The true definition of a JRPG is one of the most debatable topics in the gaming industry.

There are so many blurred lines and subjective terms that it’s hard to pin one definition that encompasses every game that should fit into the genre.

By strict definition, a JRPG is simply a Japanese Role-Playing Game. This means that it’s just like an RPG but made in Japan or by a Japanese developer.

However, I think the games that do fit into the genre have more nuanced features than that definition allows.

For instance, JRPGs usually have a particular anime style, design, and sound type for their characters and environment.

Secondly, a JRPG can be made by a non-Japanese developer if it ticks other boxes, which points to the fact that it’s more about style than location.

For the purpose of this guide, I’ll stick with these two points to avoid ambiguity – they’re simple enough.

Like Western RPGs, JRPGs offer some of the most enjoyable adventures and combat, with world settings and stories that capture your imagination and characters that you become more attached to with each quest.

There are a good number of titles in this genre in the PlayStation Store to cater to various appetites, but I’ve put together fifteen of the very best JRPGs on PS5 here. Let’s get into it!

Scarlet Nexus

Scarlet Nexus Kasane
  • Genre: Action, RPG
  • Developers: Bandai Namco Studios
  • PlayStation Release Date: June 25, 2021
  • Buy from: PlayStation, Amazon
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 24 hours, 30 minutes

Bandai Namco published this action JRPG that delivers a thrilling sci-fi story with innovative and thrilling combat.

Scarlet Nexus combines an elegant combat system with an evocative, rich theme and entertaining characters.

Players assume the role of Kasane Randall or Yuito Sumeragi, members of the OSF (Other Suppression Force) whose mission is to repel creatures called “Others”.

While they’re equipped with swords and other short-range weapons, both Kasane and Yuito possess a special ability (psychokinesis), which allows them to hurl debris and objects at hostile enemies.

Although Scarlet Nexus borrows from game classics and modern anime — Persona 5, Evangelion, and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood instantly come to mind — it manages to create a unique identity, fleshed-out world, and memorable characters.

It might take a while to get the entire game, but once you play through it, it becomes very addictive.

The memorable characters and impeccable pacing also contribute to making this game one of the best JRPG games on PS5.

If you are a fan of RPGs and you’re looking for something that’s not too short but not too long either, Scarlet Nexus offers a complete experience that’s not too drawn out.

The lively, combo-driven combat is pretty exciting, and the environment offers a decent-enough spectacle too.

Judgment

judgment
  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Developers: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
  • PlayStation Release Date: April 23, 2021
  • Buy from: PlayStation, Amazon
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 27 hours, 30 minutes

Judgment is a thrilling action RPG, boasting an excellent cast of characters and some outstanding storytelling.

Ryu Ga Gotoku remastered Judgment for PS5 to revive the Yakuza spinoff series.

The PS4 version is a decent-looking game, but thanks to better hardware and technology, the PS5 version of Judgment looks noticeably better.

There are significant improvements in the visuals of the character models.

Judgment spins a legal drama and detective story in the Yakuza underworld, affirming its mechanics and charms on tailing perps, interrogating suspects, finding clues, and occasionally beating the heck out of goons.

You’ll play a former defense attorney, Takayuki Yagami, who forced his resignation after acquitting a guilty murderer.

Now, Yagami looks into the smallest cases in Kamurocho District as a detective, forming alliances with Yakuza lawyers and members.

Each playthrough on the PS5 is a wholly immersive, patiently addictive, and unique delight. The game maintains 60 FPS and boasts faster load times on the new-gen console.

If you’re a fan of crime stories, legal drama, and detective narratives, Judgment is the ideal JRPG for you.

Lost Judgment

lost judgment screen 9 16jul21en 1
  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Developers: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
  • PlayStation Release Date: September 24, 2021
  • Buy from: PlayStationThird-Party
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 23 hours, 30 minutes

Lost Judgment is a thrilling JRPG that serves as a sequel to Judgment while modifying its stealth elements.

Published by Ryu Ga Gotoku and Sega in 2021, Lost Judgment is the bigger and more ambitious release, although a good number of people prefer the story in the former.

