As far back as the nineties, there were two big players in the RPG game genre. Square led the way with its hugely popular Final Fantasy series, while Enix was behind Dragon Quest and also published the Soul Blazer series, which were both great. In 2003, Square Enix merged, and the company kept making games and setting the standard for the genre.
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In spite of the fact that the company still relied a lot on its big-hitting franchises, it has also released a lot of smaller, more experimental games. It has released a lot of games over the last decade, many of which have surprised both critics and gamers with how well they work.
Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster (86)
It’s clear that Final Fantasy VII had a bigger impact than Final Fantasy X, but there’s a strong case to be made that Final Fantasy X is the best game in the series. It has some great characters, a great soundtrack, and some of the best story lines in a Final Fantasy game ever.
As a result, Square Enix remade the PS2 classic before they worked on the PS1 version. The final release not only made the game look better, but it also came with a copy of the game’s sequel that was a lot less well-known than it should have been. Unfortunately, Tidus’s laugh is still as cringe-worthy as it was in the original. Some people say that this only adds to the game’s charm, but I don’t agree.
Final Fantasy VII Remake (87)
In the past, fans had asked Square Enix to make an updated version of this nineties game. It always felt like a question of when, not if they did it! The developer finally agreed to make the game in 2015, and in early 2020, the Final Fantasy VII Remake came out. For most, at least, the wait was worth it.
By focusing on the Midgar section of the game, the developer was not only able to make the project more profitable, but also give some of the game’s less used characters a chance to shine a little more. The remake did a lot of work to make some of the people who helped Avalanche and the city where they lived more interesting. This added a whole new level of depth to the game without making it feel out of place. A lot of people might not have been happy with how close it was to the original story, but it did a good job of setting things up for the next parts.
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (87)
Until 2002, Quest was one of the biggest developers of tactical RPGs. Before that, they were part of Square Enix, which was bought by them. Many of the people who worked on its Ogre Battle games later worked on Final Fantasy Tactics and other big Square Enix games after they made the games.
Some time after Yasumi Matsuno finished working on Final Fantasy XII, he made Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together for the PSP, which came out in 1995. Most of the original game’s features have been kept the same in the remake, but there have been a lot of big changes made to the levelling, chariot, and world systems. These changes make the game easier for players to use than it was before.
Tomb Raider (87)
As time went on, the Tomb Raider series lost its way. A string of bad games almost killed any interest there had been in the series. As it turns out, there was still enough life in the series for the people at Crystal Dynamics to bring it back from the brink, which is what they did.
Lara’s personality and backstory were made more relatable in the 2013 reboot. This set the stage for the games that came after, as well. The presentation is good all the way through, and the story is well-written and full of exciting moments. The question is whether or not it really needed a multiplayer mode. The single-player experience provided by Tomb Raider is more than enough to cover the cost of admission.
Rise Of The Tomb Raider (88)
It’s a good thing that Rise of the Tomb Raider is a good follow-up in many ways. Instead of trying to come up with a new way to play Tomb Raider, the team at Crystal Dynamics worked on improving the game and making Lara more interesting. As the game’s Metascore might show, they did a good job at that.
It’s not quite “more of the same,” but more of the things that made the original so fun. Combat is more exciting, the animations look better, and the story is still as good as ever. Perhaps the best thing about the game, though, is how Lara’s character keeps growing.
Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 Remix (88)
There are times when it can be hard to figure out how an idea came to be approved. When the idea is to take characters from two of the world’s best-known franchises, though, it’s a little less weird to think about. It doesn’t matter how complicated the Kingdom Hearts series is because it shows that good and good always make great.
In spite of the fact that the series only has three mainline games, there have been more than 20 Kingdom Hearts games and compilations released over the last few decades. I.5+II.5 Remix is the best, though. It has the best versions of the first two games in the series, and it doesn’t need to be hooked up to a computer.
Kingdom Hearts II (2005) – 9.3
Kingdom Hearts II has been one of the most popular games in the series even though it was one of the most popular Square Enix games. This game, like the first one, features Disney characters in familiar places in high-stakes situations.
Hack and slash button techniques are used in this game to start attacks during fights. Kingdom Hearts II has won a lot of awards and been well-liked by both players and critics. It’s still a big game in the industry.