10 More Underrated JRPGs (If You’re Tired of Final Fantasy)
If you’ve only been playing AAA games released in the last ten years, you most likely missed out on a lot of JRPGs that weren’t as popular as the FF series.
Radiant Historia (2010)
The world is slowly devoured by desertification and as a consequence, survivors fight for control over available land and resources. Embroiled in a battle between nations, you control Stocke who was given a book capable of sending you back in time to prevent the disaster.
Secret of Evermore (1995)
You think having a dog companion is cute? How about this action RPG that features a shapeshifting dog as a companion in an alternate world? You can control either the boy or the dog while the AI controls the other you didn’t pick during battles. If you love the combat system is Secret of Mana, this is the one for you.
The Last Story (2011)
This action RPG is aptly named because it is set in a world where the life force is slowly being leached. You control only Zael and employ both stealth and tactical gameplay to progress the story, but you can use player commands for companions.
Arc the Lad (1995)
The first entry to an underrated tactical RPG, it centers on Arc’s search for his father. Exploration in the game is limited to dungeons, fields, and small areas and dialogues mostly happen during events. If you want to play the first game, you should look for Arc the Lad Collection which includes the trilogy.
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (1995)
This prequel RPG, which includes puzzle elements, follows the story of Maxim during the start of the war between humans and the Sinistrals. You can play this game as an entry point to the Lufia series.
It’s the introduction to the series of the same name and introduces Justine who is on a quest to discover a lost civilization. There are no random battles here because you can see the enemies on the field and you can even sneak up on them, unlike most of the FF games.
Shining Force II (1993)
Another tactical RPG on this list, you can play this game even if you’re not familiar with the first entry in the series. The exploration part is similar to that in open world games because there are no chapters and it allows for free roaming.
Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished (1987)
The entire Ys series has been around for a long time but it’s strangely underrated. This first entry is an action RPG was a pioneer when it comes to storytelling and introduces Adol, who was told that a looming threat was coming. To stop this evil from coming, he has to gather the six Ys books which contain secrets.
Riviera: The Promised Land (2002)
The first installment of the Dept. Heaven series, it features a dating sim, multiple possible endings, strategy elements, and unique movement features divided into look and move modes.
Wild Arms (1996)
A Western-themed turn-based JRPG with 3D-rendered battles, this game combines elements of puzzle solving, story-based scenarios, and combat.