Disclaimer – This is an opinion piece. So We may not share the same list. These games are in my opinion the best JRPGs to date. Like I said this is an opinionated list.
17. Pokemon Platinum (NDS)
Pokemon Platinum is one of the best Pokemon games to date. Pokemon Platinum is the enhanced edition of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. Pokemon Platinum improved on Diamond/Pearl in every way possible and added a lot of new content such as the Battle Frontier and Pokemon from other regions. Cynthia is, in my opinion, the best Pokemon champion to date and the toughest one too. The soundtrack in this game was also terrific. Pokemon Platinum is the best “third release” and is truly a remarkable game.
16. The World Ends With You (NDS)
The World Ends With You is an incredible game and is one of the best games on the Nintendo DS. It’s an absolute shame Square Enix didn’t make a sequel to this game. The characters in this game were outstanding. Sqaure did an excellent job with the characters in this game and the music was great as well. The best thing about The World Ends With You was the story. The story was extremely interesting and the combat system was enjoyable. Square needs to make a sequel to this game or remaster it for modern consoles.
15. Tales of The Abyss (PS2)
Tales of the Abyss is a superb game and it’s a shame Tales games aren’t as great as they used to be (in my opinion). Tales of the abyss had a pleasing and unique story. The battle system for its time was also pretty good. The main reason why Tales of the Abyss is on this list is because of the characters and the story. The character development was perfect. Luke was an unlikeable character at first but as the story continued he became a much more likable character. The side characters in this game are also very interesting. If you have a 3DS lying around then I recommend you buy this game.
14. Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver (NDS)
Pokemon Gold and Silver were truly spectacular games when they first came out. Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver are remakes of the original Pokemon Gold and Silver for the Nintendo DS. Content wise Pokemon Heart Gold/ Soul Silver set an extremely high bar for other Pokemon games. These pair of games still have the most content out of any Pokemon game. The Johto region wasn’t my favorite because of the under-leveled Pokemon but it was still a fun world to explore.
13. Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (NDS)
Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story is a classic and is a must own if you still have a Nintendo DS or even a 3DS. When playing this game you can just tell so much effort and love was put into the game. The art style is gorgeous and the plot is great and fun with lots of good humor. The music was also beautiful. Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story is a game recommend to all RPG and Nintendo fans.
12. Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Chrono Trigger is a fantastic game and it deserves all the praise. The game is truly a masterpiece and is one of the best games Square Enix has ever made in my opinion. The story was wonderful and the side quests were great. The combat system in Chrono Trigger was simple but fun. The characters are also excellent.
11. Ni No Kuni (PS3)
Ni No Kuni is a beautiful game and is the by far one of the best JRPG’s of the last generation. The game isn’t perfect. The game did have some issues but overall as a package, Ni No Kuni Wrath Of The White Witch was a marvelous game. The visuals are breathtaking and the soundtrack is phenomenal. The battle system is well fleshed out with a lot of depth. Ni No Kuni is a game that needs to be remastered for modern consoles.
10. Tales of Symphonia (PS2/Gamecube)
Tales of Symphonia is a great game and like I said it’s a shame Tales games can’t be as good as they once were. Tales of Symphonia has a great cast of characters and the story is interesting and fun. That being said this game hasn’t aged well at all and might be disappointing to some. Tales of Symphonia also has a great main character and a very memorable main character too. Tales of Symphonia is one of the best JRPG’s of the PS2/Gamecube era.
9. Persona 4: Golden (PSVita)
Persona 4: Golden is a magnificent game and is by far the best game on the PSVita. This game is an enhanced version of Persona 4. If you don’t have this game and have a Vita then I full heartily recommend you buy this game. Persona 4: Golden has an excellent cast of characters and a very unique story with a fine plot twist and villain. The best thing about Persona 4: Golden is the social links and the voice acting. The English voice acting was spectacular in my opinion. The only problems I had with Persona 4: Golden was the music. The music was good but for a Persona game, I thought it could have been better.
