Recommend me a good JRPG that ISN'T Final Fantasy

KoudelkaMorgan

New member
Jul 31, 2009
1,365
0
0
I'm amazed for once I'm not the sole person in a thread like this that acknowledges Shadow Hearts.

What is more you all have already mentioned Radiant Historia, Skies of Arcadia, Etrian Odyssey, and Rogue Galaxy...

I guess the only thing I could add would be Luminous Arc 1&2 (3 never got localized).

They are like Final Fantasy Tactics, or Disgaia, if you only used the story characters. So more like Vandal Hearts. They are also anime style, and mostly witches.

If you like Action RPGs then Alundra is one of the best.
 

Olrod

New member
Feb 11, 2010
861
0
0
beastro said:
Jo mention of Mario RPG??? The game that perfectly encapsulated the Mario series and it's story in one game???

Also recommend Parasite Eve - nice, short story - IMO, it wouldn't take much to turn it into a good movie.

Olrod said:
Considering every Final Fantasy game is different, I don't quite get what your "Isn't Final Fantasy" is supposed to mean.

Every Final Fantasy game "isn't" Final Fantasy, compared to the one before it.
This is a joke, right?

The whole series is remaking essentially the same game only with different, yet still similar aesthetic (since FFVII), and keeping several things around like airships, moogles and shit.
So you're saying the Materia system is like the Junction system is like the Sphere Grid system is like the Dressphere system is like the Gambit system is like the Crystarium system...?
 

PaulTheGreater

New member
Mar 13, 2015
4
0
0
Vlado said:
Xenogears. It's the best RPG, period.
I dunno about best period, but it's definitely a gem that too few people have played. Even back when it was new, there was a bit of division about the game--people thinking that it was either great, or crap. Mainly this stems from the huge disparity in quality between the first and second disc.

The first disc is a masterpiece of Japanese RPG design; the second is kind of a train-wreck. The fiction and music hold up throughout, but many of the elements that make the first disc fun are omitted in the second. It has long been speculated that this is due to budgetary and time restraints relating to another product Squaresoft (feels weird to type that) had--Final Fantasy VIII.

On its own merit, however, Xenogears is a very old-school RPG in the best possible sense. The combat systems are fun and engaging; the characters are well-written, even if sometimes ridiculous ("Master, master--did you see my MAD SKILLZ?!"); the allusions and references to psychology and religion will hit you as either deep or pretentious, maybe both. It utilizes tropes of science fiction in new ways, and it's just a joy to play.

Except for the Tower of Babel. You will fall. You will fall repeatedly. It's just gonna happen.
 

jedisensei

New member
Nov 23, 2009
47
0
0
Since most of the key games have been mentioned (Chrono Trigger, Xenogears, et al), may I recommend a title out of left field: The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age?? It might be a stretch to call it a "JRPG" and "good," but it's really a FF clone in licensed skin with enough depth to merit a playthrough, especially for those that liked the Peter Jackson films.
 

Vlado

Independent Game Journalist
Feb 21, 2015
97
0
0
PaulTheGreater said:
Except for the Tower of Babel. You will fall. You will fall repeatedly. It's just gonna happen.
It's fine, though, as it sports the best theme in the game. :p
 

barbzilla

He who speaks words from mouth!
Dec 6, 2010
1,465
0
0
Gizmo1990 said:
Zeras said:
I'm going to recommend Lost Odyssey (360/PS3), made by Mystwalker (bunch of guys who broke away from Square-Enix); the story is good, the characters are fleshed out, and the text-only "Memories" can be just as or more poignant than anything else you'll ever read.
Thank you! Lost Odyssey really dosen't get the love it should. I love damn near everything (the kids are a little iritating at times) about that game and it is easily my favorite jrpg of the last gen along with Valkyria Chronicals.
Hah, I was just coming in here to post Lost Odyssey myself since nobody usually mentions it. It was my favorite turn based RPG for the 360 (which isn't saying a lot, but it was as good if not better than most of them released for the PS2 and 3 as well). I will say that the difficulty has some peaks and valleys (the areas tend to be overly easy, and then the bosses significantly harder, to the point where you think you are over leveled for the area as everything is cake, but the boss kills your team in 4 turns), but otherwise it is a solid game.
 

