If you haven't, try some of the Shin Megami Tensei games, they tend to be good if not a bit hard. Persona 4 is usually considered to be the easiest one available to the U.S. market, and it's only like 30 bucks on amazon right now.
Currently playing: Persona 3:FES The Journey Hard Max Social Link, Devil Survivor: Kaido's Path, Tales of the Abyss Hard
The Shin Megami Tensei games are some of the greatest RPGs ever made, they are really unique and offer some not so typical placement and storylines.
Plus there's so many of them!
Other than that, also for the PS2 is the .hack series, specifically speaking the G.U. branch. If you've never seen the animes or played the games you'll still be able to follow the storyline as the game branches off into a seperate storyline. They are very good, and there are three of them to boot, and then four more if you want to get into Quarantine which is the series that came before... and lets not even get into the animes and mangas.
But those are just RPGs, if you're looking for games like this, there's the tales series. And you've said you haven't been able to get into any, but that raises the questions of which other ones have you tried?
I tried playing Phantasia, and I could NOT get into that game at all. Then I played Tales of Vesperia and it was enjoyable as well, though not as great as symphonia is.
"Religion is the opiate of the masses." ~ Karl Marx