If you haven’t heard already, Square Enix recently confirmed that Final Fantasy XV will finally be released on the 30th of September. Although it is easily the most anticipated JRPG release of 2016, there are still several upcoming titles from the same genre that are worth checking out. Below, you can find a list of our top 10 upcoming Japanese role-playing games (that have been confirmed to be released before Final Fantasy XV in North America) that should be worth playing.
10. 7th Dragon III Code: VFD
Code: VFD is the first game in the 7th Dragon series to be localized in the North American region. New fans can expect a time traveling adventure where they can move between the past, present and future in order to defeat the dangerous dragons. Players will be able to customize the characters with eight different classes along with having numerous voice and appearance options.
7th Dragon III Code: VFD is launching on the 12th of July in the North American region. You can preorder the upcoming 3DS RPG, if you are interested, with this link on Amazon.
9. Shiren The Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate
Shiren The Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate is an old school dungeon crawling role-playing game with roguelike features as you will lose all your progress when you die. Along with the main campaign, the Vita game (which comes with exclusive content when compared to the original Japan-only DS release), the game also features competitive and cooperative elements.
Shiren The Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate is releasing on the 26th of July for Sony’s handheld system. Reserve it with this page.
8. I Am Setsuna
I Am Setsuna is a new intellectual property developed by Tokyo RPG Factory, a studio by Square Enix that was built specifically for Japanese role-playing game. The title provides a traditional experience, including an active time battle system similar to the Final Fantasy. It also adds some twists of its own, such as using the Setsuna gauge (which builds up over the course of battle) to boost your abilities.
I Am Setsuna should be released later in the second quarter of 2016 for the PS4, Vita and PC.
7. Grand Kingdom
One JRPG that came seemingly out of nowhere is Grand Kingdom. You will be able to build a team out of 12 classes to take into battle. The fights takes place on a 2D field with different planes where you have to take into account positioning. Along with a single-player campaign, the role-playing game also features competitive online multiplayer with cross-play support between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.
Preorder Grand Kingdom, which is coming out on the 21st of June for the PS4 and Vita, here.
6. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
Another remastered port worth checking out is Odin Sphere Leifthrasir. The already beautiful 2D sprites graphics from the PS2 original will look even better on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Not to mention that Atlus also fixed the stuttering frame rate while adding more content and improving the gameplay at the same time. Needless to say, Leifthrasir is the definitive version of Odin Sphere.
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is launching for the PS4, PS3 and Vita on the 7th of June. You can preorder all three version with this link.
5. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book
The latest installment in the long-running but very underrated Atelier series is The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book. In the new game, the development team at Gust decided to revamp the alchemy system while also making the world more lively with day-night cycles and weather effects. So, if you haven’t played any of the previous titles, you should definitely jump right in with The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book.
Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book will be released on June 7th for the PS4 and Vita. You can order the latest Atelier title via this page.
4. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
The original Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel was considered to be one of the better role-playing games of recent years when it was released in 2015. The upcoming sequel is a direct follow-up as players can import their data in order to continue to build their relationships with party members. Along with other new features, such as transportation options, the second game in the series is shaping up to be a great sequel.
You can preorder The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, which will be released for the PS3 and Vita on September 6th, with this link.
3. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
Although it has been a long time coming, the Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei appears to be shaping up quite well. The battle system combines the rock-paper-scissor mechanics from Fire Emblem along with the elemental properties from SMT. Outside of battles and dungeons, you can explore and hang out in Tokyo. Wii U owners looking for another solid role-playing game after Xenoblade Chronicles X should definitely check out the upcoming crossover game.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, which releases for the Nintendo Wii U on June 24th, is available for purchase here.
2. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
One of the better developers of the JRPG genre, Tri-Ace, is returning with what looks like another great role-playing experience. The deep action combat system has been further expanded to add seven party members. The private action scenarios from the previous installments also return as you can learn more about your teammates. Integrity and Faithlessness is turning out to be a great sequel, especially for fans that were disappointed with Star Ocean: The Last Hope.
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness launches on the 28th of June. You can preorder the Square Enix RPG with this page.
1. Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
Apocalypse is a follow-up to one of the best JRPGs for the Nintendo 3DS, Shin Megami Tensei IV. With the new game, the development team listened to fan feedback in an attempt to create the ultimate role-playing experience for the handheld. For instance, the roster of demons have now been expanded to nearly 450. With the release timeframe of Persona 5 still up in the air, SMT fans (or fans of the genre in general) should definitely check out Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse.
Atlus is expected to release Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse on September 20th. You can purchase the 3DS role-playing game via this link.So, if you are looking for new JRPGs to play in order to past the time until the latest Final Fantasy game is released, you should check out the titles we mentioned above.