31 Best JRPGs You Should Be Playing [100% Addictively Fun]

Mobile Games

Japan has left a huge mark in the role-play gaming genre around the world. With the widespread of anime and manga series, it’s easier to see how Japanese culture influences the characters and gameplay of most RPGs. You may know from the get-go that your favorite game is an RPG; chances are it’s also a Japanese RPG (JRPG). From the groundbreaking Final Fantasy series to newer titles like Genshin Impact, the Land of the Rising Sun isn’t just about sushi or anime, after all. That said, here’s our list of the 31 best JRPGs on smartphones in 2021!

 

 

What Are JRPGs?

So, what are JRPGs? That one is simple to answer, or at least, it was. Although Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) and Western role-playing games (WRPGs) were inspired by pen-and-paper RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, the cultural difference between creators produced starkly different games.

The terms JRPGs and WRPGs were then made to help people differentiate from the two. WRPGs have a more realistic and nitty-gritty aesthetic and feel for their games. The divide is more apparent with games like Ultima and Wizardry that have a high bar of entry for new players. JRPGs, however, have art styles and aesthetics that lean more into anime and Japanese culture. This style includes game cut-scenes and advertising for the game. JRPGs like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy were also more player-friendly and storyline-focused.

That said, the popularity of anime and JRPGs worldwide have started to blur the line a little. You can see this change in two games, Genshin Impact and Dark Souls. Genshin may be a Chinese-made game, but it’s anime-inspired with many JRPG elements. On the other hand, Dark Souls is from the Japanese company FromSoftware, but has the dark themes of WRPGs.

If we had to answer the question, JRPGs are RPGs made by the Japanese with an anime feel and design. There are many exceptions to that rule, though. Simply put, a game is a JRPG if you feel like it’s a JRPG.

 

Our List of the Best JRPGs on Smartphones

For this list, we tried our best to stay true to what we feel are roots of JRPGs, a full game straight off the shelf and shifted away from gacha or loot-box heavy games. Since this is an overall list of the best JRPGs on mobile phones, expect to see prequels and sequels from the same series like the many titles of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. We’ll also include age content ratings with prices and download links to each game’s platform store if they’re available. That said, here’s our list of the best JRPGs:

 

1. Chrono Trigger

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $9.99
Content Rating: Everyone

One of the classics that started the JRPG trend worldwide, Chrono Trigger was first released in 1995. Chrono Trigger was pioneered by a “dream team” of creators. These include Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii, and Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama. The smartphone ports of the game feature major upgrades from its SNES original but retain the same gameplay and style.

The basic plot is your usual cliché of a young boy drawn into an adventure to be the hero and save the world. Cliché as it is, the way you do so is unique. You play as “Chrono” who ends up at the end of the world with your friends’ time machine. To prevent this end, your group realizes they can go back in time and slowly change the course of events and the future.

Turn-based battles, open-world exploration, and excellent music, this game are without a doubt, our choice for the best of the best JRPG for mobile today.

Download Chrono Trigger from Apple App Store

Download Chrono Trigger from Google Play Store

 

2. Final Fantasy VII

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $15.99
Content Rating: Teen

Final Fantasy VII is the first entry of the franchise in this list. This game has most assuredly influenced an entire generation. Originally for the PlayStation, VII was released in 1997 as the first in the series to use 3D computer graphics and full-motion videos. While the original game received numerous “Game of the Year” awards, its subsequent ports to other devices were also well received.

The game has you in the shoes of Cloud Strife, a mercenary brought into the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE. This group aims to stop the tyrannical rule of the Shinra Electric Power Company, a megacorporation that rules the futuristic planet. Without going too much into the storyline, you will eventually discover the secrets behind Shinra’s operations.

Download Final Fantasy VII from Apple App Store

Download Final Fantasy VII from Google Play Store

 

3. Monster Hunter Stories

Developer: Capcom Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $19.99
Content Rating: Everyone

Monster Hunter Stories was first released for Nintendo 3DS consoles in 2016 before Android and iOS ports were made. The 2018 mobile ports featured HD graphics and adapted controls for mobile. Monster Hunter Stories is the only game on this list from the Monster Hunter franchise and plays a little differently compared with the other games in the series.

Rather than a monster hunter, your character is a Rider, a special title in Hakum Village. As a Rider, you don’t defeat monsters for their parts but befriend them using special Kinship Ore instead. While we can’t say much without spoiling the story, the game also has a free version called “Monster Hunter Stories: The Adventure Begins” that lets you try out a bit of the story and gameplay.

