There was a time when JRPGs used to reign supreme in the domain of gaming. The original PlayStation era is perhaps the biggest and most substantial indicator of this, with everything from the Final Fantasy series all the way to lesser-known titles like Vagrant Story and Xenogears spearheading the dominance of this particular genre. But with the waning patience of modern gamers and steady advancements in terms of hardware, it was believed that turn-based role-playing games would never reach the heights of success that one would’ve ideally wanted them to reach.
However, Atlus was on a quest to dispel this notion with the release of Persona 5 — a video game that most hardcore Persona fans were clamoring for since what felt like forever. When the game finally dropped, fans were left with their jaws on the floor as they played through what is arguably one of the greatest video games of all time… albeit, with a few minor flaws. With the impending release of Persona 5: The Royal, it seems that fans of this game have more coming on their plates. If you’re one of these loyal supporters for whom the wait is getting too much to bear, here are 10 games in the vein of Persona 5 that will surely scratch that JRPG itch.
10 The Caligula Effect
Let’s start off this list with a game that is so ridiculously similar to the Persona series that you might mistake this title for a spinoff, and no one would even bat an eye. In The Caligula Effect, a bunch of high schoolers rebel against a system in order to free themselves — and others — from a system that wishes to oppress them. Can you see the comparison now?
Of course, it’s not like The Caligula Effect doesn’t have anything going for it. The combat system is perhaps the biggest highlight, although — to be honest — battles can drag on at times.
9 Tokyo Xanadu
An action RPG from the creators of the Ys series, Tokyo Xanadu is an interesting action JRPG that you should definitely check out if Persona 5 piqued your interest.
Featuring a cast of interesting characters and a gameplay system that can become wildly entertaining and satisfying as the game goes on, Tokyo Xanadu should definitely be on your list if you’re a fan of JRPGs in general.
8 Dragon Quest XI
Do we really need to give an introduction to the Dragon Quest series, which just so happens to be one of the most popular JRPG franchises of all time? The latest game in the series is the perfect jumping point for anyone who wants to get into this storied franchise.
With a quirky story, memorable characters, and classic JRPG combat, it’s no wonder why Dragon Quest would scratch that JRPG itch for pretty much anyone remotely invested in the genre.
7 Octopath Traveler
Octopath Traveler might have its fair share of flaws, but one can’t deny that it’s a solid JRPG from start to end. This, coupled with the fact that you can choose your main character, makes for a very Dragon Age: Origins-esque vibe, with replayability becoming quite palpable indeed.
The art style and combat of the series are two of the biggest draws that will satisfy any fan of retro JRPGs. Keep this on your list if you’re hankering for a classic gaming experience.
6 The World Ends With You
One of the quirkiest and entertaining JRPGs released by Square Enix simply has to be The World Ends With You. It’s a game that slowly developed a cult following for all the right reasons.
The story, the characters, the combat — there’s nothing in this game that conforms to a traditional mold, allowing for a wholly unique and unforgettable experience that would satisfy the majority of gamers looking out for a fresh title to reinvigorate their interests.
5 Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
A collaboration between the Fire Emblem and the Shin Megami Tensei series definitely sounds interesting, which is part of the reason why Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE had so much going for it before its release.
While the end result might be somewhat lacking in that regard, one can’t deny that Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is an excellent game. With an enhanced port coming out for the Switch in January 2020, definitely keep this game in your sights if you want an excellent JRPG gaming experience.
It might be cheating to include Catherine on this list, what with it being a puzzle game first and foremost. However, there are several reasons as to why this game has made this list.
For starters, the game was developed by Atlus on the engine that would go on to run Persona 5. This, coupled with cinematics and gameplay elements that would be more fleshed out in their next release makes Catherine a must-play for anyone who wishes to witness Atlus’ evolution as a developer if nothing else.
3 Persona 3
Speaking of Atlus and their games, it’s time to recommend one of their games that anyone should play if they were enthralled and enticed by the brilliance of Persona 5. This should be easy enough to gauge, given that this game is part of a series with five (technically four games, but it’s kinda complicated) titles already in it.
Persona 1 and both Persona 2 games are great but not all that similar to Persona 5. The concept of Social Links and whatnot came from Persona 3, making it an excellent game that one should play if they haven’t already. While Persona 4 is also great in its own right, the foundation for the series was built by Persona 3, which isn’t that easy to ignore.
2 The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel
When it comes to excellent modern JRPGs, The Legend Of Heroes series is definitely something to keep in mind. While Trails In The Sky is also a great selection to highlight the charm of this JRPG, Trails Of Cold Steel‘s stellar production value and improved gameplay definitely places it a cut above the rest.
The inherent charm of this JRPG is a testament to the sheer level of love and dedication that the developers have put into this excellent title. If Persona 5 is your jam, then Trails Of Cold Steel should be right up your alley.
1 Final Fantasy X
It would be close to impossible to craft a list of games similar to Persona 5 without mentioning at least one Final Fantasy title. However, choosing from one of the whopping fifteen mainline titles is an arduous task in itself. After much deliberation, it must be said that Final Fantasy X is the best fit for people who are fans of the latest title in the Persona series.
A modernized effort to facilitate a faster turn-based combat system coupled with the free switching of party members made Final Fantasy X very similar to Persona 5 gameplay-wise. Aside from this, the game itself is touted to be one of the greatest JRPGs of all time, making it a huge disservice on your part if you choose to ignore this title altogether.
NEXT: The Top 10 Best JRPGs Of The PS3 Era