#1 Posted by JBG4 (430 posts) -

I wanted to start this thread because I have been searching lately for the best JRPG's with a free-roaming mostly open overworld. I wanted to throw this topic out there so hopefully all of us fans of this particular genre on the site would be able to recommend some of our favorite JPRG's of any-type to each other and I'm hoping it will lead to us discovering some new gems that we may have overlooked or had no clue about in the first place. So, thanks in advance, and if anyone has any favorites that fit into what I am looking for, they would be greatly appreciated.

Also, if you have any specific things you want to find in a JRPG post it here and myself, or someone else, will try to help.

#2 Posted by StarvingGamer (8472 posts) -
#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
  • Kingdom Hearts anything
  • Final Fantasy I, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XIII and some of the spin-offs (it's a lot to handle)
  • Mario anything
  • Quest 64 (and maybe the demake)
  • Phantasy Star anything
  • Pokemon anything
  • Pretty much any Dragon Quest game after the first two games (VI might be disappointing, but whatever)
  • Earthbound
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Star Ocean anything
  • Mana anything
  • Tales of Phantasia
  • Treasure of the Rudras
  • Illusion of Gaia
  • Breath of Fire anything
  • EVO Search for Eden
  • Terranigma
  • Lufia anything
  • Mystic Ark
  • Crystalis (the NES version, not the GBC version)
  • Faria
  • Lunar anything-that-isn't-Dragon-Song
  • Persona 4
  • Lost Odyssey
  • Panzer Dragoon Saga
  • Radiant Historia
  • Parasite Eve
#4 Posted by StarvingGamer (8472 posts) -

@JBG4 said:

I have been searching lately for the best JRPG's with a free-roaming mostly open overworld.

@Video_Game_King said:

  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Persona 4

:D:D:D

#5 Edited by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

Dragon Quest 9

Golden Sun

#6 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@StarvingGamer said:

@JBG4 said:

the best JRPG's

@Video_Game_King said:

  • Persona 4

@StarvingGamer said:

@JBG4 said:

with a free-roaming mostly open overworld

@Video_Game_King said:

  • Final Fantasy XIII

:D:D:D

Justified.

#7 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (2030 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: You can't just separate a phrase like that in the English language. He was talking specifically about "mostly" open world JRPG's. Had you quoted this part, it would have made sense:

@JBG4 said:

our favorite JPRG's of any-type

#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@SirOptimusPrime:

To be fair, the title says "Anything You Want".

#9 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (2030 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: That's fine, but that's not what the quote said, which is what you were replying to specifically. Sorry if I sound like an angry English professor, but my angry English teachers in high school would have ripped me to shreds over that. I guess I still have some of that shit left over in me.

#10 Posted by StarvingGamer (8472 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@SirOptimusPrime:

To be fair, the title says "Anything You Want".

Wasn't that in reference to our freedom to request JRPG recommendations of anything we want?

BAHAHAHA WHO SHALL WIN THE INTERNET TODAY!?

#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@SirOptimusPrime:

Keep in mind that I don't speak English. Like, at all.

#12 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (2030 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Argh, I really don't want to keep doing this. Yeah, but can you separate complete ideas in other languages into smaller ideas branching off of those larger ideas just to suit your argument?

Now I'm factually curious rather than trying to be argumentative.

#13 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19377 posts) -

Favorites:

  • The World Ends With You
  • Persona 3 FES
  • Persona 4
  • Golden Sun series (have not played the 3rd one)
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
  • Radiant Historia

None of these really fit under the description requested by the OP (except for maybe TWEWY?).

#14 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

I like this thread...I like this thread a lot...

You can probably get some ideas from two lists I made recently (JRPGs I have and haven't played). While not all of them have an overworld, the vast majority of them do. I also can't speak for the content of the RPGs I haven't played. Some of them are highly recommended by a lot of people, while others are on the list because they look interesting to me.

As for my personal favourites, I'd recommend FF7, Chrono Trigger (which has multiple overworlds) and Xenogears. I also recommend Grandia, Chrono Cross and Shadow Hearts, although they don't have an overworld.

