JRPGs are experiencing something of a resurgence in recent years. With the success of Persona 5, Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Tales of Arise, it seems like JRPGs are back in the mainstream. There’s been a whole load of great new JRPGs announced. It gets you thinking, what will be your next massive JRPG fix!? Huge world-spanning stories, parties of crazy characters with bonkers names, and combat systems with more new rules to learn than the Game of Thrones.
This year is no different – there’s dozens on the horizon over the next 12-18 months, most of which are coming from just one company. To be honest, there’s enough JRPG releases from Square Enix alone, that I might not have enough time to play anything else. For now, I’ll have to settle on listing them. So here it is – 18 of the biggest, baddest, and most beautiful JRPGs looking to sap every hour out of your life in the rest of 2022 and 2023. And yes, I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch more – so let me know in the comments.
Live A Live – 22nd July 2022
Live A Live is a remake of a JRPG from the Square-Enix back catalogue that never made it West back in 1994. Remade in the Octopath Traveller HD-2D style, it looks gorgeous and is coming west next week, only on Nintendo Switch. The game features eight characters in eight small stories each with its own gameplay style and turn-based battles set across far-flung different time periods. Trivia time – Live A Live marked the first director role for Takashi Tokita at Square. Despite its modest sales record in Japan, he went on to direct Chrono Trigger, Parasite Eve, and The Bouncer, as well as contribute story to Final Fantasy 7. He was also lead designer on Final Fantasy 4. Bit of a JRPG legend really.
XenoBlade Chronicles 3 – 29th July 2022
The current and most successful series by Xeno creator Tetsuya Takahashi (Xenogears, Xenosaga 1,2, and 3), Xenoblade Chronicles 3 looks like the biggest JRPG the Nintendo Switch has ever seen. So much so that it got its own dedicated Nintendo Direct last month. Coming out 29th July 2022 Xenoblade Chronicles 3 looks fantastic. Starring a party of six, whom you can switch in and out of battle at any time, the story features characters who live their whole lives in just a 10 year span, overshadowed by a globe-spanning war. Can both sides break free of constant war by working together.
The Diofield Chronicle – 22nd September 2022
Announced back in March 2022, The Diofield Chronicle is Square Enix’s answer to Fire Emblem, XCOM, and Valkyria Chronicle. I mean, it’s in the name even. Both turn-based and real-time combat combined into something the creators call Real-Time Tactical Battle System. This looks to have all the hallmarks of Square Enix’s Ivarice-style work. High politics, unpronounceable latin names, constant warfare, very well-spoken British voice acting, and the faded pastel artwork of FF12, FF Tactics or Triangle Strategy. To say we’re interested is to put it mildly.
Valkyrie Elysium – 29th September 2022
A long-awaited next in the Valkyrie Profile series (last seen on PS2 and Nintendo DS). Valkyrie Elysium is being developed by Soleil, the studio also working on unhinged hack and slash Wanted: Dead. Must be fun to work there at the moment. With a story steeped in Norse mythology, this is the second time we’ll be experiencing Ragnarok this year! A more action-oriented RPG, it has plenty of style and fast-paced combat. This makes it more akin to Square Enix’s own Nier Automata for example, rather than the oft-compared soulslike. But only time will tell. Valkyrie Elysium brings this beloved franchise back on 29th September 2022.
Persona 5 Royal on Xbox/Switch – 21 October 2022 + Persona 3 and Persona 4 soon
One of the biggest gets on Xbox recently was the announcement of Persona 5 Royal on Game Pass subscription. Yes, Persona 5 Royal has been out on PlayStation for a while, but a re-release is a big deal. Players on both consoles could sink 120+ hours of their 2022 Christmas into that sucker. The reason it’s here though is the re-release of Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 Portable on both Xbox Game Pass and Nintendo Switch over the coming 12 months! That’s more Persona than I can fit in one year! So this is a three in one, but what a 3. A great excuse to go back and experience two classics if you haven’t before.
