Tales of Phantasia

Game Boy Advance

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
Buy On
  1. Tales shows that smart, solid elements add up to that elusive experience untarnished by time that defines a classic.
  2. The game is unique, intelligent, attractive, and altogether well-designed. Above all, though, the game is fun.
  3. Nintendo Power
    Not an immediate attention grabber, Tales of Phantasia takes time to sink in. But once you're under its spell, you'll be in it for the long haul. [Apr 2006, p.84]
  4. While many of the game's components have become stereotypes over the years, here they are carefully constructed and fit together perfectly, creating something larger than the sum of its parts.
  5. It's a great game, and this time it's portable. The graphical change makes it fresh for people who played the original version and other changes makes it more similar to the newer "Tales of..." games as well, so everyone who likes RPGs should like this.
  6. The battle system plays like something entirely new, and provides for an actually engaging handheld RPG.
  7. It's true that Tales of Phantasia isn't the huge RPG that it was back in the SNES era, or even the shadow of newer RPGs from last generation, but it is still a warm, heart-filling experience that anyone who can overcome hours of tough, continuous battling will enjoy.
  8. AceGamez
    It provides an experience that is simultaneously old school and fresh feeling, making it an easy recommendation for fans of the genre.
  9. Play Magazine
    Ten minutes into Tales of Phantasia, you know pretty much what you are getting into: a pleasantly involving, perfectly traditional role-playing game that sticks to all the old-school conventions that recall the glory days of hand-drawn adventures. [Mar 2006, p.50]
  10. A solid RPG with the refreshing active battle system the series is famous for. If you are a fan of the genre, this one is tough to pass up.
  11. 80
    I'm confident enough to say that any RPG fan is going to love Tales of Phantasia - it's a really just a damn good game.
  12. While Tales of Phantasia features both good graphics and sound, and a relatively fun combat system, it might not be a game for everyone. Even though I personally really enjoyed my experience with it, Tales might be a little more difficult for newer RPG fans to get into, considering it's based on an older game.
  13. Pelit (Finland)
    A nice-enough fantasy-RPG with decent semi-real time battles. The story is quite good, but certain technical aspects are somewhat outdated. [May 2006]
  14. Despite its dated gameplay style and way-too-numerous battles, Tales of Phantasia is an enjoyable role-playing game fans of the genre will certainly enjoy.
  15. 77
    Excellent game, subpar port.
  16. 75
    Battles are random and difficult, control is less than perfect, but the story and depth of the characters are amazing.
  17. 75
    Worth a look for anyone who simply craves a quality RPG for the GBA.
  18. NGC Magazine UK
    It's terribly unforgiving; the early battles - and there are plenty of random encounters as you wander around the game world - can be tough as nails, and the enjoyment of simply exploring is often spoilt by yet another scuffle with Bugbears or Giant Bees. [May 2006, p.33]
  19. In the end Tales Of Phantasia does provide some entertaining classic RPG action, and takes some of the best features from other Tales titles to create a well rounded RPG experience.
  20. While not spectacular by today's standards, Tales of Phantasia still has charm and an uncommon style of gameplay.
  21. Tales of Phantasia will last you at least 20 hours, probably closer to 30 hours, though. There are a lot of side quests to fulfill, but the older game design shows through and you'll probably be quite confused on where to go and what to do if you haven't played this game before.
  22. Game Informer
    While Tales of Phantasia may not shine with the glory that it did in its prime, there are still parts of the game that are worth checking out. [Mar 2006, p.116]
  23. Tales of Phantasia still distinguishes itself with its action-oriented, side-scrolling battle sequences. Other than that, it's a pretty standard RPG filled with random encounters that drag down the pacing and pad out the playing time.
  24. Tales of Phantasia is a solid RPG. It doesn't have the story chops of the last classic to hit GBA - Final Fantasy IV did a much better job of making its cast and its quest worth caring about.
  25. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Phantasia still has an awful lot of charm for such an old game, and fans of traditional RPGs will appreciate its long, varied dungeons and action-packed, real-time battles. [Apr 2006, p.108]
  26. 70
    It's certainly a deep, well-made blast from the past, but its pacing issues can't be easily discounted.
  27. This is a game that makes our GBA a Super Nintendo: and one with a decent d-pad, battery life and scratch-free screen that doesn't need us to fiddle with firmware and dally with grey-hued legality to enjoy.
  28. 60
    Tales of Phantasia ends up looking like a fossil -- and not one of the cool ones with spikes and sharp teeth. More like a fern or insect, existing mostly to study the past and gauge evolution. RPGs have evolved far beyond this port.

Awards & Rankings

#2 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2006
#3 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2006
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 33
  2. Negative: 3 out of 33
  1. Anda
    Oct 4, 2006
    The best game ever played I don't know y the ppl think it has bad controls this game is only for pros man.
  2. Mar 31, 2018
    The first game of the Tales of series is absolutely a masterpiece on my opinion !!
    The graphics style is beautiful as it has never been befer
    The first game of the Tales of series is absolutely a masterpiece on my opinion !!
    The graphics style is beautiful as it has never been befer at the year when the game was published on the markets (and stay beautifull to my eyes today too)
    The musics are really in theme with all the universe and are really rythmic with those HURGHGoihive@"c# Bass =w= , and can be really pushing you heart on the summum of WOWness (figthing of the spirit, Midgard theme,, Tor theme, lone valley, Mystic forest, AND SO MANY MORE !!)
    the figth system is really great and it's a real pleasure to figth with this gameplay hoo all the attack you can do, ith all other character too and whoo
    The storry is really well done and take a bundle of myth and create an original world with some hidden inspirations woah !! All the vagaries you are not exceted to come see in front of you, all the interest you can find you in this world and huuu If you like fantasy go ahead and play it with roomstation XD
    And the characters are soooo captivating, we can't say something wrong about them they are so original and cool, the relationShip between them is interesting, maybe it's a pity that there is an "optional" character, but it doesn't disturbed me anymore !!
    And all the RPG thing you found in there, the évolutions of character, with new abilities, weapons, and skills hu it's a joy to have this well done here
    Well, my heart have this game engraved in, Go play it if you love original universe as fantasy, if you are not disturbed by old games and are a RPG/JRPG lover, well you're humanity will thank this games to exist !! ;D
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 18, 2017
    To be fair, this is my first game that is from the 90s that I'm playing as an adult and that I'm actually writing a review. The last game ITo be fair, this is my first game that is from the 90s that I'm playing as an adult and that I'm actually writing a review. The last game I played was Pokemon Red a few months ago but didn't finish, but now I'm more excited to play old games (I won't stop playing new ones). So, the first impression you get is "wow, this looks like Final Fantasy" and it is similar, but the battles are different, it is not turn based. Random battles is annoying because it happens too often. The plot is cliche and boring (i don't know if they are the first with this kind of plot, but is so chicle nowadays that it taints how good the plot should be. But as far as old games go, if you have patience, this can be a fun challenging game, more challenging than few games nowadays. Full Review »