Every Game In The Disgaea Series, Ranked
Disgaea is a long-running series that has spanned multiple console generations. Whilst not quite as venerable as something like Final Fantasy, it has certainly made its mark during its 15+ year tenure. The series is showing no sign of slowing down, and with the series recently getting its sixth numbered entry, things are only looking up.
The thing is, the series has undergone some serious changes over the years. Systems have changed, some have been added, heck, and some have been removed. It’s a series that has always evolved in some way, which makes playing them all rather exciting. Some are better than others, and we’ve ranked them all for your playing pleasure.
7 Disgaea Infinite
Disgaea Infinite isn’t a bad game. It’s just the most “out there”. But we mean this game has nothing to do with Disgaea in terms of gameplay. Disgaea Infinite is a Visual Novel, and as swanky as the genre is, nobody is playing Disgaea for the deep and engrossing story. We are not exaggerating when we say that the series has managed to repeat the same tired tropes for almost two decades now.
All that being said, Disgaea Infinite isn’t bad. It’s an interesting enough romp through the Disgaea universe. For what it is, it’s passable. People will forever remember this title for what it isn’t – and that is a fully featured Disgaea title. As a side note, the title is very misleading since it is also the shortest of any Disgaea title to boot.
6 Disgaea 6: Defiance Of Destiny
Disgaea 6 is so close to being great. It does a lot right – it trims the series’ fat, it makes grinding easier, and it has a great cast of characters. What holds Disgaea 6 back is how much they cut, and how little the game wants to be played. Disgaea 6 is by far the easiest Disgaea title to get into – you just won’t be playing it.
Disgaea goes almost completely idle, which means you are going to spend most of your time planning your characters, and then watching as the auto-battler does all the work. This might not seem like a massive change since Disgaea has always had a heavy planning/grind aspect, but it also had a competent turn-based strategy component that you wanted to play. Disgaea 6 drops the ball here.
5 Disgaea 3: Absence Of Justice
Disgaea 3 is great, so don’t let its position on the list put you off. Disgaea 3 added loads of new systems to the series that were later built upon in Disgaea 4 and 5 (not 6…). Things like Magichange, D-Merits, and Tower Attacks all got their start here, and this helped flesh out the series’ mechanics.
Unfortunately, the story in Disgaea 3 is awful, and the setting is nowhere near as interesting as earlier (or later) entries. An evil Netherworld school is novel at best, but it’s executed poorly, and Mao is entirely unlikeable throughout. He is a noticeable downgrade from every other protagonist the series has ever had – which is a shame.
4 Disgaea 5: Alliance Of Vengeance
Disgaea 5 is where the series became its most bloated. It has systems upon systems, and then those layered systems are coated in mechanics and depth that put the rest of the series to shame. It also packs the hardest Super Bosses, giving it some real legs if you want to see everything the game has to offer.
The downside? As likeable as many of the characters are, the story is very generic. Every character is a trope that has the most basic of predictable character arcs. It’s painful to sit through, and it’s made worse by the inclusion of endless padding. This game’s story takes forever to reach its conclusion, and that conclusion is not worth the wait. Gameplay rocks though.
3 Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten
Disgaea 4 is just a really solid game. It has everything you’d expect from the series, and it does it excellently. It doesn’t have all the bloat of the fifth entry, it isn’t as simple as the sixth, and the premise is not as undercooked as the third. It strikes a wonderful balance in most areas and ends up being one of the best the series has ever seen.
It of course adds new mechanics, and those mechanics are fun to mess around with. The real star of Disgaea 4, however, is Valvatorez. He is an endlessly loveable character who just so happens to be a sardine-loving vampire. Having a great protagonist is an easy way to get bonus points on our list.
2 Disgaea: Hour Of Darkness
The first. The original. But not the best. Disgaea: Hour Of Darkness is, however, a classic. Just about everything in this first entry can be found in all other entries. But that’s not to say it did anything wrong. Quite the opposite. Hour Of Darkness is still plenty playable today, and it is an excellent starting point for anyone looking to get into the series. Not only that, it recently got a modern remaster.
Hour Of Darkness also has one of the best stories in the series, with some of the most memorable characters. Laharl, Etna, Flonne, and the rest of the gang are endlessly quotable and have loads of fun. There is a reason this batch of misfits has made their way into just about every game since, and why their inclusion has never gotten old.
1 Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories
Disgaea 2 is the only “true” sequel Disgaea has ever had. It follows on from Hour of Darkness with Laharl, Etna, Flonne, and even Mid-Boss making appearances, and even end up being more than cameos. It refined the battle systems, improved the Item World, and introduced its own band of lovable rogues that many still hold dear.
Disgaea 2 is the game that defined the SRPG on the PS2, and not only that, but it is easily the best. Everything about Disgaea 2 is leagues above the competition, with visuals, animations, story, and mechanics being a shining beacon the series has struggled to truly match since.
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