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Essays 26 May 2022, 14:21

10 Best Games to Introduce You to the jRPG Genre in 2022

Want to start an adventure with jRPGs, but you're not familiar with the genre? Here is our list of 10 Japanese RPGs that are perfect to play as your first games in this adventure.

The jRPG genre is full of unforgettable stories and many wonderful and complex characters visiting some fantastic universes. When choosing games for this ranking, we were primarily interested in tow main factors: low entry threshold, and availability on modern platforms – for this reason, several classic games are omitted. Whichever game you choose from the list below, you can count on an amazing adventure.

Chrono Trigger

  1. Key features: Low difficulty and uncomplicated gameplay that's easy to master
  2. Release year: 1995 (original version), 2018 (Steam version)
  3. Creators: Square Enix

We start with Chrono Trigger because it's basically an immortal game that introduced me, and countless other players, to the wonderful world of jRPG. It's a title that literally squeezed 110% out of the 16-bit era, and I am certain that nothing has gotten old so far. This still makes it the perfect beginning for amateurs who are just about to tackle the Japanese school of RPGs. The colorful visuals and quality animations bravely stood the test of time and can delight people who value pixel art even today. This is largely due to the stylistics for which Akira Toriyama – mangaka known in the world as the creator of Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump.

Chrono Trigger also brings an extremely exciting scenario with an adventurous knack to it. A must-play for people fascinated with time travel. Visiting the land created by the developers at different epochs is an incredibly engaging experience. Especially since we encounter wonderful characters in each time sphere – each of them has received enough screen time and their own micro-scenarios, which, combined with their personal tragedies, only adds more depth.

The title is also simple and not too complicated in terms of mechanics – even by the genre's standards. A great combat system – turn-based or ATB – benefits a lot from the combos. Discovering synergies between your teammates and gradually unlocking flashy combination techniques is fun in itself. I can also guarantee that some solutions of the storyline can surprise you very positively, for example due to a certain dose of non-linearity. After all, this is one of the milestones of the industry, and the "definitive" Steam release is now the perfect way to see this monumental masterpiece. Personally, I have never completed any other jRPG game as many times as I did Chrono Trigger.

  1. Chrono Trigger in our encyclopedia

Sebastian Kasparek

Sebastian Kasparek

Feels most comfortable in the editorials section at GRYOnline, and sometimes he also writes reviews. A fan of all kinds of culture, who reaches for works from both the top and the bottom shelf. He likes to immerse himself in niche games and productions that are hard to define unequivocally. Appreciates an analytical and critical approach when dealing with cultural works. Prefers unique, strange, visually crazy games that boldly tackle more interesting narrative issues. Addicted to high-octane productions, fighting games, big robots and arcade. Huge fan of Grasshopper Manufacture studio. He likes to catch up on forgotten "hidden gems" from years ago, especially from Japan. Interested in games and the people behind them. Strongly addicted to cinema. A huge fan of Mads Mikkelsen and Takeshi Kitano. He also loves Inio Asano's manga and Tsutomu Nihei's aesthetics.

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