There is a massive market for JPRGs and some of these classic video game titles have inspired developers from all over the world to create similar pieces of video game art for others to enjoy. In this list, we’re going to be highlighting some of the most anticipated JPRGs coming out in 2021 that we personally can’t wait to get our hands on. Some of these games have been released, some are slated to launch this year, while others have us waiting for the actual release window. As a result, don’t take these games as in particular any order of being better than the others. We’re still waiting for a lot of these games to make their way out into the marketplace so we can play them. With that said, here are our picks.
#10 Scarlet Nexus
Scarlet Nexus is an upcoming title that’s set in a future world where humanity is being attacked by various monsters descending onto the planet. Now with humanity in a fight for their lives, it’s up to the recruits of the Other Suppression Force or known as OSF, to save the day. Players are taking the role of a protagonist that was saved from an attack as a child that nearly met their match by one of these monsters. Years later, the protagonist takes on the recruitment process to fight back against these demonic monsters. With scientists unlocking a substance within the human brain, OSF members are given a supernatural power to help in their battle. In the case of our protagonist, players are given the ability of psychokinesis. Not only are you going through this action RPG to battle off monsters with melee combat and your supernatural powers, but you’ll find other OSF members to join your party. Each OSF member comes with their unique supernatural abilities but they can be linked to the protagonist for players to make use of different powers along the way.
#9 Cris Tales
Cris Tales is an upcoming title from indie developers Dreams Uncorporated and Syck. Overall, this is a game developed and inspired by classic JRPGs and it looks to be a friendly title for those that may not be too familiar with JPRGs in general. Here players are taking the role of a young orphan girl who becomes a time mage and it’s with her newfound powers that she discovers a dark future that could destroy the world as we know it. As a result, players will be going through the past, present, and future to save the world. Fortunately, along the way players will meet with a variety of helpful allies who will lend their talents in this new epic journey. Being inspired by some of the more classic JRPGs, you can expect this to be a turn-based combat title, although it does seem to be a bit easier to manage for newcomers. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see just how this game plays when it launches later this summer.
#8 Shin Megami Tensei V
A new installment to the Shin Megami Tensei series is coming out this year. Unfortunately, we’re still waiting on more information to make its way out for the upcoming installment. With that said, it should feature a brand new storyline with more or less the same mechanics that we’re accustomed to with this series which is classic turn-based combat. We’re also likely to see this game take place within modern Tokyo as you battle against demonic forces. Currently, we know that the developers over at Atlus are hoping to get this game out in 2021 which will be released exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. For now, fans of the series are waiting for a new trailer to highlight the narrative or even some gameplay footage, but for now, it’s purely a waiting game. Hopefully, we’ll end up seeing this game release within 2021 too as there’s no specific release date
#7 Rune Factory 5
The Rune Factory franchise has been around for quite a few years after initially finding a release in 2006. This video game series is a bit like Harvest Moon and it certainly has a strong following. Here in Rune Factory 5 players take the role of a protagonist that has no memories but finds a new home within the town of Rigbarth. Within Rigbarth our hero will take on the role of a ranger, keeping peace within the lands. Meanwhile, players will have the ability to tend a farm by gathering crops or fishing at a nearby pool of water. However, when trouble brews up, our protagonist can team up with some of the townspeople to deliver a barrage of attacks against the hostile enemies. This new installment for Rune Factory will be releasing exclusively on the Nintendo Switch at some point later this year.
#6 The Caligula Effect 2
If you played The Caligula Effect which came out back in 2017 for a variety of platforms, then you’ll be delighted to know that a sequel is in the works for June of this year. This particular installment will have a somewhat similar premise for players to go through. In this game, a virtual being had created a world to lock people in in hopes of easing their pain of past regrets. However, by doing so the people are now innocently trapped and imprisoned. Set up to look like a modern high school, our protagonist is given the knowledge that they are stuck in a virtual world which prompts a new group to get started called the Go-Home Club. With this group, players attempt to break free and return to the real world.
