5 great JRPGs you should play in 2023

There are many JRPGs coming in 2023, but which are the best ones?
While there are so many JRPGs releasing in 2023, which ones could be the best? (Image via Square Enix)

While 2023’s role-playing games are great, some prefer the aesthetic and gameplay of JRPGs. There are a ton of amazing Japanese RPGs coming in next year as well, and some are titles that gamers have been waiting years for, while others are more targeted at older fans of the same genre, who want to see a classic franchise revived.

While the “RPG” genre can be any role-playing game, the JRPGs on this list adhere to a more particular aesthetic. Simply being developed in Japan isn’t quite enough. It’s all about how the presentation is designed, and the method by which the story is told.

Not all of these JRPGs have a confirmed release date, but so far, they are all slated to appear on consoles or PCs in 2023. As with all of these lists, they are subjective, and other gamers' opinions might differ.

Which 5 JRPGs should you play in 2023?

1) Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes

  • Release Date: 2023
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Windows

I was so glad to see Eiyuden Chronicle’s Kickstarter succeed in developing this game. As far as JRPGs go, Suikoden has always been a bit of a cult hit, but I’m one of those fans without a doubt.

With over 100 characters available in the game, it is certainly going to feel similar to the game by which it was inspired. Suikoden itself took inspiration from the Chinese classic novel, Water Margin (Outlaws of the Marsh).

Set in the world of Allraan, the Galdean Empire has discovered technology that enhances the powerful artifacts known as rune-lenses. This is dangerous and leads to the Empire seeking even greater power. If it’s anything like the original games, it’s going to take multiple playthroughs to unlock everyone.

Many great stretch goals were met as well, such as “Hero Mode,” which creates randomized dungeons for you to send a party into, and Asynchronous Mode. This will allow you to share your party and fortress town as AI-controlled data for your friends to battle.

2) One Piece Odyssey

  • Release Date: January 13, 2023
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S

Does it get much more Japanese than anime? One of the upcoming JRPGs worth playing is certainly One Piece Odyssey. It’s a game that I have recently played a few hours of, thanks to taking a trip out West to preview it. You take on the role of the Straw Hat Pirates as they show up on a mysterious island and get forced to relive their past.

Several storylines are confirmed to be in the game, including Alabasta, Water Seven, Marineford, and Dressrosa. The turn-based combat is great, and each character has a useful ability outside of battle as well. The overarching story is still unknown, but many players can’t wait to find out what awaits them.

3) Octopath Traveler 2

  • Release Date: 2023
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PC

I loved the JRPGs released in the HD-2D style - Octopath Traveler, Live a Live, and so many other games. While I wanted to include Dragon Quest 3 2D-HD here instead, there’s no confirmed word on when that’s coming out. While it could be 2023, it’s still unknown. Octopath Traveler 2 is going to be a blast if the first game is any indication.

The game’s visual style has been improved and revealed protagonists have stories that feel like they’re going to be worth exploring. The character interactions promise to be better. One complaint about the first game is that the character’s tales felt disjointed, and if that’s improved, it could be one of the best JRPGs of 2023.

4) Final Fantasy XVI

  • Release Date: June 22, 2023
  • Platform: PlayStation 5

I don’t know what else I can possibly say about Final Fantasy XVI, but I’m very excited about it. Of course, I’d rather have a more classic visual style and experience, I understand that this style of action RPG is the current popular design. I love that the brunt of the story seems to be about revenge and that a group of powerful kingdoms is vying for power.

It’s going to be a more mature JRPG than we’ve seen in the series before, and for that reason, I’m perhaps most excited about it. I want to know where they take this new world and a new story. Visually, the game is gorgeous, and while it’s unfortunate that it’s a PlayStation 5 exclusive, everything I’ve seen so far makes me think that it’s going to be a tremendous success.

Combat looks fast and furious, and players will also have access to giant monster battles in addition to the normal gameplay. Final Fantasy XVI should be a worthy successor to the long-standing RPG series.

5) Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

  • Release Date: 2023
  • Platform: PlayStation 5

Some are worried that Final Fantasy VII Rebirth won’t come out in 2023, but since it is reportedly “Winter 2023”, I’m feeling hopeful. I was leery about Final Fantasy VII Remake, but I found that I was wrong, and the game was incredible. It fleshed out one of the great JRPGs, and I cannot wait to see what’s next.

We do know that we’ll probably be heading to Kalm fairly early in the game, given the ending of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade. It has been said that the events of the game won’t be in the same order though, so it has genuinely got me curious to see how Square Enix tells the familiar story, in a different way. It has the potential to be a sequel that gamers will remember for years to come.

There are so many great JRPGs coming to gamers in 2023! Both Persona 3 and Persona 4 are going to be on more platforms than ever before, and the same with The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure.

There’s also the super cute JRPG Mon-Yu, which reportedly took inspiration from the Wizardry franchise. No matter what you play next year, just make sure you enjoy it.