The very best JRPGs to check out on PS5 and PS4 (September 2023)

The RPG genre is overflowing with some of the best JRPG PlayStation games you can play on your PS5 and PS4 — here are some of our favorites!

The very best JRPGs to check out on PS5 and PS4 (September 2023)
Sean Lawson

Sean Lawson & Lee Brady

Published

We have pieced together a nice collection of games to present to you: the best JRPGs on PlayStation. If you're looking for deep stories, lovable characters, and lots of numbers to keep track of, this list — in tandem with our best PlayStation RPGs list — has plenty of games that have been hand-picked just for you.

Best JRPGs to play right now on PS5 and PS4 right now

First, the immortal question: What are JRPGs? Well, the quick and lazy answer is a role-playing game made in Japan, though this hardly helps us shape in our minds what a JRPG is. Generally speaking, these are role-playing games that skew closer to the traditional RPGs that Japan made famous in the 80s and 90s. These are games jam-packed with ticking numbers and character levels, often featuring simple or turn-based combat, and typically quite heavy on the menu and interface gameplay.

As you'll soon see, there's already plenty of wiggle room for game mechanics and aesthetics even within that more narrow definition, and the overlap between this genre and what is considered a Western RPG can often feel completely arbitrary. If you find this definition doesn't help you at all, then try this: We've played these games, and they ignite for us a similar joy as games with similar mechanics. Video game genre discussions, ladies and gentlemen. Let's get to the list.

Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Collection

Yeah, that's right — we are absolutely cheating on this one. Though you must understand how big a deal it is for us to have the first six mainline Final Fantasy games receive trophy support on PS4. That's right, from Final Fantasy trophies to Final Fantasy VI trophies, you can earn six delightful platinums via the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Collection. What were we supposed to do, put all six games on this list separately?

Besides, these six games have arguably never played better, in the sense that the Pixel Remasters let you cut out a lot of the stuff that feels exceptionally dated in older Final Fantasy games. Dislike constantly having your mood killed by random encounters? Turn them off in the settings. Not a fan of grinding for experience? Turn on an experience multiplier and take out the grind. Plus, the stunning upgraded graphics make this a retro-visual treat, so do yourself a favor and check out the full collection ASAP.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana puts you in the role of Adol, who awakens to find himself stranded on a cursed island. With no other option, he and the other shipwrecked passengers must build a village to challenge the fearsome beasts that roam the lands. Amidst this chaos, Adol begins to dream of a mysterious blue-haired woman, but just who is she?

The Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana trophies will put a lot of players through their paces, but for the veteran JRPG fans out there, you shouldn't have too much of an issue snagging the platinum trophy 'Adventurer Extraordinaire.' The gameplay is a lot of fun — taking down enemies feels clean and stylish while building up the village and saving all the shipwrecked passengers breaks up the game quite nicely. While there are many Ys games that could be a contender for a spot on this list, Ys VIII just has a lot of great mechanics going for it that help to elevate it above the other games in the series.

Thanks to all of you asking for a Ys game to be added to the list, we have been eyeing this one up for some time and have been dying to place it on this list! You guys gave us a good reason to get around to doing just that.

Persona 4 Golden

Collecting Persona 4 Golden trophies will be unlike any other gaming experience you will ever have. With an incredible storyline that will keep you guessing till the very end, you will fall in love with a roster of characters but struggle to decide between which your favorite is (it’s Kanji, it's always Kanji).

You also have access to an amazing OST that you can sit and jive to while you explore the wonderfully designed dungeons that you will spend a chunk of your time in. Then throw in the slice-of-life element and you have a truly unique JRPG experience that no other game can really provide. Well, only the other Persona series games. Just be wary: you can spend over 100 hours trying to get all of those Persona 4 Golden trophies as it will take at least two playthroughs to be able to snatch up all the different trophies.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch is an absolute marvel to play. With gorgeous and rich graphics and adorable characters to get to know, there is so much to see and do in this magical little world. Ni no Kuni follows the journey of Oliver, who after the tragic death of his mother, travels to a new world with his new magical friend called Drippy. In this world, Oliver has the chance to save his mother and will undergo a dangerous journey to bring her back.

While it was one of the best PS3 games, you'll get the most of the game from chasing those Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch Remastered trophies on PS4, which provides better visuals and enhancements to make it the best version of the game out there. There is something so fun and rewarding about collecting the various creatures of the world and using them in battle, it is very reminiscent of Pokémon in that aspect. Finally: a way to get your Pokémon fix on PlayStation systems.

Yakuza Like a Dragon

Yakuza Like a Dragon trophies mark the cut-off point for the Yakuza series on PS Plus Extra and Premium, and what a get for the subscription service they are. While any number of Like a Dragon games could make it onto this list, Yakuza Like a Dragon feels the most appropriate given its gameplay is now a much more traditional turn-based take on the RPG series.

You take control of new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga, marking a first-time departure for the Yakuza series' beloved Kazuma Kiryu. This would be a mark against the title if Ichiban were not such a wonderful, fitting leader for the new series. Players can jump into Yakuza Like a Dragon without having played previous entries and pick it all up from Ichiban's perspective — a perspective from which you will also see some of the wackiest violence to ever grace art as a universal concept.

Nier Automata

Nier Automata trophies unlock as you unfurl this epic masterpiece that has gone on to win a plethora of awards and recognition from fans and critics as being an absolute JRPG gem. With its rich story, stunning visuals, incredible OST, and addictive gameplay, it really is no surprise why this game has gone on to see the success it has.