The game is set in the wide cityscape of Yokohama, which is slightly repurposed to facilitate the exploits of the protagonist, Takayuki Yagami.

This private detective travels down to Yokohama to attend the launch of a new detective organization, but he returns to the job almost immediately.

Apart from the occasional flashback and references, there are no direct connections between this story and its prequel, Judgment.

The plot is predictably engaging, not to mention the cast of thrilling characters.

The entire game is peppered with well-acted cutscenes and memorable moments, garnished with emotional performances by the main cast.

Whether you play with the English dub or the original voices (Japanese), you’re in for thrilling action.

As the protagonist investigates a local institute with teens causing trouble throughout the town, he digs deep into the school’s issues.

The side cases are in-depth, with Yagami getting involved in the school’s extracurricular clubs.

Lost Judgment is undoubtedly among the most robust Yakuza-type games and equally one of the best PS5 JRPGs.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

yakuza like a dragon 1
  • Genre: RPG
  • Developers: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
  • PlayStation Release Date: March 2, 2021
  • Buy from: PlayStation, Amazon
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 45 hours

Ryu Ga Gotoku and Sega released the PS5 version of Yakuza: Like A Dragon in 2021 with enhanced visuals.

The story of Ichiban Kasuga, an incredibly endearing protagonist, shines brighter in this next-gen upgrade, which allows players to choose between 30 FPS with 4K support or 60 FPS at a higher resolution.

Players who haven’t played Like a Dragon are in for a big treat. Even if you’ve already played through the action RPG on PS4, you’ll still enjoy lots more on a second run.

Like a Dragon is an ultimately refreshing and fascinatingly unique concept in both the Yakuza series and traditional role-playing games.

It perfectly blends conventional RPG elements (like addictive job systems and turn-based battles) with modern-day settings.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon features an enthralling storyline, a smorgasbord of minigames and optional activities, and a cast of brilliant characters.

In short, this game offers a fantastic experience and is very easy to recommend, even away from the JRPG genre.

Although Yakuza: Like a Dragon is technically a JRPG, it hardly feels like one during gameplay.

It does an excellent job of capturing the purpose of video games, offering pure fun all the way.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

final fantasy vii remake intergrade screen 1 ps5 en 44288
  • Genre: Action, RPG
  • Developers: Cloud Strife, Square Enix
  • PlayStation Release Date: June 10, 2021
  • Buy from: PlayStation, Amazon
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 38 hours

Whichever way you put it, the original release of this game was a success. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade takes that excellence and polishes it further.

The release of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade gave the game a performance boost, allowing you to play at 60 FPS and 4K fidelity.

Square Enix remade every element using real-time graphics (polygonal). The story includes some significant plot additions and character development.

You play Cloud Strife, an ex-Shinra soldier who’s now a mercenary for Avalanche, an eco-terrorist group looking to bring down the Shinra Corporation.

Battle mechanics and exploration both occur in real time. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade features an ATB (Active Time Battle) system that can fill quickly with attacks or gradually fill up slowly.

Players can use summons and magic of large creatures, while characters can perform stronger attacks once charged through a limit-break system.

The game features more real-time elements, but strategic elements remain the same, including the choice of magic and weapons for each character.

The new photo mode, well-improved loading times, and the newly introduced Intermission DLC make this game the best JRPG on PS5.

There’s more good news too. If you already bought the FFVII Remake on the PS4, you can get a free PS5 upgrade to Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade.

NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…

nier replicant 784x
  • Genre: Action, RPG, Hack and slash
  • Developers: Cavia
  • PlayStation Release Date: April 2021
  • Buy from: PlayStation, Amazon
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 19 hours, 30 minutes

This game has the impression of being a groundbreaking endeavor that, regrettably, went unnoticed when it was initially launched.

The narrative game is a forward-thinking and highly poetic approach to responsibility, spirituality, and tough decision. Family, blood ties, and points of view are all important themes in NieR Replicant.

The gameplay, which combines aspects of bullet hell and an action RPG, is entertaining and inventive, but most of what makes NieR Replicant special is its incredibly original storytelling and expectation-defying components.

