JRPG - Looking for some help/recommendations

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xaren

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Got to start by saying that this will be a long post that is probably only helpful to me. But maybe someone else will find something that he is looking for?

So, I've been an avid J-RPG player, and for a long time. Even though I played a lot of them, I haven't played everything out there. Lately, I've been moving away from MMO to focus on games that have a better-defined endpoint. I haven't been playing a lot of J-RPG lately and I'm looking to get back into it but I'm also looking for recommendations. I love most type of J-RPG, and for this exercise, I am separating these by sub-genres: Turn-Based RPG, Tactical RPG and Action-RPG. So here is a list of game I've played, and liked ordered by how much I liked them.

Turn-Based RPG

  • Chrono Trigger
  • Grandia II
  • Lost Odyssey
  • Final Fantasy Series (12, 9, 7, 6 being my favorites)
  • Persona (3, 4, 5)
  • Dragon Quest Series
  • Super Mario RPG
  • Baten Kaitos Series
  • Bravely Default Series
  • Pokémon Series
  • Battle Chasers
  • Megami Tensei Series
  • Lufia II
  • Golden Sun
  • Etrian Odyssey
  • I am Setsuna

Tactical RPG (By far my favorite type of RPG)

  • Tactic Ogre: Let us cling together
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Series
  • Fire Emblem Series
  • Front Mission
  • Shining Series (I & II)
  • Jeanne d'Arc
  • Valkyria Chronicles
  • Suikoden Tactics
  • Disgaea Series

Action-RPG

  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Xenoblade Chronicles (Didn't like much of 'X' and haven't yet been hooked by 2)
  • Tales of Series (Liked mainly Vesperia... not much else. Haven't tried a whole bunch)
  • Secret of Mana
  • Eternal Sonata
  • Ys Series (Started VII recently, seems fined, still not hooked)
  • Star Ocean
  • Ni no Kuni

Notable games I haven't really played yet :

  • Lunar Series
  • Earthbound
  • SaGa
  • Breath of Fire
  • Suikoden
  • Wild Arm
  • The Legend of Heroes (I've started Trails in the sky, after 10h, I'm still not hooked)
  • Atelier Series
  • Shadow Hearts

PS: If this is not the kind of post you like to see here, do you guys have any idea where I could post this? I've been a giantbomb member for a long time but not really a user of the forum.

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rorie

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I'm struggling to think of any JRPGs that I've played that aren't on your list already. It looks like you've hit most of the prominent series.

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Zeik

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#3  Edited By Zeik

You should definitely play some Suikoden if your only experience is Tactics. Most of the main series is much better, especially 2.

Also if you're not feeling Trails in the Sky you should still give Cold Steel a try, especially if you're a fan of recent Persona. Sky eventually gets better, but it's a veeeery slow burn compared to Cold Steel.

I'll also throw in a couple more from my personal favorites: Legend of Dragoon, Legend of Legaia, and Chrono Cross. (Trigger fans tend to be pretty down on Cross, but taken on its own merits it is a great JRPG.)

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deactivated-5b85a38d6c493

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Okage: Shadow King is a JRPG nobody talks about but it's worth checking out. The combat is very straight forward and can be boring at times, but it's got some charm and surprisingly funny writing.

Also check out Riviera The Promised Land. Really unique and cool game. It plays almost like a Choose Your Own Adventure book in some ways, or a visual novel. The combat can be quite difficult also, it's not a game you can grind your way through.
EDIT: Actually you should check out the rest of the Sting catalogue. And especially Yggdra Union since you enjoy Tactical JRPGs.

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Slag

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@xaren:

Since you like the Tactical stuff

If you can find it,, I really liked Vandal Hearts back in the day for PS1 (just don't play the latest one, Flames of Judgement was awful). Children of the Zodiarcs is a really recent one, but I haven't played enough of it to feel comfortable recommending it. If you don't mind Western Aesthetics I liked the recent XCOM games as well as Invisible Inc a lot for that TRPG itch.

Radiant Historia is another quality JRPG I didn't see on your list that's getting re-release soon. That's more in the turn-based Vein though. Vagrant Story is another kinda hybrid you might really dig.

The regular turn based Suikoden games are pretty good (except for IV) and I think the Breath of Fire games are pretty solid (though V is divisive).

