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IGN: Top 10 Tactical RPGs of All Time

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Check out our list of the top 10 Tacticsal RPGs of all time.

From XCOM, to Final Fantasy Tactics to Triangle Strategy, tactical rpgs are not always flashy and exciting at first glance, but can be one of the most satisfying meals to sink your teeth into. From controlling Viking armies to repelling alien invasions and even fighting in a faux World War II, there is a wide world of experiences to be had in this genre, and we've selected the 10 best. Games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, and XCOM each have their own place, so let's jump in!

0:35 - othercide (10)
1:33 - Triangle Strategy (9)
2:22 - Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (8)
3:30 - The Banner Saga (7)
4:49 - Valkyria Chronicles (6)
5:42 - Disgaea 5 (5)
6:36 - Fire Emblem: Three Houses (4)
7:39 - Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (3)
8:35 - XCOM 2 (2)
9:31 - Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (1)
 
Can’t really argue with the list, I’ve played every single one, only one i don’t like is Valkyrie Chronicles. Something about it just feels like a slog for me.

Happy to see banner saga made it, probably my recent favorite outside of LUCT and FFT. I also think mario rabbids deserves a slot on it, people won’t say its an rpg but its just as much an rpg as xcom or banner saga.


I’d probably also put Fell Seal above Othercide just for the scope. I really like Othercide but I’d be lying if i said i loved the black & White aspect.

Also, i guess this is limited to games that have “maps” because stuff like Divinity is a tactical rpg also.
 
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BadBurger

Gold Member
I can't abide by Triangle Strategy being ranked lower than The Banner Saga. Just can't see it.

Overall great list. Disgaea 5 I think is often overlooked because many can't get past the weeb-lord facade.
 
I can't abide by Triangle Strategy being ranked lower than The Banner Saga. Just can't see it.

Overall great list. Disgaea 5 I think is often overlooked because many can't get past the weeb-lord facade.

Banner saga story was better imo, a bit more epic and sprawling. The non-battle moments were so much more entertaining than the 20 minute cutscenes of Triangle Strategy. Banner Saga was also a bit more original, it had its own world and lore that worked really well, based on Norse mythology. While Triangle Strategy is just like tactics without the monsters and demons.

The art direction is also far better. I don’t dislike sprite graphics but playing it on a 60” tv is very hard on the eyes. Banner saga is like the opposite it’s like every little inch of every map is a feast for the eyes. I also felt like the stakes were just way higher at the end, some really nice epic battles and moments.

I feel like the last few fights in Triangle Strategy were kind of anticlimactic.
 
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BadBurger

Gold Member
Banner saga story was better imo, a bit more epic and sprawling. The non-battle moments were so much more entertaining than the 20 minute cutscenes of Triangle Strategy. Banner Saga was also a bit more original, it had its own world and lore that worked really well, based on Norse mythology. While Triangle Strategy is just like tactics without the monsters and demons.

The art direction is also far better. I don’t dislike sprite graphics but playing it on a 60” tv is very hard on the eyes. Banner saga is like the opposite it’s like every little inch of every map is a feast for the eyes. I also felt like the stakes were just way higher at the end, some really nice epic battles and moments.

I feel like the last few fights in Triangle Strategy were kind of anticlimactic.

You raise some solid points.
 
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together :messenger_relieved:

Is Xcom 2 that good? I have it but never bothered playing figured it was just the first game but slightly better.
 
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Graciaus

Member
Vanilla FFT is top tier. Modded FFT is even better.

I don't really care for the xcom style but 1 and 3 are undisputed.
 
Embarrassing list with Triangle Strategy down in 9th place. Yeah right. No way Disgaea, Fire Emblem POR, Banner Saga (lol), FE Three Houses, and more are better.

IGN staff probably mostly made up of people who haven't played Triangle Strategy yet and are voting on nostalgia only. Nostalgia really robs this genre of acknowledging the accomplishments of modern JSRPGs. Path of Radiance? Get the fuck out.
 
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Labadal

Member
That's a shit list if I ever saw one, and I usually go out of my way to not comment negatively on these kinds of lists.
 
Pretty good list although I think I’d move Disgaea down a few notches.

