10 Best JRPGs of All Time | TheReviewGeek Recommends

There are a lot of video games out there and in this era of mobile and home-based gaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic?

Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest, and unforgettable games through the years.

For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best video games, we’d like to highlight the best JRPGs of all time. From Chrono Trigger to Xenoblade Chronicles, you have a lot of games to whet your appetite.

Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below!

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is widely considered to be the greatest JRPG of all time. It’s been re-released on numerous platforms but hasn’t received the remake treatment like others on this list. This game blends elements of time travel, multiple endings, and seam battle transitions to redefine the genre and captivates players. Its time travel mechanic was innovative, allowing players to embark on a quest throughout the past, present, and future to prevent an impending apocalypse. 

The multiple endings based on players’ choices enhanced the game’s replay value and gave players a sense of agency. Additionally, the game’s storytelling and characterization were masterfully crafted. It weaves themes of friendship, sacrifice, and destiny together in a way that resonates with players. Each character has a distinct background and personality from Crono to Marle.

With its fabulous “Active Time Battle” system and lively pixelated visuals, Chrono Trigger continues to delight fans old and new with its content.  

Final Fantasy VII

The Final Fantasy VII remake was Square Enix’s way of evolving the Final Fantasy brand. Despite the remake’s solid improvements, the original game still holds up as a completed and elongated work of art. It pushed the boundaries of what could be accomplished in a JRPG, revolutionizing the genre and leaving a lasting impression on players. 

For instance, Final Fantasy VII’s known for having an emotionally charged storyline. The game tackles themes like identity, loss, and environmentalism. The narrative follows Cloud, as he joins a resistance group to take on the corrupt Shinra Corporation. The game’s plot twists, heartfelt character arcs, and impactful moments allow players to connect with the story until its conclusion. 

Moreover, Final Fantasy VII was a technical marvel of its time. It was one of the first JRPGs to feature 3D graphics and full-motion videos, pushing the PlayStation to its limits. In addition to having a classic battle system and astounding soundtrack, the original Final Fantasy VII deserves to be recognized for its past achievements. 

Xenoblade Chronicles (Series)

Xenoblade Chronicles is a fantastic RPG series with great story elements, a fun and elaborate combat system, and beautiful visuals. This game introduces players to a rich world full of technological marvels and fantastical creatures. Each game follows a different protagonist who bands together with a group of allies to stop multiple factions with different ideologies. 

The gameplay gets more complex and rigorous with each installment. From collecting different blades in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to wielding large mechs in Xenoblade Chronicles X, each game is filled to the brim with enough deviations to stand out. Nonetheless, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and 3 found a way to weave these stories together, making it feel rewarding to have played each entry.

If you’re looking for a JPRG that evolves significantly from a gameplay and graphical standpoint, check out the Xenoblade Chronicles series. 

Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are considered to be the best Pokémon games Game Freak ever created. Fans adored these games for having revamped graphics, expansive content, and breathing new life Pokémon’s Johto region. Like the original Gold and Silver games, these titles gave players a chance to revisit the Kanto Region and included fabulous in-game events, triggered by special items. 

Every event felt like a spectacle regarding its presentation. The battles you’d have with the beasts pertaining to these events were memorable and players could tell Game Freak had a blast working on these segments.

The games came equipped with the fabulous Poké Walker accessory, an item that felt like a precursor to the Pokémon Go Plus accessory associated with Pokémon Go. This item allows players to store one of their Pokémon in it and interact with them via the device. It was a neat device that motivated people to leave their homes and embark on realistic endeavors. Think of it as the prehistoric version of Pokémon Go or like those Tamogatchi toys you’d find in stores. 

Pokémon Heartgold and Soulsilver are the epitome of Pokémon remakes to many fans. Game Freak revamped what fans loved about the Johto region and added some modern mechanics to spice things up. This game adapted a similar art style to the 4th generation Pokémon titles Pearl, Diamond, and Platinum with slight tweaks to Pokémon sprite.

Although these games lay dormant on the Nintendo DS, fans hope Game Freak can deliver remakes on par with these games.

Persona 5 Royal

Persona 5 Royal is the enhanced version of the original Persona 5 game. It includes all the DLC from the previous game and is filled with new experiences to entice players who sat through the original release to give this definitive version a shot. One of the game’s best qualities lies in its captivating storyline. The game delves into deep themes like corruption, injustice, and personal growth. 

As Joker, you’ll embark on a journey through his real-life struggles and supernatural adventures. The intricate narrative constantly keeps players on their toes, with plot twists and revelations at every turn. The cast is as well-developed in the original game as they are in this entry, but with a fresher coat of paint to make events feel more exhilarating. 