Star Ocean: The Divine Force – 27th October 2022
Technically this is Star Ocean 6 in the mainline series (there’s been one mobile entry, but best forgotten). A beloved sci-fi and fantasy JRPG series from Tri-Ace, before they became part of Square Enix. The Divine Force is hoping to rekindle the series after lackluster recent outings on PlayStation 4. In true Star Ocean tradition, you crash land your spacecraft on an underdeveloped (read fantasy) planet. Open-world for the first time in the series, with interesting flight traversal options, Star Ocean The Divine Force is hoping for divine intervention on 27th October 2022.
Harvestella – 4th November 2022
A surprising one from Square Enix (maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at this point in their bid for world domination). A farming sim ala Stardew Valley combined with the characters and narrative of a quintessential Square Enix style JRPG. Farming sims like this are already massive timesinks, without an emotionally resonant narrative reason to keep tending that garden. It’s got all the hallmarks of Final Fantasy down to the logo. We can’t wait to harvest dozens of Grysahl Greens and log-in every hour to make sure it’s growing nicely. Harvestella is a surprise release at the end of the year.
Front Mission 1st Remake – End 2022
Sometime last year, we heard that Forever Entertainment (Panzer Dragoon remakes) was working with Square Enix on a remake of an old IP. It was all very hush hush. The team spent a good portion of a podcast guessing every old Square property we wished would come back. Then we promptly forgot all about it. Then most of a year later, Front Mission 1st (a remake of the original game) is announced, and hiding in the trailer, with no fanfare, is the Forever Entertainment logo. I for one can’t wait for this, and I also hope it’s good enough that it spawns full remakes of Front Mission 2 and 3 as well. Front Mission 3 was my entry drug into strategy/tactics JRPGs all the way back in 1999. Front Mission 1st is slated for 2022 still, but no sign of a finalised date just yet. Fingers crossed.
Sacrifire – End 2022
Another gorgeous-looking indie bringing back the heyday of nineties JRPGs. Sacrifire has all the style and a lot of the substance of the original Tales and Star Ocean games; a sci-fi and fantasy world intermixing, a freeform 2D on 3D combat system, 2D sprites on a 3D world, and of course that music. There’s a reason it sounds like those games. Sacrifire has bagged none other than Motoi Sakuraba – the legendary composer behind almost every Tales game, every Star Ocean game, The Dark Souls series, Valkyrie Profile and Goden Sun. Another one to go beside the other HD2D titles in this list, Sacrifire is also slated for end of 2022 but is looking more likely to pass into early 2023 at this point.
Chained Echoes – End 2022
More gorgeous pixelart this time, with yet another strong-looking indie on the list. Combining the fantasy aesthetic of Chrono Trigger with the lost technology mechs and sci-fi of Xenogears, Chained Echoes is looking like a very special indie to watch out for. Turn-based battles, mechs quests and politics – the trailer has it all – and if you look carefully there’s even an airship. If it’s not Square Enix continuing their dominance, it’s other devs trying to relive and push the boundaries of the style from the nineties heights. Chained Echoes most recent trailer teases a Q3 *****ber 2022 release – but which month is that?
Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion – Winter 2022-23
Not a complete remake, but a pretty substantial one this – Crisis Core originally came out on the PSP as part of the big Final Fantasy 7 Compilation expanding the story of Zack Fair and how it ties into Sephiroth and Cloud. The backstory of FF7 is one of the most interesting and convoluted so it was great to get a few more pieces of the puzzle. Now its reworked with upgraded modern graphics, a reworked battle system similar to FF7 REMAKE, and other quality of life enhancements all around. Considering the other announcement made at Final Fantasy 7’s 25th Anniversary stream, this is a welcome return of the side story that’s well worth playing. We can get our hands of Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion this winter – but it’s possible that could mean early 2023.
Forspoken – 25th January 2023
A few delays now for this game – originally announced as Project Athia at the first PS5 showcase, it was then slated for May 2022, then October, and now 25th January 2023. There’s some speculation Square were advised to move it out of the way, considering God of War Ragnarok’s release. Forspoken is an open-world action RPG, but a lot more western in its design. A black female lead called Frey, from New York, is transported to a dangerous fantasy world filled with dragons and monsters. But she is clearly blessed with magic in the bargain. The trailers have consistently shown off impressive traversal and combat mechanics, and some spinning dodge jumps that would make Spider-Man wince. Plus a magic hoverboard that would make Marty McFly jealous. I’m psyched, don’t know bout you?
