Original Series (PS franchise)
With the release of Phantasy Star
in 1987, Sega
launched a series of classic turn-based RPGs across the Master System
, and Game Gear
, which helped define a generation of games. This franchise is best characterized by the millennium-spanning multi-generational battles against the malevolent Dark Force, spanning four numbered games and several "gaiden" side stories. PS ranks highly among all gaming franchises for the number of compilations, re-released ports, and remakes that the original four games have received.
After laying dormant throughout the the Saturn
era which saw a renewed interest in Japanese RPGs amongst Western gamers, Sega re-booted the series with Phantasy Star Online
on the Dreamcast
. A 3D action RPG with online and offline play, PSO was worlds apart from its 8 bit predecessors, but became a hit, spawning three additional episodes across the Dreamcast, Gamecube
, and Xbox
In December 2008, Phantasy Star 0
, the first new PSO game since 2005, was released on the Nintendo DS
In 2006, with PSO service nearing shutdown, Sonic Team
launched Phantasy Star Universe,
a second reboot of the series. With a new universe to explore, along with a large number of gameplay changes PSU was, despite similarities, a large departure from PSO.
In July 2008, Sega released Phantasy Star Portable
, which took PSU's gameplay and gave it a new storyline set between PSU's first two chapters.