Best Console Generation For RPGs?

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Which Gen Had The Best RPGs?

NES/Master System
0
No votes
SNES/Genesis
5
19%
PS1/Saturn/N64
18
69%
PS2/GC/Xbox/DC
2
8%
PS3/Wii/360
1
4%
 
Total votes: 26
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Old_School
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Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Old_School » Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:50 am

Since these forums have plenty of adults who have been playing games since the 8-bit days (or longer), I'm curious which generation of consoles that most people here would consider the best for RPGs.

Personally, I would say that the PS1 days had the most to offer. It had games from from great series such as Lunar, Final Fantasy, Suikoden and many others; the mere selection of RPGs was awesome. I also think the level of technology had something to do with it. The PS1 had enough graphical power so that developers could make games beautiful to look at, yet limited enough so that they didn't place all the emphasis on cutscenes and cinematics.

What do you guys and gals think?
Last edited by Old_School on Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Sonic# » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:37 pm

I normally treat the DC as an extension of the PS1 generation, rather than an earlier version of the PS2/GC/Xbox one. It, and the major RPGs for it, were released before the other systems, and before the PS1 or N64 had fizzled out. Plus, I think those RPGs (Grandia 2 and Skies of Arcadia) have more to do with what came before than what came after.

(And don't forget the Saturn!)

That being said, I agree. That generation was really good for RPGs. It carried the steam of what had come before with the 16-bit systems. A lot of the PS games, after all, were sequels or serials of those that had come previously (Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, Star Ocean, Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana, Harvest Moon, Lunar: TSS, Zelda) or involved the same designers, composers, and so on. It combined these with some really good new games. My best gaming memories come from this time, too.

The generation after saw perhaps even more RPGs, and some really good ones, but ... I don't know. Now that the dust is settling, the stretch of 8 years seems only as productive as the previous stretch of 5 or 6. You could make an argument for it. But I feel it's more diffuse, with lots of crap amongst the good.
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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Quark » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:52 pm

My journey with RPGs started on the Sega Master System with Phantasy Star 1 back in 1988. I was only six years old at the time, so at first I just watched my older brother play the game and gave him ideas that he pretended were useful. I think the 8 bit generation laid down the framework for great RPGs, but my vote was for the 16 bit generation. Some of the most memorable RPGs and greatest series of all time were created on the Genesis, Sega CD, or SNES. People still borrow so many elements from these games.

I also love the PS1 generation. Some of my favorite RPGs of all time come from that era. I agree very much with Old_School in terms of the PS1 having improved graphics without focusing too heavily on cutscenes.

With the exception of a few titles, my opinion is that most RPGs post PS1 are crap. I understand that some members may have grown up with those later systems and I mean no offense. Ultimately, my vote was for Genesis, Sega CD, SNES.

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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Dark_Fairy » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:52 pm

I would have to go with the PS1 era. While I may grown up with the SNES and NES, I never had any RPGs for them (minus Super Mario RPG). It wasn't until the PS1 came around that I really got into RPGs. Of course, to this day, I still thank Lunar for getting me into RPGs. Before that, I liked adventure/actions games.

The PS1 had such a great selection RPGs too. Many I still have yet to try too, like Xenogears and Grandia (both of which I have). And then other good ones like Final Fantasy IX and Lunar. There are many others I didn't list, but you all know them well.

Quark wrote:With the exception of a few titles, my opinion is that most RPGs post PS1 are crap. I understand that some members may have grown up with those later systems and I mean no offense.


You know, I agree with this. Most people my age NEVER agree with me (but I was raised a bit differently in the video game world than them anyway), but really, most RPGs aren't that great after the PS1. Of course, the only major exception in my opinion is the Tales series. I still think the Tales series is great. Other than that, most RPGs have gone downhill. Especially Final Fantasy. I know some people disagree with me, but Final Fantasy died for me after FFX. It just isn't the same.

I think the lacking RPGs these days is probably what led me to like games that aren't RPGs these days.

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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Silver Phoenix » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:41 pm

PS1/N64, are you effing kidding me? Where the hell is Saturn on that list? N64 certainly didn't have crap as far as rpgs are concerned.

I actually chose the SNES/Genesis era because that is when I started playing rpgs, and the games had more appeal to me. Mainstream wise it wasn't until PS1/Sat that rpgs began to become more mainstream, at least in the US. I played very few rpgs in the PS2 era, because the games just didn't appeal to me. It's a shame for me because I just couldn't find a game that I was really excited to play after Grandia 2 and Skies of Arcadia on the Dreamcast.

JRPGs as a whole changed so much that it really deterred my interest in them. Going from a game like Final Fantasy VI to Final Fantasy XIII is a world of difference. They don't even seem like they belong in the same series because so much has changed, and I'm not just talking technologically. The staples of what made rpgs so good in the past seem to have disappeared, at least for me.

