Only seven ? Well, here goes :
- Xenogears (Xenosaga too but I'm more of a Gears fan overall) : for the storyline, the "what could have been" (a better developped/polished and complete story, character development for characters who were abandonned, Margie in the party, a real open world with rewarding gameplay and interesting quests, better graphics *and I think cell sheding would fit the game more than full 3d*... well okay, I'm describing my dream remake :pleased: ), the characters, the music, the atmosphere... Of course, gameplay wise, it's a different thing. Gameplay isn't elaborate or anything and "dungeons" can be a nightmare. As for Xenosaga 3 (the only Xenosaga I played), I don't think it has great replay value. Back when I discovered it and became obsessed with it, I rewatched the cutscenes more than I was replaying the game. Still, awesome game and it's a shame some people never bothered with it because of Episode 2.
- Okami : if I considered the story more engrossing than Xeno, it would be above. This game is pure joy to play. The characters are sweet. The artstyle is perfect. I adore it completely and I'm NEVER sick of it. It's something rare. And because I played them... I consider this game way better than the 2 LoZ on Wii. Also, Okami was the first adventure game I played ever since Spyro and Link's Awakening and it gave me a certain liking for the genre all over again (which is the reason why I actually bought Skyward Sword).
- Shadow Hearts Covenant : I like the darker atmosphere of SH1 and Koudelka but Covenant happens to have better gameplay and next to SH1, a better storyline (Koudelka has one advantage over Covenant, despite having a more simple story : the stunning and realistic characters' animation and voice acting... and it was just a PS1 game... also I adore Koudelka Iasant *and funny personal stuff, if she got named after the famous photographer, I learned that my mother actually knew the guy because she used to retouch up photos back in the days*). Covenant is also a longer game.
- FF9 : except for the fact that this game is very slow and trance can't be controlled, it's clearly a damn near perfect FF game. Rewatching the game last time improved my love for it (similarly, doing the same with FF8 lowered my opinion of the game). If only SE could fix the slowness and trance, it would be glorious. The game doesn't need anything else, technically.
- FF6 : my favorite FF of its era. Great atmosphere, cast (even if they're underdevelopped, that's the SNES era for you though), MUSIC (oh gosh, the music), design (I want a remake Amano style, in cell shading too)... And let's not forget how it influenced FF7 (story is a bit similar). Soraya Saga also created the Figaro brothers (kind of prototypes for the Fatimas some years later). Also, as far as I'm concerned, this is the only 2D FF that is truly emotional. FF4 only relied on cheap deaths, FF5 was mainly humorous... and the three first FF games were more simplistic.
- FF7 : much like FF9, I actually went through it again last year and my opinion on it greatly improved. Gameplay is fun, cast is likable (and more developped... I still feel completely apathetic towards Sephiroth's character, so bland and still so "look at me, I'm so cool" ... I do enjoy making fun of him though), story is great, the soundtrack (while not my favorite in the series) has some gems, some sidequests can be a chore but they really enrich the game (and they're not as ridiculous as FF10's sidequests... thank goodness). Honestly, I felt like this game is still pretty enjoyable to play and it's really refreshing to forget its fandom and compilation (which is full of retcons/negativity/fanboyism/character bashing/character assassination/ship wars) and just... play it for what it is. A really good jRPG which deserved its praise, especially considering how old it is (and how it opened doors for more jRPGs in the west).
- Persona 4 : I have a strong connection with this game's cast. Period. And the gameplay was improved over P3 (not counting P3's "superior" version). I really love the RPG/sim mix. Great replay value as well. As I'm talking, I feel so very anxious that we may never get another Persona game after all (for those who don't know, Atlus has deep issues atm and will probably be bought by another company... basically, I kinda fear Atlus will lose the rights to their games like Monolith lost the rights to Xenosaga and BK). Not to mention the other excellent games Atlus produced.
Of course, I like others :
- Chrono Trigger : much like FF6, one of the best games of the SNES. And this replay value...
- Xenoblade : it had some fun moments but it can't make it in my top favorites. I wasn't too involved with the storyline for the most part and quests were objectively lazy (which didn't stop me from almost completing them all... I'm such a completionist and collector... and I liked seeing how I affected NPCs lives... it's just a shame that's the game is composed of ONLY boring fetch quests and hunts... it's so easy to count on the addictive side of gaming and less on quality). Also, much like FF12 (Dragon Quest 8 also, even if I replayed it a bit recently... still not very exciting and it's slowwww... also I mute the music on the map, hearing this particular battle song over and over would drive me insane), I can't replay it either (which shows that movie-like games aren't the only ones that people may not be excited to play again... I guess it's because I tried to complete those games during my first time... there is nothing new to discover now and since their stories weren't their strongest points... welll).
- Bioshock series : for their characters and atmosphere/world (less for the gameplay... Infinite is unplayable for me, too tiresome/boring of a shooter)
- Silent Hill 2 : the storyline and characters. And the music. Probably not the creepiest survival horror game or SH game (SH4 and SH1 are probably scarier) but I'm still sensible to the atmosphere (and I did jump the first time a monster came out from under a car... now I spot them before they get to me).
- Ghost Trick : addictive game with a fantastic story and fun characters.
- Ace Attorney games : same. Also, I love the humor.
- Valkyrie Profile series : Silmeria for the gameplay mainly but the first one had it all.
- Persona 3 : but P4 was just far more emotional for me (plus, gameplay was improved, dungeons had themes, I liked the entire cast...). But still, Persona was my first introduction to the series.
- Grim Fandango : art, music, dialogues, characters... all awesome. My only issue would be the gameplay (point n click games can be a bit nonsensical sometimes).
- Journey : didn't play it but it's so freaking gorgeous, ahhhhh...
- Portal : same but it's unique (the first time I heard of Portal and saw videos, I had honestly NO clue of what kind of game it was supposed to be... it felt so weird to me) and it's well written.
As you can see, I never really made the jump to next gen (save a few games that I never really played but just watched on Youtube or am just waiting to play when I will be able to). I only own a Wii actually. Also, my PS2 is kinda dying on me (I have to push the play button several times before I get something more than a black screen... and my mother recently accidentally sent it flying to the floor... I didn't touch it since but I fear it's now completely toasted). Oh well, you'll have served me for 9 years, PS2. That's more than what some people predicted you would last.