10 best jRPG games on PC for Final Fantasy fans
Whether you're hardcore Final Fantasy fan or just a beginner, here are 10 best JRPGs to try.
JRPG games, sometimes also known as “friendship is magic simulators” - some people love them, some people hate them. We must admit that Japanese games are unique and special in their own way and their distinctive characteristics do not have universal appeal. Nonetheless, many gamers are more or less familiar with legendary Final Fantasy series.
Established over 30 years ago, this series can boast about unfading popularity to this day, considering how many titles it’s been releasing. There're a whopping 94 games in total, 15 of which belong to the main series. Top that up with numerous movie and anime titles… The franchise is truly huge and monumental. If someone asks "What's the best jRPG on Steam ?", the answer is, hands down, a Final Fantasy title. Still, you can’t live by Final Fantasy alone.
If you want to drown your sorrows after completing the main line of FF titles or intend to start your journey into Japanese games with something less obvious, check out our article with best jRPGs.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout
Release Date: 29 October 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Atelier is one of the most famous jRPG series. It already includes over 20 titles with remasters and remakes on top of that. One of the newest titles of the series is Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout, which tells the story of a young girl who sets out on a long and dangerous journey with her companions.
The mechanics of the game do not differ much from other games of this genre, although the unique features of the series are still present. Similar to the previous titles in the series, alchemy plays an important role. If this sounds like your cup of tea, you may also be interested in Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy, which continues the adventure of the heroine.
DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition
Release Date: 29 July 2017
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, Stadia
This game is the eleventh main entry of Dragon Quest series. While action is taking place in a distressed fantasy land of Edrea, a sixteen-year-old boy discovers that he’s an embodiment of a legendary hero destined to save the world (sounds so original, right?). Together with his companions, he goes on a journey to fulfill his destiny.
The gameplay itself also draws a lot from typical jRPGs, making it a better choice for those who’re familiar with this gaming genre. Here you can find plenty of exploration, quests and conversations with NPCs. The fights are turn-based and cannot be called easy. If you enjoy a well-executed, classical approach to jRPG, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is a good pick.
Megadimension Neptunia VIIR
PC Release Date: 22 October 2018
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Although the gameplay of Megadimension Neptunia VIIR gives the appearance of a classic jRPG, the atmosphere and plot itself differ significantly from the standard representative of the genre.The production is kept in a humorous form, and the main characters are ... personifications of the most popular consoles and development studios.
Although Megadimension Neptunia VII is also available on the market, it is worth looking primarily for the VIIR version, which not only has support for VR goggles, but also improved graphics, introduced new characters and offers improved combat system.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remaster
Initial Release Date: 17 November 2011
Remaster Release Date: 19 September 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was created in cooperation with the Japanese animation Studio Ghibli (the creators of masterpieces like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away). Thanks to this unusual collaboration, the game offers original, cartoon-styled graphics and a touching story that distinguishes it not only from other jRPGs, but from other games, period.
It kicks off with a tear-jerking moment as mother saves her son, Oliver, from death, while paying the ultimate price herself. Oliver with his magical Mascot moves to another world, where he discovers that there is a chance of getting his deceased parent back to life. Ni no Kuni’s combat has a hybrid system, meaning that characters move in real time, but can only perform actions every few seconds.
Release Date: 13 July 2018
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Stadia
Octopath Traveler positioned itself as a return to the genre’s roots. The creators managed to stick with this promise vigorously. Among the described titles, it is the most "Western" jRPG, which may appeal even to those who do not like Japanese quirkiness.
In addition to that, the game has unique, partial pixel-art, partial three-dimensional graphics and a captivating story, which is skillfully intertwining the fates of eight characters. So it's no surprise that a lot of people find it to be the best jRPG they've ever played. The turn-based battles, where individual heroes’ abilities play the key role also deserves a distinction.
Persona 4 Golden
Release Date: 13 June, 2020
Platforms: PC, PlayStation Vita
If you expected to see Persona 5 in this list, read the article’s title carefully. However, nothing changes the fact that its predecessor from 2008, Persona 4, is another amazing jRPG game which also maintains the Persona series as a pillar of Atlus’s lineup. And we’re just so lucky to get the next best jRPG on Steam. In addition to that, Persona 4 Golden version has upgraded image quality on PC, so the master race can’t complain.
This masterpiece is a great option for those who’re just discovering the genre. Persona 4 Golden is still capable of winning gamers’ hearts with its dynamic turn-based combat system built on elemental weaknesses and rationing SP (aka manna) with each run. Well-written plot, which includes murder mysteries in provincial Japanese town, exploring other worlds inside TV and mental health issues, goes way beyond and deeper the genre’s templates.
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition
Release Date: 11 January, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Originally released in 2008 by Bandai Namco, Tales of Vesperia is a part of another well-known jRPG series. In 2019 the title was refreshed by Polish company QLOC. The remaster included not only graphic improvements, but also unlocked the content that used to be exclusive to the Japanese market.
The game itself is a typical action RPG, focusing on exploring more or less extensive locations, completing hundreds of quests and fighting hordes of enemies. Modeled as classic skirmish combat, the fights take place in small two-dimensional arenas and require a lot of dexterity from the player.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III
Initial Release Date: 28 September 2017
PC Release Date: 23 March 2020
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III focuses on time-tested solutions of jRPG games. However, this is by no means a minus, as all the mechanics have been very well developed and implemented. The gameplay is interesting in a way how it’s been divided into two very different parts. Action-packed, dynamic missions masterfully intersperse with a quiet school life.
The game’s story also deserves the praise, however there’s a catch. Before getting your hands on the third game of The Legend of Heroes series, be sure to familiarise yourself with what happened in the previous two titles. You can still enjoy the plot without it, but a lot of vital details may skip your attention, and some twists may seem rather illogical.
Trials of Mana
Release Date: 24 April 2020
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch
Trials of Mana remake is a refreshed version of the iconic RPG from 1995, known in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 3. The game is a classic representative of the action jRPG genre, with all battles being fought in real time.
In the course of the game, players can control several different heroes with different fighting styles and skills, who set out on a journey to free the magical land from the forces of evil. When starting to play the Mana series, it is also worth reaching for the remake of Secret of Mana released in 2018. In June, the remake of the third game of the series - Legend of Mana - is to debut.
Release Date: 12 March 2015
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One
Yakuza 0 is a prequel of, without exaggeration, a legendary Japanese game series, which technically is not an RPG. Through beat ‘em up combat, crime drama and distinctive sense of humor, it tells about the formation of two notorious yakuza members whose names instill fear: Kiryu Kazuma the Dragon of Dojima and Goro Majima the Mad Dog of Shimano. Every aspect, from gameplay and location design to soundtrack and dialogues, is crafted masterfully and with love.
We know it's a big overstretch to call a Yakuza game an jRPG, because it's a fighting game with RPG elements that even FF fans can't miss. Yakuza 0 has an insane amount of content to offer, including hilarious substories and engaging mini-games. the fact that it’s meant to be played as a prequel, it’s also played well as an introduction into the Yakuza universe. However, you will be missing some Easter eggs from earlier Yakuza games.
Did we mention all of your favorite Japanese role-playing game? Would you consider yourself as a jRPG fan or it’s not your cup of tea? Or maybe you prefer Japanese games from different genres, for example, visual novels?