Best Square Enix Games of All Time
Today, there are many great games to look forward to. Whether it comes from a small indie studio or a triple AAA developer, fans always get excited to explore new worlds brimming with incredible narratives, remarkable characters, and fun gameplay mechanics. To celebrate gaming, we’re here to shine a spotlight on the latest and greatest games to be developed or published by Square Enix.
This gaming company has a slew of properties under its belt. From the futuristic world of Nier Automata to the fantastical lands of Disney in Kingdom Hearts, there’s sure to be a game here that will vibe with your interests.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Nier Automata is a fabulous action RPG developed by Platinum Games. However, Square Enix assisted the studio in publishing it. It follows 2B and other androids on their quest through dystopian Earth. As you battle numerous foes, you’ll uncover Earth’s deepest mysteries and learn what transpired before the robots took over this world.
It has excellent storytelling and fast-paced gameplay. It gives players deep insight into 2B’s mind. Players will adore seeing 2B display human-like mannerisms and traits the further you get into Nier Automata’s plot. The game’s locales look gorgeous and the androids are designed appropriately to fit the setting’s tone. In addition to its heart-pumping OST, Nier Automata is a must-play for any action-heavy RPG enthusiast.
Chrono Trigger is often regarded as one of the best JRPGs of all time. It was developed by Square before it became better known as Square Enix. Despite being a relic of the past, Chrono Trigger holds up shockingly well. It has enthusiastic sprite animations, engaging gameplay, and remarkable storytelling. It takes place during a festival and follows our heroic protagonist Crono.
Crono meets a girl named Marle and they explore the fair to develop their relationship. Suddenly, the two bump into Crono’s longtime friend Lucca. She shows off her latest invention to them and Marle tests it out. Unfortunately, Lucca’s device malfunctions and sends Marle through multiple dimensions. With Marle’s pendant, Crono pursues Marle on a journey between the past and the future.
Chrono Trigger offers a beautiful overworld for players to traverse. It’s lively and imaginative. Players will meet countless individuals during their dimension-hopping excursion. Some will befriend you while others will seek to harm you. The game features a phenomenal active time battle system that leads to some memorable interactions. Give Chrono Trigger a shot if you want to know why it’s the best JRPG of all time.
Dragon Quest (Franchise)
Dragon Quest is often regarded as the grandfather of RPGs and JRPGs. This gaming franchise went on to inspire numerous works fans love like Pokémon, Persona, Chrono Trigger, etc. Each game follows a different group of characters who must thwart the evil plans crafted by each entry’s villain. The sub-plots that occur between the adventure is what helps fans tell each game apart.
Each game features fabulous turn-based battles. You’ll be able to wield weapons and magic as you level up after each bout. The narratives for each game have joyous qualities to them. Later entries would implement mature-themed plotlines, though. Nonetheless, each Dragon Quest game evokes the joyous sensation one receives when embarking on a thrilling adventure.
For anime fans who grew up with Dragon Ball or Dr. Slump, Akira Toriyama is to thank for the game’s glorious art style. If you’re a JRPG or RPG fan who loves turn-based battles, well-written characters, and beautiful worlds, I suggest giving this series a shot.
Kingdom Hearts 2
Kingdom Hearts is a one-of-a-kind title. It takes the fantastical worlds of Disney and mixes them together with anime tropes you’d find in iconic JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. While the series has spawned numerous entries that are integral to your understanding of Kingdom Hearts’ overarching plot, Kingdom Hearts 2 is regarded as the best of its entries.
It introduces a slew of new characters and has the gall to replace the series’s protagonist, Sora for a good portion of the game. While this may come as a shock to diehard fans of the first game, Roxas, this game’s starting protagonist, is just as compelling as Sora in numerous ways. Kingdom Hearts 2 features countless twists and adds more Disney crossovers that weren’t present in the first one.
The game also fixes complaints fans had with the first game regarding the lack of a map and camera bugs. Kingdom Hearts 2’s Drive Gauge added a power-up to Sora’s arsenal and made fights feel more exhilarating and worthwhile. Although it’s important to play through all the Kingdom Hearts games to understand its narrative, Kingdom Hearts 2 is worth revisiting countless times.
Final Fantasy VII: Remake
Final Fantasy VII: Remake is a jaw-dropping reimagining of the classic PlayStation JRPG. It features revamped visuals, better combat, and glorious cutscenes that will make you undergo a rollercoaster of emotions. This game follows a band of heroes led by Cloud Strife as they aim to challenge destiny and uncover the mysteries hidden within their homeworld.
