35. Skies of Arcadia
First Played: 2003
Number of Times completed: 3
Skies of Arcadia is a typical enough JRPG, but it does everything so well that it remains one of my favourites. Developed by a team of Sega JRPG veterans, coming from the Phantasy Star and Panzer Dragoon teams, this is quite a different experience from either but ultimately I enjoy it more. The game has a feel of optimism and grand adventure, in a similar way to Grandia but as much as I like Grandia, I think Skies of Arcadia does it better, and the way the 3D overworld of the skies is uncovered as venture forth and make discoveries is a great touch that gives a feeling of exploration. The music is really incredible and I like the way the overworld theme adapts to reflect nearby areas. As well as the typical sized party of memorable characters, you can also recruit additional crew members to give advantages in battle or in exploration.
Skies of Arcadia was ported to the GameCube, with a few extras and this is where I first played it. Unfortunately, the Dreamcast and GameCube are the only places to play this game (outside of emulation). I would really like to see a port to modern systems.