Many gamers overlook the JRPG genre entirely. Why? Mainly because they have different styles of gameplay than we’re used to in the west. Even I used to skip over these types of games when I was younger. As I’ve grown however, I’ve learned one very important thing: JRPGs are unbelievably awesome. Many masterworks of video games belong to this genre, renowned for either their mind-blowing narratives or extremely innovative gameplay. I put this list together (in no particular order) to show you some of the top JRPGs available on PlayStation in 2022. If you’re interested in the JRPG genre and haven’t played any of these releases, go fix that right away!
Final Fantasy IX
This entry often finds itself in contention for both the title of the best JRPG of all time, and for one of the best games ever made. Final Fantasy IX is one of those releases that got everything right. Combat? Simple, but satisfying. Story? Emotional and immersive. Characters? Lovable, yet relatable. This magnum opus often doesn’t get the attention it deserves, due to how its launch was overshadowed by the release of the PS2 and Final Fantasy X soon after. If you’re fan of JRPGs and somehow haven’t played this game yet, shame on you. I’ll be waiting on an apology, either through Twitter or the comment section of this post.
Kingdom Hearts II
Kingdom Hearts II stands as one of the best KH games on the market. That in itself is quite an achievement, because there’s been so many of them by now that the fan base can barely keep track anymore. Even outside of this though, it’s still one of the top JRPGs on PlayStation in 2022. This game has a lot to offer, from levels that faithfully replicate the worlds of our favourite Disney movies, to tried-and-tested JRPG features like levelling up, magic and abilities. Its fast-paced and fluid combat steals the show however, and is something every gamer should experience for themselves. Even if you’ve never touched this series before, I highly recommend at least giving this instalment a try.
I know, a gacha game. Wait, don’t click away! Hear me out here. As far as JRPGs go, Genshin Impact basically checks all the boxes. First and foremost, both its in-game world and art style are nothing short of picturesque. It’s a blast to explore and its widespread treasure chests and daily activities give you plenty of motivation to do so. Furthermore, it provides a fantastic range of enemies and playable characters to enjoy, as all JRPGs should. Whether you’re blowing up your foes with the adorable Klee, or slicing up enemies with flaming swordsman Diluc, this game has a distinct personality that is well worth experiencing. Plus it’s free, and that’s always nice.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
I could have put a lot of Yakuza games as one of the top JRPGs on PlayStation at the moment. The series as a whole is incredibly fun, and a great example of the unique spirit of Eastern video games that you just can’t find in the West. However I would say this is the series’ best example of a JRPG, mainly because it incorporates the genre’s trademark turn-based combat system. Like a Dragon melds the underhanded, gritty nature of street fights with ancient JRPG tropes so fluidly you’ll wonder why it doesn’t have more copycats. All the while, it balances an interesting story revolving around a goofy but lovable protagonist. This is a humorous and fulfilling game that is easily one of the top JRPGs on PlayStation this year.
Final Fantasy XIV
If you have any interest in either Final Fantasy or MMORPGs, then you might want to check out Final Fantasy XIV. This game excellently captures the enchanting nature of the FF series. It offers an expansive open world filled with mythical wildlife and beautiful cities and landscapes. In typical JRPG fashion, FFXIV also offers a wide range of character creation options and classes to explore. It embodies the charm of the fantasy video game genre, all while incorporating the fun of online play with friends. If you’re looking for a cooperative JRPG experience, then you can’t go too far wrong with this game.
I don’t think there’s anything I can say about this game that you haven’t heard already. Everybody loves Elden Ring. This George R. R. Martin collaboration provides gamers with an incredibly detailed mythical world to explore. “The Lands Between” offer many sights and settings made to fill players with the sense of wonder that fantasy JRPGs are known for. Add to this an expansive combat system and FromSoftware’s infamous difficulty levels, and you easily have yourself one of the top JRPGs on PlayStation in 2022.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Dragon Quest XI is the game all turn-based combat games want to be when they grow up. This JRPG’s quirky cast of party members and enriching progression system gives players an endless amount of strategies to employ in combat. On top of having stunning visuals, it is also colourful, creative, and offers an overwhelming amount of content. This is a game that is well worth taking your time with. If turn-based combat is your niche, I wouldn’t be surprised if this game eventually becomes one of your favourites of all time.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered
If there was ever a work of art that encapsulates the concept of “childhood wonder”, then this is it. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of White Witch‘s heart-warming narrative sees you playing as a young boy bravely venturing into a magical new world. Every aspect of its aesthetic, from its spell casting system to the creatures you face in battle, perfectly capture the unique creativity and charm associated with JRPGs. Its dangerously fun fusion of turn-based and real-time combat with monster taming elements is also a great touch. This game is a testament to what makes video games such an excellent medium of entertainment. I believe it will stand not only as one of PlayStation’s top JRPGs for 2022, but probably for all time as well.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
The original Final Fantasy VII made for an amazing JRPG and is regarded by many as one of the best video games of all time. With that in mind, there was a lot of pressure on its remake to carry on its legacy. Thankfully however, it mostly succeeded. Final Fantasy VII Remake brought the steampunk city of Midgar to life astonishingly well, and gives players a sprawling urban environment to explore. In swapping out the game’s traditional turn-based combat for a real-time alternative, it also provided gamers with a refreshing action-packed style of gameplay. If you’ve always wanted to try out a Final Fantasy game but turn-based combat isn’t really your thing, then this is the game for you.
Persona 5 Royal
Here’s a challenge for you: find one person who’s played Persona 5 and hasn’t absolutely loved it. As far as JRPGs go, this could genuinely be at the top of its genre. It excellently balances mundane slice-of-life elements alongside an insane turn-based combat and dungeon crawling system. The fusion of these two genres also help keep the gameplay fresh. Of course, this would be a requirement of a game that takes around 80 hours to finish on a casual playthrough. From the game’s soundtrack to its visuals, there’s not one element of Persona 5 that doesn’t scream “masterpiece”. If you love JRPGs but haven’t played this game, then treat yourself and give it a purchase.
This concludes our list of the best JRPGs available on PlayStation in 2022. I hope it has helped you find the perfect next game to help your survive those post-summer blues. If you’re new to the genre and any of these games sound interesting to you, I recommend trying them out: I promise you won’t regret it.