Danbo Jambo

New member
Sep 26, 2014
585
0
0
*PERSONA FANS - I was bored rigid with Persona 3. I found it a real slog, the social link aspect nothing more than a tedious repetative grind, and the whole thing seemed to REALLY drag. Is Persona 4 any different?*

On topic, big shout here for Last Remnant. Needs installing to make it less glitchy, not a "wow" experience and needs some work to get to grips with, but a very different, and deep + fun game which NAILS a lot of JRPG elements to a tee.

I also just want to echo the shouts for thise games which get overlooked, namely Shadow Hearts 2 & Lost Odyssey. Both brilliant games.
 

Ima Lemming

New member
Jan 16, 2009
220
0
0
I'd recommend Vagrant Story, but some people consider it a Final Fantasy game since I guess it takes place Ivalice? It's also got a hell of a learning curse.
 

PaulTheGreater

New member
Mar 13, 2015
4
0
0
Ima Lemming said:
...learning curse.
Hah. But that's pretty accurate; Vagrant Story is one of the most underrated games ever. The visuals were great for their time, the music was beautiful, environments pretty--but the combat system is almost rhythm-based, in that you have to learn how each weapon behaves and learn the timings properly in order to maximize your damage. Despite it occurring in Ivalice, I wouldn't count it as a Final Fantasy title.

Vlado said:
PaulTheGreater said:
Except for the Tower of Babel. You will fall. You will fall repeatedly. It's just gonna happen.
It's fine, though, as it sports the best theme in the game. :p
But that's not Dazil D:
 

Tilly

New member
Mar 8, 2015
264
0
0
My top 3 non Final Fantasy games are:

-Chrono Cross
-Skies of Arcadia
-Xenoblade Chronicles

All brilliant and fairly different than Final Fantasy in various ways. Although Xenoblade Chronicles could probably be accurately described as "FF12 done right".
 

joest01

New member
Apr 15, 2009
399
0
0
nightmare_gorilla said:
There's a pretty good xbox 360 old JRPG called ENCHANTED ARMS that's pretty fun. I mean it's fairly standard JRPG but it does what it's supposed to do very well.
Ah, my old guilty pleasure Enchanted Arms. By From Software no less!
I played it on PS3 btw but that may have been a late port.
Standard I would not call it. Yes, combat is random, turn based and happens on a grid. But to whoever is interested look it up online, it's a team based approach to a sRPG battle system. Think dodgeball, or Korra pro bending :)
 

Danny Dowling

New member
May 9, 2014
420
0
0
i remember liking Shadow Hearts on PS2. Sonic Chronicles on DS is decent. Earthbound is good, Citizens of Earth is aite, Stick of Truth is really good.
 

Fappy

\[T]/
May 1, 2020
12,010
0
0
Country
United States
Play SMT: Nocturne, it's so fekkin' good. Same goes for a bunch of other SMT/Persona games.

Beware of Matador though, he's the noob gatekeeper and he will kill you at least once unless you're following a guide.
 

Orbot_Vectorman

Cleaning trash since 1990
May 11, 2009
344
0
0
Let me see, people have already suggested "Wild Arms 3"... "Parasite Eve"..... "SMT: Persona 3/4" (< does not shock me). How about picking up some "Legend of Dragoon", you can pick it up for about $6.00 American.
 

