What is the greatest [RPG] you've played in the last 2 console generations (current gen and last gen) and what makes it so?

Here are some of the RPG highlights I've had during the 360/PS3 era (just got my PS4 and haven't played any RPGs on it yet):

Ni No Kuni - PS3 - A very simply, but extremely charming JRPG. The art and characters really shine once you get into the game. Soundtrack is pretty stellar... and that moment you finally reach the World Map for the first time... lovely.

Lost Odyssey - Xbox 360 - An RPG that feels more like a Final Fantasy game than any FF game since FFX (IMO). There are a number of short stories to collect, download and read that are surprisingly well written and entertaining. Definitely not a game for those who don't like to read... but if it 'clicks' for you, then you're in for a fantastic - and at times - deeply moving experience.

Mass Effect 2 - Xbox 360/PS3 - Personally, I actively had to force myself to get through the first Mass Effect. The gameplay of ME1 was just not solid enough - while the RPG elements lacked a sufficient UI (seriously, Item/Equipment management is fucking terrible)...

Plus, I found most of the NPCs to be insufferably boring. The vast majority of them simply talk about their alien culture/society. Which, to be fair, does better set up ME2... But even the party members you get are pretty 1-dimensional and boring.

And then there's the MAKO... Which, for the record, wasn't a terrible idea and could have been improved in the sequels... but I was definitely not sad to see them completely removed after how awful those segments were in ME1.

ME2 changed all of that. The RPG elements were streamlined (in some cases, to a fault - but I still ultimately preferred it over ME1's)... the party members you get are, relatively speaking, bursting with unique and intriguing personalities. And the optional loyalty missions are arguably the best parts of the game.

Even random NPCs have a lot more interesting shit to talk about beyond just the fact that their culture is some weird, yet recognizable mish-mash of a couple of real-life, earthly cultures.

ME2 really surprised me after ME1.. and it made me completely understand why people loved ME so much.

(and for the record, I think ME3 is pretty great on the gameplay front... but story-wise, it seemed to be almost borderline fan-service or fan-created instead of a really interesting finale.)

Pretty much any Tales games - Xbox 360/PS3 - Tales is definitely not a series for everyone. Gameplay is sometimes a tad too simple and I think there are probably just too many Tales games this generation. However, the area where Tales games really shine is in their characters. Even the ones that start out fairly annoying usually prove to add an interesting dynamic to the group. However, these dynamics and the only way you'll really learn to love all the characters is by listening to the optional 'sketches' while adventuring. These 'sketches' are simple interactions between party members that pop-up at certain points while adventuring through the world. They really break up those moments where you have to travel long distances... plus, they just establish a lot of things among the party members.

Also, I just love cel-shaded graphics.

Eternal Sonata - Xbox360/PS3 - A beautiful, charming JRPG with an intriguing premise. The game is a bit too short and the battle system can often feel a little too button-mashy. But the short experience is totally worth going through - despite the ending feeling a little rushed.

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