Just to clarify: when I say these are JRPG names you may never see again, I'm taling about full-budget console iterations. Finding these titles on portable devices still isn't impossible…at least, I hope it isn't.

But the chances of seeing any of these games on the PS3 (or PS4) seem to be dwindling fast. In the case of one series – Star Ocean – we have seen one entry this generation but in fact, it could very well be the last. Looking at the lay of the land, JRPGs seem to be perishing when placed against Western heavy hitters (which is part of the reason they're being relegated to handhelds).

Anyway, being a fan of the PS1 era of JRPGs that continued into the PS2 era, I'm sad to see the following go:

5. Xenogears/Xenosaga

The first was one of several Squaresoft titles in the PS1 era to become an instant timeless classic and to this day, RPG buffs will often place Xenogears in their top five of all time. The Xenosaga series was an off-shoot but I really enjoyed these titles, especially the first one. Featuring a slick sci-fi presentation and one of the coolest characters in RPG history, IMO (KOS-MOS), Xenosaga was heavy on story and theme. The turn-based combat – a staple of all these franchises, as you'll see – was also deep and engaging throughout. The ending to the first Xenosaga was great.

4. Wild ARMs

The first was an early PS1 title and to this day, I remember why I loved it: it gave you the chance to meet and become familiar with three well developed characters, and those characters were with you throughout your adventure. No constantly switching parties, which I always hated . It also had a fantastic magic system, if I remember correctly, which consisted of Crests and a bunch of different elements. A traditional RPG in every sense of the word, it was another series that thrived on story and presentation. Wild ARMs 3 adopted an interesting Western theme on the PS2 and it was great. But after that, the series went downhill.

3. Shadow Hearts

You won't find a game with a better turn-based mechanic: the Judgment Ring in Shadow Hearts: Covenant and Shadow Hearts: From the New World was absolutely amazing; it combined strategy with reflexes and offered a more in-depth and urgent style that is more often found in hack 'n slash styles. Plus, the dark environment, great characters, and a totally unparalleled atmosphere made both adventures memorable. You wanted to do everything, see everything, and revel in the twists and turns. Although I thought I'd hate the Judgment Ring on first glance, I was very, very wrong… I got really addicted to the combat.

2. Legaia

It annoys me that these two games – Legend of Legaia on the PS1 and Legaia 2: Duel Saga on the PS2 – didn't receive more appreciation from critics and gamers. It was turn-based and it allowed you to input fighting game-like commands (high, low, left and right strikes), the combination of which would result in either a simple series of attacks or one bad-ass combination. I still remember cheating and looking up the Miracle Arts on GameFAQs…heh. I particularly liked the characters and the worlds we traversed in these games; they just never got boring. Neither title got anywhere near enough love; no chance we'll see Legaia again.

1. Suikoden

It just isn't fair. Bar-none the second-best RPG franchise of all time next to Final Fantasy in my opinion, and it was going strong in the PS2 generation. Most agreed that the fourth installment wasn't up to snuff, but it was a strong return to form with Suikoden V . The first three titles are all amazing and not just three of my favorite RPGs, but three of my favorite games of all time. Recruiting the 108 Stars of Destiny could become an obsession if you weren't careful, and the combat and storytelling (especially the branching character plots of Suikoden III ) were just so damn absorbing.

By the way, free hint for those reliving the classics and playing the original Suikoden : if you're going for 108 Stars, NO name on that stone tablet can be grayed out…not even Gremio's. Yes, he has to die as part of the storyline, but… 😉

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cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

When I saw this I just wanted to cry and its all I can do since I can't get into current RPGs, the WRPGs.

A new Suikoden is or is going to be on the PSP but I don't know if it will be localised.

allDFlavors
allDFlavors
9 years ago

Can't believe Legend of Dragoon didn't make the list! Although, I guess one game does not a full franchise make

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Dragoon isn't a franchise. There was only one game. 🙂

Neurotoxiny
Neurotoxiny
9 years ago

I agree with Legend of Dragoon… such a good game :'(

And the Suikoden games were awsum to da max! 😛

Oyashiro
Oyashiro
9 years ago

Now I'm sad, Thanks a lot Ben.

