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June 1, 2022

Best jRPGs on PC | gamepressure.com

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01 June 2022, 01:00




author: Paul Musiolik


The best jRPG games on PC - which ones are worth a try in 2022? Here's a list of those upcoming and already released.










After many years, the genre of jRPG has broken through to the mainstream awarenes, which has brought a small renaissance in this world. This was in large part due to the openness of Japanese creators to the platform of PC. This year, similarly to previous ones, is brimming with interesting releases.

Japanese RPGs for years suffered a patch of infantile games, and oftentimes were considered titles mostly for kids. However, the increasing popularity of the genre on PC brought about a change of its perception, which, in turn, made the developers keener on releasing their games on this highly absorbent market.

This had a very direct impact on the number of games releasing every year. This success, as any, does come with a downside, though – the number of released games means that it's increasingly hard to identify worthwhile games among the slew of average wannabies. So, we've prepared a list of the best jRPGs of 2022, both already released and still upcoming. Let's jump right in.


Best jRPGs on PC 2022

Rune Factory 5

  1. Developer: Marvelous
  2. Publisher: XSEED Games
  3. Release Date: March 22, 2022

The Rune Factory series evolved from the seed that the incredibly popular Harvest Moon was. Running the farm is the main focus, but there's a lot of typical RPG aspects, and care was also taken to ensure that fans of dating with the people from a nearby town were not left behind.

We had to wait a bit for the fifth installment of the series, but after a slight delay, it debuted on Switch at the end of March this year. Compared to the prequel, the mechanics related to fighting and catching monsters have been improved. The developers also made sure that newcomers to the series get more detailed explanations of the numerous mechanics that constitute this game. Rune Factory 5 has been received quite warmly by the community and if you are looking for an extensive game that will allow you to connect the lines of an adventurer, settler and a lover, then you're under the right address.



Triangle Strategy

  1. Developer: Square Enix / Artdink
  2. Publisher: Nintendo
  3. Release Date: March 4, 2022

Another game by Team Asano debuted on the Switch a few weeks ago. And just like the previous games, it has garnered great reviews and recognition from players and critics. The announcements of the spiritual successor of Final Fantasy Tactics were not exaggerated and Triangle Strategy is currently one of the most interesting games in this genre available.


When we're not engaged in turn-based battles with opponents, we follow a captivating story full of intrigue. The choices that the game offers us lead the story in different directions, resulting in availability of certain characters. In addition, our deeds impact on the development of our hero and determine what kind of ruler they will become. The whole thing is as good as it sounds on paper, which is confirmed by the favorable reviews and opinions of players. At the moment, the only downside is the availability of the production only on Nintendo Switch.



Edge of Eternity

  1. Developer: Midgar Studio
  2. Publisher: Playdius
  3. Release Date: June 8, 2021 (PC), February 10, 2022 (Consoles)

The French love Japanese games. Their passion is also expressed in the games they make. Edge of Eternity, the game by the French team Midgar Studio, was financed by a fundraiser on Kickstarter a few years ago. Last year, the game finally arrived on PC, and a few months ago, also on consoles. And in both cases, the reception was mixed.

The gameplay in Edge of Eternity is very similar to the Final Fantasy series, from which it borrowed mainly turn-based battles. The case of exploration is a bit different. In End of Eternity, a vast world resembling those from the Xenoblade series, especially Xenoblade Chronicles X, awaits us. The opinions of players indicate a correct production at best, distinguished primarily by the sound design. However, if you're looking for less known titles in this genre and want to give this production a chance, there's a good chance that you will enjoy it.



Babylon's Fall

  1. Developer: PlatinumGames
  2. Publisher: Square Enix
  3. Release Date: March 3, 2022

PlatinumGames has been experimenting with games for many years. However, they are extremely loyal to one genre – the action RPG. Babylon's Fall draws handfuls from the studio's experience and employs the lately fashionable game-as-service scheme to retain players for much longer.