#5 Digimon Survive
With the hype of Pokemon came another series that acted as a competitor, Digimon. The franchise has been around for years and for some, it was their go-to show. While we don’t often hear about the video games in the same glory and praise as we do with the Pokemon franchise, one particular survival tactical RPG may have a few heads turning. This game is a take on a story revolving around Takuma Momotsuka and his Digimon when they become trapped inside a parallel world. We know that the game will have a slightly mature spin with players having to deal with a variety of choices that could not only lead to different endings but also character deaths. If you’re a fan of the franchise then this is likely already on your list for games to watch out for in 2021. However, if you’re new to the series, you can still likely get plenty of fun out of the game when it eventually releases sometime this year.
#4 Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & The Secret Fairy
The Atelier series first got started back in 1997 for the original PlayStation. For a good while, this was a series exclusive to Japan and it wouldn’t be until Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana released in 2005 that the game would find its way to western markets. If we fast forward several years to 2019 we received Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout which was a big hit and today we can dive into its sequel Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & The Secret Fairy. This game takes place a few years after the first installments conclude and once again players are stepping into the role of Ryza. After meeting up with some old friends, a new journey awaits her. Players will be exploring the different ruins located around the capital. Meanwhile, the combat is more real-time as you’ll be able to deliver a barrage of attacks against a hostile enemy with your party while building up an AP gauge to further deliver more powerful skills. With that said, even though this game takes place after the events of Atelier Ryza, you shouldn’t have much of a problem playing this sequel as a standalone experience.
#3 Tales of Arise
The Tales games have been around for years but I feel like more newcomers have found out about this IP with the previous breakout hit installment, Tales of Berseria. Now a new game with a unique story is coming out in September of this year. Tales of Arise is another action RPG installment where we get a narrative based around two protagonists, a man named Alphen who was born in a world called Dahna while a girl, Shionne from the planet Rena end up being in a partnership. In this game narrative, the planet of Dahna has been crippled by the advanced world of Rena forcing most of Dahna into being slaves, as they provide resources and goods to Rena. Just how these two end up traveling through a journey remains to be seen, but this is an installment that the developers purposely made to be a bit darker compared to previous entries. The goal of this game is to not only help evolve the IP but make it more appealing to western markets. Meanwhile, if you played the previous installment, Tales of Berseria, then you’ll know what to expect here with the combat being more of an action RPG experience.
#2 Nier Replicant Ver 1.22474487319…
If you enjoyed the original Nier when it launched and moved on to Nier: Automata then you can get a chance to go back to the iconic prequel title and enjoy it all over again. Now it’s been updated for modern platforms and it gives you the option to play this game with a nice coat of paint. Here players are going through an action RPG experience with some bullet hell combat as you set off to find a cure for your sibling, who is sick with a terrible disease. I’m not going to spoil things here but this is one of those games that you play twice and get the full picture of what’s going on. As mentioned, this game already releases so again you’ll know what you’re getting into if you already played the title when it initially launched. Meanwhile, for those who fell in love with Nier: Automata then again this is a title well worth picking up. At the time of writing this description, Nier Replicant Ver 1.22474487319… just came out into the marketplace so you can pick it up to play right now.
#1 Final Fantasy XVI
The Final Fantasy franchise has been around for ages and it continues to find new installments released into the marketplace regularly. We just received a remake of Final Fantasy VII with more parts of that game slated to come out, although we’re uncertain just when part 2 will make a debut. The same can be said about Final Fantasy XVI although we’ve seen plenty of rumors and even reports claiming that this title will release in 2021. So far we’ve only really seen a slight glimpse as this installment, which will be taking place in a fictional land of Valisthea where in good Final Fantasy fashion, a new malady pops up leaving a battle to prevent the spread and helping those in need. While there are several questions left to be answered, we do know that this game will be releasing for the PlayStation 5. For a lot of fans out there, just getting a PlayStation 5 is a challenge so we’re hopeful units are in good supply by the time this game makes its way out into the marketplace.