The JRPG is one of gaming's most popular and well-known genres, with some of the biggest names in the industry. From Final Fantasy, Pokemon, Dragon Quest, Shin Megami Tensei, Monster Hunter, and Fire Emblem to Kingdom Hearts, Chrono, Xeno, Persona, Mario, Golden Sun, Souls, and Tales, this broad genre contains many of the biggest and best games ever created.
So naturally, I decided that now was a good time to vote for THE BEST JRPG IN THE HISTORY OF EVER!!!!!! With six exclamation points.
Then I realized something.
There are a lot of JRPG's.
Seriously! Although the exact definition is up in the air, if you define "JRPG" as a game with RPG characteristics made in Japan, you end up with about a thousand games to take into consideration. There's no way a single vote can cover all of that territory. According to the website GiantBomb, there are nearly 4,000 RPG games. Even if only less than half of these are Japanese, that's still well over a thousand games to consider.
That's why I decided to break this vote into sections.
There will be ten categories in this "Best JRPG Ever" competition. Five of them will be based roughly on when the game was released.
- Origins - JRPG's from the dawn of video gaming through the end of the 3rd generation. Includes the NES.
- Evolution - JRPG's in the 4th generration. Includes the SNES, Genesis, and Game Boy.
- Prominence - JRPG's in the 5th generation. Includes the PlayStation, Saturn, N64, and Game Boy Color.
- Maturation - JRPG's in the 6th Generation. Includes the PS2, Dreamcast, GameCube, Xbox, and Game Boy Advance.
- Modern - JRPG's in the 7th and 8th generations. Includes pretty much every system releasedthis past decade.
Five will be about a game's special characteristics. Vote for games in these five special categories.
- Story - Including Plot, theming, characters, etc.
- Design - Which games had the best overall design and world, from traversing the Earth to the nitty gritty puzzles.
- Gameplay - The meat and bones of the game. Which ones do it best?
- Presentation - Including Graphics, Art Style, Music, etc.
- Influence - Including Innovation, trend setting, new ideas and mechanics, etc.
- Multiplayer - Which JRPG's did justice for this often overlooked aspect of the genre?
I'll be making one thread for each of these ten categories, and they will all link to this page. Voters can pick up to five games per category, ranked from #1 to #5.
Finally, after all eleven categories have been voted on, I'll pick the top three games voted for in each of the first five categories. At this point, I'll hold one more final vote, asking people to vote on their favorite five of just these 30 (or less) games.
The goal of holding such an elaborate election is to go beyond a simple "ENTER_TITLE_HERE IS THE BEST JRPG EVER" conclusion. I want to use this series of votes as an oppurtunity to chronicle the vast and fascinating history of the JRPG genre. Even when voting is done, expect a lot of interesting talking to be derived from this data.
Q. Which games can I vote for?
A. Almost any game that can at least partially be considered an RPG AND is made in Japan (OR is made in the Japanese style, like some Western console RPG's) is eligible for voting. However, I will NOT accept games released during or after the contest. This means that if a game is first released after January 19, 2014, it is not eligible! That said, a game only has to be released in one area to be eligible. This means that technically, Monster Hunter 4 can be voted for, though I strongly discourage people from voting on games they haven't extensively played.
Q. Do I have to vote on every category?
A. No. If you feel less than confident about one or more categories, you should probably not vote for it. It doesn't really matter. There will be at least 11 votes for this series, and even participating in a single one is greatly appreciated.
Q.Can I just vote for everything now?
A. For the first ten rounds, yes. You can vote for all of them on this thread. However, if you do so, you can NOT vote on the individual threads. And of course, the final vote will require its own thread.
Any questions, concerns, or objections? The voting should begin soon!