Best jrpgs that aren't final fantasy or dragon quest


What this
Jun 14, 2012
I'm just going to repeat most of what people already said, as it is the truth.

Chrono Trigger
Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series
Ys series
Fire Emblem
Golden Sun (it's been a while since I've played them though)
Disgaea series
Mario and Luigi games
The Souls games (Demons' Souls and Dark Souls)

Yep. That's the list that has me.

lRookiel said:
Is Dark souls a JRPG? Some say it is and some say it isn't.

Anyway, my vote goes for Dark souls :3
Well, it depends. The typical JRPG is a turn based affair like most of the games here. Dark Souls is more of a WRPG made in Japan. I'd add it, but since the OP is looking for games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest but not, it can be inferred that he likes the style of the games, but doesn't want to play them for reasons that we don't know. So yes, Dark Souls and Demons' Souls count.

I like them too. ;-)

Iron Lightning

Lightweight Extreme
Oct 19, 2009
Space Funeral get it, it's free and it's a brilliant exploration of the genre. It's pretty weird which I love, your first party member is a headless sapient horse appropriately named Leg Horse. When I stopped finished it I felt wonderfully terrified as if the whole fabric of reality was naught but a thin veneer that would collapse under the smallest pressure. It's something I've never felt before or since and I am a connoisseur of emotion.

Scarim Coral

Jumped the ship
Oct 29, 2010
Don't cared that I have been ninja several times over but I will mention these-

Xenoblade Chronicle
The World Ends With You
Golden Sun series
Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword
Infinite Space


New member
Mar 10, 2010
Didn't see anyone mention Lunar yet. I just bought myself a copy of Lunar: Silver Star Harmony. I've played silver star and eternal blue on the ps1, really good games. and Grandia is awesome, 2 and 3 didn't live up to the awesome that was the first game but still very playable :)


New member
Feb 3, 2010
Persona 3
Persona 4
Xenosaga Episodes 1 and 3 (skip 2 it sucks and you don't really need it story wise)
Chrono Trigger
Tales of Symphonia and onward (every title from that point until present time is nothing short of amazing)
Star Ocean series (the last one is considered average, so be warned)
Golden Sun 1, 2, and 3
Fire Emblem (the entire series, I'd recommend the newest one for beginners but really they're all good)

AND FINALLY, even though you'll get different opinions on its genre but the entirety of The Legend of Zelda series is by far the best/greatest jRPG ever


New member
Oct 31, 2012
Unfortunately, it is a rare day where a JRPG has both a good story and good gameplay. The best JRPGs that come to mind are Shadow Hearts Covenant (Part 2 of the original Shadow Hearts Story before "From the New World"), Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger, Fire Emblem, and Xeno Blade. I would have put Valkyria Chronicles on the list, but the only reason a lot of people regard the game as a superior JRPG is because of the lack of decent JRPGs during the PS3 generation. Heck, the PS2 was getting better JRPGs than the PS3 when both systems were still in the ring together.

Wild Arms is a good runner up, though it largely was good because of the use of a spaghetti western aesthetic mixed with typical high fantasy tropes: something that was very original for the time in which the game was released. Ironically, Final Fantasy VII was popular largely due to aesthetic uniqueness as well, making me question just how good a remake would really be in this day and age where every other JRPG has aped the setting to some extent.


New member
Mar 26, 2010
Grandia 1 & 2 are just goddamn great games. Also, Persona 3 & 4. Everyone should play them.


Professional Lurker
Nov 18, 2009
ShinyCharizard said:
Golden Sun
Shin Megami Tensei series and spinoffs
Tales series (Vesperia is the best IMO)
Resonance of Fate
Shadow Hearts Covenant
Lost Odyssey
Star Ocean
Radiant Historia
Sakura Wars
Grandia III
Suikoden III
Kingdom Hearts
Ni No Kuni
Atelier series
Valkyria Chronicles
Record of Agarest War
Chrono Trigger
Etrian Odyssey Series
Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Luna Silver Star Story
Breath of Fire Series
Legend of Dragoon

Vagrant Story
The Last Story
Skies of Arcadia
Baten Kaitos
Arc Rise Fantasia
Ys Series
Chrono Cross
You have fine taste in JRPGs and have successfully ninja'd all the games I was going to post.


