Feeling the itch to dive into one of the best JRPGs? The one that’s going to consume all of your free time for at least a few weeks? We get it, sometimes you just need an escape and we know that deep Japanese role-playing games are going to provide exactly that.
The best JRPGs to play article takes a look towards what’s coming in 2022. We’ve already gotten a couple of heavy hitters this year in January and the next couple of months are jam-packed as well. So if you are a fan of the best JRPGs then you’ll be quite happy. The same cannot be said about your wallet though.
Let’s check these awesome JRPGs and see what the land of anime and samurais have in store for us!
Monster Hunter Rise
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC
Monster Hunter Rise was released on the Nintendo Switch in March 2021. The game got a stellar release on PC on January 12th of 2022 and immediately became a fan favorite on the platform. So for PC players, this deeply challenging JRPG game is a new release.
If you aren’t familiar with the Monster Hunter series, it’s a game about slaying monsters, harvesting them, making armor and weapons out of their materials, and going hunting again. A typical monster takes around 10-40 minutes to slay. It’s a superbly rewarding gameplay loop that will keep you playing for a long time.
Monster Hunter Rise has 14 different weapon types. They all play differently, a hammer is great for stunning monsters while a long sword is awesome for chopping of tails. There is even a hunting horn for all your battle bard fantasies. Monster Hunter Rise is a must-play if you love to hunt exotic monsters with a full gang of friends. Co-op, extremely deep armor system, flashy weapons, and even a Spider-Man-like swinging mechanic, what more can anyone want.
Monster Hunter Stories 2, another great JRPG that came in 2021 sold over one million copies. That one is a side series, you can imagine how well the main line game is going to sell.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Mixing up the formula of an already established and beloved JRPG is a risky move, but Pokemon Legends: Arceus seems to be taking the challenge head-on. You’ll still be capturing Pokemon in the game but there are a ton of new things this time around.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes place in feudal Japan. People don’t have a ton of knowledge about Pokemon and that’s where you come in, your mission is to study and capture Pokemon. That’s right, you are going to make the first Pokedex in Pokemon Legends: Arceus. by the way make sure you stay away from Youtube videos of the game, some copies of Pokemon Legends: Arceus were leaked earlier.
The game is split into 5 huge biomes this time around. There is just one town in the game that acts as a hub when you go from one big area to another. There is a mountain, a beach, a tundra, a field, and a swamp, so you’ll be swamped with a ton of native Pokemon to catch. Pun intended. The biggest change apart from the semi-open world. The game plays like a 3rd person shooter. You aim, you throw, and you capture. You can even sneak behind a Pokemon to catch it stealthily. This different Pokemon game is shaping up to be one of the best JRPGs of 2022!
Platforms: PS4, PS5, XBOX One, XBOX Series X, XBOX Series S PC
What do you get when you match a legendary Japanese game director with a legendary western author? Elden Ring of course! The game is the brainchild of Hidetaka Miyazaki – the same guy who fathered Dark Souls games. George R.R. Martin helped write the game – the same guy that wrote A Song of Ice and Fire (that inspired HBO’s Games of Thrones TV series).
In short, Elden Ring will have Souls-like gameplay in an open-world setting. You’ll be able to select various classes, wield great weapons, and fight unrelenting enemies. Expect to time your dodges and nail the timings of your parries if you want to survive.
The world of Elden Ring is vast and begging to be explored. You’ll find secrets, loot, and unique in-game events if you are the exploring type of gamer. For the first time in a Souls game, you’ll be able to summon a horse to ride across the world. There is also a dedicated jump button, that’s right now you can jump in a Miyazaki game and even land attacks mid-air. If you’ve played Sakiro, you are well familiar with this mechanic. While it won’t be as flashy as Sakiro, it is certainly a marked change from the “grounded” experience of other Dark Souls-like games.
We can’t wait to get our hands on one of the best JRPGs and become the Elden Lord. It even comes at a reasonable file size on PS5, so will be a fast download.
Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, PC
Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin brings real-time combat to a traditionally turn-based JRPG. You play as Jack and he is Jack of all trades. Wielding a Katana? You can be a samurai. The job system comes with unique abilities and a whole skill tree so you can flesh out the job that suits you. You can have two jobs equipped at the same time as well, one push of a button and you can switch mid-battle.
This is also the first time that a non-MMO final fantasy shows each gear item on the character. This means the loot you obtain will have an impactful visual change shown on Jack. You can also upgrade the equipment at the trusty smithy and use your favorite pieces for a bit longer.
