Octopath Traveler pays homage to old-school JRPGs of a bygone era.
Playing through eight intersecting stories each featuring its own characters is an incredibly unique concept. It’s hard to find a game quite like Octopath Traveler, as the premise is so interesting and the pixelated art style is so charming.
That’s not to say it’s impossible, though.
If you’re looking for more JRPG goodness with compelling characters and strategic action, here are 10 Japanese role-playing games like Octopath Traveler to play today.
10. Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
Ni no Kuni is a popular JRPG franchise, despite only having a few games under its belt.
Inspired by Studio Ghibli movies, Ni no Kuni takes players on a fantasy adventure. Using monsters to battle in real-time action while avoiding attacks is the name of the game here.
Both Ni no Kuni and Octopath Traveler have similar JRPG elements and only differ with regard to their turn-based/real-time action polarity.
The story in Ni no Kuni is top-notch, as you can expect from a game backed by the genius Hayao Miyazaki and the team at Studio Ghibli.
The narrative is one of the core focuses of Octopath Traveler (like most JRPGs) and, for some, playing through the game is simply a gateway to unlocking more stories. Ni no Kuni provides just as exciting a story albeit told through the eyes of a single character.
If you enjoy traditional JRPG gameplay with a focus on story and glorious art, Ni no Kuni is one of the most interesting anime games around and a must-play for fans of the style.
9. Persona 5
Persona has grown from a spinoff of Shin Megami Tensei into a powerful franchise that all but dwarfs the game it stems from. The game offers a unique and exciting adventure mixed with great storytelling.
The main gameplay of Persona involves spending your daytime socializing with peers and building relationships. Through these interactions, you’ll learn more about yourself (or, in this case, the protagonist Joker) and your friends as well.
The night portion is reserved for engaging in turn-based combat with monsters.
The social visual novel aspects of this game are a huge positive. Each character is so well written and has such a compelling backstory that you will want to learn more about them.
The same is true with Octopath Traveler. Eight stories may sound like a lot for those wanting to 100% the game. However, each story is so exquisite that playing through them never feels like a chore.
Another comparison is that the main combat of both these games is turn-based. While Persona’s combat is a lot more complex, both are very intuitive and have lots of ways for you to be strategic when approaching difficult fights.
8. Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
Final Fantasy Tactics is a cult classic with a fan base that will sing the praises of the game whenever they get the chance.
In this title, you play as a budding adventurer that has been sucked into a new world. You must join forces with your guild members, take on missions, and earn Gil, all while trying to defeat evil and find a way home.
The game has you taking control of a wide assortment of party members, all of whom can be reclassified into various jobs. Each character is one of several different Final Fantasy races, including Moogles, Viera, Bangaas, and more.
The game has a somewhat similar art style to Octopath Traveler and certainly enough content to rival or even surpass it.
However, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift shares a lot more in common with the follow-up to Octopath Traveler, Triangle Strategy.
Both Octopath Traveler and Triangle Strategy come from the same director, but Triangle Strategy uses a lot more gameplay elements (specifically the tile-based isometric layout) found in Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift.
Still, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift is a great JRPG with a lot to offer. If you liked Octopath Traveler, you should definitely consider giving it a go.
7. Dragon Quest XI
Octopath Traveler is a tribute to old-school JRPGs.
What better game is there to try after a game like this than Dragon Quest! Dragon Quest is one of the longest-running game franchises ever, with the first entry coming out in 1986.
Dragon Quest XI continues to provide strategically exciting turn-based combat that RPG fans have come to expect.
Like Octopath Traveler, the core gameplay is less complex than other modern RPGs (like Xenoblade or Persona); instead wanting to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.
The story of Dragon Quest, however, follows a similar approach and is much more digestible than Octopath Traveler’s story.
If you enjoy sprawling story-focused games, Dragon Quest XI may not be able to scratch that itch. However, the tone is much more light-hearted and easy to pick up in this game.
For a look at one of the franchises that inspired Octopath Traveler’s creation, be sure to check out Dragon Quest XI.
6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the most popular RPGs to date.
The game does away with linear dungeons found in other Zelda games and drops players into a massive open-world, similar to the original Legend of Zelda adventure on the NES.
If you want to, you can go from the intro cutscene straight to Ganon’s tower! You’ll probably be killed in about three seconds, but speedrunners have proven that it’s possible to beat the game incredibly quickly thanks to the freedom it offers.
The world itself feels very lived-in.
Unlike Skyloft (Skyward Sword) or the Great Sea (Wind Waker), there is always something to do in Breath of the Wild. Be it collecting Korok seeds, or completing side quests, the world is more accessible than ever before and less of a gateway between you and new content.