Time to get drunk and look up cute kitten videos on Youtube to cheer myself up.

I want a new Legaia dammit…

Nlayer
Nlayer
9 years ago

Never seeing the return of Legaia is a very depressing thing to think of. I remember getting that game when it launched and how many hours me AND my family each put into it. My brother, myself, and my father all beat the game after playing so much! Some of the best memories I'll ever have are with Legaia. It's actually a title I'm hoping to eventually replay on my Vita through remote-play and Wi-fi.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Suikoden is the saddest loss of all, Konami probably figured it wasn't worth the cost because everyone decided to kill the JRPG.

Just think what would happen if someone made a full scale, next gen JRPG with an intriguing turn based style. It could re-energize the genre and the fans of it. Instead we get these half-conceived action hybrids.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 2/12/2012 11:09:35 PM

Ignitus
Ignitus
9 years ago

It was done in 2008's Lost Odyssey to no success.

Mistwalker next JRPG: Cry On got cancelled basically because it wasn't finantially viable.

I think that was the last serious attempt at an epic, next gen, turn based JRPG.

Sad times indeed. I miss the PS1 JRPG era.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Lost Odyssey came out before there was a full on assault against JRPG mechanics and was aimed at the wrong market, very few JRPG lovers transferred from their PS2 to an Xbox 360 for that purpose.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 2/13/2012 12:03:40 AM

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

XBOX360 is recognized for certain things, but one of those things isn't jRPG's. I really don't think PS2 players even considered switching to 360 for a jRPG. I love jRPG's, and even when I had a 360, I wasn't even LOOKING for a jRPG with it. I hadn't even considered it a possibility!

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
9 years ago

While JRPG are fading on PS3, it is not fading on other consoles, i.e. Wii.

I am going to get a used Wii just to play Xenoblade and The Last Story, probably two of the best JRPGs this generations — without too much focusing on graphics, developers actually managed to focus its effort on making them with a deep and fascinating story, deep emotional music and well thought battle system — that is all a JRPG is about, if graphics are ok, I will be quite satisfied.

p.s. the list of five above formed part of my best memories with ps2.


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 2/12/2012 11:22:37 PM

Ignitus
Ignitus
9 years ago

Yeah, the other console makers at least tried to satisfy the true JRPG's gamers hunger. Too bad there weren't that many to buy enough copies to justify more JRPG's.

I would really love a Lost Odysey 2.

By the way, I'm also considering to get a used wii to play the Last Story from Sakaguchi-San.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

The Wii is HARDLY an RPG substitute or successor to the godliness of the PS1 and PS2.

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

I have considered getting a Wii just to play The Last Story because I really loved The Lost Odyssey. Forgot about Xenoblade which is another highly rated game.

It's a shame one must own multiple platforms just to get their JRPG fix and even if you do own all 3 systems the selection of JRPG material out there is pretty thin. Weird that the PS3 actually had the least amount of JRPG material for most of this gen and that it lacks a truely elite JRPG. Did not see that coming.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

I would argue that the Lost Odyssey is the only truly critically acclaimed title, and even that isn't a throwback to the PS1/PS2 era, imo.

As for PS3 not having jRPG's, I think it has a few pretty decent ones, but again, nothing that is an appropriate throwback to the PS1/PS2 era. (Loved Atelier Totori and WKC/WKC2 and although it's not nearly as good as Totori, I'm currently enjoying Atelier Rorona.)

With the future addition of Ni No Kuni, I have hopes still, as well. The PS2 had some pretty awesome jRPG's at the end of the PS2 era. I don't see why we won't see any now.

