Fantasian quickly captured the attention of longtime RPG fans with its gorgeous diorama backgrounds and impressive developer pedigree. The game brings together Hironobu Sakaguchi, the father of Final Fantasy, and Nobuo Uematsu, whose iconic music has defined that same series over the past 35 years, for possibly their final project, and the end product is an RPG brimming with nostalgia. From the classic story of an amnesiac protagonist and his friends fighting against a genocidal god to the turn-based battle system with a few modern improvements, Fantasian would easily be at home on any console or PC. That it instead lives on Apple Arcade goes a long way to make the platform enticing for those who own Apple devices. While we hope that Fantasian will eventually make its way to other platforms so that more people can enjoy this labor of love, if you have the means to play it now, don’t miss out on this modern classic.
by Caitlin Argyros
Runner-Up: NieR Re[in]carnation
Are you even an established series these days if you don’t have a mobile spin-off? Thankfully, NieR Re[in]carnation manages to expand on an already established universe while bringing some unique concepts of its own.
Similar to its mainline counterparts, NieR Re[in]carnation offers variety in both its gameplay mechanics and aesthetic choices. The most striking examples of these are in the story’s presentation: the main exploration segments take place in a 3D environment called “The Cage,” while its substories are rendered in a gorgeous 2D hand-drawn style. These refreshing juxtapositions of styles, alongside the beautiful soundtrack, really help set NieR Re[in]carnation aside from other entries in a genre that often relies on predictable conventions.
by Sam-James Gordon