I myself got back into gaming about 5 years ago after quite a long hiatus.
Same situation.. Grew up playing and loving 90's RPG's (and anime). Got back into it around the age of 23 and was highly intimidated with all the cooooolness I missed.
A word of advice though, don't inundate yourself with playing catch up. It will never happen. Too many games my friend... What is really cool about your (our) scenario though is being able to draw from a slew of titles that harken back to an age of RPG's that just don't exist anymore, and its NEW in our eyes.
For a long time I tried to stay current with my RPG gaming and with day 1 releases and whatnot. Now I'm finding a far greater thrill in diving into forgotten gems of yesteryear and being a wee bit more choosey about the new stuff I indulge. It is a luxury we have for having Not kept up (or so that is how I like to see it).
Anyhow... My suggestions (from my extremely narrow and particular tastes)
Xenosaga (though I've yet to complete it) PS2
Suikoden 1-2-3 (didn't do 4-5 yet) PSX/PS2
Final Fantasy VI The complete collection (I didn't hit the after years yet, but the remake of VI was like a nostalgic wet dream) PSP
Anything with "Tales" in front of it MULTI-PLATFORM (Graces F, Vesperia and Xilia if you want to be "current")
Persona 2 Innocent Sin and Persona 2 Eternal Punishment PSP/PSX (respectively)
Persona 3 (portable or FES) PS2 or PSP
Persona 4 PS2 or VITA
Disgaea 1 PS2/PSP
Disgaea 3 PS3/PSP
Disgaea 4 PS3/ VITA (soon?)
Growlanser Heritage of War PS2
Growlanser Generations PS2
Ni No Kuni (people will say what they will, but I LOVED IT!!! one of my top 3 from the last generation and possibly my favorite PS3 title)PS3
Corpse Party (totally not mentioned or talked about enough, visually nostalgic with some very orginal, although not groundbreaking, gameplay)PSP
Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (PSP)
Star Ocean Remakes (1 and 2) (PSP)
Ys titles PSP/PC
Atelier Iris series PS2
Breath of Fire 3 PSX
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles GAMECUBE (yep, everyone can laugh at me for this one, I had fun with it)
Hyperdimension MK2 (keeping laughing....) PS3
Lunar Silver Star Story Complete PSX (must play)
Lunar Eternal Blue PSX (must play)
Jeane D'Arc PSP
Final Fantasy Tactics PSX (WotL psp remake has terrible slowdown that drives me nuts but more content, its a trade off)
Atelier Ayesha PS3
Other I can't suggest, but can't wait to get to myself:
Skies of Arcadia Legends GAMECUBE
Shadow Hearts Series PS2
Digital Devil Saga PS2
Mhana Khemia 1 and 2 PS2
Dark Cloud 2 PS2
Growlanser Wayfarer of Time PSP (played through half of it, rage-quit and didn't pick it back up... but I WILL!!)
Devil Summoner PS2
Star Ocean 4 PS3
Rune Factory PS3
Lost Odyssey XBOX360
Blue Dragon XBOX 360
Last Story WII
Corpse Party Book of Shadows PSP
Final Fantasy 1 and 2 Anniversary PSP
Eternal Sonata PS3
And on that note... while we are on the subject of, can anyone with Devil Summoner experience tell me if I can/should skip right to 2? I have heard/read that 2 was a waaaay better experience but I don't know if I NEED to play 1 first.
Once again, kudos for the awesome thread. I think I should print this out and tack it to my wall... LoL
Damn. Nobody has mentioned Demon's Souls yet?
What's wrong with you guys. ;_;
What's wrong with you guys. ;_;
I cannot justify suggesting Demon's Souls... albeit great, the degree of frustration I felt with it out-weighed the "fun". It all ended for me on a bad note when I saved my game in a relatively impossible scenario to survive (do to my own idiocy).