10 Essential PS1 RPGs (That Aren't Final Fantasy)

What about the rest of the best?

Chrono Cross
Square Enix

If you were to ask anyone what their favourite RPG on the Sony's breakthrough console was, more often than not it'll be one of the Final Fantasies.

Whether Final Fantasy VII with it's revolutionary form of storytelling, or VIII with its broody teen time travel drama, or IX with its...monkey-boy, other world clone saga thing. It's usually one of those.

Scratch the surface and look past what many consider to be Squaresoft's holy trinity, and you'll find a whole wealth of RPGs more than worthy of your attention. Epic journeys, beautiful graphics and sweeping, orchestral scores all brought together to create wonderful worlds and stories.

Some may not have exceeded sales targets and slipped under the radar, whilst others have gained a more recent cult following over the years. Some bare the mark of being branded with, "Yeah, but it's not Final Fantasy, is it?" and thus get shunned.

Now, some of these on the list are also by Squaresoft, but before you cry "Oi, he's breaking his own rules!", bear in mind they're completely different entities to Final Fantasy. So don't expect to see Tactics on here, for example.

10. Suikoden II

Chrono Cross

Starting strong with a brilliant example in narrative and storytelling, Suikoden II is proof that bigger isn't always better.

Much like the first game, released five years prior in 1995, Suikoden II eschews traditional world-destroying power/demonic force in favour of warring states and factions, plus some magical elements. Your childhood friendship torn apart by third party forces and ideologies, the story sees our hero working to reunite the New Alliance Army to take on the forces of the Highland states.

The biggest draw in the Suikoden series is the recruitment of the 108 Star of Destiny, and the affects that it has on the story and world building. Whilst a lot of them are unavoidable and come with the story progression, there's a whole wealth in exploring the world and recruiting those extra characters. Some are able to join your party in combat, some add new features to your base, and some are merely interactive NPC's with no real bearing on the story at large.

Whilst the first Suikoden drew decent critical acclaim, the sequel was initially seen as dated in the life of the console for sticking to its sprite-based graphics, and as such saw a limited print run. In recent years, though, it's been retrospectively heralded as a fine example of storytelling, and physical copies of the game are hard to come by for avid collectors.


Player of games, watcher of films. Has a bad habit of buying remastered titles. Reviews games and delivers sub-par content in his spare time. Found at @GregatonBomb on Twitter/Instagram.