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McHampton

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I played Tales of Zestiria last year and didn't like it, and I'm a ways into Tales of Berseria this year and having a great time with it. I guess I recommend that one.

I was in love with all 3 Shadow Hearts games ten years ago, but I can't say how they hold up now.

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Efesell

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Trails of Cold Steel is my new high standard for JRPGs now, always recommending that.

Radiant Historia just got a sort of remake for the 3ds that has an interesting story but gets a bit repetitive. You can at any point in this new version kind of turn it into a visual novel if you like. Otherwise the combat is turned based but designed around manipulating your turn order in order to change enemies position on the grid and string together huge combos. It's a fun battle system but becomes kind of a slog when used for every fight.

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Wandrecanada

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Star Ocean: The Second Story. It's a Tri-Ace/Enix (pre Squaresoft) Masterwork that integrated the combat style of Secret of Mana with a more active style of play. The story was pretty good as well.

The only downside is that there was never a new version put out on modern platforms. It remains one of my favorite JRPG titles from the sprite era and it's semi real time tactical combat was a stroke of genius.

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Efesell

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misquared

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+1 to the guy that suggested Rivera. What a fun game.

Stella Glow was a tactical JRPG that came our relatively recently on 3DS that I quite enjoyed. It reminded me slightly of FFTA, but with more emphasis on dating anime ladies. The art style is.... a lot, but I found the story to be more endearing than it had any right to be. Has a fun relationship system where you can pursue friendships/romance with your teammates.

If you have any interesting in Harvest Moon games, I would recommend the Rune Factory series. RF3 is my favorite, but 4 is pretty good to and on 3DS. The characters/art design is very charming, less farming and more dungeon crawl elements instead.

Also, fuck yeah thank you for including Atelier series on your list. It's probably one of my favorites, although I have to admit it is far from a perfect series.

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Justin258

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#12  Edited By Justin258

Sounds like you should probably go get a copy of Radiant Historia whenever it comes out in the West. Dust that old 3DS off.

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xaren

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@rorie: Yeah when building that list I kinda saw how much of those game I've played. But I know there's still some I should really get into.

@zeik: I loveeeedddd Legend of Dragoon as a kid (Not sure it holds up now) But yeah, I'll look into Trails of Cold Steel for sure. And Crono Cross as always been on my todo list.

@kingbonesaw:Never played the Dark Cloud games, but I loveeeed Rogue Galaxy (One I forgot on my list :P). Skies of Arcadia, I tried getting into 2-3 times and each time, I can't get past how slllooow the combats are and how many of them there is :(

@wandrecanada: I played Star Ocean 1 and 2, I kinda liked them but can't remember much about time. Wasn't getting into 3 at all thought.

@mchampton: I started Tales of Berseria and Xillia... I don't know what it is with these Tales game versus Vesperia, but I really can't get into them.

@slag: I'll absolutely look at Vandal Hearts and Radiant Historia

Well that's way more suggestions than I thought I would get. Thanks guys ! Will look into all of this on my great journey to play these JRPG !

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Efesell

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@justin258: It is out now, by the way. To anyone interested.

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Toastburner_B

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If you can find them, I would 100% recommend the Shadow Hearts series. I don't know how well they hold up. Shadow Hearts 1 was a bit of a hard sale even back when it came out as it was a originally developed for PS1 before getting bumped up to PS2 and it showed, but I loved Covenant and From the New World back in the day.

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Pardalis

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Maybe try The Last Remnant , it has some interesting squad building stuff.

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Slag

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@xaren: my pleasure duder, Happy gaming!

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BradBrains

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Cool thread.

Maybe its just me but I find finding good jrps especially more recent ones.

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imhungry

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Although it's battle system isn't really like any JRPG out there, The World Ends with You is amazing and is getting a Switch re-release soon! The original DS version still 100% holds up now though.

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csl316

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#20  Edited By csl316

Vagrant Story is probably the best action RPG ever made. Valkyrie Profile is great, as well (although I'm more partial to the sequel, Silmeria).

I also played the hell out of Chrono Cross and loved it. Actually played it before Trigger and like it more in some aspects.

