If you love JRPGs, you’re well catered for on PS4. In fact, it’s home to many of the best of them.
JRPGs have been abundant on Sony consoles ever since the original PlayStation, with some of the all-time greats being exclusive. And while many JRPGs now also make their way to PC as well as Nintendo and Xbox consoles, there are still many that you can only play if you’re a member of team blue. So, if you have a PS4 you’re one step closer to JRPG heaven. But what are the best JRPGs on PS4?
With so many JRPGs available on PS4, weeding out the best ones can be quite a task. Hopefully we can help you with that. We’ve put together a list of the best JRPGs on PS4; those that we’ve played ourselves and thoroughly enjoyed. We think you might do too, so take a gander and see if any jump out at you. And remember, all of these are playable on PS5 as well thanks to backwards compatibility. Some even have free next-gen upgrades, too.
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This list was first published in March 2018 and has been updated periodically since.
1. Octopath Traveler 2
Don’t be put off by the fact this is Octopath Traveler II – it may be a sequel in number, but it tells its own, individual story. So you don’t need to have played the first game to enjoy it – and it’s a good job, since it has never had a PS4 release. This is a JRPG well worth jumping into, though: its gorgeous HD-2D art style is instantly captivating, but this is far more than just a pretty-looking adventure.
It’s the stories of Octopath Traveler II that will really keep you enraptured. As you play through, you’ll encounter eight different characters, each with their own story to tell. You can pay through each character in any order you wish, making everyone’s experience with the game slightly different. From engaging turn-based combat to a rich world to explore, there’s so much here that makes Octopath Traveler II one of the best JRPGs on PS4.
2. Tales of Arise
If you have a PS4 and are after the best JRPGs to play, this latest entry into the Tales series is a must-have. The story of Tales of Arise centres around Alphen and Shionne, two determined warriors from each side of warring nations. Working together, they plan to change the world, but they have a long and arduous journey ahead of them. Thankfully they make friends along the way who are also eager to help. It’s in their best interests, after all.
Aside from a story that will have you eager to find out what happens next, what will strike you about Tales of Arise is its brilliant combat. It’s fast-paced, challenging and spectacular to watch, making the many encounters you get into on your adventure a pleasure to take part in. Ultimately, this is undoubtedly the best – and prettiest – Tales game yet, so make sure you give it a go.
3. Final Fantasy VII Remake
We were dubious when it was announced that Final Fantasy VII was to get a full remake. It’s one of the best JRPGs of all time, after all, and we just didn’t know if a remake could live up to expectations. The good news is that it does. And then some.
Covering just a part of Final Fantasy VII‘s epic story, Final Fantasy VII Remake confines its events to Midgar, a city overshadowed by the Shinra Electric Power Company. With its machines sucking the Earth’s lifeblood dry, Cloud Strife, a former Shinra SOLDIER, is hired by a terrorist group known as Avalanche to take action.
The twist in Final Fantasy VII Remake is that its less of an outright remake and more of a sequel. So, whether you’ve played the original or not, you’ll get a lot out of it. Even more surprising is how well its turn-based battle system has been translated into a real-time one. Needless to say, if you’re after the best JRPGs on PS4, you need to play Final Fantasy VII Remake.
4. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition
Okay, so Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition is something of a mouthful. But as far as JRPGs on PS4 go, this is right up there with the best of them. Casting players as ‘The Luminary’, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition sends them on a quest to protect the land from destruction. It sounds like a grave task, but thanks to the ragtag bunch of adventurers they’ll also add to their party along the way, they’ll manage.
While the original version of Dragon Quest XI may look better on PS4 due to the Definitive Edition being based on the Switch port of the game, it’s still undoubtedly the one you want to grab. Not only does it pack in a tonne of additional content such as extra missions, but it also features a new soundtrack, quality of life improvements, and the ability to switch between retro and modern graphics. Needless to say, if you’re after a good old-fashioned JRPG to sink your teeth into, it’s a must-have.
5. Persona 5 Royal
You never saw it coming. Or did you? Persona 5 Royal is the latest in the long-running series of JRPGs, which they themselves come from the already successful Shin Megami Tensei games. Where Shin Megami Tensei has been more obsessed with a high difficulty and themes of the occult, however, Persona has taken those elements and remoulded them around the anxieties of the modern social world. With each iteration, these games continue to prove endlessly creative and new. Never has that been more apparent than in Persona 5 Royal.
Its ridiculously lengthy playtime may be a bit daunting at first glance, but once you take your first step into Persona 5 Royal’s lavishly created world you’ll never want to leave. Its story is perhaps one of the best in the franchises history, often touching on heavy subject matter with surprising poignancy. And while its battle system and dungeons are all huge steps forward for the series, Persona 5 Royal’s confidant system and life-sim elements are some of the best aspects it has to offer. It’s the culmination of an entire series of work, creating one of the most engaging, fun, thoughtful, and well-rounded games in the genre. It’s not just one of the best JRPGs on PS4, it’s one of the best JRPGs ever.
6. The Atelier Ryza Series
Okay, we’re cheating a bit here, lumping three games together in one entry. But every game in the Atelier Ryza series is so wonderful that it’s impossible to choose between them. The Atelier series as a whole has been around since 1997, with its games often released as trilogies. It’s safe to say that the most recent trilogy, centering around Ryza, are perhaps the most successful.
