So now we’re at the main event. I know everyone is just dying to know what my top five games are so I won’t waste your time with a long intro. However, know that there were plenty of games that I wish I could include here, Resident Evil 3 being one of them, oh, and 13 Sentinals, Sakura Wars, and Nioh 2, but alas, I’m bound to only 5 games. So let’s do this.
5. Marco & The Galaxy Dragon
I didn’t know what to expect from Marco & The Galaxy Dragon when beginning, but within the first 10 minutes, I knew this would be a quality visual novel experience. The narrative explores themes of determination, loss, and finding your place in the universe. The cast of characters is diverse, with each having a unique personality and reason for being included in the adventure.
The scenes’ tone is kept light, but there are some exceptionally emotional and mature scenarios building to the conclusion. The ending is one that should go down in history as one of the most edge-of-your-seat conclusions to any visual novel ever. I love it all, and I often find myself thinking about the characters since I played, which made me feel like it deserved a place on this list.
4. Trials of Mana
Square Enix really knows how to surprise RPG nerds with remakes. Trials of Mana was the game for me that never came west. Playing the original release, and then a full remake of the adventure was almost too much for me to handle. The action RPG systems become the highlight across levels as you master each playable character’s attacks and abilities. Further, the team decided to still allow you to choose your party of characters, which changes some of the narrative beats and gives you a reason to play again.
One of the bigger highlights for me was the overall design of the characters and environments. I also appreciated an actual overworld the could be explored by sea or air, which is becoming rare to find nowadays. Surprisingly, I played the entire game with English audio and felt the cast did an excellent job of bringing these characters to life, especially during some of the more emotional moments.
3. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
I’ve never considered myself a huge fan of the Yakuza series. Even after playing each of the previous games, I found myself more of a casual player than a hardcore lover of these action games. However, that all changed for me with Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Perhaps it was because I could jump into the game as a new protagonist, whereas before, I started a little late with the re-releases.
The game just gave me exactly what I was looking for when it comes to gameplay and story. I can’t say that there was one moment of it that I didn’t enjoy. The story beats, mini-games, adventure elements, and characters only scratch the surface of what it has to offer. Surprisingly, there’s even a turn-based RPG system for battles, which only made the experience better for me.
2. Sakuna of Rice and Ruin
Making rice can be tedious, but Sakuna of Rice and Ruin included it as one of this action-adventure’s main systems. I loved the characters and each of their stories that revolved around some pretty heavy moments of dialogue. These characters are complex and must get along if they hope to escape a monster field island. They each offer a way for Sakuna to grow as a character, but within the narrative, we see growth in the supporting characters.
The narrative extends into the game’s action-filled gameloop, where you can take out hordes of monsters and bosses across many maps. It’s such a beautiful game that becomes even prettier when you level up skills and pull off some of the coolest combos I’ve seen. It’s a fun and exciting game that I think everyone should play if you’re a fan of farming sims or action games.
1. Final Fantasy VII Remake
I think coming from me, this pick was a no brainer. Final Fantasy VII Remake excited me from the moment it was announced. Getting to play such an overhyped game and have it meet all of my expectations was new for me, but this game did it. Watching these scenes that I’ve played countless times on PlayStation come to life through these new visuals on PlayStation 4 was amazing. Some liberties were taken with the story, but I’m glad that the developers did that because the last thing I wanted to play was the same story that I’ve played over 20 times before. If you’re looking for the original experience, there is plenty of ways to download Final Fantasy VII now.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is simply amazing, and I am looking forward to the future installments. However, I guess the bar has been raised, but I believe the team will deliver a great experience.
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