(Disclaimer to my top 5: I pretty much only had time this year to play the XBOX 360 RPGs and a few PSP and DS RPGs so keep that in mind when viewing my Top 5. I also sadly haven't had the chance to play Tales of Vesperia yet)
5) Star Ocean: First Departure (PSP) - This game was my first experience with the Star Ocean series. Since this is the "first" game in the series and that the second game is coming in early 2009 followed by the 4th in the series a few months later, the timing couldn't have been more perfect for me to discover the series. Star Ocean: First Departure was the perfect title for the PSP which is seriously lacking in traditional RPGs.
4) Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (DS) - I feel like I'm repeating myself here but Apollo Justice was my first experience with an Ace Attorney game. I was very surprised by this title. I had heard of the Ace Attorney series but I never really expected to get into it. With a great storyline and a great cast of character, I just couldn't put the game down. It even prompted me to go back and play the other Ace Attorney games I had missed out on. From now on, I can consider myself another Ace Attorney junkie so bring out some more games in the series!
3) Lost Odyssey (Xbox 360) - Lost Odyssey has received a lot of criticism since its release but personally I thought it was a great traditional Japanese RPG, which is something you hardly see nowadays (especially turn-based). It didn't re-invent the wheel but I thought the game was executed very well and gave me everything I loved about traditional RPGs. Good story, interesting characters, beautiful soundtrack, nice graphics and a classic turn-based battle system. If that wasn't enough, the short stories from "The Thousand Years of Dreams" were unbelievable and provided even more depth to the game.
2) Fable II (Xbox 360) - Fable II is a pretty weird game to evaluate. It seems like people either love it or hate it. Even those who love it sometimes can't really explain why they do. This is my case. I guess the only thing I can say is that I just really enjoyed my time with the game and I think that the game's best quality is that it really draws you into its world. I love the "feel" of this game. Graphics, music, gameplay, it all feels very "different" from the other RPGs out there and maybe that's why I liked it.
1) Fallout 3 (Xbox 360) - Surprise, surprise... Fallout 3 is, you guessed it, my first experience with the Fallout series :). This is not surprising considering the fact that I never really played PC RPGs. However, since I was a big fan of Oblivion on the 360, I couldn't wait to see what Bethesda had in store for this game. Thankfully, I was not disappointed with the game. A very interesting setting (a post-nuclear war DC area), an expansive world, an endless supply of dungeons, metro stations, building, etc, to explore, a great battle system reminiscent of a first-person shooter and much much more makes this game a top contender for RPG of the year on any gamer's list.