Still… on the whole, this generation has been a jRPG failure for all systems.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Ar Tonelico Qoga was pretty decent, and Neptunia 2 has promise, as does Atelier Meruru.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

If the jump in improvement from Atelier Totori to Atelier Memeru is as large as the jump from Atelier Rorona to Atelier Totori, then I think we're in for a mega-treat.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Since I've yet to play Totori with any depth, I can tell I'm already in for a treat. Still waiting to see Fetch again….


Last edited by TheHighlander on 2/13/2012 10:31:47 AM

Nagi
Nagi
9 years ago

@Ben: Considering the high development costs and the niche appeal of the RPG genre, no current home console is, but some gamers are going to take what they can get.

@BigBoss and whoever else is looking to get a Wii, pending on your tastes of what RPG's your into, there might be a few you might be interested in. I'll admit now, their is nothing that may not have any mainstream appeal. But like I said it depends on your tastes and what you are looking for.

My current favorite is Monster Hunter Tri, great game but be advised, that it is a title that doesn't take the liberty of holding your hand. Steep learning curve, and an array of complex features awaits.

There is also Fire Emblem, Rune Factory, and a re-release of Phantom Brave, if you haven't played the PS2 iteration. Nothing major, but nevertheless, games that are worth checking out, if you make the crossover.

Mr Bitey
Mr Bitey
9 years ago

You guys should dust off your PSPs. There's been a ton of JRPGs released, and most of them have been received really well.

Nagi
Nagi
9 years ago

@ Mr. Bitey: Of course there has, as well as the DS. I'm very fond of the RPG lineup that can be found on portable consoles, I just hate playing games on them, in this case, it's not the content that puts me off, rather than the form of delivery.

I feel a lot more comfortable with a couch, controller, and TV.

Ludakriss
Ludakriss
9 years ago

Nagi, I completely agree with you.

It's a pitty that in a way all this becomes is a matter of principles. But I too am disapointed that there's so much hype on the Blue ray this and Next Gen that and we have yet to see a decent RPG.

Bring back Dark Cloud, damn it!…AND Legend of Dragoon!!!

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

I agree with you fellas as well. I love my games on my PSP. And I get a lot in when I'm traveling. Occasionally, my wife will have some of her girlfriends over to watch some chick flick, and I'll play it then, but let's face it… most of the time I want to play is when I'm home. And when I'm home, why would I play on a little itty-bitty screen, when I've got a big ol' HDTV, a couch, and a beer holder?

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
9 years ago

Hey do any of these end in cliffhangers? I'll buy them when they re-release them on psn except those where the story isn't finish. Don't wan't another shenmue experienced.

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

Only Xenosaga, I believe, which is 2 parts. I can't say for Wild Arms or Shadow Hearts.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I thought Xenosaga had 3 parts. Anyway, most of these games are self contained.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

There's a third Xenosaga, yes.

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

I guess I wasn't sure for Xenosaga either. I've only played episode 1, but not 2 to realise there was a third.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Xenosaga 3 rocks, if you only played 1 & 2, you owe it to yourself to play the third part, it's *way* better than Episode 2. The ending of 3 is somewhat open ended. There is room for a sequel with KOS-MOS' closing words….I'll avoid spoilers and leave it at that.

But, if you liked Xenosaga 1, and were disappointed by comparison with Episode 2, play episode 3, it brings things back almost to the standard of Ep 1. That said, nothing beats episode 1.

Still, an Episode 4 would be possible, and Xenosaga fans would leap on it, not sure if anyone else would though.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

Agreed, I believe there is room to continue the Xenosaga series after witnessing the end of episode 3.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

It's a moving ending to the series of 3 games, isn't it?


Last edited by TheHighlander on 2/13/2012 4:07:22 PM

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

I'd say so. I'm kinda getting the urge to hook up my PS2 and play the entire series from the beginning to end. Such a strong, moving, emotional, intriguing concept.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

If you replay, consider Kevin and Shion's relationship in the full knowledge of what he did and knew when she was a child, and then again later when he arranged for her to work with him and formed a relationship with her. She didn't remember him from her childhood. Considering the trauma and emotional scarring, that's not surprising. But, the intriguing part is that psychologically, Shion as a child experienced such extreme trauma that she is almost certain to have entered a dissociative identity state. It brings a whole new perspective on the way Kevin manipulates events and emotions in her later life and during the third game.

