RPGs tend to try an impress with a great set of visuals. This can be using fully rendered cut scenes, or just taking the entirety of their game and trying something new either graphically or artistically. In the earlier years of gaming, Visual enhancements weren’t as common, but when a game nailed it, they really nailed it. Here are five games that really created a visual splendor during their time.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars – SNES
Being a collaboration with SquareSoft and Nintendo, Super Mario RPG was among the first RPGs on the SNES to create three dimensional environments. It’s impressive that this was done with a 16-bit console. The environments had that Mario feel to them, but these jazzed up graphics made it one of the most memorable RPGs of that era.
Skies of Arcadia – Dreamcast
The unjustly short-lived Dreamcast released this gem, and at the time, it was absolutely stunning. Not only did you spend plenty of time in well built and visually thematic areas, but you were rewarded for exploring this vast and colorful world. Who knew that a world above the clouds could be so vibrant and lovely?
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean – CameCube
The Baten Kaitos games came out later in the GameCube’s lifespan. Graphically speaking, they pushed the limit of what the system was capable of, and the result was another set of wonderful character models, exceptional scenery, and a smooth looking combat system.
Final Fantasy IX – PlayStation
Final Fantast IX took everything it learned from 3D graphic design from its two previous installments to create, what I feel, was the best looking game in the series for the PSOne. Its character models looked and felt better than any of its predecessors, and its locations were colorful and pleasing to the eye.
Suikoden II – PlayStation
While Suikoden II still ran on a 2D graphics engine, the level of clarity and detail it presented was phenomenal. The character sprites were well animated and the environments were detailed to include things like fog or cloud movement in the sky. For a 2D RPG, it was among the cleanest looking I’ve ever encountered.