10) Final Fantasy X
9) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
8) Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
7) Skies of Arcadia: Legends
6) Xenosaga Ep. III: Also Sprach Zarathustra
5) Kingdom Hearts
4) Tales of the Abyss
3) Shadow Hearts: Covenant
2) Suikoden V
1) Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
When I first heard that we were going to pick our favorite games from the last decade, I thought it would be easy. As it turns out, there were so many great games over the past ten years that to rank them in a list was just plain torture, but in a good way. While I compiled my list, I was constantly remembering my experiences with RPGs over the past decade – the good and the bad. For instance, I associate Persona 3 with my summer after graduating from college. Dragon Quest VIII, I will always remember as the game that made me drop my PS2 controller on my laptop and break the screen because I just had to open a FAQ to see if I was nearing the end. Tales of the Abyss, I played during finals week, which was a big mistake – I couldn’t put the game down, and had to have my roommate hide it from me on various occasions so I could get some studying done. And I remember finding comfort in Kingdom Hearts when I was homesick while at college – the memories could go on and on.
So I present to you a list of my favorites. I acted purely on instinct and went with my gut here. Since this is a list of favorites, my list is purely based on my enjoyment of these games – nothing more, nothing less. These are the games that left the deepest impact on me and made me look fondly back on the last ten years. It says something that the majority of my list is filled with PS2 titles – the PS2 was an RPG machine, and I’m not sure we’ll ever see a system so dominant in the genre again. Needless to say, these are the games that stood out from the massive pack of RPGs and will forever hold a special place in my heart and memory. This is how I spent my first decade of the 2000s – gaming was... wait for the Grease reference... electrifying. Like the song “You’re the One that I Want,” these past ten gaming years will never fully leave my mind.