8 Best Character-Driven JRPGs Of All Time
The character growth in these JRPGs goes above and beyond.
Strong character writing goes hand in hand with JRPGs, and any game that fails to do this will have a hard time. After all, one of the best parts of any video game is a long, interesting story, and this is even more important in the story-driven JRPG type. The most popular games in this genre are known for having great stories and memorable characters. In some games, the trip itself is even memorable.
Character growth is important in JRPGs because these games can last hundreds of hours, and if the main characters don’t change, the adventure can sometimes feel like it’s standing still. The following games got the task, and they are known as some of the best character-driven JRPGs ever made.
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Final Fantasy 9
Many people think that Final Fantasy 9 is one of the best games in the series. The game seems to be a tasty mix of old-school Final Fantasy elements and common JRPG tropes, but the title is so much more than what this description suggests.
Even though the characters in Final Fantasy 9 seem like elaborate cliches, they go through a lot of changes that make them grown and well-liked. Steiner and Vivi are the ones who talk about it the most, and Vivi’s story is especially sad.
Persona 5 is one of the most stylish games on this list. It brought a new group of fans to the famous Shin Megami Tensei spinoff series and helped them figure out what makes it so good.
The main story of Persona 5 is pretty interesting on its own, but if you talk to the many Confidants in the game, you can find some great side stories. It makes the game fun and makes sure that players care about what happens to their party members and other characters in the game.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Everyone was worried about Yakuza: Like a Dragon because it changed from the real-time action of the previous games to a turn-based system, which was not as popular. But the satisfying nature of this fight system and the absurdity of every combat encounter make it a blast to play.
At times, Like a Dragon feels like an experiment, but it’s amazing that the first time anyone tried to make a Yakuza JRPG, it was nothing but a huge success. Ichiban Kasuga is one of the best Yakuza main characters of all time, and it’s a lot of fun to see how he changes and interacts with both new and old characters.
The Legend Of Heroes: Trails In The Sky
The Legend of Heroes has a lot of fun stories and games, but the way fantasy elements are used in them is pretty standard. People might think that the title isn’t very impressive because of this, but the great writing in these games is what makes them so worth it.
Many people really like Trails in the Sky and its second part. The story of Estelle and Joshua is very interesting. Even though their relationship has some creepy undertones, these two major characters and the rest of the party members and side characters are very interesting and show a lot of growth over the course of this magical adventure.
Tales Of The Abyss
Outside of Japan, the Tales series doesn’t get nearly enough attention, which is a shame. The real-time action in these games is pretty good, but the best parts are probably the characters and how they change and grow as the games go on.
Tales of the Abyss, which has one of the best-written main characters in a video game, is the best example of this. Luke starts out looking like a spoiled brat, but his life and the people he hangs out with help him become more sensible and reliable.
Another set of JRPGs that more people should play is the Xenosaga trilogy on the PS2. The games can be a little rough around the edges, but the heartfelt stories and likeable personalities more than make up for this.
It’s clear that the writers learned from their mistakes with Xenogears. Over the course of the three games, they gave each important character more depth. Xenosaga is a great set of JRPGs for people who want to sink their teeth into something meaty.
The World Ends With You
The idea of The World Ends With You is interesting, and the main character, Neku, is at the centre of everything. Each of Neku’s partners is interesting in their own way, and as the story goes on, they all change and grow as a result of the dangerous position they are in.
Neku changes a lot over the course of the series, which shows how the main character slowly gets over his social fear. The World Ends With You is a beloved favourite that fans can’t get enough of because of its story and style.
Final Fantasy 10
Final Fantasy 10 was the first game in the series to come out on the PS2, and it was a huge hit. Final Fantasy 10 is known not just for its beautiful graphics, but also for its emotional story that will keep players interested until the very end.
This story has a lot of twists and turns, and it also has a lot of well-liked people who grow and figure out how to deal with their problems in their own way. Even though Tidus might seem like an annoying main character, there’s no doubt that by the end of Happy Wheels game, he’s become quite skilled and reliable.