I love video games as much as I love watching anime. Granted, I might not be the most versatile gamer around (I might even be one of the worst!) So please keep in mind that this short list of video games are the ones that I have personally played and finished.
Now, my gaming experience started with a SEGA console back home. I remember I used to play Aladdin and Jungle Book on the console almost every day not because I loved it, but more because I didn’t have other forms of entertainment at the time. This is back when playing video games was reserved for the weekends, as I was forbidden to play during the school days.
Fast forward several years, and here I am, still being the casual gamer that I am. I still like games with great stories and great music. So it might come as a no surprise when I say I love RPGs the most, particularly JRPGs, due to my preference to Anime.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the latest consoles yet (PS4, XBOX One, Nintendo Switch), and I don’t have a PC to game on at home, so bear in mind that this list would contain mostly older titles that I hold dear to my heart.
Final Fantasy IX
This is actually the very first game that I purchased, so it goes without saying why this sits on top of my list. The sheer nostalgia I get whenever I’m playing this game is just too much—so much that I almost always replay the game at least once a year.
Final Fantasy IX is a Japanese Role Playing game produced by Square Soft (now Square Enix) back in 2000 that was set out to imitate their classic titles’ successes by reintroducing familiar “crystals of the world” concept, characters that are set in a certain “job” i.e. white mage, summoner, thief, knight, etc., nostalgic music that almost sounds like a remake from an older score, and even some easter eggs.
I cared so much about the characters, it eventually became the very reason why I did my best to complete the story. This was back when internet was not prevalent in our daily lives, you see, so aside from vague stories from friends, I couldn’t exactly find a “Let’s Play” video to view spoilers from.
And when I did complete the game, I wasn’t disappointed.
The game would forever have a special place in my heart, since I loved all the characters, the story, the world, and the music.
Favorite music: “Eternal Harvest”, “The Place I’ll Return to Someday”, “Rose of May”, “Cleyra Settlement”, and “Frontier Village Dali”
Favorite characters: Vivi Ornitier, Beatrix
Favorite skill / magic: summon magic “Madeen”.
While not being the first game I purchased, Suikoden II is actually the very first game I completed. Just by holding a copy of the game in my hands, I could remember the devastating plot twist, the grueling fight against Luca Blight, and the satisfaction when unleashing Jowy’s Level 4 rune magic on Gorudo and his henchmen.
Now I know I’m probably geeking out too much here, but I just can’t help it! With 108 characters to recruit to your army, Suikoden series have always been a JRPG with some of the largest roster of characters in history.
The best part is that the game has so much more than a handful of characters. It actually has a thrilling plot, solid gameplay at the time, and stunning visual effects even though it uses 2D sprites animations. The music score from the game is also great, as I still remember most of them clearly.
Shoutout to the catchy Neclord’s battle theme.
I was compelled to finish the game mainly because I was rooting for the main characters so much I felt like I was their foster parent or something. I believe that great stories, in whatever format, moves people. And that’s exactly what Suikoden II did to me.
Favorite music: “Reminiscence”
Favorite characters: Flik, Clive, Viki
Favorite skill / magic: “Bright Shield Rune: Forgiver’s Sign”
Brigandine: the Legend of Forsena
I’m not sure if this game is popular at all. As far as I know, I’ve always been that weird kid out playing a game nobody knew in my neighborhood. But I’d have to say that this game is definitely the most addictive game I’ve ever played in my life, even more so than playing UNO cards ot Stacko.
You play as one of the 5 countries in a continent called “Forsena”. A war broke out at the start of the story, and you basically have to defend your territories and attempt to conquer the land in order to restore peace.
The plot is very generic and feels dated by today’s standard. But since each country has their own back stories, rulers, and knights with different personalities, there is endless fun in trying out with different countries, building a different set of characters, and trying our best to win this Strategy-RPG game within a time limit.
I had great fun replaying this game over and over again, but I have to say I’m quite attached to the country of Caerleon and Leonie, since my play style leans towards heavy magic and healing use.
Favorite music: “Your Attack”
Favorite characters: Kiloph, Dinadan, Iria
Favorite skill / magic: React, Holy Word, Heal Voice
I wish I could put the original Pokemon Red/Blue in this slot, but unfortunately I can’t. My parents never bought me a handheld system, so I had to play this game on an emulator, and Pokemon Crystal was the very first game that I played from the beginning to end by myself.
I did some playthrough with Pokemon Yellow, but my eldest cousin always took over once I defeated Brock.
And what can I say? The second generation of Pokemon game is perhaps the one most famous for having 16 gyms as opposed to the standard 8 gyms. This is also the very first game where you can fight against Red, the champion from the previous game, who is none other than yourself!
Even years after I completed my very first Pokemon journey, I still feel thrilled whenever I’m starting a new one. There’s this sense of wonder, of who should I pick as my starter Pokemon, what kind of team should I build, etc. It’s always the same game, the same story, the same (but ever-growing) list of Pokemon, but it never cease to awaken my innermost, childhood wonder.
Favorite music: “Battle! Gym Leader (Kanto Version)”
characters Pokemon: Corsola
Favorite skills / magic: Bubblebeam
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
(No, I haven’t played Persona 5).
Now this is the newest game out of my list, which kinda speaks for itself: it doesn’t need the nostalgia effect for me to include in this list. That’s somewhat a testament of how much I like the game, really.
I played SMT Persona 3 before, but I couldn’t quite get into the story, since I felt like the characters didn’t share a “close bond” with each other. It felt like they’re just fighting for the mission at hand, and not because there is a higher, more personal stake they’re desperately defending. (For P3 fans out there, please note that this is only my subjective opinion)
Persona 4 is a different thing.
Not only did it deliver a surprising plot twist, a range of interesting characters that felt real and relatable, and great music, it also provides a very entertaining gameplay. This could very well be the “most complete” JRPG I’ve ever played in my life; meaning that there is no single fault I can find from it.
(Well, an option to have a female main character would be nice, but I digress.)
Favorite music: “SMILE”, “Reach Out to the Truth”
Favorite characters (and Persona): Dojima Ryotaro, Izanagi no Ookami (for the looks)
Favorite skills / magic: Agneyastra, Salvation
What about you guys? Do you have a favorite video game you used to play (or are still playing)? I would love to know all about them, so please leave a comment down below! 😉
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