Games of 2017: JRPGs

By Kotaku on at

The list god's hunger for summarised and notarised games wasn't satisfied with yesterday's list of Western RPGs so we've sent acolytes far and wide to collect together Japanese RPGs. Hopefully the two together should give the deity enough to digest.

There are already a lot of JRPGs announced for the next year, including long awaited sequels like Ni No Kuni 2, eagerly anticipated spin offs like Valkyria Revolution, and new kids on the block like Blue Reflection Sword of the Girl Who Dances in Illusions.

Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom

30 NiNoKuni2

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Level 5 | Publisher: Sony | Platform: PS4
Sequel to the beloved original, this puts players in the shoes of a young ruler, setting out to reclaim and rebuild his kingdom, with the help of friends of course. Expect more of that lovely Ghibli aesthetic, party based combat and exploration. Plus, a kingdom named Ding Dong Dell.

Mary Skelter: Nightmares

31 MarySkelterNIghtmares

Release date: Spring 2017 | Developer: Idea Factory | Publisher: Compile Heart | Platform: Vita
Previously released in Japan, this is dungeon crawling RPG in which you must evade some genuinely unsettling creations as you ascend a tower towards freedom. You can stand your ground and fight or use traps to slow down your foes. Either way, it certainly seems set to deliver on the nightmares front.

Nights of Azure

32 NightsOfAzure

Release date: February 7th | Developer: Gust | Publisher: Koei Tecmo | Platform: PC
Already released on Playstation, this action RPG now makes its debut on PC. It follows the journey of two girls into a realm where nobody can sleep at night and must battle monsters there by summoning demons of their own. Levelling up and choosing the right demon for the battle is key to success.

Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon

33 NightsOfAzure2

Release date: December 22nd | Developer: Gust | Publisher: Koei Tecmo | Platform: PS4, Vita
Just as the original gets a re-release, the sequel finally comes west to PS4 and Vita, boasting improved graphics with a host of new characters and abilities. Expect an even more diverse roster of demons than the first.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix

34 KingdomHeartsHD15ReMix

Release date: March 31st | Developer: Square Enix | Platform: PS4
The remaster of the Square Enix, JRPG, Disney mash-up now makes its way to PS4 with improved visuals. Perfect for fans keen to take a trip down memory lane and newcomers who might appreciate a simpler, more accessible story.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix

35 KingdomHeartsHD25ReMix

Release date: March 31st | Developer: Square Enix | Platform: PS4
And if you're looking for more, a collection that remasters the subsequent three games is available on the same day with a comparable visual overhaul.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

36 KingdomHeartsHD28FinalChapter

Release date: March 31st | Developer: Square Enix | Platform: PS4
And if you're still looking for more, this collects and remasters the last Kingdom Hearts game, also available on the same day. All of this should give you a chance to get caught up before Kingdom Hearts III comes along in the distant future.

NieR: Automata

37 NierAutomata

Release date: February 23rd | Developer: Platinum Games | Publisher: Square Enix | Platform: PC, PS4
A much anticipated follow-up to the cult classic Nier, this charts the tale of an android and her companion in a post-apocalyptic world. Frantic, fast paced combat and a variety of mechanics, switching encounters between hordes of foes and giant bosses, should make Automata a blast to play.

Persona 5

38 Persona5

Release date: April 4th | Developer: Atlus | Publisher: Deep Silver | Platform: PS3, PS4
The latest instalment in the stylish Persona series comes west, an RPG that includes elements of social simulation with changing weather, day/night cycles, all of which effect the behaviour of NPCs. It casts you as a high school student for a year in Tokyo, in which you must forge relationships with characters who aid you in your nightly, turn-based battles with the supernatural.

Shenmue 3

39 Shenmue3

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Neilo | Publisher: Ys Net | Platform: PC, PS4
A long awaited sequel to Shenmue 2, this kickstarted project sees the return of Ryo Hazuki as he sets out to find his father's killer in 1980s China. Not a great deal has been shown but expected is a return of the detailed and simulated open worlds of the previous instalments interspersed with martial arts fights.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

40 FFXIIZodiac

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Square Enix | Platform: PS4
This re-master offers much than just a visual overhaul, looking to better balance the difficulty, better navigation and introduces the series' staple job system to learn new talents from a choice of skill trees. For those who never experienced it the first time, this might be the perfect opportunity to experience XII at its best.

Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book

41 AtelierSophie

Release date: February 7th | Developer: Gust | Publisher: Koei Tecmo | Platform: PC
A re-release of the previously PlayStation exclusive, this RPG centres around an alchemy system where recipes can be learned from exploration, harvesting and battling. The system is designed to offer as much freedom as possible, allowing the player to determine the traits of the items they create to aid them as best as possible.

Blue Reflection Sword of the Girl Who Dances in Illusions

42 BlueReflection

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Gust | Publisher: Koei Tecmo | Platform: PS4 and Vita
This self-proclaimed “Heroic RPG” once more blends the realms of fantasy and high school as players are tasked with the well being of the students and their bonds as they struggle together.


