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Codex Best jRPGs Ever Poll RESULTS

Ismaul

Thought Criminal #3333
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Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
Dude, the reason you repeat sections over and over again in DS is because you died to the boss and have to get to him again. Which is common trope in ACTION GAMES which DS ultimately is. Kind of like playing Castlevania.

In an action game, you can only get through a brickwall by playing better. In a jrpg, you improve your character's statistics.
Finally a definition of RPGs!

RPGs are action games with character stats as cheats for physically-challenged players included in the game as a feature!
 

Zed Duke of Banville

Dungeon Master
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As a prestigious Codex contributor, I felt compelled to create a handy graphic for the forthcoming JRPG Top 20 news post:

h91ik8.png


All cover graphics were taken from MobyGames, I selected the original Japanese covers where available, and since both Dark Souls and Dragon's Dogma used a ratio of 8:9 I followed that for the entire image although it may not have been the best choice overall.
 

Reinhardt

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"look how me many grown up and serious and playing only grown up and serious roleplaying rpg games!!1" list.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
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RPGs are action games with character stats as cheats for physically-challenged players included in the game as a feature!
This also applies to people who can't play well tactically.
 

Gastrick

Cipher
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Aug 1, 2020
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Happy to see Xenogears get 12th, but disappointed that FF6 got a late boost in votes and scored high.

It makes sense that Japanese takes on Western RPGs rank the highest, since this is a CRPG-oriented site. Decent list overall.

As a prestigious Codex contributor, I felt compelled to create a handy graphic for the forthcoming JRPG Top 20 news post:

h91ik8.png


All cover graphics were taken from MobyGames, I selected the original Japanese covers where available, and since both Dark Souls and Dragon's Dogma used a ratio of 8:9 I followed that for the entire image although it may not have been the best choice overall.

Estpolis II needs to use the English cover with the name Lufia II. Would be better if Mother II and Dragon Quest III used their English-adaptation names.
 

thelegend

Educated
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Sep 16, 2021
Messages
151
Persona 4 is one of the most overrated rpgs of all time with one of the worst copy pasted bland dungeons
 

Jason Liang

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Shining Force 1 should not be ahead of either Phantasy Star IV or Shining Force II.

I also question the credibility of anyone that gave Dragon Quest III more than 1 point. That's more of a mainstream meme than an actual legit choice.
 

Licorice

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Wow, I've actually played through 7 of the top 20.

Dark Souls, Dragon's Dogma, Chrono Trigger, Nier Automata, FF6, Mother 2, Dragon Quest 3

Well, that's kind of a lie. I never bothered with the last boss of DS, and I never finished FF6 and I cannot for the life of me remember if I finished DQ3.

I also voted for none of them. My thoughts:

Dark Souls is at least some kind of local optimum when it comes to game design. Gamers I respect have described it as a perfect symbiosis of RPG and action. I disagree, as IMO any perfect symbiosis would require reconciling "numbers go up" with player skill such that players can't avoid checks on the latter by abusing the former. In practice, grinding may be so boring and lengthy as to be avoided by almost all players, but in Dark Souls this is not the case. Also, as far as the action goes, it's very good, but far from something like Ys Origin and Oath in Felghana, especially when comparing boss fights. In comparison with those games, the Dark Souls dungeon (or world or whatever you want to call it) is far more challenging to navigate. Nevertheless you soon learn there's ways to avoid almost all the challenge here too, so in order not to cheese the game you have to make a list of house rules, or simply start larping. What's left is what I call a "mood crawler", specifically a single character action mood crawler, and from this perspective it made some welcome design trade offs against its predecessors, but didn't fundamentally outgrow or overcome the contradictions inherent in Action RPGs.

Dragon's Dogma is a 3D action sandbox. Like most action RPGs, there's little challenge to be had if you're playing to win. Instead you'll get the most mileage by exploring the move sets and numbers till you find something that you think would be fun to take through one or more of the dungeons, and then doing exactly that. I think the designers were very conscious about this being the way some people would approach the game, and put a bunch of game changing but obviously suboptimal equipment in one of the shops for players to play with. I deliberately played very underpowered.

Chrono Trigger I finished when I was a teen and haven't played since. I have fond memories of it though, and I do remember finding every other squaresoft RPG I played after lacking in comparison.

Nier Automata I absolutely loved, but more for what it tried to do (glue a bunch of arcade genre action gauntlets as well as Devil May Cry lineage 3D action into an overarching Ocarina of Time structure with Souls bonfires thrown in) than what it accomplished, and of course for the world and art. Objectively speaking I can't rate it as very good, aside from like Dragon's Dogma, a sandbox.

Final Fantasy 6, like Chrono Trigger, I played when I was a teen, but also again more recently when I was in my 20s. It's actually quite well done. Well paced with good character selection based blob combat menu customization (as opposed to more explicit menu customization ala FF5 classes or FF7 materia). I can't remember if the encounter design was as strong or stronger than FF5. Could be a decent experience if you play it in a semi-speedrun way.

