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The top tier of JRPGs when it comes to story/combat?

Dragons Dogma (well wrpg made in japan :p ), Dark souls (same).

For more traditional jrpgs. .. Dragon Quest 11 (amazing) , Triangle Strategy, valkyria chronicals 1/4, Tales of Arise and Bersaria, SMT 5, and Persona 5, Y's 8 and 9
Trials of mana (probably not mentioned, it was great)


Xenoblade chronicles 2 was very underwhelming. I bought the first one on switch, and I will play it eventually but if its anything like 2 , nah. That game was worse then ff13 in the boring for the first 5 hours department.
Too many systems. A blah main character voice, and crap plot. All it had going for it was a pair of "assets" in one delightful red head. Also it was very very low resolution, blurry.

I really hope the remake of the first one is good and not full of those issues. People like it as it got a sequel. People like that shit sword art online too though so I am not hopeful. I can't stand games where you just sit there and let the computer battle for you. FF12 at least had involvement, and killer setting/leveling system.

Jrpgs have been in decline since 360/ps3 era. Meanwhile wrpgs have seen such games as Witcher 3, Kingdom Come deliverance, Greedfall, and some euro jank (but awesome) like Technomancer, and elex. Its still been very barren compared to ps360 years (well i guess you can count crappy mass effect andromeda, I don't, lol).

PS1 gen was best gen for jrpgs, followed by ps2. Hell even the animie games looked cooler and then went moe and shit in the ps3 era. Grandia series , Lunar, Persona 1-4, legend of legia , legend of dragoon, vandal hearts , vagrant story, xenogears, mega man legends, Parasite eve, FF 5-12, and Suikoden 1-5.
 
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Celcius

°Temp. member
Final Fantasy 7 is the GOAT JRPG. Both the original and the Remake.
Final Fantasy 14 is the GOAT MMO.
I'm going to put Persona 5 Royal in the top 3 JRPGs of all time as well.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
I'm gonna get some flak for this as its definitely debatable whether it qualifies as an rpg, but since I've seen it listed as such several times and I think it deserves some more love, especially in introducing certain visual novel aspects to the community I want to say 13 Sentinels Aegis Rim. Fantastic story and for me anyway, a really fun arcade style combat system that was quick and punchy, which felt great thematically as well. The art and sound design really round out a stellar package.

Some of my faves overall would be,
Shining Force 1/2/3
Dragon Quest franchise
FF IV-IX
Parasite Eve, Vagrant Story
Xenoblade Chronicles 1-2, haven't played X sadly, hopefully Nintendo gets on a Switch port
Phantasy Star 1,2 & 4
Shadow Hearts 1&2
Persona series
Yakuza franchise(Like a Dragon is muh fave tho)
Valkyrie Profile
SMT series and spinoffs

Honestly though I think it depends on what you want at the time and in general. Right now I'm going through smaller jrpgs to satiate that desire rather than longer games, I needed a break for the build up. Also, I've had a ton of fun with games that wouldn't be considered top tier but have plenty of heart and soul. I know most would poo-poo the stories since they aren't translated well or the usual fare but I don't always want a save the world schtick. Atelier, Nights of Azure, Tales Of, Valkyria Chronicles 1&4, tons of dungeon crawlers man the list goes on. I hope you manage to find something that does it for you.

Oh yeah! It had a low budget but Trials of Mana remake was among my favorite games of that year, I had such a good ol' fashioned time running through the story. Played it on PS4, might snag it on Switch to do it all again. I love the character art and the gameplay is just fun for me. Simple but fun combat and story.
Cute and based

 