In another departure from the usual Final Fantasy business, Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin also features an online mode. This co-op feature allows you to bring up to two friends in your game so you can beat some monsters together. The loot is instanced as well, so you don’t have to share spoils of your battles with anyone. Overall, this is shaping up to be one of the best JRPGs in 2022 if you love real-time action and Final Fantasy.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
The first thing you’ll notice about Triangle Strategy is its beautiful art style. The 2.5D JRPG game is stunning to look at and features intricately designed environments. The characters are pixel style and stand out from the rest of the design giving the game a unique visual aesthetic.
It’s a classic turned-based JRPG that favors the good positioning of units. Standing on higher ground will give you tactical advantages. You can also flank your enemies to gain the upper hand in battles. The game also features a deep plot that involves three nations fighting for resources.
If you are itching for a true to roots JRPG to dive into, Triangle Strategy is one of the best JRPG games coming out in 2022.
Platforms: PS4, PS5, PC
Babylon’s Fall isn’t a full-on JRPG but more like an action-JRPG, but hey, that still counts. Platinum Games made this one, the same guys that made the amazing Bayonetta. Platinum Games is well known for its epic real-time combat systems. Babylon’s Fall doesn’t seem to be lacking in that department.
You play as a Sentinel, a warrior that gained their powers from a Gideon Coffin on your back. Yes, the story is classic JRPG with a hint of bonkers here, one of the reasons why we love Platinum Games. You can hold two weapons in each of your hands. Additional two can be held on the spectral tethers that come out of the coffin on the back.
Babylon’s Fall also has 4 players online multiplayer so you and a couple of your friends can hop in the game together. There is a central hub where up to 16 players gather. You select your mission, assemble your team and set off on adventures from there. The game hasn’t seen a ton of marketing behind it but going with Platinum Games’ track record, the combat alone in this JRPG will be worth full price.
Rune Factory 5
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Rune Factory 5 is another Nintendo Switch JRPG, Nintendo isn’t going slow this year with their offerings. You play as a ranger for a peacekeeping organization called SEEED in Run Factory 5. Meanwhile, there is a mystery brewing in a small town and you are going to make sure nothing gets out of hand.
This game is a great mixture of capturing monsters and keeping the town thriving. Think Harvest Moon and some elements of Pokemon and you’ll be on the right track here. in short, if Animal Crossing is a bit mild for you, Rune Factory 5 is going to be right up your alley.
The combat is fast and action-packed. You’ll have access to several abilities to take monsters down as well as a party of friends (in-game) to aid you in your mission. After a full session of monster taming, you can relax in your home. Cook, craft, and fish to chill in your cozy hometown.
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, PC
Former Shin Megami Tensei developers are making this new IP. Those guys have some deep roots in developing compelling JRPGs so Monark automatically gets a place on our list. The story is set in Shin Mikado Academy where a strange mist is surrounding the school.
Now you have to assemble a team of friends and fight against supernatural threats inside the school. You’ll also develop your Ego during the journey and command fiends during battles. Furthermore, there are customization elements in the game as well, allowing you to change the appearance and skills of your fiend.
The game is a departure from Shin Megami Tensei with its supernatural and school-based setting. The stylized graphics of the game also give it somewhat of an anime look. The development team behind the project is well known for crafting interesting narratives as well. A demo is also available on consoles for you to try out. You can play the first level and carry the progress over to the final game once it releases. Most importantly, we are excited to know more about the story once the game releases.
Platforms: PS5, PC
Luminous Production made this western-styled JRPG and it’s published by Square Enix. It features a young protagonist named Frey. She gets transported from her home in New York to the wonderful land of Athia. Now she must find her way back to her New York apartment and start paying rent again. In other words, we have no idea why she wants to go back to the urban sprawl but we can’t be too judgmental.
The graphics are among the best-looking ones we’ve seen. The few trailers we’ve seen show fluid combat with stunning spell effects, there is a spell that puts enemies in a water bubble that just looks phenomenal. Final Fantasy XV used the same graphics engine.
The game also has some pretty radical traversal moves. You can jump around, dash, and run across the map at breakneck speeds. As a result, it feels fast and responsive. The trailer does show large open spaces and that’s one of the worrying points. If there is stuff to do in the world, it would be amazing, if not, that’ll be a disappointment. The voice acting is a bit on the nose but hopefully, the rest of the story will be compelling and engaging.
Final Fantasy XVI
The next numbered entry in the long-running Final Fantasy series is ready for release in 2022. The game takes place in Valisthea. A land that has an abundance of Light of the Mothercrystals. The crystals provide aether that in turn produces magicks.
There are plenty of characters in the game including a son of an Archduke, another son, a ward named Jill, and a lot more. To clarify, the trailers we’ve seen don’t give a ton of information about the plot but there is plenty of theatrics for you to enjoy.
One of the best JRPG games is releasing this year. At least until we get our hands on Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2. It’s shaping up to be a great one well. Square Enix has been on a roll when it comes to JRPGs. In other words, we are eager to see what they come up with in their franchise role-playing game.