When you think about your favorite RPGs, it’s not unthinkable that most people have Final Fantasy or Mass Effect in mind. Since the RPG genre has been filled with some of the best storytelling experiences possible, it makes sense that only a few of them could stand out and carry on as hit series.
Sometimes, an RPG series actually manages to become a beloved series, but for whatever reason, as the generation of game consoles has gone on, the series just got left behind. Series may be forgotten by some fans or developers, but in the minds of hardcore RPG fans, even classic RPGs will never truly die.
More than a few internet personalities have shared their brutal feelings on the Hydlide games, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people who were fond of the titles. The mostly forgotten RPG series saw you taking control of a knight in a fairly typical RPG tale.
The reason why most people have forgotten about the series is that while it hasn’t had a release in years, it also never did anything all that different from its rivals. When looking at the original, somewhat clunky NES game, it’s not hard to see why most of you would have opted for the famous game it predated, Final Fantasy, instead.
Considering the Wizardry series actually has a lot to do with how successful the modern RPG genre is, it’s a bit of a surprise that almost no one ever talks about it. The first game released all the way back in 1981, and the final release in the series came in 2001.
It’s possible that most people have forgotten about the games due to the fact that the series was mostly relegated to older computers for decades. Since it’s hard to compete with the fantasy RPG juggernauts of today, Wizardry will probably be relegated to minor spin-off series releases at best for the foreseeable future.
Much like Wizardry, Ultima was an incredibly influential series for early RPGs (and even later, online games). The games were so beloved that the series spans nine games and goes from telling relatively simple tales to some shockingly complex narratives.
The story of the games is broken down into three main narrative chunks, with three games making up each chunk of the story. It was an ambitious undertaking for a series that started in the eighties, and somehow, the series just quietly died off in the late nineties, though this could be because sales continued to decline.
7 Breath Of Fire
People may have mixed opinions on whether or not the Breath Of Fire series has truly been forgotten, but when the latest full release (in 2016) was relegated to a mobile game status, some would say the series is mostly done.
Coming out on the Super Nintendo back in 1994 in North America, the Breath Of Fire series refreshed a lot of players with a surprisingly mature nature to the overall story. Aside from the mobile game, the last mainline release on a serious console (albeit handheld) was Breath Of Fire 3 on the PSP.
6 Golden Sun
It’s hard to come across many people who loved the Game Boy Advance's RPG line-up and didn’t also love playing Golden Sun. You make your way through the series as you deal with the threat of and come to grips with alchemy.
As far as handheld-only RPGs go, the Golden Sun series was one of the best. Unfortunately, the series only released three mainline games from 2001 to 2010, with the final release being for the Nintendo DS. It’s mostly forgotten by the masses, but maybe with enough pushing from devoted fans, a new entry will come to light in the future.
The Lufia series seems like another one that was doomed to always be compared to other famed series like Final Fantasy. The issue is that Lufia never managed to stand out in the minds of fans by trying something that hadn’t been done before.
A group of heroes fights to stop the forces of evil (Sinistrals) from rising, so it's pretty standard fare. The final entry was a reimagined version of the second game for the Nintendo DS in 2010, and the series has been quiet since. There’s always a chance it could be revived, but it would need to take a big swing in a different direction.
4 King’s Field
The King’s Field series of RPGs may not be one that most people are familiar with, but the truth is, you have these games to thank for Dark Souls. The games weren’t necessarily brutally difficult like Dark Souls is, but it is an early FromSoftware title.
Outside of the games inspiring the team behind Dark Souls, it was one of the early 3D first-person games, but even with that, the series quickly died off. The mainline series had its final release in 2001, and considering FromSoftware is quite busy these days, King’s Field will probably stay left behind.
3 Might And Magic
To give Might And Magic some credit, the series did attempt a reboot back in 2014 but considering there haven’t been any entries since you can imagine how well that went. Shockingly, the ten-game deep series started all the way back in 1986.
Despite the games seeming like standard RPG content on the surface, many of the games employ unique story ideas and have a surprising amount of replayability even today. The series was an early hit, but you’d struggle to find more than a handful of modern gamers who know about it.
Pretty much any RPG that had to contend with the phenomenom that was Final Fantasy 7 was doomed from the get-go. That was more or less what happened to Grandia, and despite all the entries being seen favorably by everyone that played them, the series mostly died out.
Starting back in 1997, the series saw mainline releases until Grandia 3 came out in 2005/2006. Since then, a HD collection of the game has been released for the series’ biggest fans, but that’s a far cry from a new game or even wider attention.
It’s actually shocking that we live in a world that hasn’t seen a mainline Suikoden game since 2006. The games are known for their criminally underrated stories, and the immense number of playable party members to choose from.
It’s possible that the initial style of the art turned some people away from the series, which is a shame considering the stories offer some of the most complex dives into political corruption and revolution for the genre. Who knows? Maybe one day there’ll be a modern remake of the first two games, but that might just be wishful thinking.
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