Download Monster Hunter Stories from Apple App Store

Download Monster Hunter Stories from Google Play Store

 

4. Dragon Quest VIII – Journey of the Cursed King

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $19.99
Content Rating: Everyone

Dragon Quest VIII – Journey of the Cursed King is the first Dragon Quest entry on this list. Released to PlayStation 2 in 2004, this is the eighth game in the series, although the west knows this game as part of the Dragon Warrior title. VIII is the first in the series to release outside Asia and Japan as “Quest” instead of “Warrior.” The game Android and iOS ports were released worldwide in 2014. These ports have most of the features the original game had, except for character voices.

In this game, you play as an unnamed guard in the Kingdom of Trodain — a rather plain character. Of course, the story picks up from there and slowly evolves into a world-ending situation which we won’t spoil here. Gameplay is familiar to any JRPG player: a nice open world, random overworld battles, and a turn-based party system.

While this game is on our list of the best JRPGs, there is one glaring flaw that you’ll have to adapt to. The game only plays in portrait mode and can’t be moved to landscape mode. Aside from that, though, it’s a solid port of a beloved series.

Download Dragon Quest VIII from Apple App Store

Download Dragon Quest VIII from Google Play Store

 

5. Genshin Impact

Developer: miHoYo Limited
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Content Rating: Teen

Now we have the Chinese-made Genshin Impact, a game with clear JRPG elements. One of the few “free” games on this list, Genshin took the world by storm in 2020 with a worldwide release on Android, iOS, PS4, and Windows. It bagged $1 billion in revenue for the first six months since its release.

You play as one of a pair of twins who travel between dimensions. During your trip to the world of Teyvat, an unknown God of that realm attacks you and separates you from your sibling. It leaves you frozen, sealed forever, or at least for 500 years when you begin your quest to find your kin.

The game does play quite similarly to Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Your character interacts with an expansive open world environment with an overall goal to fuse anime into a realistic open world. Due to it being relatively new, the game continues to have more updates and free features added. In the future, this title may even be the best of the best JRPGs in smartphones!

We have a more serious look at the game in our Genshin Impact review.

Download Genshin Impact on Apple App Store

Download Genshin Impact on Google Play Store

 

6. Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $11.99 on Android; $13.99 on iOS
Content Rating: Everyone

Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions is another port from a well-regarded PlayStation Portable release. Its iOS port was released early in 2011 while the Android version was released in English on the Google Play Store years after in 2015. Both versions had their controls heavily modified for touch screen control, while multiplayer options were disabled.

The “Tactics” moniker means this game plays quite differently from the usual Final Fantasy game. Similar to Fire Emblem and its contemporary, Advance Wars, Tactics is played by controlling characters like chess pieces on the board. While you can still edit your party by changing equipment and switching positions, all battles follow turn-based mechanics, with characters duking it out on a grid.

Download Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions from Apple App Store

Download Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions from Google Play Store

 

7. Fire Emblem: Heroes

Developer: Nintendo Ltd.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Content Rating: Teen

Surprisingly the only Nintendo game on this list, Fire Emblem: Heroes, is the only smartphone title from their Fire Emblem series. Released worldwide in February 2017, the game features gacha gameplay but continues the series’ tradition of turn-based tactical RPG.

Gameplay-wise, the game isn’t unique compared to other titles in the series except for one thing, its summoning feature. Compared to other Fire Emblem games, this one relies on Norse mythology, with the world forming a type of core for heroes from other Fire Emblem games to be summoned into.

We have a more in-depth Fire Emblem Heroes review for more information.

Download Fire Emblem: Heroes on Apple App Store

Download Fire Emblem: Heroes on Google Play Store

 

8. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $20.00
Content Rating: Teen

One of the newer Final Fantasy games to reach the mobile phone domain, Final Fantasy VIII Remastered was released in March 2021. While the original game was met with praise, especially for the game’s theme “Eyes on Me” by Faye Wong, the remaster tried to do better than that. It succeeded. Improved character models, gorgeous high definition graphics, and a remastered soundtrack, the game is every bit as good now as it was in 1999.

Gameplay-wise, it’s your traditional Final Fantasy game with one exception, a massive revamp of its magic system. Compared to other series games, VIII required magic from player actions instead of drawing it from a character’s mana pool.