Feel free to ask me about JRPGs anytime. I like talking about them. I'll probably end up checking this thread regularly if it takes off.

#15 Posted by JBG4 (430 posts) -

Thanks... and no arguing. That's the Builogy teacher in me coming out. Stay on topic... haha

I own Persona 4 but have yet to play it. As of right now, I'm in the middle of Xenoblade Chronicles and loving it. Also, I have played through every numbered Final Fantasy in the series.

And yes, the "anything you want" in the thread title was referring to your freedom to recommend or discuss any JRPG that you thoroughly enjoyed in hopes of opening some new eyes onto it.

Thank so far guys. Personally, for anyone who has a DS or 3DS I will recommend Final Fantsdy Tactics A2, as well as, the remakes of FF 3 and 4 to anyone who hasn't played them yet.

#16 Posted by DeF (4957 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

  • Quest 64 (and maybe the demake)

that game is so incredibly terrible. I was so disappointed when I bought it after being hyped for the first and almost only RPG on the N64 back in '99. never knew there was a GameBoy version of it, that sounds like it might be playable at least.

while it's already been said, a fantastic RPG with a HUGE free-roaming open world -> Xenoblade. that game is serious business!

Terranigma's world is also wonderful to explore (because it's OUR world for change^^)

#17 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4847 posts) -

I really love JRPGs but hate consoles; are there any good JRPGs on PC?

#18 Posted by Kidavenger (3608 posts) -
#19 Edited by Addfwyn (1945 posts) -

My favourite of all type remains Xenogears, and I strongly recommend that to anyone who hasn't played it. JRPGs are my favourite genre though, so I'm more than happy to talk about them.

Recent Gems:

Tales of Innocence R: A remake of Tales of Innocence for the DS (This one on Vita), this is a great great put together remake. Revamped graphics, gameplay, new characters, and some amazing looking new cutscenes. Great pickup if you like the original or Tales games.

Resonance of Fate: Dark setting and world combined with some anime-style insanity and an overall interesting plot. Pretty fun game, but often overlooked. Most convoluted battle system ever designed I feel, if you play this spend a few hours in the tutorials. It'll save you a lot of trouble later.

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together: Tactical Strategy RPG, and technically a remake of an older game, but it's a really good one. Great remake, great translation work, overall a great job. A bit challenging though.

I sadly haven't got to play Xenoblade yet, cause my Wii is on the other side of the planet, and I don't really want to have to ship it over AND buy an import copy of Xenoblade.

Classics (maybe some lesser known ones):

Seiken Densetsu 3: Maybe the best SD game, 2 was also amazing. Big varied cast that progressed differently, was pretty awesome for the time. Story was sadly not quite as good as SD2.

Live a Live: As far as varied casts go, this takes the case. Several different main characters spanning several time zones spanning prehistory to the future.

Terranigma: Sorta action-RPG more than pure RPG, but I snuck some strategy titles on here too so I included it. Not the easiest title to find, but worth the importing I feel.

I can recommend more for specific platforms (especially portables) if anyone was looking for something specific. Could sit here listing great JRPGs to play all day, there's just so many. I obviously don't really need to say stuff like 'go play every FF' or something, those are a bit self-evident.

#20 Posted by Jay444111 (2441 posts) -

No one listed Infinite Space yet!? I am dissapointed in ALL OF YOU!!!!!

#21 Posted by YI_Orange (1169 posts) -

Anything by Atlus. Super Mario RPG. And so far I really like Xenoblade Chronicles.

#22 Posted by Atary77 (502 posts) -

@YI_Orange said:

Anything by Atlus. Super Mario RPG. And so far I really like Xenoblade Chronicles.

Basically this.

#23 Posted by JBG4 (430 posts) -
@Addfwyn I am actually looking pretty diligently for good JRPG's on the DS. I have a 3DS and I'm trying to get through some of the great catalog of games for the DS.

Also, ang generation console RPG will work.
#24 Posted by kalibr (120 posts) -

Final Fantasy 4 - Pretty linear in the beginning but it opens up fairly quickly and there's a lot to do.

