique storylines, cool characters, and highly memorable endgames.

#87 Posted by FLStyle (5460 posts) -
  • Persona 3 (+ FES)
  • Persona 4 (+ Golden)
  • Final Fantasy Tactics (+ War of the Lions)
  • Chrono Trigger

#88 Posted by Video_Game_King (36566 posts) -
#89 Posted by MikeLemmer (769 posts) -

Persona 4 seems to be the popular opinion, so I'll toss my hat in with Tales of Symphonia, which takes an ordinary-looking fantasy plot and twists it into a giant screw-you to fate & destiny.

#90 Edited by Excast (1157 posts) -
#91 Posted by Video_Game_King (36566 posts) -

@excast:

I wouldn't hold it against them. This was the era of disappointing later discs. Remember Chrono Cross? Or Final Fantasy VIII (the game should have ended after the Garden fight)?

#92 Posted by Jack_Lafayette (3794 posts) -

Apparently, people really appreciate FF XII's story? I quit playing it shortly after coming to intensely dislike the gameplay, but if it's that good, maybe I'll go back.

#93 Posted by Jeust (11376 posts) -

Apparently, people really appreciate FF XII's story? I quit playing it shortly after coming to intensely dislike the gameplay, but if it's that good, maybe I'll go back.

I loved it, although I lost interest in the middle of the game.

#94 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

@excast:

Or Final Fantasy VIII (the game should have ended after the Garden fight)?

No, it really shouldn't.

#95 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1863 posts) -
#96 Posted by Slag (5471 posts) -

@hailinel said:

As others have said, I like different games for different reasons, but some I can name are:

  • Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth's story arc is one of the most heart-wrenching, poetic characterizations I've seen in any video game.
  • Final Fantasy XIII series: Lightning's story arc specifically, going from the start of the first game to the end of Lightning Returns, was a wild ride and one I won't soon forget. Seeing the ending of Lightning Returns just puts a big smile on my face.
  • Persona 4: The murder mystery, the characters of Inaba, and of course, Yukiko.
  • Final Fantasy VI: A wild story with a deep, diverse cast that goes in some surprising places, both light-hearted and dark.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: A political drama inspired by the War of the Roses before Game of Thrones came along and did the same thing.

That's an impeccable list, although I personally prefer Persona 3 slightly to 4. I suppose though in a way that 4 is more impressive in that it can juggle different emotional tones more effectively.

Valkyrie Profile is one of the embarrassing holes in my gameplay resume. :( Always wanted to play it, never managed to locate a copy.

#97 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

@slag said:

@hailinel said:

As others have said, I like different games for different reasons, but some I can name are:

  • Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth's story arc is one of the most heart-wrenching, poetic characterizations I've seen in any video game.
  • Final Fantasy XIII series: Lightning's story arc specifically, going from the start of the first game to the end of Lightning Returns, was a wild ride and one I won't soon forget. Seeing the ending of Lightning Returns just puts a big smile on my face.
  • Persona 4: The murder mystery, the characters of Inaba, and of course, Yukiko.
  • Final Fantasy VI: A wild story with a deep, diverse cast that goes in some surprising places, both light-hearted and dark.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: A political drama inspired by the War of the Roses before Game of Thrones came along and did the same thing.

That's an impeccable list, although I personally prefer Persona 3 slightly to 4. I suppose though in a way that 4 is more impressive in that it can juggle different emotional tones more effectively.

Valkyrie Profile is one of the embarrassing holes in my gameplay resume. :( Always wanted to play it, never managed to locate a copy.

I imagine that the PSP version of Valkyrie Profile is at least somewhat easier to find these days, though I personally prefer the PS1 version. I prefer the original cutscenes over the new CG animation, and the original North American PS1 release also made some menu interface tweaks that make the game smoother (these tweaks were not in the PSP version, to my knowledge). But I definitely recommend it if you can ever find a copy!

As for Persona 3, I really do enjoy it, but I found the characters in general far less likeable than Persona 4's cast.

#98 Posted by Slag (5471 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@slag said:

@hailinel said:

As others have said, I like different games for different reasons, but some I can name are:

  • Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth's story arc is one of the most heart-wrenching, poetic characterizations I've seen in any video game.
  • Final Fantasy XIII series: Lightning's story arc specifically, going from the start of the first game to the end of Lightning Returns, was a wild ride and one I won't soon forget. Seeing the ending of Lightning Returns just puts a big smile on my face.
  • Persona 4: The murder mystery, the characters of Inaba, and of course, Yukiko.
  • Final Fantasy VI: A wild story with a deep, diverse cast that goes in some surprising places, both light-hearted and dark.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: A political drama inspired by the War of the Roses before Game of Thrones came along and did the same thing.

That's an impeccable list, although I personally prefer Persona 3 slightly to 4. I suppose though in a way that 4 is more impressive in that it can juggle different emotional tones more effectively.

Valkyrie Profile is one of the embarrassing holes in my gameplay resume. :( Always wanted to play it, never managed to locate a copy.

I imagine that the PSP version of Valkyrie Profile is at least somewhat easier to find these days, though I personally prefer the PS1 version. I prefer the original cutscenes over the new CG animation, and the original North American PS1 release also made some menu interface tweaks that make the game smoother (these tweaks were not in the PSP version, to my knowledge). But I definitely recommend it if you can ever find a copy!

As for Persona 3, I really do enjoy it, but I found the characters in general far less likeable than Persona 4's cast.

That's really good info thanks! I'm still holding out hope the PS1 version eventually comes to PSN.

I actually liked P3 in part because the characters were less likable, I dunno made them seem a bit more believable to me.

Likability is something I always wrestle with in games as to whether it's a good or bad thing. Too many games I think are concerned with making playable protagonists likable which I think hampers storytelling possibilities. But on the other hand, I understand an unlikable protagonist is a lot riskier commercially in a game vs a movie or book because you as the player are tied to them for a much longer period of time.

#99 Posted by Entreri10 (396 posts) -

So far it would have to be Persona 4 (from the endurance run, haven't finished golden myself yet) But I haven't beatin Persona 3 or Chrono Trigger yet so that might change.

#100 Posted by bboymaestro (543 posts) -

The buildup in Persona 3 FES was gorgeous and painful. Everything lead to that ending and I didn't want it any other way. The last moments before credits rolled are on my short list of moments of actual art in a video game.