9. Final Fantasy 9
Final Fantasy 9's first disc is all about lulling the player into a false sense of security as to the game's tone and story, setting up this cutesy, Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic, only to pull the rug out from under you right when you're most comfortable with it. And the first hour of this game is the perfect encapsulation of this illusion.
It's notable that the game starts you off playing as Vivi, the wide-eyed innocent little black mage who just wants a ticket to see a play, switching back and forth between him and the real protagonist, Zidane, whose story isn't much darker.
In fact, his story is downright, well, storybook, wanting to kidnap the princess for unknown reasons.
The first hour of this game is so lighthearted, that when you look back on it at the end, after all its twists, turns, existential dread and political scheming, you will likely wonder if you were playing the same game you started with.