Xenogears - Gets overlooked for some reason but it has a cool story and interesting battle system

Chrono Trigger - Easy recommendation. Tons to explore, lots of sidequests and things to find and just a generally awesome game

Chrono Cross - Some people like it some don't. I loved it and its got a ton of characters, cool environments and an interesting battle system. No random encounters is also nice.

Phantasy Star 4 - Just an awesome game with a great world

I also gotta agree with the Super Mario RPG recommendation

#25 Posted by Little_Socrates (5694 posts) -

And now that I read the words Super Mario RPG...

Uh, so yeah. I'll say "yeah" to Persona 4 and Earthbound as well.

#26 Posted by asian_pride (1654 posts) -

Final Fantasies 4, 6, 7, & 10

Anything by Atlus. More specifically Persona 3 and 4.

Tales of the Abyss and Vesperia. I've heard good things about Symphonia though.

Dark Cloud 2 and/or Rogue Galaxy

Any of the 'major' Pokemon games

That's all I can think of so far, pretty much what everybody has said so far.

Also:

@kalibr said:

Chrono Trigger - Easy recommendation. Tons to explore, lots of sidequests and things to find and just a generally awesome game

Agreed, but don't get the PS/PSN version. I thought I could deal with the load times, but realized I can't anymore. Get the DS version instead.

#27 Posted by JasonR86 (9763 posts) -

Any of the 'Tales...' games.

#28 Posted by upwarDBound (654 posts) -

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

The game has such a great, stark apocalyptic atmosphere with fun party building. As a word of caution; as far as JRPGs go this one's pretty tough.

#29 Posted by PixelPrinny (1030 posts) -

Wow, this is like the 30th such thread in the last month. Do people just not like reading those other threads or something? I get the feeling those people who start "Recommend me a game (cause I'm too lazy to read other threads)" threads prolly won't read this one, either D:

#30 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@Jay444111: Most likely because it's not a JRPG, and that it is bad.

I'm just gonna list some of what I own:

Star Ocean (any of them)

Dark Cloud 2 (the best game ever made)

All FF's except maybe 12, due to it being bad.

Resonance of Fate

Radiant Historia

Nostalgia

DQIX

Most of the Tales games (Eternia and Vesperia are the shit)

Shadow Hearts (any of them)

All SMT games

Etrian Odyssey (3 is great)

Persona(s)

The GBA Golden sun games (dark dawn is not as good as these two)

Plenty more, but that's enough outta me.

#31 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -

@GunslingerPanda: Last Remnant, Last Remnant, Last Remnant! GOOOOOOOOOO

No, seriously though. Last Remnant is one of, if not my favorite, JRPG of the entire generation and supposedly the PC version is even better than the 360 one was (I know just from playing the demo it at least runs infinitely better even on my crap PC). Fairly open world with tons of good sidequests, classic turn based combat but with a modern enough feel to force you into using strategy to win any fight, and a decent enough story I guess (certainly not the highlight of the game though).

The only annoyance with it really is the leveling system scales enemies stats based on your "battle rank"(level) and not your actual stats(stats are gained separately from your level... yes it's kind of a mess) so there was a lot of cases where people can't figure that out and then go to grind to beat a boss but only end up making the boss even harder than it already was. But that aside I fucking loved the 100 or so hours I dumped into the game.

Now I want to go play through it again >_<

#32 Posted by JBG4 (430 posts) -
@PixelPrinny Why come into the thread if you're not going to contribute in any way whatsoever? This thread is a way for fans of this genre to connect and discuss games that we enjoy, if you have something that you could contiribute to the topic it would be appreciated.

Anywho, Chrono Trigger is great... Radiant Historia harkened back to that for me with the time traveling aspect.

@kalibr I never played Chrono Cross because of the mixed reaction it received from my circle of friends. Would you recommend going back to it now?

Also, I haven't played a ton of the SMT games, I'm definitely going to try to dig into some of those. Has anyone had much experience with the Devil Survivor series?
#33 Posted by pantzing_nome (583 posts) -

I've enjoyed all of the numbered Yakuza games.

