9. Valkyria Chronicles (12)
There is so much to love about this game. The hand drawn art style that is present not only in cutscenes but in gameplay is spectacular and gives it a unique visual style. What originally drew me to the game were the concepts of the battle system. Using the SRPG concept of having multiple characters move across the battle field but then stripping away the grid and incorporating physics and cover features from shooters is pure genius and creates a slightly more realistic method of troop advancement on the battlefield. The story parallels World War II in a fantasy setting and does a good job of creating connections. I cried at one emotional point during this game (you can probably guess) which also included one of the more poignant musical pieces in the game. The character leveling really lets you focus more of your time on actual tactics during battle instead of micromanaging your troops to make sure they all stay leveled up enough, which I like a lot.
Primarily an RPG player but have interest in any game that will make me think.