Get ready for some fun dungeon crawling, character building and tear jerking. Whatoplay presents the Top 10 PlayStation 4 JRPG’s, arranged by playscore. To see the complete ranking visit our list of the best PS4 Japanese RPGs of all time.
Ever since 1987, the Ys series has mostly been about the adventures of Adol the Red. And it has come a long way.
If you’re familiar with the tropes of the genre, this crimson-haired boy-wonder has the qualities of a JRPG protagonist: brave, naive and somehow uses the power of friendship to destroy enemies. Nihon Falcom’s latest Ys title is taking the series into unfamiliar territory, but with the same amount of charm and magic that once surrounded the series.
Rice Digital gave the PlayStation 4 version a perfect score. Stating that, “While Ys VIII doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it improves absolutely everything it can over its already predecessors.”
Fans of the old titles are in for a treat. Everything is a complete upgrade from the usual hacking and slashing. New players are gonna feel welcomed. The game takes little to no story content from previous titles except from Adol’s memories and his old friend, Dogi. Most of its best features come from engaging gameplay loop and fun characters to play with.
However, some localization issues will plague your playthrough… but the series’ pivotal JRPG elements remain and it’s as fantastic as ever. It receives a playscore of 8.81.
After all these years, Final Fantasy VII is still the talk of the town. With a massive Remake coming this 2020, the hype generated by this popular FF title is alive and kicking.
Before we get our hands on the much-awaited Remake, we go back to where everything began. Since 1997, it opened new doors for JRPG with its fascinating story and a cast of memorable characters.
Cloud and his friends are once again saving the world from an evil Corporation and a sinister long-haired Villain.
It’s no surprise FF7 is the series’ highest achievement. Most of the reviews on the PlayStation 4 are all about how polished this re-release is. Including the addition of Trophies and New Cheats for some ‘wacky’ playthroughs.
After 18 years, it reminds everyone that it's not just another nostalgia bait. The visuals may be dated but the quality remains the same. Final Fantasy VII receives a playscore of 8.86.
At long last, we live in a world where Kingdom Hearts III is out. Sora and his band of Disney brothers are finally at rest after the series’ long, and somewhat confusing plot.
Kingdom Hearts III is an amalgam of all the great things the titles were known for. The slick hack and slash combat, fantastic Disney and Pixar worlds, and not to mention, the cast of memorable characters.
But it’s far from perfect. Diehard fans of the series will love the story’s closure, but others might criticize the game for its ‘underwhelming’ execution, especially with its convoluted story and easy gameplay. They even argued that, “It’s not as great as Kingdom Hearts II.”
Despite all that, the scores don’t lie. Spanish reviewer 3DJuegos gave this game a 9 out of 10. That goes out to most of the game reviewers on our database, especially Game Informer, TechRaptor, Easy Allies and Shacknews.
It is a polarizing entry, but at the end of the day, it’s still the Kingdom Hearts III we’ve all known and loved. Some fans will love it, and some may hate it.
Kingdom Hearts III receives a playscore of 8.87.
7. Yakuza 0
The game that warranted a gameplay walkthrough by me and Earnest. Yakuza 0 is a wellspring Japanese culture. It serves as the prequel to the famed Yakuza series from SEGA which is all about a man and his family problems.
As a mix of arcade and JRPG, enjoy the numerous activities the open-world of Tokyo has to offer. Especially when you’re out in the streets beating out thugs, eating at restaurants, and maybe wasting a bit of your time with Karaoke.
Yakuza 0 received numerous praises, especially its story and combat. The ability to switch between multiple styles was a welcome addition, making gameplay more dynamic.
Most of IGN’s international sites, especially IGN Russia, gave this game a 9 out of 10. The game is praised for its mix of violent themes and its side-dish of whimsical activities. It seamlessly blends both elements into one compelling action-JRPG game. For all it’s worth, Yakuza games are popular in Japan. Damn shame it doesn’t get enough traction in the West.
It receives a playscore of 8.88.
There’s always enough Final Fantasy for the world. After a successful release in Japan, the definitive edition of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XII is finally out in Western shores.
This version comes with whole new surprises that, in turn, makes for a completely different game. It’s best feature comes in the form of a gameplay rework that aims to have faster combat than before. It fixed most of the issues that plagued the vanilla version of the game.
The International Zodiac System is by far the biggest change they have for this edition. It adds much-needed depth to its core gameplay loop as you can switch between characters and select from its Zodiac Sign and Job trees.
Spanish reviewers Vandal. and MeriStation gave this game a 9 and 8 out of 10, respectively. Most reviews praised the game’s fantastic remaster work, which not only include the Zodiac rework, but also graphics and audio. The story remains the same, which is enough to merit a criticism. But despite all that, The Zodiac Age receives a playscore of 8.89.