Here’s a question to help you achieve a moment of zen: does it really qualify as a Tactical RPG if the game is designed around grinding until you overpower everything?
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Embarrassing list with Triangle Strategy down in 9th place. Yeah right. No way Disgaea, Fire Emblem POR, Banner Saga (lol), FE Three Houses, and more are better.

IGN staff probably mostly made up of people who haven't played Triangle Strategy yet and are voting on nostalgia only. Nostalgia really robs this genre of acknowledging the accomplishments of modern JSRPGs. Path of Radiance? Get the fuck out.
As someone who really enjoyed Three Houses a lot, there is no way its better than Triangle Strategy. In my opinion TS has better story, better map, better enemy AI and much more meaningful choices within the story.
 

Dream-Knife

Member
Embarrassing list with Triangle Strategy down in 9th place. Yeah right. No way Disgaea, Fire Emblem POR, Banner Saga (lol), FE Three Houses, and more are better.

IGN staff probably mostly made up of people who haven't played Triangle Strategy yet and are voting on nostalgia only. Nostalgia really robs this genre of acknowledging the accomplishments of modern JSRPGs. Path of Radiance? Get the fuck out.

As someone who really enjoyed Three Houses a lot, there is no way its better than Triangle Strategy. In my opinion TS has better story, better map, better enemy AI and much more meaningful choices within the story.
Is TS really that good? I only played the demo, but didn't really think much of it. I feared it would end up like Octopath and just get repetitive.
 
Is TS really that good? I only played the demo, but didn't really think much of it. I feared it would end up like Octopath and just get repetitive.

That's my opinion on it. I'm playing my 2nd time now and still enjoying it.

Others may not agree with me, which is fine. But any tactics fan should put the game on their short list if they can tolerate lots of dialogue / story. It's a fantastic game.
 
The only problem with xcom is the % precision. If its says 99% of precision, it's a miss, if it's anything lower, it's a miss and you die next turn. If it's 100%, it's the minimum hit damage.
 
The only problem with xcom is the % precision. If its says 99% of precision, it's a miss, if it's anything lower, it's a miss and you die next turn. If it's 100%, it's the minimum hit damage.

Thats why i dont really consider xcom a RPG. It seems like there aren’t really any stats involved in the hit percentages, just feels really random
 

German Hops

Gold Member
That's a good list to me.

 

Croga

Member
Thats why i dont really consider xcom a RPG. It seems like there aren’t really any stats involved in the hit percentages, just feels really random

I get why people are always annoyed with the XCOM "lol I missed 90% shot fuck this game" but any game with a percentage based chance for an action that isn't 100% will always have a chance to roll a miss, it's just how it works.

The game does however have an abundance of stats when calculating those initial shot percentages, some examples being the soldiers aim stat, weapon bonuses, utility items, ammo types vs the targets armor, cover, defense values, the list goes on.
 

TransTrender

Gold Member
Disgaea 5? Guess that was a blind spot for me. I stopped after 3.

What's the new hotness or twist to #5 that gets it on the list?
 
Disgaea 5? Guess that was a blind spot for me. I stopped after 3.

What's the new hotness or twist to #5 that gets it on the list?
Its the first one I really liked since 2.

It’s nothing particularly special if you’ve played one disgaea game you’ve played them all. But the cast was likable and the spirited were nice and hi res. seemed like it was peak disgaea before they threw everything out and started over again in 6.

Also, the “anti-hero-hero” while a staple in disgaea felt a bit more shonen-esque in this one which people seem to like. Similar to tales of beseria
 

Aion002

Member
So many amazing games that they probably never heard about... Not even mentioning Super Robot Wars is absolutely disgusting.

Ign, as always, sucks.
 

Chukhopops

Member
Thats why i dont really consider xcom a RPG. It seems like there aren’t really any stats involved in the hit percentages, just feels really random
The game tells you exactly how the percentages are calculated and which modifiers apply, it’s quite neat. And it only cheats in favor of the player (on easy difficulty).

On the other hand FFT has tons of hidden bullshit calculations including Zodiac compatibility, the Brave/Faith system, some percentages being additive and others multiplicative etc.
 
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GeekyDad

Member
TO should be #2, and the FEs they chose are wrong, but otherwise not a terrible list. At least they got it right with FFT for all things holy.
 
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