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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Old_School » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:12 am

Silver Phoenix wrote:PS1/N64, are you effing kidding me? Where the hell is Saturn on that list? N64 certainly didn't have crap as far as rpgs are concerned.



What!? You didn't love Quest 64 and Aidyn Chronicles!? Neither did I. The bad part is that I remembered the Saturn right after I submitted the poll. *problem fixed*

Sonic# wrote:I normally treat the DC as an extension of the PS1 generation, rather than an earlier version of the PS2/GC/Xbox one. It, and the major RPGs for it, were released before the other systems, and before the PS1 or N64 had fizzled out. Plus, I think those RPGs (Grandia 2 and Skies of Arcadia) have more to do with what came before than what came after.


I debated with myself about where to place the Dreamcast, but chose the PS2 gen because Sega launched it earlier as a "next gen" system in order to get the jump on its competition. I can definately see your point about Grandia and SOA having more in common with the RPGs on older systems. For me, they were among the last good jrpgs to be released.

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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Quark » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:00 am

Dark_Fairy wrote:I know some people disagree with me, but Final Fantasy died for me after FFX. It just isn't the same.


My sentiments exactly. Some old school gamers would argue that it died after VI, but I don't go that far. I really enjoyed VII-X as well. They were different than the originals, but excellent. X started to become entirely too linear for my taste, but characters like Auron were so interesting that I became hooked. After X I gave up on the series as well.

Silver Phoenix wrote:The staples of what made rpgs so good in the past seem to have disappeared, at least for me.


I couldn't have said it better myself. I really love talking to like-minded people. :mrgreen:

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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Sonic# » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:13 am

I debated with myself about where to place the Dreamcast, but chose the PS2 gen because Sega launched it earlier as a "next gen" system in order to get the jump on its competition. I can definately see your point about Grandia and SOA having more in common with the RPGs on older systems. For me, they were among the last good jrpgs to be released.


Well, yes, admittedly I'm trying to make a generation that includes most of my favorites. ;) A little indulgent arbitrariness, perhaps.

To the people picking 16-bit - the reason why I didn't go with that generation were two-fold, and I want to know whether they are nonissues for you, or whether you have an argument against them.

1. There were less RPGs in that era. In the end, there were a lot, but for a long time they came out few and far between. By extension, there were less good ones.

2. Music quality. 16-bit music was decent, and I still like it, but I really liked the improvement that came with the shift to the next generation. Most of my favorite video game music comes from the PS1 generation, if only because it finally had good quality to it. To a lesser extent, graphics and gameplay also go here. I feel like a lot of PS1 RPGs fully got the menu systems fully right, in not having to do complicated moves to equip and de-equip items found or bought. And the greatest improvement in dialogue came through here, with better quality translations and more text. I loved being able to talk to people two or three times and get different responses that developed on the previous ones. Also, choosing names with more than 5 characters. (Sorry, Rolf.)
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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby brightshield » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:19 pm

PS1 era was the best by far. Not only did lots of classics come from there, but we also got ports of older classics(such as FF6 and Chrono Trigger).

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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Aaron » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:59 pm

Lets see....10 years ago there was:

Lunar 1 & 2
Zelda Ocarina of Time
Suikoden 1 & 2
Wild Arms
Legend of Dragoon
Final Fantasy 7 & 8
Final Fantasy Tactics
Ogre Battle

Just to name a few. Those were definitely the golden years of RPG gaming. But hopefully we're just in a slump now, and the good games will roll out again.

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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Imperial Knight » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:29 pm

I went with the 32-bit generation. Most of my favorite RPGs came out either on the PS1 or the Saturn. There's certainly plenty of good stuff from the 16-bit era as well, and there's a number of PS2 RPGs that I'd also rate pretty highly.

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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Old_School » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:51 am

As expected the 16 and 32-bit eras are the favored ones. For those who chose the 16-bit systems, I can certainly understand why. Games like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI and Phantasy Star IV were aweseom. And, obviously, that's where the Lunar series first appeared. I'm playing and enjoying Phantasy Star III right now and plan to start the original Lunar: Eternal Blue for Sega CD in the near future. :mrgreen:
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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Aaron » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:22 am

Old_School wrote:I'm playing and enjoying Phantasy Star III right now and plan to start the original Lunar: Eternal Blue for Sega CD in the near future. :mrgreen:


Wait......your "enjoying" Phantasy Star III?!?!? Your a better person then me. I couldn't stand that game. It is almost completely void of anything resembling a story.

But I have a feeling you'll enjoy Lunar Eternal Blue. That was the one that really turned my view on Lunar. Eternal Blue is special, it's a unique experience.

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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Old_School » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:55 am

Aaron wrote:
Wait......your "enjoying" Phantasy Star III?!?!? Your a better person then me. I couldn't stand that game. It is almost completely void of anything resembling a story.

