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Yes, that one. Despite Microsoft’s early efforts at putting together a strong lineup, the Xbox 360 didn’t take off with JRPG fans, so when Tales of Vesperia released back in 2008, it did not receive as much love and attention as it rightfully deserved. The updated version was ported to the PlayStation 3, yet it was never released outside of Japan. It was a long and excruciating wait as fans clamored for a proper worldwide re-release on modern consoles for everyone to enjoy. In 2019, their patience was at last rewarded when Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition released on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
The game has aged perfectly as the art style looks great in high definition. Yuri Lowell remains a treat for fans to enjoy, as he does not fit the habitual angsty or green protagonist, and this edition of the series’ Linear Motion Battle System helps show why the series has such a high reputation for its combat. The remake comes with all the bells and whistles the Japan-exclusive PlayStation 3 version had, meaning even those who previously played it can now enjoy new playable characters, artes, events, and costumes. For finally offering western JRPGs fans who didn’t have an Xbox 360 the chance to experience the beloved games, Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition gets RPGamer’s Best Re-Release award.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age had a higher hurdle than most others in this category simply because it originally launched to great fanfare just last year. But while the original PlayStation 4 release was a fantastic game in its own right, the Nintendo Switch edition raised the bar on what a re-release should be. Dragon Quest XI S not only features many enhancements such as a symphonic music option, extra story content, new costumes, and faster battle speed options, but offers the 2D mode of the original 3DS release, which gives a whole new dimension to the game. This game is a masterpiece, and the Switch’s re-release is, by far, the best way to play it.
This placement could easily have gone to any of the Final Fantasy titles that debuted on Nintendo Switch this year, but Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster ended up as the most popular among RPGamer’s staff. Almost two decades after the original’s debut, the re-release holds up extremely well on Nintendo Switch in both appearance and gameplay. It comes with all of the extra features from the International version of the game released in Japan, including the enhanced Sphere Grid and extra endgame bosses for Final Fantasy X, as well as the Creature Creator system and Last Mission for X-2. It has the enhanced resolution and remastered soundtrack of the other re-released versions, but the biggest draw here is that players have the option to play this game on the go without suffering any downgrade in quality.
by Ryan Radcliff and Elmon Dean Todd