There seems to be some sort of JRPG renaissance going on these past few years.
In addition to new entries of long-running franchises being released on multiple platforms and new IPs being introduced, some classic JRPG games are getting the love that they rightfully deserve in the form of a remake.
But while there's a growing number of classic JRPG titles that are being remade for modern audiences, there are still far more that aren't getting enough attention and are in desperate need of a modern remake in 2021 and beyond.
Scroll down below to find our list of the best classic JRPG games that need a modern remake.
Platform/s: PlayStation, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, and Microsoft Windows
Did you know that there have been 11 Suikoden titles released already? Us neither.
Most people thought that the Suikoden franchise died after the second game, and we wouldn't really blame them.
While there are only 5 mainline titles in the Suikoden series of games, Suikoden 2 is the only one worth mentioning and it's the game that we definitely hope will be remade if ever Konami decides to give it a go.
Now, as to why Suikoden 2 stands out, it's simple.
The game features a grand military drama that fuses Chinese history and mythology to tell a tale of how 108 "Stars of Destiny" were destined to put a stop to the game's antagonist, General Luca Blight.
These heroes are characters that you can recruit to join your army. This means that you can put them to work in the game's turn-based RPG combat. However, each one has its own background story and specialty, so these characters can also help your ever-growing army out in their own ways, either by providing upgrades and other services, opening shops and so much more.
You can think of Suikoden 2 like a JRPG take on the Pokemon formula if the said Pokemon can contribute just as much in the background as they do on the battlefield.
Platform/s: SNES, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch
What do you get if you put 3 of the most popular Japanese artists in their respective fields back in the 90s to work on a single game?
Well, you get something like Chrono Trigger.
Chrono Trigger boasted some serious talent. It had the likes of Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy), Yuji Horii (Dragon Quest), and Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball), all working on it, which, admittedly resulted in a messy development phase.
However, after it went from being a Final Fantasy game to a Mana game, Chrono Trigger was eventually released as its own title - and we're all the better for it.
In Chrono Trigger, players take control of six characters that travel back and forth across multiple points in history to prevent a creature from wiping out the entire world and everyone in it.
While the plot was certainly good, it was the gameplay that really made Chrono Trigger stand out. In fact, many of the concepts that the game introduced are still being used today. This includes non-random enemy encounters, as well as a "New Game Plus" mode where players could replay the game from the beginning after having already finished the game.
For a game that's widely considered as one of the best JRPGs of all time, it's surprising that no one has gone on to, at the very least, remaster it yet.
Legend of Dragoon
Platform/s: PlayStation, PlayStation Portable
Legend of Dragoon was a case of a little too late.
The game was initially released in 1999 in Japan, but it wouldn't make its way to North America and Europe until the years 2000 and 2001, respectively. Because of this, it only had a year to stay in the not-so-mainstream consciousness of gamers back then as the PlayStation 2 ended up effectively displaying the PlayStation not long after.
For those that did manage to get their hands on it though, they'll have fond memories of playing as Dart as they tried to stop the world from ending over the course of a 4-disc adventure.
What made Legend of Dragoon unique was that it had three different play modes. It had a battle screen, an area map, and a field. Although the routes were pre-determined, the map was a semi-open world that players could explore.
Plus, back then, it was unusual for the protagonist to be saved by a woman, so there's that too.
While the gameplay remains video game gold, the game's 3D graphics have not aged well, so it could use a serious makeover to make it more palatable in the eyes of modern gamers.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Platform/s: SNES, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo Wii U
The original Super Mario RPG remains unmatched as far as RPG games from the Mario franchise go.
A joint project between Squaresoft and Nintendo, Super Mario RPG puts players in an epic quest involving Nintendo's own mascot saving the Mushroom Kingdom with the help of his old nemesis in order to thwart the plans of a mysterious foreign invader.
The game features Mario's signature cast of lovable characters, as well as new ones. However, what really sets the game apart is its timing-based combat system and how much attention the developers put into all the little details of the game.
In Super Mario RPG, you're not just out there to save the Mushroom Kingdom. You can also stay in a hotel if you want or even borrow money when you've run out of cash and work as a bellhop to pay off said debt.
Despite the graphics showing its age, the adventure itself is well worth taking just for the heck of it.