nightmare_gorilla

New member
Jan 22, 2008
461
0
0
joest01 said:
nightmare_gorilla said:
There's a pretty good xbox 360 old JRPG called ENCHANTED ARMS that's pretty fun. I mean it's fairly standard JRPG but it does what it's supposed to do very well.
Ah, my old guilty pleasure Enchanted Arms. By From Software no less!
I played it on PS3 btw but that may have been a late port.
Standard I would not call it. Yes, combat is random, turn based and happens on a grid. But to whoever is interested look it up online, it's a team based approach to a sRPG battle system. Think dodgeball, or Korra pro bending :)
I meant standard as in story/characters and the combat is nothing ground breaking it's very good and I like it but as a whole the game doesn't stand out in any way. I still really enjoyed it. I loved that enemies were basically "golems" that you could either capture or craft i can't remember the exact way to do it but you could use them on your team, which worked for me as i only really liked a few of the main characters. I filled out my battle party with bad ass golems. I also remember they had size requirements so you could have 3-4 normal-large party members or 1 normal and 1 HUGE golem. the battle system was like a very small tactics set up or like the megaman net battle 3ds games you have about 8-12 squares for your team and the enemy has theirs and your attacks hit certain squares based on your position, only downside i recall is the main character had NO way to attack enemies not directly in front of him. my whole team got locked down once couldn't move around the grid so i had to wait for them to cross in front of him for him to wreck them. my other party members could attack but he has a damn hammer he crushed stuff.
 

joest01

New member
Apr 15, 2009
399
0
0
nightmare_gorilla said:
joest01 said:
nightmare_gorilla said:
There's a pretty good xbox 360 old JRPG called ENCHANTED ARMS that's pretty fun. I mean it's fairly standard JRPG but it does what it's supposed to do very well.
Ah, my old guilty pleasure Enchanted Arms. By From Software no less!
I played it on PS3 btw but that may have been a late port.
Standard I would not call it. Yes, combat is random, turn based and happens on a grid. But to whoever is interested look it up online, it's a team based approach to a sRPG battle system. Think dodgeball, or Korra pro bending :)
I meant standard as in story/characters and the combat is nothing ground breaking it's very good and I like it but as a whole the game doesn't stand out in any way. I still really enjoyed it. I loved that enemies were basically "golems" that you could either capture or craft i can't remember the exact way to do it but you could use them on your team, which worked for me as i only really liked a few of the main characters. I filled out my battle party with bad ass golems. I also remember they had size requirements so you could have 3-4 normal-large party members or 1 normal and 1 HUGE golem. the battle system was like a very small tactics set up or like the megaman net battle 3ds games you have about 8-12 squares for your team and the enemy has theirs and your attacks hit certain squares based on your position, only downside i recall is the main character had NO way to attack enemies not directly in front of him. my whole team got locked down once couldn't move around the grid so i had to wait for them to cross in front of him for him to wreck them. my other party members could attack but he has a damn hammer he crushed stuff.
It may not be groundbraking but it is very different from anything I have seen in other rpg's.
I take it you never unlocked Omega for your party :) Dammit, they should patch it for trophies, I am pretty sure I did close to everything in that game.
 

Darth Diabeetus

New member
Mar 10, 2011
5
0
0
Bravely Default for the 3ds and I know you said no Final Fantasy titles but Final Fantasy Tactics from the ps1 is the bees knees
 

DrOswald

New member
Apr 22, 2011
1,443
0
0
When it comes to JRPG's, the ps2 was the best system ever, then the snes, then the DS, then the gameboy advanced. That is where you should direct your search.

Some specific titles:

PS2:

Dark Cloud
*Dark Cloud 2
Shadow Hearts (the entire series)
Dragon Quest VIII
Rogue Galaxy

SNES:

Breath of Fire II
*Chrono Trigger
EarthBound (in fact, the entire series related to earthbound)
Secret of Mana (and the rest of the Seiken Densetsu series)
*Secret of Evermore

Other things you might want to look into:

Persona
Mario RPGs, including the Paper Mario games, Super Mario RPG, and the Mario and Luigi games.
All games in the Xeno block of games (blade > gears > saga)
If you can handle peak anime hijinks, Valkeria Chronicles is fantastic.
The Tactics Ogre series

I put stars next to my favorites that are also highly accessible. That is where I would start.

Edit: Crap! I forgot wild arms. Specifically, 3. So good.
 

TrevHead

New member
Apr 10, 2011
1,458
0
0
Infinite Space DS, is a must buy for anyone with a liking for space opera, it's pricey but well worth it.

Growlanser Wayfarer of Time PSP is a good PS1 era JRPG that is often overlooked.