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Change YoY: =   My Rating: 9.5 / 10

The last game to miss the top ten, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky was my introduction to the series that would very quickly become one of my all-time favourites. I remember browsing through Steam close to a decade ago now, just looking for something new to play, when I came across Trails in the Sky. It looked like a game that might be fun to spend some time on, so I bought it on sale and began playing. About 35 hours later I had finished and found one of the best games I'd ever played, almost entirely by accident. Now, about eight years later, I've played and finished 8 games in the series, and loved every single one of them. I mean, six of them are on my top 50 games list.

There isn't a single aspect of this game that I don't at the very least like. The graphics are perhaps its weakest element, owing to the game's origin as a PSP title released all the way back in 2004. Even then, there's a definite charm to them that holds up to this day, and when everything else in the game is amazing, I can't really complain. Not that graphics have ever really been that important to me anyway. The characters and story are excellent, the fantastic English localization bringing the world alive in a way that few other games can compare, the music is the usual Nihon Falcom quality, that is to say great, and the battle system has more than enough depth to keep the player engaged throughout the running time. Trails in the Sky is an absolutely wonderful game. The story and characters hooked me and made me want to see more immediately upon finishing this game. The gameplay never got dull or repetitive, and the world building here is amazing, showing the beginnings of what would eventually become one of the most impeccably designed fantasy worlds I've ever seen, regardless of medium. And yet, even with all of this praise, this is still not the best game in the series. I'll get to that one soon.