What was supposed to distinguish the game from the competition is, above all, an interesting story and a graphic style strongly inspired by actual paintings. Unfortunately, it is an average game in terms of technicalities, and gameplay based on the GAAS mechanics scared many people away. The reviews that were mostly not kind to the game were, however, praising the combat system, which doesn't go below a certain level. There are legitimate concerns about the life of the game, but PlatinumGames says it has no intention of abandoning Babylon's Fall and will continue to be supported for a long time to come.



Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster

  1. Developer: Square Enix
  2. Publisher: Square Enix
  3. Release Date: February 23, 2022

Final Fantasy VI is one of the best installments in the Final Fantasy series, so no one should be surprised that the pixel-powered remaster of this installment was most anticipated. After a short delay, it launched at the end of February, offering players improved character sprites, new soundtrack and a re-styled scene at the Opera that looks a lot like Octopath Traveler.


The sixth installment of the Final Fantasy series boasts a captivating story about the struggle of a resistance movement known as The Returners with the Gestahl Empire, using the power of the mysterious Espers. FF6 gives us as many as 14 characters whose stories are intertwined during several dozen hours of the game. The mature plot, extensive gameplay capabilities and incredibly good sound setting are the core that makes this game a thrill to play even several generations after the original premiere (the game debuted on the SNES in 1994!).



Crystar

  1. Developer: Gemdrops
  2. Publisher: NIS America
  3. Release Date: March 29, 2022 (Nintendo Switch)

Three years after its premiere on PC and PS4, Crystar arrived on Nintendo, and it was another attempt to conquer the action-RPG genre by the Japanese studio FuRyu. The Switch edition had to be properly adapted to the capabilities of the hardware, which resulted in some downgrade of the visual setting.

The game focuses on one of four characters that we can control. Combining an action RPG and a typical dungeon crawler, the game takes us through locations in search of better equipment. The game depicts an animated story set in Purgatory, showing some shocking plot twists every now and then. Of course, you have to bear in mind that the game is thoroughly Japanese and serves many tropes that are present in that culture. The game isn't a milestone for the genre and it's easy to miss it among similar titles, but if you're feeling brave, you should give it a chance.



Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream

  1. Developer: Gust
  2. Publisher: Koei Tecmo
  3. Release Date: February 25, 2022

The Atelier series is one of the oldest Japanese RPGs. The twenty-third installment in this series remains true to the original and thus combines the classic mechanics of the genre with running an alchemical business, and spicing up the game with simulation aspects.

During her journey, the main character not only fights with opponents, raising her levels, but also looks for ingredients for new potions, trades with the merchants she meets and discovers cities where she gains access to new potions. The colorful and eye-catching visuals complement the robust gameplay, and the soundtrack completes the entire project. Atelier Sophie 2 is definitely a good installment for starting your adventure with the series.



Coromon

  1. Developer: TRAGSoft
  2. Publisher: Freedom Games
  3. Release Date: March 31, 2022 (PC)

The Pokemon series only had to compete with Digimons for many years. However, recent years have brought a real flooding of games inspired by the iconic brand. Coromon is one of the productions inspired by the GameBoy Advance era, aiming to reflect that era as faithfully as possible in the Pokemon series.

And, according to post-release opinions, it works out quite well. There's a large world to explore, full of locations and stories that can learn. There are many creatures to be caught, which we then develop through skirmishes, increasing their combat prowess. Of course, the farther we get, the stronger our Pokemons become. People who played Pokemon Fire Red will feel instantly at home in Coromon, which alone should be a sufficient recommendation.



Ragnarok: The Lost Memories

  1. Developer: Gravity
  2. Publisher: Gravity Interactive
  3. Release Date: April 13, 2022

The Ragnarok series will probably be known for most players as the hugely popular MMORPG, which peaked in popularity around two decades ago. Since then, the Gravity team has been trying as hard as they could to repeat the success, but the results were rather average. Ragnarok: The Lost Memories tries to combine the iconic brand with a card game.