New member
Nov 19, 2009
Persona 4
Persona 4
Dark Souls(if it counts)
Persona 4
Persona 3
Persona 4

Korten12 said:
The Wykydtron said:
lRookiel said:
Is Dark souls a JRPG? Some say it is and some say it isn't.

Anyway, my vote goes for Dark souls :3
Dark Souls? More like... Dark SHIT! LMA0 OWN3D!!!!!!!!!

Yeah Persona 4 is best game ever. If you still have a PS2 you can get it dirt cheap at probably no more than £15 for a 40/50/60 hour game

Apparently Golden is really good as a standalone from the original but I still doubt it's that much different from the original to be worth buying a Vita solely for that one game. The handheld market really doesn't appeal to me too much, i'll just buy all the Visual Novel-esque games that everyone says are good and stop there and that's more of Nintendo thing I believe.

By that I mean the Ace Attorney games are all on the DS so I have to get one.
Persona 4 Golden is a loooooooot better than the original. With more events through the year, the new character Marie, an epilogue that takes place after persona 4 arena, expansion on explaining the ending, Adachi and Marie social links, more personas, updated combat, new anime cutscenes, night time, extra dungeon, and a new dark ending.
I'd disagree.
Golden's difficulty has been toned down to the point of ridiculous,the player is too easily overleveled and the boss fights have been nerfed to hell.
Marie is unlikable and the new events are hit or miss with most of it being on the miss side,Chie's voice is annoying as hell in the beginning(gets better later on though)and some of the new stuff like gardening is dumb.
There is some good additions like better battle commentary,fusion skill select and the Ski trip and epilogue are great(although the really bad dungeon and boss fight that come with them out wiegh them) but overall, the original is just waaaay better.
Sorry if this comes off as "Your opinion is wrong", I don't mean that, but since you were talking about original vs Golden I thought I would give my input.


Elite Member
Aug 24, 2010
Record of Agarest War
Tales of Vesperia, symphonia, abyss, graces etc
The Disenga or Persona games

You have options
Jan 1, 2013
Of those I played I would say:

Chrono Trigger and Earthbound are the best RPGs on the SNES.
Lufia 2 is as good as Final Fantasy and Zelda combined in the same game would be.
All of the above have done away with random encounters (only in the dungeons in the case of Lufia 2).
Parasite Eve on the Playstation is a horror RPG. It's short and entertaining especially because it doesn't overstay its welcome.

Radiant Historia on the Nintendo DS is the best RPG Atlus has made, dispensing the tedious grind of SMT and the obnoxious difficulty, and having a game with a much better substance/padding ratio. It is still challenging when you don't know all the ropes yet. It also isn't set in Highschool, so major points for that.


Burn, Burn it All!
Aug 8, 2009
Only one person mentioned Skies of Arcadia/Skies of Arcadia Legends!?
Don't any of you know what a gem of a game that was. The combat was excellent, the story was amazing and held my interest, the amount of side quests are astounding, and the characters are quite likable. I highly recommend tracking down a copy of the game if you can because Skies is probably one of the best JRPGs that I've ever played.
Honorable mentions go to: Paper Mario Thousand Year Door, Disgaea, .Hack, Kingdom Hearts, the Mario and Luigi series, and Legend of Legaia.

Atmos Duality

New member
Mar 3, 2010
Signa said:
krazykidd said:
I'll try not to say some others said already .

Lufia 2
Secret of evermore
Legend of legaia
Legend of dragoon
Parasite eve 1
Legend of mana
Suikoden series
Star ocean series
Mana khemia series
Altelier Iris series
Magna carta series
That may be the first time I've seen someone recommend Secret of Evermore on this forum besides myself.

