Boss Rush Bucket List Week 8: Role-Playing Games, Part II

Welcome to week eight of the Boss Rush Bucket List! The writing staff at Boss Rush has curated a list of the top 50 games released since 2014 that are a must-play. Five games surrounding a genre or theme will be featured every Friday at 10a.m. until September 3rd. The fifth game of each article will count down the top ten, so stick with us to find out which title is our number one recommended game!

Final Fantasy VII Remake

By: LaMont

Developer: Square Enix Business Division 1. Publisher: Square Enix

Release Date: 04/10/2020. Platform(s): PS4 & PS5

Final Fantasy VII Remake in three words: The Remake Magic!

Final Fantasy VII is one of my all time favorite games, possibly throughout the entire franchise. Although it wasn’t the start of my love for RPGs as most people–that honor would go to Final Fantasy X, which I also love–it was definitely the one that touched my heart and one I played the most. When playing the original, I’ve always fantasized about how each character’s voice would sound, how each interaction is conveyed, especially some famous lines such as, “Slice ‘em, smash em…” from a scene with Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, and one of the villains, Don Corneo. After many rumors and fans demanding a remake, a surprise announcement was made during E3 2015, and the remake was born!

Everything about this game was remade from the ground up, from the entire city of Midgar and character designs to the expanded story, possibly to appeal to newer fans. Of course, there were some divided in the decision to enter this remake project in the form of episodic games but with the length of an average game.

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

By: Block

Developer: CD Projekt Red. Publisher: CD Projekt

Release Date: 05/19/2015. Platform(s): Windows PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

The Witcher III in three words: Wind is howling.

When The Witcher III first arrived on the PS4 and Xbox One, it truly felt that the next generation of gaming had finally come. The game consists of a sprawling, beautiful world that has something waiting to be discovered behind every rock, inside of every cave, and within every abandoned castle. Although the plot of monster slayer, Geralt of Rivia, searching for his ward, Ciri, is one of the most engaging in the genre, The Witcher III really excels in making even the shortest side-quest feel like a grand adventure. Combat is also among the most expansive in the action RPG genre (though it does take some getting used to), as trained players can easily deploy a mix of swordplay, magic, traps, and bombs to dispense hoards of monsters or entire bands of scoundrels. The Witcher III was a turning point in open world RPGs, and for many, we’re still waiting to visit a world that’s as entertaining and lively as this one.

Snack Pairing: Nothing sets the mood better than feasting on a hearty leg of lamb and downing it with a mug of cold, foamy ale. Vodka works too, of course.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

By: Dan

Developer: Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo. Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: 07/26/2019. Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

Fire Emblem: Three Houses in three words: Strategy, Deception, Romance

Fire Emblem was quite niche in the west for most of their titles, but once Fire Emblem: Awakening hit 3DS, people started taking notice. Fire Emblem: Three Houses was the first console release since Radiant Dawn on the Wii, and this game did not disappoint. What separates this title from the others is the ability to choose to be the professor for one of three “houses” at the monastery academy. Each one of these houses plays out a unique story to go through, with each house having 8 unique characters. 

Beyond the rich story is a deep and satisfying combat system that stays true to the series as a strategy RPG. Characters will have unique classes that allow them to wield weapons and magic related to that class. Battle maps have obstacles such as water and mountains, so plan appropriately before you go into battle!

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is an amazing entry to the series, and a game that any strategy RPG player should pick up. The story is rich, the music is amazing, and the landscapes are beautiful. 

Snack Pairing: A bold red wine to go with your charcuterie board.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

By: Eddie V

Developer: Monolith Soft. Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: 12/04/2015. Platform(s): Wii U

Xenoblade Chronicles X in three words: Expansive World Action

Xenoblade Chronicles X is a JRPG that’s hard to explain but attention-grabbing as soon as you start the game. Since the game isn’t connected to any other title in the Xenoblade franchise, this one is a stand alone where you can create a customizable character. In this game, not only do you fight with two other party members, but you also get a mech that you can battle with. Since the game revolves around two alien races fighting each other, you must put a stop to it. As a member of BLADE (Builders of the Legacy After the Destruction of Earth), you take up task to help the people of New Los Angeles.

Without this game, there wouldn’t be The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. Monolith’s epic quest and world building in Xenoblade Chronicles X helped create the world of Breath of The Wild. Xenoblade Chronicles X was the JRPG that felt fresh and new to games and was a big win for Nintendo. It certainly is a game that shouldn’t be missed.

Snack Pairing: A buffet meal from your choice of restaurant 

Boss Rush Bucket List Top 10: #3 Dragon Age: Inquisition

By: Charlie

Developer: Bioware. Publisher: EA

Release Date: 11/18/2014. Platform(s): PS3 & PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows

Dragon Age: Inquisition in three words: Epic. Legendary. Grand.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is the last great RPG from legendary RPG creator Bioware. This is also considered the last great RPG for seventh Gen and the first for the eighth gen of consoles. 

What makes Dragon Age so great is it has everything a RPG fan would want in a game–meaningful companions, a grand adventure, four different races, customizable character, side quests galore, and massive time loss. 

Dragon Age: Inquisition will always be known as the last great Bioware RPG and rightfully so. 

Snack pairing: Fruits, bread, meat and a bit of mead to make you feel like you’re back in the middle ages. Is there any other way to enjoy a good RPG than with a feast? I think not. 

This wraps up week eight of the Boss Rush Bucket List!

Honorable MentionsWargroove (2019)

Next Friday (08/27), we have a special treat for you! Boss Rush rattles off the best in story-telling with narrative titles from talented indies. You also reference the entire Boss Rush Bucket list schedule here.

Remember, there are hundreds of amazing games that have been released since 2014, and this is just our personal, curated recommendations. If you see a game that is not listed, we would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts on these nominated games on our friendly Discord channel!

This week’s contributors: LaMont, Block, Dan, Eddie V, Charlie

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