Download Final Fantasy VIII Remastered from Apple App Store

Download Final Fantasy VIII Remastered from Google Play Store

 

9. Final Fantasy IV: The After Years

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $14.99
Content Rating: Everyone

A long-awaited and yet unexpected sequel. Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is the sequel of a game originally made in 1991. First released to Japanese mobiles in 2008, the game made it to the west in a WiiWare port in 2009. The Android and iOS ports used the style of the Nintendo DS remake instead of the original SNES game.

The game begins 17 years after the now-King Cecil defeated the evil Lunarian Zemus and brought peace to Earth. The After Years introduces most of the cast from the previous game as well as several new characters. It lets you explore the world as a new threat from the moon emerges to ravage the land.

Download Final Fantasy IV: The After Years from Apple App Store

Download Final Fantasy IV: The After Years from Google Play Store

 

10. Adventures of Mana

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $13.99
Content Rating: Everyone

An odd entry to this list, Adventures of Mana has an interesting pedigree and history. It is a 2016 remake of a 1991 game, Final Fantasy Adventure in North America and Mystic Quest in Europe. Although it was supposed to be a spin-off of the Final Fantasy franchise, Adventure instead spawned the much-acclaimed Mana series.

As a spin-off, Adventures has a different gameplay style compared to the main series. Played in an open-world setting, this game has a strikingly similar feel to the original Zelda games compared to Final Fantasy. You move your character and interact with objects and enemies on the map without going into “battle mode” like in other Final Fantasy games.

Download Adventures of Mana from Apple App Store

Download Adventures of Mana on Google Play Store

 

11. Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Content Rating: Teen

Another oddball game, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition may be the only game on this list that’s actually a downgrade compared to its original version. Designed to be a smartphone-friendly version of the resource-intensive Final Fantasy XV, Pocket Edition contains everything you’d need to experience the main story of the original version.

Aside from the downgrade, Pocket Edition isn’t a full game as only the first chapter is available for free players. Those wanting more gameplay and all ten chapters will have to buy it chapter by chapter from $0.99 to $3.99 or get one of the chapter packs that range from $11.99 to $19.99. It’s also good to know that the last two chapters, nine and ten, are only available through the chapter packs.

If you have a Google Stadia, you can play the original version of the game as well as the nine other games on our best Google Stadia games list.

Download Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition from Apple App Store

Download Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition from Google Play Store

 

12. Romancing SaGa 2

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $17.99
Content Rating: Teen

A 2016 port of a SNES original that came out in 1993, Romancing SaGa 2 for Androids and iOS is the first official English translation of the game. Another game with an odd history, the first Romancing SaGa was released in English for Game Boy handhelds in 1990 as “Final Fantasy Legend.” To the rare few that played the original game in the west, you’ll find a surprising difference for this second game.

While turn-based battles and world exploration is the same as the original and other Final Fantasy games of the era, there are big differences. First, the game doesn’t have experience points, with player actions and decisions during battle instead used to improve a character’s base stats. The game also has a fun “dynasty” mechanic where your main character grows old or dies to be replaced by the next chosen Emperor or Empress of Avalon.

Download Romancing SaGa 2 from Apple App Store

Download Romancing SaGa 2 from Google Play Store

 

13. Atelier Online: Alchemist of Bressisle

Developer: Boltrend Games
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Content Rating: Teen

A new game, Atelier Online: Alchemist of Bressisle, was first released in Japan in 2018. Its English port was recently translated and released on July 8, 2021. Alchemist of Bressisle is only the second Atelier game to be released on smartphones, the first being Atelier Quest Board. Despite its recentness, this game has the potential to be the next big smartphone game.

The gameplay for Alchemist of Bressisle is a bit standard for the Atelier series. You play from a top-down open-world map as your character interacts with NPCs and other players. Battle mode is localized with turn-based combat after encountering an enemy in the game map. The main draw for the game, however, is its alchemy system. Alchemist of Bressisle gives players hundreds of items to research, find, synthesize, and create!

Download Atelier Online: Alchemist of Bressisle from Apple App Store

Download Atelier Online: Alchemist of Bressisle from Google Play Store

 

14. Lunar: Silver Star Story Touch

Developer: SoMoGa, Inc.
Platform: iOS
Price: $6.99
Content Rating: Teen

An iOS exclusive, Lunar: Silver Star Story Touch, is a remake of the groundbreaking Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete. Complete was made for the Sega Saturn in 1996 and set a precedent for JRPGs using high-quality animated cutscenes, a wonderfully translated English script, and professional voice acting. A game with a lot of history in the Lunar series, the 2012 port carries the same ideas onto smartphones.

