Titles like the upcoming Relayer have us thinking: what are the best mecha games to play? Here are ours, but share yours in the comments or on Twitter so people can check ‘em out!
I’m a big fan of Japanese mecha games in general. But as a bigger fan of the Gundam franchise, I find myself enjoying single-player or co-op Gundam games a lot! There are two series I enjoy the most. The Dynasty Warriors games feature crossover stories from multiple Gundam titles with a Musou-styled gameplay. The Gundam Breaker series lets me create my own Mobile Suit by combining Gunpla parts.
Unfortunately, the Dynasty Warriors: Gundam series is still completely missing from current-gen platforms, while Gundam Breaker ended up becoming a mobile gacha game after an attempted reboot went awry. I wish Bandai Namco would look back at both series and bring at least either one back to the current generation. If I can choose, though? The thirst for a new crossover Warriors game is very real. — Kite
I have incredibly fond memories of roaming around Prairie with Officer Waffle in Tail Concerto. It was one of those 3D action games back in the early days of the PlayStation. It tells this fanciful tale that gets into heartwarming elements like friendship and deals with issues like racism and prejudice. The Police Robo was pretty easy to use, which was a pro given the time period. I definitely appreciated using it to capture rogue kittens! — Jenni
There are so many good mecha games to choose from, and covering such a wide range of experiences. The mecha game that I’ll admit is far from the best — but has my heart anyway — is the PS2 “classic” Robot Alchemic Drive. Created by the galaxy brains at Sandlot (the Earth Defense Force people), RAD was a love letter to the classic era of skyscraper-sized Super Robots and the cheaply-animated TV shows they starred in. Players could control their massive “Meganite” robots by remote control, like in Tetsujin 28. Each button and axis on the DualShock controlled a limb on the robot, which meant puppeting your bot around the city like a soft version of QWOP. It was unwieldy, awkward, and never not hilarious.
The English version made the smart (if divisive) choice to throw in a deliberately terrible (at times borderline racist) English dub, like the bargain-basement voice acting of early ’90s localizations. I can’t not love it. — Josh
While I do think mecha games are at their best when you get to really enjoy fiddling with the mecha themselves (hi, Gundam Breaker!), sometimes a game’s too good to ignore. Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love doesn’t have the modern polish of the reboot, but what it does have? Oh, right: compelling tactical combat! The relationship segments feed into your combat strength. The point-based movement and actions make for thoughtful choices. Some other games have tried this stuff (and done it well!), but everything in So Long, My Love just fits together so nicely. If only we’d get localized versions of the first four games, too… — Graham