This year will be easy. Why? Because the only tough part about it is not highlighting certain games I know are great, but not the best. I went into this one expecting it to be as tricky as the last two years, then realized I knew exactly which 5 should be at the top within 30 seconds. There are 25 games, but you only need to remember these…
#5 – Syndicate
Or as I like to call it “Fuck Yeah Syndicate.” If you know me, you know I love cyberpunk. In Syndicate, you get to command various agents who’ve been mind wiped and rebuilt as cyborgs for combat. You can research different tech, organs, and so on. It’s really more of a strategy/sim title than anything, but there are definite RPG elements and it deserves to be number one on this list…if it weren’t for four very good reasons.
#4 – Lunar – The Silver Star
Just when you think you know what console RPGs are all about, here comes fucking Lunar. At first, Lunar seems like your standard JRPG, then it explodes into mounds of awesomeness with the combat, story, artwork, cinematics, and much more. And I’m only talking about the original Sega CD version, not the somehow more awesome remakes. Lunar, if anything, is the classic JRPG done right and it’s still fucking awesome to this day.
#3 – Secret of Mana
Squaresoft, in true oldschool Squaresoft fashion, just has to beat down the competition whenever the fuck they can. SoM is the successor to Final Fantasy Adventure. Furthermore, you can play multiplayer, the graphics are bright and vibrant with all that mode 7 shit you expect, awesome music that people still listen to today, lots of variety in the areas, and an epic journey.
Of course, you probably already know my views on that title. I’m sure I’ve talked about it no less than 20 times on the site, so let’s move on to something more epic…
#2 – Quest for Glory 4
So the only odd duck in the QFG series up to this point was the last one and even it was still good…so this title stands as the last good QFG and also, in my opinion, the best. If you already know about the QFG series, and you should by now, there really isn’t much more I can say here except that there are good voiceovers, the graphics are a shit ton better, and in general everything is fucked tuned to the max.
This was the first QFG title I played and it still exists as the best, especially after having played the others. There is absolutely no reason you have not played this yet, should that be the case. And once again, you know that since it didn’t make #1, there must be a DAMN good reason.
#1 – Betrayal at Krondor
When I think good RPG, several games come to mind. When I think GREAT RPG, not too many cross my path. This, however, is one of the greats. Krondor is one of the best PC RPGs I’ve ever encountered and there’s a good chance you’ve already heard about it. If not, take this opportunity to go track it down as it’s so good SIERRA ACTUALLY BEGAN OFFERING IT FOR FREE.
Yes. That. Damn. GOOD. Also, that addictive, just as a warning. It’s the kind of game that’s BRUTAL, but you can’t put it down. It has that “5 more minutes” quality to it where you often don’t know why, but you’re still playing it, and far too many hours have passed. This game is a legend among RPGs and definitely deserves the #1 spot for 1993.
As I said before, there are no “bad” games this year. This was an excellent year for RPGs and though I highly recommend the top 5, the runner ups are also great titles and well worth checking out.
Bloodstone – An Epic Dwarven Tale
Dark Sun – Shattered Lands
Eye of the Beholder 3
Final Fantasy Legend 3
Lands of Lore
Might and Magic 5
Realms of Arkania – Blade of Destiny
Ultima Underworld 2
P.S. As a side note, I’ve recently re-downloaded Betrayal at Krondor and have been playing it like a motherfucker. I suggest you do the same if you want an awesome oldschool RPG experience.