Its gameplay is similar to most JRPGs: world exploration, turn-based battles, and searching through people’s cupboards for items. The story, though, is one you’ll remember. Even after going through years worth of JRPGs, you’ll cry and laugh from a tale you’ll resonate with even more due to the anime cutscenes.

Download Lunar: Silver Star Story Touch from Apple App Store

 

15. Pokémon Go

Developer: Niantic Inc.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Content Rating: Everyone

No JRPG list would ever be complete without at least one Pokémon game. For this list, that game is Pokémon Go. Released worldwide in July 2016, it was well-received by fans who downloaded the game over 500 million times by the end of the year. Its drastic departure from other JRPGs with its literally open world and open-ended gameplay made the game all the more exciting. As the Pokémon franchise expands and more pokémon are added to this game, you may find this title as one of the best JRPGs of all time.

While we don’t think we need to explain the mechanics of Pokémon Go, you might want to look at our Pokémon Go hacks to get you started with the game.

Download Pokémon Go from Apple App Store

Download Pokémon Go from Google Play Store

 

16. SaGa Frontier Remastered

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $24.99
Content Rating: Teen

Another recent remaster of an old favorite, SaGa Frontier Remastered, was released on April 15, 2021. Originally a 1997 PlayStation game, the remake vast improvements to the graphics, gameplay, and story. A notable change was the inclusion of several new characters. The game was originally going to be part of the main “Romancing SaGa” series but was spun off into its own unique storyline.

Compared to other SaGa games, Frontier is a science fantasy game with many non-linear stories. The game is set in a part of the universe called “The Regions,” where seven unique protagonists live out their lives waiting for you to select them. Battle mode continues with a turn-based format found in other games. Storywise, you can freely change your character’s location using the game’s “Free Scenario System,” which gives you a different playthrough each time.

Download SaGa Frontier Remastered from Apple App Store

Download SaGa Frontier Remastered from Google Play Store

 

17. Another Eden: The Cat Beyond Heaven and Space

Developer: WFS, Inc.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Content Rating: Everyone

A much-awaited game, Another Eden, isn’t just your run-of-the-mill gacha when it was released in 2019. This game is a reunion of two minds behind our pick for the best of the best JRPGs, Chrono Trigger. Writer and game director Masato Kato and composer Yasunori Mitsuda spearheaded this game. Kato wanted to build a traditional JRPG specifically for smartphones and this game was his attempt to do so.

Sharing the time-traveling ideas of Chrono Trigger, the game plays as a side-scrolling 2D JRPG with the occasional 3D scene. Aside from that, the game is pretty traditional with turn-based battles, partial voice acting with anime cutscenes, and a gacha to buy “Chronos Stones,” which you use to get new characters.

We have a more in-depth look into the game in our Another Eden guide.

Download Another Eden from App Store

Download Another Eden from Google Play Store

 

18. Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $17.99 with in-app purchases
Content Rating: Everyone

Another Square Enix property, Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth is the first in a three-game series. A remake of the original 2000 Valkyrie Profile game for the PlayStation, Lenneth features enhanced graphics, rewritten English dialogue, full-motion video scenes, skippable cutscenes, and options to buy unlocks for in-game collectibles.

The game is a nice mix between platformer and traditional JRPG split into two modes. Map exploration and movement have you in the shoes of the titular Lenneth as you fly through the world map and solve puzzles. Battle mode starts after your Lenneth touches one of the enemies on the map, and the screen turns into the classic turn-based JRPG combat.

Lenneth has three endings, a good ending, a true ending, and a bad ending, all of which rely on the choices you’d made and if you’d played in normal or hard mode.

Download Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth from Apple App Store

Download Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth from Google Play Store

 

19. Langrisser Mobile

Developer: ZlongGames
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Content Rating: Teen

A classic title, the first Langrisser was released in 1991 to Mega Drive. Langrisser Mobile follows the series continuity 21 years after the last main game as a direct sequel to 1998’s Langrisser V: The End of Legend. Although released in 2019, the game still has the unique massive strategic turn-based battles the series is known for.

Gameplay is a little similar to Fire Emblem, although there is one big difference. Langrisser has always had large numbers of units on a gigantic map. Rather than just tactical gameplay, you have to think strategically as well in how you’ll use your units. Gacha-wise, the game has lots of goodies, from old characters in the series coming back to collaboration events with time-limited units. These special units include characters from Mashin Hero and even Overlord!

