Who doesn’t know JRPG? Everyone knows. And who doesn’t play JRPG? For any gamer out there, they have played a Japanese RPG at least once. Name it Final Fantasy series, Dragon Quest series, or even Persona series, at least one game in the series must have been played by the RPG lovers. So now, let us recollect the 5 best classic JRPG developed by Japanese studios, in case you want to repeat the best gaming experience.
1. EarthBound (Game Boy Advance, SNES)
EarthBound or also known as Mother 2 in Japan is a Japanese RPG developed by Ape Inc. and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo in 1994. Unlike any other RPG which the characters fought with swords and other weapon, EarthBound is set in a rather contemporary setting where instead of battling with swords and spells, we will fought with baseball bats and psychic powers.
The game follows Ness, a young boy who lived in the town of Onett and awakens one night after a meteor strikes a hilltop outside his house. Inside the meteor he found Buzz, a talking bee from the future who is on a mission to warn the Earth of a coming invasion by evil alien called Giygas. Together with three other kids, they travel the world to collect the 8 melodies in order to defeat the Giygas.
2. Secret of Mana (Android, iOS, SNES, Switch, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, PC)
Secret of Mana is known for a high quality action-RPG that could stand up to Zelda series in both the quality and timelessness. This game is another creation of Square, as the expert in making wonderful RPG for consoles. The game was originally released in 1993 for SNES and has been ported to mobile phones in 2009, but the enhanced port of the game was released in 2010 (iOS) and in 2014 (Android).
Secret of Mana features three main characters fighting an empire which tries to take over the world by abusing the power of Mana. The strong point in this game is the detail of the visuals, where you can see the bones-littering cavern floor, or colorful flowers and plant-life lining the trails as we walk upon. The water and clouds also moves naturally, giving life to the visualization of the graphics.
3. Final Fantasy VI (Android, iOS, Game Boy Advance, SNES, Wii, PlayStation, PC)
Final Fantasy VI was released in 1994 by Square for SNES (now also available in Android, and iOS). Final Fantasy VI is the sixth installment of the Final Fantasy series which was known to be one of the best Final Fantasy game ever made. It added more depth to both gameplay and narrative than any Final Fantasy game before.
The story tells about a technological world dominated by an evil empire by the use of Magitek technology. We will control the characters with different backgrounds. The heroes consist of the people who have been a part of the empire, brainwashed by the empire, or those who rebels against the empire. This game features 14 permanent playable characters, the largest number of any games in the series.
4. Chrono Trigger (Android, iOS, DS, SNES, PlayStation, PC)
Chrono Trigger is a legendary game of SNES which was re-released for PlayStation in 1995. It has a good storyline, great battle system, and nice graphics that will pamper us RPG lovers. In this game, we will play as Crono, a young swordsman along with his unique companions. Crono and his companions will travel through times to stop the world from destruction caused by an entity named Lavos.
A princess, a frog swordsman, a prehistoric blonde girl, and a robot will be your party members as you progress through the story. This game battle system is actually similar to Final Fantasy’s standard battle, but there are combo attacks which can be performed by combining specific skills of the party members. Each character will have their different elements to assist them in fighting enemies.
5. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (Android, iOS, 3DS, PlayStation 2)
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King was originally made for PlayStation 2, and ported to 3DS with the same title. The Android and iOS version of the game was released in 2013 in Japan and worldwide in 2014. The trademark of this game is its artwork made by Akira Toriyama (known as the creator of Dragon Ball), and the cell-shading textures that was popular in PlayStation 2 before.
In this game, we will play as the silent hero (players can create a name for him) who is a royal guard of Trodain. One day, the villain boss Dhoulmagus cast a spell on the castle and turn everyone into animals and plants. It is the job of the hero and his companions to bring peace back to the world.
You may call those games a classic JRPG, but don’t underestimate the quality and gameplay. All the great JRPG we know today are based on those games and the franchises, thus we can say this genre will be everlasting and will always have its own addicted fans. Speaking about a favorite, I’ll go with Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI since those two are the best classic JRPG I have ever found in my childhood.
Which classic JRPG do you think is the best? Are you also finding a hard time to choose one? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.