My buddy, Joe Owens, let me know today is Suikoden day. I loved Suikoden 2. It was one of my favorite JRPGs and 3 was really enjoyable as well. I have 1 and 5, though I have yet to play them. I should though! Even when it first came out, I think there was a limited run because it was very hard to find. I rated it one of the top 5 JRPGs when I did a ranking a while back for GameDynamo. If you can get hold of this gem, I highly recommend it!
Suikoden 2 was a hybrid RPG that also incorporated tactical strategy, mixing political intrigue with fantastic elements like the Runes of Magic. While other titles had attempted this, none had done it with as much finesse and style. Inspired in part by Chinese literary classics like Outlaws of the Marsh and Romance of the Three Kingdoms, there were 108 eight members in total to gather, and the game was huge.
Animation was smooth, backgrounds beautiful, and catchy music became poignant in proper moments. Although turn-based combat was fun, with villains that varied from the main antagonist, Prince Lucas Blight, to a vampire called Necron, full-scale battles and one-on-one confrontations added to the potpourri of fighting sequences, and you could spend hours recruiting different members to upgrade sections of your castle. The game really made you feel like a leader growing a nation.