Back in September, I did a post on some PS2 RPGs that you probably haven’t played (which you can read here). As with my obscure PS1 RPG series of posts, I wanted to bring attention to all of the great PS2 RPGs that tend to get overshadowed by the likes of Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest. After all, the RPG genre is massive and there are some really unique and interesting games out there.
So, for today’s post, we’re going to continue our look at obscure PS2 RPGs and count down 5 more PS2 RPGs that you probably haven’t played, but should really try!
5. Ring of Red
We’re going to start off by saying that these type of posts don’t have any structured order to them. I’m not listing out the 5 best RPGs on the PS2, after all. We are looking at 5 obscure RPGs that you should play at least once, to see what you think of them. That said, Ring of Red is a very fun yet extremely challenging turn-based tactical RPG featuring giant robots. What more could you want?
In this day and age where challenge and the unforgiving nature of difficult games has become a huge positive (thanks mostly to Dark Souls), it seems like it may be the perfect time for Ring of Red to make a comeback. The game was often overlooked due to the fact that it offers a real sense of challenge, unlike a lot of story-driven RPGs. The gameplay will have you on the edge of the seat, whilst the plot will keep you wanting to move forward.
Ring of Red certainly could have done with some extra polish, but the end product that we did get is thoroughly enjoyable, so I would definitely recommend trying it at least once!
4. Steambot Chronicles
You’re probably noticing a bit of a pattern here, but Steambot Chronicles is another PS2 RPG that features giant robots. The difference in these robots is that they a part of a steampunk world, meaning that they are steam-powered mecha. Oh, and the game itself is actually an action RPG as opposed to a turn-based strategy RPG. This means that the gameplay is far more frantic compared to the likes of Ring of Red. With an interesting take of early sandbox gaming, Steambot Chronicles manages to carve its own little place in the RPG genre on PlayStation 2.
Even on Metacritic, people praise the fact that Steambot Chronicles takes the base ideology and gameplay of the RPG genre and tears it to pieces, creating its own set of rules on how the RPG can be played. This, alone, would get it on a list of 7 obscure PS2 RPGs. However, it is how everything comes together to create a wonderful little game that makes Steambot Chronicles a PS2 RPG that you really should play.
3. Okage: Shadow King
Next, we are moving away for the oft-forgotten PS2 RPG to the downright weird. Okage: Shadow King is the definition of a unique RPG, featuring some of the most memorable characters I have seen. However, the most memorable part of these characters is their design, personality and sheer weirdness. Everything about Okage screams the fact that the developers wanted to create a game that truly was different from the typical and cliche RPG structure.
Since its release, Okage has gained a much more devout following due to its impressive but extremely different type of story and character design. Okage: Shadow King is one of those games where the box art will intrigue you from the get-go. From there, you’ll find that it is actually fun and enjoyable to play as well.
2. Magna Carta: Tears of Blood
The first time that I played Magna Carta: Tears of Blood was when I rented it, back when renting games from your local rental store was still a thing. The front cover was what initially caught my attention. I loved the style of the characters, so I just had to see what the game was like. Then, when playing it, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, like some of my favourite RPGs (such as Legend of Dragoon and Shadow Hearts), it had a battle system that completely broke the norm for the RPG genre.
With a combat system that felt like a mix between Star Ocean and Legend of Dragoon, you are taken into a “battle screen” like most J-RPGs, but you can freely move around in that battle screen. Then, in order to attack, you need to press a series of button prompts. This hit me hard due to my love of the Additions in Legend of Dragoon, and helps to make Magna Carta: Tears of Blood really stand on its own in a rather saturated genre. The plot is enjoyable, as well, even if it isn’t quite at the same level of games like Final Fantasy.
1. MS Saga
Now, this last one is more of a personal entry, as the game itself isn’t outstanding. The plot can be somewhat predictable in MS Saga, but as a Gundam RPG, it really does stand out on its own compared to many other RPGs on the PS2. MS Saga features heavy customisation for your Mobile Suits and Gundam, with a really interesting take on the equipment system. It almost feels more like inventory management in Resident Evil 4 than a typical J-RPG’s equip system. This means that you can customise your party and Mobile Suits to your heart’s content, allowing you to create your perfect team of giant mechs.
Whilst the story of MS Saga isn’t going to win any awards, it really is the little gameplay tweaks that make it stand out. If you’re a fan of giant robots, Gundam in general, or are looking for a quaint little RPG to spend some time on, then MS Saga is a great game to play. However, if you are looking for a deep and meaningful storyline, maybe save MS Saga for another day…
And That’s All Folks
There you have it; 5 more obscure PS2 RPGs that you probably haven’t played, but really should! They aren’t all masterpieces of game design, but that’s not what really matters, is it? The fact is, each one of these PS2 RPGs is very fun to play and will have you invested in them through gameplay instead.
Are there any obscure PS2 RPGs out that which, in your opinion, don’t get enough attention? Let us know in the comments below!