I want to play Xenosaga, but it is fucking impossible to find the first one in the shops (can't even find it second hand), however, I've watched the anime, so does it matter if I don't play the first one, is the story in the first one the same as the anime, or will I have to play the first game to understand whats happening in the second game?
Anime = first + second, I believe... with a lot extra scenes that aren't found in the game...
You could skip the first one... but the first one is probably the best in the series... aka the second one just plain sucks in terms of gameplay, story, etc.
On the other hand, if you don't really care... just skip to the third and get the entire series over with. After all, the anime provides plenty of material to leech off of.
It's really too bad they scrapped the original seven game saga plan with Xenogears being the base game.
It's easy to find the first game on ebay. You can get for $7 USD if you try hard enough.