Northeastmonk

Gold Member
Alundra - Story is pretty good with lots of depressing stories told along the way.
Star Ocean First Departure and Second Story . First Departure you can get on most current consoles. Second Story (Second Evolution) you’d have to get either by eBay for PS1 or PSP.
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together - Excellent tactics gameplay with dark mature storytelling.
Xenogears - I’m shocked by people who enjoy JRPGs and haven’t played this yet.
Lunar: the production quality alone is why this game is so amazing and how fresh it feels even by today’s standards.
Front Mission 3: excellent gameplay, story, and there’s a second campaign. One of my personal favorites.
Parasite Eve - it has great characters, an excellent setting, a cool/scientific story, and fun combat. Read the Parasite Eve novel too.
Final Fantasy VI - one of the best Final Fantasy games to me. Very cool setting and characters.
I didn’t mention Suikoden II or Chrono Trigger. That’s a lot so far. All of those I feel very comfortable recommending for someone wanting to play classic JRPGs.
 
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Guilty_AI

Gold Member
I'm gonna get some flak for this as its definitely debatable whether it qualifies as an rpg, but since I've seen it listed as such several times and I think it deserves some more love, especially in introducing certain visual novel aspects to the community.
Actually i'd argue most JRPGs are just visual novels with combat mechanics tacked on.
 
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Rambone

Member
Persona 5 Royal gets my vote. I'm going to go against the grain here and recommend some old school, try Suikoden. Suikoden has an amazing story, characters, music and combat is basically what you would expect from a Dragon Warrior or older Final Fantasy title.

Suikoden 1 Trailer:

Suikoden II is a banger as well
 

PhaseJump

Member
Both Xenoblades and the first two Golden Sun games top my list.


Play Shining the Holy Ark, if you haven't yet.


I just threw the game on Steam Deck to compare the emulation to real Saturn. No problems emulating it.

Sega is where Golden Sun came from.
 
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TheTony316

Member
Persona 5, FFVII-X + XIV and the Yakuza franchise are my all time favourites. Tried to get into Xenoblade Chronicles 2 but didn't like the combat, UI and Rex. Oh and i would love if Sony made a new Wild Arms or Legend of Dragoon.
 
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Petopia

Member
I feel like its been ages since I've played a good JRPG. I feel like Nier Automata and Dragon Quest 11-S were the last truly great ones I've experienced and both of those were from 2017. It feels like JRPGs have been in a heavy drought for over the last decade. Can you guys share your non-spoiler opinions on what you believe the greatest JRPGs of all time are in terms of either story or combat?

I've currently been playing Trails FC and while the character building/world building is really good, the game isn't doing it for me. The combat is very basic and the entire game has been one long side mission simulator. I'm still waiting for the amazing story that people claim it has (maybe most of the plot twists are in SC?). I've been thinking about trying out Xenoblade Chronicles, Xenogears or Final Fantasy 13-3 next but FC's massive slow burn has again killed my interest in giving the genre a chance. Has anyone played these and can suggest which one has the most mind blowing story among them?
Wait a minute automata is a jrpg?
 

Fools idol

Member
jRPG and good story rarely go together imo. They tend to be far to cliche and tropey as fuck.

Best stories:

FF6
Xenogears

If story is what you are after above all else then these two are all I would bother with.

That said I love the genre.. I like them for the sense of adventure and journey with wacky characters. I also prefer the traditional turn based combat offerings as they keep everything at a steady pace.

With the exception of Xenoblade Chronicles being more real time based, you can't go wrong with these:

DQ8
DQ11
FF9
Xenoblade chronicles (2 sucks)

a short and sweet list, but take it from someone who has played thousands of jRPG's, there really are a lot of duds and time wastes. I would only recommend the Persona series if you don't mind all the bizarre social dating crap that is involved, along with even more extremely annoying characters.
 
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PeteBull

Member
From less known but supergood psx classics:

Star Ocean: The Second Story and its remaster from psp The Second Evolution here intro to not spoil too much
and ofc Vagrant Story intro again to hype u up
 

Saber

Member
I would list Shinning Force 3, Valkyria Chronicles, Dragon Quest XI, Personna 5, Shin Megami Tensei and Valkyrie Profile.

There are probably others, but those are the ones I remember.
 