This game’s remastered version offers a more polished product and extra content that provides you with even more context for what is happening in the game.

Unfortunately, you are only able to play the brother version of Nier. If you don’t know father NieR from the older version of the game, it won’t really make any difference to you.

Those experienced with Japanese RPGs will not find this game as unusual as most players might. Yet, I believe most people who try this game end up being pleasantly surprised by what it delivers.
Nier Replicant is one of those games that is first and foremost a work of art.

Still, it also succeeds in delivering a fun gaming experience. For that reason, it’s easy to recommend the NieR series to any JRPG fan.

Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition

Final Fantasy XV
  • Genre: Action, RPG
  • Developers: Square Enix
  • PlayStation Release Date: 2018
  • Buy from: PlayStation, Amazon
  • Multiplayer: Online co-op
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 27 hours, 30 minutes

Final Fantasy is a franchise that presented us with some of the JRPG genre’s most recognizable characters, like Cloud, Terra, and Tidus.

Noctis might not be the most popular character in the franchise, but his game is one of the many excellent stories in the franchise.

Although this game’s debut edition wasn’t the finest, the Royal Edition offers more content and is generally of superior quality.

Contrary to most Final Fantasy games, this one focuses solely on the four protagonists, who serve as your party throughout the entire game.

You play as the prince of a destroyed nation who is accompanied by his three closest friends, who also act as his bodyguards. The narrative of this game deals with sacrifice and sorrow, but it also explores friendship and trust.

Final Fantasy XV is still essentially a traditional Japanese role-playing game despite its intricate fighting system and emphasis on action-packed moments.

The game has numerous secrets to find, a vast world to explore, a ton of side missions, and an incredibly cinematic tale.

Tales of Arise

tales of arise
Credit: Steam
  • Genre: Action, RPG
  • Developers: Bandai Namco Studios
  • PlayStation Release Date: September 10, 2021
  • Buy from: PlayStation, Amazon
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 40 hours, 30 minutes

Tales of Arise brought a major breakthrough for Bandai Namco after the hype surrounding other games from the Tales series (like Tales of Vesperia and Tales of Symphonia) ebbed to some extent.

It is one of the studio’s big-budget releases across all genres, and that fact is evident in the amount of new content (optional and story-driven) and the new graphics engine.

Tales of Arise is set in two different worlds — Rena (the advanced world) and Dahna (the medieval world). The main protagonist, Alphen (nicknamed Iron Mask), is a slave suffering from amnesia.

As he gradually recovers his memory, he meets Shionne and other casts as they chase down Dahna Lords and end their tyrannical reigns.

The uniqueness of the Tales series is its battle system, which features combo-based action rather than turn-based combat or command.

Tales of Arise offers a more modern touch, adding a responsive dodge roll and completely free movement within some of the best gameplay you’ll find amongst fantasy titles.

DualSense controller support on PS5 helps create a more immersive experience with different actions accompanied by different controller rumbles.

The memorable character moments and dramatic cutscenes help sell the intriguing story, and the satisfying combat becomes more engaging as you power up.

Tales of Arise is ideal for anyone looking for a fantastic modernized adventure with every rewarding quality of a classic JRPG.

Genshin Impact

genshin impact
Credit: Hoyoverse
  • Genre: Action, RPG
  • Developers: miHoYo
  • PlayStation Release Date: April 28, 2021
  • Buy from: PlayStation
  • Multiplayer: Online co-op
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 56 hours

Genshin Impact is one of the most accessible free-to-play action RPGs.

Published on the PS5 console by miHoYo in 2021, this game features an open-world (anime-style) environment and a combat system using character-switching and elemental magic.

Genshin Impact is set in the fairy world of Teyvat, home to seven different nations, each with a unique god and elements. The game begins with you choosing between two siblings who have traveled across several worlds before becoming separated during a battle in Teyvat.

The Traveler searches for the lost twin sibling with Paimon, their companion, and gets involved in conflicts and quests for each region they travel through.