You might end up liking Shion a lot more and loathing Kevin more than ever.

Ludakriss
Ludakriss
9 years ago

You people thouwing some seriously strong descrptives on Xeno games.

Could you enlighten me what is the console it's originally on and is it going to cost an arm because of it's age?

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Xenogears was an excellent one for the PS1. To get a hard copy will cost you a fair bit, I think, but it's available on the PSN for PS3 or PSP for $9.99. I would recommend it for your PSP, as the graphics, while cool 3D at the time, is pretty ancient and crappy looking on a big ol' HDTV now. (Came out the same year as FF7!!)

Xenosaga 1 2 and 3 are all on the PS2. Prices vary, but they aren't anything like getting an original copy of Earthbound or Crono Trigger. They should be respectable prices now.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 2/14/2012 8:48:56 AM

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

Cloudou, Ben, High & co:
If I may take a cross reference over to the discussion at the forums nowadays: Games like *these* is what I probably talk about in the Kingdoms Of Amalur thread.

I don't know any of these at all. Now, if I had known them and played them back then when they were king my theory is that I too would have "learnt to like the Japanese style games". They seem to have been "good teachers". 🙂

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

I don't think you can learn to like a genre of game, you either like it or you don't. I don't think you can acquire a taste for a particular genre by enduring it for long enough.

___________
___________
9 years ago

na na na na.
na na na na.
hey hey hey goodbye!
i wish for next gen companies would bring mod support to consoles that way fans can re create their favourite franchises to replay on their systems.
i screamed like a little girl when i heard the original crash bandicoot is being remade in CE1, then my heart broke when it was put on hold.
🙁
same with DN 3D

Russell Burrows
Russell Burrows
9 years ago

I regret that Final Fantasy Tactics never had iterations or sequels on the PS3.

ValentinoGB
ValentinoGB
9 years ago

Hopefully someday Chrono, Mana and Valkyrie Profile series will make a comeback. For now wait for Ni No Kuni

Lotusflow3r
Lotusflow3r
9 years ago

Absolutely. That game is the brand new classic jrpg we want in these older ones if they were revived.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

Ni No Kuni and Tales of Graces F are the 2 jrps that I'm most excited for right now.

berserk
berserk
9 years ago

Really ??? no love for Breath Of fire and only one mention of chrono trigger .

Not a fan of # 2 but i would really love to see another one done like the first one .

Also like someone said , i m still waiting on a ff tactic 2 on console .

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Never really thought BoF was all that great, and there were only two Chrono games, one of which was back on the SNES.

berserk
berserk
9 years ago

Yeah , i remember you saying at one point that you did nt like the BOF series much .

My comment was about no mention of it on comments about you re article .

Really glad you mentioned Legaia , both were really fun and deserve more love.

I really need to finish the first xenosaga so i can play xenosaga 2 that sit in a corner waiting for i ts turn .

duomaxwell007
duomaxwell007
9 years ago

Ummm Ben you DO know a new Suikoden game has been announced right?

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

For which main console?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Um, you DO know I mentioned in the beginning that I'm referring to consoles, right?

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Oh, ok so there isn't one. I didn't mean anything snide by my original reply. I seriously thought maybe Duo knew something I didn't.

duomaxwell007
duomaxwell007
9 years ago

well considering I only read the list of games and what you had to say about each… i completely missed that "console iteration" part lol

also since were speaking only of console iterations then in that case you might as well list EVERY JRPG franchise that ISNT final fantasy on that list… and maybe 2 other exceptions


Last edited by duomaxwell007 on 2/13/2012 1:15:13 PM

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