The Shin Megami Tensei series is one of the most consistently well-made RPG franchises in recent memory, and SMT: Strange Journey is no exception. There are few dungeon exploration games that are as solidly well put-together and interesting. The dungeon design is top-notch, and combat is fast-paced and intense. If you're an RPG owner with a Nintendo DS, Strange Journey is a must-have and easily one of the best games on the system.
Super Scribblenauts has improvements and mechanical updates, but nothing really changes the entire experience. Levels are better designed, movement is easier, and more of the awkward elements of the original game have been smoothed out. Super Scribblenauts is a unique and exciting puzzle game that lives up to the promise of the original.
Pokémon HeartGold still stands up as one of the best games in the series, even if it is a remake. Those who missed out on Pokémon Gold the first time around absolutely need to give this game a try, and even those who have already played through this adventure a decade ago should check out the upgrades and new features in this edition. The PokeWalker alone makes this a worthwhile experience and a game well worth playing. If you've ever had the slightest urge to hit the road and snag some Pokémon, then this is the perfect game for you.
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is every puzzle-lover's dream. The game is absolutely overflowing with content, and the emotional, intriguing story will keep you hooked right through the end.
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies is an old-school RPG with a lot of charm. The story structure is great for pick-up-and-play gaming and really benefits the DS format. There's some complexity and customization for hardcore gamers, but casual players will also be at home with the title. The amount of content and the incredibly charming world make the game surprisingly addictive.
Ys: The Oath in Felghana is another incredibly strong entry in the series, and it's a great option for PSP owners looking for an RPG fix. It's hard to believe that a port of a remake of a game that only existed in Japan until this year could be so enjoyable, but it truly is. This franchise is quickly becoming a force in the RPG realm, and Oath in Felghana is a sterling example of why.
Valkyria Chronicles II is an exceptionally solid strategy-RPG and a great sequel to the original. If you're a fan of the original Valkyria Chronicles or a PSP owner who wants to see what all the fuss is about, you'll have a tough time finding a better purchase.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta is still a God of War game, and it is still fun to play. When it is on, it is on, and there are some awesome sequences that are a lot of fun to play. The gameplay is functionally unchanged from the previous games, and fans of the franchise should find it easy to jump in. If you're eager for more of Kratos' adventures, then Ghost of Sparta will certainly fill the order.
Persona 3 Portable contains enough new features to make it a worthwhile purchase. For those who've never played Persona 3 before, this is easily the best version to pick up, as the game has aged wonderfully and remains one of the best titles on the market. If you're a PSP owner with a fondness for RPGs, you owe it to yourself to pick up Persona 3 Portable. It's the best RPG on the system and is a must-have for anyone even remotely interested in the genre.
The construction and maintenance of Outer Heaven is exceptionally addictive, and the myriad bonus missions and extra content it opens up are a lot of fun. Peace Walker is the sort of title that will keep players coming back for a long, long time.
Breath of Death VII: The Beginning is a real surprise. It's an RPG that feels like it was a classic from back in the day, but it doesn't have any RPG hang-ups. Gaming fans will certainly get a chuckle from the jokes and old gameplay mechanics, and while this game is a tad short in length, the insanely cheap price of $1 makes it a better investment than many RPGs with much larger price tags. Fans of classic games and RPGs will enjoy the title immensely, as will those who are tired of full-priced games that just don't feel exciting after the first hour of play.
Mega Man 10 remains a solid and well put-together Mega Man game. The level design is good, and there are a number of modifications to make it a game that's easier to play and enjoy. The Challenge rooms also serve as a great tutorial for newcomers to the franchise, and the Easy mode allows young gamers to play through without frustration. MM10 is meant to be played multiple times, and Capcom has done a good job of assuring that players will want to play the game over and over, including Time Attacks and future DLC.
Puzzle Quest 2 is a fine sequel that is sure to please fans of the original as well as draw in plenty of new players. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it doesn't really have to. Combine the solid gameplay with a budget-minded retail price of 1,200 Microsoft points ($15), and you have a game that's difficult to pass up.
It is rare for a game to hit perfect marks in every category, but Pac-Man CE DX does just that. From the gameplay to the presentation, everything is incredibly polished and works flawlessly. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is everything you've come to love about the series, distilled down into its purest form. This is Pac-Man with everything turned up to 11, so don't hesitate to purchase this one. At a mere 800 MSP ($10), it's worth every penny.
At 1,200 Microsoft points ($15), Plants vs. Zombies is a bit more expensive on the Xbox 360 than on the PC, where you can snag it from Steam for a mere $10. If you've never played the game, it is well worth the cost. Plants vs. Zombies is loads of fun, and you are guaranteed to get your money's worth and then some.