To see the full ranking, visit our list of the best Japanese RPGs for PC.
Square Enix is home to many memorable JRPGs. With Final Fantasy VII Remake’s release drawing close, the rest of the FF titles don’t get enough praise.
XII’s massive shift to real-time from the usual traditional turn-based FF combat opened new doors for the future of the series. Players are no longer constrained by waiting for their turn and stressing about random encounters.
In The Zodiac Age, it further improved the original’s gameplay by introducing the International Zodiac System. An overhaul which enables players to customize their favorite characters’ Zodiac Signs and change their Jobs as they see it. Not only that, players can change between characters on the fly.
In this definitive version of the XII experience, players can enjoy Vaan and his friends’ journey once more, without the clunky combat and a few upgrades. However, the story remains the same. It receives a playscore of 8.35
CAPCOM’s Monster Hunter doesn’t really fit in the JRPG scene. It has no long-winded storyline or any quirky characters as party members. Instead, it takes lowly hunters into a boss-rush slash heavy grindfest that constantly pushes you to upgrade your weapons and equipment to its full potential.
What separates Monster Hunter from most JRPGs is its action-oriented focus. You’ll be spending most of your time hunting monsters and wearing their skins as armor. Sounds morbid, yeah, but that’s how the franchise worked for almost a decade.
In World, the massive amount of content is unlike any Monster Hunter game ever released. More monsters, new worlds and not to mention the recent Iceborne expansion that almost felt like a whole new game. It’s one of CAPCOMs strongest achievement of last year and it keeps getting more content in the months to come. A playscore of 8.36
JRPGs grounded on reality are always welcome. SEGA’s animated take on the tactics and tragedies of war. The fourth main entry to their strategy RPG series. Building their legacy out of tactical freedom of their gameplay, Valkyria Chronicles 4 doesn't stray too far from the spirit of their first game.
A return to roots with new characters and the same cel-shaded graphics in a brand new engine, its small changes bring in just enough elements to make the game like new.
In this sequel, it refines the details of its addictive turn-based combat, while staying true to its creative and mature storytelling. It receives a playscore of 8.37
Nihon Falcom’s steampunk-ish JRPG takes you high into the skies. After suffering from a mysterious plane crash, get lost into its aerial paradise where magic and technology go hand in hand together.
The Ilvard Insurrection lets players control two unlikely characters. Ragna, the treasure hunter and Alwen, the vampire princess. Together they go on a typical JRPG adventure fulfilling quests and meeting strange residents in this kingdom of Ilvard.
Also known as Zwei II, this PC release was greatly expanded from its Japanese version. Adding English voice acting that breathes new life into the story. The game’s unique food-based mechanic also offers more room for replay value aside from the monster slaying grind.
It’s league’s better than the first Zwei title and deserves more attention to the JRPG scene. A playscore of 8.43
It’s not a JRPG list without one of Bandai Namco’s long-running Tales games. Since 1995, the Tales series continue to push the limits of their storytelling and combat. Each release builds upon the previous installment’s shortcomings and makes it better.
In Tales of Berseria, follow a band of heroes in a Kingdom corrupted by demonic disease. It’s the sixteenth entry to the ever growing Tales series and it serves as a prequel to Zestiria.
It’s still an RPG set in a third-person perspective. It still shares the same combat like most of the previous Tales titles, although with a little bit of modern tweaking. Its signature Linear Motion Battle System presents a dazzling array of fast-paced combat with every enemy encounter. It’s upcoming Tales of Arise will further improve the gameplay, story and world-building like never before. Berseria receives a playscore of 8.55
Straight from the desks of renowned Studio Ghibli animators, Level-5’s wholesome fantasy adventure presents nothing but charm and color to the overgrown palette of grim JRPGs.
This Remastered version of the 2013 original feels new, yet familiar. Explore the magical worlds with Oliver and his friends in High Definition. Its quality is now on par with its sequel, Revenant Kingdom. However, as a mere Remaster, this version has no added content aside from its improved visuals.
It was hailed as one of the best JRPGs on the PlayStation 3. It was praised for its cheerful storytelling, vibrant atmosphere and its fantastic soundtrack by Joe Hisaishi himself. It’s the kind of game for some sweet and temporary escapism. A playscore of 8.59
Nihom Falcom’s beloved The Legend of Heroes is a universe in its own right. Originally from the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3, this JRPG continues to embrace the signature turn-based battles the genre was known for.
As a direct sequel to the original Trails of Cold Steel, it begins one month after its ending. It takes players once again into the shoes of Rean Schwarzer and his adventures in the middle of a crossfire between a gripping civil war.
Unlike the first game and Cold Steel III, the main character doesn’t succumb to attending military classes. Instead, it takes players into a traditional ‘traveling around the world’ journey with a cast of memorable characters. After all, it’s a JRPG and what’s not to love about adventures? A playscore of 8.59
Normally, we’d separate similar series in our rankings, but Nihom Falcom’s The Legend of Heroes series has two different stories set in one universe. Each veering away from its main premise. Just like Final Fantasy, every Legend of Heroes has a different character to play and a whole new chapter to uncover.
In Trails In The Sky 3rd, it takes place waaaay before Cold Steel and it involves the series’ iconic Septian Priest, Kevin Graham, in his quest to recover a mysterious artifact hidden in the world. It takes place after the events of the Second Chapter’s Estelle and Joshua.
The turn-based gameplay is still similar to its predecessors, with the addition of a few extra elements in combat. But combat isn’t Trails in the Sky’s strongest aspect, it’s in its characters and story. Fans of the series are expected to meet a few returning heroes and villains from the previous entries. A playscore of 8.59
Square Enix’s latest Dragon Quest release was considered as the best of the series yet and it was one of the strongest contenders for Game of the Year last year. XI excels with its fantastic presentation of living the JRPG fantasy.
Save the world of Erdrea and take on the role of the brave Hero as you explore this magical world full of monsters to slay and secrets to discover. For added gimmick, players can switch between 2D and 3D visuals on the fly before any combat encounter.
It was mostly celebrated for its heartwarming story and its overwhelming amount of memorable characters. Unlike the Definitive Edition, the PC version lacks a few bonus content that adds unique scenarios for your party members. Nonetheless, it’s still an adventure worth taking. It has a playscore of a 8.73
The third and final Square Enix title on this list. Square’s open-world JRPG has a lot in store for die-hard sandbox fans and JRPG veterans. It’s the ideal platform for players who love Minecraft, but want more of that choose-your-own-adventure type of journey.
It’s a sequel to 2016’s Dragon Quest spin-off which takes us into a whole new Dragon Quest universe where we rebuild it’s fallen world after an apocalypse.
This sequel features the addition of a few interesting biomes and fancy gameplay improvements that wouldn’t be intimidating for new and young players. Despite it being a sandbox game with unlimited possibilities, it’s still a JRPG. You build your character, customize him from top to bottom and let your hero explore a massive open world. It has a playscore of 8.74