The classic style of two-dimensional sprites has been neatly combined with a classic exploration, complete with modernized combat. Characters attack on their own, and the player, choosing one of many cards from the deck, makes special attacks. In addition to the typical story, there are also additional dungeons, raids and special events, during which we gain new items, develop heroes and collect cards. Ragnarok: The Lost Memories was first released on smartphones, but is now also available on PC.



Monark

  1. Developer: Lancarse
  2. Publisher: NIS America
  3. Release Date: February 22, 2022

The Lancarse studio, known for Lost Dimension, hired people closely related to the Shin Megami Tensei series to give us a game strongly inspired by the classics. The key role in the production was played by Ryutaro Ito, who has produced SMT: Devil Summoner.

The gameplay in Monark refers to the classics of genre – we explore the world, talk to characters and slowly discover the story. In combat, apart from the heroes, we can also use summoned demons. In addition to the standard grind, the protagonist is also described with a special Ego stat, which affects the growth of individual features, and these affect the possibilities of demon domination. The huge impact of the Shin Megami Tensei series is clearly visible here, and although it is inferior when it comes to execution, the Monark is still worth the players' attention.



Neptunia x Senran Kagura Ninja Wars

  1. Developer: Tamsoft / Compile Heart
  2. Publisher: Idea Factory
  3. Release Date: May 11, 2022 (PC)

Compile Heart and Tamsoft have joined forces to create a crossover of their most popular brands. The characters from the Neptunia series, which humorously parodies the gaming industry, go together with the heroines of Senran Kagura to a new world – Gamninjustri.

The gameplay went more in the direction of Senran Kagura. Choosing one of the ten available heroines, we travel the world and fight in real time with hordes of enemies. As befits a jRPG, we gain experience and develop a character that becomes more and more powerful. An interesting mechanic is the option to change the heroine in real time and link attacks into combos at the same time. The gameplay is complemented by the meditation mode, combined with mini-games that allow you to further develop the character.



Zenith The Last City

  1. Developer: Ramen VR
  2. Publisher: Ramen VR
  3. Release Date: January 27, 2022 (Early Access)

The dynamic development of virtual reality allows for the creation of increasingly ambitious productions. Ramen VR studio decided to approach the subject of MMORPG games in an extremely bold way, creating an online production that we can play in VR.

Zenith The Last City has been available for several weeks in Early Access, which means that the production is dynamically developing and, according to players' comments, it's slowly taking its final shape. The gameplay is showwn from a first-person perspective to increase immersion. Traveling through the virtual world, we discover new places, fight enemies and develop our hero. History revolves around a mysterious Corruption. The whole thing doesn't get bored too quickly, the main plot is supplemented by procedurally generated side quests and numerous activities not directly related to combat.



Chrono Trigger

  1. Developer: Square Enix
  2. Publisher: Square Enix
  3. Release Date: February 27, 2018

Chrono Trigger belongs to an elite group of Japanese RPGs, which, despite the passage of more than two decades, have not aged a bit. The game is perfect in every aspect, surprising from the very beginning with a multi-threaded story, as well as many optional threads and secrets. The great scenario and characters are also followed by the character development system and combat, which is not boring even at the hundredth attempt.

The production originally debuted on the SNES, only to land on the PlayStation a few years later. After less than a decade, the Chrono Trigger could be enjoyed by owners of the Nintendo DS console, who received a version expanded with new content. In 2018, a version for smartphones and PCs appeared, although the latter was criticized for the poor quality. After many patches, though, it's safe to say that the port quality is finally worthy of this legendary game.



Final Fantasy 7 Remake

  1. Developer: Square Enix
  2. Publisher: Square Enix
  3. Release Date: April 10, 2020

Something that seemed impossible for many years became a fact in 2020. Square Enix has prepared a remake of Final Fantasy VII, the most popular installment in the series. The game not only had to face fierce competition, but above all, confront huge expectations from the fans. Fortunately, the authors managed to come out on top and we received the best jRPG in recent years.

