Bandai Namco's 'Tales Of' series has always been an underrated gem of a franchise. The series began life on Super Famicom with Phantasia and continues its streak of success 27 years later. The fantasy action-RPG series has largely been console exclusive but has seen ports to PC over the past few years.
Now, the publisher has announced a franchise sale with all five games on PC being discounted, including the latest one: Arise. Which of these series should you start with? To answer that question, let's rank them.
These 5 Tales Of games are some of the best offerings from Bandai Namco
5) Tales of Zesteria (85% off)
The story follows Sorey, a young man blessed with powers by a mystical spirit race known as the Seraphim who acts as a stabilizing force in the land. He travels to free the land of Glenwood from the threat of the Hellion, which are creatures spawned by negative emotions.
Combat is fast paced with other party members also being usable. There are a variety of gauges to link characters and perform special attacks. Characters can also combine with Seraphs into powerful hybrid forms to deal massive damage.
4) Tales of Berseria (85% off)
Released in 2017, Berseria takes place in the Holy Midgand Empire, a powerful country that rules over this world's archipelago of a continent.
Throughout the empire, a disease known as Daemonblight causes those infected to lose their humanity and sense of rationality. This transforms into monsters known as Daemons, who pose a threat to the world. Players control Velvet, a woman on a journey of self-discovery after joining a crew of pirates.
Engage in fluid, fast-paced action against the wild monsters that roam the lands. It is also the first entry in the series to use a free, player-controlled camera system. Artes and the Linear Motion Battle System make a return from Zesteria. The Soul Gauge system adds further strategy to combat by governing player and enemy attack effeciency.
3) Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition (80% off)
One of the more beloved modern entries, Vesperia takes place in Terca Lumireis. Yuri Lowell a former Imperial soldier, formed a guild called Brave Vesperia to aid a woman named Estelle. On their journey, Yuri must face off against opposing factions.
During combat, players will control one character while other party members are AI controlled. The battles play out akin to fighting games with a similar level of precision with hack & slash attacks and spells. Characters may also learn new skills in battle.
2) Tales of Symphonia (75% off)
The most fondly remembered entry of the PS2 era games, Symphonia is a true classic. It follows Lloyd Irving in the world of Sylvarant. On a world-saving adventure with his friend, the duo learn that they have accidentally endangered Tethe'alla, another world parallel to their own.
Compared to the newer Tales games, Symphonia’s combat system is slower. Attacking foes can fill up the Unison Gauge. Maxing it out allows the party to strike out at an enemy with full force. It's not too unlike other 3D action RPGs of that era.
1) Tales of Arise (40% off)
The biggest and most impressive one so far, last year's Arise is arguably the best one yet. It sees the opposing worlds of Dahna and Rena come together as a Dahnan slave Alphen and a Renan woman Shione cross paths. After acquiring the Blazing Sword, the slave dubbed Iron Mask must strike back against oppression with the magically cursed Shione at his side.
The combat here is the most accessible and polished yet. It retains much of the quality of life improvements introduced throughout the years. Players can dodge at the last minute for slow motion to kick in, which allowers players to reorient for counterattacking.
The Boost Strike feature also allows party members to dish out massive attacks. The most breathtaking aspect here is the visual. Tales of Arise is an Unreal Engine 4 driven game and boasts some amazing landscapes with rich lighting and particle effects.
No matter which game you buy, they're all solid entries in the series. However, newcomers should start with the latest as Arise is a culmination of all the studio has learnt throughout the years.