The Ultimate Guide to Japanese Role Playing Games (JRPGs)

Japanese Role Playing Games, commonly known as JRPGs, are a beloved genre in the gaming world. From their captivating stories to complex gameplay mechanics, JRPGs have amassed a dedicated following. In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into everything from modern hits to timeless classics, as well as taking a special look at the JRPG scene in Canada.

The Best Modern Japanese Role Playing Games are on

Dive into the world of JRPGs with these modern masterpieces that offer engaging stories and innovative gameplay.

Persona 5 Royal

Embark on a stylistic adventure in Tokyo and experience a game that perfectly combines turn-based combat with social simulation.

Nier: Automata

Explore a post-apocalyptic world where androids and machines clash in this action-packed JRPG.

Final Fantasy XVI

Discover the dark and gritty world of Valisthea and learn about its politics and mysteries in the JRPG of the summer.

The Legend of Heroes Trails into Reverie

Trails into Reverie plays similarly to the Trails of Cold Steel tetralogy, being a traditional Japanese role-playing video game with turn-based battles.

The Best Classic Japanese Role-Playing Games are on

Travel back in time and relive the golden age of JRPGs with these classic titles.

Chrono Trigger

Regarded as one of the greatest video games of all time, Chrono Trigger offers an incredible time-traveling story and memorable characters.

Final Fantasy VI

Experience the epic tale that helped define the genre with its vast world, poignant narrative, and character-driven story.

Skies of Arcadia

Skies of Arcadia is a classic JRPG set in a fantasy world of floating islands and airships, where players follow the adventures of Vyse and his band of air pirates as they soar through the skies, engage in epic turn-based battles, and unravel an enthralling story of ancient civilizations and hidden treasures.

Get the best JRPG deals on

Steam Summer Sale 2023 Summer Sale 2023

Fanatical Red Hot Sale 2023

PlayAsia Summer Sale 2023

Don’t Miss Upcoming Japanese Role Playing Games Releases on

Stay ahead of the game by keeping an eye on these eagerly anticipated JRPG releases.

Sea of Stars

A love letter to the 16-bits JRPG coming to the Nintendo Switch in August 2023.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

The next installment in the remake trilogy promises an immersive experience with familiar characters and a dissonant narrative.

Super Mario RPG

The full-on remake of one of the best SNES JRPG coming on November 17th, 2023.

Star Ocean The Second Story R

Discover freshly revamped dungeons, improved battle system in Star Ocean The Second Story R. Coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4 and PS5 on November 2nd, 2023

Dragon Quest Monsters The Dark Prince

Dragon Quest Monsters is back with new characters and a new story focused on a Dark Prince who has to call on monsters for help as he cannot inflict any damage on creatures from the dark.

Suikoden I & II HD Remaster

Konami finally decided to improve on two of its most iconic JRPG which will be available at a later date.

Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster

Coming on September 14th, 2023, Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster brings back two of the most impressive and creative GameCube JRPG on modern consoles.

Top JRPGs for Consoles and PC

Whether you own a PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC or Nintendo Switch, we have the best JRPGs for your system.

Best JRPGs on PS4: Kingdom Hearts III

Dive back into various Disney worlds with Sora, Goofy and Donald and unravel the mysteries of the New Organization XIII.

Best JRPGs on PS5: Demon’s Souls

Experience this beautifully remade classic that combines action RPG elements with a dark and foreboding world.

Best JRPGs on Nintendo Switch: Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition

Explore an open world with rich characters, and a deep battle system in this critically acclaimed title.

Best JRPGs on Xbox Series X: Persona 4 Golden

Persona 4 Golden is a critically acclaimed JRPG that blends dungeon crawling with social simulation, as players step into the shoes of a high school student trying to solve a series of mysterious murders in a small town, while forging bonds and harnessing the power of Personas.

Best JRPGs on PC: Octopath Traveler II

Similar to the first Octopath Traveler, the game plays as a traditional JRPG. The player moves between eight separate characters, each with their own purpose for traversing the game world.

JRPG Game Reviews

Discover the best and the worst of JRPGs with in-depth reviews.

Indie JRPG Games

Indie games have been making a splash in the JRPG genre. Here’s what’s capturing players’ imaginations.


Combining 16-bit SNES-style graphics with butter-smooth physics, a fast-paced combat system, and engaging puzzle mechanics, CrossCode is a retro-inspired gem.


