If you die before trying these must-play classics, did you ever really live at all?
Can you pinpoint the moment you truly fell in love with video gaming? Sure, I have amazing memories of the earliest games I played — Donkey Kong, Mr. Do, Venture and Super Mario Bros. — all the classics. But it was a role-playing game called Phantasy Star, released for the Sega Master System in 1987, that truly roped me in. There was something about the combination of interactivity, a story, and sweet delicious math that hooked me instantly.
It started a life-long love affair with RPGs. In 2016, I wrote a love letter to the genre for GameSpot called 25 Timeless RPGs You Need To Play Before You Die, highlighting my absolute favorite games from my favorite genre. Final Fantasy VI made the cut, of course — it’s opera scene has some of my favorite writing and music ever put to microchip. The complicated and controversial Xenogears is there too, even if the game did blatantly rip off (warning: 20-year-old spoiler alert) a chapter from Soylent Green. And, of course, I had to give Phantasy Star 4, the crowning jewel of Sega RPGs, its due.
Want to know all the other 22 games that made the list? I don’t blame you. Give your clicking finger a quick warmup and then head over to GameSpot — the whole story is waiting for you there.