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34. The Last Story (NR)

The reason this game makes my list is that it eschews random encounters for scripted fights while still having the battle system focus on tactics rather than execution.  There are numerous environmental and weakness based actions that make the best way to play to the game to figure out what abilities best handle the current situation without requiring too much guesswork. Having all of these set pieces does wonders for the story's world building and really allows you to feel absorbed into the game's wildly varying environments.  It also features a strong melodic piece that was stuck in my head for over a month and draws me back to memories of the game whenever I hear it.  The story has several well crafted characters and presents a number of mature themes in its fantasy world.  I originally played this because of the development team's history with other games on my list and got something different than I was expecting but still wonderful in its own right.

Primarily an RPG player but have interest in any game that will make me think.