Indivisible is an indie JRPG that combines beautifully hand-drawn animations with action-packed, real-time battle mechanics, and a captivating story about a fearless girl named Ajna who embarks on a quest to save her world.

Japanese Role Playing Games sub-genres

Explore JRPG sub-genres and more specific content.

Turn-Based JRPGs

Explore the tactical depth in games like Dragon Quest XI S.

Action JRPGs

For those who like faster-paced combat, try Kingdom Hearts III.

JRPGs with Romance Options

Seek virtual love in games like Fire Emblem Engage.

JRPG Game Development

Learn about the art of making JRPGs and the tools used.

Retro JRPG Soundtracks

Indulge in the timeless music from classic JRPGs like Secret of Mana.

The JRPG Scene in Canada

Canadian gamers, this section is for you!

JRPGs in Canada

Discover the JRPG community in Canada and connect with like-minded individuals.

Where to Buy JRPGs in Canada

From local gaming stores to online retailers, find out the best places in Canada to buy your next JRPG.

Discover Japanese Role Playing Games on

JRPGs are a rich and diverse genre, with something to offer for everyone. Whether you are a fan of classic games, interested in indie titles, or on the lookout for upcoming releases, this guide has got you covered. Happy gaming!

Learn more about Japanese Role Playing Games

What are Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPGs)?

Japanese Role-Playing Games, or JRPGs, are a style of game originating from Japan. They usually involve characters embarking on epic quests in fantasy or sci-fi settings. JRPGs often feature turn-based combat, expansive history, and intricate storylines.

What is the history of JRPGs?

The history of JRPGs is rich and diverse. The genre was influenced by Western games, particularly early tabletop RPGs. Among the early Japanese games that shaped the genre were Dragon Slayer and Megami Tensei. The game Dragon Quest, created by Yuji Horii, is considered one of the founding fathers of JRPGs. Chrono Trigger is another classic, known for its time-travel mechanics and storytelling. Kurt Kalata and Stephanie Sybydlo have written extensively about the entire history of the genre.

How do JRPGs differ from Western Role-Playing Games?

While there are initial similarities, JRPGs usually focus on linear storylines with predefined characters, whereas Western RPGs often allow players to create their characters and make choices that affect the game’s outcome. JRPGs often have turn-based combat and overworld maps, whereas Western RPGs lean towards real-time action.

What are some of the heavy hitters in the JRPG genre?

Some of the heavy hitters in the JRPG genre include the Final Fantasy series, Dragon Quest, and the Shin Megami Tensei series. These games have multiple installments and have influenced a series of games in the genre. Hironobu Sakaguchi’s Final Fantasy series, in particular, is renowned for its innovation and storytelling.

What are some notable collaborations in JRPGs?

The Dragon Ball Z series, based on the popular Dragon Ball anime and manga, is a notable collaboration between the creators of the series and video game developers. Additionally, the Shin Megami Tensei series collaborated with author Kazunari Suzuki for narrative development.

Can you tell me about Shin Megami Tensei and Megami Tensei series?

Shin Megami Tensei is a subset of the larger Megami Tensei series. Some popular games include Shin Megami Tensei IV, Shin Megami Tensei: Apocalypse, and Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. These games often revolve around dark themes, demon summoning, and post-apocalyptic settings.

What are Strategy RPGs?

Strategy RPGs are a sub-genre of JRPGs that incorporate strategic elements, like tactical movement on grid-based maps. Examples include the Fire Emblem series and Final Fantasy Tactics.

What is the “power of consoles grew” in terms of JRPGs?

As the power of consoles grew, so did the complexity and depth of JRPGs. Enhanced graphics, larger worlds, and more intricate storylines became possible, allowing for games like Final Fantasy VII and Phantasy Star Online to flourish.

Are there any collectibles associated with JRPGs?

Yes, many JRPGs release special editions that come with collectibles such as lithographic prints, bookmark ribbons, and physical memorabilia that fans treasure.

What are some newer JRPGs that have gained popularity?

Yo-Kai Watch is a newer series that has gained popularity, particularly among younger audiences. It involves befriending and battling creatures known as Yo-Kai.

Are fan games and role-playing game development common in JRPGs?

Yes, the JRPG community is known for creating fan games, mods, and engaging in role-playing game development. These fan-made creations are often tributes to beloved series or imaginative takes on the JRPG genre.


JRPGs have a rich history and a passionate community. From classics like Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger to modern games like Shin Megami Tensei, the genre continues to evolve and captivate audiences worldwide.