Every character has excellent chemistry with each other. The game’s enemies and bosses offer an incredible challenge. They aren’t overwhelmingly difficult but some bosses may surprise you. Although this is leagues above the original in every way, it doesn’t tell the full story. It only offers a part of it, which may be disheartening to those who wanted to experience Cloud’s journey from start to finish.
Nonetheless, the effort Square Enix put into making this game should be enough to hold you over. The developers have confirmed that other entries will be made to give fans the full Final Fantasy VII experience. Therefore, if you’ve never played or have experienced the original game and are unsure if the remake is right for you, just know, that it’s worth your hard-earned time.
You can read our thoughts on Final Fantasy VII: Remake in our game review here!
Octopath Traveler is a unique HD-2D-styled JRPG. It follows countless protagonists, each with their own story to tell. However, the game connects their tales to form a strong overarching narrative. It’s one of the first games of its kind from a visual perspective. The enhanced 2D sprites and backdrops will leave you speechless with how immaculate everything looks in unison.
The gameplay is equally enjoyable. You’ll find yourself battling monsters, interacting with the game’s NPCs, and exploring the game’s shops for useful items. For those who grew up with JRPGs like Pokémon, Octopath Traveler features a fabulous turn-based battle system. You’ll attack enemies with various weapon types and spells. Folks on the hunt for a modern, pixelated JRPG with great storytelling, graphics, and gameplay, should look no further than Octopath Traveler.
The Tomb Raider Reboot Series
Tomb Raider was a household name in the gaming industry like Halo, Super Mario Bros., Crash Bandicoot, and others. It may not be as famous as it once was, but long-time fans remember the franchise for its fun platforming segments and puzzles. Eventually, Lara Croft received the reboot treatment and gained three new titles for fans to play.
The reboot games like Shadow and Rise of the Tomb Raider carried better cinematics than the original games. However, these games aren’t without their faults. For instance, the first game of the Tomb Raider reboot series contained too many quick-time events while follow-ups lacked specific settings and features. However, others praised the reboot for its depiction of Lara’s character. If you loved the original Tomb Raider games, chances are, you’ll adore the reboot trilogy just as much.
SaGa Frontier is a great JRPG with sci-fi and adventurous elements. Like other JRPGs from their catalog, it received a remaster to make the game feel playable for modern audiences. It includes cut content not found in the original release and several quality-of-life improvements. Additionally, the game incorporates a New Game + Mode and a better logging system to entice fans to revisit the game.
The story follows a group of characters who embark on an unforgettable adventure. They all share different dreams and traits. The game’s remastered visuals aren’t on par with titles like Live A Live, but they’re decent enough to warrant a purchase from RPG enthusiasts. With its compelling narrative and cast, you’ll enjoy what this space-like adventure title delivers.
Triangle Strategy is a new IP from Square Enix that adopts the HD-2D pioneered by Octopath Traveler. This game specializes in tactical RPG combat, though. Players will move characters across a grid to battle enemies.
Nonetheless, the storytelling is on par with that game’s narrative. It focuses on one protagonist as opposed to a group of them. The characters the protagonist meets and befriends all have engaging personalities and goals worth your time. Players have some control over how the protagonist’s journey unfolds, though.
Triangle Strategy offers multiple endings and branching storylines. This encourages players to revisit the game several times to see what else lies within it. For those who loved Square Enix’s other HD-2D outings like Live A Live and Octopath Traveler, Triangle Strategy should deliver on its promises and possibly exceed your expectations.
Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenosaga owe Xenogears a lot for setting the groundwork for their series to thrive. It’s an RPG with an impactful story, a well-written cast, and beautiful environments. Its world wasn’t as expansive, but it made up for it with its well-crafted plot. Xenogears is set around a war between numerous nations. Both sides utilize large humanoid robots called Gears.
Fei Fong Wong, the game’s protagonist, finds himself in the middle of the conflict. He’s lived a horrid life and scours the world to search for clues concerning his past and dormant abilities. It sounds simple but gets more intricate as you advance in the story. Each game expands upon the world and encourages players to ponder its lore. If you’re looking for a game with depth, give Xenogears a shot.
So, there we have it, our pick for the best Square Enix video games through the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!