43 Caligulia

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Aquria | Publisher: Atlus | Platform: Vita
A turn-based dungeon crawler set in a virtual reality program that simulates an idyllic high school setting. The player is one of a group who realise they're living in a simulation and dedicate themselves to their escape from it.

Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku!

44 CladunReturnsThisisSengoku

Release date: Spring 2017 | Developer: Nippon Ichi | Publisher: NIS America | Platform: PC
If the exclamation isn't enough to excite you, perhaps a historically set Japan with a supernatural twist will. You play as a warrior who must travel across Japan to help spirits settle unfinished business so they can be reincarnated. As well as action based dungeon crawling, it will feature multiplayer and an in-depth customisation tool that lets you edit your character's appearance down to the individual pixel.

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King

45 DragonQuestVIII

Release date: January 20th | Developer: Level 5 | Publisher: Square Enix | Platform: Nintendo 3DS
This acclaimed RPG returns for modern audiences this year on Nintendo 3DS, offering a huge, rich cel-shaded adventure on handheld. Turn based combat, a world map to explore and a classic thwarting evil tale.

Dragon Quest XI

46 DragonQuestXI

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Level 5 | Publisher: Square Enix | Platform: PS4, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS
This current generation entry in the series boasts a gorgeous and expansive looking open world whilst the Nintendo 3DS version has a novel mix of 2D and 3D visuals, offering players a choice of presentation. Expect to see much more of this one throughout the year.

Ys Origin

46 DragonQuestXI

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Nihon Falcom | Publisher: Marvelous USA | Platform: PS4, Vita
This action RPG gets a re-release on PS4 and Vita, featuring three characters with unique combat styles and their own story. It serves as a prequel to the main Ys series.

Dark Rose Valkyrie

48 DarkRoseValkyrie

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Compile Heart | Publisher: Idea Factory | Platform: PS4
Though a roleplaying game, it also features visual novel style sections in which players must interview character's in their party to determine if they are potential traitors. Only by cross referencing statements and information from all characters can you identify the spy.

Digimon World: Next Order

49 DigimonNewOrder

Release date: January 27th | Developer: B.B Studio | Publisher: Bandai Namco | Platform: PS4, Vita
In a world dominated by Pokemon it's easy to forget the lesser known Digimon but the series returns as an open world RPG in which you must capture, train and battle various monsters. Already well received in Japan, it's certainly a confident Pokemon alternative.

Disgaea 2

50 Disgaea2

Release date: January 30th | Developer: Nippon Ichi | Publisher: Koei | Platform: PC
Another re-release, this is a tactical RPG that has players battling on a 3D isometric grid map, methodically making their way through challenging areas. There's also a pleasingly bizarre game mode in which you can enter any item in the party's inventory for a randomly generated level where the enemies difficulty is determined by the quality of the item used.

Valkyria Revolution

51 ValkyriaRevolution

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Media.Vision | Publisher: Deep Silver | Platform: PS4, Vita, Xbox One
A spin-off entry in the Valkyria series, this is an action RPG that incorporates strategy elements, in which players prepare for battle at a home base then deploy into combat. It also includes permadeath for all the characters under the player's command, ensuring there are real consequences for your actions in combat.

Tokyo Xanadu

52 TokyoXanadu

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Nihon Falcom | Platform: PC, Vita
Initially released in Japan in 2015, it finally makes its way west. A dungeon explorer that combines elements from the Xanadu series and the Persona series, with some lovely animated cutscenes.

Fairy Fencer F. Advent Dark Force

53 FairyFencer

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Compile Heart | Publisher: Idea Factory | Platform: PC
This fast paced RPG makes its way to PC, with an emphasis on large enemies and having a large party of characters to fight them with. With multiple storylines, there seems to be a lot of content on offer.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd

54 TheLegendofHeroes

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Nihon Falcom | Publisher: XSEED Games | Platform: PC
Another re-release for PC, it's a turn based RPG and the final part in the Trails in the Sky trilogy. Interaction with various NPCs through the game is vital, as they each have their own little stories that progress as the game goes on.

The Alliance Alive

54 TheAllianceAlive

Release date: 2017 | Developer: FuRyu | Platform: N3DS
A classic themed RPG for the handheld, in which you play as nine characters, each with their own initially unrelated storyline before they converge into a single high stakes plot. Turn-based combat features but offers options to speed up the pace of the fight.

Tales of Berseria

55 TalesofBerseria

Release date: January 27th | Developer: Namco Bandai | Platform: PC, PS4
This sixteenth entry in the Tales series is an party based, action RPG that has various types of skills for characters to employ. Players looking for a combat system with a diverse range of options should take note of this one.

Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy

56 OperationAbyss

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Experience Inc. | Publisher: NIS America | Platform: PC
An explicit dungeon crawling RPG that makes its way to PC this year, boasting large party turn-based combat and considered thought in its exploration mechanics.

Throughout January we're going to be posting lists of games coming out in 2017, to keep on top of them all you can find them collected here.