#34 Posted by sickVisionz (1268 posts) -

Chrono Trigger and Lost Odyssey are my favorites. Lost Odyssey is really great. Some of the best writing I've ever seen in a game of any genre. The leveling system is pretty fun too and it allows for close to WRPG levels of skill customization.

@JBG4 said:

@PixelPrinny Why come into the thread if you're not going to contribute in any way whatsoever?

Welcome to the internet bro

#35 Posted by PixelPrinny (1030 posts) -

@JBG4 said:

@PixelPrinny Why come into the thread if you're not going to contribute in any way whatsoever? This thread is a way for fans of this genre to connect and discuss games that we enjoy, if you have something that you could contiribute to the topic it would be appreciated.

Anywho, Chrono Trigger is great... Radiant Historia harkened back to that for me with the time traveling aspect.

Because I've recommended RPGs on this site since it's inception. I've responded to countless "what JRPG should I play, derp?" threads. And yet everyone seems to think they need to start their own thread for the exact same thing. It gets kind of tiring seeing the same thread being started over and over and over and seeing the same group of us recommending the same games over and over and over.

Should there be a stickied "JRPG Recommendation Thread"? I'd be totally for that, so maybe that'll happen with this and if that's the case, great. then the OP can compile a list of the recommended games with brief descriptions of them. That'd be pretty awesome. And when everyone and their mom decides "Gee I'm in the mood for an RPG but I don't know how to use the search function on these forums" the post will be right there at the top of the JRPG forums for them to see.

Now, have I contributed enough to your thread or should I still GTFO?

#36 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Quest 64 fucking sucks.

#37 Posted by Aronman789 (2694 posts) -

@Zenaxzd said:

@GunslingerPanda: Last Remnant, Last Remnant, Last Remnant! GOOOOOOOOOO

No, seriously though. Last Remnant is one of, if not my favorite, JRPG of the entire generation and supposedly the PC version is even better than the 360 one was (I know just from playing the demo it at least runs infinitely better even on my crap PC). Fairly open world with tons of good sidequests, classic turn based combat but with a modern enough feel to force you into using strategy to win any fight, and a decent enough story I guess (certainly not the highlight of the game though).

The only annoyance with it really is the leveling system scales enemies stats based on your "battle rank"(level) and not your actual stats(stats are gained separately from your level... yes it's kind of a mess) so there was a lot of cases where people can't figure that out and then go to grind to beat a boss but only end up making the boss even harder than it already was. But that aside I fucking loved the 100 or so hours I dumped into the game.

Now I want to go play through it again >_<

I have it on PC and when I tried playing it it only gave me Xbox controls instead of PC ones and so I had no idea what was going on. Maybe they fixed it since then, but it sure wasn't a pleasant experience at the time.

#38 Posted by Modedude (36 posts) -

Honestly it's worth checking out Xenoblade Chronicles, that game improves on some of the things that make JRPGs a bit of a chore to play, though you may want to have a little tolerance for a bit of grinding, though not that much compared to some games however.

#39 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -

set your language/region in windows to Japan and load up Progress Quest. BOOM best JRPG of all time.

#40 Edited by JBG4 (430 posts) -

I am going to agree with all of the recommendation s for Xenoblade Chronicles here, I have poured twenty hours into it and am still being introduced to new tweaks for the battle system and new gameplay aspects. I am enjoying it more than any other JRPG this generation. The story is fantastic and the setup for why you are where you are is very well thought out and interesting. The battle system is fast moving, complex, but yet flows very well and after a bit is something that you will be breezing through. This is very nice for me because I have always been somewhat of a JRPG snob and really have only looked for classic turn-based RPG battle systems, like man of the early FF's, this has sort of opened me up to new experiences in that regard. I have been playing RPG's since my SNES and even though I've played them through nearly 4 generations of consoles I still love finding new little gems out there. Let me also slip in another recommendation, the first Wild Arms for PS1. I logged a number of hours into this and really loved the characters and the story. It is turn-based and easy to get into. It's available on PSN for like 5 bucks so if you haven't played it take a look at it.