Cute Japanese waifus in skimpy clothing aren’t rare sights in this day and age. Yoko Taro’s latest game embraces that kind of element, all the while injecting a layer of existential dread and fantastic gameplay.
Square Enix’s spin-off to the Drakengard series takes you into a desolate Earth populated by Alien-robots.
NieR: Automata is a great example of good Japanese RPG design. Its numerous endings and layers upon layers of secrets are calling out everyone to discover every enigma in its grand post-apocalyptic sci-fi world.
GameRant gave this game a 10 out of 10. Praising its bizarre and strange presentation. Even mentioning that it’s reminiscent of a Kojima game trying to make his own version of Final Fantasy. The game excels in its characters. Especially when you’re playing as the Androids determined to save the planet from harm.
Of all the titles in this list, this one is an exemplary addition as it continues to break the fourth wall with its engaging story and characters. It merely uses the genre JRPG to trick us into playing a game about the futility of life.
Nier Automata receives a playscore of 8.92.
When it comes to true JRPG adventures, Square Enix’s Dragon Quest series has you covered. And with its success, some characters even made it to the Smash roster.
Considered as the best of the series yet, XI excels with its fantastic presentation of living that JRPG fantasy.
GameSpot gave Echoes Of An Elusive Age a 9 out of 10. Praising its solid presentation story-wise and combat-wise. Even French reviewers Game Kult and jeuxvideo.com gave this a solid 8 out of 10. The fresh feeling of the game’s 3D visuals on the PlayStation 4 signifies its rebirth for the modern audience.
Most praises come from its interesting turn-based combat. It may be dated but it packs enough interesting details to still be relevant. Not to mention the cast of characters, especially the Luminary himself, has been the hallmark in every Dragon Quest game.
Each of these characters offer their own stories to tell and some nifty contributions to the party. Aside from maybe its minor issues about its soundtrack and oversexualization of characters, Dragon Quest XI is still a great JRPG title with a playscore of 8.96.
Another Final Fantasy title on this list. It’s no surprise that the series has been through a lot. There were great and not-so-great FF titles, but among the GREATS is none other than Final Fantasy IX. And yes, Final Fantasy VII isn’t the only FF title out there.
If you have the time, it’s always a good reason to look back at the video games that came before. DualShockers gave this one a 9.5 out of 10. PlayStation 4 owners, whether its their first time or not, will experience the memorable story this FF entry has to offer.
Its re-rendered to the best possible image for your high-definition screen. But you have to remember that it’s a game that came out almost two decades ago. Once again, follow the story of Zidane and his band of bandits as they get entangled in a war between the two nations.
There’s really not much of a change in the story, and there’s no good reason to. It remains an example to the future Final Fantasy titles that story and characters are more important than grand spectacle and over the top budgets. It receives a playscore of 8.97.
2007 was a long time ago and thankfully for Vanillaware and ATLUS, the Nordic memories of this action-packed JRPG lives on in this polished remake of mythological proportions.
Leifthrasir is Odin Sphere at its FINEST. What was once a PlayStation 2 title is now making a name for itself in the PlayStation 4 community as a stellar example of great JRPG.
Destructoid and even IGN gave it a 9.5 out of 10 because they were in awe with the impressive effort it took to remake the game from the ground up. IGN stated that, “Vanillaware went above and beyond to realize its full potential with the addition of more role-playing elements, a near-perfect framerate, stunning graphics, better maps, and a more vigorous combat mechanic.”
But despite the revitalized feeling of Ragnarok, the game’s cast of five unique characters and their unique stories are still something to look forward to.
Vanillaware knew about how important these are and made everything better from start to finish. Its hyperactive platforming combat, magical backdrop and beloved cast of characters, Leifthrasir is one of PlayStation 4’s gems.
It has a playscore of a 9.00
1. Persona 5
Of course we all saw this one coming. ATLUS’ award-winning series is back and it’s time they steal our hearts… or maybe they already did.
Join the Phantom Thieves as they reform society while they go about their usual day to day High School drama and family woes. Persona 5 combines slice of life Visual Novel, Dating Simulator and Dungeon-Crawling turn-based JRPG into one effective title.
GamesRadar+ gave this a perfect score due to its phenomenal presentation from start to finish. Just like any of us, the game was universally praised. Especially for its realistic cast of characters, selection of jazzy tunes, story and even its slick red and black art style.
You might be spending most of your time talking to people or summoning your Persona. Either way, each experience is exciting as the other. The only gripe this game has is that it’s demanding, especially to those who have a busy schedule. 100 hours of gametime is not a joke… and some players who bought the game on day one haven’t even finished it yet.
But that’s not the point in a Persona game. 5 is no different. Taking your time, making friends, and immersing yourself in its rich narrative is the perfect way to enjoy this masterpiece.
It has a playscore of 9.45.