The story of Nier Automata follows combat android 2B, scanner android 9S, and rogue prototype A2. To witness everything the game has to offer, you will need to complete multiple playthroughs. Each subsequential playthrough will unlock new pieces of story and events, to help you piece everything together. The gameplay combines RPG with action-based hack-and-slash combat and switches between video game genres ranging from shoot 'em up to text adventure. It's truly a must-play.

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Tales of Berseria

There are many great Tales series games that could have made this list; however, we wanted to highlight Tales of Beseria for its pretty unique perspective of casing you in the shoes of the villain. This is an angle that we don't normally see in video games. We are usually the gallant hero, the one who saves the world from complete and utter annihilation — but not today, not in Tales of Berseria.

Players will be thrust into a world of despair as they take on the role of Velvet Crowe, who witnesses someone she trusts, sacrificing her younger and sickly brother. The ritual is to save the world from utter annihilation, but after watching her brother's demise, Velvet snaps, and the Daemonblight possesses her arm, mutating it and turning her into a Daemon called a Therion. Now, with vengeance on her mind, Velvet will stop at nothing to avenge her brother's death.

Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen

The feeling of hunting Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen trophies makes it clear: this game is essentially Capcom’s answer to BioWare's Dragon Age series. Brimming with charm, a fantastic story, a great soundtrack, challenging enemies, and fun skills to harness — it's easy to see why so many players swear by the game. You can expect to see all your standard RPG outings going on in Dragon’s Dogma, with side-quests that will take you all around the huge map, secret zones, and powerful enemies to surpass.

The story follows your very own created character, who is dubbed the Arisen after having their heart stolen from them. Set in the fantasy world of Gransys, you are on a quest to defeat the dragon Grigori, a being said to herald the world's end, while also uncovering a deeper conspiracy along the way. The game captured the attention of fans all over the world, who have since been waiting for a Dragon's Dogma 2 announcement, which we finally received in the most epic of ways.

Dragon’s Dogma blurs the lines slightly when it comes to this list, although we feel it suits itself more to being a JRPG than anything else. The game was created in Japan but was released in the US before it was released in Japan itself. Despite this, it still has a lot of JRPG cliches littered throughout and lends itself more to that genre in our opinion. Hence it warrants a rightful spot on this list.

Wild Arms

Wild Arms trophies finally give us a brand new incentive to check out this beloved PS1 classic! In Wild Arms, players take control of Jack van Burace, Princess Cecilia, and Rudy Roughnight as they heed the call of the mythic Guardians to defend the lands from the evil Metal Demons.

The cult classic game originally launched on the PS1 back in 1996 and has gone on to garner quite the following. With its PS5 launch players can find a whole set of new benefits, such as enhanced graphics, quick saves, and rewinding, to take advantage of when traversing this walk down memory lane. It's without a doubt one of the top PS1 classics on PS Plus and still stands chin-to-chin with its competing 90s Final Fantasy peers.

Digimon Cyber Sleuth

Collecting Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth trophies while following our chosen character's dark journey into the digital world makes for a compelling play. Emerging into the real world as a half-digitized entity, players wind up being rescued by a detective named Kyoko Kuremi who specializes in cyber crimes and offers to take them into her service as her assistant. With Kuremi's help, the player will complete missions, uncover a deep mystery, and a world filled with Digimon.

The Digimon Cyber Sleuth trophies are going to put some players through their paces. The platinum trophy 'Perfect Sleuth' isn't going to be a cakewalk to earn, with only 2.4% of PSN users and 11.6% of TT users managing to snag this little beauty. Two silver trophies, 'Battle Master' and 'Legendary Medal Collector', will definitely force a long grindy search onto the player. This means you will need to be searching every nook and cranny to make this little reality pop. Still, if you're in the mood for a grind and you like games like Shin Megami Tensei: Soul Hacker, then this is as easy a recommendation as they come.

Akiba's Trip

Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed trophies are something else, and for anyone lucky enough to pick this game up, you are in for a treat. While the title alone may raise a few eyebrows, as will the description of gameplay when you read it, we promise if you give it a try you are in for one hell of a good time. There is something so fun and engaging about battling against a bunch of vampires and stripping them down to their underwear in order to defeat them, particularly when you pull off the chain strip mechanic. Doesn't that sound equally as fun as it does skeevy?

Sorry kids, no actual nudity is seen — all of that is covered up by random glowing lights. Our biggest sell here is the joy of smacking your vampire foes around with giant fans and golf clubs. While some may be quick to dismiss Akiba’s Trip from the JRPG pile, we feel the game belongs here. It’s a Japanese series and features many gimmicks that you would normally find in a JRPG, from the leveling and upgrading mechanics, loading your party up with new equipment and plenty of multi-path choices that you can make along the way.

That is the current list of JRPGs right now! However, with more and more JRPGs vying for a spot on the best PS4 games, there's always a chance we overlooked your favorite. Have you any recommendations for the list? Let us know in the comments below.
Written by Sean Lawson
Sean is a Staff Writer with a focus on the geekiest Sony news. He writes stories about unobtainable PlayStation trophies, the best PS Plus games, as well as RPGs and Fighting games. He is also excited for Tekken 8, Dragon Age Dreadwolf, Baldur's Gate 3, and Dragon's Dogma 2 to launch on PS5. Sean’s favourite games include Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, Tekken, and Persona.
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