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I didn't get a chance to play the Sega Saturn growing up. By the time I was old enough to buy my own games, the Saturn was already being phased out. It's botched early launch, high price point that didn't lower until it was just about dead, and Bernie Stolar's poor handling of Sega killed it in only two years in America. I didn't get my first real exposure to the Saturn until I hooked up with my current squeeze (we've been together now for 11 years, thank you very much).
I finally got to try out some stuff on the Saturn and find it to be a very underrated console. Sure, it's 3D power was below what the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 could do, but its 2D capabilities blew away the competition. It's also home to a number of amazing games that can't be found on any other console. There were so many worthy of attention that I decided I couldn't restrict myself to one list.
This is the first of several lists devoted to awesome Saturn exclusives, and today I'm looking at RPGs. While the PlayStation had the Final Fantasy and Wild Arms series leading one of the best RPG line-ups in history, the Saturn had their homegrown and Working Designs masterpieces. Here are eight epic quests that can ONLY be undertaken on the Saturn.
Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean
Legend of Oasis
After the success Nintendo had with The Legend of Zelda, Sega made multiple attempts to establish their own action-RPG franchise. The Oasis games were the closest they came to succeeding. Beyond Oasis was a stellar Genesis entry that can be found on a bunch of Genesis compilations, and the follow-up Legend of Oasis 1-ups the original is almost every way. The dungeons are well-crafted, the animation is amazingly fluid, and the use of fighting game mechanics for the weapons' special attacks was an ingenious way of keeping the combat fresh. Come on, Sega! This one deserves a re-release, too!
Magic Knight Rayearth
Panzer Dragoon Saga
Shining Force 3
Shining the Holy Ark
Like I said, there were so many outstanding Saturn exclusives that I couldn't limit them to a single Top 10 list. Stay tuned for my picks for great Saturn exclusives from other genres, and let me know if there are other Saturn exclusive RPGs I missed! Game on!