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Ryuku_Ryosake

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If you did want to look into the Breath of Fire series I would recommend checking out Breath of Fire III first. While the game might seem pretty a stock standard jrpg at first glance it really does some truly interesting things. The plot of the game is just absolutely drenched in a grey morality in a way that I truly appreciate and haven't really seen any other game quite pull off as well.. You are the villain as often as you are the hero. No matter which part you are playing at the time your actions usually lead to just as much positive consequences as they do negative ones.

As far as the game play is concerned it is pretty standard turn based jrpg fair. What the game does interesting though is solve the age old problem jrpgs has of how do you provide player's robust customization of their characters but without eventually having them all become carbon copies of each other. It does this through the master system. Which allow you to have your characters apprentice under different npcs you come across as you play the game. Each master gives a different set of modifiers to the stats you character would gain otherwise. So if you mast had a +2 to power and your character naturally gains +2 on that leave they would get +4 power. Or they would gain +2 intelligence but the master modifier is -3 intelligence and they would gain nothing. This makes so that is still matters what how the character was originally built to play like but you still get enough leeway to make the character how you want them.

The game also has a fairly interesting skill system. Leveling up a certain amount under a master will teach a character new skills. There is also an FF Blue Magic style system where you can learn new skills from enemies. The game has a system that allows you to transfer skills between characters pretty easily. The catch here is that you can only ever have one copy of a skill in your entire party. These means all of your character forced into having a different load out of abilities. So they can't be carbon copies of each other.

Side Note: You might also be interested in checking out the black sheep of the family Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter. It is a run based rougelite with a jrpg's structure with tactics like combat. It's maybe not great but is is very interesting and was incredibly ahead of it's time. I feel like it probably much better resonates in post Souls world.

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Efesell

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#22  Edited By Efesell

@ryuku_ryosake: I love Dragon Quarter, it's maybe my favorite entry in that series.

It also is, to my knowledge, the origin of the crazy save system that Dead Rising would go on to use.

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BladedEdge

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#23  Edited By BladedEdge

I'll touch on the stuff you have not gotten too but mentioned first, in case you want opinion on them.

The Lunar series, just the first and second games for the PS1, remakes/other releases I can't speak too were some of my favorite games of that era. I'm unsure they aged super-well, but I have amazing nostalgia for them. Play in order, avoid the much later released non-remake. The Remake for..one of the hand-helds might be good..but they changed my favorite peice of music in gaming so I couldn't bring myself to play it.

Earthbound is quirky. If you've tried/seen anything of Undertale, its similar in a lot of ways to that sense of humor, while avoiding most of the meta-narrative stuff and being a much more tradtional SNES era rpg. Worth a shot if and only if you were a fan of undertale.

Saga I never liked, too much grind and the non-linear story confused me growing up and I just couldn't get into it, at all.

Break of Fire is good old-school fun, but has plenty of design flaws which blanketed that era of gaming. The post SNES ones are worth looking at, but don't in my mind hold up very well. Games are self contained and don't require playing in order.

Suikoden..requires a guide. The whole series is littered with 'you can miss it' moments. If your not a fan of replaying games/not scouring things for hours, pick up a spoiler-free guide to not missing any characters if you want to see the best ending. I remember Suikoden 1 being decent, and really liking 3, but neither stand up to 2. There is a reason it got re-released on modern platforms and used to go for 150$+ before. That game is fantastic and well worth looking into. Games don't require being played in order.

Wild Arms 1 has one of the best opening themes in all of gaming. The game itself is also a bit heavy on dungeon crawl vs stor. Wild Arms 2 I remember not liking much either, too much grind not enough plot. Wild Arms 3 however is absolutely fantastic. Just look up how to get the secret garden so you can stock up on healing as the game intends. The only game I know whose opening animation changes at least 3 times based on where you are in the plot. It does re-tread some old ground from previous games, but if you've never played Wild Arms 1, just go too 3. The games are all set in the same basic fiction but are not connected by story in any way I remember being important.

Trails games. I too never could get into Trails in the sky. I might suggest just skipping that series and jumping into the cold steel series. While they are connected, from what I understand its not in such a manner that you -must- play them in order, and the cold Steel series is more modern, it might grab you and give you the drive to go back.

Shadow Hearts 1 I remember being meh, 2 I recall liking. Both might be worth taking a look at, but I've never had a real desire to go back and play them.