Granblue Fantasy Relink – Early 2023?
Announced back in 2017, Granblue Fantasy Relink is the only entry on this list that was also on last year’s. A fantastic looking action JRPG, Granblue looks akin to the recent Tales of Arise in terms of style and art. A JRPG retelling of the incredibly popular mobile game Granblue Fantasy, Relink has been developed by CyGames, but also in large part by Platinum Games, of Bayonetta and Vanquish fame! The battle system might well be awesome! We can’t wait for a solid release date for this, and according to the dev team, it’s effectively complete and finalised, all that’s left is bugs and testing. We expect a release date to be announced in December at the Granblue Fest streamed event, but don’t worry we’ll make sure to cover it here at Finger Guns. Let’s just hope it’s not on next year’s list.
Sea of Stars – Early 2023
Retro-inspired turn-based RPG may be the tagline, but it doesn’t do this game justice. Just take a look at those visuals – the pixelart on display here is absolutely next-level stuff, evoking a kind of Chrono Trigger that never was – I mean it even has the composer from Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross Yasunori Mitsuda. Made by the team responsible for the Shinobi-inspired The Messenger, Sea Of Stars’ narrative forms a prequel to that game, telling the story of the Children of the Solstice. Check out the trailer and you too will not be able to wait for Sea of Stars – early 2023.
Eternights – Early 2023
If Persona was more your kind of JRPG then maybe Eternights might be the best thing on this list. Half dating sim, half action dungeon crawler, Eternights looks to hit that sweet spot of meaningful character interactions and bonds that then further drive the battle system. It’s also got a guy who’s arm is ripped off by a demon, and then gets a wibbly magic arm as a replacement. I mean, what’s not to like? Expect overdone dialogue and lots of very earnest anime tropes, but hopefully there’s a gem of a story in there too. Eternights is slated for early next year, whatever early means.
Eiyuden Chronicle Hundred Heroes – 2023
A spiritual successor to the cult classic Suikoden series, Eiyuden Chronicle was an impressively successful Kickstarter, and is being written by the writer of Suikoden 1 and 2. Suikoden was always about a huge cast of literally a hundred or so heroes, each recruitable to your party if you followed the right paths and quests. Eiyuden Chronicle looks to continue that trend with an epic war narrative and base building to feed and prep your army. This is another heavily influenced by Octopath Traveller HD 2D visuals, and also has visceral moving combat scenes. We can’t wait to play the full game in 2023.
Final Fantasy XVI – Summer 2023
Final Fantasy 16 is going dark. Really dark. Summons are no longer available to all, but each one is bonded solely to one person – this gives them incredible political power if they know how to use it, and incredible magic power on the battlefield. A undisclosed tragedy befalls our hello Clive and his brother, and so begins his adventure, spanning more than one period of his life. Expect incredible clashes of Shiva, Ifrit, Bahamut and the like, and a deep political story, sorely missing in Final Fantasy 15. Speaking of which, 16 really has to bring the series back to the levels of quality we expect after lackluster receptions for 15 and 13. There’s not that long to wait either as Final Fantasy 16 is aiming for a Summer 2023 release.
Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth – Winter 2023-24
Finally we come to the biggest recent announcement and yet another Final Fantasy and Square Enix title – the return of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake series, now a trilogy that will continue in Part two, now titled Rebirth. We’ve hardly seen anything of it, just the sneak peek cinematic below, and the slated release date of Winter 2023 – that means potentially 2, perhaps even 3 massive Final Fantasy titles coming in 2023. We don’t know how closely they are going to stick to the story or how different it could be, but last year when Intergrade released, we took stock of the likely path in Episode two, and story beats that will likely remain – you can check it out here.
That’s it, 18 massive JRPG titles. 5 HD 2D pixelart beauties. 3 Final Fantasies. 2 tactics titles. The return of Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile, Suikoden and Front Mission. More Persona than you could possibly play in 12 months. It’s a pretty incredible lineup and I know there are other JRPGs announced and not announced that will release in the same time frame. I said it before, 2022-23 is an absolute bumper year for JRPG fans. A resurgence in the greatest genre around!
I hope you enjoyed our list, but if there are any I’ve missed – let us know in the comments. Now I’m off to finish Triangle Strategy before everything starts releasing!