There's a reason why the Tales series is hailed as the standard for action-based RPG combat: few of its peers provide such a high measure of customization and tactile feedback during battle. Xillia takes the series to new heights with a link system wherein two party members can combine their strengths for dynamic combo attacks. All six playable members of Xillia's cast control differently, allowing players tremendous variety in choosing how to approach each fight. Some games begin to drag as they approach their climax, but not Tales of Xillia — every battle is fast, frenetic, and enjoyable, right up until the credits roll. The excitement continues into a second playthrough from a different protagonist's perspective, and the "Grade Shop" opens up a variety of options for customizing combat even further. No other RPG got our fighting spirit going this year quite like Xillia did.
The key to any good hack & slash game is its combat. After all, you spend 90% of your time clicking enemies (or mashing X on a console), so that part of the experience had better be fun. The other 10% of these games is about leveling up, since character progression impacts the combat so much. And Path of Exile manages to set the bar pretty high on both counts — its dizzying "skill tree"
gives players an incredible amount of control over the way their character grows as they level up. So much control, in fact, that at least one RPGFan staffer has said that you should expect your first character to be a learning experience rather than a character you'll stick with forever. Whether that's your experience or not, we think PoE is a lot of fun, mostly due to its great combat, and it's free, so you've got nothing to lose!