The Best JRPGs You Need To Try

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The Best JRPGs You Need To Try

Here is our list of all the JRPGs you should try. Don't worry it's more than just Final Fantasy.


The Japanese RPG is one of the cornerstones of modern gaming. Who knows where the Games Industry would be if it wasn't for titles such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, or SaGa? It is a genre rife with experimentation and the bold and new.

To celebrate that, we have compiled a list of JRPGs you shouldn't miss out on. With all timers from the big franchises to the smaller, lesser-known cult classics. So if you're looking to expand your horizons or take a trip down memory lane, this is the list for you.

The Best JRPGs

Final Fantasy 6

Let's start with a classic. While there were many wars waged over which Final Fantasy is the standout amongst them all, I think we can all agree that Final Fantasy 6 is an all-time great. Not only because it allows you to suplex a train or beat up clowns.

It's an epic tale about a world struggling and a massive cast of characters uniting to save the world. It was the first time the series tried to make real characters that don't just act in service of the gameplay. Terra, Locke, and Celes are all fantastic characters in their own right which drive the story forward into an epic conclusion.

Persona 3

There are arguments to be made about which one is the best version of Persona 3. Whether you are partial to the PS2 original, the portable release, or the new Persona 3 Reload is up to do but they all share the same spark. Its the game when the Persona series became Persona, social links and day-to-day life clashing with dungeon crawling were properly introduced here.

But that's not why Persona 3 stands out within its own series. No, it is one of the most thematically consistent games ever made. Its mechanics, story, characters, art design, and even music all serve the game's message and help it become a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Tales of Berseria

While we're often talking about how the Tales series produces some of the greatest 7/10 titles ever made, Tales of Berseria is the standout of the bunch. By flipping the script, it becomes one of the most unique experiences in all of gaming. Instead of playing the group of heroes saving the world, the player is cast as Velvet Crowe the villain of this story.

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Of course, there's a little more to this but spoiling it would ruin the fun. Let me just tell you that this is one of the most heartwrenching stories you'll find in gaming and it's filled with a fantastic cast of characters that'll stay with you long after you've rolled credits.

Dragon Quest 11

For decades now, Dragon Quest has been the undisputed King of the JRPG. For good reason, Akira Toriyama's beautiful artwork brought to life a fantastic RPG experience that seeks its equal. And if you're trying to get into the series, the most recent mainline entry is the one.

Dragon Quest 11 was conceptualized as the 30th-anniversary title of the series. It's a celebration of its franchise with many callbacks and clever references while also standing on its own.

The appeal of Dragon Quest has always been that it's the kind of story you'd tell children before bedtime but in that, the series has found a very unique appeal by telling fantastic, often wholesome stories about the classic clash of good versus evil.

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

There is no talking about JRPGs if we don't include Studio Quest's masterpiece. While it is often overshadowed by its spiritual successor Final Fantasy Tactics but trust me, this is the one. Tactics Ogre was released almost 30 years ago and it is still one of the most thought-out Tactical RPGs out there.

If it was just for its deep gameplay and satisfying tactical combat, it would be a no-brainer but the way this weaves into its story. Tactics Ogre's story is something you don't expect from a Fantasy RPG, it was Game of Thrones before Game of Thrones was even a thing and there's a reason why developers across the world worship the ground Matsuno and his team walked on.

Try it, if you try and game on this list, it should be this. Arguably one the most complete titles in all of gaming.

Like A Dragon: Yakuza

The soft reboot of the Yakuza franchise recasts the game itself as a JRPG by the way of Shenmue. As an extra, the franchise also switches protagonists to the loveable Kasuga Ichiban and his band of misfits. Whenever people talk about wanting a Persona for adults, this is the one they should go for because it's just that.

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Ichiban and his friends have to deal with classic RPG tropes in the concrete jungles in and around Tokyo, monsters are just local creeps, and instead of resting in an inn, you hit up the local ramen store. On top of that, you'll get a heartwrenching story that is among the franchise's best with Ichiban easily claiming the throne as gaming's greatest protagonist.

Nier and Nier Automata

Normally I'd just put Nier Automata on here, tell out that it is one of the greatest action RPGs ever made, and maybe give you a spiel about what a genius its creator Yoko Taro is. But there's also Nier Replicant, the remake of the original Nier which is a spinoff of the Drakengard franchise.

Both games should be played together though, they are fantastic reminders of what you can do with the format of a video game. They stand equally tall as deconstruction of their genre without the usual amount of sneer that comes with such a work. They celebrate and critique typical gaming structures giving you a heartbreaking tale about the pains of being a protagonist in a merciless world.

Final Fantasy 7/Remake/Rebirth

I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. The original Final Fantasy 7 might be one of the most iconic titles to ever come to PlayStation but it's the recent Remake and the second part of the Remake, Rebirth that cemented it as the one king to rule them all.

The original is a fantastic experience but the Remake and Rebirth continue to reshape and evolve the experience, changing forever what video game Remakes even are and how to deal with their complicated legacies. Just play them, you won't regret it.

And that's all we got in terms of JRPGs for now. These are all all-timers and if you only have a passing interest in the genre, they are all worth checking out at least once. For more on JRPG and the latest in games and esports stay tuned here on ESTNN

The Best JRPGs You Need To Try
Timo Reinecke
Has once claimed that FSH is the only job in FFXIV worth playing and stands by that firmly. Top Guy, Smart Guy, Educated Speaker. (sometimes) Writer of all things FFXIV, FGC, News, Reviews and More