WRPGs are generally really great games, but I don't enjoy playing them. Dragon Age: Origins being the sole exception, they just aren't my cup of tea. Mass Effect was was pretty cool too, but I mainly was hooked on the recruitment of new characters and loyalty missions in Mass Effect 2.
Also, I think I'm one of the few here that still enjoys playing old SNES/PSX RPGs. There are a few that really show their age, but some like Suikoden 2, Breath of Fire 3, FF9 are still fun and I've enjoyed playing them quite a bit.
-Digital Devil Saga. "press turn is the best combat system ever!!!! *slobber drool*" YAWN Big deal, knowing an enemies weakness and exploiting it. Boring dungeons, high encounter rate, tedious gameplay. Hilariously over-rated
As far as the best combat system, I think people more or less mean best turn-based
combat system when they say that. I certainly wouldn't call it the best combat system ever, but in the realm of turn-based battle systems, it's certainly up there. I enjoyed the press turn battle system and how it at least required some strategy, but none of the things you listed is what interested me in Digital Devil Saga. I liked the story and how it was mostly adults, the overall atmosphere and feeling, and the music is what drew me in. Dungeons being artificially lengthened by a high encounter rate was definitely annoying.
SimIsle and SimEarth are two of the most mechanically interesting Maxis games and really need more recognition. SimIsle also has one of my favorite game soundtracks, and it really works as damning anti-capitalist satire.
I remember playing SimEarth on SNES when I was young and it blew my mind. Didn't know what half the shit was. Was cool, though.
Never played Dark Cloud 2. I should have, but I never found a copy or got interested to try it.
It basically took a lot of the shitty things about Dark Cloud 1 and made it a lot better. The story was pretty light-hearted, but the game was really fun. I really want to replay that someday.