8. Final Fantasy X (PS2)
Final Fantasy X is by far one of the best games on the PS2 and is one of the best games I have ever played. The characters are outstanding and Tidus is a very good and likable character along with Yuna, Rikku and the rest of the cast. The story was also very interesting. Final Fantasy X is one of the most memorable Final Fantasy games along with VII. The graphics for its time were unmatched and the turn based battle system was straightforward and enjoyable.
7. Tales of Vesperia (PS3/Xbox 360)
Tales of Vesperia is the best Tales of game by a mile. Tales of Vesperia is Tales of at its absolute best. The game has aged very well and a lot of enjoyment can still be found in this game. The main character is very well written and almost all of the characters in Tales of Vesperia are well written. The story is great and the combat system is still pretty good. Tales of Vesperia is the best Tales of game and a remaster of this game for modern consoles would be great.
6. Persona 5 (PS4)
Persona 5 is the best JRPG in the last 5 years in my opinion. The game was just incredibly crafted and I still go back and play this game regularly. The music is extremely impressive. None of the tracks ever get old or repetitive. The characters are also very well written especially Futaba and Yusuke. The plot is very different and unique. The best thing about Persona 5 is the combat system. Persona 5 is unmatched when compared to other turn based JRPGs in my opinion. The dungeons are also spectacular. Persona 5 is a game every RPG fan should try out even if you don’t like anime.
5. Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door (Gamecube)
Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door is a classic and is by far the best Paper Mario game and is one of the best games from Nintendo in my opinion. It’s a shame modern Paper Mario games aren’t as good as they used to be as The Thousand Year Door is truly a special game. The gameplay mechanics are unique and the writing is pretty good. The graphics were also great for its time and the music was lovely. Honestly, If you’re looking for a good Paper Mario game I recommend you try out Thousand Year Door or the original Paper Mario. It would be nice if Nintendo made a Paper Mario Collection for the Switch.
4. Kingdom Hearts 2 (PS2)
I didn’t like the original Kingdom Hearts. I thought it was clunky and I also thought the gameplay was a complete mess. That being said I adored Kingdom Hearts 2 and yes I actually did understand the story. Sora is at his best in Kingdom Hearts 2. He is still childish but he is also a lot more mature. The worlds in Kingdom Hearts 2 are great and well designed and I’m glad they got rid of the Platforming in Kingdom Hearts 2. The characters in Kingdom Hearts 2 are excellent and Roxas and the whole organization are excellent editions. The combat system is unrivaled and to be honest Kingdom Hearts 2 has the best combat system out of any ARPG in my opinion. A must for fans of Final Fantasy and Disney.
3. Persona 3 FES/Portable (PS2/PSP)
Persona 3 FES is an interesting and dark game but objectively speaking Persona 5 is a much better game than Persona 3. That being said the characters in Persona 3 are incredible even though I did prefer the characters in Persona 5. The reason why Persona 3 is ranked above Persona 5 is because Persona 3 completely changed the Persona series. Persona 3 added social links and dating elements which are still present in Persona games today. Then again I did personally think Persona 3 was much better than 4. Both Persona 3 FES/Portable are excellent games and The Answer is an excellent chapter. I recommend you get both games for the best Persona 3 experience
2. Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
Final Fantasy 7 is not only one of the best JRPG of all time but is also one of the most important games in video game history. Final Fantasy 7 is one of the most memorable games in the history of gaming. Final Fantasy 7 is definitely the best Final Fantasy game in my opinion. The characters are incredible, the soundtrack is beautiful and the gameplay is excellent. Final Fantasy VII was a complete game changer and I can’t wait to see what Square does with the remake. (Hopefully they don’t mess it up).
1. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (PS2)
A very hard decision one could argue Final Fantasy 7 is a better game but personally, I think Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is the best JRPG of all time and is an incredibly underrated game. (Atlus needs to fully remake this game for the PS4, Switch or 3DS). The game is incredible and the story is absolutely fantastic. The game is really dark and can be very challenging and frustrating but that adds to the fun in my opinion. The gameplay is also fantastic and the soundtrack is great. Honestly, it’s a shame not many people have played this game. SMT Nocturne is an amazing game. JRPGs were at their absolute best during the PS2 generation in my opinion