Xbox consoles might not be known for their reputation of being JRPG machines, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have plenty of hits in the genre worth playing. While Nintendo and Sony both have a more historic connection to the genre, Microsoft has made a valiant effort in courting numerous Japanese developers and publishers in recent years in order to bring more JRPGs to Xbox consoles. And so, we’re here to round up the best JRPGs you can play on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
Over the last few years, more and more of Japan’s finest have been making their way onto Xbox. And if you’re a Game Pass subscriber, it’s even better news: there’s a good amount of them available as part of your subscription. So while Xbox players might miss out on some of the JRPGs available to PlayStation gamers, there’s still a healthy amount to choose from. Want proof? Check out our list of the best JRPGs on Xbox.
1. Persona 5 Royal
The Persona series, a spin-off of Shin Megami Tensei, has always been rather popular, but Persona 5 really put it in the spotlight for JRPG fans. For years, Xbox gamers could only dream of getting in on the Persona 5 action, but thanks to Persona 5 Royal they finally can. It’s the best version of the game, too, featuring additional content and new gameplay features.
In Persona 5 Royal players take control of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts who, via the Metaverse, fight injustice. What really makes Persona 5 Royal so engrossing, however, is how you have to manage your party members’ lives. In between venturing through dungeons, you need to grow their social bonds and make sure they keep up with things like school and their jobs. If you’re after one of the best JRPGs on Xbox, look no further.
2. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
While Yakuza games have always had RPG elements, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a full-on JRPG with turn-based battles and everything. It’s mainly down to its protagonist, Ichiban, who is a massive Dragon Quest fan and dreams of being a hero. Thanks to his very active imagination, your opponents even change their appearance when you get into battle, taking on more fantastical properties.
Despite the change in gameplay style, however, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a Yakuza game through and through. It features a lengthy crime-filled story filled with twists and turns around every corner. And of course, if wouldn’t be a Yakuza game without a wealth of side-quests, activities and games to also have fun with. Still, who’d have thought that a Yakuza game would be one of the best JRPGs on Xbox, eh?
3. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition is something of a mouthful. But as far as JRPGs on Xbox go, this is right up there with the best of them. It follows the adventure of ‘The Luminary’, a boy chosen to fight against the evil in the world that’s out to get him. But with the help of his trusty companions, he’s going to come out on top.
This Definitive Edition is the best way to experience Dragon Quest XI, packing in a ton of extra content. Not only are there extra missions, but you can enjoy a new soundtrack, quality of life improvements, and the ability to switch between retro and modern graphics. All that is cool, but it’s the story and gameplay of Dragon Quest XI that will keep you coming back. If you’re a JRPG fan, this is about as good as it gets.
4. Sea of Stars
Sea of Stars might be one of the newest titles on this list of JRPGs on Xbox, but it’s undoubtedly one of the best, and it’s been showered with praise since it launched back in summer 2023. This 2D adventure is heavily inspired by classic JRPGs from the 90s, and we’ve absolutely lapped up its beautiful pixelated art style.
It tells the story of the Children of the Solstice, putting you in charge of a pair of them who, between them, harness the powers of the sun and moon. Their unique powers make the game’s turn-based combat a joy, but it’s perhaps exploring its rich world that really makes Sea of Stars stand out. You’ll find yourself swimming, jumping from platforms, climbing up ledges and more, with traversal here heavily inspired by platforming games.
5. One Piece Odyssey
You don’t have to be a One Piece fan to love One Piece Odyssey: this beautifully colourful JRPG is one of the best on Xbox thanks to its excellent blend of combat, exploration and storytelling. Sure, you’re going to get more out of it if you’re already familiar with Luffy and his band of Straw Hat Pirates, but even if you’re not, there’s a lot to love.
One Piece Odyssey begins as your ship, The Thousand Sunny, gets shipwrecked on a mysterious island. Surrounded by a strange storm, you’re soon stripped of all your powers, and so begins a series of quests to get them back. You’ll journey through gorgeously animated environments, meet a cast of larger-than-life characters and fight against a range of well-designed enemies. And with a clever rock-paper-scissors style combat mechanic, every fight is an absolute joy – just like almost every other element of this wonderful JRPG.
6. Tales of Arise
Bandai Namco’s Tales series has been entertaining JRPG fans for years, and Tales of Arise is one of its best entries. Set in a world rife with inequality, Tales of Arise finds two unlikely heroes, each with a very different background, teaming up to make things better. They pick up more companions along the way, too, and you’re free to take control of any of them during the game’s action-packed encounters.
Like all Tales games, the combat here is fast-paced, and you’re in direct control. It gives Tales of Arise a different feel to other games on this list, which mostly feature traditional turn-based combat systems. If anything, though, it helps to draw you into the experience, and it’s great fun exploring the game’s field to hunt down valuable items, complete quests and more.
7. Soul Hackers 2
Another spin-off of the Shin Megami Tensei series, Soul Hackers 2 offers a fairly traditional JRPG experience albeit in a futuristic world. Players tale control of an artificial being called Ringo who, working alongside human friends, must fight to stop a catastrophe that threatens the world.
As players progress the story, they’ll complete a variety of dungeons, taking on enemies in turn-based combat. The twist here is that your enemies can be recruited, granting you new combat abilities and helping you in various ways. Ultimately, it’s an experience that’ll feel very familiar to anyone that has played a Persona or Shin Megami Tensei game, but its unique setting and interesting characters make it stand out.
8. Octopath Traveler
Square Enix’s unique ‘HD-2D’ art style makes Octopath Traveler instantly stand out: it simultaneously looks like a classic JRPG and a modern piece of art. The result is something rather striking, but this title has more than just its visuals going for it.
Octopath Traveler is essentially eight separate stories in one. With eight different characters, you can play through their adventures in any order you want, and each one of them is just as captivating as the last. Each character has their own personality, their own abilities and their own side quests to uncover, and while you might have your favourites, they’re all a joy to play through.
9. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered
It was originally released in 2011, but don’t let Ni No Kuni’s age put you off. Developed in conjunction with master anime studio Ghibli, this remains one of the most beautiful JRPGs of all time – and undoubtedly one of the best JRPGs on Xbox. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered sees visuals cleaned up, making animations every bit as sharp as they should be.
But the stunning visuals are only part of what makes Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch so wonderful. There’s its fairytale-like story, which will keep you gripped from start to finish, is brought to life with characters you’ll instantly fall in love with. Top of them all has to be the utterly delightful ‘fairy’ Drippy, whose Welsh accent is still on loop in our heads more than a decade after we first played.
10. Scarlet Nexus
Scarlet Nexus is another JRPG set in a futuristic world, but this time it’s one which has come under attack from mysterious beings known as Others. Taking control of one of two protagonists, players make their way through a story full of twists and turns, combating the Others while also finding out more about the world around them and the strange powers that operate within it.
Being an action RPG, encounters here play out in real-time, with players able to perform combos, make use of a variety of special skills, and even dodge incoming enemy attacks. It might not scratch the itch for those after a more traditional JRPG experience, then, but for those who want something a little bit different, it’s definitely worth a look.