Ok some games I thought of. First, its been said but Vandal Hearts is absolutely worth checking out if your into FFT and the like. The first one is dated a bit, but the 2nd is very Tactics Ogre/FFT and etc. Worth getting a guide, as I remember, so as not to miss some of the maps/battles. The first one as well could stand to follow a guide if you want to see absolutely everything and want the toughest possible fights the game can throw at you.

Finally I will say, Xenogears. The 2nd disk does fall apart a bit because they run out of money and have to write out big chunks of the plot..but honestly if you ever get to that point you'll be so invested in seeing it to the end you won't care. That game is utterly fantastic. Less fantastic, the xenosaga series is...not great. If you end up loving Xenogears to pieces Xenosaga is worth giving a go, but its not nearly as good. No ties (aside from mechs and developers) to the xenoblade stuff. (Aside from characters from the Xeno series turning up I think in Xenoblade 2 as easter-eggs,)

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Rejizzle

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Starting with turn-based: definitely play Suikoden 2, it's great. I cannot recommend that game highly enough. Also of note is the Phantasy Star series. 4 is a good place to start, then you can work your way back. Finally, maybe check out the Saga games if you love obtuse systems/hate yourself. They just released Romancing SaGa 2 on everything, and I'm sure SaGa Frontier is available somewhere. The Saga games seem to be the inspiration for the upcoming Project Octopath Traveler if you've been keeping tabs on that one.

For action RPGs, look into level 5's PS2 output, specifically Dark Cloud2/Chronicle, and Rogue Galaxy are really good action RPGs. Pretty sure you can find those on PS4 for download. Also of note is Dragon's Dogma. Little rough around the edges, but there are some great systems in there.

As for Strategy RPGs, if your not averse to a more crpg format then I find that the old Fallout games hold up well. Then there are more modern takes like the X-com reboot, and Banner Saga I would also recommend. But, if your dead serious on the J in JRPG, then a big one you left off is the Advance Wars series. Not a bad one in the franchise, but if you have a 3DS then I would start with Duel Strike. You mentioned Shin Megami Tensei, but I don't know if that includes the Devil Survivor spinoffs, which are very good SRPGs in their own right.

Sorry if that was a mouthful, but I hope you got something out of that. Keep on grinding duder!

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Zeik

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@bladededge: I definitely suggest playing Suikoden 1 before 2. Suikoden 2 has a lot of callbacks and returning characters from 1, plus that cool save data bonus. Suikoden 1 is also really short. It's not 100% necessary (I did actually play 2 first myself), but it is recommended. The rest are a lot looser with their tie-ins, so it doesn't matter as much.

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Wiseman4545

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#26  Edited By Wiseman4545

"Xeno" series tier list: Xenosaga > Xenoblade > Xenogears > Xenoblade 2 > Xenoblade X (If I were to rank Xenosaga per volume the vol. 2 would be a lot lower, but eh.)

Also another vote for Radiant Historia. Best time travel RPG since Chrono Trigger.

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audioBusting

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Secret of Mana is probably my least favourite Mana game that I've played, to be honest. Legend of Mana is definitely my favourite, and others like Sword of Mana and Seiken Densetsu 3 are worth checking out too. And if you like Tactical RPG's, I would recommend trying the Arc the Lad series. You can go straight into the second one, but the first one isn't so bad either.

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TheWildCard

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If you want something with crazy interesting battle systems you have to check out Resonance of Fate.

Gungir and Ragnorok Tactics might be worth checking out on the tactical end.

Valkyrie Profile and it's somewhat lesser sequel still hold up real well. You're mileage may vary depending on how tolerant you have of jrpg tropes, but the Lunar games are still pretty charming imo.

And while I won't push it especially strongly, depending on what what wasn't working for you in Trails in the Sky, Trails of Cold Steel still might be worth checking out (it's battle system at least moves faster).

