Sometimes it can be hard to go back to games due to poor controls that haven’t aged well or the graphics. There is one visual art style out there that can help games stand the test of time: cel shading. Well-made cartoons, in general, will look better over time so this principle applies to games too.


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While games like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker were mocked at the time for looking too kiddy, true fans knew that it was going to hold up so much more than any other entry. Turns out they were right but everyone remembers The Wind Waker. What about these other cel-shaded games? Are they worth remembering or should they be forgotten even with their slick visuals?

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8/8 Breath Of Fire: Dragon Quarter

Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter is the last console game in this series to release and this was back on the PS2. Since then there has been a fifth entry but for browsers and phones only in Japan. Fans of Capcom’s classic turn-based RPG series are hungry for a new console release or even just a remaster of this gem. The series went out with a bang in terms of visuals and challenge because this was no ordinary RPG on the PS2. It was a tough nut to crack but a rewarding one too.

7/8 Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 is the only game in this sub-series to feature cel-shading. This is odd considering that it’s based on a classic anime series and only one game out of four chose this art style. It’s one of the reasons why it sticks out the most in this sub-series along with standing out as one of the better Dynasty Warrior spinoffs. There are tons of characters and mechs to choose from that will make fans excited. The action, while repetitive, is enjoyable in a mindless way, especially with co-op.

6/8 Jeanne d’Arc

Jeanne d’Arc is forgotten on two levels. One, it was a cel-shaded game with only one entry. Two, it was on the PSP which is a system often forgotten since many games remained trapped on that platform, unavailable to play through legal means.

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It is a tactical RPG and it was made by Level-5 and was a more fantastical reading on the historical character of Joan of Arc. There was magic, animal people, non-biblical gods, and so much more.

5/8 Mega Man X: Command Mission

When it comes to Mega Man RPGs, most tend to think about the Battle Network series. There was one other RPG in this series, Mega Man X: Command Mission, and it unfortunately only got a single shot. Based around the X universe, it featured turn-based combat similar to Final Fantasy 10 and it had a slick cel-shaded visual style. X was joined by familiar heroes like Zero and Axl along with new characters. It wasn’t the most original RPG on the PS2 and accompanying other consoles, but it is good enough to deserve remembrance let alone a sequel.

Metal Gear Acid 2 was the cooler of the two games in this spinoff series. Both games are tactical RPGs set in an alternate timeline with Snake still being the hero. This sequel was and still is, better because it went more over the top with the story and the visuals were drop-dead gorgeous for a PSP game. The colors popped as if one were tripping on acid, hence the name. The game also came packaged with a set of cardboard 3D goggles which made the visuals stick out even more and this was pre-3DS.

3/8 Under The Skin

Under the Skin was an odd little game from Capcom which was like a chaos simulator. Players assumed the role of an alien who had to infiltrate humanity to steal goods for his people. Players could transform into other characters on small open maps to try and cause as much ruckus as possible.

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There were nods to other Capcom games such as Resident Evil with the Nemesis appearing to help terrorize citizens. It was a one-and-done situation for Capcom and is very difficult to find and play now.

2/8 Viewtiful Joe

“Henshin A-Go-Go baby!” That’s a catchphrase fans of Viewtiful Joe will never forget. That’s what the titular Joe said whenever he transformed into his superhero self. It was an action game with the unique concept of movies jumping into real life. Players could punch or kick foes like in a standard 2D brawler but they could also speed up or slow down time. The humor was upbeat, the soundtrack was popping, and the visuals were out of this world. This series was short-lived but it burned bright for a time.

1/8 Wild Arms 3

Wild Arms 3 is the best entry in the series for many reasons. The gimmick of these RPGs was that they had an Old West aesthetic to some of the design choices. The only one that went more Old West was this game, giving fans something more to chew on. The visuals also helped as cel-shaded graphics often do. Thankfully, unlike most other games on here, this can still be easily played since it was ported to the PS4 as a PS2 classic. Not much was done to this port other than the visuals were upscaled, making an already amazing art style look prettier.

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