Once upon a time, we did a feature about the 20 best RPGs of the past decade. What I'm pleased to see about that particular list is some of my favorites there have stood the test of time, but some of the "Platonic Forms" of genre RPGs have been overtaken. In the category of "Platonic Form for Old School JRPG," I have a new champion since that list was written, and it is the glorious, delightful, heartwarming Ni no Kuni. My thoughts on this game have not changed despite multiple playthroughs — what I wrote in April 2013 still holds: "Ni no Kuni is everything that is wonderful and amazing about JRPGs piled on to unabashed excess. It is a love letter to the genre."
Persona 3 was my introduction to the SMT universe, and it still remains compelling. I keep my PS2 plugged in to my TV just to keep this game handy. Terrific combat, compelling story, and a real breakthrough for what JRPG conventions can still achieve if you're not afraid to take some risks.
Everything that Persona 3 was, except better. The Vita may as well be called the Persona 4 Golden Machine in my house.
The only thing that could have overtaken Torchlight was Torchlight II. It did. LOVE BURNS FOREVER.
It has been awesome to see games like Pillars of Eternity, Avadon, Divinity: Original Sin and others come along and stick with the formula that the old Infinity Engine laid down. But still, all this time later, nobody has done it better than BG II. I've played so many different versions of this game at this point that it is probably approaching levels of silliness, but the scope of what is on offer staggers me every time. The best ever? I still think so.