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kid_gloves

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#29  Edited By kid_gloves

I will echo the sentiments about the Suikoden series (tactics is BY FAR the worst canonical game in the series). 1 is only like 25 hours long but good even if a bit simple and a product of its time (1995). Suikoden 2,3, and 5 are among the best JRPGs ever made and have probably my favorite world and stories in the genre bar none. A thing I don't see people talking about that sets Suikoden games apart from other JRPGs is there is very little plucky hero saves the world from ultimate evil with his heart and a lot more emphasis on warfare, building a revolutionary army, and touching interpersonal drama. There is a reason why people never shut up about the story in Suikoden 2, and 3 and 5 come damn close in my book to its greatness. They all also have a second layer to them outside typical turn based battles with each game having a different tactical warfare system, 1 is really simple rock paper scissors but 2 is basically advance wars and the rest all have unique and kinda cool systems for it as well. It is a damn shame the series is dead with Konami being what it is now, they had built a really interesting world and lore over the 5 games in the series and no other series was doing what it was.

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frytup

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#30  Edited By frytup

My JRPG history is pretty lacking, but I recently grabbed an emulator and started playing through a bunch of SNES games I missed back in the day.

Give Earthbound a try. I suspect there's at least a 50-50 chance the humor is going to rub you the wrong way, but If you're into it it's a fun time.

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Slasktotten

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While not a jrpg per se... Have you seen the upcoming Into The Breach?

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/02/07/into-the-breach-release-date/#more-514457

It's from the folks who made FTL, and it looks to scratch that tactics/rpg itch. Plus it's got some sweet gba style sprite work ?

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DeckardLee

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The Phantasy Star series is a must play. I've played damn near every JRPG there is, and Phantasy Star IV is still one of my favorites, especially for the time.

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tatsuyarr

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I strongly recommend the Lunar series. Great character design from Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, one of my favorite artist, great music, and the stories, if not original, are very well done and charming.

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lovcol

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I just finished a playthrough of the first Suikoden last week, and while I enjoyed seeing my base getting bigger, the game is rather simple and straightforward. Also, the party/inventory management is infuriating in this game, requiring a ridiculous amount of button presses to get stuff done. Overall, not too shabby though.

I am now about 10-15 hours into Suikoden 2, and it looks to be superior in every way. I'm a bit fatigued though having just played the first one, which is somewhat limiting my enjoyment of it. I'd say skip the first one and get this.

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Kidavenger

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Because it hasn't been mentioned and I'm intending on playing it this year The Last Story may be worth a look.

I played and finished Suikoden III when it came out and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Joe423

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#36  Edited By Joe423

Skies of Arcade for turn based, a true classic if you have access to either a dreamcast or a gamecube. One of my top 5 favourite JRPGS as well.

Earthbound and Mother 3 (play M3 on an emulator with the fan translation) are both games that you should probably try, Mother 3 especially is pretty timeless.

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door on Gamecube is highly regarded.

You should definitely try Grandia 1 as well if you like 2.

EDIT: Also The World Ends With You on either DS or iOS (or switch if you can wait) is a really cool JRPG with interesting systems.

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someoneproud

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#37  Edited By someoneproud

I'd throw another recommendation for Suikoden II. One of my absolute favourites. As others have said Trails of Cold Steel has more modern sensibilities than Trails in the Sky but I would still describe it as a slow burn.

Lunar 2 has tons of "blue sky" SEGA style charm and Radiant Historia was a pleasant surprise for me. Tales of Symphonia is probably my favourite Tales game (although Vesperia is definitely a contender). Tales of Graces F is another I really like but it has it's share of issues.

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dstopia

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If you've never played it, I'll throw my weight behind Seiken Densetsu 3 (sometimes mistranslated as Secret of Mana 2). It never came out outside Japan, but there's a fantastic fan translation. You do kind of have to look into a guide if you want to make the most of the class system in the game, but it's probably my favorite SNES RPG.

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dagas

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I am 45 hours into Trails of Cold Steel and loving it. I also didn't fall for Trails in the Sky but still loved Cold Steel so I suggest you check it out.

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Fezrock

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I opened this thread all ready to name a ton of games, and then I see you already played most of them and pretty much all the rest have been suggested.

One name I haven't seen mentioned though is the Yakuza games. I haven't played any myself, but from the Beast in the East shows it certainly seems like there's plenty of RPG elements to them.

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damodar

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I echo the suggestions of Suikoden 2 and Vagrant Story. Suikoden 2 is one of the quite small handful of games I'd consider a bit of a must-play for anybody with an interest in JRPGs, it's also not too much a time commitment by the standards of the genre. Vagrant Story is a unique beast, but it's really something special.

