RPGFan's Games of 2006 - Editor's Top 5

Welcome to RPGFan's Games of 2006 feature. We'll be keeping the same theme as last year, with our individual top 5 lists and the point system for one title - RPG of the Year. For the rest of the games, we're going to use a pure vote-based system per category. You'll see the same eight awards you're familiar with from last year's awards.

That being said, check out each editor's top 5 RPGs of the year and the Games of the Year list by using the navigation above.

Please remember that our "Games of 2006" reach from December 20, 2005 to December 20, 2006, and enjoy the article!.

Patrick Gann John McCarroll Mark P. Tjan
Mike Salbato Daniel Stringer Damian Thomas

RPGFan's Games of 2006
Action RPG of the Year
Kingdom Hearts II (PS2) - Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts II managed to fix most everything that was broken with the original Kingdom Hearts. The camera system was moved from the shoulder buttons to the right analog stick, the gummi ship system was completely revamped, and there were many new worlds added to the game. The new forms of combat seen in Kingdom Hearts II, combined with all of the revamped features, make it one of the most spectacular Action RPGs of this generation.

Runner-Up: Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria (PS2)
Kingdom Hearts II
Strategy RPG of the Year
Disgaea 2 (PS2) - NIS's strategy titles tend to polarize people; they either love them, or they hate them. Luckily for NIS, with Disgaea and Disgaea 2, players tend to fall on the loving side more than the hating side. Disgaea 2 added a fresh set of characters for players to run around with, and added the so-called 'tower' system to the game, allowing more than one character on the same tile. Fans of NIS strategy titles, Disgaea 2 is for you - but if you're one of those previous 'haters', this game probably won't change your mind.

Runner-Up: Front Mission 5 (Import PS2)
Disgaea 2
Point and Click Adventure of the Year
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (PC, Xbox) - Usually, a horrible interface on a point and click adventure title means that the game is competely worthless and shouldn't be touched by anyone. Luckily for Funcom, they hit just about every other part of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey correctly, so the interface that would crush the average game simply becomes a minor annoyance. Dreamfall is a gorgeous game with deep characters, and most importantly of all, completely realistic and believable dialogue. If you haven't checked out this title already, you should do yourself a favor and run to your local EB.

Runner-up: Sam & Max Episode 1: Culture Shock (PC)
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
Handheld RPG of the Year
Final Fantasy III (DS) - Showing that the opinion of one is not always consistant with the views of many, Final Fantasy III was not the highest-reviewed game on our handheld nominations list this year. Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, LostMagic, and Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth all came up with higher scores, but our staff just loves the job system that much. Final Fantasy III is the type of remake fans are hoping happens to their favorite entry in the series for the next-gen system of their choice. Completely re-done graphics, a new control scheme, and a revamped story make Final Fantasy III our handheld RPG of the year.

Runners-up: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS), LostMagic (DS), Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (PSP)
Final Fantasy III
Import RPG of the Year
Front Mission 5 (Import PS2) - Yes, Front Mission 5 came out in 2005, but it missed our awards last year, for being out a whole two days in 2005. Yes, it's certainly not the style of game that's for everybody, but it's easily Square Enix's best run in the series, with a completely revamped link system, a much more cinematic story, and a battle camera that makes battles feel like they're actually happening and aren't completely disjointed. Mechs start shooting as they run and dodge, all while the link system continues its rampage. Front Mission 5 is our pick of Import RPG of the Year, and, please, Square Enix, bring this one stateside!

Runner-up: Ys Origin (Import PC)
Front Mission 5
Console RPG of the Year
Final Fantasy XII (PS2) - What can be said about Final Fantasy XII that hasn't been said a hundred times over by every review posted on the internet? Final Fantasy XII is a different direction for the series, but the seamless battle system, combined with the initially baffling Gambit System and the living, breathing world of Ivalice make Final Fantasy XII the choice for just about everyone out there; maybe even your dad will like it.

Runners-up: Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra (PS2), Suikoden V (PS2), The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii, GCN)
Final Fantasy XII
PC RPG of the Year
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC, 360) - The Elder Scrolls is one of those series that everybody knows about - even if the lay-gamer calls The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion "Morrowind 2". Oblivion gives gamers a far wider world, gorgeous environments, a shifting difficulty system, and, erm, "realistic" people. Oblivion also manages to run on mid-range systems incredibly well for the graphics it delivers, our Webmaster's laptop, which has a Radeon 9700 Mobility, ran the game flawlessly with some of the settings turned down. If only we could say the same thing for Gothic 3.

Runner-up: Phantasy Star Universe (PC, PS2, 360)
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Best Overall RPG of 2006
Final Fantasy XII (PS2) - How dazzlingly unexpected! While most of you out there were expecting either this game or Twilight Princess to snag this award, the long development cycle and change of pace for Final Fantasy XII left many gamers waiting in trepidation. Luckily, the new team delivers completely. Check out Stephen's massive review of the title if you haven't already, and have fun losing your soul to one of the best RPGs this generation.

Runner-up: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii, GCN)
Final Fantasy XII


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