Best Star Ocean Games In The Entire Series, Ranked

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Fans of Sci-Fi and Fantasy RPGs have always found common ground in Star Ocean.

This is a franchise with a unique narrative style that brings together elements from different genres to create an enthralling experience.

Tri-Ace’s very influential action-RPG deals with the impact of spacefaring technology and what it can mean for societies in different stages of social, cultural, and technological development in a way that few other franchises even attempt.

All of this couple with some of the most dynamic combat seen in RPGs, excellent storytelling, a big focus on character interactions, and giving the player freedom to make choices that would ultimately affect the outcome of the story, all make the first Star Ocean games completely vanguard.

And they gave way to a very well-loved series still running well today.

Whether you just want to reminisce or are looking for something new to scratch your space-faring itch, have a peek at our list ranking ever Star Ocean game ever released in the West.

5. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (2016)

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness screenshot

The fifth main entry in the Star Ocean franchise gets a lot of bad press from long-time fans and some media outlets for a variety of reasons.

And even though I enjoyed my time with the game, I can’t possibly rank it higher than previous releases.

While the game has a charming art-style that’s true to the franchise and boasts some of the most beautiful graphics ever seen on an RPG of its kind, it comes at the cost of a lackluster plot and a criminally short length.

The game can be finished in under 20h at a leisurely pace!

The combat system also caught a lot of flak for being chaotic thanks to its inclusion of every single party member at the same time, which might seem desirable at first… but ultimately dilutes the strategic experience.

Still, I found the characters to be charming and quite lovable.

And the fact that the protagonist Fidel isn’t a whiny kid that spends half the game complaining was refreshing for me.

4. Star Ocean: First Departure (2008)

First Departure game screenshot

The original Star Ocean for the Super Famicom never made it out of Japan.

So in 2008 tri-Ace decided to bring the story and its characters to the West through Star Ocean: First Departure, a complete remake on the PSP with enhanced graphics and an entirely new engine.

The story follows Roddick, Millie, and Dorne. Members of a town’s defense force after a mission to find an antidote for a mysterious disease goes completely off-course and sends them on a larger-than-life space adventure.

Back when the original Super Famicom game came out, its character affinity system and multiple endings were revolutionary and added a lot of depth to an already complex game.

Nowadays, such things have become more common in gaming.

But they remain key parts of the experience for all SO titles.

If you’d rather experience the original Star Ocean in its purest form, an English patch for the game’s ROM is just one Google search away. And IMO the original SFC title really is the better one to play if you can tolerate the old-school gaming experience.

3. Star Ocean: Second Evolution (2009)

Star Ocean: Second Evolution screenshot

Twenty years after the events of the original Star Ocean, Pangalactic Federation Army Ensign Claude C. Kenny is accidentally transported to the mysterious planet Expel.

There, along with Rena Lanford, he must investigate a recent surge of demons coming from a meteorite.

While the original Star Ocean: The Second Story was the first game in the franchise to make it to Western markets, I decided to go with the PSP remake for consistency’s sake.

Plus the visual enhancement along with character designs and cutscenes by Production I.G. are of such quality it’d be criminal not to experience them firsthand.

The game’s amazing gameplay and solid story would have been enough to warrant praise.

But what really caught me(and many other fans) about this game is the sheer amount of Private Actions, which lets you get to know each character in depth and forge a deeper connection with them.

There’s actually a direct sequel to this game called Star Ocean: Blue Sphere on the GBC, but regrettably it never got a worldwide release in any form.

But like most things, if you search the web hard enough you might be able to find an English patch.

2. Star Ocean: The Last Hope (2009)

Star Ocean: The Last Hope screenshot

If you’re looking for a game that’ll take over your life for a long time, look no further than Star Ocean: The Last Hope on the PS3.

And please, let’s act like the Xbox 360 version doesn’t exist.

This game takes place before any of the other four. And while it has a pretty good story and some decent characters, what really earns this game the second spot on our ranking is the absurd amount of content crammed into it.

There are a lot of secrets to uncover, treasure to obtain, and enemies to fight.

Luckily the graphics and effects look so good you’re not likely to get bored of watching your characters pull off flashy moves anytime soon.

The soundtrack is also a highlight in this game, serving to keep battles engaging with some heavy string shreddin’ and exciting drum-play.

What keeps this game from the first place is that both the story and characters, while pretty entertaining, ultimately fail at pulling you in and making you feel invested. Which is key in a Star Ocean game (at least for me).

That said, please don’t pass this up. If you’re a fan of Star Ocean you will probably really have a lot of fun in this title from start to finish(aside from story problems).

1. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (2004)

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time game screenshot

On the other hand, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time probably has the strongest narrative out of every game.

Along with some amazing characters you’ll quickly learn to love.

It’s the last one chronologically, following Fayt Leingod and Sophia Esteed after their planet of Hyda IV is attacked and they become entangled in an intergalactic conflict between the Pangalactic Federation and the mysterious Vendeeni.

While not quite as detailed as those on The Last Hope, the graphics in this game are charming.

And they were an achievement on the PS2.

I mean, look at the fabric of the clothes! It looks so natural I can almost feel it. Especially if you go for the PS4 version which plays even better than the original.

Regrettably, this game also has one of the worst combat systems in the franchise. Not because it’s badly designed in concept, but because it’s full of bugs.

Like your companions deciding to stand around and do nothing while you’re being pummeled by a horde of enemies. Talk about needing to over-level.

The fact that the main character is among the weakest fighters doesn’t help either.

Still, I’m sure most Star Ocean fans would agree with me on this decision. As the narrative and characters are more than enough to carry this incredible game to first place.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.