Persona 5 Royal gets my vote. I'm going to go against the grain here and recommend some old school, try Suikoden. Suikoden has an amazing story, characters, music and combat is basically what you would expect from a Dragon Warrior or older Final Fantasy title.

Suikoden 1 Trailer:

Suikoden II is a banger as well
No other jrpgs, imo, beat the scope and awesomeness that was Suikoden 1 and 2. Even its's sequels didn't come close. Sad, since its locked in Konami jail with Metal gear, Silent Hill, Castlevania, and Contra, we will never see it again :(
 
The best JRPG of all time is Chrono Trigger, which still holds up well to this day.

There have frankly not been many good JRPGs since the PS2 era, and there are even fewer JRPGs with both good combat and a good story. Nier Automata and Replicant are great, but you've already played those. Persona/SMT have excellent combat but the stories are frankly poorly told these days. Persona 3 has a good story though. I hear Yakuza: Like a Dragon is good but I haven't played it yet.

Yasumi Matsuno's games have some of the best stories in the medium, though the combat can be a matter of taste. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (PSP), Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP, smartphones), Vagrant Story (PS1), and the often-overlooked Crimson Shroud (3DS). Final Fantasy XII is sort of a Matsuno game, but Square kicked him off the team halfway through development and the story suffered majorly for it - still a great game overall though.

Final Fantasy VI, VII, and IX are the best in the series (VII Remake is an atrocity that completely undermines everything about the original). Dragon Quest V has the best story in the series, Dragon Quest VIII and XI are also good.

But yeah for modern JRPGs frankly it's a wasteland. The devs all doubled down on appealing to adolescents and otaku freaks.
 

Karmic Raze

Member
I know I might get flak for saying this, but it’s probably my favorite JRPG ever… Scarlet Nexus. Beat in on GamePass recently and I am going to purchase the Ultimate Edition and run through it a second time and fix all of the mistakes I made the first time around. I didn’t beat the game the way I wanted to the first time either, resorting to dropping the difficulty for the final boss fight and using the plugin that keeps your health from reaching zero for about 5-6 regular enemies in Phase 12. Second play through will be soooo worth it, though. I love this game!
 
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Rambone

Member
No other jrpgs, imo, beat the scope and awesomeness that was Suikoden 1 and 2. Even its's sequels didn't come close. Sad, since its locked in Konami jail with Metal gear, Silent Hill, Castlevania, and Contra, we will never see it again :(

I agree! I enjoyed Suikoden 1+2 way more than I ever did any Final Fantasy games outside of maybe FF3 on SNES. The two games bring back a lot of strong memories. Flik and Viktor are my favorite characters in the series. I think any JRPG fan owes it to themselves to try these two titles, it would be a real tragedy to miss out on such an experience. I think the art style has really allowed Suikoden to age well, same goes for its combat system thanks to the free will option to keep combat flowing to a faster or more automated pace which helps when you run into situations where battle encounters are more frequent. I still think both games has some of the best and varied sound tracks of any game of that generation and perhaps beyond. I can't think of any game that has had so many music compilations made for it. In short, these games are masterpieces.

The situation with Konami these days is a sad one but for Suikoden fans the developers of those games are developing a spiritual successor which is called Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes (Not to be confused with Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising which is a 2D spinoff of sorts). I really really hope the characters are as memorable as they were in S1 and S2 along with having a top tier sound track. Eiyuden Chronicle Rising can be played now and Hundred Heroes will be coming out next year and is available to wish list on Steam.
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Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
I'd say the original FFVII is overall the highest quality in terms of story. Not so much the script or the depth, but the pacing.

Everyone thinks the big twist of that game is the infamous character death. But for me it was the later revelation that its a story with an unreliable narrator. The way the game slowly reveals tidbits about the antagonist is similarly brilliant, culminating in a truly spectacular flashback.

Its not perfect, of course. Cait Sith was and will always be one of the worst most pointless party members. But he barely has any lines and isn't voiced unlike, say, Teddie who never shuts the fuck up.
 
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