2 – Final Fantasy VI
Initial Release Date: October 11, 1994
Why it’s one of the best RPGs: The top two RPGs on this list are both so excellent as to be easily interchangeable, but I’m personally partial to the next one, so here we are. Final Fantasy VI! The best Final Fantasy game, and one of the best overall games of all time. It contains the best of everything: the timeless ATB system with just enough augmentation from weapon choices and no useless fluff, a large world to explore with optional sidequests and branching plot options, moral dilemmas, a cast of fourteen who all manage to be three-dimensional and have their moment in the spotlight, and some of the best individual scenes in gaming (the opera scene!).
Though you start the game as a young girl named Terra, you’ll quickly gain control of a much bigger cast wherein multiple characters take the lead at different times. Final Fantasy VI revolves around the Returners, a group of rebels fighting against an oppressive Empire, all with their own axe to grind; especially aimed at the neck of the nefarious Kefka. Woven into the story is a complex conflict between the magic-using Espers and Humans, as the Emperor tries to take their potentially dangerous power for himself.
Moving, often surprising, and featuring one of the strongest casts of characters in gaming, Final Fantasy VI is deserving of much more love than it’s gotten from Square. Certainly more than its near cousin, Final Fantasy VII. HD remake when?
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