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Top 10 Phoenix Wright Cases

VO: Dan Paradis
Script Written by James Webster Court is now in session. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Phoenix Wright Cases. The series is full of twists and turns that make it thrilling. So spoiler alert if you haven’t played everything up to “Dual Destinies”. For this list we are only counting cases from games that have been released in North America and Europe. Special thanks to our users James Benbow, John Hisic, and Cory Taggart for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Written by James Webster

Top 10 Phoenix Wright Cases


Court is now in session. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top ten Phoenix Wright cases.

The series is full of twists and turns that make it thrilling. So spoiler alert if you haven’t played everything up to “Dual Destinies”. For this list we are only counting cases from games that have been released in North America and Europe.

#10: Turnabout Succession

“Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney “ (2008)

The jury has reached its verdict. This case is great! It features the only jury trial in the series to date. An interesting spin that sets it apart from other cases is that you play as a member of the jury. You try to come to an unbiased conclusion based on the information presented. It was satisfying to see Kristoph Gavin knocked off his high horse for all the hardships he put many characters through. There was no decisive evidence to pin the murder on him, but whatever decision the jury came to, it would have been of their own volition. And for Gavin, that was enough of a defeat. Justice is served.

#9: The Stolen Turnabout

“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations” (2007)

The name of the game here is jeopardy. Double jeopardy. The key highlight of the case is the perpetrator’s gambit. Create an alibi for a murder he committed by getting himself indicted on another charge, thus preventing him from being tried again. It's a clever plan. Ironically it’s the defendant, Ron DeLite, who ends up benefiting from the scheme. Watching a criminal get played at their own game is highly amusing stuff. Although double jeopardy only applies to the law, there is probably no need to worry about this case being re-ranked. It’s one of the series’ best.

#8: Turnabout Academy

“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies” (2013)

It’s back to school for Wright Anything Agency. Players play as the new rookie attorney, Athena Cykes, with a little help from Apollo Justice. The premise is pretty interesting, a mock trial that ends up mirroring a real crime. What shines here are Themis Legal Academy’s eccentric personalities. It was touching to see Robin, Juniper, and Hugh try to defend each other during the trial, each one claiming responsibility for the crime. Aristotle Means’ highly animated plea to the gallery is nothing short of hilarious. Boo this man indeed.

#7: Turnabout Trump

“Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney” (2008)

Wright has an ace up his sleeve for this exciting opening case. The protagonist may be Apollo, but Wright steals the show. His hobo-like appearance and somber demeanor raises an immediate question. What the heck happened to this guy? Watching him from the perspective of our rookie defense attorney makes him seem more legendary, even if he has questionable fashion choices. Shockingly, the culprit of the murder is your co-council and mentor, Kristoph Gavin. However, the bigger twist is when Wright reveals he used forged evidence during the trial. This is not the same person from the last three games. A great way to setup one of the game’s overarching mysteries.


#6: Turnabout Beginnings

“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations” (2007)

If I was a lawyer and my first trial went like this, I would have quit. A young Mia Fey and Miles Edgeworth kick off their careers inside the courtroom with tragic results. We meet Diego Armando, who clearly looks like prosecutor Godot. He serves as a source of humor and advice in this dark case. Learning more about character’s past and his relationship to Mia is intriguing. The duo almost manages to expose the truth of the case, but the diabolical Dahlia Hawthorne stops that from happening. She convinces the defendant to commit suicide on the stand. An extremely shocking moment that shakes the characters at the trial to their inner core.

#5: Rise From The Ashes

“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney” (2005)

This bonus case is a slow burn, but well worth the time. It was created after the original trilogy for the Nintendo DS release of the first game. As a result, it feels like a challenge to series veterans. Central to this case is the theme of corruption. The Chief of Police, Damon Gant has murder, framing, and black mail under his belt. Unraveling this difficult and complicated case, bit by bit, fills you with a sense of accomplishment. Gant’s breakdown is immensely satisfying. It almost feels like he’s going to shake the textbox off the screen. He would be on a ‘Top Ten Breakdowns’ list for sure.


#4: Turnabout For Tomorrow

“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies” (2013)

Sometimes two is better than one. That’s exactly what players got with the continuation of the thrilling Cosmic Turnabout. This trial brings its characters to dark places. Watching Apollo play the devil’s advocate in the pursuit of the truth is gut wrenching. The reveal that Athena tried to “fix” her dead mom in a robot disassembly machine is pretty messed up. That imagery is one of the graphic reasons why “Dual Destinies” earned a M rating from ESRB. It’s a great case that feels epic in scale. Stopping the Phantom brings the dark age of the law to an end, leaving our characters hope for a better tomorrow.

#3: Turnabout Goodbyes

“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney” (2005)

Wright cements his reputation of turning around hopeless cases in this undisputed classic. Edgeworth gets a lot of good character development making him much more likable. He stands up for a young Wright in grade school who is accused of stealing a kid’s lunch money. It’s a very admirable moment. There are even more ridiculous and awesome moments in this case that have yet to be matched. Cross examining the witness’s parrot is an insane move, but the prosecution was prepared for it! Running a metal detector over the culprit to prove their guilt is pretty good too. This turnabout is a solid showcase of Wright’s integrity and why he is such an endearing character.

#2: Farewell, My Turnabout

“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All” (2007)

How’s defending a guilty client for a change? Many characters in this series have tried to take the blame for things they haven’t done. So it comes as a genuine surprise when your client, Matt Engarde, revealed himself to be the mastermind behind the crime. He extorts Wright into defending him by hiring the affable assassin, Shelly DeKiller, to kill Maya if he does not comply. Exciting moments, high stakes, and a big moral dilemma made this a fan favourite. The notorious typo in the bad ending creates a serious mood whiplash from sad to laughable. You knew it would be a meme the moment it was discovered.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions

Turnabout Big Top
“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All” (2007)


Turnabout Reclaimed
“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies” (2013)


Turnabout Samurai
“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney” (2005)


Turnabout Sisters
“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney” (2005)


Reunion, And Turnabout
“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All” (2007)

#1: Bridge To The Turnabout

“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations” (2007)

For a game about lawyers there sure is a lot of spirit channeling involved. This is “Ace Attorney” at its finest: zany, ridiculous, and convoluted. The suspension of disbelief works because the characters are so well written. After tormenting so many people it was great to see Dahlia get shut down by Mia. Having her spirit thrown out of Maya’s body is truly a sight to behold. Godot sees an image of Mia as Wright delivers his objection. An amazing moment that shows how Wright has succeeded his mentor. Godot’s story arc closes on a touching conclusion, ending the greatest case in the series on his greatest cup of coffee.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favourite Phoenix Wright case? For more desk slamming top tens published every day be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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