Mother 2 isn't great. It's entertaining as a cultural artefact, but as a game it's quite bland. Mother 3 is better as a game, has a similar brisk pace to Phantasy Star 4.

Dragon Quest 3 is often used to show "see JRPGs can have classes and character creation too!" but there is a very obvious optimal party (bunny girls, IIRC), and the encounter design and content don't really make it very entertaining to go for anything but max power and blast your way through it.

Bonus: I didn't put a lot of time into PS1 FFT, but I did complete FFT:A on the GBA, BitD, and I didn't like it at all. Gets the SRPG genre very wrong. From what I can tell, so does the original.

I also played a bit of Lufia 2. Fun Sokoban like puzzles, but probably better to just play some puzzle game.
 
Last edited:

Jason Liang

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Sengoku Rance English translation edition cover art:
1647148331147.jpg


Not saying its better than the original cover art - just offering it as an alternative so that one is not compelled to use the original.

(Personally, I find Rance's pose in the original cooler, but some people are bothered by the tiny Isoroku in the original and others feel that Suzume is a more important character in SR than Miki Kurusu).
 

Lord of Riva

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Strap Yourselves In Pathfinder: Kingmaker
It's great to see Sengoku Rance so far up, it's well deserved.

I mean it guys, play it. Yes it has rape in it, yes you can skip it. Do it. Also clearly not enough People have played langrisser.
 

Falksi

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Shining Force 1 should not be ahead of either Phantasy Star IV or Shining Force II.

I also question the credibility of anyone that gave Dragon Quest III more than 1 point. That's more of a mainstream meme than an actual legit choice.

Agreed. But then again around half the games which made the top 20 shouldn't be ahead of either of those games either.
 

Digimon

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"look how me many grown up and serious and playing only grown up and serious roleplaying rpg games!!1" list.

This!

What a laughably horrid list. This makes me feel dirty and embarrassed for being a participant in that poll.

Shame on you JRPG Codexers!
 

HeatEXTEND

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"Games from jap devs"
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
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I'm going to revise my previous thoughts about Dragon's Dogma since I've read that the devs specifically cited Fable II (where you can only interact with NPCs through gestures and gift giving; I wasn't aware because I barely know anything about Fable, it looks cringe) and Oblivion as direct inspirations. It's still extremely Japanese, but it is their take on a modern wrpg. Then again, Dragon Quest was also directly inspired by Ultima and Wizardry and no one's going to call that a crpg, so I'd accept either categorization.

However I'm still steadfast on From's games being jrpgs. Anachronox is clearly inspired by Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy, South Park obviously takes from the Mario RPGs, but there's no wprg you can point to and say "This is trying to be that." King's Field was probably inspired by Ultima Underworld ages ago but its spiritual successors are definitely their own thing.
 

thelegend

Educated
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Sep 16, 2021
Messages
151
The father of action rpgs - Xanadu (japanese game)
The first expansion pack - Xanadu (Japanese game)
 

Digimon

Educated
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RPGCodex
"look how me many grown up and serious and playing only grown up and serious roleplaying rpg games!!1" list.

This!

What a laughably horrid list. This makes me feel dirty and embarrassed for being a participant in that poll.

Shame on you JRPG Codexers!

Don't get it. Elaborate?

'Look at our list guys, look, we like dark, mature, western-like, RPGs best!!! We're not into weebshit, we are legit!!! Acknowledge us, GRPG senpai codex!!!'

"Oh really? what about these other jrpgs on the list like Dragon Quest III? Chrono Trigger? the hell are these DBZ looking shits? Persona 4? the hell is this jap faggotry?! Do you really think you jrpg anime loving weebfags can fool us mature, prestigious, CRPG connoisseurs? HUMPH! "

'N-n-no!!! Wait, s-senp- uhh I mean sirs, Let me explain! see how Dark Souls and Dragon' s Dogma are the top 2 on the list, they are the best JRPGs ever!!! Yes, see how aesthetically pleasing they are to your western tastes! Yes, the majority of games on the list are animu weebshit but they score below them! We guys over here at the JRPG forum are completely legit!'

"Uhh... No, goodbye."

'NO DON'T LEAVE GRPG SIRS! S-SI-SENPAI! S-SENPAI!! NNNOOOO!!!'
 

shywn

Savant
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Feb 13, 2016
Messages
436
I also question the credibility of anyone that gave Dragon Quest III more than 1 point. That's more of a mainstream meme than an actual legit choice.

I dunno, it sold 3,8 million units in Japan, the third-most sold game of the Dragon Quest franchise (DQ9 sold 4,4M and DQ7 sold 4,1M), so I would assume it has something going for it. Only Pokemon games and FF7 topped those figures.

I'm a bit surprised that not a soul voted for Legend of Heroes 3/4/5. Were the PSP ports that forgettable? Ah, probably was their English translation that caused that, actually.
 

Doktor Best

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Messages
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Tactics Ogre. Which version to play for a first playthrough? Leaning towards psp version but ive heard some complaints about it on this forum.
 
