Five Best JRPG’s

-by Dylan DiBona

I know I hadn’t quite advertised it heavily, but I did a celebration this month called “JRPG JULY” where I wrote such posts like:

So You Want to Get Into Persona?

Tales of Symphonia Review

Dragon Quest V and Perfection

So You Want to Get Into Kingdom Hearts?

The month was a moderate success and I was happy to do it. Towards the latter half I felt my inspiration going down, but I figured there was only one real way to end JRPG JULY; by discussing the very best of the genre.

DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT LIKE FINAL FANTASY AND I HAVEN’T PLAYED MANY PS1 JRPGs. THIS WON’T BE YOUR TYPICAL LIST. ENJOY!

 

5. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Is “cult classic” even an appropriate title anymore? In a rare as hell moment, two powerhouse video game companies (Nintendo and Square Enix) teamed up for one amazing JRPG. Instead of the typical dramatic story of any game in the genre, Super Mario RPG relied on comedy and witty dialogue.

Image result for Super Mario RPG

For what I believe was the first time ever, players were able to explore the Mushroom Kingdom in a non-platformer fashion. Everything from its isometric graphics and iconic music stand out as top notch presentation. The “rhythm” based mechanics in battle make for more engaging battles as well. This is a game that should be experienced by any Nintendo fan.

Come for the: Gameplay

Stay for the: Humor

 

4. The World Ends With You

Where is my sequel?! Now this is still a cult classic. The World Ends With You takes you through the popping Japanese city of Shibuya as you are Neku Sakuraba, an antisocial teenager. Neku is thrust into a “game” with other teenagers where he must perform certain takes or face “erasure”. What unfolds is the best Nintendo DS game there is.

Image result for the world ends with you

I haven’t replayed it in forever, so maybe it’s just a game that fourteen year old me adores, but The World Ends With You is special. By pushing buttons to control the top party member and tapping the screen to control the bottom, the battles get to be hectic but pulse pounding.

Come for the: Story

Stay for the: Story and gameplay

 

3. Dragon Quest VIII

So I actually have a bit of an ugly history with this game. I picked up the original version for PlayStation 2 a few years ago, but back then I despised random encounters. After hearing that the 3DS version got rid of random encounters I was interested again. Today I don’t mind random encounters, as long as the encounter rate isn’t every two seconds and there’s a way to lower it a la a Repel in Pokemon. But again after trying it for 3DS I didn’t beat it. Why? I didn’t know what Dragon Quest was.

Image result for Dragon Quest VIII

Dragon Quest is all about tradition. Things like the gold helmeted macho men seemed weird to me. But after going back to DQI on my phone, and then IV and V; I realized what this series was about. When I jumped back into DQVII after those 2D games I felt like a kid in 1996 playing Ocarina of Time for the first time ever. Featuring possibly the best designs from Akira Toriyama, the series’ pinnacle of music (competes with III) and a world full of color and excitement, Dragon Quest VII is nothing to ignore.

Come for the: Gameplay

Stay for the:  Gameplay and characters

 

2. Persona 5

Okay now this is painstakingly difficult to put Persona 5 at number two, it could actually very well take the number one spot for gripping me like no other game had in quite some time. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; Persona is playable anime and anime is addictive with its characters and story. There’s nothing like going back to high school (this time it doesn’t suck) and making friends, girlfriends and saving the world!

Image result for persona 5

It may sound cheesy and that’s because it is! But seriously, just like with Persona 4 we get one of the best stories in video games and an amazing world filled with great characters. I just can’t describe eloquently enough how much this game means to me. Here is my review for more details.

Come for the: Story

Stay for the: Finding the best girlfriend, trying to max out all relationships because the characters mean the world to you and collecting all Personas because of how cool and strong they are and-

 

1. Dragon Quest V

As much as I want to put Persona 5 in this spot for tugging at my heart strings, Dragon Quest V pulled off a combination of narrative and gameplay that I don’t think Persona quite did. Persona is amazing, but after a while you get a bit tired of pulling All-Out attacks. There also comes a point where the gameplay feels like almost like  chore when compared to  hanging out with your in-game friends. Dragon Quest V was a perfect see-saw of story and gameplay. Never did a battle take too long, never did a story event drag on. This is classic turn-based JRPG to its finest.

Image result for dragon quest v

You get moments where you can capture and fight alongside monsters, but also moments where you get humans as party members which adds a sense of variety and replay-ability. You get to pick a wife (probably one of the things I enjoy too much in video games) and explore a giant world. What more is there to want? I did safe after all that is the second video game I would consider perfect. An absolute gem.

Come for the: Gameplay

Stay for the: Gameplay and story


And there you have my personal definitive list of the best JRPGs! Do you guys like these games as well? Do you have your own list? Let me know down below and I’ll try my best to reply! Thank you for joining me for JRPG JULY and I hope you stick with me in August for my “Month of Less“.

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