Today I’ll rank the best star ocean games ever released. The franchise has a unique narrative style and the most dynamic combat genre in action-RPGs. Star Ocean games are predominantly sci-fi themed and are set in the same universe but with different playable characters and storyline. These games stand out because of their item creation system that allows players to create powerful items. Check out the best star ocean games below.
Star Ocean: Anamnesis
This is a mission-based tactical battler released in celebration of the franchise 20th anniversary. It features all the characters from all Star Ocean games. The game is mobile-based hence released for Android and iOS devices only. The game didn’t do well as expected; as a result, it was shut down on November 2019 in all regions except Japan. Players participate in real-time battles against their opponents. It can have up to four players at a time. Also, it features 3D characters and environments. It has only three objectives: taking on missions, earning rewards through battles and enhancing characters and weapons using rewards earned.
Star Ocean: Blue Sphere
Blue Sphere is a Japan-exclusive sequel to Star Ocean: The Second Story. Hence it is not that popular or widely known in Europe and America. It was designed for the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color but later remade for mobile phones. The game is set 2 years after Star Ocean: The Second Story and puts more emphasis on the science fiction genre. Its plot mainly revolves around Precis F. Neumann and Leon D.S Gehste.
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (2016)
It is the fifth main entry in the franchise, and it has some of the best graphics ever seen on an RPG. It features real-time battles in four possible difficulty modes. Players can transition on the overworld field directly and attack each other in the middle of events. This game increased the number of participants to seven. It has a similar system as the Tactic system; Non-player characters have their AI set to specific strategies. In this game item creation is performed in the pause menu instead of workshops or ships.
Star Ocean: First Departure (2008)
This game is a complete remake of the original Star Ocean game that was never released out of Japan. It was originally released as a PlayStation Portable RPG but later remade for PS4 and Nintendo Switch. It has an enhanced engine and a completely new engine. Moreover, it has new animated cutscenes, character portraits and character designs. The plot remains unchanged even though they have new private actions and endings. The storyline follows members of a town’s defence: Roddick, Millie and Dorne. Their mission to find an antidote for a disease goes completely wrong, and they are sent on a space adventure. The player is given full manual control of an individual party member, and they can choose which enemy to attack.
This is the first game in the Star Ocean series. Apart from Japan, it was never released to the rest of the world. The plot of the game involves three friends that come into contact with space-faring federation while searching for a cure for a mysterious disease. The player controls the available party but can still change a party member individually by switching up the character he controls to another character. Moreover, he can assign tactics used by AI-controlled characters. The game involves real-time battle, exploring towns and dungeons while interacting with NPCs.
Star Ocean: Second Evolution (2009)
The plot is set 20 years after the events that occurred in the original Star Ocean game after Claude C. Kenny is transported to a mysterious planet. He’s given the job in planet Expel to investigate a surge of demons emerging from a meteorite. It is an improved version of Star Ocean: The Second Story. This game has an amazing gameplay and character visual enhancements. The story is solid and has new private actions and epic endings. All the combat skills in this game have been refined and some removed. Melee fighters can perform a three-hit combo the same way that they perform a normal attack.
Star Ocean: The Last Hope (2009)
It is the fourth instalment of the franchise. The storyline focuses majorly on Edge Maverick and Reimi Saionji. It brings out the sci-fi genre more compared to the previous titles of the main series. Players are given the ability to control the SRF-003 Cainus. The game’s setting occurs centuries before the original Star Ocean which is around 2097 AD. Just like previous titles, this game is centred around real-time battle although with variations. Players are allowed to switch active party members for members in reserve during combat. There are four players allowed in action at a time.
Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (2004)
It is the third instalment of the franchise. The game’s setting takes place four hundred years after events in Star Ocean: The Second Story. The real-time interactive combat system remains the same, and new elements such as random encounters and pre-scripted events occur. The player controls the whole party but can still control a party member individually. He can also assign tactics used by AI-controlled characters. Also, he can decide to switch up the character he controls to another character by simply pressing on a single button. Till the End of Time is the first game to introduce the system of major or minor attacks.
Star Ocean: The Second Story (1999)
It is the second instalment of the main franchise and one of the best star ocean games. The game’s setting occurs 20 years after the first Star Ocean game. You can either play as Rena Lanford or Claude C. Kenny. The ending depends on the character you choose because the journey evolves differently with each character. The Second Story is the first game in the franchise to be released outside of Japan and translated to English. The gameplay remains similar to the original Star Ocean gameplay with item creation and skill features. It involves the player following the main storyline and from time to time branching off to perform side quests.