Tue 28 May, 2019 @ 10:49 GMT

If you’re a long time JRPG (Japanese role-playing game) fanatic who remembers the genre’s golden era, chances are that you could spend the rest of your day reminiscing about the plethora of amazing games that populated the libraries of the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 before fading away during the PlayStation 3 days due to the rise of First Person Shooters and eight hour cinematic adventures.

What often goes underappreciated is the insurgence of fantastic titles available on PlayStation 4; between new titles and remakes of lost gems, there are plenty of life-consuming adventures to lose yourself in. So without further ado, here are our picks for the eight best JRPGs on PS4 for old-school JRPG fans (at least to hold you over until the FF7 remake sees the light of day!).

8.  Persona 5 (2017)

What makes it so good?

Far and away the most critically adored game on our list, Persona 5 was showered in praise for its slick presentation, 80+ hour story and social bond system. The game also boasts some of the most catchy boss/battle themes you’ll ever hear and a persona capture and development system that will keep you invested from start to finish.

Any drawbacks?

Yep, a few that aren’t mentioned too much but will stand out to anyone well versed in the genre: The battle system is quite simplistic, to the point where you won’t really require much thought or strategy until 20-30 hours in, there’s a lot of repetition in the dialogue, as if the game was padded to achieve that venerated 80 hour length by having characters tell you the same thing ten times over and most notably, the story, characters and sequence of events are to similar to those of Persona 4 that anyone who’s played it will likely be able to predict most of Persona 5 ‘s events within a few hours. Despite its flaws, this title is still an enjoyable experience that gets a lot of things right.

7.  Rogue Galaxy (2015)

What makes it so good?

If you’re not familiar with Rogue Galaxy, it’s essentially a mix of Final Fantasy and Star Wars with space pirates. Need I go on?

If you’re not already sold, it may help to say that this is a huge adventure that takes the action-based combat and character progression system found in Final Fantasy XII and improves on them to create something special. Factor in the beautiful design, the quirky, colourful cast and selection of mini-games and the result is a hidden gem that deserves your attention.

Any drawbacks?

As a remastered PS2 game, you may spot signs of age though given the game’s anime design, they’re more well hidden than most. Also, there’s a couple of large difficulty spikes and some of the game’s elements such as its best weapons and their development could be better explained.

6.  Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (2016)

What makes it so good?

Nostalgia combined with solid JRPG mechanics and plenty of content. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth follows many of the tropes and traditions associated with classic turn-based JRPGs with gameplay that takes its cues from the Persona series. It offers hundreds of Digimon which you can raise, digivolve and de-digivolve in an adventure that will please current fans of the franchise as well as those who look back on it fondly.

Any drawbacks?

The Japanese-only voiceovers and abundance of backtracking around already-visited areas, which can understandably be a deterrent.

5.  Dark Chronicle (2016)

What makes it so good?

Dark Choronicle is the game that never sleeps. As well done as the story and dungeon exploration are, this game offers so many distractions that it’s easy to forget about the main game altogether! Of course, there’s the obligatory fishing mini-game, complimented by the less common fish racing arena. There’s also photography, town building and portal golf (obviously). Dark Chronicle offers so much that it can take up months of your time and still feel fresh.

Any drawbacks?

The single character action combat and procedurally generated mini-dungeons that populate most of the game may not speak to those looking for an adamantly traditional JRPG experience.

4.  Valkyria Chronicles Remastered (2016)

What makes it so good?

The art style – it’s the first thing that’s touted whenever Valkyria Chronicles is discussed, and rightfully so. The living watercolour world is a visual treat unlike any other in gaming and would be enough to sell this game alone without the brilliant story, enticing yet challenging tactical RPG combat and charming characters that can be lost permanently if they die in combat, making the journey one that can be desperate, hopeful and devastating all at once.

Any drawbacks?

There’s not a whole lot in terms of side-missions, distractions and post game content, so if you’re not a fan of the real time strategy combat system, then it’s not for you.

3.  Kingdom Hearts 3 (2019)

What makes it so good?

Disney magic. Every world is so lovingly crafted that they don’t just look like the movie, they feel like it too, transporting you into worlds that you could only otherwise experience as a spectator. The combat is far improved from previous entries and offers so much variety in offence that each weapon, world and situation opens up new possibilities. Kingdom Hearts 3 is a game that just radiates joy for players young and old.

Any drawbacks?

Unfortunately, the story is so complicated and convoluted at this point that it’s impossible to follow if you’re new to the series. On top of Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2, there are multiple entries spanning generations worth of consoles that add something important to the story, so before investing in Kingdom Hearts 3 you’d need to research the franchises lengthy lore or play through its HD remakes in Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far (which would probably make you sick of the whole series before you’ve completed them all).

2.  Final Fantasy XV (2016)

What makes it so good?

Despite not receiving the critical adoration that it deserved upon release, Final Fantasy XV is undoubtedly one of the best entries in the entire series. The camaraderie between Noctis and Co. immerses the player in their story, making them feel like the fourth member of the retinue so that every triumph feels like a personal win and every heartache hits like a freight train. Driving through the gorgeous open-world with music from past FF games blaring from the Regalia’s speakers is nostalgia-fueled euphoria and the combat is thrilling, high octane mayhem that’s still accessible and smooth. A must-have for any RPG fan.

Any drawbacks?

Like Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy XV’s world is bigger than the game alone, with a feature length movie and a handful of anime shorts released prior to the game – the difference is that these merely offer background on the world and its inhabitants so it’s not necessary to have seen them to enjoy the game’s story, but it does help.

1.  Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom (2018)

What makes it so good?

Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom is a patchwork masterpiece, sewing together the best elements from JRPGs past to create something familiar, fresh and outstanding: The beautiful artistry from its predecessor, a finely honed action-based combat system, a castle/town building system inspired from the Suikoden series that ties side-quests and resource collecting into one greater purpose, making everything the game has to offer feel essential, and of course, the heart-warming tale of a ragtag group coming together to try to save the world. Pure JRPG gold.

Any drawbacks?

Not really. If you’re an old-school JRPG purist who prefers turn-based over the more modern action orientated combat, it may not be your cup of tea, but this is essentially a game that hits the mark in every aspect.

Do you agree with our picks? Let us know in the Comments section if we’ve missed any of your favourites.

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