44 – Legend of Dragoon
Initial Release Date: June 11, 2000
Why it’s one of the best RPGs: It’s a shame Legend of Dragoon never lived up to its expectations. Originally, it was intended to rival the popularity of the Final Fantasy games, a popularity which it obviously never achieved. Which is sad, because Legend of Dragoon was decidedly unique in many of its devices. It mixed familiar turn-based combat with timed button presses for each character’s combo attacks and added in powerful Dragoon forms, for good measure.
In Legend of Dragoon, the main character, Dart, returns home to find his village burned, and his childhood friend kidnapped. What ensues is a complex plot involving ancient Dragoon spirits, a fallen empire, a God of Destruction, and an evil emperor. It’s a long, four-disc adventure stuffed with side quests, hidden collectibles, secret bosses, and twists both in the plot and in how you expect battles to play out (curse you, Lloyd!). Had it come out a little further away from Final Fantasy and had the Addition system not been so darn frustrating in the late-game, Legend of Dragoon might be working on its fifteenth game now, too!
Next: 43 - Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch