3, Pandora's Tower?
The third place goes to *drumroll* Pandora's Tower. ARandomGamer guessed it right.
This game is just brilliant. The environments are so gorgeous. And the monsters are in a way majestic and beautiful. And you go in and kill them. This is because you need their flesh to drive back a curse, that is fallen onto your love and turns her into a monster herself.
You have a timer for setting out into the ancient buildings that house these monsters. At first I was using the time up, but the mood conveyed through music, dialogue and animation is so depressing as she begins to turn already before the timer runs out, that I later on tried to be back as fast as possible.
The relationship with Elena is an important part of the game. And it feels good to make her presents and make her happy. I don't know how the developers were able to do that, but it worked that way. And they made the game so, that at least for me I felt empathic about her destiny. And how she has to overcome the revulsion to eat the flesh that temporarily resets the curse.
So you set out to these towers that hang on chains above and seemingly endless abyss and are filled with strange contraptions, stranger monsters and interesting environments.
I also like if a game gives me hints about what happened as something I can find while exploring. It is so cool reading about an scientist making experiments with the beast and later another note from the same scientist as he flees when everything was going downhill. The mystery what happened here, what creates the curse, this drives me to explore more.
The fighting is great. The chain the character uses is useful in fights and for solving puzzles.
This game wasn't released at first in America. It came a year later to the US than to europe, published by XSeed there. That game was part of operation rainfall, for the games that weren't published by Nintendo of America for reasons unknown. But this game made not as much a splash as Last Story and especially Xenoblade Chronicles (which deserves the praise). But I think everyone with a Wii or WiiU (which is compatible) should try this game. It would be nice if this game would get a remake.