Amongst the many gaming genres, JRPG is probably one of the oldest and most enduring. They usually focus on storytelling, with some of the best stories ever witnessed in the history of gaming.

In this article, Gurugamer is going to showcase the top 5 best JRPGs to play on PC in 2023.

1. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade is a twist on the original cult classic that has been reimagined with cutting-edge graphics, all-new game mechanics, and fast-paced combat.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade

The story remains entirely faithful to the original game, with some content in between to help bolster it. The writing is superb, and the overall story is perfect, to say the least. Side quests are the contrast here, as they are totally devoid of personality and storyline and seem to act purely as filler for the entirety of the experience. Please keep in mind that you only get to play as 4 of the total party in the entirety of this game, and it consists of Cloud, Barret, Tifa and Aerith.

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The protagonist

The remake is a decent rendition of the original game in nearly every aspect. Memorable boss fights return with new mechanics to learn and master that pose significant challenges. The alternate game mode provided called "classic" makes the game more reminiscent of the original and closer to the traditional turn-based gameplay.

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FF7 combat

Materia and equipment are impressive concepts that have remained the same and allow you to customize your heroes to your own liking and build them how you see fit. Materia is essentially the magic in Final Fantasy 7, taking the shape of colored orbs that give you special abilities when equipped that also bolster your individual stats.

2. Persona 4 Golden

You can call this a JRPG. You can call this Anime. You can call this a dungeon crawler, a visual novel, or even a Mystery if you'd like. These are all true. But beyond all of that, it's a friendship simulator, one that has never been done this well until its release or ever since. There really is nothing like it.

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Persona 4 Golden

Great characters you really feel attached to. There is not a single main character that I dislike (something that is extremely rare). The story, in my opinion, it is very happy and sad at the same time. The story definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. On PC to be enjoyed with 100+fps animations, full-resolution textures, and 200% resolution scaling for extra crispiness.

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Turn-Based gameplay

Lots of stuff to do besides battles, you live the life of a high-schooler in a very real sense. You play each day of the school year and can perform various activities such as fishing, eating in fast-food restaurants, and hanging out with friends and acquaintances - the latter being a defining trait of Persona a directly influences your gameplay. Some people in the game have a 'Social link' - a bond the protagonist shares with the character. The player gets rewarded for having stronger bonds, especially with your teammates. If you end up struggling in a battle, fuse higher-level personae/persona's with different skills. Usually, you can find a persona that resists the element of the attacks a major boss uses early on.

Social events

3. Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Yakuza: Like a Dragon the newest game in the series keeps the old vibes alive but reinvents itself with new elements at the same time.

Like A Dragon
Yakuza: Like a Dragon

The combat is really refreshing after 7 games with beat 'em up combat. You can play with 7 characters throughout the story, with half of them getting unlocked via progression and minigames. While the combat is turn-based, it doesn't feel slow or clunky. The punches, kicks, shots feel impactful and fluent. Abilities that deal damage always have a little quick time event that makes every fight more engaging and active.

Turn based gameplay

And now the final biggest thing would probably be the characters: Ichiban is a very strong follow-up to Kiryu. He possesses the same morals and such as Kiryu, but he's a charming dork instead of a stoic titan. It's very weird playing as Kiryu for so many games and feeling unstoppable, but in this game, as Ichiban, you learn what it's like to be one of the weaker characters in Yakuza's lore. To me, Ichiban is your average likable and relatable silent JRPG protagonist, such as a Persona protagonist, but he has an actual in-lore personality and one that absolutely dominates every time he's on screen.

Yakuza Gameplay
The cast of the game

4. Tales of ARISE

It feels like Tales of Arise finally got that budget Zestiria and Berseria were lacking. Arise no longer targets PS3 as its main platform, so the overall presentation is mind-blowingly miles away from its predecessors. I'm familiar with all PS1 and PC Tales Of titles, along with recent BANDAI NAMCO action jRPGs like SCARLET NEXUS and CODE VEIN.

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Tales of ARISE

Overall, it is an excellent title for those that have never touched the franchise. The game explains all the mechanics and there are no mind-numbing complex systems to ruin your experience. Most of the titles are stand-alone in terms of story, so you won't be spoiling yourself.

