Japanese RPGs, or JRPGs, are a sub-genre of role-playing games. As their name suggests, these games feature locations from eastern Asia and present a contrast to Western RPGs. JPRGs, which used to be widely popular in consoles a few years ago, slowly stepped into the broader demographic of PC players and never looked back.
JRPGs, as a video game genre, have taken huge inspiration from tabletop RPGs and gradually branched out to various sub-genres. Sega’s latest Yakuza: Like a Dragon was released recently and perfectly fits under the JRPG subgenre.
This article dives into a few notable JRPGs. Readers are welcome to suggest some of their favorite JRPGs in the comments.
Players should explore these JRPGs
1) Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Developer - Square Enix
One of the most iconic classic JRPGs got a remaster through Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age in July 2017. Final Fantasy XII is mainly based on fantasy role-playing allowing players to control a character interacting with people and objects from a third-person perspective.
The environment featured in the game is open-world, where the two main characters are involved in an endless war. It allows players to control the camera freely and does not include random encounters with enemies.
2) Nier: Automata
Developer - Platinum Games
Nier: Automata is one of the best JRPGs that involves a rich story and action-filled role-playing elements. The game narrates the story of some androids battling to reclaim the machine-driven dystopia overrun by powerful machines from a third-person perspective.
Players take control of combat androids, occasionally accompanied by wild animals, taking down their enemies. The combat is based on hack and slash, calling for different abilities and attack combinations.
3) Valkyria Chronicles
Developer - Sega
Valkyria Chronicles is one of the best tactical JRPGs that follows a military theme. The game is set in a fictional version of Europe dominated by two superpowers in the 20th century. The game features a unique turn-based battle system called BLiTZ, a short form for Battle of Live Tactical Zones.
The Command mode in the game allows the player to have an overhead view while the Action mode zooms into the controls part. The player directly controls the character while the actions are held in real-time. Each character in the game fulfills a specific role, making it a wonderful experience.
4) Yakuza 0
Developer - Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Yakuza 0 is a worldwide fan-favorite JRPG featuring action and adventure. It’s third-person, open-world, and is the sixth main installment of the Yakuza series. The game takes place during an inflation period in the 1980s, featuring fictional places of Japan.
Players control the series protagonist, followed by a recurring character while completing side-quests and battling enemies. Character customization and growth are achieved by unlocking abilities through a skill tree. The game also features some hilarious ways of making and losing money.
5) Tales of Berseria
Developer - Bandai Namco Studios
Tales of Berseria is one of those JRPGs dealing with self-redemption in the Holy Midgand Empire. The characters are controlled by the users from a third-person perspective, while the game uses a Linear Motion Battle System.
Like its previous installments, the characters appear as head-and-shoulder portraits. They can move freely while using physical and magical attacks in combat. Primarily designed for single-player, local multiplayers are also supported, mainly for battles.
- Golden Sun
- Secret of Mana
- Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
- Suikoden II
- Skies of Arcadia