The 50 Best RPGs Of All Time

CD Projekt Red
CD Projekt Red /
26 of 50
best rpgs
Credit: Namco Tales Studio /

25 – Tales of Symphonia

Developer: Namco Tales Studio

Initial Release Date: July 13th, 2004

Why it’s one of the best RPGs: Though Tales of Phantasia was the first title in the Tales series, Tales of Symphonia represents the series at its best and, unfortunately, was the first and last title that many would-be fans played due to its original release on the GameCube. After Symphonia, Nintendo wouldn’t get another Tales game until the awkward re-release of Tales of the Abyss on 3DS.

Tales of Symphonia’s excellence is derived from the polish of the linear motion battle system that Phantasia began to pioneer, its preponderance of actually interesting sidequests, the depth of its nine-person cast of characters, and the overall story. It’s all about saving the world as usual, but the typical shrine-maiden-saving-the-world-via-elemental-temples plot is subverted after about fifteen hours, revealing another world to explore and a complex plotline that blurs morality more than once. With an easy to understand the battle system that brings an element of multiplayer, excellent voice acting and an engaging storyline with plenty to do, Tales of Symphonia has not yet been matched by another Tales game. I’ll keep on dreaming for a Tales game on the NX.

Next: 24 - Baldur's Gate