As much as I love single player games, I love MMOs that much more. Ever since I started playing online games I wanted a Final Fantasy MMO with the same production values and story that the main series was renowned for. XI was an amazing MMO, but wasn't what I wanted from a Final Fantasy game. When the original XIV came out I accepted for what it was, a poor attempt to make a better looking XI. Then A Realm Reborn came around and delivered exactly what I was looking for. A social experience in a Final Fantasy setting with difficult nostalgia trip content, and a story that may be the best written story a Final Fantasy game has had in years. Whether you like MMOs or not, if your a Final Fantasy fan you will no doubt enjoy one of the best MMOs and Final Fantasy games from the last decade.
I think I can speak for almost everyone that when Legend of Mana was released in the west, it wasn't what we were expecting in a sequel to Secret of Mana. What we got was something that was similar but at the same time very different then the last game the west got in the Seiken Densetsu series. Players excepted a continuous storyline like many JRPGs, but what we got instead was a game with a bunch of different side stories in a vibrant and colorful world. For me personally I love side stories and side characters in all forms of media. There are 3 major stories in the game that kinda lead up to exciting conclusions that I think most enjoyed, but for me it was stories like Gilbert's quest for love, Rachel's resentment of her parents, and Niccolo's money making adventures that really hooked me into a world that is much bigger then it lets on. They all intertwine rather well and if you ever get a chance to do a complete run of the game where you do all the stories I think it would change a lot of people's opinion of the game. I can't walk end this without mentioning the amazing soundtrack by Yoko Shimomura. It's easily one of the best soundtracks she has composed and I can't wait to hear her work in Final Fantasy XV.
Xenogears has everything you would expect from an epic story line. The game does an amazing job of weaving in science, religion, politics, war, slavery, and even a delve into the human psyche into one epic story that just wasn't seen in many games back in 1998. Story aside, the game offered an awesome battle system that was fun and engaging while still retaining a turn base charm. Gear battles also kept the difficulty of the game in check. The way to counter-act any difficulty in almost any RPGs is to power level, but since gear battles were not tied to the characters levels and stats, they were always the correct difficulty and sometimes borderline to difficult. It's something I thoroughly enjoyed that I wish more RPGs would do. My only complaint, if you can even call it that, is that the entire Xenosaga series didn't pan out how it was originally supposed to, and we never saw a remake or sequel to Xenogears.
I can't count the endless amount of hours I have wasted on Diablo II over the years. From nights PvPing on the Blood Moor, to weekend Baal runs to level up, time just slipped away while playing. Everything from the story telling to the gameplay was just so amazing to me. Even now, every time I am bored or I see that the ladder has reset, I start up another character. Each one has a different build then the last, just to keep it fresh and exciting. I don't care how bad the build will do in the end game, I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of builds that play terribly or require a rare item just to make work. It's hard to find a game that stacks up to the replay value of Diablo II.
A legend of old, a series forgotten, the memories of a time that slipped away. Heh, ok I'll stop tugging at Lunar fan's heart strings. I could go on and on about Lunar 2, but I don't think anyone has that much free time to read it. I will say this though, games like Lunar 2 don't come around any more. The game not only told a fantastic love story with lovable characters, but it did so as a sequel to a game that already told a fantastic love story with lovable characters. Game Arts struck gold twice! Not to forget that Working Designs pulled no punches back then when it came to localization, and if they felt it wasn't ready yet they delayed it as long as it took. It annoyed the hell out of me back then, but nowadays I am very appreciative of it and wish more games did the same. I still get chills whenever I listen to any of the localized Lunar songs. Their games really did go 11. I know one day this series will be revived, and when it is I'll be the first in line.