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Experts Tell Us the Best JRPG Games

This article showcases our top picks for the Best JRPG Games. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

This product was recommended by Eden Cheng from PeopleFinderFree

Unlike other previous titles in the series that focus almost exclusively on battles, this entry in the Fire Emblem series does well to mix in a life sim with the strategic gameplay. And in it, players must choose between one of three houses, each of which comes with its own recruitable characters and storyline. The game’s premise revolves around playing the role of a professor, and when you aren’t battling, you spend most of your time training and recruiting students, purchasing items and building relationships. In fact, it is for this reason that many consider this entry in the series to be the best one yet.

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

This product was recommended by David Mason from Knobs

Dragon Quest VIII is one of the best JRPGs out there. With beautiful graphics, a rich story, and wonderful music it has stood the test of time. The battle system is simple but fun. What truly makes Dragon Quest VIII great is the characters and the humor. Toriyama’s sense of humor shines in Dragon Quest VIII. It is one of the best games created by Square Enix and it deserves your time.

Persona 5

This product was recommended by David Mason from Knobs

Persona 5 is a more recent game. It has beautiful graphics and a great story with some mature themes (like death). The battle system is turn-based with the characters having the ability to use personas. The battle system, story, and characters are all very good. This game is definitely one of the best JRPGs out there.

Genshin Impact

This product was recommended by Olivia Tan from CocoFax

Genshin Impact is probably the closest game to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that we’ll see on PC, with a vast open world to explore and various dungeons and quests to complete. Over time, the game has grown much larger in size, with each new update introducing new mechanics like gardening, houses, and character hangout quests – as well as a slew of new Genshin Impact characters. With regular updates, including the upcoming Inazuma region, it’s unlikely that Mihoyo’s RPG is slowing down anytime soon. This free game (that incidentally you can play for free right now) does use a gacha system for unlocking new characters, so you may want a bunch of Genshin Impact codes to get yourself some free primogems to spend on wishes.

Persona 4 Golden

This product was recommended by Steven Walker from Spylix

This PS2 RPG has a cult following due to its darker tone than most other JRPGs. Just before a string of killings occurs, your character moves to a tiny country community. It’s not as dismal as the previous Persona games, but it does include adult themes and explore feelings that are unique for the genre. You can strengthen your character’s friendship with pals outside of dungeons, granting them benefits in and out of battle. Its turn-based fighting system is straightforward on paper, but you can also join different demons to aid your main character in action. It helps that the PC version is the definitive one, even if it is only an upscaled PS Vita version.

Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition

This product was recommended by Steven Walker from Spylix

Final Fantasy XV is an action-packed journey with its unique battle system. You play as Noctis, the crown prince of Lucis, together with his close comrades Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto. In battle, you can command other teammates by performing particular actions or spending Tech Bar pieces. It’s the best-looking Final Fantasy game on PC as you drive around in the snazzy Regalia, cooking meals by the campfire, racing chocobos through meadows, and completing elaborate side quests. Despite your road trip’s detour and gloomy turn, you’ll find yourself among pals who sincerely care for one other while also lightly ridiculing each other. It takes time to get going, but it’s worth the wait.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

This product was recommended by Steven Walker from Spylix

There are no relearning combos for real-time fisticuffs with street thugs and enemy Yakuza like in previous Yakuza games. Instead, Like a Dragon uses a traditional turn-based battle system, with the new protagonist Ichiban just thinking in Dragon Quest terms. Instead of amusing titles for typical spells, Like a Dragon has you bashing thugs with bikes and calling in giant lobsters. That certainly sets the tone for this oddball caper. We enjoy the game’s side quests as much as the turn-based fighting. Minigames range from owning your own business to a full-blown Mario Kart-style clone. It’s also one of the better-looking Yakuza games – look at Ichiban munching bread.

Trials of Mana

This product was recommended by Kris Silvey from Elevated Coffee Brew

When I learned the Trials of Mana game was being remade, I was stoked. As a kid I loved playing imported games, even if I couldn’t read all the text on the screen. Some of the games were so obscure, but Trials of Mana was so well made and the action was superb. The remake kept all the quirkiness that I loved and further improved on the battle system. It’s worth playing for those who enjoyed the original and for those who may have only heard about it.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

This product was recommended by Jonathan Tian from Mobitrix

In comparison to its successor, South Park: The Stick of Truth offers the closest thing to Paper Mario combat. As the ‘new kid’ in South Park, you quickly ally with Butters, Kenny (dressed as a princess), and Cartman to recover the venerable Stick of Truth. There are alien abductions, Nazi undead, and a trip to Canada in this story. To enjoy The Stick of Truth, you must find Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s humor amusing, and you must tolerate many references to previous episodes of the TV program.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin

This product was recommended by Jonathan Tian from Mobitrix

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin isn’t the PC sequel to Monster Hunter: World, but it’s worth playing. Aiming to seize eggs to hatch new monster buddies, upgrade your ‘monsties,’ or create new equipment from dead adversaries. This roughly 40-hour adventure takes you and your monsters through a rich, colorful environment full of Monster Hunter wyverns. While the world waits for the Rise PC edition, this is a great JRPG to kill a few hours with.

Octopath Traveler

This product was recommended by Jonathan Tian from Mobitrix

The graphic aesthetic of Octopath Traveler is beautiful, with 2D sprites placed against magnificent isometric backgrounds. Whether you’re traveling through a winter town or fighting monsters in the desert, this JRPG looks like something from a concept art book. To avoid overwhelming you, Octopath Traveler breaks down each character tale into manageable parts that you can explore at your speed. The gameplay can sometimes feel dated, with a similar focus on many protagonists to Square Enix’s Saga series. Outside of battle, each playable character can pickpocket unsuspecting victims or ask townspeople for information. There’s also a risk-reward break and boost system that allows you to progressively erode down opposing defenses, then boost to strike harder at the cost of some of your turns. This JRPG has a lot going on, and it’s worth checking out.

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Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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