RPG Rating - Top 100

Top 100 RPGs of all time (yes, I play that many RPGs) in my opinion.  Mostly JRPGs, as I just prefer the genre.  Order does matter.  Yes I realize FFIX is the only FF not on the list, that is entirely intentional. 
 
Feel free to comment on absent games, but if something seems like a glaring omission (Valkyria Chronicles) it's because I didn't consider it an RPG.  Yes I have played all of these and many more.

List items

42 Comments
Posted by gonzab

Don't necessarily agree with the rankings, but the list is great and has basically all the bad ass RPG's ever made.

Posted by Addfwyn
@gonzab: Yeah, I think everyone's rankings are going to be different, but I tried to hit up all the big names
Edited by Astras

Yea nice console list, not sure where you have hidden KOTOR or any of the pc RPG classics such as might and magic 6.
 
And yes, I do remember Vandal Hearts, my avatar is Kain from the crimson guard lol, if u didn't notice

Posted by Addfwyn
@Astras: I never played them, so they didn't make it on my list.  Back in more classic day I was pretty much strictly consoles.  Also having never seen Star Wars, I always thought KOTOR would be lost on me.
Posted by Mamba219

It's kind of odd how divided I am on your list. 

You have Xenogears ranked #1 all time, which is completely true and I love that someone else recognizes how marvelous that game is. But then you leave Final Fantasy IX, which is definitely my #2, completely off.
 
Which begs the question: what about FF9 did you like less than EVE Online?

Posted by Addfwyn
@Mamba219: I recognize the influence and unique qualities of EVE, and there's some really compelling game design there, but the community drags it down.  In some cases, the influence of a game mattered, like the original FF making it on there (even if it isn't the best RPG ever by today's standards). 
 
FFIX had some plusses (Wonderful soundtrack, good visual style, and nostalgia) but was absolutely ruined for me by the characters.  Specifically Zidane, who is my least favourite character in a video game...well, ever.  I think without him, I could have had a totally different opinion on the game, but the rest wasn't enough for me to get over him.  Characters are just too big a part of a solid RPG for me.  Your opinion is perfectly valid though if you didn't have the same hatred of Zidane as I did.
Posted by AgentJ

Quite the list you've got there :P
It really is amazing to think how nice Riviera looks considering it originally came out for the GBA.

Posted by soccerkid82

sooo quick question...KH Birth by sleep comes out in september...but you've got it listed as a top 100 title even though never having played it?

Posted by Addfwyn
@soccerkid82: I live in Japan, it came out here a while ago.
Posted by gla55jAw

If I ever run out of RPGs I need to play, I will come to your list.

Posted by InKtOiD

Very interesting list that hits on every great RPG, well almost every one, made ever. 
While each persons list will vary I can say that your first two choices certainly reflect my own.

Posted by aznan

I really like your list, but was saddened to see neither Grandia (which I liked way more than its sequels) nor Lunar 2: Eternal Blue making an appearance. They are both at least top twenty for me.

Posted by Addfwyn
@aznan: I actually didn't like Lunar myself, though I really probably should have included it on the list in retrospect, for influence sake, as well as the generally high reception that it got.  Alas, I never did get to play the original Grandia, just some of the sequels :(
Posted by Faint

not quite sure how ff13 made it so high in your list, especially higher than 7 (mind you im not one of those 7 fan boys either) and i don't think ff13 did much at all to bring rpg's into the next gen. there hasn't been an awful lot of good rpg's since the ps2 and i think its because they aren't being as innovative as some of the other genres. final fantasy xiii may have been a financial success, but definitely not critically. to be honest i wouldn't even put it in the top 100 rpgs.

Edited by Addfwyn
@Faint: Well it doesn't necessarily have to be a critical success, the list is my opinion :P.  Though I admit I do have a few games on the list I don't personally like, but I do give recognition to for influence.  I really enjoyed the world and setting of FFXIII, I like the story and characters a lot as well, though I hear that some of the English voice acting dragged down the US release.   Plus the gameplay mechanics were just topnotch, if not the best gameplay system in an FF yet.
 