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JoeDangerous

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@xaren:I'll nudge you towards Earthbound. That game is bonkers and you'll probably cling to how whacky it is at first, then how unforgiving some of the fights can be. Be prepared to die to furniture and ants. The weirdest thing about the game, which is super cool, is the way damage is applied. Damage is gradually rolled into your health in real time, so if a tree performs a suicide attack on your whole party for double your health (yes that's a real attack), then if you mash fast enough to the rewards screen, damage stops applying to your health when you've ended the battle. You can find this title on the 3DS and Wii U eShop for dirt cheap (probably like $5).

I'll also try to second other games duders have mentioned:

  • Legend of Legaia
    • Legit my favorite game of all time; just imagine a generic JRPG but all normal attacks are replaced with four directional inputs (up kick, down kick, left punch, right punch) that you combine to perform martial arts moves that can chain together (ex. ↑↓↑ is a somersault, so if your action bar is large enough and you entered ↑↓↑↓↑ the last input of your somersault is also counted as your first input of a second somersault, therefore you get two somersaults this round)
    • You also have a monster capture system where you beat monsters and store their spirits in your wristband, where you can then use them as spells (e.g. attack, heal, utility) and those spells level up with use. Gives you complete freedom to decide who you want as a healer, what hybrids to build, and how to disperse your time grinding.
    • Unfortunately the only way to currently play this is a hard copy for PS1 or using the PSX emulator, with the hard copy running usually $40 - $55.
  • Dark Cloud 1
    • Think dungeon delving, but you delve to find orbs that are safeguarding people/objects/animals to rebuild whatever town is outside the dungeons. You then position those finds around the barren town, asking newly awakened villagers their preferences (e.g. wanting sunlight to enter their bedroom when the sun rises, their house being near the river) and optimizing their taste to earn special rewards.
    • You also obtain like 6 party members you can switch between, leveling them and, more oddly, leveling their weapons. There is a surprisingly DEEP weapon leveling system involving leveling them with certain gems to evolve weapons into certain trees. It's bizarre at first but incredibly rewarding.
    • You can find this title remastered for the PS4 for $15 on PSN or a hard copy on the PS2.
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story
    • Probably the most premiere of the Star Oceans (that I've played. I haven't gotten to SO1), this game combines immensely tight real time combat with stressful magic casting. You need to be on your A-game when approaching almost every fight, otherwise paralyzing panthers will see you to a game over screen in 15 seconds flat. That or witches will have a field day as they zoom around the battlefield to find a safe spot to cast their long spells.
    • You'll also find the ability to choose to view the story as Rena or Claude. Both have unique viewpoints, story lines, and even available characters they can recruit.
    • This title is weird to obtain. If you want an English copy, you'll have to hunt down a rather expensive hard copy for the PS1 (like $35 - $60). However, if you can handle the JP versions, they ported the game to the PSP and PS4 but only for Japan.
    • TEAR 'EM TO PIECE- MIRROR SLI- TEAR 'EM TO PIECES

I'll close out with a few I didn't see mentioned but are tremendous as well:

  • Jade Cocoon 1
    • More akin to the newly released Monster Hunter Stories, this game asks that you fight alongside your monsters. You travel the lands to cleanse disturbed spirits, with a flute in hand that you use to capture monsters which can be combined with any other monster or spun into silk for money. You essentially choose between fighting as the hunter or any of the 3 monsters you have with you.
    • I also really enjoy the small, tribal village and its story, alongside the woodwind-filled soundtrack, and its character designs which might look familiar if you've seen the Studio Ghibli movies like Kiki's Delivery.
    • This is another title only available as a hard copy for the PS1, but not nearly as expensive as Legend of Legaia or Star Ocean 2. Expect prices around $20 - $25.
  • Jade Cocoon 2
    • If you enjoyed Jade Cocoon 1, this game will feel familiar yet vastly different. You've still got that cool, small tribe aesthetic with a monster capture gameplay at heart, but the gameplay has changed. Now instead of a hunter and his 3 monsters cleansing the evil, you command a rotatable disk of 8 total monsters with you in the middle as the "endgame health". Each attacker can only attack once, and if you have no current monster set in your middle spot, a direct attack can be made on the hunter which decreases his shields by one. Get attacked while un-shielded and you get sent back to town. Luckily, if you're having trouble imagining this combat, just look at exactly what Yokai Watch did as it's the same concept of 8 monsters rotating on a ring. The only difference is that the match only ends when the hunter in the middle is attacked while un-shielded.
    • This title is way more grindy than its predecessor, so monster capture fans will find more to do here.
    • Continuing the trend of "hard to play games", this title is only available as a hard copy for the PS2. It should be cheapish... maybe around $16 or so.
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Efesell

