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Change YoY: =   My Rating: 9.2 / 10

Likely one of the more obscure titles on my list, Grandia was a game I discovered somewhat randomly while browsing through the PS1 section of the PS Store well over a decade ago now. I was a bit starved for new JRPGs at the time, the genre being in a bit of a slump on home consoles during the PS3/360/Wii generation, and Grandia looked like it might be interesting, so I decided to give it a go. At that time I had no idea what the game was going to be like, as I had really only seen the name mentioned a few times  prior to coming across it on the storefront. A few hours later I was hooked, and once I finished the game it had become one of my favourite PS1 titles ever, as well as one of the best JRPGs I had ever played.

One of the key reasons why I love the game so much is because it manages to capture a very specific tone in a way that few games ever have, and that's the feeling of adventure. Fitting, considering that adventure is the main character's primary motivation to leave his home town at the start of the game. Other reasons follow, but that's where the game starts, and it creates this sense of awe and discovery with every new location the player visits because that's how the main character sees them. In general, Grandia does a great job at characterization. Every one of the characters you play as has their own specific goals and dreams, and the game makes sure to make each one stand out in one way or another. Another aspect that deserves to be mentioned is the battle system, which is really well-designed and should be adapted for use by other games beyond this series as well. In addition, the game has a great soundtrack, some really nice pixel animation on the characters, and an engaging story.

The few weaknesses the game has (the dated 3D graphics, rather clumsy and stilted voice acting) are generally just a sign of the time period the game was released in, and an inevitability in most games from the PS1 era.