The combat in Genshin Impact is a combination of the type seen in action role-playing games such as Kingdom Hearts’ button-mashing mixed with Dark Cloud‘s team builds and character-specific moves. This implies that characters have unique elements and weapons.

While the Traveler uses a wind (Ameno) element and a sword, other characters use the fire (Pyro) element and bows. Hence, it’s always a great idea to select your party members based on the characters’ elemental leanings.

The fact that you can play this game for free is impressive given how much time players can invest in each playthrough. It undoubtedly merits its place on this list of the best JRPGs.

Cris Tales

cris tales
Credit: Steam
  • Genre: RPG
  • Developers: Dream Uncorporated
  • PlayStation Release Date: July 20, 2021
  • Buy from: PlayStation, Amazon
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 26 hours

Cris Tales is a turn-based RPG published by Modus Games in 2021. It’s inspired by classic role-playing games such as Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI, while also creating its unique spin.

You play Crisbell, a young orphan with a magical time that allows her to see into the future and the past.

Seeing into the past can help to tell the source of current issues while seeing the evil in the future will help you to understand what you will come up against.

To that end, Crisbell embarks on an adventure to save the world by changing the future.

This neat mechanic implies that you can see the future outcome of any quest you complete in the present. That way, your actions feel much more meaningful and worthwhile.

New characters are steadily accessible through the adventure. Aside from being wonderfully entertaining, they also have special fighting abilities that can mix up your combat system.

That way, the game feels interesting and fresh throughout each playthrough of about 30 hours.

It also feels rewarding to see your completed side quests and actions affect locations and people.

Folding all these consequences into the already enthralling and endearing story will motivate you to engage with side content. Cris Tales is undoubtedly one of the best PS5 JRPGs.

FUGA: Melodies of Steel

fuga
Credit: Steam
  • Genre: Tactical RPG
  • Developers: CyberConnect2
  • PlayStation Release Date: July 29, 2021
  • Buy from: PlayStation
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 19 hours

Fuga: Melodies of Steel is a challenging and beautiful game that shows how a determined kid can be when faced with seemingly impossible odds.

The story is about Malt, a twelve-year-old shepherd whose life is in chaos when his village is invaded by the Berman Empire.

The Empire captured most of the inhabitants of the village and burnt their buildings. Malt, along with some friends and his little sister, manages to escape the invasion, finding a large tank nearby.

The machine (known as Taranis) will be useful for retaliating and rescuing their loved ones and families. However, it might cost them their lives and their innocence.

The relentless enemies fight intelligently and will keep pushing you with their weaknesses and defenses, forcing you to weigh options for the best chance of survival.

If you make a couple of wrong calls in combat or do not improve your tools correctly, you can get out of trouble using the Soul Cannon.

Although this tool isn’t always available, it allows you to wipe out every enemy you face when it pops up.

If you want a solid linear but tension-filled JRPG with almost 20 hours of content in a single playthrough, Fuga: Melodies of Steel should be in your library.

Nexomon: Extinction

nexomon extinction
Credit: Steam
  • Genre: RPG, Adventure, Casual
  • Developers: VEWO Interactive Inc.
  • PlayStation Release Date: August 28, 2020
  • Buy from: PlayStation, Amazon
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 25 hours, 30 minutes

Nexomon: Extinction is an open-world game that does not force you to follow its main storyline. The story is about a Nexomon Tamer who embarks on a journey with their own Nexomon.

You can explore different parts of the world (though you can only unlock some locations after completing specific objectives) and later resume the completion of tasks.

There are 381 Nexomon and your job is to catch all of them. This game is quite interesting and isn’t too “grindy”.

Nexomon: Extinction is set in a glamorous world with lots of details and enough room for exploration — different regions feel and look unique.

The game features different characters with unique and funny personalities. In fact, the entire story is full of characters’ hilarious quips, though it also features a couple of fantastic twists and turns.

Nexomon: Extinction is a single-player experience, so you’re not pressured into logging in daily — play at your own pace. The game references and draws inspiration from Pokémon, including its turn-by-turn combat system, but it has its own distinct features.