OT: I think my favorites were more or less covered in the first post, but one that I know that never gets mentioned is Super Ninja Boy. I loved that to death when I was a kid.
IIRC, Secret of Evermore is one of two games made by Squaresoft of America, internally.
(the other was supposedly one of the Parasite Eve games)
Which is why all the dialog and visuals have more of a western edge to them.

It was certainly an interesting game; the Alchemy system was very cool.

Apart from that, I recommend the Suikoden series. Definitely 1&2, probably 3 & 5 (avoid 4 unless you love insanely high encounter rates and sailing)


New member
Jul 30, 2012
lRookiel said:
Is Dark souls a JRPG? Some say it is and some say it isn't.

Anyway, my vote goes for Dark souls :3
It lacks tons of exposition, so no.
I'll say Suikoden 1-5. Other then that, I haven't played any JRPGs for a loooong time.


- in Glorious Black & White!
Jun 22, 2009
My personal top 3 non - Final Fantasy JRPGs are as follows:

1:Grandia (PS1).
This is my all-time favourite game, regardless of category. Cartoonish graphics and a lighthearted tone throughout do nothing to detract from the epic scope and immersive feel of the story. This is a game which genuinely makes you care about its characters.

- take the word of some random guy I found on YouTube!

2:Legend of Dragoon (PS1).
This game has gotten some mixed reviews because of its heavy reliance on established cliches and soap-opera plot twists. However, the gameplay is solid, the story is fast-paced and enjoyable, the characters are a large, diverse bunch who play off each other beautifully, and the world (spanning four discs) is huge and varied. Give it a chance. Odds are, you won't regret it!

Oh yeah, the graphical quality is somewhat uneven. Fun fact: This is because the game took three years in the making, at a time when graphics were rapidly improving!

3:Skies of Arcadia(GC).
You get to play as an air pirate, in a world of flying continents. This alone is reason enough to buy ANY game, so let me just assure you that Skies of Arcadia is a well-crafted, top-quality game in most respects, so if you (like I did) decide to check it out on the air pirate issue alone, odds are you won't be disappointed!

You can actually FEEL the wind in your hair!


Notably Neutral
Jan 12, 2010
Dragon's Dogma
Mana Khemia
Any 'Tales of'
Etrian Odyssey
SMT series
Fire Emblem series
Anything from Acquire Corp (Class of Heroes)
Most games from GUST (Some of their Atelier games as of late are kind of weak though)
Some games from Compile Heart (Record of Agarest War 2 comes to mind)
Ar Tonelico series

I'm sure there are more


New member
Feb 26, 2011
So by jrpgs outside of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, eh? Kinda hard since Dragon Quest is on of my all-time favorite series (pssst... Anything with affiliated with Akira Toriyama is going to be my favorite, I love him so much).

Still, stuff that's better:

Suikdon: has lots of Chinese myths, and Personally I think the industry could benefit more from myths outside of Japan.

Persona: if not for writing, than stellar art style. This series always shows Atlus at its best

Wild arms: if there is anything I want a manga author/artist to play around with, it's the Old West. This was pretty much the heroic era of exploration on the frontier, it's where all the coolest stories come from and the birthplace of the manliest legends and myths. Wild Arms, at least to me, is the Old West as written by Japan ( Trigun, before anyone else says it). I love it when Japan touches the Old West cause then they go crazy with like 6-armed steam powered robots, riding giant chickens, guns powered by magic, I could go on but you're probably bored by now.

TL;DR: Persona, Suikdoen, and Wild Arms ftw!

OT: i will cry if I'm the only one that says Persona


New member
Feb 25, 2010
The Persona games are the only JRPG's I ever LIKED, let alone really, really loved.

Valkyria Chronicles is awesome, but I wouldn't call that a JRPG.