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#43  Edited By Efesell

@joedangerous: That PSP port of Second Story definitely made it to the west as Second Evolution.

Or more than a port I guess since it added a fair bit of content I think but I only got around to playing the first of those rereleases.

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deactivated-5eacbc181b8b5

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You don't have Tokyo Mirage Sessions listed, and a quick ctrl f says nobody has recommended it despite the Persona games being high on your list. It requires a Wii U obviously, so that may be prohibitive.

With that said, it's a great game with a lot of Persona-ish features and quirks. Unfortunately the timing of the release relative to the Wii U becoming irrelevant means it was overlooked by a lot of people. Check it out.

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Nick

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I'm a huge Chrono Trigger fan, it's one of my top 5 fav. games and I love Chrono Cross. I think it might take a little while longer to get going than Trigger but it's fantastic, and I think Cross has even better music than Trigger.

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Mamba219

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I haven't read any of the replies to this thread so forgive me if it's been mentioned, but one of my favorite random Action-JRPG experiences was with Radiata Stories for the PS2. Really an excellent game that has been mostly forgotten, it seems. The thing about it is, it's kind of a massive troll - I think of it as if Earthbound, Star Ocean, and Majora's Mask had a lovechild.

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#47  Edited By LeStephan

Only one mention of Valkyrie Profile?

Im playing Valkyrie Profile for the first time right now and its kinda blowing me away tbh. Im only a couple hours in but I think this might be one of my favourite jrpg I've ever played. I really like the pacing of it and the emphasis of the story on the characters individual struggles in this world as opposed to necessarily being about saving the world from ultimate evil. The sprites and music are also goddamn masterclass work(edit:turns out the composer of this has also made some other very very excellent videogame soundtracks for all the Tales of..., Baten Kaitos, Golden Sun and Dark Souls games to name a few).

So far, the whole thing feels very tight/free of needless fat. That might all change further in but I wouldn't know yet.

The ps1 version is sadly hard to find/expensive but the psp version, which is what I am playing right now, is playable enough besides some occasional incredible framerate drops (so far only outside of battle in specific sidescrolling parts) and slightly blurry backgrounds. If you dont feel like paying 100 bucks for it on ps1 the psp version seems totally enjoyable if you aren't immediately put off by the framerate drops. I bought my psp copy new for only 10 bucks last week, definitely worth it.

I'll also echo that Resonance of Fate on ps3(and 360?) has a very fun &interesting battle system. The vibe of that game is also really cool imo even if the visuals are a bit one note.

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monkeyking1969

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I'd pick up Dragons Dogma. Its a Action role-playing, hack and slash that has an ' interesting story'. It can be finished in about 70-80 hours or you can upgrade through grinding for 120 hrs. It has replayability as well; which si why I would opt for completing you first playthrough in 70 hours.

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GnosisLord

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Undertale is one of the best jrpgs to come out in the past few years. Technically it's made by a western developer, but its roots and inspirations are clearly in classic jrpgs like Earthbound. If you somehow missed it, it's definitely worth your time.

NieR and NieR: Automata lean a bit harder to the action side of action rpg, but they're both great. The characters and writing are top notch. The soundtracks are some of the best in the genre (a genre that contains Chrono Trigger, the Persona franchise, and the Final Fantasy series).

Digimon Cyber Sleuth was much better than its name would imply. Even as someone who hadn't played any other Digimon games, I enjoyed it.

I'll recommend Kamidori Alchemy Meister with one large caveat. It is a hentai game. It also happens to be a really solid tactical rpg with tons of replayability. If you don't mind the sex and nudity, it's worth a shot.