Winner: Super Robot Wars 30
The venerable Super Robot Wars series of crossover strategy RPGs featuring giant robots from popular mecha anime has enjoyed immense popularity for the past 30 years. Sadly, none of the mainline games ever made it outside of Japan until Super Robot Wars 30. Gargantuan gatherings of glorious anime crossover moments, such as characters from Magic Knight Rayerath seeking mentorship from characters from Getter Robo, could only happen in the majestic — yet surprisingly cohesive — massive multiverse mythos that is Super Robot Wars 30. The real magic of this immensely replayable game, though, lies in its robust and addictively fun strategy RPG gameplay that will keep players up past their bedtime, saying, “Just one more mission.”
by Neal Chandran
Runner-Up: Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny
Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is the latest entry in the illustrious Disgaea series, and while it mostly sticks to the series’ long-established core mechanics, this entry is the first to present its character models in full 3D. Some fans might miss the beautiful sprites of past Disgaea games, but the 3D models are very faithful to the traditional class and monster designs.
Among its spattering of quality-of-life updates, perhaps its most prominent is the addition of a fleshed-out auto-battle system. Dubbed Demonic Intelligence, this gambit-esque system can help alleviate the tedium of grinding for those sweet, sweet stats. But really, Disgaea 6 brings more of what the series’ dedicated fans want: big numbers and lots of grinding.
by Sam-James Gordon