There are many different kinds of games out there. Genres of every shape and size. And among them are titles that shouldn’t work, but do, and endure quite a long time.
A perfect example of this is the Ace Attorney series. One part visual novel mystery, one part investigation and interrogation, and one part courtroom drama, the series is anything but typical. Yet, the series has endured for almost 15 years. In fact, the first game was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2001. It really took off though in 2005, when it was ported to the Nintendo DS. Since then, we’ve been treated to amazing cases with a plethora of wacky and hilarious characters. All the while, being shown that a game can both be funny, but also very serious and dark, and teaching some very powerful lessons.
For those who are unaware, you play (most of the time) as Phoenix Wright, an attorney who starts off as a rookie, but slowly grows into a very competent attorney. One who will fight for the innocent with all he has, and does his best within the law to take down the corrupt. He’s joined by various sidekicks and colleagues, all of whom make the game a very fun experience.
With the sixth mainstream title, Spirit of Justice, coming September 8th, I thought it’d be fun to list out what I think of the titles in the main series. Now, though this is a ranking, I maintain that all these games are good. Great even in many ways, but, we have to find out what’s the “best”, so naturally there’s going to be one at the bottom. Also, as we’re focusing on the main series, that means spinoffs won’t be in here. Sorry, Ace Attorney Investigations fans! Also, I’ve had the series since the DS ports, so some of my notes won’t line up with the GBA versions.
With that, let’s start this off!
Honorable Mention: Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright
Ok, I know I said we wouldn’t we rank spinoffs, but this one needs to be said. As the game did have court cases, though only one was in the “standard” way we were used to. This combination of franchises was a fan desire for a while. As both the Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright games were stars for puzzle and mystery fans on the DS and the 3DS. So when the time came to put them together? They knew they had to make it shine, and they did.
The blending of the worlds was well done, and it was done in a way that made sense to bring them together. Puzzles, cases, and a mystery so grand it could only have been done in a crossover, this game was worth it to all who played it. I certainly enjoyed it!
So why not put it on the list? Well, because it’s technically not an Ace Attorney game. There’s a lot of elements in it that are pure Professor Layton. So to try and compare it to the other titles, which don’t have those mechanics at all, would be unfair. Especially since I would like put it near the top. So, it’s an honorable mention, but a very honorable one. So if you haven’t yet, check out Professor Layton Vs. Phoenix Wright.