Square Enix deserves enormous credit for the risk that has been taken with it. Instead of faithfully recreating the original story, it was decided to divide the whole project into several parts and significantly expand each of them. Thus, the first part devotes much more time to the city of Midgar than the original from 1997, adding a lot of new stuff there. The combat system also moved towards action, introducing an active pause while selecting commands. If there's a game that will certainly still be discussed in 10 years, it will undoubtedly be the Final Fantasy VII remake project.



Final Fantasy 10

  1. Developer: Virtuous
  2. Publisher: Square Enix
  3. Release Date: December 26, 2013

The tenth installment of the Final Fantasy series evokes rather ambivalent feelings among the IP's most loyal fans. Regardless of the opinions about the game, however, we cannot deny its enormous popularity, dating back to the PlayStation 2 era. The gigantic graphical leap left the players' with memories of a fantastic adventure in which religion, technology and a hint of mystery collided. Since its release, the production has been remastered on PS3 and PS Vita, and later also on PS4, PC, Switch and Xbox One.

From the entire series, Final Fantasy X has the most intricate combat system, based on the Active Time Battle concept. Added to this is the acclaimed character development system based on Sphere Grid. Despite high linearity of the story, the game opens up a lot of additional locations and secrets towards the end of the story, rewarding us for ramming through subsequent locations at break-neck pace. On the other side, there's the story, which, to put it mildly, is average. Nevertheless, FFX has defended itself well against the passage of time and even in 2022 it's worth the attention of a novice fan of the jRPG genre.



Final Fantasy 15

  1. Developer: Square Enix
  2. Publisher: Square Enix
  3. Release Date: November 29, 2016

The history of Final Fantasy XV dates back to 2006, when the Fabula Nova Crystalis project, which was to include Final Fantasy Versus XIII, an exclusive title for PlayStation 3, was announced during the E3. Years of problems with tools and engine, successive delays and years of silence generated serious doubts about this project. Eventually, the title returned to the world of the living in 2013 as Final Fantasy XV. We had to wait another three years for the release, when the game finally hit PS4 and Xbox One (later also PC).

Hajime Tabata, who took the project over, decided to change a lot from the original plan. Part fifteen went towards an action game inside a huge, open world. Not everyone liked it, but when it comes to gameplay, FF XV does defend itself. Surprisingly, the story is not as bad as people used to say. It was sort of disturbing to see how much the game changed shortly before the premiere and after it – new things were constantly added, changed and removed with subsequent updates. Ultimately, the production is a lot different than after its release. If turn-based combat is too slow for someone, then FF XV will be a good alternative, right after FFVII Remake.



Persona 4: Golden

  1. Developer: Atlus
  2. Publisher: SEGA
  3. Release Date: June 13, 2020 (PC version)

Owners of PC had to wait for seven years for Atlus and SEGA to bring Persona outside the PS Vita ecosystem. During this time, the title became a cult-classic, raising the Persona brand to the highest league of jRPGs. The combination of classic exploration and turn-based combat, with options for developing bonds between heroes and catching demons was a breath of fresh air for many. Although, let's face it, Persona 4: Golden popularized something that the Shin Megami Tensei brand has been doing for over 20 years.

While the story in the game may not appeal to everyone, the gameplay itself, which is the essence of jRPG, ultimately pulls the whole thing off. The enormity of demons to catch and train, options for combining them, engaging skirmishes and demanding exploration are the core of this production. Even people who are allergic to Japanese animations were able to appreciate and have fun with this title, which should be a sufficient argument for Persona 4: Golden.



Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom

  1. Developer: Level-5
  2. Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  3. Release Date: March 28, 2018

The first installment of Ni no Kuni, which debuted on PlayStation 3, was quite a surprise in the jRPG world. Studio Level-5 has prepared a genre representative that is classic to the core during the period that most needed such games. Therefore, when the continuation was announced, expectations were very high. Unfortunately, the reality painfully verified them, which, however, doesn't change the fact that Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom is quite an interesting blend of ideas.

