#1. Final Fantasy VIII  was my very first RPG experience and till today it still remains my most loved one. It’s probably best known for the love plot which in my opinion is only a tiny element of the bigger picture and not even my favorite. Initially, it impressed me with the story and scared me with the game play. Even though it did take me awhile to learn the battle & team development mechanics it was well worth it. The best thing about the junction system is that it allows you to customize your characters anyway you wish to, it’s very satisfying.
#2. SMT: Persona 3  while being completely different game play and story wise it is as good as the latter. Set in modern times it offers possibly the most addictive battle play I’ve ever come across and makes the grinding/dungeon exploration ridiculously enjoyable. That plus memorable characters paired with an exhilarating plot make the game feel fresh.
#3. Final Fantasy X  is probably the most accessible out of the bunch, well-paced and perhaps the most captivating. Plot wise it starts off lightly and evolves into something more serious. It’s journey oriented and what I like the most is that everyone you meet on your way has their own story to share and it’s always a good one. It’s an amazing classic I will always want to revisit and the fact that the HD re-launch is so near makes me very excited to play it again.
Aside from that, there is plenty of other titles deserving a mention. SMT: Persona 4 has got an enhanced game play but I still prefer the third installment a bit more. Ni no Kuni impressed me with the design and gorgeous visuals but not necessarily with the battle system sadly, still it’s an enjoyable game. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is one of my recent favorites. The story & the characters aren’t anything outstanding and the game play relies on a very traditional approach. Despite that though it’s got its charm and had grown on me eventually. Valkyria Chronices is a breath of fresh air when it comes to strategy. Demon’s Souls is an exceptional title, not so much for its insane difficulty level but for the overall atmosphere, lore, story, NPCs and the design.
And finally God Eater Burst and NieR, not entirely fully-fledged RPGs but both are incredible titles still not getting enough recognition for their quality.