As one of the all-too-rare examples of a horror JRGP, Koudelka earns points for its style and concept alone. Exploring a haunted mansion Resident Evil style before engaging in classic turn-based JRPG battles with various creative creatures is such an inherently wonderful experience that it’s honestly a shock there haven’t been more Koudelka-like titles over the years.
While it’s true that this game doesn’t quite nail that delicate balance between those genres, Koudelka’s creativity, soundtrack, visuals, and wild storytelling moments make it easy to overlook its various flaws and fall in love with its charms. – Matthew Byrd
24. Mega Man Legends 2
As surprising as it sounds, Mega Man Legends and by extension its sequel, Mega Man Legends 2, are action RPGs. Both feature open explorable worlds, collectible/upgradable equipment, and strong narratives. Plus, Legends 1 and 2 showcase some of the most memorable and hilarious characters in the Mega Man franchise. While the first Mega Man Legends is a great game on its own, Legends 2 improves on it in every way.
Mega Man Legends 2 is basically more Mega Man Legends in the best way possible. Players can explore several islands instead of just one. This additional landmass gives players more dungeons to conquer, equipment to loot, and quests to complete. Furthermore, Legends 2 improves the original’s control scheme and adds more moves. Given the game’s legacy (and sequel bait ending), why Capcom never made a third Legends entry is a mystery. – Aaron Greenbaum
23. Brave Fencer Musashi
Like some of the PS1’s other notable APRGs, Brave Fencer Musashi admittedly sacrifices RPG depth in favor of gameplay fluidity. So while the role-playing elements of this game are largely limited to acquiring new abilities and completing quests, they ultimately enhance what is a fundamentally exceptional action title.
Brave Fencer Musashi’s combat strikes a fine balance between pure action and role-playing methodicalness. It’s more intense than the action you’ll find in the average Zelda game, but it requires you to slow down just enough to consider your resources and the benefits of your various abilities. It’s a fantastic core combat system that serves as the heart of a thrilling adventure that is bursting with visual creativity, humor, and incredible setpiece moments. – MB