I liked the way it streamlined a lot of the experience, consolidating a lot of the dungeon exploration and the towns.  Though other people hate it for that reason, which is a prefectly fair opinion to have. 
 
For me though, it's one of the things I really enjoyed about it, and I'd like to see more of in future RPGs.  Other opinions are of course, perfectly valid.  In which case, I invite you to make your own list and leave FFXIII off of it, if you so choose ^^.
 
VII, while a good game, was very overrated.  I don't think it actually changed that much about the RPG genre, it just became one of the first RPGs that was really mainstream.  Not as well-crafted a game as the other FFs I rated above it (8 for characters, X for world, XIII for mechanics, VI for story and really setting a standard for more indepth mature story-driven PRGs).   
 
EDIT: Not trying to sound snarky with the 'make your own list thing'.  I really mean that you should if you want to ^^
Edited by jorbear

At first I was about to rage that there were no WRPGS in the top 30, but then I saw you said you prefer JRPGS... 
My list is different, but whatever. Oh and I don't know if I would put MMORPGS in the same vein of traditional RPGS. Oh and Planescape: Torment? I mean, "What can change the nature of a man?" 

Posted by PixelPrinny

Well-compiled and thought out list! I won't comment on the order of your picks, as your tastes are your own and everyone else's, mine included, will differ, but it was nice to see a lot of recognizable titles show up.  
 
I may have to compile such a list of my own one of these days, hehehe.

Posted by Sepultallica86

Dragon Quest iv or v would definitely make my list.

Posted by Atta

nice list. will bookmark and get most of these games. someone should really make a comprehensive list of all RPGs that are REALLY worth playing. because, you know, if I sink 10 hours into a game just to try it out and see how it is that's kinda too much. 
one thing I don't get though: xenogears being in first place. I got this game because SO MANY people said it's damn awesome and I played it for quite some time just permanently thinking "hey, it's the start of the game. of course there's not a lot to do except main story". then I made it into the prison part of the northern kingdom (kislev I believe?) and it STILL was bland. i really feel I should love this game to death. maybe there's something I don't get. is the story gonna become more interesting after the prison and will there be some more fun stuff to do as well?

Posted by Addfwyn
@Atta: It depends what you're looking for.  Xenogears does not have the most compelling gameplay ever, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't the highlight of the game for me.  It's good enough that you won't (or shouldn't) hate playing it, but you're really playing for the story and characters. 
 
It IS a pretty late blooming game, story-wise, it's also pretty insanely long.  I remember the first few times I started to play it I thought it looked pretty bad (I was younger, and after playing so many better looking games, Xenogears seemed really dated) and I just wasn't super compelled by the early narrative.  After sticking with it for a while though, I was absolutely in love with it.   
 
If you're not as concerned with the story or characters, or want something that gets into it a lot faster, I probably wouldn't recommend it.  Gameplay wise it isn't bad, but it's not super amazing.  
Posted by Atta
@Addfwyn:  bummer. i don't know. i guess the lack of side stuff to do is what's getting to me. or the lack of swag. even in ff1 I always knew that every village I arrive at has some stuff that's way better than mine. to my knowledge i've been lugging the starter stuff with me for a long, long time in xenogears. also...not getting the move system either. anyway...thanks for the info Addfwyn. and to anyone reading this: try the game. it's actually pretty good. even gameplay-wise I loved the "fuel" system and the interesting take on turn-based combat
Posted by evilhomer

Nice list but the lack of BoF IV makes me sad...you recognize the first three did you not get around to playing four?  its my favorite of the series and would make a top 10 rpg list for me.

Posted by lordofultima
@evilhomer said:
" Nice list but the lack of BoF IV makes me sad...you recognize the first three did you not get around to playing four?  its my favorite of the series and would make a top 10 rpg list for me. "
I agree man! BOF4 is an exceptionally crafted RPG, looks and plays a hell of a lot better than 3.
Posted by Soap

Great list, played a lot of these myself but it's always good to find more. 
 
May I ask why you didn't include FF9? Did you simply not play it? Or did it drastically rub you up the wrong way? lol

Posted by Addfwyn
@evilhomer: I never got around to playing BoF IV, it's always been on my 'to-do' list but I just haven't got the chance.  I'll check it out if you think it's good. 
 
@Soap: Honestly I should have included it, it was a well-crafted game that had some really fun mechanics, good art style, and absolutely fantastic soundtrack.  But the cast of characters drastically rubbed me the wrong way (especially Zidane) and just sucked so much enjoyment I could have had for the game.  Honestly though, I think I was holding it to too high a standard, cause it still should probably make the list.
Posted by iWonder

Really impressed by Live a Live being on there, I thought it was more of a technical marvel than a story-heavy pack of games, was really impressed with how much they were able to shove into a single SNES cartridge.  
 
...About the rankings and people generally disagreeing with the order in which you put them in - ask me one day and I WOULD say xenogears is the best ever made, ask me the next and I'd punch you in the face.  

Posted by quicksand31

I need to play Xenogears again.  When I first played, I got burnt out and set it down for a few months.  Thus, the story didn't have the same impact when I finished that it would have if I had stuck with it.  Overall, I did still enjoy it a lot.
 
I think FF8 had a lot of interesting systems in place, but I don't think they were necessarily executed well.  Namely, the junction system.  By the end of the game, I loved junctioning and thought it made great sense, but for the first 30ish hours, I didn't think it was very useful at all (especially junctioning magic).  I know it's supposed to be a slow reveal as you level up characters and GF's, I just thought it was too slow, I guess.  Also, I didn't connect with the FF8 characters as I have with other FF game characters.  The only ones I truly cared for were Squall and Rinoa.  Because Rinoa is often an NPC, it made the game a little less fun for me. 
 
Great list, regardless of my ranking opinions (FYI: I'd probably still have both Xenogears and FF8 in my top 10, just maybe not 1 and 2)

Posted by FUN

Impressive.  Definitely going to look back on this one

Posted by Addfwyn
@FUN: Thanks, glad people are still using/liking this
Posted by EightBitShik

Nice to look through the list. I wonder if you left it out, didn't have room for it or just haven't played it but Jeanne D'ark was one of my favorite turn based games. I loved the art and the story of course. 

Posted by Addfwyn
@EightBitShik: I haven't got a chance to play it, but I've heard good things, it's high on my list to check out
Posted by Habast

Going to have to contest the description of FFXII :p 
 
It's my second favorite Final Fantasy behind X. Not all the characters are good, but Balthier, Basch, and Ondore are some of my favorite video game characters period. I do agree that the story got a little boring, though. 
 
Overall, though, awesome list. Gives me an idea of some games I should try. XD

Posted by Habast

Also, I am a fan of WRPGs but usually prefer JRPGs. Don't really like Fallout, though.

Posted by Addfwyn

@Habast: Sorry for the super late response. Balthier was indeed pretty awesome, but I felt like he was a sole saving grace for the main cast of characters in that game. Ashe (and consequently Basch) I understand the motivation for. Why is Vaan STILL there, why does Penelo join them after they rescue her too. They just seemed there for no real reason, and totally bland. Half the time going through the third dungeon in a row before my next destination, I couldn't even quite remember why I was there.

The world of Ivalice was pretty cool, and the narrative itself I didn't object to. I just felt that the pacing was really off and maybe half the cast of characters just seemed dead.

Edited by divinejayku

Finally. A list with Xenogears at the top. I remember spending years having conversations with other 'RPG Fanatics' who had never even played it. I slapped them.... hard. And fyi, to those who actually put enough time into it. FFXI was ridiculously epic. (Can't wait to see how much flak I get for that...)

