The PlayStation 5 is arriving soon, and we’re all pretty excited about that, right? With the future on the horizon, I can’t help but take a glance back at some of the games that were on the original system.
Several high-quality RPGs came out on the PSX and then died with the system, and I’d love to see them come back. Modern graphics, better gameplay, and new stories would take these RPGs to the next level in the form of sequels.
This is nothing more than a personal wishlist, of course. Still, if you are a fan of retro games and have a PlayStation handy, then you can check out these PSX RPGs and try the ones that you haven’t played before.
Ashley Riot is your name and proving your innocence is the game. Vagrant Story is part of a series of games tied into the “Ivalice Alliance”, so it has a tenuous relationship to the Final Fantasy series. That’s where the similarities end, though.
Nevertheless, Vagrant Story might just be one of the best games on the PSX. The gameplay broke away from the formulaic JRPGs that Square had developed in the past. The combat was more action-oriented, and you spent serious time just exploring, even though you were mostly relegated to the catacombs under Leá Monde
The graphics were nothing to write home about, but the game was still amazing in many respects. You would open up Battle Mode when enemies got close and that would make you fight in a way that should be familiar to most Fallout fans. From there, you could target specific parts of the enemy’s body to do damage. Also, you had to manage your fatigue, which appeared in the form of “risk,” to ensure you landed powerful hits and didn’t take wanton damage.
All in all, this was a very good game and I would love to see a sequel happen soon. The action-based combat and setting could serve as a good jumping-off point for a great sequel.
I really want another entry into the Chrono series. Chrono Cross had a tremendous number of strengths including nice graphics, a fresh setting, and downright incredible music.
The leveling system was a little unusual at first glance, but it did work out when trying to level a ton of different characters without grinding forever. Speaking of the huge cast of playable characters, there are 45 people you can recruit for your party. While some of them lacked personal development, it was still a feat to include so many characters in a single game.
Of course, it’s the story that makes it a crime that this game hasn’t gotten a sequel. I’m not going to explain the whole thing, but your character’s very existence is troubling for the timeline. Yeah, it’s heavy and it still manages to circle back to Chrono Trigger.
If they were to make a sequel to Chrono Cross on PlayStation 5, it would benefit from incredible graphics, the potential to amp up the gameplay, and the opportunity to keep the weirdness inherent in the series alive.
I understand that this entry was inferior to Chrono Trigger, but that was no reason to end the whole series.
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete is a bit of a mystery and not just for the wacky name. Originally on the Sega CD, some argue that the game truly hit its peak when it was ported to the PlayStation. It got a bump in graphics and got onto a more successful system where more people could see it. The mystery stems from the fact that the series ended abruptly after this entry.
It would seem the success of the game, though it was minor success outside of Japan, would ensure the game spawned another sequel. Although I am a big fan of ending stories before they get stale, this series definitely had more to give.
While you won’t find amazing graphics or completely unique gameplay in Lunar 2, what you will get is an amazing story and dialogue that was pretty rare for PSX RPGs. While the in-game graphics were not impressive, the cutscenes were numerous and very fulfilling to players.
I’d love to see a sequel of this game to see what they make of the story and the advances in graphics on a new system. It seems like wishful thinking at this point, though.
I know what you’re going to say. “Oh, this game already got an entire ‘spiritual successor’ series.” I still want a full sequel to this particular game. Why? If you’ve played the game and remember the story, that’s why. It was deep, complex, and certainly among the best stories of the PSX RPGs.
Xenogears had a lot more going for it, too. It wasn’t just the plot, it was the way that the story was relayed to the player. The game had plenty of nice cutscenes that were basically an anime woven into the story.
Another really cool aspect of the game was the battle system. You start off with a regular JRPG active time battle system, but that transforms into a more advanced system where you fight enemies while piloting Gears, large humanoid robots. As I said, the story goes off the rails in a very good way.
Part of me wants to say they should leave the story from Xenogears alone so that they don’t ruin it. A bigger part of me wants to see an actual sequel to this game on the PS5. We’ve seen the amazing graphics of the other entries in the Xeno series in recent years, and that means we got a good look at the high potential for a sequel.
The Legend of Dragoon
Apparently, quite a few gamers missed out on this title due to the glut of PSX RPGs and the overwhelming popularity of the Final Fantasy series and others. Still, The Legend of Dragoon is a fantastic game that could use a sequel.
I think that if the developers got another crack at a game like this on a new system, it would substantially improve on the elements of the game that were lackluster and polish those that were already great.
For example, the timed combat mechanic was innovative and fun, but a little too touchy for some players. Transforming into the dragoon form was downright incredible, but the mechanic could have been introduced in a better way.
Yet, the thing that I am most interested in seeing would be the continuation of the story. By the time you finish the game, suffice it to say that the crap has hit the fan. Yet, the ending is a little hurried and everything seems to come together rather late in the story. Personally, I think it would be nice to see the ramifications of your adventures.
Also, the dragoons would look downright amazing with updated graphics.
Side Note- Did I ever tell you how exhausting it is to write about how great a game’s story is without spoiling it?
Azure Dreams is a fun action RPG and monster-raising hybrid game that doesn’t get nearly enough love in my opinion. Although it did get a great port on the Game Boy Color, it never got a sequel.
Why should this relatively unknown game get a sequel? For starters, it has such a cool premise that would work better with the capabilities of a modern system. Basically, your town is built around a huge tower full of monsters and riches. You’re a monster tamer and only you can solve the mysteries of the tower and save the town.
Another neat element was the combat. Unlike a lot of the PSX RPGs, this game had an active battle sequence that still utilized turns between you and your enemy. While you could use your character, Koh, to fight, the unique feature of the game was that you could use your monster to fight alongside you. You could find eggs, hatch monsters, level them up, and even combine them.
Your monster would maintain their level and powers when you left the tower in which the battles take place, but Koh would have to start again. As your personal skills and understanding rose, the difficulty of the game went down, but the overall fairness was tempered by the constant deleveling.
The story was a bit bland, but the gameplay was fantastic. Also, the music in the lower levels of the tower is one of the best/worst earworms ever. A PS5 sequel to this game would be great, improving on the combat and graphics and giving us a fresh take on the monster-raising genre that has largely disappeared.
Bonus Round: Parasite Eve 2
What happens when you cross a survival horror game with RPG elements and an absolutely bonkers story? Well, you get Parasite Eve 1 and 2. Both games were released on the PlayStation but they never got direct sequels, just a weird PSP entry in 2013. That is why it made the bonus round, though.
The game’s real-time combat system, use of real weapons, skill development, and Parasite Energy were all neat, and I bet they would look fantastic on a new system. The story could go in a hundred different directions, and the PS5’s ability to render a cityscape could take the game to a completely different level.
I think the greatest potential lies in the coexistence of the real world and supernatural beings. This game could be just as scary as a Resident Evil title, but you have actual powers to use in the fight against enemies, not just a gun and herbs. Check this game out and imagine a modern iteration and I think you’ll come to the same conclusion as me- it needs a sequel.
Plus, there’s all the potential for memes about mitochondria being the powerhouse of the cell. Ah, you’ll get it after you try the game.
PlayStation 5 Could Do Great Things for PSX RPGs
Each of the games on this list would be a great place for the PS5 to start looking for sequel ideas. Granted, I know nothing about the state of the games’ licenses or what it would take to make it happen. More or less, I just like to think of what could happen if they got the sequels.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read the list. Feel free to drop in some other options in the comments to let me know what games you want to see get a sequel from the packed list of PSX RPGs.