Legend of Legaia
Legend of Legaia and its forgettable sequel for the PlayStation 2 are the only games to feature the series' battle system.
The main reason why we mention the combat system specifically is because of how unique it is. Instead of throwing spells, skills, or normal attacks against enemies, players can throw a combination of kicks and punches towards enemies by inputting a specific sequence of game controller buttons.
In addition to this interesting gameplay mechanic, it also featured beautiful art and graphics that would only look better with a fresh coat of paint, or so to speak.
Breath of Fire III
Platform/s: PlayStation and PlayStation Portable
The Breath of Fire series began life on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, but it wasn't until the third and fourth titles released on the original PlayStation that the series peaked. Unfortunately, the said two titles set the bar too high that subsequent releases on other consoles were pretty much doomed right from the get-go.
Of the two Breath of Fire games for the PlayStation though, it's Breath of Fire III that would be better.
From its gameplay and dragon selection to its gripping story of childhood friends turned enemies to its story, as well as that one part where you had to walk through the desert for a couple of days and nights, Breath of Fire III was an overall better game.
Of course, while we'd love to see Breath of Fire III remade, we'd be happy if any one of the first four Breath of Fire were remade or remastered.
Lunar: Eternal Blue Complete
Platform/s: Sega Saturn and PlayStation
As far as traditional JRPG titles go, none has executed the genre staples as well as the Lunar series.
All the games feature turn-based combat with music-heavy adventures that take you to numerous interesting places and meet fascinating people.
If we were to pick out a single one though, we'd go with Eternal Blue.
Admittedly, the game isn't perfect. Hiro, the game's protagonist, is far from lovable, although he does have some redeeming qualities. But, for all the hero's faults, the game has an amazing soundtrack that pairs well with the genuinely warm and lovely adventure.
Parasite Eve featured a strong and independent female protagonist long before they were mainstream. But, despite the era being infamous for overly sexualizing its heroines, Aya Brea's beauty wasn't really the main focus of the 1998 title, which later spawned a sequel in 1999 and a spin-off in 2010.
What made Parasite Eve unique is that it blended traditional RPG mechanics with a modern-day horror setting and turn-based combat that takes place in real-time.
Plus, you're not exactly fighting against the supernatural. Or, at least, not forces out of this world. Instead, your enemies are man-made monsters who use humans as a host to wreak havoc.
In a way, you could say that Parasite Eve played like a JRPG take on the Resident Evil games.
While the game has been rebooted already, it would fit better in the current gaming climate what with the resurgence of horror titles in recent years.
Final Fantasy VI
Platform/s: SNES, Nintendo Wii, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, Android, and iOS
The Final Fantasy franchise isn't short of new titles, what with Final Fantasy XVI coming up and a bunch of other Final Fantasy projects currently in development. However, while Square Enix is busy working on a remake of Final Fantasy VII, it seems that they've neglected to pay attention to an arguably better title in the franchise.
Final Fantasy VI was arguably the best 2D, sprite-based Final Fantasy game. It combined gorgeous low-poly character models and pre-rendered backgrounds with an engaging battle system. In a way, the game felt like a fitting farewell before Square Enix went full 3D with the Final Fantasy games.
What really stands out the most with Final Fantasy VI though is its story.
The game went with a more steampunk take on the high-fantasy story formula of previous titles. It had a world where magic and mechs met. This served as the foundation for future titles. This includes the very next game in the series, Final Fantasy VII.
The remaster doesn't even need to be a total overhaul. They can do what they did with the first two Final Fantasy games and fans will be more than happy.
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
Platform/s: SNES, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, and PlayStation Portable
Do you know what Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is? Chances are, you don't.
This tactical RPG is the forefather of many modern tactical RPG titles. It even featured Yasumi Matsuno at the helm. In case you didn't know, this is the same person behind one of the best tactical RPGs, Final Fantasy Tactics.
Similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together explored war like very few games have since and ever did.
The story, in particular, stood out as it had a branching narrative with multiple endings. It also didn't rely heavily on the use of magic or ancient curses to explain why and how things were. Not to mention, depending on the choices you made in the game, you could turn the protagonist into a tyrannical commander to someone who only fights because he has to, not because he wants to.
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