But I have a feeling you'll enjoy Lunar Eternal Blue. That was the one that really turned my view on Lunar. Eternal Blue is special, it's a unique experience.


Many do view it as the black sheep of the series, but it appeals to me. The character portraits are pretty impressive for their time and it has my favorite battle style of the entire series. The idea of being able to play as your own children and grandchildren was also pretty novel at the time.

It does have it's flaws, I'll admit. It has little more story than Dragon Warrior for the NES and a lot of the towns pretty much look the same. PS IV is my favorite overall, but I still consider this one worth playing.

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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Quark » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:24 am

I would probably cast a vote for Phantasy Star 2 as the best of the series. I really liked 1 and 4 as well. Although 3 would be my last pick, I still enjoyed it. I agree with Old_School that the ability to play through several generations of characters was quite unique.

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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Lyriel » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:13 am

It may be worth noting that I'm primarily talking about the NA RPG scene here - I'm not as familiar with the Japanese RPG scene as I could be, but I know there will be variances.

I would say the PS1 era (starting around the time Suikoden came out - Beyond the Beyond was a mistake). While I don't deny that many of the 16-bit era RPGs were great, many of those that were released stateside were heavily sanitized and/or poorly translated *coughNintendocough*, and the very best ones (you know what I'm talking about ^.-) were hard to obtain and for an expensive system add-on.

The PS1's dominance in the late 90s, and especially with the success of FFVII, allowed the doors to really open for RPGs in the North American market - good ones, with high quality translations (especially with censorship and space requirements being less of an issue).

Another factor I think might have some impact on the 32 bit era was the dawn of the PC RPG - games like Diablo and The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall, and the story modes on Warcraft 2 and Starcraft (not exactly RPGs, I know, but story mode, IMO, counts - especially for WC, where the lore leads right into WoW, which is an RPG), and the infancy of MMOs - Meridian 59, Furcadia, Ultima Online, The Realm, as well as others, leading up to Everquest and Asheron's Call. Many elements of PC RPGs have crossed over to CRPGs, and likewise, CRPGs have influenced PC RPGs, which would set us up for where we seem to be at now.
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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Ruby » Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:10 am

While the PS1 generation did have a glut of JRPGs ensuring that at least a few of them were good, I don't think it did the most for RPGs as a whole. That generation allowed previous ideas and concepts that were very popular in JRPGs to be polished and refined until there wasn't much of a way to evolve the RPGs as a whole, IMHO.

I think later hardware allowed the RPG to really flourish and branch out, especially Western RPGs like Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age, and Fallout 3 and Mass Effect if you don't mind the shootery goodness. These titles have really emphasized the role-playing aspect of the genre to a great degree, the hardware allowing them to indulge in the multiple paths required without sacrificing the overall story, a limitation that previous hardware could not overcome.
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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby ShindoW » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:06 pm

I voted PS1 as well. I started with an SNES but I didn't know what an RPG was then-- although Illusion of Gaia was the first. I LOVE that game and I enjoy the series as well. I'd say SNES' RPGs are something no one should pass up, but PS1 had not only more RPGs but good quality ones (I say that in oppose to now rather than before).
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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Vyse of Arcadia » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:36 pm

This is a decision I just can't vote on. While I have certain very strong loyalties to the Dreamcast, I do love the RPGs of the 32-bit and 16-bit eras.

I just can't pick. Sorry.
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Re: Best Console Generation For RPGs?

Postby Klover » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:59 am

Sorry again for thread necromancy. I have that bad habit. >_<

I wish I could choose all of them, because each of them has a game for it that I want, made my childhood, or made me the gamer I am today, which is a strange mix of the type of gamer who tries to go for all different types of games, even if they don't look appealing, and the type of gamer who ignores the popular games and goes for the ones that no one seems to know about.

But, since this is about RPGs, and I could only select one option, I went with PS2/GC/Xbox/DC (because of TESIII: Morrowind, Fable, and Fable: TLC), although I now wish I'd went with SNES/Genesis. Genesis has the original Lunar games, which, from what I've seen and heard, is better than the remakes, and the SNES has by far my favorite game in the Mario series; Super Mario RPG, with Mario, and Toadstool, and Bowser, and Geno, and Mallow, and Jinx (or was it Jynx?), and that weird lady with a bird on her head and with boobs that jiggled each time she was attacked, and that giant dog-looking thing, and Bowyer (haha, I sometimes misread it as "Bowser"), and the awesome song that plays in Geno's forest maze, and the remix of that song with lyrics, and Geno saying "Yo, Smithy!", and Geno running into a staircase, and that FF-like boss, and that boss' battle music (FFIV boss battle theme), and the victory fanfare that played when you beat him (classic FF fanfare), and Smithy, and Booster, and... *dies from nostalgia*
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