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Tales of ARISE is spectacular

The visuals are heavily stylized, the game was advertised to have an "Atmospheric Shader" and I would say that along with image sharpening the results are impressive! All areas of the game have respectable backdrops that are often screenshot-worthy. Gone are the days of running around in 10 reskins of same-looking modular caves! All areas of the game feel like they were hand-crafted, and this level of quality persists throughout most of the game.

Tales Of Arise
The party members

Previous games suffered badly from the dungeon design cheapness, and that feeling persisted throughout the whole journey. Combat is polished and feels smooth. The more story is progressed, the more mechanics are unlocked, so I wouldn't recommend grinding in the same spot. Since the mechanics are unlocked gradually, the player gets enough breathing room to practice. Each main party member can be controlled at any time, so you can pick your favorite fighting style.

5. DRAGON QUEST XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

Dragon Quest XI is nothing short of legendary and will forever live among the greatest games I have ever played.

Dragon Quest 11

The Dragon Quest saga is the root of every JRPG ever made, and as such, bears tradition as a badge of pride. Where today's trends go towards fast-paced action-oriented flashy games, DQ11 is a slow burn, a sprawling epic of hundreds of hours, tons of stories, and a world to leisurely savor. Its mechanics, while simple - never straying too far from the original formula - are enough to keep the game going. With lots of sidequests, activities, and a story that never rushes but never stops, you are always focused on the adventure ahead of you. No fancy tricks or trendy modernities.

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The protagonist

The story is the very definition of an epic. It reveals a world most complex than it seems at first glance, it reunites the whole saga beautifully and its incredible twists - which I wouldn't dare spoil here - are breathtaking. This is, above all, a love letter to the Dragon Quest saga, and to JRPGS. It is all that defines the genre... only cranked up to eleven.

Dragon Quest Xi Gameplay
Dragon Quest XI Gameplay

6. Persona 5 Royal

When Final Fantasy XV launched back in 2016 it started with a message - "A Final Fantasy for Fans and First-Timers”. And while it can be argued if that is true in regards to the FF franchise, I feel that saying works really well for Persona 5. If you never played a Persona title, you can jump straight away without any fear, and what you’ll find is a game that is incredibly addictive and it definitely deserves the title “one of the best JRPGS of all time”.

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Persona 5 Royal

On a personal level, Persona 5 is one of my favorite games of all time, I’ve played through it numerous times and I still can’t believe that I’m doing it right now on PC. Something that was a pipe dream years ago turned into reality and I never would’ve missed the opportunity to support Atlus’s decision to finally put the game on Steam. I still can’t quite comprehend how much the series has grown since that fateful day in late 2007 when I was introduced to Persona 3 by a close friend. It was like nothing that I’ve played before and I loved it so much, that I went back and played Persona 1, 2 and numerous SMT titles, and then eagerly anticipated the release of Persona 4. When I played Persona 4 Golden for the first time back in the day, I thought that was the pinnacle of what the Persona franchise can achieve, but Atlus has shown us they have more than enough gas in the tank to keep this train going with Persona 5.

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Turn based combat

The game feels much like a second home, while the outside world remains turbulent as ever, Joker and company are there for you if you need some entertainment to wind down. The characters feel like real people with real problems that are willing to test your empathy all through this 100-hour adventure. Persona 5 doesn’t just focus on the glam, it does the mundane really well. There are moments where you’re cleaning up your room, going out with a friend, or having your depressed guardian take you to school. You get used to just chilling and taking it all in, because every moment in this adventure counts and you foolishly start to understand it only when the end credits are starting to roll.

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Social events

The story is another strong point and while some moments seem predictable, it doesn’t take away from its glory. Dungeons are improved compared to Persona 4 and they are separated in two categories campaign related and side content (which remain procedurally generated). The gameplay/combat animations are incredible and even something incredibly mundane as getting the upper hand in a battle seems smooth and stylish (even more in 120fps!). The soundtrack is brilliant and yes, during the years this has become a tradition in almost every Persona/SMT game and thank God it is, because it helps tremendously to set the mood.

Persona 5 Royal is a collection of many things: inspiring stories, good times with good friends, a stunning visual novel and an amazing dungeon crawler. By working on what was already great and with brilliant new additions, Persona 5 Royal is an unforgettable experience that has you thinking about it long after it’s over.

>>> Read more: Top 4 Real-Time Strategy Games To Play On PC In 2022