Oh and wait. Suikoden I&II. MY GOD what games those are. I include 3 for the sole fact that it continues the original story... hated the dual-character combat and no overworld map, not to mention the yawnfest of strategy battles.

Also..... Paladins Quest anyone? I realize how linear it is, and how some of the other mechanics in the game could be frowned upon. But wow I still LOVE this game.

And to comment on your ... comment ... on the previous page, I thought the battle system in Xenogears was actually really cool. The idea of making your own combos which exploded into 25+ hit cool animations for great dmg was REALLY awesome! o.O

Posted by Addfwyn

@divinejayku:

Xenogears may have lacked in gameplay sometimes (second disc) but the story was arguably the best RPG story ever put together, which catapults it to the top of the list. I also loved FFXI, played it for a looong time before switching to WoW, and no MMO (including WoW) grabbed me quite the same way.

The Suikodens and Paladin's Quest are great games too, actually totally forgot about Paladin's Quest. By the end of the year I hope to revise this, adding any new games that may have made the list since I wrote it and titles I may have forgotten (such as PQ).

Posted by Habast

That's okay, it seems my response was even more super-late. XD

I do agree with that post, for the most part. Vaan felt very out of place.

Posted by tourgen

alright list, but it seems to be missing Bard's Tale, Ultima, Arcanium, and any mention of the Witcher series. No Wasteland or and of the Wizardry games. Torchlight makes the cut but none of the first-person dungeon crawler RPGs like Dungeon Master or Eye of the Beholder.

I think you should just cut all the PC games and rename the list to "Top 100 Console RPGs".

Posted by jsmoke

weird list. i don't get how you can put a game you didn't like in the list.

btw can anyone show me a "how to" in how to make lists like these? the ones with the links and pictures...tks

Edited by KKGlider

I very JPRG/console-centric list, but in that context, very good. I'm impressed with your SNES selection, as most people (including myself) have not gotten around to playing many of those games. It's too bad there aren't any Sega platform games (for the exception of Skies of Arcadia, maybe). I think that's what keeps this list from being truly representative.

I finally finished Xenogears about a year ago, and I really don't understand the hype. It just falls off during the end. Which is fair--the game is already really long--but overall, it's not well paced at all; far from perfect. That said, it's hard to make a definitive statement about the best roleplaying game of all time.

I have a question about the Y's PSP ports. I hear they're bad. Do you feel they're worth playing, or did you mean to name the original versions?

Posted by Addfwyn

@kkglider: Unfortunately in my youth, I didn't have easy access to many Sega systems except at friends' places, and playing lengthy RPGs on a friend's console is a bit tricky.

The criticism of Xenogears is totally justified, I just happened to enjoy it for the pure story, even though the gameplay ceased to really exist. As far as the Y's games, if you can play the original versions? Do so. Since they aren't the easiest things to always find, I really had little problem with the PSP ports. They weren't the definitive version of the game (like the FFT PSP port) but they still held up fairly well I think. If you haven't played them and you have access to the PSP port, totally worth it.

Totally unrelated, is that username a reference to a certain very awesome musical dog?

Edited by KKGlider

My criticism was actually directed at the story. Towards the end, they just rolled out a bunch of text based narrations, right? It negatively impacted the story and gameplay, I think. Not enough to be completely be detrimental to the entire game, but enough to mar it. I looked it up to figure out why, but I couldn't get a definitive answer. Most people think it's a matter of time and budget constraints, and that's a real shame. I would love to see a remake of Xenogears where Takahashi can follow through on his vision for that game.

Have you heard anything about Y's Chronicles for Steam? I found it hard to find specific, reliable, reviews for that port.

Anyway, there aren't too many Sega RPGs worth visiting, but the Phantasy Star, Shining, and maybe even Beyond games might be worth checking out. The Lunar games are pretty good too.

And yeah, my username is allusion to KK Slider. I like the idea of a vagabond, mysterious, dog that plays guitar.