The gameplay mechanics found in the original release transfer over to Royal flawlessly. You can still participate in epic strategic battles with your squad or engage in the game’s simulation aspects to your heart’s content. If you love JRPGs with style, fantastic gameplay, and gripping plots, check out Persona 5 Royal. 


Earthbound is a quirky Nintendo JRPG with a unique setting, a fun cast, and an excellent sense of humor. Unlike other JRPGs of the time, Earthbound opted for a modern-day setting and followed a group of children. From Ness to Poo, each child carried different personality traits and abilities that allowed players to resonate with them as they explored their world’s various locations. 

Moreover, Earthbound’s imaginative world helped it stand out. While you start off exploring Ness’s hometown of Onett, you’ll eventually come across strange and surreal locations like Moonside and Saturn Valley. The characters who inhabit these areas act quirky and some appear to be otherworldly. Nonetheless, each encounter feels as memorable and entertaining as you can expect.

In addition to having our characters wield ordinary weaponry in combat, this grounded sci-fi JRPG should entertain you. 

Kingdom Hearts 2

Although Kingdom Hearts would go on to create one of the most intricate storylines in gaming history, many claim Kingdom Hearts 2 to be one of its best entries today. This game is built upon the first game’s strengths and offers an epic, emotionally filled journey featuring characters from Disney and Square Enix’s library. The characters make up some of Kingdom Heart 2’s best traits. 

In it, players control Sora, whose accompanied by the famous Disney characters Donald Duck and Goofy. They’ll explore memorable locations from the Disney universe and engage in delightful interactions and battles themed around those universe’s plotlines. Furthermore, the game introduced new characters like Roxas and Organization XIII, who added more depth to the story. 

The game’s combat system expands upon its predecessors tenfold. It introduced the “Drive Forms” mechanic, which grants Sora new abilities and powers that’ll assist him in his battles with the Organization and the heartless.

In addition to having compelling music that enhanced the tension felt throughout Sora and Roxas’s climatic battles, Kingdom Hearts 2 is a phenomenal entry and JRPG worth playing. 

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

Dragon Quest is considered to be the “grandfather” of JRPGS to many enthusiasts. While it spawned numerous mainline titles and spin-offs, many consider Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King to be one of its better entries.

Dragon Quest VIII’s narrative helps it stand out from previous and future entries. In it, players follow a hero who embarks on a quest to life a curse placed on the kingdom and the king. The story unfolds gradually and is brimming with incredible dialogue and well-crafted plot twists. 

Moreover, Dragon Quest VIII boasts solid turn-based gameplay that emphasizes strategy and skill. This game introduced the “Tension” system, where characters can increase their power temporarily by focusing on their energy. This mechanic added more strategy to battles, making them feel more intricate and exciting.

On top of having a robust character progression system with various skill trees, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is a fabulous JRPG that will last with you for ages to come. 

Skies of Arcadia

Skies of Arcadia is a JRPG that presents players with a rich and immersive world to explore. It’s set in a distinct universe consisting of floating islands and airships, offering a sense of wonder from the start. You’ll traverse vast skies, uncover hidden treasures, and encounter various colorful civilizations with rich lore, colorful designs, and vibrant architecture. 

In addition to its captivating world, Skies of Arcade features an engaging combat system. The game introduces ship-based battles that allow players to engage in aerial skirmishes with enemies. You’ll command a crew and execute various combat abilities to outmaneuver foes to succeed. These battles provide players with a refreshing break from other JRPGs that rely on turn-based battle systems.

Coupled with its well-developed cast, you’re in for a treat with Skies of Arcadia. 

Paper Mario: The Thousands-Year Door

Paper Mario: The Thousands-Year Door (TTYD) is argued to be the best entry in the Paper Mario series. This game was built upon the foundation set by the classic N64 title and introduced fans to a boatload of colorful companions, enemies, and worlds to interact with. However, what helps Paper Mario stand out from what Mario fans are accustomed to is his game’s paper-based art style. 

The game utilizes its paper-aesthetic world and provides the game with clever visual gags and creative world design. From Paper Mario’s ability to roll up into a tube to his slipping through cracks in a wall, the paper motif is ingeniously integrated into the gameplay, enhancing one’s overall experience.

Furthermore, TTYD provides a nice spin on turn-based combat. This game encourages players to strategically time button inputs to maximize damage or lessen the impact of enemy attacks. The game’s audience system is equally alluring. Paper Mario and his allies can perform super moves or taunts during battle to rally the crowd to their side, resulting in them assisting them in battle through numerous means.

If you’ve grown tired of Mario’s same 3D and 2D platforming endeavors, consider picking up Paper Mario: The Thousands-Year Door. 

So, there we have it, our pick for the best JRPGs through the years!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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