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Tactics Ogre. Which version to play for a first playthrough? Leaning towards psp version but ive heard some complaints about it on this forum.

Haven't played any other version besides the PSP version, but it isn't "bad". The only somewhat aggravating thing to me was that you acquired new classes later on in the game, but they were underlevelled compared to the classes you were currently using, so if you wanted to use those new classes you had to stop progressing the plot to go level grind. That being said, the game was nowhere near as bad as FFT was when it came to grinding.

The PSP version has a nice QOL feature where you can time travel back to route branching points and retain your party from before, so you don't have to restart the game and do as much of the same levelling up and ability micromanagement you had already done before. The PSP version also has nice redone art.



One word of warning is the balance. The second half of the game is overly saturated with knight enemies. There was an infographic floating around that tallied up every enemy fought in the game, and over half of the units were just knights.

I was strongly recommended to play the game using the One Vision Mod. I was told that it "fixed" the game and prevented archer spam. What I found was the exact opposite. I found that most of the classes at my disposal were utterly useless at dealing with the knights. Swords and knives glanced off of the armor which invalidates too many melee classes. Maces and lances actually did decent damage to the knights, but you're always outnumbered so you can't make a melee centric team as otherwise your guys will be swamped from all sides and killed. Mages don't have far enough range (which means they have to get within striking distance of the melee, which means near certain death for the squishy mages) and don't deal enough damage. So I found that the only real way to play the game was by having 4 archers, parking them on a hill, having a samurai use a war dance to buff their damage, and then shooting the approaching knights while I had a couple melee out in front bodyblock them from reaching the archers. I had a couple priests on standby to heal. Having never played the original unmodded game, I don't know if the mod was made by hardcore players who thought that the game was "too easy" and making it harder was their idea of "fixing it" and I got the wrong message from an evangelist of the mod, or what. I'm not going to replay a 80 hour long game again just to see how it compares to the vanilla experience. You might be better off avoiding the mod.
 

Doktor Best

Arcane
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Tactics Ogre. Which version to play for a first playthrough? Leaning towards psp version but ive heard some complaints about it on this forum.

Haven't played any other version besides the PSP version, but it isn't "bad". The only somewhat aggravating thing to me was that you acquired new classes later on in the game, but they were underlevelled compared to the classes you were currently using, so if you wanted to use those new classes you had to stop progressing the plot to go level grind. That being said, the game was nowhere near as bad as FFT was when it came to grinding.

The PSP version has a nice QOL feature where you can time travel back to route branching points and retain your party from before, so you don't have to restart the game and do as much of the same levelling up and ability micromanagement you had already done before. The PSP version also has nice redone art.



One word of warning is the balance. The second half of the game is overly saturated with knight enemies. There was an infographic floating around that tallied up every enemy fought in the game, and over half of the units were just knights.

I was strongly recommended to play the game using the One Vision Mod. I was told that it "fixed" the game and prevented archer spam. What I found was the exact opposite. I found that most of the classes at my disposal were utterly useless at dealing with the knights. Swords and knives glanced off of the armor which invalidates too many melee classes. Maces and lances actually did decent damage to the knights, but you're always outnumbered so you can't make a melee centric team as otherwise your guys will be swamped from all sides and killed. Mages don't have far enough range (which means they have to get within striking distance of the melee, which means near certain death for the squishy mages) and don't deal enough damage. So I found that the only real way to play the game was by having 4 archers, parking them on a hill, having a samurai use a war dance to buff their damage, and then shooting the approaching knights while I had a couple melee out in front bodyblock them from reaching the archers. I had a couple priests on standby to heal. Having never played the original unmodded game, I don't know if the mod was made by hardcore players who thought that the game was "too easy" and making it harder was their idea of "fixing it" and I got the wrong message from an evangelist of the mod, or what. I'm not going to replay a 80 hour long game again just to see how it compares to the vanilla experience. You might be better off avoiding the mod.

Thanks for the write-up. Yeah those mods usually overdo it in terms of difficulty and are more geared towards fans who played through the game several times and seek new challenge.

I'll try out the PSP version for now.
 

Bohrain

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I played the PSP version too. It looks and sounds the nicest and has the expanded Law route and post-game content. But from what I've heard the SNES or PSX version have their advantages since the retarded class level system isn't present. So pick your poison.
 

GhostCow

Big Mara Energy
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From what I heard the SNES and PSX versions are far more grindy since you have to level each class for each character instead of just leveling up the class for everyone. That pushed me to the psp version even though it has crafting, which I hate.
 

Zed Duke of Banville

Dungeon Master
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Joined
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As a prestigious Codex contributor, I felt compelled to create a handy graphic for the forthcoming JRPG Top 20 news post:

h91ik8.png


All cover graphics were taken from MobyGames, I selected the original Japanese covers where available, and since both Dark Souls and Dragon's Dogma used a ratio of 8:9 I followed that for the entire image although it may not have been the best choice overall.
Any possibility of someone completing a Codex news post about this poll, so that this graphic will actually find some use? :M
 
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