The sequel isn't related to the predecessor. In addition to a completely new story revolving around the rebuilding of the kingdom, we've got a completely new gameplay format. The fights are held in real time, and apart from them, we get to command a small army during some directed skirmishes. In addition, it's worth mentioning the ability of expanding the castle, which is the basis of the entire game. Such a huge revolution wasn't welcomed too warmly by players who didn't like lower difficulty level. Although this, especially for jRPG freshmen, can be a huge advantage. Same as the charming art style and the soundtrack.



Upcoming Games

Showa American Story

  1. Developer: Nekcom Entertainment
  2. Publisher: 2P Games
  3. Release Date: 2023

One of the greatest advantages of indie creators is their unlimited creativity, allowing them to tackle topics and themes that major publishers avoid. In the case of Showa American Story, we have an alternative history where Japan has culturally dominated the US, creating an interesting mix of Japanese-American 1980s.

The gameplay, however, takes place years after the peak of development of the civilization – a decade after a mysterious event that brought hordes of zombies into the world. Our heroine, Choko, travels through the vast territories of the USA in her RV, trying to survive. And she will have the right tools for that. Showa American Story represents the action RPG genre, so we can expect a dynamic combat system with hosts of enemies, using a katana and firearms acquired in the world. Unfortunately, we don't know the exact release date at the moment. Let's hope that the developers will make it by the end of next year.



Star Ocean The Divine Force

  1. Developer: tri-Ace
  2. Publisher: Square Enix
  3. Release Date: 2022

The Star Ocean series seems to have reached its peak with its second installment, released in 1998. Been a few years, right? However, things were only getting worse since then, and when the next installment releases after many years, fans promise themselves that it will be better this time and the studio will finally recover. Star Ocean 5 didn't work out, maybe Star Ocean: The Divine Force will be successful?

The announcement of the title left fans of the series with mixed feelings. On the one hand, the world looks impressive both in terms of dimensions and location design. On the other hand, the visual setting is average at best. Not to mention the design of main characters. Let's hope that Tri-Ace studio, famous for creating successful combat systems in its games, will try hard enough and the sixth installment of the Star Ocean series, which is due to debut this year, will be a pleasant surprise that will bring the series back to glory.



Sea of Stars

  1. Developer: Sabotage
  2. Publisher: Sabotage
  3. Release Date: 2022

Inspirations from the 16-bit era are extremely popular among indie developers. Few, however, can capture the spirit of those games. The Sabotage team, which has, among others, given us fantastic The Messenger, seems to understand what made us love their games. Sea of Stars draws handfuls of inspiration from the classic, turn-based jRPGs of the past. If your first association with a game is Chrono Trigger and the Dragon Quest series, then you know it's good.

Interestingly, Sea of Stars will be linked with the previously mentioned The Messenger. In the game, we will play as two heroes (out of six generally available), who are the only ones to wield the power to defeat the sinister Fleshmancer. The game is set in an open, two-dimensional world, through which we will move between locations. The combat, although turn-based, will focus more on developing the right tactics, and this should solve the pain of tedious grind. Releasing this year on PC and Switch.



Digimon Survive

  1. Developer: Hyde
  2. Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  3. Release Date: July 29, 2022

Digimon Survive was revealed more than four years ago, and what seemed like an imminent release from Bandai Namco eventually turned into painful anticipation for any new information. Fortunately, the game is alive and well, and will be available for purchase at the end of July this year. Anything to look forward to?

Digimon Survive is supposed to be a mix of RPG, survival and visual novel, offering several story paths that we will explore depending on the decisions we make during the game. Digimon's evolutions will also be related to this, which is to encourage repeating the game. The story will throw us into an alternative world full of creatures that, like in the previous games of the series, we will catch and develop in combat.



Paul Musiolik | Gamepressure.com





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