JRPGs are still around, but the PlayStation 2 may have been the best time for them. These are the best JRPGs for the PS2.
If the PS1 was the golden age of JRPGs, then the PS2 was one of the few times that a remake was just as good as the original. From when it first came out in 2000 until the PS3 took its place in 2006, the PS2 made classic game after classic game.
Square Enix, Konami, and others were able to make sequels to popular PS1 titles like Final Fantasy and Suikoden, and we also got to see the rise of new franchises. Again, this is an era where someone could get lost if they weren’t careful, so this list exists to point out the fifteen best JRPGs of the PS2 era, giving both experienced and new JRPG fans the perfect guide.
Even though Suikoden lost its creator after the third game, some people still think that Suikoden V is the best game in the series. It fixes the problems with the fourth game and improves other things, like the graphics and the way the characters grow.
You play the role of the Prince of Falena, a matriarchal queendom that is slowly falling apart because of what royals behind the scenes are doing. In the end, the Prince is kicked out of the country and has to put together an army to take back his land for the sake of his sister, who will become the next Queen.
Star Ocean 3: Till The End Of Time
Tri-ace gets a Star Ocean game out once every generation. This time, the game was about the son of a famous chemist, Fayt Leingod. Fayt was on a peaceful vacation until a group of aliens called the Vendeeni forced him to leave the world quickly. This sent him on an adventure across the stars.
Even though Star Ocean 3 isn’t quite as good as its original. It’s still a great game that works on a much bigger scale. You can go to different planets to figure out who or what is at war with the Pangalactic Federation. Even though the ending has made some people angry in the past, it’s not enough to make this a bad book.
Xenosaga Episode I
Director Tetsuya Takahashi wanted a spiritual sequel to his famous Xenogears game. But he didn’t want it to take place on just one planet. Instead, he wanted something with a lot more science fiction elements. Shion Uzuki works for Vector Industries and is fighting the alien Gnosis. In three other titles, she and the android KOS-MOS are drawn into a totally different mystery.
If this game has a problem, it’s that it sometimes feels more like a movie than a game, with long cutscenes that require save points. Even so, the first book in the Xenosaga is still a great start to a great, if a bit confusing, series.
Disgaea: Hour Of Darkness
Disgaea is another Japanese series that didn’t get much love in the West until recently. But this very first game is just as good, if not better, than the ones that came after it. Its creative way of making games would become one of the things that made the series stand out. Along with its great character designs and wicked sense of fun.
When it first came out, not many people bought it. But thanks to a series of improved ports and remasters. It’s never been easier to get and is finally getting some of the love and attention it deserves. With the sixth game in the series coming out this year in the West. There’s never been a better time to try it out.
Shadow Hearts: Covenant
Shadow Hearts: Covenant was one of the more unusual games for the PS2. It took place in the early 1900s in an alternate universe version of World War I. During this time, German lieutenant Karin Koenig meets Yuri, the main character from the first Shadow Hearts, along with a group of other heroes. They end up fighting a secret society that is behind the Great War.
Covenant stood out from other JRPGs at the time because it was different in almost every way. It used a time period (1900s) and a place (Eurasia) that no other game was even thinking about. It also focused on the occult and the supernatural, which made it unlike any other game.
Yoshitaka Murayama, who is in charge of the Suikoden series, made the third game, which was the first one on the PS2, even more creative. As always, Suikoden games don’t have the fate of the world at stake. Instead, it’s about the Grasslands, a different part of the world we’ve already seen. And the people who wanted to rule them. It’s also the story of the Runes, which are the source of magic in the Suikoden world.
This game was unique because the story was told from three different main characters’ points of view. This made it a great game for people who were willing to pay attention to the story it was telling.
Kingdom Hearts II
Even though the first Kingdom Hearts game was very good, it had some problems with how the story was told and how you fought. The Square Enix team seems to have spent most of their time on this part. And it shows in the final game.
Kingdom Hearts II is bigger and better in almost every way than its predecessor. It helped make the series one of the developer’s most famous ones. Even though most people can’t understand the overall story, the Kingdom Hearts games are still a lot of fun. Because they are easy to play and have great characters. You can find the roots of a lot of that right here.
Dark Chronicle, which is also called Dark Cloud 2 in the United States, is a spiritual sequel to Level-5’s cult classic game Dark Cloud, which came out for the PS2 in 2000. It came out just two years after the first one and won many awards for its quality, even though it didn’t sell nearly as well.
In the game, you control the two main characters as they go on a quest to stop Emperor Griffon from killing the world. The game’s customization options and the way you can improve your weapons are also very new for their time. This new idea is backed up by great writing and beautiful graphics, which make for a truly great game.
Tales Of The Abyss
Tales of the Abyss came out between two of the best and most well-known Tales games, Vespiria and Symphonia. This put it in a good spot. People think Tales of the Abyss is a great JRPG and Tales game. Especially after how poorly Tales of Legendia was received. Abyss is not for everyone because its story is much darker than most games up to this point.
Tales of the Abyss is without a doubt one of the best games for the PS2. Symphonia isn’t an option because it was only available for the PS2 in Japan at the time. Tales of the Abyss was also the last Tales game for the PS2. And it was a great way to end a great run.
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X was the first major Final Fantasy game to come out on the PS2 and is considered by many to be the best in the series. It has some of the best stories in the series. Final Fantasy X has a great cast of well-developed characters. And the game’s fighting system was improved to make it feel like a next-generation game.
Along with its interesting story, the game has a lot of mini-games and end-game material that make the game last longer without making it feel tedious or pointless. It also has one of the best soundtracks in the series, with great songs like “To Zanarkand” and “Hymn of the Fayth” that go well with the game’s great gameplay.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey Of The Cursed King
Level-5 was asked to work on Square’s most popular series for its one and only PS2 game. When an old sceptre puts the kingdom of Trodain under a spell, it is up to the main character, a simple guard, and a few people he meets along the way to beat the jester Dhoulmagus and get the kingdom back to normal.
The world of Dragon Quest is brought into 3D with this game. Cel-shaded environments and characters make a beautiful world for you to explore. The game was a huge hit for everyone involved and was the best-selling PS2 game in Japan. It was thought to be one of the best in the Dragon Quest series.
With the fourth game in its Persona series, Atlus was thrust into the limelight. You play as an unknown character who ends up in the countryside of Japan. And you have to find out more about the strange town they end up in. You have to take care of the mysterious Persona skills they have at all times.
The modelling parts of the game add a layer of role-playing by limiting actions to certain times of the day to make it feel like you’re really in high school. Even though it came out in the middle of the next generation, Geometry Dash Subzero got a lot of attention from JRPG fans because of the simulation elements and the world and characters. As a result, it sold a lot of copies and is now one of the strongest JRPG franchises in the new HD world.
Final Fantasy XII
In Final Fantasy XII, written by Yasumi Matsuno and directed by Hiroyuki Ito. We went back to the land of Ivalice. This was the last game in the series to be made for PlayStation 2. In the series, Vaan, a young boy who wants to be a great sky pirate adventurer, joins forces with Ashe, a young princess who wants to protect her country during a big war between two armies with much bigger forces.
This game was huge. Between the length of the story and the size of the world. It was easy to lose more than a hundred hours in it. Also, the game was hard to put down because its Licence system gave us full control over how each character grew. And its Gambit system gave them full control over how their AI friends played. Fans of Final Fantasy who have been playing for a long time still want to see what would happen if these two authors worked together again.
Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria
One of the best Valkyrie Profile games was and is Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria. Tri-Ace and Square Enix worked together on this game, and it’s amazing that it came out on the PS2. Silmeria was amazing not only for its game systems and characters. But also for how good the graphics were for a game from that time. The real-time 3D battles are a tonne of fun, and the part-break system is amazing.
This game is a story about two main characters: Princess Alicia and the Valkyrie Silmeria who lives inside her. It is a predecessor to the first Valkyrie Profile. All of the exploring is done in 2D side scrolling, while fights take place in full 3D arenas. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria has great platforming, battles, settings, and a great story. As one of the best JRPG games ever made.