Download Langrisser Mobile from Apple App Store

Download Langrisser Mobile from Google Play Store

 

20. Disgaea 1 Complete

Developer: Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $32.99 on Android; $15.99 on iOS
Content Rating: Teen

Disgaea 1 Complete is the most comprehensive remaster of 2003’s Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. Its gameplay is a nod to the original game, with a few name changes to some character classes. Aside from this, the game has the same classic wacky turn-based battles. Taking control of the short shrimp Laharl and his dubiously loyal vassal Etna, you guide his group to retake his crown as the Overlord of the Netherworld two years after King Krichevskoy died.

This game would have a higher spot on the list if there weren’t as many problems in trying to install it. Whether on the iOS or Android versions, the game seems to encounter installation problems for some users.

Download Disgaea 1 Complete from Apple App Store

Download Disgaea 1 Complete from Google Play Store

 

21.Romancing SaGa 3

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $27.99
Content Rating: Teen

An HD version of a 1995 classic by ArtePiazza, Romancing SaGa 3 has finally been officially translated to English. The remaster sees the addition of better graphics and sprites, new dungeons, scenarios, and a New Game+ feature.

As with all the SaGa games, this installation has several changes to its battle and exploration modes. Player characters now lack experience points and instead level up depending on their actions in battle. There’s also a commander mode that lets your main character command the party from the back and opens up party formation and tactics.

For 3, you start with eight main characters, all of them hoping to find the Child of Destiny and change the fate of the world. This Child of Destiny is the only one born during the Rise of Morastrum, a solar eclipse every three centuries.

Download Romancing SaGa 3 from Apple App Store

Download Romancing SaGa 3 from Google Play Store

 

22.Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $9.99
Content Rating: Teen

While Dragon Quest I may have started the franchise, Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation solidified its popularity and core mechanics. Although originally based on a 1988 NES game, this remake takes the improvements and additions subsequent versions have chipped in to create a new “HD-2D” version.

As the game that figured out the core of Dragon Quest mechanics, the gameplay is similar to other games in the series. With overworld map exploration, in-game puzzle-solving, and turn-based party battles, Dragon Quest III remains as solid as the JRPG that was released decades ago.

Download Dragon Quest III on Apple App Store

Download Dragon Quest III on Google Play Store

 

23. The World Ends With You: Solo Remix

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $17.99
Content Rating: Everyone

The World Ends With You: Solo Remix has that name due to being an enhanced port of a Nintendo DS original. The title “Solo Remix” references this version’s lack of a second screen. The second screen was an important part of the “Stride Cross Battle System” which utilized both screens. Released for iOS in 2012 and Android in 2014, the game was overhauled and reworked to use just one screen, have better controls, HD sprites, and a new character.

Solo Remix’s gameplay is different from other games on this list. It plays more like a beat-em-up action RPG compared to the turn-based JRPGs.

Download The World Ends With You: Solo Remix from Apple App Store

Download The World Ends With You: Solo Remix from Google Play Store

 

24. Arc The Lad R

Developer: Boltrend Games
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Content Rating: Everyone

Arc the Lad R is a direct sequel to PlayStation’s 1996 Arc the Lad II. First released in 2018 in Japan, a worldwide release came three years later in May 2021. While released decades apart, R brought out three of the series’ original minds, game creator Toshiro Tsuchida, graphics artist Ryuichi Kunisue, and music composer Masahiro Andoh.

Although the game has gacha elements for new characters, the game retains its gameplay from previous games. Combat continues to be turn-based, with characters moving in grids to attack and defeat NPC enemies.

Download Arc The Lad R from Apple App Store

Download Arc The Lad R from Google Play Store

 

25. Blazing Souls Accelate

Developer: HyperDevbox
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $10.99
Content Rating: Teen

A surprisingly good port from a PlayStation 2 original, Blazing Souls Accelate, comes from the minds in Idea Factory. Although known more for their Hyperdimension Neptunia series, Idea Factory has been making JRPGs since their first game in 1996. While not as popular in the west, their Agarest and Chaos series continues to be popular in Japan.

Accelate is quite similar to Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions in its turn-based grid battles, a long overarching storyline, and character class system.

Download Blazing Souls Accelate from Apple App Store

Download Blazing Souls Accelate from Google Play Store

 

26. Evoland 2

Developer: Playdigious
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $8.49 on Android; $5.99 on iOS
Content Rating: Everyone

A JRPG from a French company, Shiro Games, Evoland 2 was first released to Windows in 2015, with Android and iOS versions following in 2018. The game is a refreshing mix of JRPG tropes and mini-games done as a wonderful tribute to the games that came before it.

