The Best of 1998

Reviewers share their opinions on what they feel are the best games of 1998

Now that 1998 had drawn to a close, I thought it would be a good idea to hear what the reviewers felt were the best games of the year. 1998 was called the year of the "RPG Revolution", and it brought us many great titles. Following are each reviewers' choices for top three games of the year.

Wandering Prophet

1998 was a wonderful year in the RPG Market. A large number of incredible games were released. It was hard for me to choose, but I've finally decided on my favorite three games of 1998.

3. My third favorite game of 1998 would have to be Parasite Eve. While terribly short, the game offered so much awesome gameplay that it kept me hooked until I beat it. I swear, I didn't leave my PlayStation at all that day! *snicker*. Enough making fun of the short length. On the the good things about it. First of all, the graphics were the most impressive I've ever seen (at the time.....since then, FF8 movies have been released, hehehe). The FMV's were near flawless, and the in-game graphics were nicely done as well. The music was quiet, but fit the part it was played in wonderfully. This is a great game.

2. My second favorite game of the year: Xenogears, all the way. This game is incredible. While somewhat lacking in the graphics department (sometimes those sprites just like plain ugly), the game offers hours and hours of gameplay, with an incredibly unique battle system (3 different battle types, like Genso Suikoden), and wonderfully composed music. The anime and FMV scenes are wonderfully drawn, although the voice dubbing was done terribly. In my opinion though, that doesn't make the game much worse. The story  is terribly confusing, yet it makes it all the more interesting. Chrono Trigger fans: Check this game out, it's practically a distant sequel. It also reminds me a lot of Star Wars, in ways.  An awesome game.

1. My favorite game of 1998 - Final Fantasy Tactics.  Video Game Spot was right when they said, "Final Fantasy Tactics is a masterpiece." The graphics are probably my favorite in a video game.......ever. The colors are beautiful, and the character movement is flawless. The music is beautiful, too. The storyline can be incredibly confusing, often requiring you to play the game through again to understand it. Also, many different special characters are recruitable, including Final Fantasy 7's Cloud Strife. Final Fantasy Tactics is definatly the game of the year.


1.Final Fantasy Tactics-Never have I spent so many hours on one game. Amazing graphics, beautifully orchestrated music, a complex battle system, addictive and challenging gameplay, and a storyline filled with enough backstabbing and twists to make your head spin. There are few really *great* strategy RPG’s for the Playstation, but this is one that I will always remember. The vast amount of detail in this game is simply staggering. Still, it was tough not to give Xenogears the top spot. In the end, however, I felt that gameplay, depth, and music gave Tactics the edge. Its just too bad I cant give a tie.

2. Xenogears-An amazing game, made by the same people who made Chrono Trigger. No other game has a story so innovative, so full of plot twists, so moving such as Xenogears. This is the kind of story that will make you say "Wow". Purposely confusing from the outset, as you go through the game not only are questions answered, but at the same time, even more brought up. No other game has attempted a story such as Xenogears. It is the pinnacle of RPG storylines. It excels in almost every category, bringing us the second best RPG of 98.

3. Tales of Destiny- When Namco’s first RPG translation is better than Square’s tenth, you know something’s up. ToD has the most wonderful, rich dialogue and personality that few games can match. While it doesn’t have the best storyline, gameplay, or music, it does have something many RPG’s lack today: Personality. And this is what makes me give ToD the third spot of the Top 3 RPG’s of 98.


Xenogears is definatly my game of choice for 1998. Though lacking in the graphics department, it made up for it with great music, in depth story, and well designed characters. Xenogears combines the romantic and epic story of FF7, the betrayal and backstabbing (a.k.a. politics) of FFTactics, the great music composition of Crono Trigger and Suikoden, and the character development of....of..uh..well lets just say the next game with great character development that comes along you'll be saying "this game has the greath character development of Xenogears." And the glorious Anime cutscenes seem to cover for the horrific ingame graphics.

Parasite Eve would have to be another game deserving an 'RPG of the Year' award. The game was ludicrously short, but Square managed to pack a LOT of great gameplay and story line with it. The story was based on a novel that i plan on reading soon which was also made into a movie. While the game is mainly RPG focused, it throws in alot of horror and sci-fi aspects. The graphics and FMV sequences also give the game an extra point. The characters are all pretty well designed even though there aren't too many. The music didn't produce fireworks inside of me or anything, but it is good enough to freak you out if you're playing late on a dark and stormy night while your parents are out of town and the closest house is two miles away and the phonelines are out and you keep hearing a demonic laugh from the basement and see a satanic red glow out your windows. Well okay, you don't need *all* of that to make it scary.

Final Fantasy Tactics would have to be my final nomine for 'RPG of the Year'. The artwork is exquisite and the storyline produces alot of intrigue. And even though strat/RPGs are no stranger to the PS...they are always welcomed in my book. The music was also great. The characters are well defined. I think character development is a very important trait of a game. If you don't know a whole lot about characters I find it hard to relate to them and bond with them. And unless I can do that, I can't enjoy the game as much.

The People's Reviewer

3. Panzer Dragoon Saga for the Sega Saturn. Oh no, it's a Saturn game! This RPG had everything: great graphics and sound, interesting gameplay, and a great story. The fights were actually fun to get into, because they were unique every time. The game had good replay value. This was definately the last good Saturn game.

2. The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64. Geez.  This one has been so talked about that it's getting annoying. I guess it deserves it, though. This game had the best N64 graphics ever, and very unique gameplay. Nintendo must've thought this one out for a long time.  There are tons of challenging puzzles. The fighting system was very cool and made great use of the controller. Heck, the game even has night and day! A very cool, HUGE quest.

1. Metal Gear Solid for the Sony Playstation. If it weren't for Zelda 64, This would EASLIY be the top game of the year. Turns out it is anyways. I Think we've been blessed with the two best games of all-time in the same year. Both games push their respective system to the limits.  Anyways, back to MGS. The graphics are awesome. They set that dark, scary feeling like Final Fantasy 7 did. So do the sounds. MGS makes a lot of good use of sound. For example, if a guard hears your footsteps, he will check to see what's going on. The soundtrack itself was great, too. The gameplay was perfect; the Artificial intelligence is amazing. The game has lots of modes to try after you beat the game. That brings us to the only problem. The game is a little too short for me. It's about 15 hours long.But don't let that stop you from buying it, for your own good. It's a masterpiece.


Doom wished for me to give you all a message. He apologizes for not having more reviews/previews yet, but will have some shortly. At the time I began this section, Doom went out of town on a ski trip and could not explain his answers, but took the time to list his top games.  - Wandering Prophet

1. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2. Final Fantasy Tactics
3. Brave Fencer Musashi

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