#41 Posted by BongChilla (232 posts) -

I have played TONS of JRPG's from all the Final Fantasy's and Chrono Trigger/Cross to Skies of Arcadia ( fantastic game ) but the best I have ever played is Xenogears. The story, music and battle system are great, this is probably one of my favorite games of all time.

I just picked up Xenoblade Chronicals, but have not had time to play it yet. I'm excited though from all the praise it's getting.

#42 Posted by Jay444111 (2441 posts) -

@upwarDBound said:

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

The game has such a great, stark apocalyptic atmosphere with fun party building. As a word of caution; as far as JRPGs go this one's pretty tough.

I got it about a month ago... I fought against the first enemies in the game and I died pretty damn fast... yeah, it is tough as nails people. Believe this guy right here and my testimony when it comes to SMT Nocturne.

@Canteu said:

@Jay444111: Most likely because it's not a JRPG, and that it is bad.

You did not just say Infinite space is bad! The game is awesome, it may not technically a jrpg, but it sure acts like it so it counts and is awesome in all ways.

#43 Posted by JBG4 (430 posts) -
@BongChilla A sad shame of mine is that I have never played Skies of Arcadia. I bought Grandia 3 back in the day instead, it wasn't bad but not great either. I need to pick up Skies but it's ind of pricey now.

@Jay444111 Infinite Space is awesome. I totally agree. Also, is the battle system in Nocturne easy to understand or is it the reason the game is tough in the beginning?
#44 Posted by Jay444111 (2441 posts) -

@JBG4 said:

@Jay444111 Infinite Space is awesome. I totally agree. Also, is the battle system in Nocturne easy to understand or is it the reason the game is tough in the beginning?

SMT Nocturne is like... a more hardcore FF10 IMO. Just with some SMT Strange Journey mixed into it as well. (get that game as well. epic game is epic.) Simple to understand and all, but the enemies are tough as nails! I haven't gotten to a hard boss fight yet... but I truly am dredging it.

#45 Posted by kalibr (120 posts) -

@JBG4: I think the mixed reactions are just from people who wish it was Chrono Trigger 2. The story is a little convoluted but I played it again about a year ago and I still enjoyed it

#46 Posted by JBG4 (430 posts) -

@kalibr: Nice. I really, really loved Chrono Trigger. It is one of my favorite games that I have ever played and I think at the time my expectations were the same as what you said everyone else was saying, I pretty much just wanted Chrono Trigger 2 and if that isn't what I got I probably would have been disappointed too. However, now I have moved on from that line of thinking with most games and would probably enjoy Chrono Cross playing it now, so I may give it a show pretty soon.

#47 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

@kalibr said:

I think the mixed reactions are just from people who wish it was Chrono Trigger 2. The story is a little convoluted but I played it again about a year ago and I still enjoyed it

Yeah, that pretty much seems up it up. I was initially disappointed that it had very little to do with Trigger, but then I ended up liking it. Cross is a good game in its own right. I liked the battle system and some of the story elements. I also loved the music. I'd recommend RPG fans to give it a go.

#48 Posted by ZenaxPure (2569 posts) -

@AdzPearson said:

I also loved the music.

Hands down one of my favorite video game soundtracks ever. Dream of the shore near another world pretty much holds the record for being the oldest song on my MP3 players without me ever getting tired and deleting it like I do with songs every so often. Time's Scar is also absolutely amazing and I recently stumbled across this VGO version of it a few weeks ago and have since been listening to it multiple times per day.

Sad thing is I don't really even have fond memories of the game overall. Played it when I was like 13 or 14 and had absolutely no idea what was going on in the story or battle mechanics. I really need to get around to replaying it someday since I hope 10 years later I would actually be able to follow it.

#49 Posted by Nick (683 posts) -

@AdzPearson said:

I also recommend Grandia, Chrono Cross and Shadow Hearts, although they don't have an overworld.

Chrono Cross totally has an overworld, also it's an awesome game.

#50 Posted by AdzPearson (202 posts) -

@Nick: I had to have a think about it before I posted, as it's hard to classify. But yeah, even though it's not a typical one (you can only walk around on paths to each location), I guess it is an overworld. I was just trying to point out that it's not an overworld like FF7's or Xenogears'.