whatoplay presents the Top 15 Upcoming JRPGs for 2021, arranged by release dates. Check out whatoplay.com to see the complete, updated list of all future releases. For more upcoming games, you could check out our page All Upcoming Games.
Adol's adventures continue in this 9th entry to the Ys series. In Balduq, Adol faces yet another curse as he and his crew are turned into Monstrums. Using their new supernatural gifts, they venture to face Grimwald in his quest to consume the city. Released in Japan last September, it's already earned an outstanding score from Famitsu for its exploration and well-balanced difficulty. Western fans will catch it first on the PS4 on February 21st, with PC and Switch releases later in 2021.
2. Harvest Moon: One World on PS4 and Nintendo Switch
The Harvest Moon series has always been that fun and cozy JRPG. But in this latest entry to Natsume's rebooted farmlife series, there's a lot more to look forward to than bringing up grandad's farm. It's a globetrotting adventure as you travel from world to world in search of Harvests whisps that will help restore the agricultural balance. With a variety of seeds, animals, and biomes to explore, it's coming out on the PS4 and Switch on March 2nd.
Take a look back on Nier's past in this refreshed prequel to Yoko Taro's breakout spinoff. Nier's status as a JRPG may be a sticky subject, but it is a hard name to ignore when it comes to lists of Japanese titles. This version of Replicant brings massive updates to the 2010 title that was available exclusively in Japan. It takes the original plotline and melds it with Automata's modern designs. Expect better graphics and combat when it comes out on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on April 23rd.
A marriage between new visuals and classic gameplay, Edge of Eternity is an indie love letter to the genre. Created by Midgar Studio, the small team of developers wears their inspirations on their sleeves. It tells the story of Heryon, a world torn apart by a war between magic and technology. With modern character designs and faithfulness to the turn-based combat-system, it's worth checking for both new and old JRPG fans. Currently, on Steam Early Access, it officially releases on PC, PS4, and Xbox One Spring 2021.
5. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster on PS4 and Nintendo Switch
Another classic is getting a modern revamp next year, and this time it's SMT's apocalyptic installment. Set to release 17 years after its original debut, Nocturne's remaster comes with additional voice-acted cutscenes, and adjustments to its controversial difficulty. With the merciful setting, players can focus on finding all the endings without too much pushback from the game's challenging AI. The critically acclaimed title will make its return in the first half of next year on the Switch and PS4.
6. Chained Echoes on PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch
Paying tribute to the JRPG formula that we grew up loving. From developer Matthias Linda, it tells the story of a group of heroes out to end the war between Valandis' three kingdoms. Taking pages off Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger, it features fast-paced turn-based battles, tons of items, and a complex skill system. All of it told in SNES-style 16-bit visuals that's absolutely mesmerizing. It releases on PC, PS4, and Switch in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The latest IP from Bandai Namco is an action RPG where psionic powers and technology combine. Set in a "brainpunk" world where tech is driven right into the minds of citizens, play as Yuito Sumerago and explore the futuristic city with his psycho-kinetic powers. A game five years in the making, it's a visually stunning spectacle. Promising fast-paced hack and slash action and a union of 2D and 3D styles, it comes out on PC, PS4, Xbox One and the new gen consoles in 2021.
Crafted on a brand new engine, the latest Tales game is nothing like you've ever seen before. The seventeenth entry to Bandai Namco's JRPG series opens itself up to the adoration of a wider audience. But, while it looks different, they still promise us a combat experience that's faithful to the series' Linear Motion battle system. It's not exactly open world, but its varying fields will surely have a more spacious feel. It's set to release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2021.
9. Cris Tales on PS5 and Xbox Series X
A game from Dreams Uncorporated, Cris Tales offers a unique perspective on the classic JRPG formula. While it lacks the usual aesthetic we expect from the genre, it clearly draws from its traditions while challenging them in new ways. Playing as the time mage Crisbell, use her powers to stop time, examine the future, and make effective decisions in their turn-based battles. It's an expansive world of branching stories and innovative combat, it comes out on the PS5 and Series X in 2021.
Announced alongside the upcoming Nocturne remaster, Atlus is raising the stakes in the first main SMT title. Seemingly mirroring the state of today's world, V's ominous gameplay challenges us to reject all our gods and choose our own fate. SMT is one of Nintendo's biggest JRPG names and it's exciting to see what surprises they have in store for us in this exclusive Switch title. It's coming out sometime in 2021.
11. Rune Factory 5
After years of waiting, we have finally gotten a closer look at the action in Rune Factory's upcoming 5th installment. Known for putting combat and adventure alongside love and farming, all of that is seemingly still alive in this new entry. As an amnesiac peacekeeping ranger, get down to business in their gorgeous fantasy world. For a game long thought to be dead, it's entirely refreshing to see it back. It comes out on the Switch in 2021.
The next chapter in Square Enix's iconic JRPG series has been announced. Compared to XV’s modern world, this time we’re looking at a medieval high fantasy setting. Their latest trailer suggests a dive into an intriguing political story rife with grotesque monsters and gory scenes. It's definitely earned some comparisons to DMC and Witcher but fans are hoping to get more tactical battles. No release date yet but more details will arrive in 2021.
13. Digimon Survive on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch
Founded on Fire Emblem-like strategy, Digimon Survive was set to present their own approach to turn based RPGs. Telling the story of Takuma and Agumon's adventures in the cyberworld, it held a lot of promise for fans of the genre. Unfortunately, they've been largely held in suspense for its slated 2020 release. With talks of a structural reorganization within the game, we might have to hold breaths a little longer and hope it's worth the wait.
A spinoff of the main series, Relink will explore the roleplaying possibilities of the Granblue universe. Travel along with their party of heroes and embark on a journey riddled with ferocious monsters and terrifying bosses. To ensure quality and avoid public delay announcements, Cygames has not announced a release date for the PS4 title. With development going well though, 2021 may be a big enough window.
15. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes on PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5 and Xbox Series X
Murayama's RPG Suikoden finds its spiritual successor in this Kickstarter-backed title. Rabbit & Bears took to the crowdfunding platform to bring to life their vision. It's an homage to the Suikoden games, boasting city building features, guild systems, fascinating characters, and a story penned by Murayama himself. It also has 2.5D graphics which makes their traditional combat system come fully alive. Surpassing all their campaign stretch goals, it'll be quite a win for JRPG fans. No release date yet but it’s coming to the PC, Switch, PS5, and Series X.