Gameplay is varied and changes depending on the in-game time period. It can go from a sidescroller and turn-based RPG to a matching puzzle game. Along with the change in the gameplay comes an art change which varies from 8-Bit, Game Boy, and 3D graphics. Overall, it’s a unique game and, for some cult followers, maybe their choice for the best JRPGs.

This game is available for free as part of the Google Play Pass.

Download Evoland 2 from Apple App Store

Download Evoland 2 from Google Play Store

 

27. Disgaea RPG

Developer: Boltrend Games
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Content Rating: Teen

Another spin-off to the sprawling Disgaea series, Disgaea RPG is an active-time turn-based RPG compared to the more strategic original series. Although the gameplay is different from the main series, the game still has a lot going for it, like the Dark Assembly, the Overlord’s Tower, and Item World game modes.

The gameplay feels like a more classic JRPG, with your party of five facing off against waves of enemies in Final Fantasy-like battles. While the game has main characters available from the rest of the series, some are only available through gacha. Disgaea RPG, though, is a solid inclusion to the series and keeps much of the comedy and music that fans love.

Download Disgaea RPG from Apple App Store

Download Disgaea RPG from Google Play Store

 

28. Ys Chronicles 1

Developer: Dotemu
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $5.49 on Android; $4.99 on iOS
Content Rating: Everyone

Another classic revived for smartphones, Ys Chronicles 1 is based on the 1987 PC-88 game. Created by Nihon Falcom, Ys is one of the pioneers in action RPGs in Japan. Aside from the HD menus, the game actually has options for you to choose between “Original” and “Chronicles” graphics and soundtracks. The port also features an optimized virtual pad, controller support, and game achievements.

The game plays similar to most action RPGs as you move your character on the map to explore and fight monsters. Ys Chronicles 1 has a simple plot and easy gameplay, a good game to ease someone into the genre.

Download Ys Chronicles 1 from Apple App Store

Download Ys Chronicles 1 from Google Play Store

 

29. The Alchemist Code

Developer: Gumi Inc.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Content Rating: Teen

First released in Japan as “For Whom the Alchemy Exists” in 2016, the game was officially launched worldwide on November 14, 2017, under the title “The Alchemist Code.” The game plays like a traditional turn-based tactical RPG akin to Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem. It features fully voiced lines, a well-thought-out class system, and interspersed anime cutscenes.

While quite orthodox in design, the games’ main draw has to be its character summoning gacha. This feature sees the game have frequent collaborations with other media, including Magni Historia, The Seven Deadly Sins, Phantom of the Alchemist, Fate Stay Night, Final Fantasy, Disgaea, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, and Reincarnated as a Slime.

Download The Alchemist Code from Apple App Store

Download The Alchemist Code from Google Play Store

 

30. Chaos Rings III

Developer: Square Enix Co.
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $19.99
Content Rating: Teen

Chaos Rings III is the third installment of Square Enix’s smartphone-exclusive series. The game is pretty traditional with vibes of Final Fantasy mixed in with its own storyline and flair. Aside from the masterful voice acting from veterans like Yoshitsugu Matsuoka and Kanae Ito, the game’s science fiction storyline is what helped push it to 30th on this list. Overall, the game was good enough by itself, although not enough to get onto a higher rung.

Download Chaos Rings III from Apple App Store

Download Chaos Rings III from Google Play Store

 

31. Record of Agarest War

Developer: HyperDevbox
Platform: Android and iOS
Price: $13.99
Content Rating: Teen

Another game from Idea Factory, Record of Agarest War is the first game in the Agarest War series. Although a direct port of the original 2007 PlayStation 3 game, the smartphone versions of the game have 720p HD graphics, MOGA controller capability, and autosave through Google Cloud or iCloud.

Gameplay is pretty standard for an Idea Factory game with turn-based tactical play similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. Record of Agarest War does have one unique point in its “Soul Breed” system. The game plays through five generations of your character’s family, which you can choose due to the game’s dating sim-like mechanics.

Download Record of Agarest War from Apple App Store

Download Record of Agarest War from Google Play Store

 

Final Word

Choosing the best JRPGs for smartphones was a real challenge with the literal thousands of titles available for both Android and iOS. This list doesn’t even factor in new remakes like Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI coming out on July 28, 2021. Although this still isn’t that exhaustive of a list, we hope you at least found a game or two to try from his selection.

If you haven’t, though, you might want to look at our list for the best MOBA games for mobile. We also have a list of the best city building games on mobile if you want a more slow-paced game.

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