Octopath Traveler’s fantasy world is not that dissimilar to Breath of the Wild’s world. The freedom of exploring each character’s adventure is also mirrored in Breath of the Wild’s dungeons.
5. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles 2, at first glance, doesn’t have much in common with a pixel-style, turn-based game like Octopath Traveler.
However, the two share a lot of core gameplay foundations.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a much longer game when compared to Octopath Traveler, so if that game left you wanting more, Xenoblade Chronicles offers approximately 60-70 hours more gameplay.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has a much more complex battle system as well, on top of being real-time-action-based.
Octopath Traveler is easier to pick up, but if it is a little too easy or strategically lacking for you, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a great change of pace.
Octopath Traveler is a lot more story-focused when compared to Xenoblade Chronicles 2. However, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has a lot more side quests for players to complete.
For all these reasons and more, it isn’t surprising why Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is so revered by fans and why it is considered to be one of the most impressive JRPGs you can get on the Switch and other platforms.
4. Romancing Saga 3
Romancing Saga is an older title but one of the key inspirations for most games like Octopath Traveler. The Saga games span numerous entries from the NES, to the PlayStation, and even mobile.
The Romancing Saga Trilogy is a great collection of original JRPGs that is currently available to download either through Steam or the Nintendo Switch Online Store.
Romancing Saga 3 takes players on an epic fantasy journey, complete with all the tropes associated with the genre. Evil overlords, children of destiny, and the destruction of evil are all on the agenda here.
Despite coming out in 1995, the game holds up surprisingly well. The story is well thought-out and compelling from start to finish. The combat is fun, incorporating a mix of standard war arms and fantasy magic.
Check out Romancing Saga 3 for a look at one of the games Octopath Traveler drew inspiration from.
3. Fire Emblem Three Houses
Fire Emblem Three Houses and Octopath Traveler share a lot of similarities, both in regards to their game design and narrative devices.
Both games are sprawling RPGs with hours of replayability.
Arguably, Fire Emblem Three Houses has a lot more content on offer when it comes time for repeat playthroughs.
Additionally, some fans have claimed that some of the character stories in Octopath Traveler were a little too predictable. However, Fire Emblem Three Houses has only ever received praise for its multi-layered story.
Speaking of the story in these games, both titles incorporate split narratives that converge on various occasions. In Fire Emblem Three Houses, players will have the choice to choose from three groups of distinct students.
Through your adventures with these groups, you will build relationships, grow stronger, and help your class overcome personal hardships as their teacher. Like Octopath Traveler’s eight different stories, this more than incentivizes repeat playthroughs to get the full story experience.
For fans of Fire Emblem and Octopath Traveler, you’ll be happy to know that the follow-up to Octopath Traveler, Triangle Strategy, incorporates the same tile-based gameplay found in games like Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics.
Speaking of which…
2. Triangle Strategy
Triangle Strategy is the direct follow-up from Octopath Traveler.
Similar to Octopath Traveler in which you take control of eight major characters, Triangle Strategy gets players to decide the fate of three major kingdoms.
The gameplay here is tile-based, like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics, as opposed to traditional turn-based JRPG combat.
The charming pixelated/hand-drawn hybrid style of Octopath Traveler returns in full force with Triangle Strategy.
Octopath Traveler did such an amazing job of blending the older aesthetic of bygone JRPGs with modern-day technology. Triangle Strategy does more of the same opting for an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of approach.
Triangle Strategy didn’t receive quite as good of a reception as Octopath Traveler. However, it still performed relatively well and fans of the genre continue to sing its praises.
1. Bravely Default II (Bravely Second)
Games like Octopath Traveler aim to recapture the magic of games from years gone by. Old-school JRPGs set in a magically fantastical world and take the player through countless battles of turn-based action are becoming more infrequent as time goes on.
Turn-based combat has seen a shift toward real-time action with turn-based elements (as seen in Final Fantasy VII Remake).
However, for those who love the strategy and aesthetic of older JRPGs, and fell in love with Octopath Traveler’s take on the genre, there is no better recommendation than Bravely Default.
Bravely Default was also created from the ground up to play like a decades-old JRPG.
This does not mean the game is awash in any modern quality of life features. The game takes its art, setting, narrative, and gameplay from its sources, and polishes them with all the innovations gaming has made since then.
Bravely Default’s combat is easy to pick up, but with a surprising level of depth when it comes time for some of the later, more difficult fights.
Bravely Default’s story also introduces a wide cast of characters, much like Octopath Traveler. Your party consists of four members, all of whom have backstories that develop over the course of the game.
Coming from the same director as Octopath Traveler and Triangle Strategy, Bravely Default is the closest modern-day equivalent of an old-generation JRPG and one of the best games like Octopath Traveler, hands down.