On the way to the West in 2016 is a pair of Dragon Quest games, Fire Emblem Fates, Bravely Second and others. But for those who haven't gorged and geeked on every JRPG released in the past few years, it might be time to add these made-in-Japan games to those New Year's resolutions.
Whether its turn based and tactical or hack and slashable, what makes the JRPG genre is where it came from: Japan. For lovers of Japanese tropes and tales, we've rounded up a few of the best JRPG's from a year that saw a lot of good ones.
Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance (PlayStation 4) – It's a tactical role playing game, through and through, but it doesn't take itself too seriously. The Disgaea franchise thrives on comedy and, subjectively, the latest installment in the long-standing series delivers.
In Disgaea 5, protagonist Killia is out to reunite the netherworlds in an effort to exact revenge on Dark Void. Killia needs the help of each nether realm and their overloard's abilities to take on the demon emperor.
For the completionists out there, be prepared to play this one more than once to unlock new characters and game modes.
Disgaea 5 gets favorable reviews on Metacritic, along with a cumulative score of 81/100. But it might not be the best starting point for those brand new to the series, as Metro points out.
"The gameplay's a lot more basic but on the flipside the characters are a lot more fun, and if you're staying in their company for 100+ hours it does help if you like them," says Metro's review of the game.
Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U) – With the splash damage of an alien war threatening to kill off earthlings, a small contingent of humans arrives on humanity's next home and the game's protagonist is tasked with wrapping up that transition. That entails exploring a wide-open world, fighting aliens and rescuing humans.
Hardcore RPG fans find ways and time to engage in their favorite games. But players of this well-received JRPG may have to work a little harder, according to The Washington Post's Michael Thomsen.
"Giving one's self over to its endless permutations can make it seem as if time has both stopped dead and begun to accelerate beyond control," Thomsen writes. "If you're looking to lose yourself here is a game that, for better and for worse, will show you the way."
Tales of Zestiria (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC) – PC gamers seem to really like this one, though that may have something to do with them being happy for the recent uptick in JRPG's favorite platform.
This action RPG pits players against the forces of darkness, specifically those generated for negative thoughts and emotions. Blessed by Seraphim, which few can sense, protagonist Sorey sets out to destroy the incarnations of that malevolence.
For fans of JRPGs, Tales of Zestiria is a good starting point for a series that's now about two decades old, according to PCGamer's Daniella Lucas.
"If you don't like JRPGs then this won't quite be the game to change your mind, but it's one of the best in the Tales series," Lucas writes. "Fans will love the vast improvements on previous entries, and the fact that it shares a similar sense of spirit to that of the legendary Tales of Symphonia (also coming to PC soon, and free with Zestiria if you preordered it)."
Still looking for more or something else? Consider these three as well: Final Fantasy XIV, Fairy Fencer F and The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC.