The JRPG has found a new home on mobile. Whether it’s ports of classic games or new experiences built from the ground up for mobile, there are loads of JRPGs waiting for you on the App Store and Play Store.
So many, in fact, that someone should probably curate the best ones so you don’t have to wade through them all to find the gems. Oh, wait, that’s what we’ve done with this list. Here are the ten best JRPGs for mobile in 2021.
There are going to be a lot of Square Enix games on this list, so we thought we’d start it off with one. This SNES classic is a time-line jumping JRPG with a cult following big enough to say it probably isn’t a cult anymore. But with good reason.
The story’s brilliant, the world-building is amazing, the characters are stacked full of charm and the gameplay isn’t too shabby either. If you’ve not played this one yet, then it’s high time you corrected that horrendous mistake.
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition
This is a really interesting one. Rather than trying to port the massive Final Fantasy XV to mobile, Square Enix squashed it down. The game is all here, it’s just much less of a resource-munching monster.
It’s still probably the best FF game of modern times, and the brilliant story remains completely intact. It’s basically a road trip, but with monsters and conspiracies and loads more going on. Definitely a great way to experience a great game.
Blimey, a non-Squenix game. This one is a modern gacha RPG with some of the very best graphics you’re likely to see on mobile for a while. Seriously, some of Genshin Impact is just absolutely breathtaking.
On top of that it’s a brilliant game with more content than you can shake a magical staff at. Collect characters, fight monsters, explore and just generally have a wonderful time. We mentioned how gorgeous it is too, right? Cool, just checking.
A massively addictive and oft-overlooked JRPG from Nintendo. It’s a lot simpler than a lot of the games on this list, but it still manages to capture everything that makes JRPGs so much fun.
There’s action, characters, tapping – really, what more could you want? Well how about an awesome story, some spot-on voice acting and the fact that you can turn into a dragon. If you’ve been giving Dragalia Lost a wide berth, stop doing that this very instant.
Final Fantasy IX
Look, we’re not going to pull our punches here. Final Fantasy IX is the best FF game that came out on the PSOne. FF VII is fine, FFVIII is too emo – FF IX nailed absolutely everything that made the series special in the first place.
And it’s just as good on mobile. Hours and hours of fun await you – there’s a brilliant story, some wonderful characters and a battle system that just won’t quit. You might think we’re wrong, but we think you’re wrong and we’re the ones typing this. So ner.
Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters
This isn’t one game, it’s six. These are remastered versions of the original Final Fantasy games, polished and preened with extra content and tweaks to make them play even better on mobile devices.
The games are a great way to take a long, hard look back at the origins of one of the greatest JRPG series ever. They’re not cheap, but if you haven’t played them before, they’re well worth checking out.
Chaos Rings 3
Square Enix’s mobile-first series really smashed it out of the park with its third entry. It’s perfect on touchscreen devices, and makes a lot more sense than the first three games. Or, y’know, as much sense as JRPGs can make.
The battle system is super slick, there’s a load of interesting characters and the giant monsters you’re going to fight all look suitably awesome. There’s loads to love in Chaos Rings 3, even if you haven’t played the others in the series.
Monster Hunter Stories
This one takes the giant terrors from the Monster Hunter series and turns them into super-adorbz pets that you can ride into battle. You build up a team of these ‘monsties’ and battle your way through a pretty intriguing story.
There’s multiplayer here too, so you can take your team into scraps against other players. It’s not exactly cheap, but Monster Hunter Stories is well worth the investment. It doesn’t have the grind of the main-series MH games either.
Dragon Quest VIII
You can play this one with one hand, which is a pretty impressive accomplishment. Especially when you consider all the buttons usually involved in a JRPG. Dragon Quest VIII has been poked and preened to make it an almost perfect mobile JRPG.
There are slimes to kill, classic characters to find and hours and hours of story to work your way through. The Dragon Quest series is pretty darn brilliant, and this is probably the finest example of it you can get on your phone.
Disgaea 1 Complete
This one adds a few twists to the JRPG template. For one thing, it’s super tough. For another it’s super gothic. There’s a wonderful silliness to the Disgaea series that sidesteps the poe-faced modernity of certain other franchises.
There’s a lot to learn to get to grips with Disgaea, but it’s well worth the effort. This is a multi-layered, super smart experience that you’re going to lose weeks of your life to once it gets its gloomy claws into your flesh.