Maybe it’s because the Atelier Ryza games remove some of the more niche aspects of the series, such as imposed time limits, while also overhauling the game’s combat. Ryza herself is also more likeable than past protagonists. Whatever it is, the Atelier Ryza games just feel like a step above what’s come before. Needless to say, even if you’ve never touched an Atelier game before, you’d be wise to check them out. If you like colourful JRPGs with light-hearted stories, consider the Atelier Ryza series as some of the best JRPGs on PS4.
7. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
The Yakuza games have pretty much always had RPG elements, but the latest entry in the series, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, is a full-blown JRPG. Not only that, it’s one of the best on PS4, too.
At the heart of Yakuza: Like a Dragon is new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga. He’s obsessed with Dragon Quest, wanting to help those in need and be the Legendary Hero. In keeping with the theme, combat plays out in a turn-based fashion. Kasuga soon acquires numerous friends who accompany him on his journey, and, when a fight breaks out, it’s up to you to issue them commands. They even have jobs, which determine what special abilities are available to them. Ultimately though, this is a Yakuza game through and through, which means there’s a crime-filled and overly dramatic story running throughout, along with plenty of kooky moments and lashings of humour.
Don’t be put off by the fact that Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the latest entry in a long-running series; it’s totally accessible to those who have no prior knowledge of it. Its brilliant combat system and engrossing story means that it truly is one of the best JRPGs available on PS4 right now.
8. Ys IX: Monstrum Nox
If you like JRPGs that are a bit more action-oriented, the Ys series is always a safe bet. Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is the latest and greatest of them all. And it takes a few chances with the formula, too.
Opening with red-haired adventurer Adol Christin being jailed, Ys IX: Monstrum Nox largely constricts your activities to just one town. It’s a large town, though, holding many secrets for you to discover. Thankfully, to find them you have new capabilities, and allies that will also impart their unique talents. So, the further into your adventure you get, the more capable you are of exploring every nook and cranny. It’s the intense combat that’s really the star of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox though, just as always.
It’s not the best-looking JRPG on PS4, and some long-term fans of the series may not get on well with some of the new elements introduced, but on the whole Ys IX: Monstrum Nox comes highly recommended.
9. Fairy Tail
If you’re a fan of the Fairy Tail anime, then chances are you’ve already picked up this fantastic JRPG based on it. If not, you should perhaps still give it a try. In Fairy Tail, you take control of the members of the titular guild, aiming to restore it to its former glory. You see, the core members of the magical Fairy Tail guild have returned after being missing for some seven years, and so it’s understandably fallen down the rankings. So it’s decided – to get back to the number one spot, the guild will compete in the Grand Magic Games.
While Fairy Tail‘s gameplay loop is fairly simple, with a lot of time spent completing what some will consider to be menial tasks, its combat system and interesting narrative will keep you hooked. It’s presented really nicely, too, perfectly capturing the look of the anime. So, whether you’re familiar with the franchise or not, Fairy Tail is definitely worth considering if you’re after the best JRPGs on PS4. It’s simply charming.
10. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered
Originally released on PS3, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch has been remastered for PS4. Being one of the best JRPGs ever made, it’s a must have. Made in collaboration with Studio Ghibli, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered features wonderfully animated story scenes and a narrative that really will touch you. Thanks to being spruced up for PS4 it looks really nice during gameplay, too, and has fantastic voice acting.
A lengthy adventure, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered puts you in control of a small boy named Oliver who can seemingly pass between the real world and one that’s much more magical. It’s your typical RPG affair, with Oliver being the chosen one who must fight against evil, but it’s gripping nonetheless. If you’ve never played it before, consider it an essential purchase on PS4.
11. Dragon Star Varnir
It comes across as a low budget affair, but Dragon Star Varnir surprised us by emerging as one of the best JRPGs available on PS4. You’re cast as Zephy in Dragon Star Varnir, a man who has suddenly become a witch. Given its fantasy setting you might think nothing of it, but in the world of Dragon Star Varnir it’s unheard of. Men simply aren’t witches. Thanks to your new predicament you’re taken in by the local coven, however, and quickly discover that being a witch isn’t as exciting as it sounds. Basically it’s a death sentence.
With all witches destined to painfully become dragons at some point or another, you’re thrown into an adventure to find a solution to the problem. And with fairly linear fields and a turn-based battle system, it feels distinctly old-school. It keeps you gripped, though, and that’s all that really matters.
12. Cris Tales
We’re cheating a little bit with Cris Tales. This isn’t technically a JRPG, since its developer doesn’t originate from Japan. Dreams Uncorporated, the team behind Cris Tales, is in fact Colombian, but its approach to game design is very much in line with traditional JRPGs. Cris Tales is modern, beautiful and a joy to play – and its inspirations are very clear.
This is the story of Crisbell, an orphan who has just discovered she’s got special powers: she’s a Time Mage. That means she can manipulate time in several useful ways – giving her some special advantages in Cris Tales‘ exciting turn-based combat. There’s a gorgeous world to explore, and lots of interesting characters to meet along the way, too. It may not be a JRPG in the true sense of the term, but it very much has the genre’s blood pumping through its veins – and it’s one of the best on PS4.