This is quite easily my favourite game of all time, but for reasons that no-one else seems to mention, and that is atmosphere. The general feeling you get when you really start to get into this legendary story and start your quest for the 108 stars, occurs when you look past the graphics and appreciate the absolutely exceptional soundtrack, ingenious battle system, complicated yet rewarding methods of getting certain characters to join your entourage, and the all-too-rare grand scale battles, which are admittedly better handled in Suikoden II. There's a muted beauty to the rugged locations, and building your bustling castle from a ruin is a true joy. The story couldn't be better, and although isn't told as majestically as Final Fantasy, it feels as if it encompasses the whole game world, rather than your own group. This game is expensive, short and ultimately too easy, but it's a must before playing the well-rounded sequel, and the replay value is massive due to the collectable character motif. Another good reason to play this game before the sequel, is because you can tranfer your completed game data from this game onto the start of Suikoden II, starting it with the same items - a bit of a novelty, but it breaks you into the game nicely. I haven't played Suikoden III yet, but i'm due to get hold of it shortly, and i reckon everyone else should too, even if it means buying an American PS2 as it never got a PAL release, and Suikoden IV is looking ace too. Just don't bother tracking down the Japanese-only Suikogaiden titles (they're little more than interactive movies).