If you’re looking for a way to kill a ton of time on your phone, a JRPG is the way to go. These monstrous games usually last close to 100 hours, and feature intricate systems that usually take around that long to get to grips with.
But there’s a reason so many gamers hold at least one JRPG close to their heart. Well, a couple actually. They typically focus on a group of mismatched characters who are trying to save the world. Humour plays a big part, as does adventure. Everything a growing gamer needs.
The majority of gamers these days grow up with a mobile as their first gaming platform. That’s a good thing though, as a vast majority of our JRPG favourites are readily available.
But knowing where to start is another problem, so that’s where Droid Gamers comes in. We’ve scoured Google Play to bring you this list of the nine best JRPG franchises available on Android.
The best JRPG franchise on Android: Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy is by far the biggest and best JRPG franchise on earth. There are more games in it than there are strands on your head, and the best of them also happen to be the best in the genre.
Mobile has also been truly spoiled where Final Fantasy is concerned. Not only have we got almost all of the entries up to IX (there are 15 in all, not counting spin-offs) we’ve also had a bevy of exclusive mobile entries.
VI and VII are arguably the finest entries if you’re looking for a place to start, but really any of them will suffice.
Dragon Quest has forever lived in the shadow of Final Fantasy – at least over in the west. But really, there’s very little between them. The bulk of games are largely isometric, involve navigating an overworld, and feature a varied cast of characters.
I guess you could say that Dragon Quest is more cartoony, or inspired by Japanese anime. But really, you need to be an expert at JRPGs to be able to discern the difference between them. Don’t bother trying.
We recommend starting with VIII (see? They both even use Roman numerals!) as it’s a solid entry and the port is excellent.
No self respecting JRPG list can really be without Chrono Trigger. To this day, it’s still lauded as one of, if not THE, best JRPGs out there. That’s largely thanks to the multiple endings, sidequests, and the introduction of the active time battle system.
They might not sound like a big deal now, but all of those features were unique when Chrono Trigger launched. If you only pick one game off this list, make sure it’s Chrono Trigger.
The Mana franchise separates itself on this list by bringing an action focus to the JRPG. Rather than partake in turn-based battles, you’ll run right up to an enemy and whack them with your oversized sword in real time.
Think Diablo and you’re on the right lines. It’s a combat system that hadn’t really been used in a JRPG when Secrets of Mana launched, so bear that in mind when you play.
We recommend starting with Secrets of Mana.
Phantasy Star is for the sci-fi lovers out there. It’s set during the period when humanity starts living on new planets, which is pretty fascinating in itself. That combined with a Dragon Quest style combat system? Sign us up.
We recommend you start with Phantasy Star II, because, well, that’s the only entry in the franchise currently available on Android. More should follow though, as part of SEGA’s Forever initiative.
Ys is another JRPG franchise that brings action front and centre, but this one is a little darker than the Mana franchise. It also features the unique BUMP battle system, which punishes you for attacking an enemy head on.
Ys Chronicles I and II are available on Google Play, so grab them both.
Chaos Rings was developed exclusively for mobile, and quite the franchise it is. It’s set during the apocalypse, and has a selection of heroic couples facing off against each other in a fight for survival.
It’s kind of like Hunger Games combined with Final Fantasy. The view is isometric and the battle system turn-based. There’s even a few puzzles thrown in for good measure.
Sadly, Chaos Rings and Omega have been removed from Google Play, but you can still grab Chaos Rings III.
Zenonia is also a mobile exclusive franchise, but one that takes its cues from Ys or Mana, rather than Final Fantasy. It’s an action JRPG that lets you create your own character and then develop it into a monster slaying hero.
Grab Zenonia 5 because it’s the latest so probably the best. Sound logic, right?
Record of Agarest War
The final JRPG on our list is a little different. It’s one of those tactical JRPGs like Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics, or Disgaea, and it probably has the most content of all of them.
There are two entries in the franchise currently available on Google Play. Start with Record of Agarest War.
Did we miss your favourite? Or do you disagree with one of the picks here? Let us know by leaving a comment! Go on, you know you want to…