32 – Skies of Arcadia
Initial Release Date: November 13, 2000
Why it’s one of the best RPGs: What’s better than an RPG about pirates? An RPG about sky pirates, with awesome airships and floating islands, mysterious crystals and destructive power raining from the moons. Skies of Arcadia is a beloved classic, featuring a determined young air pirate named Vyse who just wants to see what’s beyond the sunset. Together with his friend Aika and a mysterious girl named Fina, the three travel the skies of Arcadia (see what I did there) to stop an evil empire from collecting the magical Moon Crystals, controlling the monstrous Gigas, and bringing an end to the world. Sound cliche? At the time, it wasn’t. Skies of Arcadia brought together into one package many plot devices that are staples of RPGs today, but still manages to be worth replaying now.
It wouldn’t be an entry on Skies of Arcadia if I didn’t mention the great ship battle system, where tactics such as cannons, magic, and special attacks were selected on a grid plot and story-based choices made all the difference in the world. Skies of Arcadia is another one of those classics lost to time that really deserved a sequel, even if it’s far too late for it now.
Next: 31 - Suikoden