The JRPG is one of the oldest and most popular types of games out there, and it’s still going strong. As important as platformers are to our favorite types of games, the JRPG is as important as the platformer when it comes to building our favorite types of entertainment. There are so many JRPGs out there that we thought it would be a good idea to make a list of the best of all time.
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While there are a lot of games that could be on a list like this, we decided to narrow it down to the top 25. In order to do this, we had to cut a lot of our favorite games from the list. We came up with this list of JRPGs that are sure to take you a long time to find and beat. Those are our top 25 best JRPGs of all time.
1. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Endless Ocean
Developer: Monolith Soft, tri-Crescendo
There were many hidden gems on the GameCube. Baten Kaitos is proud to be part of that group, too. Baten Kaitos is a game that takes place in a floating kingdom. Players take on the role of an invisible avatar and help the game’s protagonists fight against an evil empire.
It is hard for Kalas and his friends to fight their way across the sky. They come to learn the sinister and ancient secrets of the floating islands and look for a traitor in their group. Baten Kaitos is based on a card battle system called Magnus. It takes a lot of careful planning to beat. Still, the gameplay is perfect and the world design is very unique, so it’s more than worth the trouble to get through.
2. Golden Sun
Developer: Camelot Software Planning
Like the GameCube, the Game Boy Advance had a lot of great games that didn’t get the attention they should have had. Golden Sun is about teenagers who are magically attuned, called “Adepts,” and their efforts to keep alchemy’s power from being unleashed on the world for the first time in a long time.
The same spells you use to fight monsters can be used to solve puzzles outside of the fight. This is called “Psynergy.” This makes Golden Sun different from other RPGs in a unique way. When it comes to the game’s battle system, the look is unique and makes Golden Sun one of the best games ever made, too.
3. Tales of Berseria
Developer: Bandai Namco
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS3
As an RPG, the Tales series is still very much a niche. However, a few of the games have found success outside of that niche. Tales of Berseria, a medieval fantasy game about vengeance and retribution, is one of them.
Game players take on the role of Velvet Crowe, a young woman who has a demon-possessed right arm that can help her fight off the infernal forces that are slowly taking over her world. Together with other prisoners and outcasts, Velvet goes up against a former friend in the hopes of getting back at him and stopping the demons from taking over the world for good.
Tales of Berseria is one of the best games in the Tales series, and it’s a good place to start if you want to try the series for the first time.
4. Valkyria Chronicles
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS3, Switch
Valkyria Chronicles is one of the best JRPGs ever made because it takes the fight against an evil empire in a new and exciting direction, making it even better.
Valkyria Chronicles is set in a fictionalized version of Europe in the middle of the 20th century, where its allies fight a growing superpower. Both sides are struggling to find the resources they need to secure their futures.
This game makes you both a commander and a soldier with a unique tactical system that divides planning and action on the field. You can plan your next attack from the top-down battle map. Then, as the chosen infantryman, you can carry it out in real-time. It’s a very exciting system that makes you feel like you’re on the front lines of a war. This makes Valkyria Chronicles one of the best games of its kind.
5. Secret of Mana
Secret of Mana is one of those JRPGs from the SNES era that makes you feel nostalgic right away. Secret of Mana is another game where our heroes have to fight against an evil empire. The three protagonists are trying to stop the release of the eight mana seeds that would bring magic back to the world and fight the gods of their own realm.
A multitap lets people play together and control all three main characters at the same time. The AI or your friends control the other two, and you can take control of any of them at any time. Secret of Mana is either a lot of fun or a lot of frantic fun. As you fight each other in real time, you have to think about which character is best for each situation as you go.
This is one of the best JRPGs of all time because it has great visuals that make the world come to life and great co-op gameplay.
6. Dark Cloud 2/Dark Chronicle
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s): PS2, PS4
Some games are great because they let you do so many things. Dark Cloud 2 (also called Dark Chronicle) is one of these JRPGs.
There are two heroes in the game: Max and Monica. Max and Monica both have weapons that can be upgraded as you play the game. It can also be equipped with propellers, machine guns, and treads. Max also has a mech that he can ride. Monica, on the other hand, can turn into monsters with badges that she collects.
If you want to rebuild the world of Dark Cloud 2 and add NPCs you’ve met along the way, there is also a georama mode that lets you do that. It can get a little boring at the end of the game, but the great cel-shaded art style and a lot of fun gameplay mechanics will keep you going until the end.
7. Chrono Cross (1999)
Chrono Cross is 18th on this list of the best JRPGs of all time. It’s a great game! After Chrono Trigger, this is a great game in its own right, too.
Don’t just take our word for it, though. Most critics around the world gave this game great reviews (though ours is the only one that really matters).
There is a great twist in the story of this game, too. How many times will I say that through this article? Find out about two different worlds where a boy dies in one but is still alive in the other.
Deep, isn’t that?
If you add a lot of brutal enemies, beautiful graphics, and turn-based battles that look a lot like Final Fantasy, you’re on to a winner!
This high-profile JRPG has all the collecting and dungeon crawling you’d expect from a game like that. I used “one” because we’re getting fancy.
In this game, you can use elemental magic that is, in my opinion, the best of any RPG I’ve ever played. You can also learn about the backstories of all the characters and fully immerse yourself in the game from the start.
8. Persona 5 (2016)
A lot of great Persona games have come before, and Persona 5 is no exception. It follows the life of a teenager over the course of a whole school year.
Because these kids have to fight demons in a shadow world every night, they also have to get good grades and deal with crushes. This is very different from your school.
Talk about having a lot to do!
The Phantom Thieves have Personas that they can use to fight. Some of them are a lot like Patronuses from Harry Potter, but they’re more evil.
When you fight and interact with people in both the real world and the shadow world, you can use your Persona to fight evil and build your character.
9. Final Fantasy VI (1994)
In the next game on our list of some of the best JRPGs of all time is Final Fantasy VI!
FFVI is one of the best JRPGs on the SNES.
It should get an award just for the cover art.
Choose one of 14 characters to play as in the game. Because this game talks about a lot of different things that are happening in the world right now, it’s a little different from the other games in the series. It talks about everything from chemical warfare to teenage pregnancy.
Because of these mature themes, the audience for FFVI was a lot bigger, which helped it get better reviews faster. They look a little old school now, but back in 1994, they were cutting-edge too.
As well as that epic soundtrack, let’s not forget about it! Having a JRPG isn’t enough.