Final Fantasy VI - Best classic JRPGs you can play right now
Image via Square Enix

Classic JRPGs That Are Easy to Find and Play

In the history of JRPGs, there have been many that have defined the genre as a whole since many years ago, and with the launch of remakes, remasters, and various gaming services, people get the best chances to play or replay them right now. As long as you have the right console or subscription, you can easily access some of them. To help people out, I gathered together some of the more notable ones easily available. Ranging from rich storylines and deep character development to engaging gameplay mechanics, these are some of the best classic JRPGs you can play on current consoles.

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Final Fantasy VI

No matter how many years pass, Final Fantasy VI’s story is still one of the most memorable experiences in gaming. The mix of a world right in the middle of a technological revolution and exquisite pixel sprites make this game worth playing now more than ever. You can find it as part of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster collection on the PS4, PS5, Switch, PC, and mobile devices.

Live A Live

One of the most groundbreaking games of its era, Live A Live was locked away as a Japan-only title for the Super Famicom until 2022. This game guides you through the point of view of six different protagonists from all points across time and space. The latest HD-2D remake of this iconic game brings all the original’s charm and remarkable storytelling to nowadays consoles. You can find Live A Live on the Switch, PS4, PS5, and PC.

Tales of Symphonia

Originally released for the Nintendo Gamecube, Tales of Symphonia set the style for many action-RPGs for years to come. Using a cast of interesting characters, a memorable journey, and an engaging real-time combat system, this game will be in the memory of any player who gives it a try. You can play Tales of Symphonia on the PS2, PS3, PC via Steam, or its official remaster on the Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. Backwards compatibility also means you can play it on the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne

The third mainline entry in the Shin Megami Tensei series has been praised by many because of its difficulty. Moreover, elements like the post-apocalyptic Tokyo setting and the demon negotiation mechanic make it one of the must-haves for anyone looking for an unforgettable experience. In addition, it also features Dante from the Devil May Cry series. You can play Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster on the Switch, PS4, and PC. Backwards compatibility also means you can play it on the PS5.

Dragon Quest III

There’s no complete list of great classic JRPGs without mentioning the one who put the genre on the map. The iconic Dragon Quest series introduced players to the main staples of the JRPG formula such as a customizable party, an interesting fantasy setting, and even the traditional turn-based combat, and the third entry may well be the one that perfected all the elements. You can find the Dragon Quest III port on Nintendo Switch, PS4, and mobile devices. Backwards compatibility also means you can play it on the PS5.

Kingdom Hearts II

Kingdom Hearts II is considered by many as one of the most important games of the PS2 era. Its unique blend of Final Fantasy and Disney characters mixed with an engaging and complex storyline makes it an unforgettable action RPG. The version you can find currently is a revision by the name of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix as part of the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, and you can play it on the PS4, Xbox One, Switch (via the cloud version), and PC. Backwards compatibility also means you can play it on the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Persona 4 Golden

Persona 4 stands out because of its fun and endearing mix of turn-based battles and social simulating segments. This is one of the few games in this list set in a more contemporary period, so it recontextualizes many of the genre staples in very creative ways. Furthermore, the Golden remaster brings additional content that delves more into the already interesting base story. You can immediately play Persona 4 Golden on PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.

Earthbound

The story of Ness in his journey to save the world from an otherworldly menace is one of the most remarkable classic JRPGs. Although being the inspiration for games such as Undertale, Omori, and countless other titles, Earthbound remained for some years one of the most difficult games to find legally until recently. You can play Earthbound right now on Nintendo Switch via the SNES app with an online subscription or as part of the available collection of games on the SNES mini.


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Author
Frank Reyes
Frank is a staff writer and tokusatsu fan from Colombia. The first game he remembers ever playing is PS1’s 102 Dalmatians. His favorite franchises are Persona/SMT, Harvest Moon, and Final Fantasy. When he's not writing, you'll find him building gunplas, reading manga, or furnishing his house in Eorzea.