Some people may be turned off by the idea of a Pokemon clone, but Nexomon is one that genuinely offers a satisfying gaming experience.

That experience is only further enhanced if you happen to be a Pokemon fan looking for a similar game for the PlayStation console.

Persona 5 Royal

persona 5 royal
  • Genre: RPG
  • Developers: P-Studio
  • PlayStation Release Date: 2022
  • Buy from: PlayStation, Amazon
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 101 hours

Persona 5 Royal is a pretty popular choice among anime lovers in the gaming scene, and it is comfortably one of the best JRPGs out there as well.

Royal is the 2019 enhanced version of Persona 5 which was published by Sega (worldwide) in 2017, about a year after its release in Japan. The PS5 upgrade of this enhanced version was published in October 2022 and is the best way to enjoy the game.

As far as role-playing video games go in general, this is one of the most content-heavy games that you’ll find anywhere. There is so much depth and so many layers to the story and you must be ready to invest close to a hundred hours of your time if you hope to finish it.

It’s a pretty interesting story though, so that shouldn’t be too hard once you get into it.

You play a high school student named Joker in modern-day Tokyo. Over the course of the game, Joker is involved in typical high school student activities, but he also lives a “double life” that involves dungeon-crawling gameplay in a realm away from the surface.

Persona 5 features a turn-based combat system and there are multiple ways to launch attacks on enemies with a wide range of weapons to do so. Apart from enhanced features and gameplay, Royal also introduces new characters and content, so it’s an experience worth revisiting even if you’ve played the original.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn

tactics ogre reborn
  • Genre: Tactical RPG
  • Developers: Quest Corporation
  • PlayStation Release Date: November 11, 2022
  • Buy from: PlayStation, Amazon
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 56 hours

Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a remastered version of the 2010 tactical role-playing game, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together which was also a PlayStation Portable remake of the 1995 original.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn brought the game to the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, and Microsoft Windows in 2022 with the efforts of publishers Square Enix. The remaster features full English and Japanese voice acting as well as revised battle mechanics, sound, and music.

Let’s talk about the game itself.

Tactics Ogre is set in a fantastical island kingdom called Valeria. The kingdom is torn with war following the death of their leader, with each ethnic group fighting for the vacant throne.

You are part of the Walister resistance, and you have to work as a unit to fight against oppressors. The choices you make in this game matter as they lead to different character interactions and plot endings, so be careful what you do.

The game features a turn-based battle system, and you have a variety of weapons to choose from as you move through the battle zones and attack enemies.

You can switch between an overhead diagonal view and a top-down view, and there is also a semblance of multiplayer where you can download player-created teams and fight them in a custom arena. These teams will be controlled by AI.

Nostalgia aside, Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a really fun game and definitely one of the best JRPGS on PS5.

YS VIII Lacrimosa of Dana

ys viii lacrimosa of dana
  • Genre: Action, RPG
  • Developers: Nihon Falcom
  • PlayStation Release Date: November 2022
  • Buy from: PlayStation, Amazon
  • Multiplayer: No
  • Average Playtime (Main Story/Objectives): 37 hours

This 2016 action role-playing game was first developed and published in Japan by Nihon Falcom for the PlayStation Vita. A PS4 version arrived a year later, and the PS5 version was published in 2022.

YS VIII is a single-player experience that builds upon earlier titles from the series. It retains the captivating storyline and excellent soundtrack selection from those titles, and the gameplay is good enough to earn a place among the best JRPGs on PS5.

Over the course of the game, the player can control multiple characters and switch between them at will. Each character has a unique set of skills as is characteristic of games like this, and you have to smartly deduce who fits what role best as tasks come up.

The two main protagonists are Adol and Dana. The former is a castaways trying to survive and find a way off a cursed island while the latter is initially the mysterious object behind Adol’s dreams – a prehistoric girl with some sort of connection to his fate.

As you explore the island and try to find other survivors of the ship attack that brought you there, you will have to keep your wits about you and fight your way through dense wilderness and many other obstacles. It gets tense, but it’s good fun!

If you like JRPGs, then you might also enjoy anime games. Be sure to check that out next!

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