10 PS2 JRPGs With The Best Combat System, Ranked

The PlayStation 2 is widely considered by many to be one of the greatest gaming consoles of all time, and one need only look at the fact that it still holds the record for being the highest-selling console of all time to understand the massive legacy this console left behind. Featuring a slew of excellent titles that ended up pushing gaming to new boundaries, the PlayStation 2 was easily one of the best platforms for fans to try out the latest and greatest games.

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Even the JRPG genre — something that most people would agree had peaked during the time of the PS1 — was still running strong on this console, featuring a string of excellent games with incredible combat systems that pushed the genre to new heights. Keeping this in mind, here are ten JRPGs featuring the best combat systems on the PS2.

10 Final Fantasy X-2

After Square and Enix's merger following the disaster of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the company decided to release the first-ever numbered sequel for a Final Fantasy game that ended up being pretty great — albeit somewhat soulless.

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While the game might have its fair share of detractors, there's no denying the fact that Final Fantasy X-2 has a great combat system, with the classic job system returning in a free-form manner that allowed for some wild and enjoyable experimentation.

9 Shadow Hearts

A Lovecraftian JRPG that deserves way more love and adoration than it has received, Shadow Hearts is a brilliant title that no fan of unique and offbeat JRPGs should miss out on.

The story and setting of the game might be two of its biggest strengths, but one can't fail to mention a highly enjoyable combat system that uses the Judgement Ring to keep players involved with every action they take.

8 Final Fantasy XII

Final Fantasy XII took a different approach in terms of its combat system, featuring a crossover between turn-based and real-time combat mechanics that make the game feel like a single-player MMO at times — a statement that is definitely meant to be a compliment for the game's systems.

The Gambit system and chaining of commands turn Final Fantasy XII into an exciting experience that is bound to wow fans at every step of the way. The Hunts present in this title make the most of this system and allow fans to experience everything that this game's combat has to offer.

7 Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria

The first Valkyrie Profile title was a great game in its own right — barring a few minor annoyances — and Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria served as the perfect sequel that improved upon everything in the first game... including the combat system as well.

Featuring an Advanced Tactical Combination battle system that allows free movement and attacking patterns for any party member based on their Attack Points, the integration of combos, heat gauges, and the destruction of enemy parts — among a string of other nuances — makes for an exciting and dynamic combat system.

6 Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne

The release of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne's remaster is bound to get people quite excited, and it's easy to see why this is the case. After all, this hardcore JRPG has become a fan favorite due to the challenging yet satisfying nature of the game's combat.

The game utilizes the weakness system present in the Persona games, but makes the advantages — and disadvantages — all the more stronger and crucial for people who want to get by this game without getting overly frustrated.

5 Kingdom Hearts II

It would be impossible to talk about brilliant combat systems in PS2 JRPGs without mentioning the masterpiece that is Kingdom Hearts II. The idea of a collaboration between Final Fantasy and Disney sounds positively ludicrous, but it's the manner in which Kingdom Hearts deftly weaves this premise into the facets of its story and gameplay that make it such a fun ride.

Kingdom Hearts II is widely considered by many to be the best game in the series, featuring engaging action-RPG gameplay that is bound to keep fans hooked all the way up to the very end.

4 Grandia III

While most people consider Grandia and Grandia II to be better games when taken as the sum of its parts, Grandia III flies clear of the first two games in the series when it comes to comparing battle systems.

With the use of air juggles and the like, it's a testament to the sheer magnificence of Grandia III's combat system that it's able to hold an otherwise mediocre title together.

3 Persona 3 FES

After the first two — well, technically three — games in Shin Megami Tensei's popular Persona spinoff ended up playing around with some innovative story beats and mechanics, Persona 3 ended up serving as a complete overhaul for the series, featuring some excellent life sim mechanics coupled with a wildly entertaining battle system.

Exploiting weaknesses and hitting enemies where it hurts, only to unleash a brilliant All-Out Attack is a chain of attacks that never gets old in the game.

2 Persona 4

However, if there was one drawback of Persona 3 FES, it was that the game didn't allow players to control their party directly. This was a feature that was only present in the game's sequel, Persona 4.

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Not only do most people consider Persona 4 to be the definitive Persona experience, but it also features a polished combat system that flows smoother and allows for fewer frustrations as well, compared to its predecessor.

After all, there are only so many times that Mitsuru casts Marin Karin unnecessary before the player loses his mind!

1 Final Fantasy X

Final Fantasy X was the first game in the franchise to release on the sixth generation of consoles, and the game was instantly lauded by the masses for being what is easily one of the greatest JRPGs of all time.

A big reason for this enduring reputation is the game's Conditional Turn-Based battle system, which allowed for party members to be changed on the fly — something that was very much useful, given the fact that party members didn't get any experience unless they contributed to the battle.

This system, coupled with the simpler nature of other turn-based systems in the game, made Final Fantasy X's combat system one of the best and most free-flowing in the genre to this day.

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