What does JRPG stand for?

JRPG stands for 'Japanese Role-Playing Game'. They are traditionally story-driven adventure games developed in Japan, featuring a group of pre-defined characters journeying on a quest fraught with danger. Typical traits of the genre include turn-based combat, fantasy elements (especially magic), extensive character and/or squad customization, and character progression or 'levelling' systems. 

Final Fantasy VII Remake

This is no mere remaster of this classic PlayStation JRPG juggernaut. Nearly every part feels like a love letter to fans: the visuals are light-years beyond even the pre-rendered cinematics of the original, while the music has been carefully updated and re-orchestrated to modern standards.

Remake’s new battle system will appeal to new players and fans alike with a blend of contemporary real-time button presses and slowed-time, menu-driven special attacks, spells, and all-powerful limit breaks. Both halves fuel each other to make for strategic, dynamic combat encounters.

Tales of Arise

The latest entry in the ongoing ‘Tales’ franchise, Tales of Arise tells story of two intrepid heroes, each born on different words, but united by a desire to challenge fate and build a new future.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters, an intuitive and rewarding combat system and a captivating story, with Tales of Arise developer Bandai Namco Studios aims to capitalise on decades of experience in the role-playing genre to deliver a memorable, first class JRPG experience. 

Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster

Experience a genre-defining forerunner to the Persona series and reawaken your inner demon in a fully updated version of the acclaimed ATLUS classic Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne.  

What begins as a normal day in Tokyo turns out to be everything but, when the ‘Conception’ - an ethereal apocalypse - is invoked.  The remains of the world are swallowed by chaos, as a demonic revolution descends into a broken city.  Caught between a battle of Gods and demons, the choices you make can bring life, rebirth, or death, and determine who triumphs.  

Scarlet Nexus

Travel to a far distant future where mankind has managed to synthesise superhuman ‘psionic’ abilities and the earth has been overrun by a group of deranged mutant entities known only as the ‘Others’.

Take on the role of Yuito Sumeragi, a new recruit to the OSF aiming to become an elite psionic like the one who saved him as a child. Armed with a talent in psycho-kinesis, explore the futuristic city of New Himuka and uncover the mysteries of a Brain Punk future caught between technology and psychic abilities.

Persona 5 Royal

With each new entry (and eventual re-release), the Persona series has steadily gained popularity on the back of its heady blend of dungeon crawling, monster capturing, and management of daytime social/romance commitments.

This time, Japanese high schoolers use their newly-awakened personas to change the actions of villains by diving into their subconscious. The Royal version adds even more content and quality-of-life updates, giving you an astounding number of hours for the asking price.

Final Fantasy XV

Set off on an unusual road trip where a massive, fantastical open world of magic, machines, and monsters await. Join Prince Noctis and his entourage as they travel across the dangerous kingdom of Lucis in a mission to reclaim the throne.

A real-time battle system which seamlessly transitions from non-combat situations makes this sprawling quest as beautiful to watch as it is fun to play.

Soul Hackers 2

Amidst the glimmer of neon lights, technological advancement causes humans to be consumed by commercial convenience. In the shadows, a war between the Yatagarasu and the Phantom Society is brewing, Devil Summoners who harness the otherworldly powers of 'Demons'.

Existing in the secret sea of humanity’s data, a digital hivemind has evolved into sentience: Aion. Observing humankind from afar, Aion calculates that a world-ending disaster is imminent and creates two agents to combat against it: Ringo and Figue.

Are all JRPGs alike?

Not at all! The JRPG has evolved significantly since its early days and now encompasses a range of sub-genres, including tactical RPGs and action RPGs, which absorb elements from other genres. The lines can get blurry, but this list focuses on more traditional titles within the genre.

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

There’s perhaps no more perfect distillation of the traditional JRPG formula than Dragon Quest XI. The acclaimed sequel deftly mixes turn-based sword-swinging and spell-hurling combat with world-ending stakes and a cast of characters that personify what has made this series a mainstay for decades. 

Despite ticking nearly all the JRPG boxes, the sheer size and variety of the places you’ll see in this lovingly hand-crafted world makes it a joy to explore. “Traditional” need not feel antiquated, and DQXI pays homage to the way Japanese fantasy RPGs used to be.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA

The critically acclaimed eighth mainline title in the long-running Ys series, finds hero Adol shipwrecked and stranded on a cursed island. There, he and the other shipwrecked passengers form a small community to fight back against the isolated island’s fearsome fauna.

At the same time, Adol begins to dream of a mysterious blue-haired maiden living in an unknown world. Take on the role of Adol as he unravels the riddle of the cursed isle and the maiden Dana.

NieR: Automata

Explore a truly unique vision of far-future Earth from celebrated creator Yoko Taro. Take control of YorHa androids 2B, 9S and A2 and face down a dangerous machine threat using a range of melee, ranged and hacking abilities.

Told in Taro’s signature non-linear fashion, NieR: Automata spins a high-concept tale of survival, subterfuge and personal struggle as androids question their purpose and venture far beyond the realm of their programming. 

Kingdom Hearts III

Team up with Disney heroes and unlock the power of the Keyblade!

Through the power of positivity and friendship, Sora, Donald and Goofy unite with iconic Disney-Pixar characters old and new to overcome tremendous challenges and persevere against the darkness threatening their worlds.

Befriend and join heroes from Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Big Hero 6, Tangled, Frozen and more.

Are all RPGs made in Japan JRPGs?

Not quite. Dark Souls, Nioh and Dragon's Dogma, for example, are hugely successful RPGs from Japanese studios, but they're not generally considered JRPGs. Likewise, there are games made outside Japan that many would consider JRPGs. It's best to think of JRPGs as a genre with a strong - but not exclusive - footing in Japanese culture. 

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Travel to the town of Ijincho, Yokohama and follow the exploits of protagonist Ichiban Kasuga and his allies in a brand-new chapter of the long-running and hugely successful Yakuza series.

Featuring the biggest and most outrageous story yet, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is powered by an all-new ‘Live Command RPG Battle’ system, as well as all the quirky side-content that the series is renowned for.

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

In this gorgeously-realized anime-inspired adventure, an estranged boy king narrowly avoids regicide and must rebuild his kingdom by uniting the downtrodden, guided by a cast of colourful advisors doubling as battle party members. 

More spiritual successor than direct sequel, NNK2 is brimming with ways to lose yourself for hours: Lead armies into battle, slug it out in smaller turn-based skirmishes while exploring vast lands, build up your castle grounds, and befriend common folk to help regain your throne. 

Valkyria Chronicles 4

A tense blend of turn-based and real-time strategy RPG elements, Valkyria Chronicles 4 starts every round on a tactical map, then dives seamlessly down onto the battlefield for individual actions. Take direct control of each unit, avoiding incoming fire and manually targeting enemies to exploit class-based weaknesses.

Actions for every unit cost a fixed amount of command points, only refreshed between rounds, making every decision strategic and crucial, especially when death can remove characters from your roster - permanently.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

Experience the world of Erion as it hurtles towards the end of days and warring kingdoms clash for control in a stylish, story-driven action adventure. Take on the role of five characters and traverse an enchanted realm, filled with mythical beasts and gargantuan monsters.

Uncover the drama and conflict at the heart of Erion through five intertwining stories brought to life with beautiful, hand-drawn artwork, stunning interlinked environments, and frenetic varied combat.