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4. Radiant Historia (2)

This is one of the most pleasant surprises I've had in years.  The time travel concept in this game is wonderful and uses your decisions as the method of crafting where in the timeline may be accessed.  In order to reach a new area you will often need to get a new skill which can only be obtained in a different part of the timeline.  Some of the decisions lead to false paths in which your quest is lost or abandoned, similar in a sense to some visual novels.  The ending of the game is also altered nicely depending on which of the non-story quests have been completed.  As good as the story mechanics are, the real reason this game is so high on the list is its battle system.  The design of the different abilities and when you obtain them, coupled with the increase in enemy difficulty is nearly perfect at teaching you/forcing you to develop new strategies.  Using attacks to push enemies around a grid provides numerous options, especially when combined with the ability to rearrange when the turns of your group and enemies occur in order to create larger combos at a risk.  To see the time travel mechanic incorporated into the battle system like that was a real treat.  This is the single game I would most recommend other people play (despite it not being #1 on my list).

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