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Five underrated RPGs on Xbox 360

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It seems that true roleplaying games are a dying breed these days. With the recent success of hybrid RPGs such as Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Fallout, games with turn-based combat are generally frowned upon in the video game industry as being "too slow" and using "outdated mechanics."

This sentiment is hard to agree with and it's one of the reasons Final Fantasy is no longer as successful as it used to be is due to the franchise's switch to a more action-based combat system. If Square Enix were to make an old school turn-based Final Fantasy that focused on strategy and storyline, it could revitalize the series by catering to older gamers who grew up playing Final Fantasy on the original PlayStation.

There are actually a few good RPGs for Xbox 360 that have an old school feeling to them. Such RPGs are often overlooked and underrated. Many were released several years and and did not get very good review scores. That doesn't necessarily mean they are bad games, however. Here are five such RPGs on Xbox 360 that you should consider buying:

Lost Odyssey
Lost Odyssey Microsoft

Lost Odyssey

Lost Odyssey

Released in 2008

Score on Metacritic: 78

Price on Amazon: ~$70 (new) and $13 (used)

Developed by: Mistwalker

Description: Lost Odyssey is the quintessential old school RPG. It has turn-based combat and comes on four discs. The main character, Kaim, has been living for over a thousand years. Players learn about his past through a series of short stories called "dreams." Despite its relatively low review score, this is arguably the best RPG on Xbox 360. The fact it was produced by the creator of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi, is another plus.

Tales of Vesperia
Tales of Vesperia Namco Bandai Games

Tales of Vesperia

Tales of Vesperia

Released in 2008

Score on Metacritic: 79

Price on Amazon: $24.99 (new) and $21 (used)

Developed by: Namco Tales Studio

Description: Tales of Vesperia is the most recent game in the Tales series to appear on Xbox 360. It will appeal to anime fans due to its art style but it is also a very in-depth RPG in its own right. Although the combat is more action-based with characters moving around the battlefield in real time, the gameplay still manages to retain an old school feeling to it.

The Last Remnant
The Last Remnant Square Enix

The Last Remnant

The Last Remnant

Released in 2008

Score on Metacritic: 66

Price on Amazon: $44.99 (new) and ~$8 (used)

Developed by Square Enix

Description: The Last Remnant got some horrible review scores but it didn't really deserve them. The combat system is pretty unique and highly focused on tactics. Players control several different groups of characters in combat, called "unions," and then issue commands to each of the squads in a turn-based system. There is also a morale bar which affects what happens in the battle. A lot of emphasis is put on strategy behind what types of characters players put in each union and the different orders they issue throughout a battle. The game also gets to be very hard on the second disc.

Record of Agarest War
Record of Agarest War Aksys Games

Record of Agarest War

Record of Agarest War

Released in 2010

Score on Metacritic: 71

Price on Amazon: $39.45 (new) and $19.99 (used)

Developed by: Idea Factory

Description: Record of Agarest War is a tactics RPG with some elements of a dating sim thrown in for good measure. Final Fantasy Tactics was one of my favorite games on PlayStation and Record of Agarest War's combat reminded me a lot of that game, minus the job system. The over-the-top sexual anime cut scenes make the game hilarious to play as well.

Infinite Undiscovery
Infinite Undiscovery Square Enix

Infinite Undiscovery

Infinite Undiscovery

Released in 2008

Score on Metacritic: 68

Price on Amazon: $22.50 (used) and $5.99 (used)

Developed by tri-Ace

Description: Developed by the same company that is known for working on the Star Ocean franchise, tri-Ace, Infinite Undiscovery actually plays a lot like Final Fantasy XII in terms of combat. Players control the main character with others in your party being controlled by A.I. Infinite Undiscovery isn't a great game by any means, but is still worth playing for RPG fans.



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